At Ease.

I listened to a tribute on Pierre Bourdieu. On the BBC Thinking Allowed podcast. According to the podcast, one of his ideas was that the French system of egalitè to some extent does not work because working class people do not feel at ease with middle/upper class people, even though the working class people are as intelligent as the others. That ill at ease is a barrier which few can overcome, (though Bourdieu did).

Which reminded me of two meetings I had in the same week some time ago and how I felt ill at ease in one of them (in an art gallery) and totally at ease in another (in a technical design office).

Two art professionals (not artists) had finished organising the details of my exhibition and so passed onto a more interesting subject. They tested each other out about the living and relatively famous artists they knew and could count as friends. It was a gentle battle of name dropping. I remember feeling uncomfortable and wandering away to look at the art in the gallery. I left the two combatants to carry on testing each other.

Then a few days later I had a meeting with some engineers and technicians to discuss the sizing of a power supply for some custom test equipment. I actually had little to contribute, it was a bit out of my field, but I remember sitting there completely comfortable with the people and what they were discussing.

And I like meeting other (visual) artists too. The ones who actually do stuff with their own minds and hands. We exchange tips, experiences and jokes and there is no competition.


"Science is Limited" said Dorothy Cross.

I nearly fell out of my bed as I listened to a podcast of this idiot as she described her latest artwork. Bath tubs with gold at the scum line being watched by a shark's eye which the viewer of the exhibition cannot see but must be told exists. Sorry, she may not be an idiot,
maybe she's just in bad faith, or maybe just deluded.

And then she said "Science is limited."

It's a bit of a cliché but what has science (and technology) ever given us? Everything this imposter has ever used. The building she exhibits in. The cell phone she uses. The lighting in the gallery. The bed where she sleeps. Her credit card. Asprin. Surgery. Brain surgery. Ideas beyond her paltry imagination certainly. Relativity. Knowledge of genes. Super-computers. Shrek. Images from a space beyond imagination, beyond even an artist's imagination. Presumably also the embalming used on the shark's eye. 

Maybe she's not be a detail person. Let the mere technicians do that.

Anyway let's compare once instance of what she has done with one instance of what science has done.

Artwork by Dorothy Cross

Image from the Hubble Telescope, This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula.

And the sad thing is she is proud of her scientific ignorance. By luck she is making money from this stuff, but probably imagines that it is due to her concepts and skill.

(The podcast was from BBC Radio 3 Arts and Ideas. "Free Thinking - Mystics and Reality"It was saved by intelligent contributions from Joanna Kavenna and Jo Dunkley.)