“If there is value which is of value, it must lie outside of all happening and being so. For all happening and being-so is accidental.”
6.41, Tractatus Logico Philosophicus
This quote from Wittgenstein is a profound statement on the nature of occurrence and existence – ‘happening and being-so’. Whichever way we look at it, occurrence and existence is accidental. The beauty and simplicity of Wittgenstein’s statement sweeps away the clutter of chance and places value squarely in purpose. It suggests circumstance (context) is a force of chance. This ‘Me’ of Mine asks if purpose can challenge the force of chance.
Wittgenstein’s rational view makes folly of the attempt to find meaning in happening and being-so, but he leaves the door wide open to search for meaning in value and purpose. Kate Murdoch does just this through her work. She encourages her audiences to explore their purpose. Through her interactive exchanges, Kate presents situations which involve an active interchange between the public and her work, often with the public’s participation the greater force in the creation of art. Her audiences not only participate, they actually become part of the art through their active purpose. The generosity of this, both on Kate’s part and on the part of the audience, breaks down the barrier of the ‘art experience’ and presents an experience of art.
Read our interview, What Are You Prepared to Give in Exchange, for This ‘Me’ of Mine. Kate and I discuss value, emotion, memory and communication.
JB: …It could be said the value we associate with an object is in relation to the depth of emotion we experience in any given situation. Do you feel this to be true and what have you observed about this relationship through the interactive aspect of your work?
KM: …The emotional attachment we make to any given object can determine its worth in emotional terms as opposed to its monetary value. The very act of bartering adds an emotional reality to the process of exchange that currency somehow lacks…
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