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Re: Permanence vs. Impermanence



An amusing commentary on this sort of thing is
"Motel of the Mysteries", by David Macaulay - a satire
of archeological investigations, set in the United States
in the year 4022 AD (this in turn probably based on
"Body Ritual among the Nacirema" by Horace Miner.)
In "Motel",  our culture is wiped out by an avalanche
of junk mail - ironically, much of which is now printed
on acid-free paper.....

                                                               Kay

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Book_Arts-L: READ THE FAQ at http://www.philobiblon.com
> [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU]On Behalf Of Michael Joseph
> Sent: Thursday, December 21, 2000 8:53 AM
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
> Subject: Re: Permanence vs. Impermanence
>
>
> Of course, there's permanence and then there's permanence.
> What about the
> art object would one want to endure, exactly? The idea or
> inspiration will
> disappear with the inevitable change of culture, which come
> to think will
> radically alter the intended appearance of the object, as
> well, even if
> that object were miraculously to survive into the long-range
> projective
> ongoing present in exactly its original simon pure condition.
> Folk would
> look at it with vastly different expectations and interests,
> their highly
> peculiar notions of what one is supposed to see in a work of
> art altering
> the actual perception of the object. They are certain to have
> misconceptions about the past, and perhaps to feel the mixture of
> veneration and impatience the subscribers to this thread seem
> to feel in
> the presence of very old things. And this would warp the
> phenomenal object
> beyond even the fondest most proprietary artist's recognition. The
> permanence thread is reminiscent of Robert Graves's line, to invoke
> posterity is to weep on one's own gravestone. But, to this lugubrious
> intimation of mortality, and to Thuy's (and Shelly's), I would like to
> cite Edwin Denby's poem (to a photograph by Rudy Burckhardt), Mid-Day
> Crowd.
>
> When they build for a milion a day to use it,
> what is the point in say, five hundred years,
> Abroad they've still got the pyramid of Whoosis,
> Would it last in New York? The answer is, who cares.
>
> So many a day makes anything like forever:
> So a hydrant is (the joke is on the designer)
> So the shutter of a camera is open forever,
> So how's the fuckin wife, christ, couldn't be finer.
>
> Isolated, active, attractive, separated,
> Momentary, complete, neat, fragmentary,
> Ordinary, extraordinary, related,
> Steady, ready, harried, married, cute, astute, hairy.
>
> Created equal as they say, so where's the pity?
> In a split second a girl is forever pretty.
>
>
> -----
>
> Happy holidays!
>
> Michael Joseph
>
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