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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Report from Red Mountain

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 PM

Tom Wolfe in The Painted Word  (1975):

"It is important to repeat that Greenberg and Rosenberg
did not create their theories in a vacuum or simply turn up
with them one day like tablets brought down from atop
Green Mountain or Red Mountain (as B. H. Friedman once
called the two men). As tout le monde  understood, they
were not only theories but … hot news,
straight from the studios, from the scene."

Harold Rosenberg in The New Yorker  (click to enlarge)

See also Interality  and the Eightfold Cube .

Yale News

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 5:24 AM

The Yale of the title is not the university, but rather the
mathematician Paul B. Yale. Yale's illustration of the Fano
plane is below.

IMAGE- Triangular models of the 4-point affine plane A and 7-point projective plane PA

A different illustration from a mathematician named Greenberg —

This illustration of the ominous phrase "line at infinity"
may serve as a sort of Deathly Hallows  for Greenberg.
According to the AMS website yesterday, he died on
December 12, 2017:

A search of this  journal for Greenberg yields no mention of
the dead mathematician, but does yield some remarks
on art that are pehaps less bleak than the above illustration.

For instance —

Art adapted from the Google search screen. Discuss.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

En Masse

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:00 PM

Yale Daily News  staff columnist Scott Greenberg today, 
in a piece titled "Filling Religion's Void" —

"The secularization of college students in America
has seemed a foregone conclusion for some time,
yet it represents a momentous shift for our university
and society at large that we have not yet
come to grips with….

Is the solution for our society and our University
to return to religion en masse?"

So to speak.

A Midrash for Greenberg:

An Ordinary Evening in New Haven
Meets an Evening in the Garden of Allah 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Colorful Tale

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:45 AM

Continued.

"Perhaps the philosophically most relevant feature
of modern science is the emergence of abstract
symbolic structures as the hard core of objectivity
behind— as Eddington puts it— the colorful tale
of the subjective storyteller mind."

— Hermann Weyl in Philosophy of Mathematics
     and Natural Science
 , Princeton, 1949, p. 237

Tom Wolfe on art theorists in The Painted Word  (1975) :

"It is important to repeat that Greenberg and Rosenberg
did not create their theories in a vacuum or simply turn up
with them one day like tablets brought down from atop
Green Mountain or Red Mountain (as B. H. Friedman once
called the two men). As tout le monde  understood, they
were not only theories but … hot news,
straight from the studios, from the scene."

The Weyl quote is a continuing theme in this journal.
The Wolfe quote appeared here on Nov. 18, 2014,
the reported date of death of Yale graduate student 
Natasha Chichilnisky-Heal.

Directions to her burial (see yesterday evening) include
a mention of "Paul Robson Street" (actually Paul
Robeson Place) near "the historic Princeton Cemetery."

This, together with the remarks by Tom Wolfe posted
here on the reported day of her death, suggests a search
for "red green black" —

The late Chichilnisky-Heal was a student of political economy.

The search colors may be interpreted, if one likes, as referring
to politics (red), economics (green), and Robeson (black).

See also Robeson in this journal.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

For the Green Mountain Girls

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 9:13 AM

Tom Wolfe in The Painted Word  (1975):

"It is important to repeat that Greenberg and Rosenberg
did not create their theories in a vacuum or simply turn up
with them one day like tablets brought down from atop
Green Mountain or Red Mountain (as B. H. Friedman once
called the two men). As tout le monde  understood, they
were not only theories but … hot news,
straight from the studios, from the scene."

"Parable of American Painting," 1954 — From The Tradition of the New by Harold Rosenberg

"In this essay Rosenberg set out to explain what he believed to be definitively American about Abstract Expressionism. He did so by drawing on the American Revolutionary War for his metaphors, likening the new Americans to the coonskin trappers whose knowledge of their terrain enabled them to pick off the British soldiers (Redcoats), who followed the dictates of their military training. The professionally- trained soldiers were defeated because, as Rosenberg states, 'They were such extreme European professionals … they did not even see  the American trees.' 'Redcoatism' was, Rosenberg argued, a symptom of the old European world's stubborn rejection of the new. It did at one time also '[dominate] the history of American art,' he wrote, but with the advent of Abstract Expressionism, times had changed. And just as the Coonskins were victorious because they stood apart from the professional military, so the new American art was triumphant because, as Rosenberg saw it, it marked a profound break with the traditions of European art."

— TheArtStory.org

Lectures at Bennington, 1971

For example:

Art adapted today from the Google search screen. Discuss.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Rhetoric of Abstract Concepts

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:48 PM

From a post of June 3, 2013:

New Yorker  editor David Remnick at Princeton today
(from a copy of his prepared remarks):

“Finally, speaking of fabric design….”

I prefer Tom and Harold:

Tom Wolfe in The Painted Word 

“I am willing (now that so much has been revealed!)
to predict that in the year 2000, when the Metropolitan
or the Museum of Modern Art puts on the great
retrospective exhibition of American Art 1945-75,
the three artists who will be featured, the three seminal
figures of the era, will be not Pollock, de Kooning, and
Johns-but Greenberg, Rosenberg, and Steinberg.
Up on the walls will be huge copy blocks, eight and a half
by eleven feet each, presenting the protean passages of
the period … a little ‘fuliginous flatness’ here … a little
‘action painting’ there … and some of that ‘all great art
is about art’ just beyond. Beside them will be small
reproductions of the work of leading illustrators of
the Word from that period….”

Harold Rosenberg in The New Yorker  (click to enlarge)

From Gotay and Isenberg, “The Symplectization of Science,”
Gazette des Mathématiciens  54, 59-79 (1992):

“… what is the origin of the unusual name ‘symplectic’? ….
Its mathematical usage is due to Hermann Weyl who,
in an effort to avoid a certain semantic confusion, renamed
the then obscure ‘line complex group’ the ‘symplectic group.’
… the adjective ‘symplectic’ means ‘plaited together’ or ‘woven.’
This is wonderfully apt….”

Symplectic :

IMAGE- A symplectic structure -- i.e. a structure that is symplectic (meaning plaited or woven)

— Steven H. Cullinane,
diamond theorem illustration

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:00 PM

In honor of Ace Greenberg, a major Wall Street player
who reportedly died today at 86:

See also this journal on the date of the above review,
March 9, 2009:  First and Last Things.

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Yorker Art

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:59 PM

New Yorker  editor David Remnick at Princeton today
(from a copy of his prepared remarks):

"Finally, speaking of fabric design…."

I prefer Tom and Harold:

Tom Wolfe in The Painted Word 

"I am willing (now that so much has been revealed!)
to predict that in the year 2000, when the Metropolitan
or the Museum of Modern Art puts on the great
retrospective exhibition of American Art 1945-75,
the three artists who will be featured, the three seminal
figures of the era, will be not Pollock, de Kooning, and
Johns-but Greenberg, Rosenberg, and Steinberg.
Up on the walls will be huge copy blocks, eight and a half
by eleven feet each, presenting the protean passages of
the period … a little 'fuliginous flatness' here … a little
'action painting' there … and some of that 'all great art
is about art' just beyond. Beside them will be small
reproductions of the work of leading illustrators of
the Word from that period…."

Harold Rosenberg in The New Yorker 

(Click to enlarge.)

Tom's book seems to be repeating, in 1975, what Harold said better in 1969.

"Finally, speaking of fabric design…."

Note "fabric design" in Rosenberg's words on philistine views of the art of Noland.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday November 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 4:44 AM
Aspects of Symmetry

For theoretical physicist
Sidney Coleman,

Sidney Coleman (photo from Harvard  home page)

who died on Sunday
(Nov. 18, 2007)

A comment at Peter Woit’s weblog today:

T says (3:43 AM today)

I still don’t quite understand what *EXACTLY* Sidney Coleman contributed that merits such deep reverence for him after his demise; was he like Weinberg – i.e. a very intuitive and thoughtful field theorist – or Feynman – a highly creative and original thinker; or simply a good teacher who taught at (world-famous) Harvard – and hence his stature?

My reply (4:26 AM today, awaiting moderation):

T: The following quotes may be of interest.

“Sidney Coleman comes as close as any active physicist to assuming the mantle of Wolfgang Pauli as a trenchant critic of research and as an expositor of ongoing developments in theoretical physics.” –Book review of Aspects of Symmetry

“He has… played the role of Wolfgang Pauli of his generation; he liked to disprove ideas, and he was also a genius in explaining things to others.” –Lubos Motl

Related material:

Faust in Copenhagen

and

Kernel of Eternity

Monday, April 5, 2004

Monday April 5, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 4:03 AM

Ideas and Art

 
Motto of
Plato's Academy

 

From Minimalist Fantasies,
by Roger Kimball, May 2003:

All I want anyone to get out of my paintings, and all I ever get out of them, is the fact that you can see the whole idea without any confusion. … What you see is what you see.
—Frank Stella, 1966

Minimal Art remains too much a feat of ideation, and not enough anything else. Its idea remains an idea, something deduced instead of felt and discovered.
— Clement Greenberg, 1967

The artists even questioned whether art needed to be a tangible object. Minimalism … Conceptualism — suddenly art could be nothing more than an idea, a thought on a piece of paper….
— Michael Kimmelman, 2003

There was a period, a decade or two ago, when you could hardly open an art journal without encountering the quotation from Frank Stella I used as an epigraph. The bit about “what you see is what you see” was reproduced ad nauseam. It was thought by some to be very deep. In fact, Stella’s remarks—from a joint interview with him and Donald Judd—serve chiefly to underscore the artistic emptiness of the whole project of minimalism. No one can argue with the proposition that “what you see is what you see,” but there’s a lot to argue with in what he calls “the fact that you can see the whole idea without any confusion.” We do not, of course, see ideas. Stella’s assertion to the contrary might be an instance of verbal carelessness, but it is not merely verbal carelessness. At the center of minimalism, as Clement Greenberg noted, is the triumph of ideation over feeling and perception, over aesthetics.
— Roger Kimball, 2003

 

 

From How Not Much Is a Whole World,
by Michael Kimmelman, April 2, 2004

Decades on, it's curious how much Minimalism, the last great high modern movement, still troubles people who just can't see why … a plain white canvas with a line painted across it


"William Clark,"
by Patricia Johanson, 1967

should be considered art. That line might as well be in the sand: on this side is art, it implies. Go ahead. Cross it.

….

The tug of an art that unapologetically sees itself as on a par with science and religion is not to be underestimated, either. Philosophical ambition and formal modesty still constitute Minimalism's bottom line.

If what results can sometimes be more fodder for the brain than exciting to look at, it can also have a serene and exalted eloquence….

That line in the sand doesn't separate good art from bad, or art from nonart, but a wide world from an even wider one.

 

I maintain that of course
we can see ideas.

Example: the idea of
invariant structure.

"What modern painters
are trying to do,
if they only knew it,
is paint invariants."

— James J. Gibson, Leonardo,
    Vol. 11, pp. 227-235.
    Pergamon Press Ltd., 1978

For a discussion
of how this works, see
Block Designs,
4×4 Geometry, and
Diamond Theory.

Incidentally, structures like the one shown above are invariant under an important subgroup of the affine group AGL(4,2)…  That is to say, they are not lost in translation.  (See previous entry.)
 

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