Student Journal

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

By H.C. Arnold, Cohort '09
Spring 2015

Since Eye and Mind first began in 2011, I have had the pleasure of participating on the editorial board. When the original five editors first met, we felt it was necessary to establish and provide a forum for our fellow classmates to publish their work while also learning what that that process entails. Little did I know that such an undertaking would involve my learning what it means to be an editor as well. Four years later, I can say it has been a wonderful process, and I am thankful for my time with the publication.

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Sense, Hyper-Thought and the Found Object

By Maria S. LaBarge, Cohort ’11
Spring 2015

Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass (Fig. 1) is a 340-ton granite boulder that was installed above a descending concrete ramp at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2011.  While Heizer designed the artwork in 1969, the work was not created until he found a massive boulder in an abandoned rock quarry in Riverside County, California some forty years later.  The work combines a constructed ramp, a shelf upon which the boulder rests, and the boulder itself, a found object framed and exhibited as art.  Viewers and critics responded to Heizer’s rock in a myriad of ways, some calling the work the “biggest embarrassment in L.A.”.    

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The Phenomenal Presence of Noumena

By Wilson Hurst,  Cohort ’13
Spring 2015

Beings think and live creatively when expectations and assumptions no longer epitomize existence. Overcoming preconceptions, perhaps art can catalyze an oblique access to an indefinite unknown something, thereby negating it as an unknown. The paradox of knowing involves an unknown something that is no longer an unknown. In the following exposition, I am interested in the possibility of exercising an aesthetic apophantic judgment as a circuitous process of revealing the noumena of existence, considered in terms of knowledge corresponding to reality. In other words, are indications of a mysterious unknown approachable in the potent perceptual presence of certain aesthetic experiences?

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We are all Graffiti Writers

By H.C. Arnold, Cohort '09
Spring 2015

In the film Wild Style, the scene prior to Lady Pink’s explanation that “nobody really knows him, it’s like his pieces are there, but who’s doing ‘em, we don’t know” (Ahearn) regarding the elusive graffiti writer ‘Zoro,’ involves the reporter befriending a group of very unlikely friends. She (the reporter, played by Patti Astor) has driven into Brooklyn searching out writers to interview when her car stalls out. Ahern does a decent job setting the scene up, following her from the nicer areas of New York into derelict Brooklyn, illustrating the clear poverty lines that divided the greater New York area in the early 1980s.

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On Mathesis Universalis

By Taryn Sweeney, Cohort '10
Spring 2014

Rene Descartes is christened the “father” of modernity on many scores and the term is aptly chosen. His methodology, with which modernity has supplanted his philosophy, served the patriarchal status quo of his time, and divorces science from poetic knowledge via a schism that echoes the Platonic misogyny found in Republic. Moreover, the Cartesian climate (not necessarily Descartes himself) has shifted the import of science from one of product to process, stripping poetics of ideological impact in light of its non-rational (immeasurable) characteristics. 

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Introduction: A Geneology of the Sublime

By Gregory Steel, Cohort '11
Spring 2014

Within the history of Western thought, the evolution of the discourse of the sublime offers a potential framework within which to open new pathways of inquiry revealing the underlying nature of being. Understanding shifts in the definition, function, form, and promise of the sublime is critical in order to manifest this contribution in a contemporary way. 

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Post-Site Contemporary Graffiti and Documentation

By H.C. Arnold, Cohort '09
Spring 2014

One of contemporary graffiti’s most problematic situations is its dependency on documentation. While many of the culture’s participants would denounce photography and film as the primary sites for their work, often making such predications based on the apparent authenticity of the urban environment, this discussion considers the reverse, positing that the ideologies and methodologies of the counterculture are best served through these modes of reproduction. In order to examine this claim, several different occurrences of these post-sites are considered here, analyzed from both the graffiti writer’s and the documenter’s perspectives.

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STORGE Homely and Heroic Love in Alison Bechdel's Fun Home and Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right

By Kathryn McFadden, Cohort '09
Spring 2013

Antigone (441 BCE), the ancient Greek tragic play about filial piety and family devotion, illustrates the quintessential dutiful daughter. Written by Sophocles, it is the tale of Antigone, one of four children born of the incestuous relationship between King Oedipus and his mother Jocasta. Oedipus does not realize until after the fact that his queen-wife is actually his mother, he blinds himself in remorse and exiles himself from his kingdom. 

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Dead Indian

By Arlinda Henderson, Cohort '10
Spring 2013

In this critique I will address ethics as they relate to the way in which Native [1] Americans are depicted in Western modernity, and will argue that proximity, in space and time, is vital when considering ethics of the Other. [2] I will focus mainly on ethics as they relate to space, and particularly the profound effect of the daw (gap; space) [3] that is between subjects; the proximity of the other. It is the proximity of the other where we, not only understand and appreciate differences, but also where conflict seems inevitable. 

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TOWARDS A HUSSERLIAN AESTHETIC A Transcendental Phenomenological Orientation to Kandinsky's Creative Process

By Bob Carroll, Cohort '09
Spring 2013

Employing a Husserlian phenomenological methodology, this paper argues that that two interwoven and interdependent components form the aesthetic and spiritual animus driving Wassily Kandinsky’s creative process, merging in the midst of that process into a single impetus that eventually yielded the artist’s nonobjective abstraction. 

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The Human Genome, Cleve Jones, the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, & the 1980s

By Heather E. Dunn, 2014 IDSVA Graduate
Spring 2012

AIDS, human genome research, and shifting cultural notions of the family (influenced in part by new medical technologies) are three distinct elements that became part of the sociocultural fabric of the 1980s.  More than two decades later, this time period is remembered as a patchwork of changing political, social, and cultural views.  

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The Locus of Thought: Places as a Focus for Thinking

By Gregory Blair, 2015 IDSVA Graduate
Spring 2012

Throughout her reading of the Socratic dialogues, Hannah Arendt frequently returns to the notions of thinking and doing. In many ways, her reading can be considered a re-reading, one that is directed at the core of Socratic philosophy, and that leaves aside the intermediary rhetoric of his student, Plato. In the context of her own meditations on collective responsibility and the existence of a moral imperative, Arendt uses Socrates’s ideas as a philosophical threshing tool, separating the “wheat” of ethics and thought from the “chaff” of doing. 

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To Tell a Riddle: Metaphysics, Aesthetics and Ethics in the Philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein

By Michael R. Smith, 2013 IDSVA Graduate
Spring 2012

There are probably few philosophers who were more endowed with such a keen aesthetic sense of the poeticpossibility of philosophical language as Wittgenstein was.  Perhaps only Nietzsche exceeds him in this respect.  Regardless of whether such an assertion can be substantiated or not, I should very much like to take seriously the claim that we cannot entirely understand the better part of what Wittgenstein has to say unless we read him as approaching the philosophical discourse first and foremost as a form of poetic composition.

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The Domestic Sublime

By Sara Christensen Blair, Cohort '08
Spring 2012

This dissertation explores the notion of what I call the domestic sublime. The impetus of this investigation is the artwork of Tara Donovan and Liza Lou.  These artists create artwork that evokes a sublimity rooted in domesticity. ‘Domesticity’ commonly refers to any labor, activity or material related to, in or around the home.  The additional moniker of domestic to the sublime reflects the combination of constant, unending repetition of materials and labor. These materials, such as toothpicks, beads and Styrofoam cups are banal and seemingly infinite in our capitalist market. What could possibly be sublime about an aesthetic expression that utilizes millions of toothpicks, beads, or stacks of plastic cups? They are sublime because of the laden excess and presentation of infinity manifested in the process, materials and form. Immanuel Kant writes that the sublime “by its presence provokes, a representation of limitlessness.” [1] The “limitlessness” in the case of the domestic sublime resides in the presentation of excess labor, materials and potential.

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Mourning the Ever Present Past: Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Kristeva on Art and Being

By Christopher Lonegan, 2013 IDSVA Graduate
Spring 2012

The oxygen machine punctuates our conversation, as its tubing dislodges a hearing aid, and she fusses with impatience at the inconvenience of breathing, the betrayals of the body, the persistence of the will. I take her hand, feeling the hard pressure of mortality beneath her skin, thrusting with clandestine insistence towards the surface, signaling an inevitable end…Silently, I name the bones of her hand; carpals, metacarpals, phalanges…I list muscles and tendons; adductors, flexors, abductors…I describe to myself their function and form. I draw them; only art can portray being.

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