Seeable Relationship. Sayable connection. #03

This post is not organised writing or essay, but the fragmented thought.

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Were we to attempt to see the intervals between things as themselves things, the appearance of the world would be just as noticeably changed

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, and Donald A. Landes, Phenomenology of Perception (Abingdon, Oxon ; New York: Routledge, 2012), p. 16

If we hold ourselves to phenomena, then the unity of the thing in perception is not constructed through association, but rather, being the condition of association, this unity precedes the cross-checkings that verify and determine it, this unity precedes itself. If I am walking on a beach toward a boat that has run aground, and if the funnel or the mast merges with the forest that borders the dune, then there will be a moment in which these details suddenly reunite with the boat and become welded to it. As I approached, I did not perceive the resemblances or the proximities that were, in the end, about to reunite with the superstructure of the ship in an unbroken picture. I merely felt that the appearance of the object was about to change, that something was imminent in this tension, as the storm is imminent in the clouds.The spectacle was suddenly reorganised, satisfying my vague expectation. Afterward I recognised, as justifications for the change, the resemblance and the contiguity of what I call “stimuli,” that is, the most determinate phenomena obtained from up close and with which I compose the “true” world.

Ibid, pp. 17-18

The unity of the object is established upon the presentiment of an imminent order that will, suddenly, respond to questions that are merely latent in the landscape. It will resolve a problem only posed in the form of a vague uneasiness;

Ibid, p. 18

Is the moment changing? The duration of changing? There is an interesting example by Merleau-Ponty, which is used as the rabbit and the hunter image in English and french version, but different example in Korean translation. When one woman saw her hotel uniform lover, he is a handsome and beautiful lover. But when she saw him by accident around the hotel, he is just a uniformed hotel carrier. (Each book in French and English pages are below.) I am assuming this example differences because the translator used another source such as the Japanese or German version. However, it is fascinating differences how two examples can explain same thing in different way about the shifting of the unity from one to another without interrupting two unity world. Further, for me, it should be approached differently as a lover and as an image. Well, let’s find out how I can use this example

Merleau-Ponty claims that unity of the thing in perception is not constructed through association, but rather, being the condition of association, which can deliver the immediate answer.

Phenomenology of Perception

The unity of the object is established upon the presentiment of an imminent order that will, suddenly, respond to questions that are merely latent in the landscape. It will resolve a problem only posed in the form of a vague uneasiness; it organises elements that until then did not belong to the same universe and which, for that reason, as Kant said insightfully, could not have been associated.

대상의 통일성은 예의 그 광경에 잠재되어 있을 뿐인 문제에 대하여 단숨에 답을 제공하려는 임박한 질서의 예감에 기초해 있고, 모호한 궁금증의 형태로만 제기 되었을 뿐인 문제를 해결해주며, 그 통일에 도달할 때까지 동일한 세계에 속하지 않았던, 그 때문에 칸트가 심원하게 말한 바대로 연합될 수 없었다던 요소들을 조직한다.

Ibid, p. 18

What answer? Answer from the vagueness? Is that means unity is immanent in the quality of the duration even before the unity? Or is it within the duration of the changing? Or shifting. Once this unity constructed until it is changed into a different world, it habitually maintains its world. Him as a unity of the constructed world. This changing should be a painful and aggressive one. Until then, he would be, or I would see him as a different from the others and not as my unity.

The condition of the seeable, which is stimulated by space or the knowledge, doesn’t satisfy my question of the seeable him (Well, obviously, I just started phenomenology of perception, so I guess there is a long way to go). But I remember Susan Sontag is questioning in her book about the pain from the war pictures. Are we used to its pain because photo exposed too often? Or are we getting a different way of affection?


  • Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, Phénoménologie De La Perception, Tel, 4 (Paris: Gallimard, 2009), p. 23; Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, and Donald A. Landes, Phenomenology of Perception (Abingdon, Oxon ; New York: Routledge, 2012), p. 16
  • Sontag, Susan, Regarding the Pain of Others (New York, N.Y: Picador, 2003)

Extra ︎ Action and Speech

Reference: Emmelhainz, Irmgard, ‘Can We Share a World Beyond Representation?’, 106, 2020, pp, 1-10

In The Human Condition Arendt stresses repeatedly that action is primarily symbolic in character and that the web of human relationships is sustained by communicative interaction (HC, 178–9, 184–6, 199–200). We may formulate it as follows. Action entails speech: by means of language we are able to articulate the meaning of our actions and to coordinate the actions of a plurality of agents. Conversely, speech entails action, not only in the sense that speech itself is a form of action, or that most acts are performed in the manner of speech, but in the sense that action is often the means whereby we check the sincerity of the speaker.

01

  • Lebenswelt: the world of common human experience and interpretation.
  • According to Arendt, modernity, propelled by the destruction of all tradition, is characterised by the irretrievable loss of the experience of shared meaning, which was previously created by talking to and making sense with one another. This loss is accompanied by the disappearance of a space for arguing, resining, argumentation: the space of politics, comprised of speech and action. ::Arendt, Hannah, Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought, Penguin Classics (New York: Penguin Books, 2006)::
  • As Gilles Deleuze put it, the link between man and the world has been broken. Modernity also means the replacement of “society” and “community” by “mass society.”
  • For Arendt, mass society is characterised by isolation and a lack of normal social relationships; as a result, consciousness of a common interest is absent.

04

  • For Hannah Arendt, the expansion of authoritarianism in Europes in the twentieth century stemmed from the alienation and loneliness brought about by the degradation of the world in common. ︎ 문화적 요소가 결핍됬다기 보다 커지면서 퍼진거겠지
  • Representation — the dispositif that, via speech and action, enables appearance in the world in common, and also the human capacity for the creation and dissemination of shared meaning and traditions — has been hijacked by capitalism, authoritarianism, democracy, the internet, and spectacle. ︎ 여기서 디스포지티프 의미는 스트럭쳐, 전통과 의미를 구성하는 디스포지티프 ︎ 푸코의 글을 다시 읽어보자.
  • Speech and action ︎ 한나 아렌트의 스피치와 액션의 의미는 뭐지?
    • 고전적 구분을 따른 아렌트
    • 폴리스(polis) = 공공적 영역 -> 활동 ︎ speech
    • 사회적 영역 ︎ 경제 활동 및 결사 혹은 집단 ︎ 생의 욕구를 해소 하는 장소
    • 오이코스(oikos) = 사적 영역
  • ::각각의 영역에는 각각의 dispositif가 존재하는 걸까?::
  • 여기서 아마도 푸코와의 차이점은 (혹은 같은 점은) Political I’magination (19세기) reproducers a representative form of social cohesion. They did this by constructing and disseminating a world of shared meaning that expressed the alleged “essence” of an imagined community: shared cultural history, iconography, language, food, and dress. ︎ ::Anderson, Benedict R. O’G, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism, Rev. ed (London ; New York: Verso, 2006)::
  • 1960년대경에선 아트계에서 abandoned representation and dismissed representativity as totalitarian structures, as vehicles for a bland, sexist, and racist humanism and a trite universalism. ︎ 청소년기에 있는 것 처럼 스트럭처를 거부했고 (만들어진 스트럭처) 그러면서 각자가 결국 자신의 젠더, ethnic origin, political struggle, or sexual orientation을 대표하며 입장을 발표했다.
  • Minorities
  • 1980s ‘90s 경에선 representativity 가 다시 되돌아왔고 with a vengeance through identity politics and consciousness-raising activism
  • A new, invisible social contract was drawn up in which individuals would now only speak on behalf of themselves as representatives of their own persona experiences of ethnic, political, or gendered specificities, with the mandate to address “everyone” and to secure recognition of “my” ordeal ︎ ::결국 self 는 representation으로 밖에 존재할 수 없게 된 것 아닐까? 나는 나를 represents 한다. Self-representation. 하지만 만약에 이게 계속 된다면, 결국 남는 건 텅 비어버린 representation.::
  • 20세기 후반에 globalisation dismantling of the referential economy of political and aesthetic modernity ︎ assigned artists universal representativity. Under globalisation, art is disseminated to a globalised mass society through and internationalised culture industry. ︎ ::아트 란 그룹 자체로 representation ︎ 이건 사실 아트가 아트만을 얘기하게 된 계기가 될 수도 있겠다.::

07

  • The main problem with artworks that speak on behalf of the struggle of others, or that seek recognition for “my private ordeal.” is that they inhibit a moralising realm of non-shared meaning ︎ ::의미 없는 외침:: ︎ ::이건 다시 같은 질문으로 되돌아온다, 혼자서만 하는 소리를 작업할 의미가 있는가?:: ︎ ::아트 학교에서의 문제점 중에 하나는, 개개인의 목소리에 귀를 기울이기에 점점 더 개인적이 되어가는 질문이 된다는 것에 있을지도 몰라.::
  • When despotic forms of empathy prevail, action and speech are reduced to sheer appearance. Speech without action — such as speech that merely demands recognition — fils to disclose the position that the speaking human occupies in relation to others and the world, beyond simple identitarian or subjective categories. In the opposite case — when we have gestures without speech — these gestures take the form of brute physical action without verbal accompaniment and are thus meaningless (like terrorist attacks or massacres in schools and public spaces.) ︎ ::이거야 말로 내가 커뮤니케이션의 중요성을 말했던 부분중에 하나다::
  • For Arendt, actions are only made relevant by the spoken word, which identifies the speaker as the actor announcing what she’s is doing, thereby giving meaning to her actions, but only in relation to others. In other words, no other human behaviour is in greater need of speech than action

09

  • Through speech and action, we not only learn to understand each other as individual persons, but also to see the same world from on another’s (sometimes opposing) standpoints. In this context, universality means that while everyone sees and hears from a different position, some people have the capacity to multiply their own point of view. ︎ ::Arendt, Hannah, Between Past and Future: Eight Exercises in Political Thought, Penguin Classics (New York: Penguin Books, 2006), p. 219.::