Greetings All

ILLUSTRATION: Miguel Gallardo

We have been thinking about this page as a place to collect threads. We hope that you will check in and connect up often. “Is Giving the Secret to Getting Ahead?”, is an article that Janos Marton, Director of the Living Museum, alerted me to. It connects to the ideas that he encountered here at TC through Professor Morton Deutsch, so influential to the Living Museum structure. It is also relates to Dewey’s conception of sustainable expansion that allows coherence to come in to being naturally. In the article posted above Adam Grant, professor of organizational psychology at Wharton also takes an expansive approach to life, seeing in every moment the potential to learn and enhance his own existence. Rather than create filters that keep things out, he lets them in, allowing experiences and information to align naturally with his own interests, needs and intentions. As Dewey wrote “coherence manifests where changes interlock and endure.”

In the article that Andrea sent out, Bringing things to life: Creative Entanglements in a world of materials, the author Tim Ingold makes a similar case for the fluxes and flows of materials and creativity as an “improvisatory joining in with formative processes…”
And on a very pedestrian note here is a link to a humorous essay that Lisa Jo Sagolla, our InStep co-ordinator, suggested I post that puts it all in perspective.

In thinking about yesterdays session with Patricia Llosa and Duff Schwenninger a number of questions came to mind. Related to the above thread about collaboration, I realized we had not asked Duff about the experience of making the film. How did the film come to have its final form? How many collectives were actually documented and where can the films be seen/accessed? The films we saw really focused on the conceptualization and activation of the collectives and the works produced. Do other segments of the film include the process of locating and connecting with the collectives?
In Patricia’s beautiful introduction to Garcia Lorca’s manifesto, I came to understand duende as a spirit of change, a transcending function that awakens spontaneous creation. Unlike the muse that awakens, prompts and, dictates or the angel that dazzles the individual person, duende is described as a spirit that rises from our collective unconscious. Duff asked if duende was cullturally bound. Some of the contention around Carl Jungs work is confusion around this question of archetypes and the collective unconscious. Is it harder for duende to rise and come forth in groups that are culturally diverse?


About Allison Faye

I am an investigator interested in the mechanics of visual reasoning. My research uses fine art images to examine the generalities and idiosyncrasy of visual perception.
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7 Responses to Greetings All

  1. Sorry I didn’t respond sooner, but it has been a hard week, broadcast deadlines, New Museum panel and the death and memorial of a dear friend.
    I am trying to get the “Cuba Dialogues” online with the New Museum Transfer Station Program so it will be more readily available. Yes, there is some more descriptive narration in the entire edit and there are sessions with three individual Cuban artists.

    As to the question of duende, I think it is “culturally bound ” that’s the reason I asked if Patricia thought I could have duende. “Culturally bound” in the sense that different ethnic groups have their own way of contextualizing the spirit of duende and of course call it some thing else even though in spirit they may be addressing is very similar impulse.
    As Jung explains the “collective unconscious” as something that is common in all human beings, I think it probably breaks down further in different ethnic groups. As also does the “collective consciousness” and even to the extreme of “group-think”, something that can become very dangerous.

  2. Aminah Rizwan says:

    I want to share a notion of how, each of us, in our individual capacity, relate ourselves to ‘culturally’ bounded decipherment of ‘duende’; as far as I believe, I would want to say it very much culturally rooted.However, as spontaneous, mischiveious, miraculous and fluidly conscious the very word ‘duende’ gets, it overlaps across cultures, basically just because of the term ‘collective consciousness’ AND unconsciousness we all tend to share on a similar boat.Ethnic attire (metaphorically speaking) breaks it up, sporadically disperse it onto different level of approach and perception of this term ‘duende’. For instance, I come from Asian culture, and for me, this word was relatively new to relate to.However, after the discourse, and Cuban video projections, the manifestation of the bodily connections, the gypsical mire, linked to me subconsciously on that liner “the place where the material meets the immaterial is an event, an idea, or an encounter’ or say like, ‘we ALL live in two worlds, one of weather and people, and other rooted in gypsical mire of ‘all we know, all we ignore, all we want to mischief out to create miracles’ and I then realized we connect to concept of duende, both culturally and non-culturally in different forms.My gypsies are of different ‘beings’; they help me in the ‘becoming’ of myself, in totally different cultural sense but, I am also able to relate to Cuban gypiscal mire..I remember my ‘dark sounds’ and ‘play of the duende’ in the mosques, in deserts, and back to mosques, when I wanted to break the barrier of ‘domes’, and embrace the sphere of the dorms, so I could explore what is ‘really’ that ‘middle’ space of the reality of domes, and my immaterial longing.Interestingly, we all want to survive in fiction world the non-fictionated way, at ONCE..I would then want to conclude to Duff lines that in the end, it disperses in actuality, to variations of ethnic grouping.

  3. Allison Faye says:

    Songs are thoughts, sung out with the breath when people are moved by great forces and ordinary speech no longer suffices. Man is moved just like the ice floe sailing here and there out in the current. His thoughts are driven by a flowing force when he feels joy, when he feels fear, when he feels sorrow. Thoughts can wash over him like a flood, making his breath come in gasps and his heart throb. Something, like an abatement in the weather, will keep him thawed up. And then it will happen that we, who always think we are small, will feel still smaller. And we will fear to use words. But it will happen that the words we need will come of themselves. When the words we want to use shoot up of themselves—we get a new song.

    Orpingalik, Netsilik Eskimo

    Steven Poser sent the above quote to me in response to yesterdays experience and the question, what is art? Here the individual voice rises up from it’s own impulsion when moved by great forces. I think it also speaks to Aminah’s and Duff’s comments on the cultural forms of duende.
    Carl Jung’s writings on archetypes and the collective unconscious has been associated with racist theories of cultural difference propagated under Hitler’s National Socialist regime. Aminah’s beautiful prose speaks of duende as a dispersion of energy that takes on different forms as it travels through space and time. In describing the collective unconscious as a middle space, an intersecting point of commonality, the categorical distinctions between ethnic form is diminished without losing the riches embedded in variation.
    The middle space is where I believe Dennis’s work resides which is why I believe it to be such an effective point of departure.

  4. Patricia Llosa says:

    I found the following quoted from an interview with Oppenheim:
    Interviewer: Do you have a muse?

    Dennis Oppenheim: No, I have to somehow trap this thing. I have to go after it through a sensory approach with all the senses operating in tangent- operating outside myself- sort of prowling this featureless thing until I can see it.
And quite often, even with that, it’s not good enough. You see, this wouldn’t be an interesting profession unless it was really difficult.

    The way Oppenheim describes his sensual encounter with the “prowling,” “featureless thing” is what the struggle to produce contact with the duende is about.
    I was delighted to hear him contrast it to the muse as Lorca does !

    I also wanted to respond to the comment about Jung’s writings on the collective unconscious and the racist theories that became entangled with them…Jung came to realize the danger in his work on archetypes. If anyone is interested in the subject you can read about it in his recently published Zarathrustra Seminars where he studies the work of Nietzsche. This relates to some of the discussion we had around the experience of regression and returning to a child-like state. This is what Jung was trying to locate – the source of renewal and the constructs related to it…he talks of “the impulse in the blood.” He was clear that any time we try to find authentic impulses and connect to them and identify them we a tight-rope in this difficult territory. However the hope would be not to stay in a regression or identify with it which leads to distortion (racist theories) but rather to refresh a structure (the adult self-) with the playful and freshness of a child-like authenticity without identifying with it or destroying it.

    On another duende note…
    I wanted to highly recommend to two free exhibitions open through Sept 22nd at the American Folk Art Museum at Columbus Avenue and 66th Street. Those of you who are not staying in New York can find the work on the website as well. I wanted to draw your attention to the work of Bill Traylor if you don’t already know it.
    Traylor’s work also reflects an exploration of inner states and a relationship to an object or an other without surrounding layers of context. It seems he only wanted to paint and draw on discarded surfaces of old cardboard rather than new paper which he rejected. Very close up and intense as is Oppenheim’s. It is spare and filled with Duende.

    I have really enjoyed participating in classes with you and learning about your engagement in teaching in all the forms you shared. Anyone who wishes to stay in touch, please do so. I am especially interested in hearing how duende lives on if you introduce it as a concept in your classrooms…do let me know.

    look forward to seeing your own “circumambulations’ of Oppenheim’s work on Thursday.

  5. Patricia Llosa says:

    Aminah thanks much for how you described the paradox of particularity and general inherent in the concept of duende as we discussed…it seems to me the more
    particular something is it is easier for other cultures to understand and engage in. As you noted this was introduced as a spanish dynamic but it lives in your gypsy imagery in it’s own particular form…
    This is again the slippery slope with the racial theories- distortion.

  6. Pedro Espinoza says:

    Hey my name is Pedro Espinoza, I am a Peruvian musician living in New York. I recentrly graduated with a BFA from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. I came across your website as I was trying to get the contact information of Patricia Llosa. It would be really helpful if you could give me her contact information.
    As we both are Peruvian and work in the arts area, I would like to have her advice and mentorship as I am starting a career in the arts. Hope you can help. Thanks so much,
    Pedro Espinoza
    [email protected]

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