Author: Thomas Dreher  
Posted: 11.11.2002; 22:41:11
Topic: Question 6
Msg #: 608 (in response to 428)
Prev/Next: 607/609
Reads: 97147

To Michael and his answer 6/12:
You wrote: "...would it be fair to say that the avoidance of problem-solving is an horizon of escape from problems?" You try to summarize my last remarks on the term "pandemonium". I prefer to relate "pandemonium" not with "strategic retreats" but with some efforts to solve problems. I don´t deconstruct your argument but I try to change the route of the discourse.
If you conceptualize processes of rationalization as an exclusion of problems which don´t fit into the reductive procedures (of modernization or whatever) then systems theory offers an alternative. Niklas Luhmann conceptualizes the processes of differenciation. They lead to autonomous systems with different capabilities to react to data input. Systems interpenetrate with the surroundings and with other systems because they are closed. These systems are open for contacts with their surroundings because they are closed. Systems theory proposes this complementarity of openness and closedness as a basic feature of generalized media of communication. This feature replaces the dichotomy of closed and open systems.
More complex autopoietic systems produce a wider sensibility to their surroundings, other systems included. Developped expansions and revisions of self differentiation (for the richness of complexity and the simplicity of abstraction) lead to more capababilities to interpenetrate with the surroundings and other systems on different levels.
You can install "pandemonium" as a term for the surroundings. But then I have to ask how you can avoid an essentialization of the external life-world as something given for observation. You can ask from a point of view of a deessentialised theory how you can expand and revise your ways to observe the world for the win of a wider sensibility to react. But no theory of observation will postulate a reality before observation, because operations of observation constitute cognitive (re)constructions of reality. Reality is not given as an external matter but it is constituted and constructed in cognitive processes (second order cybernetics).
How can you speak of an external "pandemonium" meanwhile your own observations imply a structure of the world? Are you able to observe the unobservable in another kind than with reflections on the inevitable blind spots of observation (you can´t view in every direction at once, but you can divide observation in sequenced operations)?
Maybe it is better to speak about situations where the talk of a "pandemonium" can help. Then it is more a manner to speak about experiences in the world than an argumentation. For example: We speak about objects and the reflections of light on these objects as if a three dimensional world is given, meanwhile impressionism and futurism followed the natural sciences of their time and tried to show how fluid our observations are: You have observation processes instead of a given world. [Ann.: Instead of the right or wrong ontology you differenciate between conceptualizations for the observation of the world (see Michael Baldwin contra Terry Atkinson in 1970 against a kind of criticism who knows the philosophical problems of ontology than the rest of the world)]. If we proceed with our talk of objects as if a three dimensional world is given then we use this kind of talk because of its simplicity and we must not imply any philosophical truth. If such manners to talk about the surroundings interfere or penetrate each other then ideologies can arise which provoke political situations of domination, terror etc.: Is this a situation where a talk of a "pandemonium" can be helpful? Then it is a term for processes which have to be disentangled.
This results f. e. in a deconstruction of the origins of ideologies. But deconstructions are rational processes. The methodological foundations of deconstructive operations are results of reflections on different manners to isolate different arbitrary, but coded connections. Self reflections (reflection of reflections=reflexivity) are unavoidable from a constructivistic point of view. Deconstructions of self observations are parts of cognitive operations which use reflexivity for self transformations.
This kind of deessentialism was part of the "programme" of Art & Language in the seventies (with methodic foundations which can be reconstructed and refined with the help of systems theory). The "programme" of Art & Language with its deessentialism remains relevant after the millenium.
You can actualize the discourse of Art & Language as a bridge from concept art to from a point of view, which reconstructs networks not as separated but build on systems. The first two index systems (Index 01 and 02) are systems, meanwhile "Blurting in A & L" offers a network. This reconstruction of conceptual systems and networks offers a horizon of problems for a beginning of a history `from concept art to´, I hope. Thomas Dreher (


Last update: Sunday, December 1, 2002 at 9:13:50 PM.