Best wishes for the festive season from Foucault News!
You can purchase this poster and related merchandise from the Keep calm-o-matic website.
And on another site..(fastcodesign.com)
Ravi Sawney, CEO of RKS, calls on designers to think about the next stage of personal technology.
Let’s face it: the concept behind wearables—collecting data on oneself—is something people have sought for generations. French philosopher Michel Foucault, for instance, points to the ancient technological development of the hypomnema, a collection of writings one would keep on things one read, heard, saw, or thought throughout the day, which would then be reread in order to better connect to both the world and to, well, oneself. As Foucault explains, “There was a culture of what could be called personal writing…which must be reread from time to time so as to re-actualize their contents.”
So in the tradition of hypnomnema, wearables in their current form, creeping up our arms from wrist to elbow, are just the flavor of the month.
Miro Brada, Discontinuity, the new Artform
This film was presented during an exhibition in Holland Park, UK between 18.Oct-3.Nov 2013:
It is partially based on the philosophy of Michel Foucault…
The interview I was doing with Miroslav Marcelli (a student of Foucault) about Foucault philosophy is here:
You can also find this interview with visual material at philpapers
Excerpt from the interview (Discontinuity and exclusion):
MB Did Foucault’s criticism of universal concepts deny differences (in charm, intellect, morality)?
MM Foucault does not deny differences, only questions conditions of their possibility. The differences transfer in our responses to judgements whose basis is however neither natural nor stable. It emerged in certain historical moment whose circumstances reveal interest to exclude those who differ.
MM There were times when the higher truth notifying the future was revealed through a mouth of a fool. How happened, that since Enlightenment a fool had been classified as a folly and got into enclosed institution? This question lead to the Foucault’s first great book: History of Madness (1961). He will ask such questions during whole of his life. Why is an idea once a deep knowledge, marked as a blunder?
MB Is historical, social, cultural, science evolution illusionary?
MM Foucault doubted the progress of Western society that should be guaranteed by acquired privileges as scientific advance, humanistic base of law, progressive education. He was not the first critique. Psychologist Jean Piaget noticed similarity between Foucault’s The words and the things (1966) and Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962).
MB What was Foucault’s contribution?
MM He particularized steps and processes of preconditions. Episteme, the principle of power structure, notifies in an indefinite form, and then transforms itself to theory. The norm to supervise and punish had only gradually resembled a prison or school. These motions don’t need to be overlapped by a story of unstoppable progress of modern society.
MB What’s a message of Foucault’s book This is not a pipe with a pipe’s image?
MM Foucault thought that Magritte’s painting of a pipe entitled This is not a pipe, deviated from imitation that long dominated western art. Plato called such images – without predetermined pattern, simulacra and condemned their creators as producers of delusions. Simulacra can explain many phenomena of our contemporary visual culture.
MB According to Foucault, the power defines the “author” and its role, while the invention is secondary, irrelevant or an obstacle (e.g. Galileo). How was Foucault as an “author” defined?
MM Foucault challenged the idea of „author”, as a source of hidden abilities and inspirations. Likewise Russian formalists or art historian Wölfflin thought that creator’s great secret was an illusion. So Foucault’s position belongs here too.
MB What was Foucault’s contribution?
MM He was dismantling this illusion being a challenge for a thorough historical analysis of assumptions. The author should be decomposed and reconstructed according to different social orders, by relevant archived texts. As we see the result of study in archives, we can see Foucault closer.
MB He – himself authority – viewed the authority a power tool. Isn’t it a paradox?
MM Foucault taught us that history of thought of 19 century can be written without emphasis on the most recognized philosophers: Hegel, Marx. He didn’t claim that power only represses us, and so we must release ourselves. He rejected the concept of punitive power, and understood its function to repress as well as create us. He just refused its innocent appearance. Power affects relation of teacher-student, which does not imply to remove the teacher. Understanding history of such relations transfers their character.
To Be King by Christine Dixie is an animated video installation informed by the first chapter in Michel Foucault’s book ‘The Order of Things’ (1966), entitled Las Meninas.
Opening Reception: 26th February 2015 from 6pm, Preview from 4pm with the artist
Exhibition: 26th February – 7th March 2015 (Sulger-Buel Lovell Cape Town)
Talk by James Sey: 28th February 11am (limited space available, please book, free of charge, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org)
To be King is informed by the essay ‘Las Meninas’ which Michel Foucault published in 1966 as the first chapter to his book The Order of Things. Foucault in his description of the painting by Velàsquez suggests (amongst other things) that it is through language, the taxonomy of the day, that things are ordered. This order, particular yet tenuous, is dependent on who is in control of the gaze, who is ‘king’.
To be King situates itself as a destabilizing narrative in which the king is ‘dethroned’. Positioning characters and spaces from the periphery in the place from which the dominant gaze originates points to the possibility of a different order of things and highlights the fragility of the established and dominant order.
The sculptural component, the Black Infanta embodies everything the Spanish King, Philip IV is not. Her pose imitates that of the seventeenth century portrait paintings of royal children. She is placed on an enlarged headrest, an object associated with sleeping, dreaming and the unconscious and holds instead of a sceptre, orb or sword, a stick made of Port Jackson willow.
The Black Infanta’s placement in front of the ‘painting’ places her in the role reserved for the king for whom Las Meninas was originally made and who also stands outside the frame of the painting. Completing the circuit of gazes is the museum guard who role is witness to the viewer looking at the ‘painting’. In addition she functions as an ironic indicator of status, an embodiment of the value placed by the cultural centre on a ‘masterpiece’.
With all best wishes for the festive season from Foucault News!