11 January 2016

the infinite tweet

'As concepts such as "good enough" mothering suggest, Winnicott is a fairly sanguine soul. But he also takes pains to remind us what a baby will experience should the holding environment not be good enough:
The primitive agonies

Falling for ever
All kinds of disintegration
Things that disunite the psyche and the body

the fruits of privation
going to pieces
falling for ever
dying and dying and dying
losing all vestige of hope of the renewal of contacts

One could argue that Winnicott is speaking metaphorically here – as Michael Snediker has said in a more adult context: "One doesn't really shatter when one is fucked, despite Bersani's accounts of it as such." But while a baby may not die when its holding environment fails, it may indeed die and die and die. The question of what a psyche or a soul can experience depends, in large part, on what you believe it's made of: Spirit is matter reduced to an extreme thinness: 0 so thin!

In any case, Winnicott notably describes "the primitive agonies" not as lacks or voids, but as substantives: "fruits."'

—Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts

2 January 2016

"Where has the human connection gone? Share 1 minute of eye contact with 1 person"

"Prior to the 1970s one finds no trace of U.S. twentieth century folk art as a cultural field. The Museum of American Folk Art was founded in 1963 but for its early supporters, most of them old guard and wealthy collectors from the northeast, 'the possibility of genuine contemporary expression was of negligible interest' (Hartigan, 1991 : 29). There were no contemporary folk art galleries in 1970 and very few writings on the subject, nor had such work appeared at public auction. Antiques dealers and even the large auction houses had handled the odd twentieth century piece, nearly always by an anonymous hand, but in general objects made after 1900 were assumed to have been influenced by machine-made articles or modeled on elite or popular sources, and thus not properly 'folk art' at all. Moreover, since folk art's pricing was derived from the antiques trade, twentieth century objects lacked the cachet of years and so were typically passed over.
While the parameters of the twentieth century folk art world continue to be subject to debate, an examination of three indicators - membership in the Museum of American Folk Art, numbers of twentieth century folk art exhibitions, and numbers of galleries specializing in this type of art - suggest the field's expansion through the 1970s. Additionally, museum acquisitions, regular public auction sales, and university course offerings in folk art suggest its growing legitimation. Data from art periodicals, archival records, auction house catalogues, exhibition catalogues, encyclopedias, and several folk art histories taken in sum illustrate the inception, extension,
and autonomization of a new artistic subfield." 
Julia Ardery, 'Loser wins': Outsider art and the salvaging of disinterestedness