To find something that is not part of knowledge but that should be part of it. —Michel Foucault
To like something, you have to see it or hear it for a long time, you idiots. —Francis PicabiaNavigation
… COMMUNICATION, with words and images, only echoes itself. My sense of what green is CANNOT be yours, and yet the constant shortcuts, approximations, and bets point to the ever-present need for cohesion and its associated railings.
Moreover, IF there is any original thought/assessment at all, these are probably as solitary as they are unique. Hence the concept of non-images and non-words, and this school.
Our “fullness” and busyness belies a systematic cover-up: as in a sleight of hand, we are blinded by speed and the surplus of images and sounds. Marton’s lifetime of teaching and working in media leads him now towards a search for “non-images” & “non-media.” The School of No Media represents a last-gasp-effort toward the elusive goal of standing outside a prescribed universe, surrounded by too many assumptions.Read More
This school which is no school… where education brings us to that precipice where we need to stand, lost. Before it is too late, we must learn this no-thing – instead of one more thing. Do we have room for more than ourselves? Is there room outside our inflated sense of knowledge? Paradoxically, this particular vertigo is essential to our survival. The myths of learning and understanding may need to be left behind.Read More
1. When we believe our eyes (and ears), all we do is verify what has been stored in our cataloged universe, and end up knowing only what we know & recognize. 2. Every age has its icons: photographers freeze that moment, cinematographers capture that movement. The traces of those fetishistic rituals are revered in museums, theaters and online. 3. Picture-perfect… Captive audiences…Read More
Pseudo-Urgency-stop-Media Omnipresence-stop-Currency Engulfing Independence-stop-Colonization Secured-stop-Audience Consumes Molds-stop-Mimicry of Stale Themes-STOP-PRETENSE-STOP • We are to be consumed, but in other ways. “Non-media” is what air is to the flying fish as it escapes mortal danger: an existential exploration & revelation. Our tools to save lives – silence (occasionally vociferous), slowness, kindness, and time.Read More
[YET WE ARE EVERYBODY] • The clamor is everywhere: BE SOMEBODY!… but those efforts are illusory. Beyond our names and our affiliations lies the same eternal nobody that we were when we were born – and that we will be when we die. What surrounds us – all the stuff, the concepts… – blinds us and entraps us into a fortress, a coffin. These facts, though, do not constitute any reason to become pessimistic, merely realistic. And freer.Read More
Beyond the MonkeySee/MonkeyDo Paradigm! Well-known concepts and categories, and the institutions that support them, provide
us more with what I would call an “eduCUSHION” than with an exacting education.
We are amused by how easily cats can be distracted by a few dangling threads, but similarly, just because we recognize some pattern around us, we claim some major victory […]
Without considering what we are furthering, what gets duplicated becomes a form of fetishism and pollution. We love to perform, to present what is primarily acrobatics & technique…. overall just ready-made ideas, what one calls in French, “des idées toutes faites.” Thinking is always a lonely activity, EACH thought singular, all by itself.Read More
We constantly escape into our surroundings as potential distractions await their turn; most of our lives are invested into NOT being present. Our specialty is to fragment and distance a moment that will never appear again except as a reproduction of images and sounds. All is repeatedly lost. Are we able to perceive time and face how ephemeral our lives are? Can media help us be more anchored into our lives? [Fragment from a longer text available upon request]Read More
Each word is so full of itself; it assumes we should live by its side, but words, in creating their self-referential universe, only have the authority of other words. To escape our frailty, we invest them with power and soon, while blocking most of our senses, they become life-companions. To say something against words is indeed grotesque but after Rimbaud and Gauguin’s cultural departures – and prior to my own death – these words of warning have become necessary.Read More
Culture functions like a cult through which we live out our beliefs and celebrate (and inflate) ourselve. As much as “natural signs” such as thunder and fever will persist through time, above all we demand interpretations. We just don’t understand, and assuming we should, turn to specialists – “meaning” now stands for what escapes us; the more esoteric, the more we crave for those answers. Within the digital realm of 0011010s, nothingness could have been accounted for…Read More
We juggle words, sometimes with much prowess, but the uniqueness and aloneness of each experience will remain buried within us, intransmissible. Instead of living an unfiltered reality, we prefer to hide in the shadow of words and concepts that belong to another time, and seek transcendence at any cost. It would have been easier to participate in the main game, but at what price? The sixth mass extinction has already started.Read More
...that story is not over 'cause we are all still naked.
A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light. — Kafka
The essence of normalcy is the refusal of reality. — Ernst Becker
Technology… the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it. — Max Frisch
They have eyes but cannot see. — Tehilim
Images and words keeps us isolated in a form of mass solitary confinement, exchanging looks and commenting on what has already been thought, said and lived.
It is conceivable that after the fluid wisdom of the Pre-Socratic thinkers and the Taoists, the cycle that defined knowledge/culture as being fixed and separate from living may finally be coming to an end.
Our digital realm, like a form of contemporary Ying/Yang dialectic, should constantly remind us of the relevance of the zeros (the void).
When all has been said and done, we seek a particular silence. When the noise has ceased.
The floor below us has dropped a long time ago, we just have been too busy to notice what lies beyond “the stuff.”
1. Knowing what we know, we know nothing: we believe our eyes (and ears, and words) but they are too busy verifying what has been stored in our cataloged universe.
With all of my friendship, Jean (Baudrillard), Cultural Theorist/Philosopher — In the tradition of Abraham, the iconoclast… Pier Marton. — Dr. Sander Gilman, American Cultural/Literary Historian PM rakes the virtual screens and the tablets of our hypocrisies with the sharp claws of the avenging angel. — Aribert Munzner, Artist/Dean Emeritus — Glad you think the same… Dr. Frans de Waal, Primatologist/Ethologist
The Unlearning Specialist at the school is Pier Marton. After teaching media for more than thirty years at major U.S. universities, and three weeks in an I.C.U., PM “imploded” (cf. below) and realized the urgent need to teach unlearning, and to focus on key blind spots: what is NOT being taught and NOT being perceived. We may start with media and the visible, but extend quickly to our “core concepts” – the source of our permanent distractions.
The arrogance of normalcy. — PM
PM has lectured with his work at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Carnegie Museum. Besides those museum collections, his work is also collected by Paris Beaubourg’s museum, Canada’s National Gallery of Art, and the Mémorial de la Shoah. While his many peregrinations made him appreciate Artaud, Daumal, Grotowski, Jarry, Michaux, Gilbert-Lecomte, Porchia, Beckett, Voronca and many others,* his university teaching, and his “bleeding for art” (in his own work and in collaboration with Nitsch), have all prepared him to be fully receptive of the vacuum that awaited him following a brain hemorrhage with complications. Upon his release, he could not not perceive “the arrogance of normalcy”; most human activity, short of the instinct to care, had become absolutely arbitrary.
* like Álvarez, Anders, Barthes, Baudrillard, Berger, Borges, Brecht, Bresson, Cage, Larry David, Debord, Thich Nhat Hahn, Ivan Illich, Le Clézio, Marker, Lévinas, Melville (Bartleby), Morin, Naess, A.S. Neill, Rossellini, Rimbaud, Tarkovski, Tati, Turrell, U.G. and Watts.
The John Cage of the classroom. — Ann Hirsch, Artist Intelligence, patience and kindness, an unmatched passion as an educator. — Aaron Duffy, Artist/Director I have never met anyone who was born to teach as Pier is. — Paola Laterza, Artist/Educator
Individual identity, individual healing, individual transcendence are his subjects. — John Russell, The New York Times Nightmares, he insists can only be dreamed by a conscious mind. — Douglas Blau, Flash Art & Arts Magazine
Sometimes a little brain damage can help. — George Carlin
If only this were only a matter of aligning words or arguments the proper way… Rather, it is a matter of a knowLEDGE, in the flesh.
2. Every age has its icons: photographers freeze that moment, cinematographers capture that movement. The traces of those fetishistic rituals are revered in museums, theaters and online. Media has already transformed society; can visual artists, besides “doing it their way,” provide more than an ever expanding sensory massage?
An entire mythology is stored within our language. – Wittgenstein
Education consists mainly of what we have unlearned. — Mark Twain
The only knowledge which is really alive is the one that expresses itself at its kindling point, bringing about its own destruction. — Dostoevsky
a «HOLE» within reality, like life passing, fleeting, evanescent, impossible to fix and retain. — Tadeusz Kantor
I apologize for being as blind and arrogant as most humans, and for still using words [& this website/bottle-in-the-ocean]. — PM
Yes, more words here again… but it is to escape them and have them implode. Cosmic banana peels?!
After a lifetime of having surrounded ourselves with arbitrary concepts that we now take for granted, we urgently need to pierce our bubble and reach a state of constant bewildered incredulity.
One of the founders of Surrealism wrote in 1924: “Knock-knock. Who’s there? Ah good, let the infinite in.” We may not need to ask the shamans – we know now scientifically about the Laniakea and the astounding extent of our insignificance.
A cold shower does much more than to freshen us up, it shakes us up. Yet, to shatter illusions all at once would be impossible; we can only chip away one crack at a time, and have to be patient, with a willingness to be bored – mountains owe so much to the valleys!
Along with intense “blindspotting” – locating the blind-spots – a particular useful technique involves a form of sustained implosion (as in Lumière’s short film “L’arroseur arrosé“).
What to trust? Without having recourse to drugs, we may require what Rimbaud pleaded for: a long, immense et reasoned derangement of all of the senses.
There is a physicality of action that bypasses the mind and grounds us, allowing a healthy perspective to arise. The animals that we still are know more than all our thoughts combined. Are we able to regain that presence?
The ledge of knowLEDGE is nearby, we just need to approach it without fear.
Besides two examples for a curriculum, Bubbles and Quotes & an Unlearning Mind Map, here is a brief list of supporting materials:
Anechoic Chamber/Isolation Tank/Long Walks Going Nowhere/Boal’s Invisible Theater
Artaud/Barthes/Daumal/Debord/Bresson/Melville/Porchia/U.G. Krishnamurti (not the famous one)/Roustang/ChuangTze/LaoTze.
Rossellini’/Álvarez/Bresson/Debord/Marker/Tarkovsky/Hersonski/Guzmán/Lanzman/Berger/Resnais/Serr/Ha/Robison/Soda/Ant Farm & T.R. Uthco/Pasolini
With all those “instant-everything” avoidance means that technology offers us, not counting the most exciting treasures Artificial Intelligence has in the wings, we could give it all up… but the physicality of having a body can lead us back to realize that presence is a major present – a gift awaiting us since our birth (along with decantation, the process of “active rest,” when sediments are allowed to float down to the bottom of liquids to achieve some clarity).
Before it is too late to do so, we can indeed savor and live our lives. To be alive is not to know, to be lost.
A path is made by walking on it. — Zhuangzi
3. Picture-perfect… captive audiences… can we look into our blindness?
We seek and look, like Nasrudin, BUT only where there is light. Let’s go elsewhere!