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palimpsest

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Postby MTC » Sat Mar 26, 2011 3:55 pm

Here is a new take on "palimpsest" in a Los Angeles Times article about an artist who does "collaborative art", superimposing images over artists' work. Enjoy!

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ne ... 6202.story
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palimpsest

Postby sardith » Sat Mar 26, 2011 4:17 pm

Intriquing artistic concept, interesting article.

One of the most curious things about the article, to me, was the fact that the journalist never once used our subject word, 'palimpsest'. :?

Maybe I'm giving the Los Angeles Times too much credit? :wink:
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Postby MTC » Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:20 pm

...Right, never once, even though the word seems especially appropriate. I have emailed the reporter
(Art and Architecture )with that very question. If she replies I will let you and our fellow logophiles know.
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follow up

Postby MTC » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:47 pm

My letter to L.A Times Art & Architecture reporter:

Dear Ms. Finkel:

I enjoyed very much your article about Kim Schoenstadt’s project at LACE. At the same time I wondered why you decided not to employ the word “palimpsest” in the article, considering that it seems particularly apt, at least as a comparison. Maybe next time?

Sincerely,

Monroe Thomas Clewis


Her reply reprinted with permission:


Dear Tom,
That is a very good point and a very good word, which weirdly did not come to mind for me and was not mentioned by artist. Though I was thinking about Luc Sante's book Low Life, which reads the city of New York as a palimpsest.
Will pass on suggestion to artist.
best wishes,
Jori


Jori Finkel
Arts Reporter
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culture ... ri-finkel/
http://www.twitter.com/jorifinkel
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palimpsest

Postby sardith » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:40 pm

Thanks for posting the letter! :)

Just think, Monroe...you have added an etymologically apropos touch to all of the artist's future press releases...you ROCK! 8)
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Postby Slava » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:48 pm

It is always nice when the journalist or paper actually bothers to respond. Even more so when it's in a positive manner.
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Postby bamaboy56 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:28 pm

Great word! Now I know what I am when I rewrite over something I've erased -- a palimpsest. Can't wait to use this word in conversation.
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Postby Slava » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:33 pm

Going with the idea of a person being a palimpsest, I ran straight into the idea behind the movie "Total Recall". The hero's memories had supposedly been erased so that he couldn't act on what he'd come to know. I don't recall why they didn't simply kill him, but that's another discussion.

Here we have a supposed palimpsest of a human mind relearning, retracing the traces of what was in his mind before someone tried to turn it into a tabula rasa. Can a human be turned into a palimpsest? Do we really want to find out?
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Postby bamaboy56 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:45 pm

Hmmm. Isn't that the point of brainwashing techniques? Superimposing new thoughts over the original ideas of the brainwashee. Just wondering.
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Postby Slava » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:06 pm

bamaboy56 wrote:Hmmm. Isn't that the point of brainwashing techniques? Superimposing new thoughts over the original ideas of the brainwashee. Just wondering.
Ah, but the idea here isn't just superimposing, it's eliminating the original. As far as I understand, and I'm far from an expert, we still can't really do this with a computer's hard-drive. You reformat it to hide incriminating evidence, yet someone can come along and dig up a great deal of it. Imagine if we could really do this to the human mind. No more bama, no more boy, no more 56, no more nincompoot. Nothing. You know only what we want you to know.

First we imagine the mind as a plate of wax with lots of tiny etchings on it, our memories and knowledge. Then someone melts it down into a puddle and lets it congeal into a new pure tabula rasa. Now new thoughts and memories can be imprinted, with nothing remaining of the past. Would this be a palimpsest, or something else entirely?

Kind of like taking a painting, stripping the canvas of the paints, breaking it down into individual fibers, reweaving them into a new canvas, and making a new painting on that.

Palimpsest?
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Postby bamaboy56 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:27 pm

Spooky! Something out of Orwell's "1984". That one didn't end well, either. Still, complete erasure of one's mind and replacement of all thoughts/ideas? Not sure it can be done. Only in the sense that, like your computer analogy (and, like you, I'm far from an expert), even if you erased the hard drive and reformatted it, there are those who can still glean a lot of information from it. I would hope that if someone were to try to palimpsestize me, there would still be some of the old bama and boy and 56 left. Ha! Maybe I could talk them into just erasing the bad parts!
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Postby Slava » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:44 pm

bamaboy56 wrote:Maybe I could talk them into just erasing the bad parts!
A topic that is now running in the flashbacks to Calvin and Hobbes comics, http://imgsrv.gocomics.com/dim/?fh=e1e4 ... 0f&w=900.0
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Total Loss, the sequil to Total recall

Postby MTC » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:53 pm

See the following discussion of what total memory loss would mean in practical terms:

"Total loss of memory would result in total loss of virtually everything. Think for a minute of what such a loss would mean. You could no longer converse with anyone because you would not remember any words or any language. You could not find your way home or anywhere else or even remember that any such place as home (or anywhere else) even existed. You could not remember that you could not remember.

Alzheimer’s dementia results in such total memory loss. Individuals lose recent memories; then memories of major events in their lives; then the names, faces, and personalities of those close to them; then their own names, faces, and personalities; then everything (e.g., Butler, Lewis, & Sunderland, 1998)."

Total memory loss would mean destruction of the self.

P.S. I know some jokes too.
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Postby sardith » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:23 pm

If, MTC, as you say, "Total memory loss would mean destruction of the self," then this poor British man gets destroyed once every 7 seconds. Now, that is sad. :cry:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDNDRDJy ... re=related

Also, bamaboy56, did you know that it was Dr. Seuss that said, "Be who you are and say what you feel in your heart. Because those that matter, don't mind. And those that mind, don't matter."
He is one of my faves!

Slava,
Thanks for the Calvin and Hobbes. Blast from the past! :D
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Postby bamaboy56 » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:30 pm

Sardith, thanks for letting me know it was Dr. Seuss who made the quote I like so much. Theodor Seuss Geisel was one of the best storytellers ever. ¡Viva Dr. Seuss! MTC, My mother-in-law had Alzheimer's and I saw first hand the progression of this awful disease. Very sad. Near the end she had no short-term memory at all although she could recall in detail things that occurred in her childhood. The last week of her life she had no memories at all. I've always said that there are worse things than dying. Alzheimer's is one of those things.
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