Dreams, Brains, Art, Symbol

October 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

“This is a major step toward reconstructing internal imagery,” said [Jack] Gallant.  “We are opening a window into the movies in our minds.”

“[N]o previous study has produced reconstructions of dynamic natural movies,” Gallant’s team pointed out on their website.  “This is a critical step toward obtaining reconstructions of internal states such as imagery, dreams and so on.”

-“Scientists Glimpse Images In Your Mind,” Carl Franzen, 9/23/11, idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com

18. Contemporary intellectual follies, part two: neuroscience.  Or rather, the glib wholesale transferral of the logic of neuroscience to the realm of culture.  Another trump card in a narrative of progress that presents itself as absolute, “objective”: the belief that art and literature can be “explained” by a discourse that has no bearing on them whatsoever.  As though the endless complexity of thought and interpretation demanded by Hamlet could be substituted by the act of taking a biopsy of Shakespeare’s brain, or the interminable challenges and provocations posed by Inland Empire neutralized by placing electrodes among Lynch’s strangely coiffured hair.  Meaning takes place in the symbolic, is constantly negotiated through language (be this spoken or visual), through the dynamism of metaphor, structured by desire, power, gender, and the rest.  This process is open, ongoing, and — most important — contestable.  That’s why we have art in the first place.

-“Declaration on the Notion of ‘The Future,'” The International Necronautical Society (Tom McCarthy), The Believer, Nov/Dec 2010

The Rabbit Family, Inland Empire

“Right.  I wanted you to tell me something.  That’s why I called,” Sumire said.  She lightly cleared her throat.  “What I want to know is, what’s the difference between a sign and a symbol?”

I felt a weird sensation, like something was silently parading through my head.  “Could you repeat the question?”…

I sat up in bed, switched the receiver from my left hand to my right.  “Let me get this straight — you’re calling me because you want to find out the difference between a sign and a symbol.  On Sunday morning, just before dawn.  Um…”

Sputnik Sweetheart, Haruki Murakami

Telephone booth at night, courtesy http://www.nmcclellan.com/travel-blog.php

She’s at the top of a tall tower.  So high it makes her dizzy to look down.  Lots of tiny objects, like airplanes, are buzzing around the sky.  Simple little planes anybody could make, constructed of bamboo and light pieces of lumber.  In the rear of each plane there’s a tiny fist-sized engine and propeller.  Sumire yells out to one of the passing pilots to come rescue her.  But none of the pilots pays any attention.

-“Sumire’s Dream,” Sputnik Sweetheart

Miu’s mind went blank.  I’m right here, looking at my room through binoculars.  And in that room is me….

I’ve felt this way for the longest time — that in a Ferris wheel in a small Swiss town, for a reason I can’t explain, I was split in two forever.

-“The Tale of Miu and the Ferris Wheel,” Sputnik Sweetheart

Ferris wheel in Basel, Switzerland, from gottofr's Flickr feed.

The answer is dreams.  Dreaming on and on.  Entering the world of dreams, and never coming out.  Living in dreams for the rest of time.

-“Document 1,” Sputnik Sweetheart

Understanding is but the sum of our misunderstandings.

-“Document 1,” Sputnik Sweetheart

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