So here it is, without my wonderful content page but im sure if you are crazy enough to wanna read it then ull manage pretty well without it. I would advise against it tho, i’m not a writer. (.pdf by the way)
I’m desperately trying to put together this essay which at the moment consists only of random knowledge and an excessive amount of quotations. Hopefully it will all fit together nicely… eventually. I’m still struggling with how the layout of the paper is suppose to be, Andy mentioned that it should start with the abstract and then the 5 words… and then the introduction and the rest of the paper? I’m also not sure if we are suppose to have the illustrations in the paper or after it? I prefer to put them in the paper but during my dissertation we were told to put it at the end…
Yet again im getting distracted, its the ski jumping large hill competition, damn Olympics!!!
I have a bit more crap that will eventually turn in to a paper (hopefully soon,very soon)
i looked up a bunch of artists that work with food and i ended up finding a lot of crap, the kind of “art” you can find in the Metro, like Jason Macier, who makes celerity portraits our of sweets, and he was among the best i could find, well almost.
Here are some cooler ones:
Carl Warner, his amazing landscapes are made entirely out of food, they take days to put together. Its not really disgusting at all but i think they look cool, thus sharing.
Dieter Roth is more interesting with his sculptures with rotting foods, must look more in to his stuff.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo I mentioned before, i love his more disgusting paintings, like the one made out of fish.
Helen Chadwick (no need to mention why)
Liz Wolfe, i really like her work, its defiantly worth looking up, he work is beautiful and disgusting.
There were a lot more i found but most dont really qualify, they are amazing at their respective crafts, but its still just craft. Like making patterns in fruit…. woopdidoo.
Right I also have a few more important theorists, some of these I have mentioned before but i figured i should add all so i have them all in the same place.
So first there is Darwin, the first person to seriously look in to the workings of disgust, tho only about 7 pages.There is also Freud, and Kant, Susan Miller and William Ian Miller, Andras Angyal and Paul Rozin both very influential on the subject, and Rozin supports of Darwins theory about disgust being an oral defence. Mary Douglas theroies are supported by William Ian Miller, she suggests that disgusts ofthen happens when something becomes polluting by being out of place. I’m gonna get back to some of these people further down.
Here are some more bits and bobs from various book ive been reading:
“Darwin is right about the etymology of disgust. It means unpleasent to the taste. But one wonders whether taste would figure so crucially in Darwin’s account if the etymology hadn’t suggested it. The German Ekel , for instance, bearns no easaly discernible connection to taste. Did that make it easier for Freud to link disgust as readily with the anal and genital as with the oral zone?”
“I use the word (disgust) to indicate a complex sentiment that can be lexically marked in English by expressions declaring things or action to be repulsive, revolting, or giving rise to reactions described as revulsion and abhorrence as well as disgust.”
“…it only becomes disgusting by the “strong association… between the sight of food… and the idea of eating it.” But this can’t be right. The sight sight of the man with his beard befouled is disgusting long before any idea of eating the soup on his beard ever would, if ever it could, occur to us. The association of ideas is not of seeing food in a beard and then imagining eating that food. If the soup is disgusting as food, it is so only because beard hair is in it. Now that is disgusting. We could see this, in accordance with the structural theory of Mary Douglas, as a manifestation of things becoming polluting by being out of place. ”
“Darwin was the first to risk studying disgust in its own right.”
“Freud was more expancive; he lumped disgust with shame and morality, treating then as “reaction formation” whose function it is to inhibit the consummation of unconscious desire.”
some stuff about Andras Angyal:
“Angyal understands disgust to be directed against close contact with certain objects with the associated fear of being soiled.These objects are usually wastes of the human and animal body.”
“His disgust is richley cognitive and social, not some primitive hard-wired reflex.”
So Angyal suggests that disgust is an emotion created mainly by society and not something we are born with. Study s of so called wolf children, childeren brought up without much if any human contact, shows that they do not experience disgust. A dead canary was given to a boy brought up with out humans, and he showed no disgust with it, he took it, tore off all of its feathers and opened the bird to smell is, but then threw it away. He threw it not because it was disgusting but because he did not want to eat it. No animals show signs of disgust either.
“He argues for a core disgust centred on oral incorporation and food rejection. Taste is the core sense, the mouth is the core location, ingestion and rejeaction via spitting or vomiting the core actions.”
“Disgust is organized by laws of sympathetic magic: a law of similarity holds that similarities in appearance mean deeper similarities in substance, and a law of contamination holds that once in contact always in contact.”
Rozin did research in to “core disgust”, and in early research he sugested, like Darwin, that disgust was mainly centred around taste, and the mouth and food.
“In later works the core expands beyond food to include bodily products and animals and their wastes and then fine additional domains: sex, hygiene, death, violations of the body envelope (gore, amputations), and socio-moral violations. All these are gathered under one new generalizing theory of disgust: a psychic need to avoid reminders of our animal origins.”
” a connection between disgust and ideas of contamination and contagion.”
“Disgust owes what little acceptability it has as a topic of academia disciurse to two main developments, one social and cultural, the other more narrowly intellectual: (1) The general loosening of norms surrounding once taboo topics of bodily functions and sexuality, what we might more tendentiously call the coarsening or pornographization of publick discourse; (2) the resurgence across a multitude of disiplines of interest in the emptions”
“Disgust is an emotion”
“Emotioes are feelings linked to ways of talking about those feelings, to social and cultural paradigms that make sense of those feelings by giving us a basis for knowing when they are properly felt and properly displayed. Emotions, even the most visceral, are richly social, cultural, and linguistic phenomena.”
“Disgust is a feeling about something and in repose to something, not just raw, unattached feeling. (that’s what the stomach flu is)”
“The world is a dangerous place in which the polluting powers of the low are usually stronger then the purifying powers of the high”
“A teaspoon of sewage will spoil a barrel of wine, but a teaspoon of wine will do nothing for a barrel of sewage”
“To feel disgust is human and humanizing, Those who have a very high thresholds of disgust and are hence rather insensitive to the disgusting we think of as belonging to somewhat different categories: proto humans like children, subhuman like the mad, or superhuman like saints .”
“When something has a taste we do not like, we do not feel contaminated by it unless it also disgusts us; when something disgusts us, however, we feel tainted, burdened by the belief that anything that comes in to contact with the disgusting thing also acquires the capacity to disgust as a consequence of that contact.”
“it is culture, not nature, that draws the lines between defilement and purity, clean and filthy.”
“Disgust shocks, entertains bu shocking, and sears itself into memory”
“Disgust ranges more widely then we may wish, for it judges ugliness and deformity to be moral offences. It knows no distinction between the moral and the aesthetic, colapsing failures in both into an undifferentiated revulsion”
Wow, that is a lot of stuff, i almost feel like i need to narrow down, off course not all of this will be in the paper, i deffo need to fing the citations that work best for my case. That said i need to find a case. I suppose it would be Kant saying that nothing can be beautiful and disgusting at the same time that im aruging against, but most of me research is just on disgust. All this says that disgust is an emotion, its is put upon us by culture and not by our nature. Now im gonna read up on some artists and then its Olympics time again!
So i thought id post some of the stuff thats come up during my research paper research, ive been looking in to all sorts and reading all sorts, some useful some not so much (like watching tv, and listening to the entire 7 harry potter audio books…)
So this is the books i have been looking at so far:
The Anatomy of Disgust by William Ian MIller – Its a really interesting but possibly to in-depth and far to long book on disgust, but its been the most useful one so far…
On Garbage by John Scanlan – this book is all about garbage and how it has changed our lives and all sorts of stuff, the most interesting bits was the chapter on garbage and art and the one on garbage and the uncanny.
Purity and Danger by Mary Douglas
History of Shit by Dominique Laporte – this book is not as fun as it sounds… its all about how shit changed our society and cities way back when, ive stoped reading it now as i dont care and its not relevant…
Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of art by Matthew Kieran – I read a very interesting essay by Carolyn Korsmayer called Terrible Beauties that was very interesting and i got a few good quotations from it that ill mentioned in a little bit
I also wanna look at the Sensations book and the Apocalypse book, i know the into to apocalypse has some really good references.
Im also reading some Kant stuff, and some of the stuff he said will be the main kind of point of my paper. Also Darwin will come in handy and possibly Freud.
Citations n stuff
SO the main citation im using and i suppose arguing (probably against) is one from Kant, i have yet to find the whle quote from him tho, this is from this article called Beauty and the Beastly by Arthur C. Danto found here:
Beautiful art, Kant wrote, can represent as “beautiful things which may be in nature ugly or displeasing.” But the disgusting is the only “kind of ugliness which cannot be represented in accordance with its nature without destroying all aesthetic satisfaction.”
And this one also from Kant that basically says the same thing:
“There is only one kind of ugliness that cannot be presented in conformity whit nature without obliterating all aesthetic liking and hence artistic beauty; that ugliness that arouses disgust”
Some other citations that might be important in my paper:
Darwin in The Expression and Emotion of Man and Animals:
“The term “Disgust,” in it’s simplest sense, means something offensive to the taste. It is curious how readily this feeling is excited by anything unusual in the appearance, odour, or nature of our food. In Tierra del Fuego a native touched with his finger some cold meat which I was eating at our bivouac, and plainly showed utter disgust at its softness; whilst I felt utter disgust at my food being touched by a naked savage , though his hands did not appear dirty. A smear of soup on a man’s beard looks disgusting, though there is of course nothing disgusting in the soup itself. I presume that this follows from the strong associations in out minds between the sight of food, however circumstanced, and the idea of eating it.”
Another from Kant:
“Nothing is so much set against the beautiful as disgust”
In the essay Terrible Beauty (mentoned above) Korsmayer mentiones:
“Fear, grief, pity and other discomforting emotions have a long histry in philosophy of art, disgust has no such ancestry”
“It must be granted that most art that threads on disgust is not beautiful- nor is it intended to be”
Ehm im not really sure what purpose the last two have in my paper but i wrote them down in my notebook for some reason so i figured id put then up…
Other stuff + moral disgust
So i figured i have to decide specific stuff to look in to aswell, a long with some terms/words that i need to explain.
I need to find a definition of disgust and of beauty, and also mention like other words related i guess…
I also need to talk about moral disgust as well.
Darwin mentioned that disgust is basically an oral defence, and the feeling comes from our association between seeing food and the idea of eating that food.
There is a researcher at the uni of Virginia who also does research in to what he calls “core disgust”, and he too says that disgust is, in its basic form, an oral defence. I’m gonna look more in to his research too.
Yeah so then there is moral disgust, where our taught and social morals comes in, and tells us that making fun of people with disabilities is wrong, or that having a go at peoples religion isnt great fun either. That pissing in a glass and popping a crucifix maybe isnt a good idea, and that making children cry just to get a photo of them is bad. There is often a clash between our moral disgust and out disgust, say for instant when we feel disgusted by someone who are deformed or sick or something.
Someone said that disgust by death or murder etc is only apparent (except for moral disgust) when there is a lot of blood and gore in the painting/sculpture/whatever, so the chapman brothers work, or their hero Goyas work can be experienced as disgusting, while Leonardo da Vinci anatomic drawings are beautiful due to their lack of blood and gore. But not everyone finds Goyas work to be disgusting…
I want to look into the effect good skills has on our experience of disgust and beauty, maybe something that is very well crafted can be beautiful despite of its content.
George Santayana described beauty as “pleasure regarded as the quality of the thing” but i just got confused as to what that means, ill have to get back to it later.
I wanna look at artists whos work i find hold both beautiful and disgusting qualities at the same time, and also some artists that work solely with one or the other. So like Damien Hirsts Butterfly paintings, Paul McCarthy, Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s garbage shadows, Da Vinci’s anatomic drawings, Jennifer Angus’ bug wallpapers, and lots more really. I also wanna look at some of the reactions the work got. I’d pup some links up but im feeling lazy!
– STRUCTURE! Finding a decent structure to the paper that is logical!
– Getting everything to tie together nicely and within the context.
– Writing the damn thing
– The fact the the winter Olympics 2010 is on! I have solved part of the problem: BBC is only covering the alpine, the snowboarding and the figure skating for some reason, but i found a great site where I can watch the Norwegian coverage of the games HERE. But i still have to find time in the day to sleep, work, write, eat and be somewhat social… And its not like i can NOT watch, I am Norwegian after all!
The main objective in my project proposal is to further develop my current artistic practice in two different ways;
1- Transitioning from printed media in to moving image
2- Develop a stronger understanding of the theoretical aspects of my practice, specifically the use of aesthetic tools as a means to create beauty.
Considering the theme of my research paper i have decided to focus more on the practical side of the project. In my research paper I am looking in to disgust and i think this research will feed my practical work enough for the time being. As part of my research I did create a website in order to collect what other people think is disgusting or beautiful, and at the moment the site has had more then 5,500 visits, not everyone have contributed but it’s turning out pretty good. The words should come in handy later in the project, if not directly influencing the look of the work, they will serve as a great source of inspiration.
I mentioned in my project proposal the possibility for interactive work, but at the moment i have let that thought go. I’m mainly trying to figure out what software i want to use and what sort of animation i want to use. At the moment I am experimenting with the animation function in Photoshop and I’m using a stop motion software called istopmotion. Later i want to export to Final Cut Pro and After Effects.
I have decided not to look in to aesthetics, at least not as much as i first thought i would. It is a vast subject area and 9 out of 10 books on the subject appears to be focusing on the female body in some way or another. Instead of beauty I’ll be focusing my research on disgust (mainly for my research paper), so I have been looking in to different aspects of disgust and different theories on the subject, like instinct vs culture. Understanding the subject matter should make me able to create work that effects the senses even more efficiently.
With regards to the learning outcomes listed in the course handbook my main problem area is actually creating a study plan. The first outcome listed in the handbook is “Develop your own Project proposal to plan a challenging and self-directed program of study”, I find this the most difficult of the lot. This fall I managed to get everything organised in time for my exhibition in Norway and at the same time keep my job and move house, but only just (and i did eventually loose my job). But I’m not up for that kind of stress again. I know my aims and objectives, and I’m pretty sure of what i need to do next and what i need to do after that, but i have not written any time limits or deadlines down for anything, so that is probably what I need to do next rather then having everything floating around in my head. I do realise that a study plan is probably more about what you study rather then what times you study, but having a structure would make everything a little easer.
Or WHY ARE WE DISGUSTED WITH THE SOUP IN THE BEARD?…
Yesterday we did a quick run-threw of the research paper questions and as usual when it comes to any written work i am way behind… But it was good, and i managed to jolt down some note before it was my turn and I think i already had a lot of it sorted out in my brain already.
So my initial idea was to look at beauty and aesthetics and blah blah blah but that stuff is really boring so I changed my mind and decided to go with disgust instead, and its way more interesting. So I was reading in “The Anatomy of Disgust” and in there i found a quote by Darwin: “… A smear of soup in a mans beard looks disgusting, thought there is of course nothing disgusting in the soup itslef. I presume that this follows from the strong association in out minds between the sight of food, and the idea of eating it” (See the whole quote in the post “Bleh”)
I find that the most effective aspects in my work (at lest on the disgusting side of it) is the mixture of food and bugs, because ppl immediately associate the food with the idea of eating it. Like this one, with the butterflies on the meat, and the meat on the sweets:
So i was thinking to look in to the different theories of disgust and what is instincts and what is culture, but that dont really have much to do with art..But it is a good place to start. So I’ll be looking at artists that work with food, and especially in situations where it is suppose to be disgusting. Andy was also saying i should look at the differences of using disgusting imagery to promote a feeling of disgust and disgust to ad shock value. Like looking at Damien Hirst and how he uses meat to create something that shocks instead if disgusts. So like shock and disgust in contemporary art using food…
Ugh, i have now spent most of the day deleting spam from disgustingbeautiful.com, its great fun, alex who made the site is talking to the guy that did the programming, so hopefully we will get something sorted asap!
The stress of the last few weeks has finally gone away and left me completely unable to do anything… well that and the fact that i have been left without internet for the last 5 days… And i1m not about to write an essay on my stupid phone.
I have been reading a lot lately, to try and get a grip on this whole research paper thingy, i should have posted a proposal on the blog, but because of the stupid internet never arriving i have yet to put it up and i somehow managed to leave it at home when going to uni today.
First i was gonna write about beauty and stuff but i dont think i will anymore, disgust is way more interesting! I’m reading The anatomy of disgust at the moment, by William Ian Miller, and its pretty interesting. I still dont have a question ready or anything tho, i probably wont have one until the paper is finished.
I like this bit that Darwin wrote about disgust in The Expression and Emotion of Man and Animals:
The term “Disgust,” in it’s simplest sense, means something offensive to the taste. It is curious how readily this feeling is excited by anything unusual in the appearance, odour, or nature of our food. In Tierra del Fuego a native touched with his finger some cold meat which I was eating at our bivouac, and plainly showed utter disgust at its softness; whilst I felt utter disgust at my food being touched by a naked savage , though his hands did not appear dirty. A smear of soup on a man’s beard looks disgusting, though there is of course nothing disgusting in the soup itself. I presume that this follows from the strong associations in out minds between the sight of food, however circumstanced, and the idea of eating it.
I like this alot and it hits my work stop on (not the bit about the native savage, but the bit about the beard) and its the type of disgust im using in my work, i guess i call it disgust by association. Its what i want to look closer in to…
ok been sat in the cellar for almost two hours now waiting for someone to come here and teach us more about arduino boards and stuff but no one has showed up! YEY!