Can Art Save Us?

Sunday, May 28, 2023

What Is It

The world is facing an unprecedented environmental crisis, and we urgently need good ways to address it. Courageous politicians would help, of course, as might scientific innovations. But how much of the problem is a failure of imagination? Could the arts help us see our way out of the problem? How can literature, painting, and movies redraw the landscape in our minds? Josh and Ray imagine a conversation with Harriet Hawkins, Professor of Human Geography and Co-Director of the Centre for GeoHumanities at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Transcript

Transcript

Josh Landy  
What can art do to tackle climate change?

Ray Briggs  
Are science and politics not enough?

Josh Landy  
How could movies, paintings, and poems help us redraw the landscape in our minds?

Comments (6)


Mitch Ritter Lay-Low Studios Media Discussion List's picture

Mitch Ritter La...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 -- 12:58 PM

Dear Josh, Ray and Philosophy

Dear Josh, Ray and Philosophy Talk production staff and emeritus hosts of the mortal and immortal domain at KALW,

Thank you very much for the invitation to attend the recording of your upcoming May 28, 2023 radio program\podcast.

I think your brief program note is way too modest and uncharacteristically short-sighted or hard of hearing.

"The world is facing an unprecedented environmental crisis, and we urgently need good ways to address it. Courageous politicians would help, of course, as might scientific innovations. But how much of the problem is a failure of imagination? Could the arts help us see our way out of the problem? How can literature, painting, and movies redraw the landscape in our minds? Josh and Ray imaigne a conversation with Harriet Hawkins, Professor of Human Geography and Co-Director of the Centre for GeoHumanities at Royal Holloway, University of London."

You make no mention of the latest imagi-Nation art form to capture our attention and shape our views. Yes, that early 20th Century
innovation in Mass Communications, and for many decades now, like Labor, not even worthy of a journalistic beat, much less course
of study and critical discussion;
the long distance radio network and its programming.

I would hope that with the advent of digital audio archiving the wild blooming of the online accessible podcast would begin to
view the Radio\Podcast Arts as radical as it was before the United States and many more reductive state broadcasters imposed
a Pay2Play production price and cookie cutter "most common denominator" formatting.

One of my first literary discoveries outside of school and the dominant Pay2Play U.S. dominant culture were the published radio plays and inventive programming in France and Europe as well as Canada, Turtle Island, Australia, New Zealand and Africa along with Latin America and Asia of radio broadcast discussions, debates, Public Forums, philosophical and psychological encounters and theater of the mind. What has drawn me to Philosophy Talk are these very qualities, now able to break free of the commercial strictures and cookie cutter formatting of the Pay2Play corporate-captured U.S. monopolization and reduction of the broadcast spectrum and online cyber platforms.

Back when writers\imagi-Native explorers of the frontiers of thought and play, challenge and encounter created works for the new art form that is now so invisible, the Radio Arts:

The poetics, plays and transcripts of spiritually alive to the mysteries of existence artists and aural experimentalists of the mind such as Antonin Artaud, Samuel Beckett, Jayne Cortez, Diane Wakoski, Xiomara Alfaro, and her more experimental Dominican counterpart Xiomara Fortuna along with electronic frontierswomen like Pauline Oliveros, men and multi-spirited them such as Toto La Momposina, Afro-futurist writers and orators such as Seattle's Ocatvia Butler, Portland Oregon's Ursula LeGuin and NYC's Samuel Ray "Chip" Delaney, Dick Gregory all turned to foreign national radio broadcast horizons with creative possibilities such as the CBC (Canadian Broadcast System) and the native U.S. movement of listener-sponsored free-form radio represented by the dissension blessed and plagued Pacifica Network, where such Deep State analysts and critical theorists focusing on the less appealing aspects of the corporate-capture of U.S. broad-casting outlets had some freedom to roam. Think of Canadian diplomat turned literary critic and long-form poet of Coming to Jakarta, U.C.-Berkeley based Peter Dale Scott, still doing some of his finest work well beyond the bounds of North American parameters of the political economy of the hegemons of Washington, Wall Street, Zurich-Geneva and the global-networked Wealth Management Investment powers often based on tax-avoidance treasure islands.

Bob Fass - Wikipedia Z"L Rest In Play

(June 29, 1933 – April 24, 2021)[4] was an American radio personality and pioneer of free-form radio, who broadcast in the New York region for over 50 years. Fass's program, Radio Unnameable, aired in some form from 1963 until his death primarily on WBAI, a radio station operating out of New York City.

Bob Fass - Wikipedia

Catherine Revland (common law marriage),

Radio Unnameable (2012) - IMDb

Radio Unnameable: Directed by Paul Lovelace, Jessica Wolfson. With David Amram, Judy Collins, Robert Downey Sr.,...

“Just One Damned Thing After Another”: Jack Foley as a Literary Historian – Dana Gioia

“Just One Damned Thing After Another”: Jack Foley as a Literary Historia...

Fallen Western Star: The Decline of San Francisco as a Literary Region – Dana Gioia

Fallen Western Star: The Decline of San Francisco as a Literary Region –...

Jack Foley (poet) - Wikipedia
John Wayne Harold Foley was born in Neptune, New Jersey, raised in Port Chester, New York, and educated at Corne...

And of course the too-hot-to-handle views and works even over Pacifica Radio airwaves man of letters and many stage-plays awaiting
domestic U.S. radio production:
Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down - Wikipedia
Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down is a western that spans some three centuries of history and references locations fr...

Ishmael Reed - Wikipedia

Ishmael Reed - Wikipedia

Ishmael Scott Reed (born February 22, 1938) is an American poet, novelist, essayist, songwriter, composer, playw...

Ishmael Reed Gets the Last Laugh

Ishmael Reed Gets the Last Laugh

Condé Nast

America’s most fearless satirist has seen his wildest fictions become reality.

And the genre unto hisself writer, broadcaster and early aural narrative experimentalist and Brion Gysin-inspired cut-up collage podcast\hip-hop sampling pioneer
Joe Frank:
In the Dark | Joe Frank - The Official Website

In the Dark | Joe Frank - The Official Website

The Joe Frank Wiki

The Joe Frank Wiki

https://www.youtube.com/user/joefranktheater/videos

Jest sayin' that Merle Kessler dba Ian Shoales the 60 second philosopher might have much to add..........

Appreciatively and enthusiastically yours,
Mitch Ritter
(503) 645-6374

"Like a slave in orbit..."

Mitch Ritter\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and PsalmSong Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa (Refuge of Atonement Seekers)
Media Discussion List and Looksee

To be removed from this list, no hard feelings and NO DATA MINING
please reply with "REMOVE" in the Subject field.
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Jayne Cortez and the firespitters - I've been searching

Jayne Cortez and the firespitters - I've been searching

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTX9XbQ8Evc&list=PLD9F82D0A60F95BDE

Bruce’s Beach Was Hailed as a Reparations Model. Then the Family Sold It.
The Bruce family won the return of oceanfront land near Los Angeles seized nearly a century ago. Their decision ...

The descendants of the dispossessed Bruce family sold it before the Pacific Ocean rising would have eventually reclaimed it..............

Eddie Harris & Les McCann - Compared To What ? (Live at Montreux Jazz Festival 1969)

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Daniel's picture

Daniel

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 -- 3:59 PM

For your mention of Labor in

For your mention of Labor in the fifth paragraph, see the AAUP strike at Rutger's, now "suspended" and in no way at an end, which is the most important university-faculty (and associated) action since the Spring of 2014. Also, although the ninth paragraph above seems to be the main body of your commentary, its main point escapes me. Are you decrying corporate, for-profit control of information distribution? If so, could you summarize the recommendation which accompanies your diagnosis?

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Harold G. Neuman's picture

Harold G. Neuman

Thursday, May 18, 2023 -- 9:43 AM

I am not sure that this is

I am not sure that this is the right question. I say this because I don't think salvation of the human race is within the reach of art. Enrichment, maybe. But not salvation. I remain unconvinced regarding all the hoopla around artificial intelligence; what it can/will/should/could do for us. Dennett's article in The Atlantic further deepens my skepticism. There is already too much counterfeiting going on for my liking. I don't know what can save us. ..if anything can.

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Tim Smith's picture

Tim Smith

Friday, May 19, 2023 -- 8:27 AM

Harold,

Harold,

I'm glad you checked in here. I also read Dennett's article, and I have a different take - though going against Dan Dennett is a bit like pissing into the wind (a byproduct of patriarchy no doubt.) He is still full bore, and we all are lucky on that front. Much of his work anticipates the current state of AI and even affects our modern view. I honestly can't imagine my thought apart from his at this point; such is his influence.

Not to jack this thread for a discussion of AI, but I understand your segue here. DALL·E 2 and other art-smushing AI projects make Art a media of neural networking. I had difficulty responding to this prompt, but now that you have chimed in, let me zig with your zag.

The critical point for the time being is Art appreciation vs. Art creation. There isn't an AI on the planet that can appreciate Art as well as the average human, and I don't think there will be any time soon. Dennett's concern is tethering system control to AI, and Art is no system, as a metaphor is no analogy. Humans toss metaphors about in their brains without concern for extension. All an AI can do is dig extensions and report out connections. Systems extend into reality but are human constructs. A change in metaphor is needed to address the environmental concerns, not a new analogy. Art can do this to a tee, but not when concatenated and warped from the exploitation and oppression of past works. We need to rethink humans. That is the call of this show – which, again, I did not attend. Stanford is a long way from my reality.

As you and I know, Nick Riggles proposed Philosophy as Art on Eric Schwitzgebel's excellent blog not too long ago. I was put off by that proposition, only to find that melody haunts my reverie. Aesthetics are as fundamental to our everyday life as making your bed. The lack of thought I give to picking my latest stretchy pant of the day shows the power of aesthetics to address the day's issues.

Thanks for this post. As I mentioned, I was having difficulty putting down my thoughts, and your post helped quite a bit.

Best to you,

Tim

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Daniel's picture

Daniel

Monday, May 22, 2023 -- 4:50 PM

To your third paragraph's

To your third paragraph's distinction between metaphor and analogy above, compare a work of art with a human being. Both have value on their own independent of any use which might be made of them. Is this comparison based on a metaphor, an analogy, or something else?

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clara167's picture

clara167

Wednesday, December 20, 2023 -- 8:53 PM

I thoroughly appreciated your

I thoroughly appreciated your article. It aided in my comprehension of the subject and expanded my knowledge.
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