Monthly Archives: November 2017

Critical Theory

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Notes on: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Benjamin Walter)

Expropriation of the normative narrative results in the condition for analogous insight.

The “Aura” – A strange tissue of space and time. The unique apparition of a distance, however near it may be. To follow with the eye – while resting on a summer afternoon – a mountain range on the horizon or a branch that casts its shadow – is to breathe the aura of that mountain or branch.

An ancient state of Venus – to Greeks this is something you worship. Different context for Medieval Clerics – they view it as a sinister idol. But both saw its uniqueness – an that is its aura.

The earliest artwork originated in the service of rituals. So it was first magical then religious. The artworks’ auratic mode of existence is never entirely severed from its ritual function.

True purpose of film: To give convincing expression to the fairylike – the supernatural. The work of art is produced only by a montage – each component of the montage is a reproduction of a process.

Film makes use of human being’s self-alienation. It’s basically the same kind of estrangement you feel before a mirror.

The actor stands in front of the camera confronting the masses. The masses are not present during the performance yet they control it. This invisibility tightens the authority of their control.

The cult of the movie star preserves the magic of the personality and reinforces the cult of the audience – in an effort to control the narrative and supplant the class consciousness of the masses. So — everyone becomes an expert – which means the viewer gains access to authorship but at the same time – the masses (viewers) are fed a corrupting narrative – one that teaches them to know their place (see Why We Love Sociopaths by Adam Kotsko – A guide to late capitalist television)


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Nadia Boulanger

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Analysis v Theory: Analysis reveals the way that a composer handles language. Theory serves to describe the practice.

“Music is nothing more than an incalculable number of solutions based on a limited vocabulary.”

Every piece has a tonal plan:

Tonal plan of Symphony of Psalms: So many G’s in the first e minor chord of the first movement – leading to the final cadence on ‘G’ of that movement, setting up c minor for the second movement double fugue, leading ultimately to the final C Major chord at the end of the third movement.

Play/sing: Perception of both vertical and horizontal relations becomes remarkably sharpened.

In all keys: Harmonic Minor – 1 2, flat3, 4, 5, 6 (7) R                                                                           Ascending Melodic Minor – 1, 2, flat3, 4, 5, #6, m7, R                                                  Descending Melodic Minor R, flat7, 6, 5, 4, flat3, 2, R


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Nabta Playa

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There’s a remote prehistoric site, on a desolate plane in the Egyptian Sahara desert, west of Aswan called Nabta Playa.

From The Origin Map by Thomas G Brophy, Ph.D (Interview with author here). Trophy has a Ph.D in physics (has worked with the NASA Voyager Project, The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, and the Japanese Space Programs)

Asserts three new concepts:

1 – Maps and markers denoting objects, alignments and events that can be observed in the sky with the unaided eye.

2 – Markers indicating celestial phenomena and events that cannot be observed with the unaided eye.

3 – Detailed astronomical and cosmological information, such as distance to stars, speeds at which stars are moving away from us, the structure of our galaxy and information on the origin of the universe, which we have either only just discovered in modern times, or possibly information (for example, concerning planetary systems around stars) that we do not even have available at the moment. (He dates the sites use to 26,000 BCE)

See also Hamlet’s Mill (The authors track world myths to a common origin in early man’s descriptions of cosmological activity, arguing that these remnants of ancient astronomy, suppressed by the Greeks and Romans and then forgotten, were really a form of preliterate science. Myth became the synapse by which science was transmitted. Their truly original thesis challenges basic assumptions of Western science and theories about the transmission of knowledge)

Terms: Vernal equinox heliacal rising: Considered a starting point of each star’s cycle – a sort of ‘dawn’ on the celestial clock.

Further: Robert M. Schoch, PhD (author of Voices of Rocks: A Scientist Looks at Catastrophes and Ancient Civilizations)



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