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Incongruity of the Aperspectival View
By Jan Krikke


Commentaires de OlivierAuber

Jan Krikke gives here a very clear summary of the links between perspective and consciousness, and their traces in the arts of the twentieth century, as theorized by Jean Gebser. Jan Krikke completes this summary with his own views on the axonometric perspective discovered in China 1000 years before the Renaissance, which he said might be a good model to describe our mental representation of cybespace.

On the first point, I can't agree more with Jean Gebser when he said: "This new 'art' (Cubism, etc.) has nothing to do with the Theory of Relativity." He evoked Cubism as illustrative of the 5th Integral stage of perspectives (four dimensional: aperspectival space free-time free) but he didn't provide an explanation. I think a good explanation could be the following. Much of the transformation of the imaginary and the arts in the twentieth century can be put on the account of the emergence of artificial networks in human affairs two centuries ago. Networks have shaken space and time, fragmented them, and have led to instantaneous, almost magical relations between these fragments. In doing so, they imposed two "anoptical perspectives" (*) that complemented the optical perspective of the Renaissance. For my part, I see the manifestations of the art of the twentieth and even the twenty-first century as unconscious explorations and for some as attempts to master the laws of these anoptical perspectives. It is a slow process of learning but I think we are close to understanding that it is possible to define some cognitive criteria allowing a legitimate construction of these anoptical perspectives just as the Renaissants have defined the geometric criteria for the construction of the optical one.

On the second point, I agree with Jan Krikke that the axonometric perspective gives a good overview of our mental representation of cyberspace ( A Chinese Perspective for Cyberspace? ) . Nevertheless behind each image of this flat and instantaneous world hides a network that makes it possible, and we saw that network can have two types of topologies. The apparent axonometric perspective is an illusion controlled by some form of anoptical perspective, and this has important consequences, notably economic and political. For example, Facebook that operates according to a temporal perspective (centralized) could just as easily operate according to a digital perspective (distributed) ...

(*) There are two classes of networks operating according to two types of anoptical perspectives: 1) centralized / decentralized networks operate according to a "temporal perspective". Their center is a "temporal vanishing point" from which emerges the subjective time of the collective that uses it to form its representation, eg Facebook's server ; 2) Distributed networks operate according to a "digital perspective" because their operations require all its agents to share an arbitrary code allowing them to recognize themselves, it is their "vanishing code", for example a blockchain.
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