Sunday, December 7, 2008


Corporeal, social, theoretical; matters are always about context. In the universe, there are only ever temporary pools of gravity, where an object/subject can acquire weight. Material values fluctuate according to the breadth of interstice between availability and need and as such, any given material will most likely spend 99.999999% of its cohabitant life alongside judgemental beings as worthless, and 0.000001% as supreme commodity.

Notions of value are notions of gravity. Every matter; every material has latent energy. Art at its best can transform latent gravitational matters into nascent social ones. This comes about by deferring meaning from singular occurrences or arrangements to spaces of plurality. Corporeal, social, theoretical: catalytic agents implicate their surroundings.

Reading into matters means reading a city through the universe. Using Sherlock Holmes’ deduction technique, you can tell what something is by what it isn’t. A rock isn’t a rumour, and yet the striking thing is that every material is potentially analogous to an infinite array of ideas.

A valuable thing happens when the catalytic agent/object/situation becomes a mirror, and you realise that it is your own temporary pool of gravity that is generating all the weight around you, and that the agent of change is never an estranged object, but is always you, latent, nascent.

It is my privilege to cast proxy agents into any public space, and I don’t take this privilege lightly.


Anonymous said...

i think u think too much, dont u think? :)

John Ward Knox said...

I think so too sometimes, but then if you're not thinking a bit too much then you probably aren't thinking hard enough.

Anonymous said...

mmm I think you could be right

Anonymous said...

perhaps you will do well to wait until the light of morning to publish your thoughts. if not may i suggest reading up on the Sokal hoax, Fashionable Nonsense is the title of the book written by Alan Sokal, though it will be just as useful to describe your ramblings. i guess daddy told you to be whatever you want when you grow up, including idiot.

John Ward Knox said...

Hello again. I assume I am speaking to the same person behind the John Gol Bunny account on Facebook. I got rid of my account (so far as I could) after this, as it wasn't very pleasant. I am quite a proud person and this struck quite a strong discord. But it wasn't all negative, I had been intending to discontinue my use of the site for some time. This proved the catalyst.

In essence, i don't disagree with your point so much. I would however go further and suggest that those who know me know also that I freely admit that my opinion is untenable in anything much more than a metaphorical way. I am not opposed to the term 'idiot' as it could be applied to me. There is a strong argument to call me an idiot, but in this I don't think it such an affront, because everyone is an idiot to some degree, and I don't think it is a very strong criticism. I believe that you too are an idiot, but not in the sense that I wish to offend you, I only wish to state that personal attacks when couched in negative terms actually cause more ill than good.

To bring my parentage into this, as you seem to want to do, sure, my father told me to be whatever I want to be, and further than this he showed me how. In this I am deeply thankful to him. Of course there is large amounts of idiocy in things that both he and I do, but that is all part of the fallibility of being human.

If your grievance is a personal one, I am happy to meet with you and talk it over, as your persistence seems disproportionate to just a passing distaste. I will be at Craven A cafe on the corner of Symonds St and St Paul St at 1pm friday(21st May), feel free to drop by and talk in person, if you are in Auckland.

Otherwise, this antagonism feels a bit like a trite art project. Y'know a "real" project or something like that. Tao's show is on tomorrow at Window, there is a precedent that could connect the two. But this is just conjecture on my behalf.

If these two above scenarios are both missing the mark, then please expand, but know that I am not very keen to pursue the conversation if your contribution is going to be righteous and angst-ridden slander.

Anonymous said...

Ok John. Fair call.
Firstly, for me, the parentage thing: dad was a great influence as I grew up in this little country - the whole DIY ethic, eschewing the proper way to achieve success was incredibly refreshing and that I have carried this through to adulthood is testament to his influence; chops, props and all other terms of endearment!
And yeah, I'm an idiot too. Though I don't wear it on my sleeve. I'm mature enough to recognise the fallibility you indicate. Without it how do we learn?

So i'll labour my point for a while longer. The antagonism, or perhaps pet-dislike, that I'm supposed to proffer is this: I looked over your CV and found some impressive acievements and then I read that entry and the two were, as you say, antagonistic to the point of absurdity.
A tutor in Critical Studies needs to be aware of what is happening in the academic arena. You see, students pay a lot of money (necessary? is another conversation,) to recieve quality education. That you are willing to espouse, albeit within a personal format, the most egregious post-modern fallacies concerns the very quality that the student body needs, as well requires.
If you care for art, if you care for intellectual integrity, if you wish to provide the best possibile opportunity for those entrusted to your ability, then tread carefully.

I appreciate that the said entry is per se merely opinion. I guess the danger is that on a bad day what stops opinion overriding explication? That's it really. We all need to read more books, and less Facebook[s].

As I'm kind of a nice guy and not some crazed hyper-real stalker I'll offer this: I have no Facebook account, i know nothing of your prior troubles with the 'bunny', and I do not live in Auckland. I do hope you enoy your coffee though!

So to tie up, like dad I'm autodidactic, just a bit grumpier for being long in the tooth.
I enjoy conversation with intelligent people, but I WILL always pull up an idiot before they throw themselves into the abyss of conciet - I'm good at it because I've spent my life practicing on myself.

If you wish to persue this, then let's exchange e-mail and talk a little less public.
Cheers John, good of you to front up.

I really do reccommend this:
Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' abuse of Science, Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont.


The Sokal Hoax: The Sham That Shook The Academy, Edited by the Editors of Lingua Franca.

The Sokal Hoax happened thirteen years ago. That you are unaware of this consolidates the point I have laboured above. You've payed a lot of money for a second-rate education. Please do not let this metastasize to the current student body.

John Ward Knox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

John Ward Knox. Curriculum Vitae