Wednesday, February 13, 2008


This group is going to be concerned about beauty. We will be discussing the nature of beauty, particularly as it related to art. That being the case, we need to begin with something that can get us started on this discussion. Thus, I submit the following lists:

Beauty has the following features:

Complexity within Simplicity
Emergent from Conflict
Evolutionary (changes over time)
Generative and Creative
Hierarchical Organization
Reflexivity or Feedback
Scalar Self-Similarity
Unity in Multiplicity

The following agonally unified opposites also constitute beauty:

Native – Foreign
Light – Shadow
Logos – Eros
Emotion – Intellect (Reason)
Conscious – Unconscious
Soul – Technology
Feeling – Thinking
General – Specific
Universal – Particular

I am convinced that there is a strong relationship between things that are evolving, growing, self-organizing, and emergentist and beauty. Thus, let us look at the features of self-organization and see why:

Cohesion (digital-analog)
Downward Causation
Feedback loops, Circular causality
Relative Chance
Globalisation and localisation
Unity in Plurality (Generality and Specificity)

Emergence has the following features:

Synergism (productive interaction between parts)

Monday, February 11, 2008


In the unbelievable and unknown –
In the unrefined and those without thought –
In the unremarkable and unwise –
We find our leaders
We find our heroes
We find our artists
I see it – there is a sun on the horizon –
The rosy fingers of an ancient dawn –
A rebirth of everything from everything we have torn apart –
A world in fragments – no longer a world –
Fragments gathered up –
A world reborn from the fragments –
A world reborn from the past, the ancients –
Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Africans, Arabs, Indians, and aborigines –
Yet –
I am not a postmodernist
And I am not a classicist
And I am not a romantic
And I am not a modernist
And I am not a naturalist
No –
I am each of these – and none
I am the moon and the sun
I am the earth and the sea
I am woman and man
Seriousness and fun
Fragments and unity
Plurality and one


Welcome to The Metaphor Group. Let the productive arguments begin! War and Peace are mutually exclusive and destructive of each other, but competition and cooperation are complementary and creative. So let us agree to disagree agreeably.

What is this group? This is a place where serious artists -- meaning those who produce works all the time and know what it is they are doing, meaning they have the ability to explain what they are doing -- can meet and talk about art, the idea of art, the ideas of art, aesthetics, etc. I myself am a poet, fiction writer, playwright, and scholar, but many kinds of artists are welcome. I do hope, in fact, that like-minded painters and musicians and sculptors, etc. will end up joining. This group will be by invitation only, but anyone may come by and see what we are discussing and leave comments. That will add a little shot of chaos to the order of the group.

The idea of a group like this comes out of a long tradition of artist groups. Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Christopher Marlowe were members of the School of Night. There was the Surrealists, the Paris Salon, which included Hemingway, who had a letter of introduction to the group from Sherwood Anderson, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, For Maddox Ford, and James Joyce, among others (including irregulars, like Picasso), The Bloomsbury Group, which included Virginia Woolf, E.M. Forrester, and the economist John Maynard Keynes, among others, etc. Of course none of these people were who they were when the met up (though some were already established in some ways), but their interactions which spurred on creativity helped to make them who they were. While they all had to be in one geographical place and had to meet in one location on certain nights at certain times, we don't have to do that now with the existence of blogs. Thus, The Metaphor Group.