Wednesday, December 1, 2010

///On Emancipation///

[In response to the in class discussion on the proposition of an Emancipated Spectator]

We navigate the ether of life and language; each individual their own chosen fate, each according to affinities cultivated over time. Ranciere's  argument is not for an anarchistic breakdown of all language or known modalities of mutual understanding, instead it is a reminder to academics/artists/philosophers that one should not judge or assume by didactic persuasion that the conversation of learning is a linear trajectory. 

Ranciere interrogates the assumption that a viewer/student is a passive, spectator {a reevaluation of this term’s usage} that must be awoken to the truths of an experience orchestrated by the Author/Artist/Academic. Instead, he reminds us that our cognizance is ever active and our interchangeable roles as creator, schoolmaster and/or audience remain forever interactive. 

Ranciere offers not simply an exposition of ‘open work’, but further, elucidates a communicable exchange that honors interpretive possibility as well as a fertile understanding of the multiple dimensions of perspective that exist between artist/audience, student/schoolmaster.  

“We do not have to transform spectators into actors and ignoramuses into scholars. We have to recognize the knowledge at work in the ignoramus and the activity peculiar to the spectator.”

Whether it be an Iowa potato farmer or an audience leaving a Godard film [the examples offered in class]. All possess the perceptive ability to interpolate the complexity of language in daily life. Each an innate
potential for artful gesture and understanding regardless of social context.

The idea may sound utopic at times; but its merits are clear.

                                                                                                                                                                               Leif Huron

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