"Everything tends to make us believe that there exists a certain point of the mind at which life and death, the real and the imagined, past and future, the communicable and the incommunicable, high and low, cease to be perceived as contradictions."
...André Breton


the text of the original
from Barrett John Erickson,
Wm. Dubin, and C.L. Myers

Some comments on artistic space
and wormholes

Wm. Dubin

on Convulsive Beauty, and
Beyond the Language of Logic
and other texts by
C.L. Myers

Reunion of Metaphor
Barrett John Erickson
other stuff

In spite of its simplicity, our model succeeds in showing some properties of the evolution of complex systems, and in particular, the difficulty of "governing" a development determined by multiple interacting elements. Each individual action or each local intervention has a collective aspect that can result in quite unanticipated global changes.

...Ilya Prigogine & Isabelle Stengers
Order Out of Chaos

We are born with desire and an innate drive to pursue it, to explore, to experiment, to define, and to understand. It is with the analysis of these intuitive investigations, as we develop reflexive consciousness and begin to recognize and probe our separation from all that is not me, that the outline of our "self" evolves.

Experiments show that when faced with cognitive dissonance, as when our personal definition of "self" is confronted by the inherent need to assimilate conflicting actions ("it's so unlike me") into an integrated whole, resolution always subordinates and usually modifies belief structures.

We define (and re-define) the "self" continuously based on our spontaneous, pre-rational actions. AESTHETIC AUTOMATISM began with that premise:

We do before we are, and what we do first is pursue intuitive desire.

Our second premise is that the experimental, evaluative process which forms the "self" from our infant explorations is inevitable (assuming the typical development of reflective consciousness).

What we recognize is that a "self" which emerges freely and spontaneously from the pursuit of desire, is also essentially a living "AESTHETIC" -- but one which has a very different meaning, than commonly applied. Rather than falsely implying some illusive concept of objective "beauty" or "rules of art", for us the "AESTHETIC" becomes something personal and unique to each individual, developing from the same explorations, experiments and evaluations which form the "self".

The difference between "self" and "AESTHETIC" is revealed at the moment we fracture, belief systems FRAGGED by some spontaneous action in the pursuit of intuitive desire. The "self" will be modified, the "AESTHETIC" either strengthened or mutilated.

The path of least psychological and social resistance and, therefore, easiest way, simply lunges for the "crazy glue", as simple a rationalization of the specific action as can be fabricated from the carnage, while leaving all larger implications (especially as they relate to desire) unexplored and unchallenged. "AESTHETIC" development is retarded, bound into restrictive garments where it deforms into a hateful pomposity.

By contrast, recognizing the primacy and freeform potential of spontaneous action, so aptly demonstrated from the earliest experiments of the Surrealist Movement, but also recognizing the inevitability of "AESTHETIC" development, AESTHETIC AUTOMATISM is an attempt to engage, rather than deny, the larger adventure to be found in the active pursuit and directed, purposeful, experimental exploration of the directions merely indicated by pure AUTOMATIST activity.


Some additional

background notes


Links of special interest:

Sorry, this is a very old page.
Because too many were broken, all outside links have been disabled.

Groupe de Paris du Mouvement Surréaliste

Surrealistgruppen i Stockholm

(The Group of Czech and Slovak Surrealists)
45 Houses
from the Starfish Surrealists
(in Utah)
The Surrealist Group of Wisconsin

The Surrealism Server
(created and managed by lynn bry)

The MELMOTH group & Scarabeus

Wm. Dubin

Pierre Petiot

Carlos Martins

Michael Betancourt

Alan Gullette

David Walters
Lawrence R. Parkes
More Links to Other Places

To return to our understanding of life and evolution, we are now in a better position to avoid the risks implied by any denunciation of reductionism. A system far from equilibrium may be described as organized not because it realizes a plan alien to elementary activities, or transcending them, but, on the contrary, because the amplification of a microscopic fluctuation occurring at the "right moment" resulted in favoring one reaction path over a number of other equally possible paths. Under certain circumstances, therefore, the role played by individual behavior can be decisive. More generally, the "overall" behavior cannot in general be taken as dominating in any way the elementary processes constituting it. Self-organization processes in far-from-equilibrium conditions correspond to a delicate interplay between chance and necessity, between fluctuations and deterministic laws. We expect that near a bifurcation, fluctuations or random elements would play an important role, while between bifurcations the deterministic aspects would become dominant. These are the questions we now need to investigate in more detail.

...Ilya Prigogine & Isabelle Stengers
Order From Chaos

The New Protection Racket: Art Police in NYC
(group text)