In his recently published Being At Large, philosopher Santiago Zabala writes: “In the age of alternative facts, facts have also been framed, that is, stripped of all the interpretative, institutional, and social support they once could count on.”
Navigating an ever-expanding bog of information, detached from contextual grounding while being relentlessly politicized or infused with ideology requires a new sort of engaged hermeneutics to disrupt the authoritarian “call to order”.
Excerpts from a recent interview below, with images relayed from Nancy Cohen’s extraordinary installation, Hackensack Dreaming.
On her website, Nancy Cohen writes:
This installation is in no way meant to reproduce the landscape, my inspiration and reference point. I want the viewer to move through “Hackensack Dreaming” discovering and finding connections – compelled by the beauty and the strangeness. Thinking simultaneously of the made and found worlds – of nature (whatever that might be in an artist’s studio in 2014 in urban New Jersey) – a viewer might hopefully become temporarily lost in the contradictions and visual experience.
Such is the magnificent art that keeps up slogging through the info-bog here at DP.
Now comes philosopher Santiago Zabala, in an interview from the invaluable ongoing Histories of Violence series convened by the Los Angeles Review of Books.
Images are from an environmental installation by artists Pekka Niittyvirta and Timo Aho: Lines.
About Lines, Niittyvirta and Aho offer the following thoughts:
The installation explores the catastrophic impact of our relationship with nature and its long-term effects. The work provokes a dialogue on how the rising sea-levels will affect coastal areas, its inhabitants and land usage in the future.
Art has the potential to convey scientific data, complex ideas and concepts, in a powerful way that words or graphs fall short of. Hopefully, through this work, people can better visualise and relate to [the] reality.
Humans have been influencing the climate since the beginning of the industrial revolution and the effects have only been accelerating. LED lights visually resonate with contemporary consumer society.
We felt that this solution possibly illustrates dystopian projections of the sea-level rise in the most tangible way: a threat that is encountered within coastal communities all over the world.
Now comes philosopher Santiago Zabala with a brief essay that resonates strongly with a major theme here at DP: “Turning to Art’s Demands”. The images are from Nele Azevedo’s ongoing series of “melting man” sculptures.
We look forward to Zabala’s forthcoming book, Why Only Art Can Save Us: Aesthetics and the Absence of Emergency (2017).