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The Fixed Subject

The Fixed Subject
by Paige Lunde, Cohort ’13

The subject’s depth of control in forming ideology reveals our relation to form and content. Form and ideology are rooted in Platonic and Kantian pure form, realized in our topological study throughout our Berlin residency. Platonic or Kantian pure form glorifies formal purity through an Ideal object, disregarding content. The problem with designating pure form causes a dominating control over meaning.

Why is the presence of form important to ideology? This question grounds a struggle over who owns meaning. Plato designated eternal form in an attempt to exert an authorial position over meaning. His position valued the Ideal, as with the Kantian project to create a constant, measurable approach. This reveals man’s exertion of control over meaning by creating a monological structure that determines thought.

Lunde, Paige. Arborescence. Digital Photo, Istanbul, 2014.

Ideology presents the content of social conflict. Separating form is the inverse of Hegelian engagement. In Berlin, German Idealism reached its apex through Hegel’s positioning of the relation of consciousness to art and history. Howard Caygill presents this idea in his social critique of human interaction at Potzdamer Platz, an interaction with architecture that forms topological ideologies of consciousness to form and space.

In Paris, Manet and Degas began modernism by departing from the patriarchal narrative, by breaking the structure they were defined within. Ideologies manifest as each epoch deals with their subjective relation to form and content. Each epoch juxtaposes previous and future periods, each subsuming the past, stratified by particulars.

In Istanbul, the connection between form and ideology appears in the writing of T.E. Lawrence and reconstituted in the dialogue between Deleuze and Guattari. Where Kantian pure form allows the aristocrat the chance to escape through aesthetic universal transcendence, the Deleuzian form realizes the idea in a rhizomatic structure. Deleuze understands the nomad as a form connecting multiple meanings, disseminating the germ of meaning in multiple spaces.

Why can’t form and content be separated? In truth, they are bound just as time and space cannot be pulled apart. But still, even the illusion of separation exerts a dangerous control that creates Idealism. The entanglement of form and ideology impacts becoming as mankind wakens to its own ability to engage in meaning for the greater good of co-existence.