The Logic of Disorder


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Research on the logic of disorder as it pertains to the phenomena of aesthetic perception.

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The Logic of Disorder

  1. 1. Research<br />A pattern of organization has been observed that can be characterized as the force-dynamic opposition between order and disorder.<br />The tension created by this dynamic opposition provides results in aesthetically dynamic state.<br />This opposition is reflective of human embodiment and defines a discreet character of the underpinnings of the aesthetic experience. <br />
  2. 2. Rudolf Arnheim<br />Distinguished psychologist and art theorist<br />Studied with two of the founders of Gestalt psychology; Max Wertheimer and Wolfgang Köhler<br />Wrote the seminal book: Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye in 1954<br /> Wrote the article: Entropy and Art in 1971<br />
  3. 3. Entropy<br />Entropy, as understood in the context of physics and the 2nd law of thermodynamics, states that in any closed system, there exists a tendency towards the dissipation of useful energy. <br />
  4. 4. Crude Diagram of Entropy<br />
  5. 5. A Response to Criticism<br />Peter Landsberg, an established physiciststates: <br />A bridge from science to literature may be accomplished via science fiction. As you might expect from metaphors, the use of the entropy concept here is only suggestive and often superficial. Its normal use is as a hint at ultimate chaos and at a general tendency to decay, be it of objects, people or social organizations (Landsberg, 90).<br />Metaphors are not merely suggestive and superficial, but are productive products of conceptual domains which may correspond to neural mappings in the brain.<br />Using entropy theory to examine closed systems will, in fact, lead one to nihilistic conclusions of ultimate decay, but applying the framework to open systems such as human cognition, perception and experience, disposes one to much more productive analogues that allow for the exchange of forces moving towards and away from disorderIn artistic productivity, or creativity, the dynamics in question has become conscious and even intentional, as a sort of “technique”, but in 20th century thinking, the reduction of the intentional to causal processes was common and even fashionable (i.e. Structuralism).<br />
  6. 6. What Arnheim thinks<br />But it is hard, perhaps impossible to find examples in which the order of a given object or event is limited to what is directly apparent in perception. (Arnheim,2)<br />Outer order reflects inner order<br />If there were independent evidence to make it likely that a similar tendency towards orderly structure exists in these brain processes also, one might want to think of perceptual order as the conscious manifestation of a more universal physiological and indeed physical phenomenon (Arnheim, 3).<br />Cognitive human embodiment might manifest itself through perceptibly ordered phenomena such as language<br />Disorder is not the absence of all order but rather the clash of uncoordinated orders (Arnheim,7).<br />A tension-creating force dynamic opposition does not indicate a lack or order but rather two competing systems of organization that lead to volatility <br />
  7. 7. Arnheim’s language<br />Order – all perceptible order is implicative of internal cognitive processes.<br />Disorder – is the clashing of multiple internal cognitive systems of organization.<br />Entropy – tendency towards disorder <br />Catabolic Effect - “shape destroying” the process of entropy <br />Neg-entropy – tendency towards order<br />Anabolic Tendency – perceptible process of increasing order<br />Tension Reduction – a shift from an ordered state to a state of equilibrium (not stated how this is different from entropy)<br />
  8. 8. Arnheim’s Diagram<br />
  9. 9. Problems to be solved<br />Language is unclear and not well defined.<br />Diagram is not explained.<br />All art is assumed to be instances of a closed system.<br />Examples are not given .<br />A methodology is not defined.<br />
  10. 10. Solutions<br />Simplify the language by using only the terms “disorder” and “order” and “entropy” and “neg-entropy”.<br />Explore alternate methods to graph the dynamics within a specific network.<br />All art is not an instance of a closed system.<br />Use lots of examples.<br />Define a methodology.<br />
  11. 11. Step 1: Scalar Oppositions<br />“The beautiful is always strange. I do not mean that it is coldly, deliberately strange. For in that case, it would be a monstrosity that had jumped the rails of life. I mean that it always contains a touch of strangeness, and that it is this touch of strangeness that gives it its particular quality as beauty.” <br /> Charles Baudelaire, 1855<br />
  12. 12. Step 2: Force Dynamic Oppositions<br />The central theme of “The Unknown Masterpiece is the painting’s drive/progression towards an entropic state (disorder) opposing the objectification of Gilette representing a neg-entropic drive towards a fixed state (order). <br />
  13. 13. The significance of self-reflexivity<br />Self-reflexivity in art has been a source of great dialogue throughout the history of aesthetics.<br />Since the Post-Modern era, this notion has sought to remove the intentionality of the artist as a redundant instance of nature.<br />This however would serve to communicate that cognition, emotion, creativity, and so on are not special or important – since nature is just uniformly causal and mentally blind<br />Returning to the ideas set forth by Arnheim, I assert that perceptible dynamics reflect internal cognitive processes.<br />This is supported by the symbiotic relationship between Frenhofer and his painting that Balzac describes in “The Unknown Masterpiece”.<br />
  14. 14. A Cyclical Ontology<br />
  15. 15. What this means for reflexivity<br />The mind communicates it’s perception of the world through the use of sign systems (e.g. art) which then becomes part of the accumulative understanding of many minds (e.g. culture) which, in turn, adds to ideas we “receive” from the semiotic cycle that inform and or stabilize our initial view of the world. <br />
  16. 16. Step 3: The Actantial Model (Gombrich)<br />For Gombrich, art is the transposition of nature to an audience by an artist through the use of technique and in spite of the chosen medium.<br />
  17. 17. Step 3: The Actantial Model (my version)<br />Instead of nature being the contained objective for art’s delivery to an audience, I instead submit that the motivating idea behind Monet’s Rouen Cathedral is Monet’s perception of light in time. Whereas Gombrich focuses on technique, Monet places his focus on the phenomenological.<br />
  18. 18. Step 4: The Semiotic Square<br />Model (from Semiotics and Language: An Analytical Dictionary) illustrating the dynamics inherent in any semantic structure<br />
  19. 19. The Semiotic Square in Stevens<br /> The theme is described by desire circulating though a system defined as the conflict between the essential self as duality (e.g. body and spirit) and the existential self embodied (“evilly compounded, vital I”), instantiated in either a simple (order) or complex (disorder) state of being. <br />
  20. 20. The Purpose of the Semiotic Square in Blending<br />
  21. 21. Brandtian Ontology and Blending<br /> Art often represents a shift from the phenomenological layer, where perception takes place, to the semiotic layer where perception is expressed through symbolic systems resulting in discourse (culture).<br />
  22. 22. Blending with Similes<br />Metaphor blending requires a source and a target space from which to generate the blend, the difference in blending with similes is that all the parts of a simile are in one space. <br />Eiseley’stheme is built from the observed parallels between his subject matter (crystals) and his audience (students) contributing to the basis for the blend (simile).<br />
  23. 23. Reversibility vs. Irreversibility<br />
  24. 24. Step 5: Diegesis<br />
  25. 25. Solving the Entropy Problem<br />
  26. 26. Conclusion<br />
  27. 27. Further research<br />