The Embodied Mind.

A Fishy Idea faux-painted masonite with watercolor and colored pencil inserts,
48″ x 34″ 1985.

I have been after this idea for a long time since a trip to the Galapagos in 1978 (at least). In college I got just a whiff of Merleau-Ponty’s smart thinking, and through John Dewy’s Art as Experience (1934), required reading in Art History 101 (that’d be 1966), there was a pointed finger at this idea of the embodied mind. Dewey saw the experience of Art as an embodying experience. The mid-century conceptual artists to which I had aspirations, saw Art that wanted to live in the mind; no need to slave away over that auto-body fine finish, just a sentence or two would do the trick of enlivening that embodied mind. But, there is something about the “stuff” of the world that enlivens us to have ideas and act on those ideas.

Most of philosophy saw the rational mind as something outside. A Platonic ideal cave-wall shadow. An entity on its own. Weird. (weird to me anyway). The conjectures of Physics (Einstein, Bohr, et al.) were often seen as thought experiments. Then, in the pop-culture world of the sixties, the psychedelic revolution put the embodied mind front n’ center along with the wash of Eastern Gurus saying even though “transcendence” was the goal, it was impossible to travel there without a body. So…get out your Yoga mats girls & boys!

Reason itself dances inside the body. The Post-Modern idea of all thought being contingent on context, that truth was an arbitrary condition, exists as an affront to the real workings of the mind, the brain, the body as a living creature. Living in a sea of metaphor.

“A predicate calculus is a formal system (a formal language and a method of proof) in which one can represent valid inferences among predications, i.e., among statements in which properties are predicated of objects.”

Coming into the AI world of computational meaning, we hit the wall of metaphor.

Truth is mediated by embodied understanding and imagination, our common embodiment allows for truths that transcend. It is the metaphors of Art that allow us to be embodied in the world. Our minds are largely unconscious, churning away, the Art that springs out comes from a common aquifer, Art allows access to, and simultaneously draws from the well. If I know anything from 50+ years in the Art-studio it is this.

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