Of the Sublime: Presence in Question

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At the same time, the sublime is also a withdrawal from such a realization, because we know that there is no real or immediate threat to our existence, according to Burke, or because we discover our superiority over our finite nature according to Kant. Furthermore, in contrast to the sublime in nature, which functions to improve moral character, the horror of the toxic sublime calls to question the personal, social and environmental ethics that allows these places of contamination to exist.

The adoption of color and a larger scale in The Mining Project allowed Maisel to even more effectively bring out the sublime in his selected sites and in his photographs. In , when Maisel made a trial shift into Cibachrome printing materials, he despised it. Beauty is seen as problematic, for photography, because we no longer imagine beauty as a serious way of knowing or as a serious means of investigation. But it can be. Beauty wedges into artistic practice a structure for continuously imagining what we do not yet know or understand.

For an image to possess beauty does not indicate that it is empty of meaning or shallow. Sometimes the object of beauty is not just expected, but bizarre—with a quality that could at first be experienced as strange or even ugly. Such experiences are insights into new or alien aesthetic territory. Some people are able to see that—see it and feel it. I lean towards the enchantment, the visual power, of the aesthetically rejected subject. Ultimately his photographs reflect upon the civilization that contains these rejected subjects.


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Robert Morris believed immense open-pit and strip mines, as well as quarries and deep-shaft mines, would permanently reshape the land they occupied and would ultimately qualify as significant monuments of the twentieth century. Spiral Hill is a conical mound with a spiral path running clockwise to an observation platform overlooking Broken Circle —two circular segments divided into water and earth. Somewhat removed from these earthworks is a large boulder deposited by Ice Age glaciation. It is the deepest open-pit mine in the world, spanning three miles across, with fifty undulating tiers descending a mile down.

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Smithson proposed placing four circular jetties in the pool of poison that when viewed from above would appear like a whirlpool. The Mining Project invokes a similar strategy with extant mines to expand our notions of landscape and what landscape-based art of the future might look like. Using intense color and large scale, Maisel hoped to push the pendulum in the other direction, toward something more visceral and more charged. He also thought a great deal about the toxic aspects of his Cibachrome materials and the environmental impacts of the entire medium of photography.

Returning in from his first major excursion photographing copper and gold mines from the air, he developed the film and then stopped to reflect on his process. Not merely critical of the mining industry, his work stands as a critique of photography, which reflects the desires of the society that produces it.

Jean_Luc_Nancy_The Sublime Offering

I want my pictures to ask questions, not answer them. I want the aesthetic experience to be an essential component of these images. That being said, I cannot have spent the last several decades making these kinds of images without a sense of time running out, of the approach to a kind of tipping point, of a looming sense of disaster, where we human beings, with our incredible sense of privilege and our human-centric view of the universe, will be reduced to an extinguished flicker of light set against the span of history.

Perhaps to witness it, yes, but not to solve it. Photographs from The Mining Project contain both oppositional and complementary notions of the sublime, and thus remove Maisel from the more easily defined categories of the socially active, environmental, or technologically oriented artist. Thus, the experiences of the sublime and beautiful do not obey the general logic of representation. In both cases, the object can not be represented in its entirety for the subject. In the "beautiful" object of feelings, imagination imagination is the ability of representation is consistent only with the state of free play of abilities.

The object, in this case, is a state of free agreement between the plurality of feelings and some indefinite unity that can not be qualified as a "concept. The result of the work of productive imagination is the process of infinite form-building or form-building. The resulting image is an "objective in itself" or, as I. Kant defined, "expediency without a goal.

Of the Sublime: Presence in Question: Presence in Question - Essays b…

The aesthetic representation is aimless, for it is free both from the subject and from the object. The lack of interest in pleasure in the "beautiful" is a consequence of his disinterest in the actual existence of the object. This image, the free Bild, preceding all representations and images, in his First Critique I. Kant called the scheme. As you know, schematism for the German thinker is a technique hidden in the depths of the human soul. And this "secret" technique is revealed only in the aesthetic schematism of the Third Criticism. Schematicism, according to I.

Kant, should become aesthetic. The emerging and manifested world is not a world of objects, but a world of scheme or simple Bild. In the Critique of Judgment, the German thinker defines aesthetic judgment as a reflexive play of imagination, schematizing without concepts. An essential characteristic of the imagination in aesthetic judgment is its uncertainty.

Einbildung acts in the absence of a concept. Fine is not a thing or quality. Fine is the judgment of sensuality, free from both concept and empirical sensation. Imagination, scheming without concept, represents a unity to which it is impossible to find correspondences. It presents only itself, that is, the ability to represent at the time of free play. The productive force is revealed exclusively in the agreement of cognitive abilities.

Imagination presents the unity of spirit or spirit as unity. In this sense, schematism becomes an anticipation of representation, its foundation. Perfect in I. Kant - not internal or external quality. It is neither subjective nor objective. Beauty is more than a simple quality.

It determines the status and being of the subject, which forms its ability to represent the world of phenomena. The logic of disinterested pleasure becomes a source of knowledge. Aesthetics anticipates knowledge. Aesthetic, in the opinion of J. Lyotard is the horizon for the realization of the entire reflexive manner of cognition: "Any act of thinking is accompanied by a feeling that announces to thinking about its" state".

For thinking to be informed about one's position is to feel this state, to be affirmed. This is the first characteristic of reflection: blinding immediacy and the complete coincidence of the subject and the object of feelings. Pure reflection is the first and most important ability of thinking to be immediately informed about one's state at the expense of this very state in the absence of any other means of measurement, except for the very feeling ". However, the same instability and variability, resulting in the sense of beauty towards harmony, completely changes its function in an elevated.

Sublime, as well as beautiful, significantly transforms the logic of representation. If beauty is associated with the form or process of formation, the sublime deals with the "boundless," directly related to infinity. Thus, the sublime is based on a special form of representation - the representation of the infinite.

However, the infinite and the boundless can not be the object of representation. How should we think of the "representation of the infinite"? And will it remain a "representation"?

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The fact is that the problem of the sublime is not a problem of representation or unrepresentability of the infinite. This is the problem of development and the movement of the "boundless" that takes place at the border of the representation. Infinite can not be taken in the meaning of a potential or actual entity. It denotes an operation of infinite compulsion to cut out the contour and delineate the boundaries of the form.

go here Infinite - this is a constant search for boundaries and efforts focused on them. Moreover, such aspirations should be periodically renewed. Infinite - an endlessly resurgent effort to find a form in the formless, which can not be available. Boundless is a constant process of simultaneous establishment and going beyond the border. The unlimited is unimaginable because it is a gesture, an operation, and not an actual state of affairs. After all, in the long run, the presentation is always directly and positively.

Sublime is not a problem of representation because neither a pure negative idea nor a positive presence of "nothing" applies to it. In the absence of any correspondence and adequacy, the sublime is not even a representation of the fact of the existence of the unimaginable. Rather, we are dealing with a situation that arises in the very view that permeates it, but remains unimaginable.

Sublime-motion, generating "limitless" in itself. The boundaries of thought can not be given as an object: "The boundary is not an object for understanding, but its method". In this case, the difference between "beautiful" and "sublime" is obvious. The beautiful is in the form or form of the forms it creates. The sublime exists in the outline, the motivation, the intention, the capture of the form, regardless of the figure that this form restricts, and therefore acts as absolutely great.

The beautiful is enclosed in his representation, and the sublime is manifested in the process of his movement, which is the absolute movement of the unlimited along with the boundary line. This is not a fact given to the subject or through the subject. The submission is presented in a no-boundary ". However, the idea always arises "on the border". This boundary, according to I. Kant, is the limit of imagination. The problem of the sublime is not a problem of large figures. It is connected with the possibility of the existence of an absolute size, that is, absolutely great. The quantity, unlike the absolute size, is measurable.


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  4. Great raises the issue of quality. Every form and figure is small in comparison with the infinite. Sublime is that, in comparison with what everything turns out to be infinitely small. It is located outside of existence, for every being is infinitely small in comparison with it. Imagination as the ability of representation has the right to operate only in the image, contour and figure. Therefore, there is an absolute limit of imagination, a maximum of Bild.

    This maximum is the outer limit of the imagination, which receives a signal about it through the value of such artificial and natural objects as, for example, the pyramid or the ocean. But these grandiose figures are just analogies for the possibility of thinking the sublime. However, the imagination can not only reach its maximum, feeling its border.

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    It is capable of more. At the moment of the collision with the border, he realizes his impotence. This cognitive ability is endowed with a sense of incommensurability concerning the integrity of the boundless, beyond the limits of the image. As noted by J. Lyotard in an exalted sense "thinking becomes powerless, lost hope, disinterested in achieving the goals of freedom through nature". But in the removal from seductive natural forms, thought suddenly realizes its true purpose. Limitations, forms, schemes, rules of concepts, illegal uses, illusions that criticism constantly opposes to its power, do not matter if we accept the premise of Kantian thought that "thinking exists here" and this is "here" and this fact is absolute is an absolute.

    This is what the "voice of reason" announces in a sublime sense and it is this that exalts". The border is a key moment in the life of the imagination. Sublime just happens on the border, or rather - at the time of violence over it, the process of moving it. The integrity of the sublime is integrity unlimited to the extent that it is located on the other side of the border, that is, outside the maximum. The integrity of the sublime is neither the integrity of the infinite as opposed to the finite forms nor the integrity of the infinite as a sum of forms.

    Unity, conditioned by the internal boundary, is the result of an external border, that is, unlimited. Integrity is devoid of objective qualities and does not lend itself to a positive or negative view. However, it can not be conceived and in the form of unity much. Such a whole is the formless form or form of formlessness, that is, the movement of the unlimited.

    Kant called this "the idea of?? The sublime concerns the single, as well as the beautiful. But the one in the sublime is a constant work of imagination on the border of form. In the sublime, the imagination deals not with the product, but with the operation. It "works" on its frontier. Reaching the border, the imagination surpasses it.

    The Sublime Experience

    Sublime - that is the excess of the imagination overwhelming itself. Leaving the border, our ability to represent becomes excessive. And this does not mean that the imagination continues to imagine beyond its maximum. Such a task is beyond his power. It does not imagine anything more. What can be imagined is missing. No image outside the border can be imagined. However, the imagination achieves something more. And this "something" is the only one, namely, the "Idea" of an unlimited single, located near the border and superior to it. Derrida in "Truth and Painting" on this subject writes: "The concept may be too large, almost too large for presentation.

    Therefore, the Colossal defines a representation, implements a formulation or creates cash, or rather makes something that is not something that is not visible, but a concept. And the colossal is the representation of this concept so much that it can not be represented. Not simply can not be represented: almost can not be represented". Imagination touches its border, reaches its maximum, looking into the void. And there is no more figure or form on the border; there is no representable and unimaginable.

    However, there is an integrity of the unlimited, appearing on the line between contact of the inner and outer boundaries. The point of intersection of these boundaries can be called a representation as such. After all, the representation is the constant division of the boundary, the line of the gap between the figure and its absence.

    So, the border is united with the boundless.