Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-09-16 - 12:50 p.m.

I met Mike and we talked about how to develop the POLEMICS project - this was one of the first links I made when I joined the firm so I am pleased to see its paying off at last. I also had a meeting with Steve - he has been accepted by Cardiff for his PhD on globalisation and leadership. He helped a lot with firming up the plan for the Greenpower final data collection. I also bumped into Viv in the car park who was coming in to see the boss.

I wrote a report for Julia - who works for Viv - on where we had got to on the data strategy for the West Midlands auto cluster - and I attached the new paper from the DTI economists on RnD plus Phil‘s paper on the national. The more I think about the RnD paper the better it gets.

Then I went and looked for the regional GDP stats which are due this week - I dug them out and started to push the figures around. Very bleak and indeed this ties in with Phil’s current report. I decided it was such bad news that I would mail the boss.

Anticipating a low period I bought a guitar this week - a single hum bucker three quarter size Tangle wood - Chinese made and very very cheap. I have lent my vintage Osaka made LP copy to Lawrence and anyway I find the long scale a bit hard work. Currently I am using it on classic british blues amp settings on the simulator - sometimes with compression. I am so single coil oriented that it takes a while to adjust.

Meanwhile the ACD goes on - I must find a reason to call him ACDC. Anyway he seems to think the world spirit may be in the process of giving up on art. He has a good line comparing physics and art. People used think of art the way they thought of physics in the 19th century ie that physics just got better and better and closer to the truth. Then when I was a teenager the ideas about physics changed - and people got into incommensurability. So Newtonian physics was seen as a diferent school from Eisteinian or Quantum physics - there were links but there were radical differences. Maybe that’s still where people are on physics - but ACDC seems to think that art has moved on from there.

I am beginning to have really serious doubts about the muse-model. Possibly the Hughes-Plath debacle shows that it isn’t sustainable - ACDC doesn’t seem to like the idea of going back into primitivism to keep the show on the road.

Nowadays we are post-Warhol and if we are post Warhol we are post-Beuys and if we are post-Beuys you cant just do the old muse-model. Possibly Prof Rose is making the same point in her haunting book - not the only point but one of the ones she makes.

So you may ask - if the 19C model wont do and the Kuhnian wont do - what is the world spirit up to in the universe of artistic endeavour? Here’s ACDC:

‘Another model of art-history…. A model narratively exemplified by the Bildungsroman - the novel of self-education which climaxes in the self’s recognition of the self. This is a genre recently found in feminist literature---------the great philosophical work which has this form is the Phenomenology of the Spirit ------ Art is one of the stages - one of the final stages of spirit’s return to spirit through spirit - but it is a stage which must be gine through in the final painful ascent towards redeeming recognition.’

To this I d like to add the idea of sustainable creativity - if crudely speaking art is part of a progress towards self-redeeming recognition - then the process will work best when it occurs within a single identity. And so to see the essence we should look at what happens with the long distance creators - Miles, Picasso, Rembrandt, Carter.

ACDC thinks that the goal is reflexive - and the most important reflexive discipline is philosophy. What is philosophy? Answering this question is part of philosophy and in that sense is philosophy is reflexive. In the third phase art does ‘what is art?’ and so it becomes philosophy.

ACDC suggests that art will become post-historical. The idea of the end of history was around at the time that ACDC was writing and we know that its proponent - Fukuyama - sees the end of history and as being linked to the post-human phase. He doesn’t like the link especially but he sees it is there.

So my conclusion is that if we study sustainable creativity - creativity which is ecologically sound - this will lead us to post-human creativity.

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