virus: Re: virus-digest V1 #108

Ken Pantheists (
Tue, 10 Dec 1996 04:37:46 +0000

Eva wrote:

Thinking with her fingers,


PS--If my ramblings have been thoroughly traversed already, I'd
a pointer to the appropriate spot(s) in the archives.

These ideas have been traversed on many occasions, but a fresh outlook
such as yours is always welcome.

I think I've been on this list for about eight months and the one thing
that I see popping up again and again is that old Absolute Truth

Some people say that we live in a reality based on provisional truths.

Then others say that 2+2=4 and wonder why the first group of people
don't feel as stupid as the second group intended them to.

What was the decision on that?

In my imagination I see us as having agreed that the most truthful memes
are the ones that are the best at explaining the world and solving

I am not a physicist. I have no idea what this means in terms of quantum
theory or that razor that keeps getting mentioned (what the hell is that

But in my field of cultural studies-- critical theory and performance--
Provisional Truths work the best. I will never have any idea how many
electrons are in a Klein, it's not a tool I use.

I will never use a painting for its electrons.

But in the world of physics, electrons get used, so we'd better have a
name- and a whole meme complex for them-

Seurat used the science of light to show us how our perceptive faculties
provide meaning for us. Especially when that meaning is held together in
a painting comprised of dots.

Stand too close to a Seurat (and their huge so it's easy to do) and you
lose the image.

The subject matter of his most famous work (translated as "Sunday
Afternoon on the Grande Jette" -- hope I remembered it right) ( I'm
pretty sure it hangs in Chicago) portrays the bourgeoisie of Paris
recreating in the sunny park on a non-work day.

There are so many texts running through this painting-- the figures look
relaxed in public space-- caught in a sort of public subjectivity-- yet
the painting is quite subversive-- because it is fragmented--
disintigrated into dots-- relying upon the mind and eyes of the viewer
to construct the Bourgeoisie of Paris, the park-- even the idea of
Sunday-- from colored "particles of light".

All of the cultural information-- the subjects, their social station,
their public bodies, everything-- is carried in the mind of the viewer
and stimulated by the arrangement of Seurat's dots.

Sends a fairly strong message about abslolute truth-- no?

I think it also illustrates what other paintings might seek to hide--
that level of (re)construction.

I believe that memes are like little dots of paint in a Seurat.

  Ken Pantheists