The Rationalist, the Empiricist and the Metaphysician


















Head, hand, heart.
Right, left, centre.
Yes, no, maybe.
On, off, neutral
White, black, grey.
Cognitive, psychomotor, affective.
X, Y, Z.
Concept, action, feeling.
Hue, saturation, brightness.
Rational, physical, spiritual.
Theory, practice, interpretation.
Conceive, build, ????
The Rationalist, the Empiricist and the Metaphysician (Sculpture)
This was the first in a series of works which attempt to incorporate the triangulation (or circularization) of a philosophical approach in the contextualization of work. In this case [the sculpture] it resulted from a series of article and current affairs programs about the politics of water in the middle-east. Water, an essential of life, was one of the assets at the centre of the middle-east struggle. This is not surprising; those who control water control this most basic of commodities and can use it as a powerful bargaining tool. Water in this case was a fine example of the inter-relationship of knowing, believing and feeling. The politics of water where about: the substance, the shortages, the geology, climate and geomorphology, the borders and the historic legacy of a colonial era and war, the movement [voluntary and involuntary] of populations, control, power and its strategic importance in the political and military struggle and a weapon of hatred and racism. The belief in rightness of cause and the assertion of human rights. Underlay these with the significance of the River Jordan and the Sea of Galilee in biblical history and the quasi-ethical and quasi-judicial justification this supports and there is a dense and convoluted maze which is the context of water.
The theme The Rationalist, the Empiricist and the Metaphysician is a relationship embodied in many, if not all, of the work produces since.
Initial interest in the triangular concept developed from a study of the relationship between a piece of furniture, the Thonet No14 Chair (the Vienna Café chair) and the prevailing conditions which contributed to its design and manufacture. This iconic artifact first brought to market in 1859 was a precursor of many of the tenets of modernism. The simplicity of its form and manufacture, six pieces of bentwood held together with screws and nuts.
The Rationalist, the Empiricist and the Metaphysician (Poem)
The rationalist says,
"The situation as prescribed by the circumstances,
Should be dismissed,
It's dangerous and unknown,
Without defined parameters,
It's out of control."
The empiricist,
Measures the distance between the eyes,
Their size, tone, hue and saturation,
Examines the profile of the nose,
And the curvature of the lips,
The height, the weight, the hair, the skin
And the angle of stance,
The tone of voice,
And the depth of words,
The metaphysician,
The beautiful is this,
And says
"Is always accompanied,
by pain?"
The Rationalist, the Empiricist and the Metaphysician (Video)
The poem, a love poem from 3 simultaneous reference points, is the text for the video [see The Rationalist, the Empiricist and the Metaphysician (Poem)].
The original text [English] is translated into French and German. This is itself is an interesting process. Transliteration would produce nonsense, especially with poetry, translation attempts to reach the spirit and meaning of the words often sacrificing the obvious for the greater context. Four readers, each reader has one of the languages as a mother tongue. Each have accent in the others. It is a love poem and the diversity in the group represents heterosexuality, homosexuality, bi-sexuality and asexuality. The words could relate to any combination, it is a statement of relationship with another in any loving context.
Each stanza is read in its natural order, the language changes though, through a sequence that takes us through all possible permutations. If you understand, equally well, English, French and German you will grasp all of the words in the shortest possible time; if you don't, recognition and understanding will be limited and take longer.
Meaning, translated into word, word translated into other word, accent adding subtle nuance and contextuality to meaning, a conversation across multiple gender relationships.
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