From: malgosia askanas <ma@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 1997 14:46:46 -0500 (EST)
> But I think most of us would frown
> upon taking these practices out of art and into social life. Where does
> that frown come from? Do we not take the content of these transgressions
> seriously? Are they "just" figurative? Or do we harbor some secret and
> unanalyzed humanism, some set of moral principles, despite it all?
My perception of Foucault, and also Deleuze, is that they assume a vast
common ground, a "plane of consistency" between themselves and the reader.
This common ground already contains things such as finding the Protocols
of the Elders of Zion unenlightning and not finding infant sacrifice a
desirable social practice. After all, these books are written by leftist
Western intellectuals for an audience of leftist Western intellectuals.
I don't think that the point is that we should get rid of our moral
revulsions; rather, that we need to learn to trust those revulsions without
legitimizing them as "humanist tenets" or other such. I think the idea
of creating one's self as a work of art that Steve D'Arcy mentioned is
very relevant here. The "trust" is very similar to one's attitude
towards oneself when one is in the process of making art -- or in fact,
when one is emersed in any creative process. It might be that there are
rules in art, but art is not made from a rulebook; it is made by listening
to one's own aesthetic -- which is not to say that one's own aesthetic
is not shaped by one's culture and the internalization of its rules.
What is needed is a combination of questioning and trust; as friend of
mine says, a "porous equilibrium".