Monday, February 15, 2010

from Retallack's Experimental Feminine

Which is to say, experiment and tradition should, in an ideal world, form the dialogic energy that creates vital cultures. In fact nothing of interest happens without this synergy which is not to say that it’s business as usual. Our Western cultural image resembles a brain with a severed corpus callosum—each side functionally innocent of the other. Did an evil surgery occur while we were all asleep in one fairy tale or another? One side happily thinks everything is simple; the other side unhappily thinks everything is complex. In this chronic bifurcation, a potentially collaborative “we” is missing the fact that complex dynamics aren’t monsters lurking in forests, threatening the simple pleasures of blue skies. They are the forest. They are the blue skies. They are our entire natural-cultural environment. They may indeed consume us, but this is only a grim certainty if we don’t embrace them with respect and understanding. Since Mandelbrot presented us with computer models of the fractal geometry of nature, we have recognized the beauty in forms of chaos, which is inherently fractal. It was apparent before in turbulent romantic landscapes, but not yet identified as global dynamic principle. Perhaps our dysfunction, at this point has less to do with a paucity of intellectual and aesthetic evidence than the lingering wound of Occam's razor regularly sharpened by market logics. Chaos theorists may tell us that things are not as simple as we’d like them to be, but can we afford to believe that?

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