Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-07-05 - 7:37 a.m.

I sent off the revised motorsport paper and then did some digging on centres of vocational excellence - found some initiatives we hadnít known about and ought to have done . My view is that we have to select a centre and develop a partnership with vigour. Still sun-burned.

Exchange of ems with Henry. I tried unsuccessfully to get my phone line at the flat back working.

After work I drove to the Tipperary and read through some commentary on Kantís four moments of the aesthetic - extraordinary powerful stuff, especially the idea that the internal harmony in the aesthetic experience is linked to an awareness of the common sense that we suppose we share with all our fellow human beings. Kant concludes that the aesthetic experience is a particular kind of experience - he happens to use the word pleasure and indeed when I first started thinking about this stuff in my teens it was the pleasurable aspect that first absorbed me. I was genuinely puzzled by the way that aesthetic Ďpleasureí seemed to imply a normative judgement - that others should feel the same - when frequently they didnít and more specifically we all know that pleasure is generally subjective and variable. Possibly everyone feels like this in their teens - intensity felt normatively - possibly a vector of individuation.

Kant has his own complex theory of how the Ďpleasureí is generated and what it is about the pleasure that makes us judge it to be beautiful - when beauty itself isnt a concept in the normal sense - say like solidity. The objective grounding for all of this, in Kantís view, is partly in the purposive-ness in the art-object itself.

Against that we can bring up from our point of view examples of conceptual art which disrupt the art-object - say the ashphalt run-down where Smithson organized for a truck full of ashphalt to be poured down a slope in the wilderness. Itís the answers to those objections that especially intrigue me - it seems to me that the purposive-ness often arises from the institutional setting. GEMAís idea of purpose and narrativity in intention are important tools in unpacking this stuff.

In the Kant-commentary the question is posed whether it would still be an aesthetic experience if on the desert island we came across a poem written in the sand - with no evidence whatsoever of the originator - indeed where the balance of probability is that the marks have come about by accident. The answer seems to be that we would read the poem as a poem. This scenario seems to echo our treatment of poems which are Ďanoní.

S Vegaís 99.9F has arrived - confirmation that Amazon 2nd hand Cds are good value. The themes are becoming clearer - certainly the sublime of the small - also fetishes at the margin - plus the margin of self management - metonymy in general. Its very good to listen to - maybe because of the way it takes a different path from the divine Miss M. Possibly SV thought that whereas LNY had done big passion in the city and and Miss M was doing cosmic themes and love she would explore some of the same territory through smallness and metonymy (where the small stands for its big neighbour). There is an identity thread to - it would be good music to look at Cindy Sherman to - esp early CS - also I can hear a continuity with Laurie Anderson. Anyway its definitely to be recommended.

Up early once again and into the office - there s a new project launch at the Millenium Centre.

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