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Thread: Striated and Smooth Space.

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    Default Striated and Smooth Space.

    This is something which Boulez discussed in his lectures in Darmstadt. It was later taken up by Deleuze and Guatari, hence my interest. Can someone explain to me what it is? I need a magazine type intro, Scientific American level.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Feb-24-2020 at 10:03.

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Thousand_Plateaus

    I think you'll have to read the book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Thousand_Plateaus

    I think you'll have to read the book.
    That’s not gonna happen. I have given up on French philosophy, I just can’t make sense of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    That’s not gonna happen. I have given up on French philosophy, I just can’t make sense of it.
    Sartre is probably my favorite. I'm getting into Foucault now.

    (WIK) Of A Thousand Plateaus, the book has been considered to be a major statement of post-structuralism and postmodernism, especially starting in the late 20th century.

    The book is written in a non-linear, allusive fashion. The reader is explicitly warned not to set down roots and read A Thousand Plateaus in order, but to choose a new "plateau" or page and begin again "from ground zero" at each plateau, as long as they read the introduction first and the conclusion last.

    In plateaux (chapters) of the book, they discuss psychoanalysts (Freud, Jung, Lacan—who trained Guattari and Melanie Klein), composers (Chopin, Debussy, Mozart, Pierre Boulez, and Olivier Messiaen), artists (Klee, Kandinsky, and Pollock), philosophers (Husserl, Foucault, Bergson, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Gilbert Simondon), historians (Ibn Khaldun, Georges Dumézil, and Fernand Braudel), and linguists (Chomsky, Labov, Benveniste, Guillaume, Austin, Hjelmslev, and Voloshinov).

    (Me) It sounds a lot like the way Marshall McLuhan wrote & thought. I was finally able to understand McLuhan when a friend suggested that I "read it like poetry." Quit looking for precise meanings and definitions, and realize that the author is "probing for meaning." This is what I think is meant by an "experimental" work.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-02-2020 at 15:30.

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    I have tried many times to read Foucault’s Les Mots et Les Choses, and Foucault to his credit is a fabulous writer in French. There are unforgettable purple passages of prose. The problem I have is that it’s very technical, in the sense that it relies on a lot of detail in the history of ideas. My feeling is that I’d need to be part of a graduate class which was looking at it carefully over a few weeks to get more than the most superficial understanding.

    Deleuze just seems so antithetical to my Oxford analytic training, I almost give up hope of ever appreciating it. I once got into a real fight, fists, with a German philosopher over Heidegger’s concept of being - I said it made no sense and that Heidegger just had failed to ask a real question. I think the same would happen if I went to a Deleuze class. That guy said that I needed to read Heidegger as poetry. But that means giving up my critical faculties, and I’m far to **** for that . . .

    (Those stars are there because of the word which Freud used to contrast an oral personality. Quite why **** should not be allowed and oral be allowed I don’t know. This forum is well and truly rubbish.)

    By the way, if you’re interested in Foucaut the man, especially from a Queer point of view, I just read something very amusing, called Ce Que L’aimer Veut Dire by Matthieu Lindon. Lindon was born into the family who run Editions Minuit - Beckett’s and Robbe-Grillet’s publishers - and he lived with Fouccault at the end of his life. I think it’s been translated.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Mar-03-2020 at 10:58.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandryka View Post
    I have tried many times to read Foucault’s Les Mots et Les Choses, and Foucault to his credit is a fabulous writer in French. There are unforgettable purple passages of prose. The problem I have is that it’s very technical, in the sense that it relies on a lot of detail in the history of ideas. My feeling is that I’d need to be part of a graduate class which was looking at it carefully over a few weeks to get more than the most superficial understanding.

    Deleuze just seems so antithetical to my Oxford analytic training, I almost give up hope of ever appreciating it. I once got into a real fight, fists, with a German philosopher over Heidegger’s concept of being - I said it made no sense and that Heidegger just had failed to ask a real question. I think the same would happen if I went to a Deleuze class. That guy said that I needed to read Heidegger as poetry. But that means giving up my critical faculties, and I’m far to **** for that . . .

    (Those stars are there because of the word which Freud used to contrast an oral personality. Quite why **** should not be allowed and oral be allowed I don’t know. This forum is well and truly rubbish.)

    By the way, if you’re interested in Foucaut the man, especially from a Queer point of view, I just read something very amusing, called Ce Que L’aimer Veut Dire by Matthieu Lindon. Lindon was born into the family who run Editions Minuit - Beckett’s and Robbe-Grillet’s publishers - and he lived with Fouccault at the end of his life. I think it’s been translated.
    Oxford, huh? That must be why. Yes, I'd like to know more about Foucault the man, especially in connection with Barraque. I'll see about that book, thank you.
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-03-2020 at 14:44.

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    Someone has just told me that the book to read to start to understand this stuff is by Félix Guitari himself -- Qu'est-ce que la philosophie? published by Minuit. Or failing that, François Dosse's biography Gilles Deleuze et Félix Guattari : biographie croisée. It turns out that both are available at the London Instut Français library, so I'll pick them up this weekend hopefully.
    Last edited by Mandryka; Mar-04-2020 at 18:49.

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    Dave Harris has written intelligently and extensively on the work of Deleuze & Guattari. Although Harris admits to finding A Thousand Plateaus unreadable (the authors, he notes, have made it unreadable deliberately, because they are arguing throughout that we need new ways of conceiving of the world which break out of conventions, conventional classifications, celebrate multiplicity and making creative connections), his web page is helpful in that he does his very best to make various notions intelligible, including the smooth and the striated, to those of us not endowed with a preternatural volume of gray matter.

    Professor Harris also has a 12-part lecture series called "Deleuze for the Desperate" on YouTube.

    https://www.arasite.org/TPch14.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by RICK RIEKERT View Post
    Harris admits to finding A Thousand Plateaus unreadable (the authors, he notes, have made it unreadable deliberately, because they are arguing throughout that we need new ways of conceiving of the world which break out of conventions, conventional classifications, celebrate multiplicity and making creative connections).
    I'm glad to hear that the authors made their book unreadable. It saves me from feeling guilty for failing to break out of conventional classifications, celebrate multiplicity, and make creative connections. Anyway, I like my space smooth, and would not appreciate a couple of pointy-headed French intellectuals roughing it up.

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    There's the ultimate rationalist

    From the above link to Dave Harris' essay, and Boulez, which I think answers Mandryka's original question:

    In music, Boulez worked with smooth and striated space, explaining abstract distinctions as well as concrete mixes. At its simplest, smooth space time is occupied without counting, offering nonmetric multiplicities and 'directional' spaces not dimensional ones. The difference can be seen in terms of a break between the regular and undetermined and the standardized. Frequencies can be distributed [according to official notation], or 'statistically without breaks' (527). There is a 'modular' principle to regulate the standardized, which can be straight or curved, even or irregular. The statistical distribution has no break, however, although it might still be equal or 'more or less rare or dense'. It might still have intervals, however, as intermezzi. We can see smooth as Nomos and striated as Logos [these terms have several meanings when they are opposed as we saw, and will see below]. Boulez was interested in how the two types of space communicated, melded together, corresponded, how the octave can be replaced by non octave scales for example which might spiral, how musical texture can be created without 'fixed and homogeneous values', the sonic equivalent of op art. At bottom, striated produces order in succession, for example in 'horizontal melodic lines and vertical harmonic planes'(528), while the smooth offers us continuous variation, continuous development of form, the fusion of harmony and melody, a diagonal across the vertical and horizontal
    Last edited by millionrainbows; Mar-09-2020 at 17:59.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    There's the ultimate rationalist

    From the above link to Dave Harris' essay, and Boulez, which I think answers Mandryka's original question:

    In music, Boulez worked with smooth and striated space, explaining abstract distinctions as well as concrete mixes. At its simplest, smooth space time is occupied without counting, offering nonmetric multiplicities and 'directional' spaces not dimensional ones. The difference can be seen in terms of a break between the regular and undetermined and the standardized. Frequencies can be distributed [according to official notation], or 'statistically without breaks' (527). There is a 'modular' principle to regulate the standardized, which can be straight or curved, even or irregular. The statistical distribution has no break, however, although it might still be equal or 'more or less rare or dense'. It might still have intervals, however, as intermezzi. We can see smooth as Nomos and striated as Logos [these terms have several meanings when they are opposed as we saw, and will see below]. Boulez was interested in how the two types of space communicated, melded together, corresponded, how the octave can be replaced by non octave scales for example which might spiral, how musical texture can be created without 'fixed and homogeneous values', the sonic equivalent of op art. At bottom, striated produces order in succession, for example in 'horizontal melodic lines and vertical harmonic planes'(528), while the smooth offers us continuous variation, continuous development of form, the fusion of harmony and melody, a diagonal across the vertical and horizontal
    So nice to read something that made me chuckle. Woolly Boulez indeed!
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

    ‘When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!‘

    ‘Common sense is not a gift, it's a curse. Because you have to deal with people who don't possess it!’

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    There's the ultimate rationalist

    From the above link to Dave Harris' essay, and Boulez, which I think answers Mandryka's original question:

    In music, Boulez worked with smooth and striated space, explaining abstract distinctions as well as concrete mixes. At its simplest, smooth space time is occupied without counting, offering nonmetric multiplicities and 'directional' spaces not dimensional ones. The difference can be seen in terms of a break between the regular and undetermined and the standardized. Frequencies can be distributed [according to official notation], or 'statistically without breaks' (527). There is a 'modular' principle to regulate the standardized, which can be straight or curved, even or irregular. The statistical distribution has no break, however, although it might still be equal or 'more or less rare or dense'. It might still have intervals, however, as intermezzi. We can see smooth as Nomos and striated as Logos [these terms have several meanings when they are opposed as we saw, and will see below]. Boulez was interested in how the two types of space communicated, melded together, corresponded, how the octave can be replaced by non octave scales for example which might spiral, how musical texture can be created without 'fixed and homogeneous values', the sonic equivalent of op art. At bottom, striated produces order in succession, for example in 'horizontal melodic lines and vertical harmonic planes'(528), while the smooth offers us continuous variation, continuous development of form, the fusion of harmony and melody, a diagonal across the vertical and horizontal
    Mental games for effete minds and idle hands in a decadent culture of affluence.

    The "rationalist" - or "rationalizer" (take your pick) - is the wrinkled, ninety-pound pinhead for whom reality doesn't feel real until he frames it in novel and abstruse jargon and publishes it in an unreadable book which will be opened only by victims of "higher education" whose career depends on their willingness to perpetuate the game.

    These people need to spend a year on a farm shoveling manure - real manure, as opposed to the "smooth and striated" kind.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-09-2020 at 19:52.

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    And what part is this?
    That’s the sanity clause.
    Ah, you no foola me - there ain’t no sanity Claus.

    (With thanks to Chico and Groucho)
    Last edited by Barbebleu; Mar-10-2020 at 13:15.
    "...it is said that first your heart sings, then you play. I think if it is not like that, then it is only just combination of notes, isn't it? " - Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Master of the Sitar.

    ‘When in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!‘

    ‘Common sense is not a gift, it's a curse. Because you have to deal with people who don't possess it!’

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    Hmm...I would think that Boulez' words on the matter would be taken more seriously than manure, since he created works of art which embody these principles, and which "back up" and lend credence to these compositional principles. After all, we're not talking simple rocket science here; music composition is more complex than that, I would think.

    Have fun with that "real manure" paradigm of music, as embodied by whoever one's favorite composer might be.

    Oh, I thought that someone once said that "life is manure" was a modernist idea, but apparently "shoveling manure" brings mavericks like Boulez back into the fold.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    Hmm...I would think that Boulez' words on the matter would be taken more seriously than manure, since he created works of art which embody these principles, and which "back up" and lend credence to these compositional principles. After all, we're not talking simple rocket science here; music composition is more complex than that, I would think.

    Have fun with that "real manure" paradigm of music, as embodied by whoever one's favorite composer might be.

    Oh, I thought that someone once said that "life is manure" was a modernist idea, but apparently "shoveling manure" brings mavericks like Boulez back into the fold.
    We hope that music can speak for itself. To think of it as "backing up" gibberish such as we find in post #10 is to turn reality downside-up and back-arsewards.

    The lesson of manure should be heeded by composers wishing to be heard. Manure is the end product of one process devoid of cerebral self-indulgence, and with the help of rain and earthworms it becomes the beginning of another.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Mar-10-2020 at 23:42.

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