Do you have control (or does control have you) ?

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Solid                                  -                      Liquid
Known                               -                      Unknown
Certain                                -                      Uncertain
Control                               -                      Chaos
Familiar                              -                      Novel

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Hillman: ... "You are out of control," "I am out of control," are big sentences now in this culture.

And the important thing is to be able to control your behaviour, get your shit together. I think control is one of the most dangerous words we've got right now in our vocabulary.

First of all, it's a word that belongs with Honeywell, it's a "control systems" idea - that the controls (not the psyche or the Gods) are what run everything, run the ship, run the air conditioner, run the factory.

Second of all, it's a word that belongs in the police world. So it's a combination of technological and bureaucratic or oligarchic or fascist. And it's become an ideal of therapy!

Ventura: And yet when your life is out of control --

Hillman: When is your life out of control? Tell me about it.

Ventura: When you're falling in love your life's out of control. And when you're falling out of love.

Hillman: Your life is very out of control! Out of control.

Ventura: You get fired or let go or have an accident, your life's out of control.

Hillman: When you have a breakdown of any kind - bankruptcy, a death, a big illness - your life's out of control.

Do you realize the conditions we've just described are the great dramatic moments of life?

Ventura: Which we're supposedly living for!

Hillman: That's what we're living for. Falling in love, being heartbroken by love -

Ventura: - revelations that turn you inside out -

Hillman: - mourning and grief -

Ventura: - victory, defeat - because when you get a big victory you're often as out of control as when you're badly defeated -

Hillman: - losing it, finding it -

What is all this emphasis on control? Isn't that what they call secular humanism, to ban the Gods?

Ventura: We're banning the Gods -

Hillman: - with that control system.

Ventura: We want to control all the things you supposedly live for - all those things that, if you get to be an old person, and have not had them, you go, "What was my life about?"

Hillman: All the times you drove through the storm, all the times that bastard broke your heart.

Ventura: And the old-timers smile and cry when they tell the stories. So on one level what you want is to be out of control, and on another level you're fighting that. That's your dialectic.

That's called, being around on the planet.

Hillman (laughing): That's called being around on the planet.

[James Hillman]
with Michael Ventura
We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - And the World's Getting Worse, p.203, 204


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Classical music, like classical architecture, like many other classical forms, specifies an entity in advance and then builds it. Generative music doesn't do that, it specifies a set of rules and then lets them make the thing.

In the words of Kevin Kelly's great book, generative music is out of control, classical music is under control.

Now, out of control means you don't know quite what it's apt to do. It has it's own life. Generative music is unpredictable, classical music is predicted. Generative unrepeatable, classical repeatable. Generative music is unfinished, that's to say, when you use generative you implicitly don't know what the end of this is.

Generative music is sensitive to circumstances, that is to say it will react differently depending on its initial condition, on where it's happening and so on. Where classical music seeks to subdue them. By that I mean classical music seeks a neutral battleground, the flat field. It won't be comfortable -- with a fixed reverberation, -- not too many emergencies, and people who don't cough during the music basically.

Generative forms in general are multi-centered. There's not a single chain of command which runs from the top of the pyramid to the rank and file below. There are many, many, many web-like modes which become more or less active. You might notice the resemblance here to the difference between broadcasting and the Internet, for example.

[Brian Eno]
'Evolving metaphors, in my opinion, is what artists do'


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Related posts:-
Escaping Uncertainty
Live the straight and narrow
Taking the rough with the smooth 
Incursions of the Unknown
Step toward madness
Wild Things
I'm in Control

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