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Nov 27, 2008

OSS # 95: Art



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Thoughts on Truth and Beauty

First things first. I am not an arbiter of truth nor beauty. I hold no degree nor strong understanding in the field of art. Then why the hell am I writing this entry?

Blame my partner. Let's call him Allan (because that's his name). It started that night when he asked me to help him prepare for a report in his comparative literature class. He was to discuss in class the theories of Michel Foucault (pronounced mis-shell foo-coe).

Fuck who? Imagine an engineering major like myself working in the field of IT being bombarded with thoughts of that French philosopher. Nosebleed to the highest level. With the danger of dying from excessive blood loss, I willingly helped him. Talk about love. Yihii!

I forgot how our exchange went but I did remember I posed as a challenge to him. It was my annoyingly inquisitive nature that got his flow of ideas mixed up a little. I have a tendency to ask "Are you sure?" in the most belittling way.

That started my introduction to a certain philosophy. I must say what an interesting fellow that Foucault. Just take a look at one of his statements:
'Truth' is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extend it.
The way I understood it (correct me if I'm wrong phleazz!) is that people in power manufacture truth to help them sustain their power. That's like bongga, da ba?

Just like truth, beauty has its similar relationship with power. Certain institutions dictates to us what is art or not. It doesn't stop at truth and beauty. The power relations also exists in ethics and morality. If you think you have that innate concept of right or wrong, think again. Maybe it's not that they are absolutely right or wrong. Maybe you have been conditioned by powerful institutions to think that certain things are good and certain things are wrong.

Is that the truth?

11 comments:

tagabukid said...

nosebleed ako rito a at ang postmodern philosophy pa ni michael foucault pinili hehe.

foucault is not after for the absolute Truth but rather on the truth, with a small 't', the personal, experiential definition of truth where pervasive (not restricted/limited to entities or institutions) power (the 'being' as defined by heidegger) plays a crucial part in the shaping of 'truth'.

according to foucault, power is a complex tactical situation that arises from individuals and groups opposing each other. the collective action produces reality that gives reason/purpose to beliefs and actions.

power to foucault is non-oppressive, non-violent way of governance and doesn't thrive on coercion, lies or dictatorial setting. rather, it only thrives in a free society where agreements may be achievable.

do i make sense? i'm just blabbering away hehe...

by the way, michael (first name basis ba?) believes that the answer to the world's problems is in islamism and he's a leftist. :D

Mr. Scheez said...

Yaya! Penge nga ng band-aid, bulak at gauze. Dinudugo ako dito kahit wala akong matres. LOL! =)

Niel Camhalla said...

@Tagabukid, yes of course you made sense! The only reason 'Truth' was capitalized was because it was at the beginning of the sentence. Hehehe.

It's just nice to point out that whatever truth we believe in may not be the absolute but the truth shaped by the pervasive power.

And yes Foucault, does not label the relationship of power and truth as good or bad. Yung ibang thinkers na gumawa nun.

I didn't know Foucault's view on Islam. I have much to learn. Social sciences have always been my academic weakness. *sigh* They just all of a sudden became interesting to me but I'm too lazy to read all those books!

@Mr Scheez, hala! Pero minsan mabuti din ang duguin di ba? Para alam natin na buhay pa tayo sabi nga sa isang kanta. :)

Mugen said...

Its either am not focused in reading your entry, or Focault's theory is too much for my head to handle. Lol.

Mugen said...

The way I understood it (correct me if I'm wrong phleazz!) is that people in power manufacture truth to help them sustain their power.

It's like saying history is written by the victors and not the losers. :) Interesting.

PUSANG-gala said...

'Truth' is linked in a circular relation with systems of power which produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extend it. --------pumutok ibang nerves ko sa utak. hehe. masyado atang intellectual usapan dito. try ko ha.hehe

Honestly, I agree, those who are in power dictate everything. Including history, and yes, including , ethics, morality and even the concept of beauty. It's normal co'z these things are subject to human rationalization. ....

PUSANG-gala said...

sana me sense yung sinabi ko,.haha.

Niel Camhalla said...

Joms, tumpak! hindi lang history pati nga ang science at art...atbp.

PUSANG-gala, hehehe. nag trip lang ako. next time hindi na uli ganun intellectual. Naintindihan mo naman e.

Dagdag ko lang, yung katotohanan na na pinapakalat ay nakakatulong sa pabibigay ng kapangyarihan sa taong nagkakalat ng katotohanan. Roughly put, the wider the truth is spread, the greater the power.

See. Hindi naman sya ganun kahirap. Hehehe. More power to us! Choz.

dabo said...

"We discovered how much fun it was to look for ugliness, because ugliness is more interesting than beauty. Beauty is frequently boring, everybody knows what beauty is.." –Umberto Eco

ala lang. nag-quote lang.

rencalago said...

i enjoyed reading your post
just dropping by

katcarneo said...

somehow what Foucault said makes me think of religion and the church.

with what you said about beauty, i totally agree. let me tell you one story about my film aesthetics class n college. our professor did nothing but make us watch movies and he kept babbling about this certain director who was supposed to be so good and whose films are real works of art. and so we watched, and as with all so-called art films, you are supposed to understand something out of it when it makes absolutely no sense. and that makes you an intelligent viewer. (there are films in which you really have work your brain to keep up with it and that's good, but these japanese films i'm talking about are not like that)

And my teacher was like "This is art!"
And my classmates would go on saying "yeah yeah it's very artistic and the (insert film industry jargon here) was really like the (insert technical term here) and it's really an amazing movie everyone must see!" Everybody was trying to be big art farts and it annoyed me to death.

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