Archive for the 'konst' Category

Why I Hate School But Love Education

Werner Aspenström, Sardinen på tunnelbanan

Sardinen på tunnelbanan

Jag vill inte tvätta mig med den där tvålen.
Jag vill inte borsta mig med den där tandkrämen.
Jag vill inte ligga i den där bäddsoffan.
Jag känner inget behov av det där toilettpapperet.
Jag är inte intresserad av den där försäkringen.
Jag tänker inte övergå till ett annat cigarrettmärke.
Jag har ingen lust att se den där filmen.
Jag vägrar stiga av vid Skärholmen.

Sardinen vill att burken öppnas emot havet.


Ur Under tiden (1972) av Werner Aspenström.


“Zzzzp”… Ring´ , ring´ –  the crocuses are awakening in someone’s backyard,
some array during warm weather and play, but thorny bushes they scarred.

I ought,” uhmm”… await the first wet-snow wading through leaf-sprinkle,
trailblazing through cold, snowfolded forests is WIN!, errr… Even during star-twinkle.

Husserl’s Letter to Hofmannstahl – Phenomenology and Pure Art

Edmund Husserl & Phenomenology

Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) was the founder of the philosophical movement called ”phenomenology”, which was a method and philosophical outlook both rejected and embraced by his contemporaries and predecessors. The phenomenological method is at the heart of his philosophical legacy, having excercised an enormous influence on the development of continental philosophy, Husserl quickly became very renowned for his thoughts within movements such as existentialism, hermeneutics and deconstruction. Husserl also had a career in logic and mathematics, and his phenomenological method and outlook connect with analytical philosophy on many levels.

Husserl did not concive phenomenology right away, but gradually evolved it in various stages. In his early work Logical Investigations, Husserl coined the term descriptive psychology, which was the initial step towards a philosophical underlying unity. Husserl’s main concern with the term was that it described psychic experiences, which were characterized for their intentionality, thus enabling descriptive psychology to describe essential ”moments” of intentional experiences.

The descriptive psychology found its area of study through abstracting the psychological or psychic region from the world, in a similar manner as the natural sciences abstract the region of material nature from the world. Husserl could now describe experiences in relation to the contents noetic moments (their real contents), as well as also connecting his descriptions to the noematic (ir-real) moments of experience, in other words to their intentional content (objective content). Husserl thus needed a methodology to include these intentional moments of experience in the area of importance for the phenomenological investigation. Husserl’s solution became the transcendental-phenomenological reduction.

The transcendental-phenomenological reduction aims at directing the phenomenologist’s attention to the intentional relation between consciousness and its object, a correlation also concerning subjectivity and the phenomenon of the world. The phenomenologist sees phenomenology as a descriptive science, which seeks to pinpoint and correlate the essential moments and structures of the transcendental consciousness and its intentional experiences. It is of great importance that the phenomenologist [bracket] the world with the aid of the phenomenological reduction, because existence is not important when analysing phenomena during the early stages of the phenomenological method.

Phenomenology describes and categorises essential structures of intentionality and the required correlations between different experiences to the extent that these structures can be known through intuition. The analyses themselves are static and genetic; static meaning that a phenomenological abstraction is aimed at the temporality of experience. This means that static phenomenology identifies moments and structures belonging to a sort of nucleus of intentional experience and object. While the static phenomenology ‘leaves out time’, the genetic phenomenology return to the experiences in their complex temporality and tries to unfold the very origins of experiences in the temporal stream of consciousness.

The phenomenological method itself includes these main components:

1. The phenomenological reduction already mentioned above

2. The limitation, which is connected to a presupposition not to fall back on causal explanations, in order to describe the intentionality in given experiences

3. The eidetic reduction, which through eidetic variation reveals the essence, essential structures and experience

4. The eidetic intuition, in which the phenomenologist is given structures that the eidetic reduction revealed in an earlier stage of the phenomenological method

Husserl’s Letter to Hofmannstahl About Phenomenology and Art

In SITE Magazine 26-27.09 ISSN 1650-7894, Sven-Olov Wallenstein has translated a letter from Edmund Husserl to Hugo von Hofmannstahl, dated January 12th, 1907, Göttingen. The original letter is taken from Husserliana Dokumente, Briefwechsel, vol. VII, Wissenschaftlerkorrespondenz, (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1994), 133-36, and concerns both phenomenology and art. The editors of SITE acknowledges that – even though Husserl has been on a quest seeking the phenomenological origins of the sciences, the experiences and the world – phenomenology in its developed forms from Heidegger and Habermas, has had a certain fondness of aesthetic experiences which might have been lacking in Husserl’s outlook.

In the letter to Hofmannstahl 1907 – where Husserl had just discovered the main components and outlines for his phenomenological method – he acknowledges a similarity between the intuitive and pure phenomenology and pure art. Husserl has extensively covered concepts such as phantasy, image, consciousness and memory, however, these concepts also constitute links between phenomenology and developments in modern art.

Husserl starts off with thanking Hofmannstahl for a gift that he recived during an earlier visit to Husserl on December 6, 1906, and goes on to discuss phenomenology and art, thus revealing some aesthetic connections between a pure phenomenology and pure art.

Husserl recognizes that Hofmannstahl’s art pictures ”inner states” as purely aesthetic. in a sphere not of ”pictures” but of ”aesthetic beauty”. The aesthetic states are important for the phenomenologist because of the objectification. Husserl draws a parallell between his work of reaching a lucid sense of the basic problems of philosophy, and moving onwards towards a method for the solution of these basic problems.

The phenomenological method and attitude is for the phenomenologists to be concerned with all forms of objectivity that departs from what is ”natural” in a fundamental way. This Husserl says is ”closely related to the attitude and stance in which your art, as something purely aesthetic, places us with respect to the presented objects and the whole of the surrounding world”.

Similar to the phenomenological attitude, the intuition of a pure aesthetic object of art is ‘represented’ in an perspective devoid of existential influences of the intellect, because the presuppositions attached with emotions and the will are connected with the existential outlook. When standing near a work of art, the work places the phenomenologist in a state of aesthetic intuition, leaving the inuition empty of the existential attitudes. Husserl pinpoints the aesthetic pureness of a work of art in the following description: the more the existential world comes to attention, and the more a work of art brings out an existential attitude, then the work of art is less aestetically pure, Husserl concludes.

For the phenomenologists the mind has a natural and existential stance – actual life and things we stand before, are actual in sensous ways and realities as such. Our acts of mind and will are caught up in these existing actualities, which are included in the existential attitude of the mind. Husserl claims that the opposite side of this stance – the pure aesthetic intuition with its corresponding emotional situation – is also the opposite counterpart of the phenomenological attitude of the mind. Husserl writes that the only way in which the phenomenologist can solve philosophical problems, is through the phenomenological attitude and the phenomenological method. The only way in which the phenomenologist can examine the basic problems of phenomenology, is to suspend the existential attitudes, especially in the critique of knowledge.

As soon as our attitudes towards pre-given knowledge and pre-given being (towards the assumed reality and the sciences) have changed, we know that the fundamental question of knowledge has changed, and made it possible for the phenomenologist to conceive a knowledge through subjective experiences, which at the same time contain an in-itself existing objectivity. The phenomenologist can only solve basic problems of philosophy if being in the very same sphere as the philosophical problems and question all knowledge. No existence should be accepted as pre-given. All reality and all science thus become phenomena, and what remains is a pure intuition – with its abstractions and analyses – and meaning immanent in the phenomena. The phenomenologists do not have to go beyond phenomena, and they don’t pressupose transcendent existences intended in phenomena. The phenomenologist does not have to clarify what knowledge as such and objectivity means according to their own immanent essence.

Given that all knowledge is questionable, we are only left with the phenomena ‘knowledge’ and if the phenomenologist is to accept any other form of knowledge, then she has to return to the phenomenological attitude. What does validity mean? Phenomenology is concerned with the ”intuiting”, the ”evident” and ”insightful” forms of knowing, and this symbolic thought in relation to evident knowing, requires a phenomenological analysis of essences.

Aesthetic intuition in pure art is closely connected to the phenomenological intuiting, however, this should not be associated with any sort of aesthetic pleasure, due to the fact that phenomenology only considers the investigations and cognitive phenomena. The phenomenologist is not concerned with the sphere of art, but of the sphere of philosophy. The artist observes the world and gains knowledge of man and nature in a way which slightly relates to how the phenomenologist observes the world. The world is not observed through the natural attitude, nor through the practical observing of man. For the phenomenologists the world becomes but a phenomena, rendering all existence unimportant. The artist on the other hand, doesn’t try to find the ‘meaning’ of the phenomenon of the world and grasp its concepts, but intuitively appropriates when gathering matter, in order to create the aesthetic shapes and forms.

Husserl returns to a more informal and non lecturing way of writing by referring to himself as a ”hopeless and typical professor! He cannot even open his mouth, without giving a lecture”. Husserl means that both the philosophical essence of a lecture and academic freedom is that there is an absence of a demand for an answer, and hopes that Hofmannstahl doesn’t feel the need to respond in relation to Husserl’s ”lecture”. Husserl wishes Hofmannstahl his best, hoping that the world will find interest in his inner development and growth. Perhaps this was needed due to the fact that Husserl admits being reluctant to comment Hofmannstahl’s work: that Husserl’s praise and comments would be uninteresting for Hofmannstahl.

In the end of the letter Husserl describes the three golden rules for an artist: 1. ”He shall have genius”, otherwise ”he is not an artist”. 2. ”He shall follow, purely and solely, his daimonion, which, from within, drives him to an intuitingblind production”. 3. ”Everyone else knows better, thus he observes them all-in a purely aesthetic and phenomenological fashion”.

Phenomenology and the Possibility of a Pure Art – Sven-Olov Wallenstein Comments Husserl’s Letter to Hofmannstahl

Now what is the significance of art and aesthetics for philosophy, and in this case for phenomenology? From a german idealistic outlook, is art even an object of study with its own investigative sphere, that can be restricted in its own autonomy, or is the object of art in a dimension that goes beyond the philosophical sphere, something external to philosophy, and more intimate, ”close” and connected with the foundations of thought?

The first outlook is the one attached to a Husserlian sphere, focusing on the aesthetic object and its a priori conditions. The second outlook is linked with Heidegger’s dismissal of the concept of aesthetics, where he acknowledges that the work of art as an ”event”, requires that thought reconsiders its concepts and is directed back at the transformation of the entire concept of philosophy per se. This outlook also meant that it became of historical importance to return to the greeks, and especially Plato, since poetry was considered superior to philosophy.

The question of art in general and as an object of investigation within the phenomenological tradition, developed mainly in the hermeneutic and deconstructive branches of the continental branch of philosopy, however, Husserl himself has not written a lot about the same phenomenon in his own oeuvre, so to trace the concept of art in Heidegger, Sartre, Ricoeur, Merleau-Ponty and Gadamer back to Husserl’s thought, is a quite burdensome project.

Husserl did suggest that the phenomenological reduction – with its [bracketing] of existential matters – was favoured over the investigation of the aesthetic attitude and the sense of existential postulates. Sven-Olov Wallenstein writes that Husserl never considered the primacy of the theoretical attitude, however, the transcendental turn of phenomenology saw some attempts at to create a phenomenology of art, which lead Werner Ziegenfuss to write Die phänomenologische Ästhetik (1927), which is a phenomenological survey where he analysed artworks from a phenomenological point of view. Roman Ingarden also wrote an investigation named Das literarische Kunstwerk (1931), looking into the layers of signification in work of art within the lirerary genre. Finally, Mikel Dufrenne analysed the aesthetic experiences in Phénoménologie de l’expérience esthétique (1953). All in all, the phenomenological outlook seems to be fruitful when it comes to investigations connected with art.

The different forms of inquiry have not entirely been developed without each other, influences have been flowing through different traditions and outlooks, which has produced some hybrid forms of investigating aesthetics from a phenomenological perspective. Although phenomenological aesthetics is yet to be developed, it might have had a better chance of developing if hadn’t been inferior to the movement of contemporary art, which favours a more canonical approach rather than an analytical perspective. Is there a possibility of a phenomenological aesthetics?

Husserl’s own aesthetic points and ponderings are scattered within his oeuvre, however, he did discuss it extensivey in Phantasie, Bildbewusstsein, Erinnerung, attempting to examine phantasy with the phenomenological attitude.  Husserl brings up the possibility of a demarcation between the phenomenological reduction and the reduction of art, and the volume ends with the letter to Hofmannstahl, which in its interity is rather brief, however, philosophically dense and important.

At the time of Husserl’s letter to Hofmannstahl, Husserl himself was busy at work in the development of the phenomenological reduction, which occupies a fundamental place in the evolution of his phenomenological method. Wallenstein sees Husserl’s unintrest in the aesthetic questions as a consequence of his general interest in Frege, mathematics and the philosophy of arithmetic. Husserl’s main concern in his early writings is to move away from psychologism and naturalism, attempting to secure the foundations of mathematics and logical principles. This meant that the study of the human and social sciences never interested Husserl in a major way.

Husserl later returns to the concepts phantasy and time, however, this work – like most projects in Husserls oeuvre – wasn’t finished during his lifetime. Aesthetic matter flow in the phenomenological sphere, though subordinated to image consciousness and phantasy. Husserl defines modes of representation (Vergegenwärtigung) which is opposite of the direct perception (presentation), and so Husserls examines those experiences of consciousness attached to art phenomena.

What is phantasy then? Is phantasy is a world of its own or is it a neutralisation of existential matters at hand? Phantasy is very important in phenomenology because phantasy is what opens up the field of essences. Compared with perception, memory and expectation, phantasy is an inventitive act rather than a positing one. The object of phanatasy is not lucidly given, yet it still right there close to the phenomenologist.

Wallenstein claims that Husserl returns to Kant for certain terminological reasons, and a few concepts that can be traced back to Kant are disinterestedness, purposelessness and play, which all are within the phantasy sphere. Another tricky concept that is attached to phantasy is freedom, as well as a kind of indeterminatedness. It has a subjective capacity as well as distinctiveness seperated from the external world. Is the object of phantasy possible? Or does phantasy constitute an object of its own? Husserl believes in the latter, thus phenomenology and the study of phantasy points towards the phenomenology of art, however, ”pure art” was never an object undergoing investigation for Husserl, as I understand it.

Coming from the image consciousness-side of the phenomenological perspective, Husserl tries to analyse the phenomena of the material art object, with its substratum and peculiarness. The phenomenologist ought to seperate the thing of art from the aesthetic object of art, where the aesthetic object has its special intentionality etc. So which object should the phenomenologist study?

The reciprocal relationship between ideality and materiality, is mediated by the image object, in this way the object becomes public given its materiality and private in terms of phantasy. Now, the point Husserl wants to make here is that there is the canvas which is the real existing object and physical image, the image subject that can be fictional, and the image object that which is perceived, even though it has no existence at all.

Cubism and Suprematism (Picasso, Braque, Malevich etc.)  are mainly concerned with the analytical: to break up, re-arrange, displace, re-assemble and to experiment with geometrical forms. The phenomenological outlook becomes a tool for creation, strenghtening the artist’s activity almost as an analytic philosopher. Husserl’s own development of the phenomenological epoqué coincides with the syntheses found in Hofmannstahl’s art. Does the syntheses in Hofmannstahl point towards the same phenomena as the phenomenological reduction with its abstraction tends to uncover?

Cubism and Suprematism departed from the natural and the existential and focused on geomterical forms and more analytic concepts. These movements are linked to a similar counterpart which phenomenology also links to. Art has to be unattached from all influences of the mind and the will and in relation to this perspective, and Wallenstein brings up Husserl’s concern with the aesthetic purity of a work. According to Wallenstein, Husserl claims that the more of the existential matters that seep into the consciousness upon experiencing a work of art, the less aesthetically pure it is:

”whereas the world opened up by phenomenology and the epoche is a field of pure intuiting, a conversion that lays bare a new foundation for our epistemic, ethical, and aesthetic stances.”

If everything is questionable (Descartes) and incomprehensible, the phenomenologist has to place herself in the very same sphere as this foundation of uncertainty. Aesthetic intuiting is then close to phenomenological intuiting, and the aesthetic intuiting: the suspension of positings of value and existential matters, gives the phenomenologist certain clues about the phenomenological intuiting and what it means.

Husserl’s thoughts about the artist as genius (echo of Kant), that art doesn’t have to present its steps and procedures toward becoming art, brings forth the notion of the artist that doesn’t follow the world so to speak, but from a phenomenological point of view observes the world. The production of the artist can then be seen as a resemblance to the phenomenological attitude and intuiting, creating a possibility for the intertwining of pure art and phenomenology. Wallenstein concludes that other philosophers came to critique the modernist understanding of the pureness in art, however, they returned to other concepts in the development towards a phenomenology of art, such as temporality and kinaesthesia.

The development of a phenomenology of art is the very potential of a development of the concept of art per se, of the concept of pureness as well as of the intuitive artist. This is an enormous area of potential development within a movement, which after so many years still has a legitimate placement in the history of philosophy and of mankind.

I hope that you’ve been enjoying this article, although it might be filled with misinterpretations (be sure to let me know about them), I still hope that I have been able to introduce two of my favourite fields: the philosophical movement phenomenology and conceptual art. Please do not hesitate to comment this post.



Scratching the Surface av Vhils

Jag har skrivit väldigt lite om konst tidigare men jag kommer antagligen försöka skriva mer om konst, graffiti och street art framöver.

Anledningen till varför jag efter en dags intensivt skrivande får för mig att skriva om street art, är att jag för en stund sedan via en länk från Wooster Collective, såg en riktigt inspirerande kortfilm från Alexandre Farto, även känd som Vhils.

Det är kortfilmer som denna som gör mig inspirerad till att plocka fram dukar och penslar. Videon är inte dum den heller – Pedro Patrocinios redigering tillsammans med Gustavo Santaolallas musik är en riktigt lyckad kombination.

Om ni gillar denna kortfilm vet jag åtminstone två till projekt som jag skulle kunna skriva om någon gång, där dokumentationen både liknar fotot och redigeringen i filmen nedan.

Torres Vedras, Portugal
Camera/Edition – Pedro Patrocinio
Music – Gustavo Santaolalla
Work by Vhils

Scratching the Surface av Vhils

“Sous les pavés, la plage!” (Beneath the paving stones – the beach!) – Anonymous graffiti, Paris 1968.

Paris, May 1968. When the enragés started digging up the stones from the Boulevard St. Michel to use them as weapons against the forces of the old order, they came upon the sand that covered the surface underneath them. The earth. Beneath the concrete, the earth. Beneath the urban environment, nature. Beneath the artificial, life.

Behind all these brick and concrete walls, these dull, grey surfaces that condition our existence, behind all of these cities, there is life. There are individuals, there is nature. “Scratching the surface” is an act of creation taken from lifeless forms. It is the subversion of lifeless forms. The act of engraving the idea of life on a wall, of creating the image of an individual, an iconographic piece of representational symbolism that will endure. As if rendering him eternal by bringing him to life where life was not supposed to be. By carving it out of that which is still-born by its very nature, by its design.

So until the symbolical demise of all walls that separate, that impose, that condition, of a social system that overbuilds in order to control and perpetuate its grasp on the divisions that stem from this eternal partitioning and keep individuals in place, it will be easier and easier to forget who we are, where we come from and what nature is really all about. How easy it is to lose track of what our nature really is while caught amid this saturated, un-organic environment.”

Jag såg Anna Odell…

… på ett elskåp i Sveriges mest dynamiska stadsdel.


I lördags kväll var jag ute med några polare och åt middag. Efteråt gick vi till en pub och tog det allmänt lugnt. Vanligtvis pratas det mycket teknik i detta sällskap, självklart tycker jag om det, men ibland känner jag att jag är intresserad av vad mina vänner t.ex. har för politiska åsikter. Jag vet ju innerst inne att det här är grabbar som inte backar undan om jag bjuder upp till retorisk dans…

Det visade sig att jag skulle bli hårt ansatt under hela kvällen och bli retoriskt ödelagd.

Det började med att jag styrde upp en ‘bitter’ från ett Roslagsbryggeri och flikade sedan in vad jag tyckte om situationen med Konstfack. Mycket grovt förenklat tog jag viss ställning för ‘Territorial pissing’ och viss ställning för ett eventuellt resultat/examensanalys från Anna Odell. Jag tyckte att det som Odell har gjort är mer komplicerat än en den illa åtgångna tunnelbanevagn (som inte ens SL kunde minnas någonting om).

I fallet ‘Territorial pissing’, som jag har tagit upp förut, hade jag väl egna rätt vaga argument om individuellt ansvar, svenskt rättsväsende, Konstfacks eventuella riktlinjer samt att det minst ett år gamla ‘verket’ knappast skulle ha rört upp så mycket känslor och åsikter om det inte vore för en politiker. Jag personligen tycker om graffiti och även sådant som går under benämningen ”klotter”. I fallet med skadegörelse, är detta en annan femma som mycket beror på situationen i stadsbilden och eventuellt ekonomiskt drabbade. Jag dras till subversiva gråzoner.

I det stora hela tycker jag om graffiti som subversiv handling (även om kulturen är grovt kommersialiserad), det är inte heller något nytt fenomen som kommer att försvinna i första taget. Moderaternas nollvision i fråga om att ta bort klotter (inom ett dygn eller vad det är) är högst orealistiskt. Både skadegörelsen och saneringen kostar pengar. Huruvida Konstfack visste om vad som slutligen skulle bli examensarbetet eller ej är en annan historia.

Redan i och med dessa funderingar blev jag hårt pressad. Jag fick bemöta argument om att det då betydde att det var ok för någon och komma hem till min lägenhet med en molotovcocktail och dekorera om i konstens namn.

Ett annat argument som lades fram var att konstens utförande kunde vara mycket ‘snällare’; dvs. likt ett Di Leva-utförande vars syfte samt funktion flyter med fram till själva ‘utförandet’ (om ens det) till färdigt ‘verk’, utan att inbegripa lagöverträdelser eller oetiska samhälls-hack. Alltså: Konsten skall tillbaka till att använda sig av ett ‘snällt’ konstnärligt utförande för att visa på något som är viktigt. Ändamålen får aldrig helga medlen.

Dessa argument var bara början på den våg av argument som gjorde de två ‘fallen’ ännu mer komplexa för mig. Diskussionen fortsatte in på tal om konsten som sådan; att skapandet av konst svarar inför Svea Rikes Lag och att den inte ska medföra skador eller integritetsövertramp gentemot människor som inte vet vad som pågår. Nu står det också i media att Anna Odell blivit anmäld för en rad olika saker som t.ex. falskt alarm, våldsamt motstånd, ofredande och oredligt förfarande. Det sista handlar om att de instanser som ingick i omhändertagandet och vården av Odell berördes negativt. Båda fallen kan komma att bli ordentligt rättsligt prövade.

Ett annat argument som fördes fram var att en konstnär (i allmänhet) aldrig får ursäkta sig med att någonting utfördes i konstens namn; detta innebär att konstnären gömmer sig bakom en abstraktion och vägrar ta ansvar för sina handlingar, som i sin tur medför konsekvenser.

Ytterligare en fundering som kom på tal var att Odell inte heller borde ha lovat att allt kommer att bli förståeligt i och med hennes examensarbete. Ifall människor senare inte kan se syftet eller förstå vad Odell vill peka på eller ens håller på med,  ja då är hon ute på djupt vatten utifrån en konstnärlig synvinkel. Hon kan ha lovat någonting som hennes konst (arbete/handlingar/argument) sedan ej lever upp till.

En poäng som nämndes i det alltmer hektiska samtalet, var att den folkstorm som rasade mot henne kanske var det som hon ansåg viktigt snarare än det hon gjorde för att framkalla denna storm. Ett hårt argument mot detta som jag minns det, var att om det är så att hennes ‘verk’ visar på att instanser som polis, psykvård samt förbipasserande har utfört vad som förväntas av dom, kommer ju Odell’s hypotes om att vi har en icke-fungerande eller skev psykvård inte att bekräftas. Att spänna fast någon som annars riskerar att skada sig själv kanske är ett nödvändigt ont och kanske inte riktigt är det som man ska attackera om man vill visa på brister inom psykvården.

Ytterligare ett bra argument var att hon borde ha följt en psyksjuk människa i dennes vardag och dokumenterat det hela. En sådan undersökning hade möjligtvis kunna visa på påfallande brister och positiva aspekter av svensk sjukvård utan att någon skada begås. Individer skulle slippa ta ansvar för sina handlingar, för deras handlingar kanske inte ens skulle komma på tal i relation till eventuella konsekvenser.

Nu har det gått så långt att artiklar och löpsedlar om Odell innehåller ord som ”psyksjuk” och ”psyksjuka” och tar hård ställning mot henne. Visst skulle vi kunna säga att media låter det gå för långt. Låt juridiken ha sin gång. Jag tror även att det provocerar människor oerhört mycket att hon ”inte ångrar någonting” som vi kan läsa i media. Hon har rätt till sin åsikt.

Att döma av den lördagskvällens diskussioner, förstod jag direkt att detta är något som berör väldigt mycket. Inte trodde jag att mina vänner skulle ösa ur sig motargument bara för att jag hade en ‘teoretisk ambivalent’ position och tyckte att fallen var komplicerande.

Jag vägrar att se på dessa händelser som konkret svart-vita fenomen. Men i slutändan tycker jag inte att vi ska stänga Konstfack eller strypa skattepengarna. Vidare bör staten inte heller lägga sig i vad Konstfack gör då de flesta elever ändå ‘sköter’ sig och har koll på det juridiska läget. De allra flesta studenter har nog ärvt ett ‘paket’ av normaliserade etiska och moraliska kluster som är acceptabla för resten av samhället. Bara Konstfacks ledning får kontinuerligt utöka eller anpassa sina interna riktlinjer så de är aktuella i samtiden.

Även om det var jobbigt att sitta ensam i min ringhörna när de bara öste ur sig motargument, var det likväl en mycket givande kväll som jag hoppas kommer åter.

Politiska samt filosofiska debatter och diskussioner osäkrar argument, vilket medför att du hela tiden får omvärdera dina argument och förankra ställningstaganden. Den egna moraliska och etiska ‘måttstocken’ förändras i samklang med verkligheten.

Nästa gång ni placerar mig i en ensam ringhörna får ni banne mig bjuda mig på birra!

Mer om Anna Odell.

Det svartvita tänket mot Konstfack

Johanna Nylander skriver eftertänksamt om den senaste tidens kritik mot Konstfack och framförallt två stycken elever:

”Om en konstnär begår ett brott – polisanmäl och låt rättsväsendet bedöma. Om en konstnär gör dålig konst – strunta i att besöka utställningen och köp inte verket. Konstfack är trots allt en utbildningsinstutition, och så länge man skall skattefinansiera högskolor och universitet överlag, bör staten totalt strunta i hur lärosäterna bedömer examensarbeten.”

Jag kunde inte ha skrivit det bättre själv. Konstfack är en institution, eleverna på en sådan konstnärlig utbildning har idéer som de med olika medel och handlingar driver igenom individuellt med ett specifikt syfte i åtanke. Konsekvenserna av deras handlingar, (relaterat till samhället eller i ett konstnärligt verk) går tillbaka på individer, deras eventuella påverkan på andra människor och toleransen gentemot dessa. Denna dynamik kan befinna sig i både en juridisk gråzon och en konstnärlig gråzon. Individerna kan sedan reflektera över det som utförts, välja att enbart presentera materialet eller på olika sätt efterarbeta materialet för att uppnå något mål relaterat till det ursprungliga syftet. Vissa konstformer eller handlingar förlorar intensitet när den av en curator presenteras på ett galleri. Detta innebär att rätt dokumentation av performance eller verk blir väldigt viktigt.

Det här är både en individuell och en institutionell fråga. Har en individ gjort något juridiskt fel kan denne prövas, har en individ gjort något konstnärligt fel kan denne subjektivt bedömas och om ni på allvar vill förändra en konstnärlig institution måste ni som motsätter er en sådan institution göra mer än att bara skriva om det.

Det är handlingar som förändrar verkligheten. Det moraliserande svartvita tänkandet om två individer och deras konst leder ingen vart, det här är dynamiska människor som gör något konkret i samhället som har en viss bärkraft. Åtminstone en av dessa individer (vet inte hur det är med den andra eleven) har skapat mer verk och förändringar i verkligheten än vad jag någonsin kommer att göra. Häri ligger det för mig en samhällsvinst som inte enbart kan knytas till en specifik motpol. Konstfack har etiska riktlinjer och sköter sin verksamhet internt, har ni några synpunkter på dessa är ni välkomna att ringa Konstfack och diskutera.

Det finns viktiga anledningar till att viss konst också är subversiv. Hur detta ska tolkas eller förstås är upp till var och en men subversiv konst är inte av ondo per se. Jag vet var jag står i frågan. Konstfack är Sveriges största konst- och designhögskola och har funnits sedan 1844, ska vi verkligen dra in på stöd till denna institution på grund av några få isolerade händelser?

Läs också Jacob Kimvalls artikel i Stockholms Fria.

The Pirate Bays & Piratbyråns presskonferens

Imorgon inleds rättegången mot personerna bakom The Pirate Bay. Idag hölls det en presskonferens på Tekniska Museet i Stockholm och för er av er som missade presskonferensen med The Pirate Bay och Piratbyrån kan ni se den igen här: The Pirate Bay Press Conference.

Övriga länkar:

The Spectrial
Piratpartiet LIVE!

Vad är konst och 100 andra jätteviktiga frågor

Jag trodde att Ernst Billgrens Vad är konst och 100 andra jätteviktiga frågor skulle vara pretantiös och dunkel. Oj vad fel jag hade.

Billgren radar upp 100 stycken konstrelaterade frågor och ger ett kort och ett långt svar på varje fråga. Svaren är förvånansvärt avslappnade och skönt vrickade men med förvånansvärt många poänger. Även om en del svar svävar ut i lite förvirrade resonemang så tycker jag att det ger en humoristisk och distanserad infallsvinkel på ett område som i vanliga fall förskönas av mystik, elitism och ekonomiska intressen.

Ernst är säkert en sådan person som kan ha svårt att välja kaffe när han är ute och fikar, men jag kan från och med nu förstå honom lite bättre.

Vad är konst och 100 andra jätteviktiga frågor av Ernst Billgren är publicerad av Bokförlaget Langenskiöld.

53. Vad avgör om konst är bra eller inte?

Kort svar: Lars Nittve

Långt svar: Kvalitet är ett samlingsnamn för det som folk man respekterar tycker är bra. Även om man inte håller med så finns det folk som man uppfattar som auktoritetet i ämnet på grund av sina kunskaper, sin position, eller deras respekt bland folk i ämnet. Därför byts det som anses vara kvalitet ut i samma takt som de personerna byts ut. Prerafaeliterna sågs som det bästa som hänt konsten, men en bit in på 1900-talet fanns inga kvar som försvarade dem och automatiskt sågs det som de gjorde som rent strunt. Målningarna i sig förändrades inte över tiden. Kvalitet är ett relativt begrepp ungefär på samma sätt som tiden (känns absolut i nuet).


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Ludwig von Mises On the So-Called Liberals of Today

“The so-called liberals of today have the very popular idea that freedom of speech, of thought, of the press, freedom of religion, freedom from imprisonment without trial – that all these freedoms can be preserved in the absence of what is called economic freedom. They do not realize that, in a system where there is no market, where the government directs everything, all those other freedoms are illusory, even if they are made into laws and written in constitutions.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Economic Policy: Thoughts for Today and Tomorrow (1979)

Murray N. Rothbard on Economic Ignorance

“It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.”

–Murray N. Rothbard

Ludwig von Mises on the Process of the Hyperinflationary Breakdown of A Currency

"The emancipation of commerce from a money which is proving more and more useless in this way begins with the expulsion of the money from hoards. People begin at first to hoard other money instead so as to have marketable goods at their disposal for unforeseen future needs - perhaps precious-metal money and foreign notes, and sometimes also domestic notes of other kinds which have a higher value because they cannot be increased by the State '(e.g.the Romanoff rouble in Russia or the 'blue' money of communist Hungary); then ingots, precious stones, and pearls; even pictures, other objects of art, and postage stamps. A further step is the adoption of foreign currency or metallic money (i.e. for all practical purposes, gold) in credit transactions. Finally, when the domestic currency ceases to be used in retail trade, wages as well have to be paid in some other way than in pieces of paper which are then no longer good for anything.

The collapse of an inflation policy carried to its extreme - as in the United States in 1781 and in France in 1796 does not destroy the monetary system, but only the credit money or fiat money of the State that has overestimated the effectiveness of its own policy. The collapse emancipates commerce from etatism and establishes metallic money again."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Theory of Money and Credit

Ludwig von Mises On Hyperinflation

"The characteristic mark of the phenomenon is that the increase in the quantity of money causes a fall in the demand for money. The tendency toward a fall in purchasing power as generated by the increased supply of money is intensified by the general propensity to restrict cash holdings which it brings about. Eventually a point is reached where the prices at which people would be prepared to part with "real" goods discount to such an extent the expected progress in the fall of purchasing power that nobody has a sufficient amount of cash at hand to pay them. The monetary system breaks down; all transactions in the money concerned cease; a panic makes its purchasing power vanish altogether. People return either to barter or to the use of another kind of money."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises On the Policy of Devaluation

"If the government does not care how far foreign exchange rates may rise, it can for some time continue to cling to credit expansion. But one day the crack-up boom will annihilate its monetary system. On the other hand, if the authority wants to avoid the necessity of devaluing again and again at an accelerated pace, it must arrange its domestic credit policy in such a way as not to outrun in credit expansion the other countries against which it wants to keep its domestic currency at par."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Austrian Economics

"What distinguishes the Austrian School and will lend it everlasting fame is its doctrine of economic action, in contrast to one of economic equilibrium or nonaction."

–Ludwig von Mises, Notes and Recollections

Ludwig von Mises on Austrian Economics

"The main and only concern of the Austrian economists was to contribute to the advancement of economics. They never tried to win the support of anybody by other means than by the convincing power developed in their books and articles."

–Ludwig von Mises, Austrian Economics: An Anthology

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"True, governments can reduce the rate of interest in the short run. They can issue additional paper money. They can open the way to credit expansion by the banks. They can thus create an artificial boom and the appearance of prosperity. But such a boom is bound to collapse soon or late and to bring about a depression."

–Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"The wavelike movement effecting the economic system, the recurrence of periods of boom which are followed by periods of depression is the unavoidable outcome of the attempts, repeated again and again, to lower the gross market rate of interest by means of credit expansion."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"The cyclical fluctuations of business are not an occurrence originating in the sphere of the unhampered market, but a product of government interference with business conditions designed to lower the rate of interest below the height at which the free market would have fixed it."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"The ultimate cause, therefore, of the phenomenon of wave after wave of economic ups and downs is ideological in character. The cycles will not disappear so long as people believe that the rate of interest may be reduced, not through the accumulation of capital, but by banking policy."

–Ludwig von Mises, On the Manipulation of Money and Credit

Ludwig von Mises on Business Cycles

"The boom produces impoverishment. But still more disastrous are its moral ravages. It makes people despondent and dispirited. The more optimistic they were under the illusory prosperity of the boom, the greater is their despair and their feeling of frustration."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Credit Expansion

"Credit expansion can bring about a temporary boom. But such a fictitious prosperity must end in a general depression of trade, a slump."

–Ludwig von Mises, Planned Chaos

Ludwig von Mises on Human Action

"Human action is purposeful behavior."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Human Action

"Action is purposive conduct. It is not simply behavior, but behavior begot by judgments of value, aiming at a definite end and guided by ideas concerning the suitability or unsuitability of definite means. . . . It is conscious behavior. It is choosing. It is volition; it is a display of the will."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

Ludwig von Mises on Human Action

"Action is an attempt to substitute a more satisfactory state of affairs for a less satisfactory one. We call such a willfully induced alteration an exchange."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Human Action

"Mans striving after an improvement of the conditions of his existence impels him to action. Action requires planning and the decision which of various plans is the most advantageous."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

Ludwig von Mises On ”I and We”

"The We cannot act otherwise than each of them acting on his own behalf. They can either all act together in accord; or one of them may act for them all. In the latter case the cooperation of the others consists in their bringing about the situation which makes one man's action effective for them too. Only in this sense does the officer of a social entity act for the whole; the individual members of the collective body either cause or allow a single man's action to concern them too."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises On The Individual and Changing Features of Human Action

"Common man does not speculate about the great problems. With regard to them he relies upon other people's authority, he behaves as "every decent fellow must behave," he is like a sheep in the herd. It is precisely this intellectual inertia that characterizes a man as a common man. Yet the common man does choose. He chooses to adopt traditional patterns or patterns adopted by other people because he is convinced that this procedure is best fitted to achieve his own welfare. And he is ready to change his ideology and consequently his mode of action whenever he becomes convinced that this would better serve his own interests."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Murray N. Rothbard On the Professional Intellectual Classes

"In all societies, public opinion is determined by the intellectual classes, the opinion moulders of society. For most people neither originate nor disseminate ideas and concepts; on the contrary, they tend to adopt those ideas promulgated by the professional intellectual classes, the professional dealers in ideas."

–Murray N. Rothbard, For A New Liberty

Ludwig von Mises on Cause and Effect

"Cognizance of the relation between a cause and its effect is the first step toward mans orientation in the world and is the intellectual condition of any successful activity."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science

Ludwig von Mises on Economic Calculation

"Monetary calculation and cost accounting constitute the most important intellectual tool of the capitalist entrepreneur, and it was no one less than Goethe who pronounced the system of double-entry bookkeeping one of the finest inventions of the human mind."

–Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: The Classical Tradition

Ludwig von Mises on Economics as Abstract Reasoning

“Economics, like logic and mathematics, is a display of abstract reasoning. Economics can never be experimental and empirical. The economist does not need an expensive apparatus for the conduct of his studies. What he needs is the power to think clearly and to discern in the wilderness of events what is essential from what is merely accidental.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Individual Rational Action

"All rational action is in the first place individual action. Only the individual thinks. Only the individual reasons. Only the individual acts."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism.

Ludwig von Mises on Entrepreneurship

"The consumers suffer when the laws of the country prevent the most efficient entrepreneurs from expanding the sphere of their activities. What made some enterprises develop into big business was precisely their success in filling best the demand of the masses."

–Ludwig von Mises, Planned Chaos

Ludwig von Mises on the Gold Standard

“If our civilization will not in the next years or decades completely collapse, the gold standard will be restored.”

–Ludwig von Mises, (1965)

Murray N. Rothbard On the Gold Standard

“Gold was not selected arbitrarily by governments to be the monetary standard. Gold had developed for many centuries on the free market as the best money; as the commodity providing the most stable and desirable monetary medium.”

–Murray N. Rothbard

Detlev Schlichter on the Gold Standard

"But I don’t believe the best solution would be to go back to a government-run gold standard. We should not trust politicians and bureaucrats with money, certainly never again with entirely unconstrained fiat money, but probably not even with a monetary system that comes with the strait jacket of an official gold standard. I would argue instead for the complete separation of money and state, and for an entirely private monetary system. Let the market decide what should be money and how much there should be of it. I do strongly believe that gold would again play an important role in such a system. After all, gold and silver have been chosen forms of money for thousands of years, in all cultures and societies. That is what the trading public always went for when it was free to choose."

–Detlev Schlichter, The Schlichter Files

Detlev Schlichter on Paper Money

"Wall Street, the media, academia, and, of course the Fed, are strongly on the side of fiat money."

–Detlev Schlichter, The Schlichter Files

Detlev Schlichter on the Media and Academia

"Media and academia are mainly pro-state, pro-politics, anti-gold"

–Detlev Schlichter, The Schlichter Files

Ludwig von Mises on Banking

"There was no reason whatever to abandon the principle of free enterprise in the field of banking."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Banking

"It is extremely difficult for our contemporaries to conceive of the conditions of free banking because they take government interference with banking for granted and as necessary."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Banking

"What is needed to prevent any further credit expansion is to place the banking business under the general rules of commercial and civil laws compelling every individual and firm to fulfill all obligations in full compliance with the terms of the contract."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Corrupt Politicians, Professors and Union Bosses

"Those politicians, professors and union bosses who curse big business are fighting for a lower standard of living."

–Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"Profit-seeking business is compelled to employ the most efficient methods of production. What checks a businessmans endeavors to improve the equipment of his firm is only lack of capital."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"When pushed hard by economists, some welfare propagandists and socialists admit that impairment of the average standard of living can only be avoided by the maintenance of capital already accumulated and that economic improvement depends on accumulation of additional capital."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"History does not provide any example of capital accumulation brought about by a government. As far as governments invested in the construction of roads, railroads, and other useful public works, the capital needed was provided by the savings of individual citizens and borrowed by the government."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"The characteristic mark of economic history under capitalism is unceasing economic progress, a steady increase in the quantity of capital goods available, and a continuous trend toward an improvement in the general standard of living."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Capital

"Capitalism is essentially a system of mass production for the satisfaction of the needs of the masses. It pours a horn of plenty upon the common man. It has raised the average standard of living to a height never dreamed of in earlier ages. It has made accessible to millions of people enjoyments which a few generations ago were only within the reach of a small elite."

–Ludwig von Mises, The Anti-Capitalistic Mentality

Ludwig von Mises on Laissez Faire

"If one rejects laissez faire on account of mans fallibility and moral weakness, one must for the same reason also reject every kind of government action."

–Ludwig von Mises, Planning for Freedom

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"The ultimate basis of an all around bureaucratic system is violence."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Bureaucratic management is management of affairs which cannot be checked by economic calculation."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy and Economic Calculation

"A bureaucrat differs from a nonbureaucrat precisely because he is working in a field in which it is impossible to appraise the result of a mans effort in terms of money."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Nobody can be at the same time a correct bureaucrat and an innovator."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Seen from the point of view of the particular group interests of the bureaucrats, every measure that makes the governments payroll swell is progress."

–Ludwig von Mises, Planning for Freedom

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"The bureaucrat is not free to aim at improvement. He is bound to obey rules and regulations established by a superior body. He has no right to embark upon innovations if his superiors do not approve of them. His duty and his virtue is to be obedient."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy

"Only to bureaucrats can the idea occur that establishing new offices, promulgating new decrees, and increasing the number of government employees alone can be described as positive and beneficial measures."

–Ludwig von Mises, Omnipotent Government

Ludwig von Mises on Bureaucracy and Government Interventions

"The trend toward bureaucratic rigidity is not inherent in the evolution of business. It is an outcome of government meddling with business."

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Government’s War on the Creative Genius

“A genius is precisely a man who defies all schools and rules, who deviates from the traditional roads of routine and opens up new paths through land inaccessible before….But, on the other hand, the government can bring about conditions which paralyze the efforts of a creative spirit and prevent him from rendering useful services to the community.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Bureaucracy

Ludwig von Mises on Why Classical Liberalism Rejects War

“The liberal critique of the argument in favor of war is fundamentally different from that of the humanitarians. It starts from the premise that not war, but peace, is the father of all things. What alone enables mankind to advance and distinguishes man from the animals is social cooperation. It is labor alone that is productive: it creates wealth and therewith lays the outward foundations for the inward flowering of man. War only destroys; it cannot create. War, carnage, destruction, and devastation we have in common with the predatory beasts of the jungle; constructive labor is our distinctively human characteristic.”

–Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism: The Classical Tradition

Ludwig von Mises on Sound Money

“It is impossible to grasp the meaning of the idea of sound money if one does not realize that it was devised as an instrument for the protection of civil liberties against despotic inroads on the part of governments. Ideologically it belongs in the same class with political constitutions and bills of rights. The demand for constitutional guarantees and for bills of rights was a reaction against arbitrary rule and the nonobservance of old customs by kings. The postulate of sound money was first brought up as a response to the princely practice of debasing the coinage.”

–Ludwig von Mises. The Theory of Money and Credit

Murray N. Rothbard on Recovering from Economic Depressions

“It should be clear that any governmental interference with the depression process can only prolong it, thus making things worse from almost everyone’s point of view. Since the depression process is the recovery process, any halting or slowing down of the process impedes the advent of recovery. The depression readjustments must work themselves out before recovery can be complete. The more these readjustments are delayed, the longer the depression will have to last, and the longer complete recovery is postponed.”

–Murray N. Rothbard, Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market

Hans-Hermann Hoppe on Socialized Health Care

“With the socialization of the health care system through institutions such as Medicaid and Medicare and the regulation of the insurance industry (by restricting an insurer’s right of refusal: to exclude any individual risk as uninsurable, and discriminate freely, according to actuarial methods, between different group risks) a monstrous machinery of wealth and income redistribution at the expense of responsible individuals and low-risk groups in favor of irresponsible actors and high-risk groups has been put in motion.”

–Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy: The God That Failed

Ludwig von Mises on Civilization

"What distinguishes man from animals is the insight into the advantages that can be derived from cooperation under the division of labor."

–Ludwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics

Ludwig von Mises on Civilization

"Civilization is a work of peaceful co-operation."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism

Ludwig von Mises on Civilization

"The foundation of any and every civilization, including our own, is private ownership of the means of production. Whoever wishes to criticize modern civilization, therefore, begins with private property."

–Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism

Ludwig von Mises on the Market Economy

"In the unhampered market economy there are no privileges, no protection of vested interests, no barriers preventing anybody from striving after any prize."

–Ludwig von Mises, Theory and History

Ludwig von Mises on Liberalism

"Liberalism champions private property in the means of production because it expects a higher standard of living from such an economic organization, not because it wishes to help the owners."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism

Ludwig von Mises on Liberalism

"That Liberalism aims at the protection of property and that it rejects war are two expressions of one and the same principle."

–Ludwig von Mises, Socialism


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