Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday February 20, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 11:01 PM

The Cross
of Constantine

mentioned in
this afternoon's entry
"Emblematizing the Modern"
was the object of a recent
cinematic chase sequence
(successful and inspiring)
starring Mira Sorvino
at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art.

In memory of
Dr. Hunter S. Thompson,
dead by his own hand
on this date
four years ago

Rolling Stone memorial to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

Click for details.

There is
another sort of object
we may associate with a
different museum and with
a modern Constantine
See "Art Wars for MoMA"
(Dec. 14, 2008).

This object, modern
rather than medieval,
is the ninefold square:

The ninefold square

It may suit those who,
like Rosalind Krauss
(see "Emblematizing"),
admire the grids of modern art
but view any sort of Christian
cross with fear and loathing.

For some background that
Dr. Thompson might appreciate,
see notes on Geometry and Death
in this journal, June 1-15, 2007,
and the five Log24 entries
 ending at 9 AM Dec. 10. 2006,
which include this astute
observation by J. G. Ballard:

"Modernism's attempt to build a better world with the aid of science and technology now seems almost heroic. Bertolt Brecht, no fan of modernism, remarked that the mud, blood and carnage of the first world war trenches left its survivors longing for a future that resembled a white-tiled bathroom."


Friday February 20, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: , — m759 @ 6:00 PM
A Kind of Cross

Descartes portrait

"For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross."

— Thomas Pynchon in  
Gravity's Rainbow

Descartes's Cross

Click for source.

Related material:

A memorial service
held at 2 PM today at the
U.S. Space & Rocket Center
in Huntsville, Alabama, and
 today's previous entry.

Friday February 20, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:01 PM
 the Modern

The following meditation was
inspired by the recent fictional
recovery, by Mira Sorvino
in "The Last Templar,"

of a Greek Cross —
"the Cross of Constantine"–
and by the discovery, by
art historian Rosalind Krauss,
of a Greek Cross in the
art of Ad Reinhardt.


The Cross of Descartes  

Note that in applications, the vertical axis
of the Cross of Descartes often symbolizes
the timeless (money, temperature, etc.)
while the horizontal axis often symbolizes time.

T.S. Eliot:

"Men’s curiosity searches past and future
And clings to that dimension. But to apprehend
The point of intersection of the timeless
With time, is an occupation for the saint…."

There is a reason, apart from her ethnic origins, that Rosalind Krauss (cf. 9/13/06) rejects, with a shudder, the cross as a key to "the Pandora's box of spiritual reference that is opened once one uses it." The rejection occurs in the context of her attempt to establish not the cross, but the grid, as a religious symbol:

"In suggesting that the success [1] of the grid
is somehow connected to its structure as myth,
I may of course be accused of stretching a point
beyond the limits of common sense, since myths
are stories, and like all narratives they unravel
through time, whereas grids are not only spatial
to start with, they are visual structures
that explicitly reject a narrative
or sequential reading of any kind.

[1] Success here refers to
three things at once:
a sheerly quantitative success,
involving the number of artists
in this century who have used grids;
a qualitative success through which
the grid has become the medium
for some of the greatest works
of modernism; and an ideological
success, in that the grid is able–
in a work of whatever quality–
to emblematize the Modern."

— Rosalind Krauss, "Grids" (1979)

Related material:

Time Fold and Weyl on
objectivity and frames of reference.

See also Stambaugh on
The Formless Self
as well as
A Study in Art Education
Jung and the Imago Dei.

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