Home Is Where The Heart Is They Tell Me

            Disruptive innovation theory – “Disruption is a positive force. It is the process by which an innovation transforms a market whose services or products are complicated and expensive into one where simplicity, convenience, accessibility, and affordability characterize the industry.” (Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns by Clayton M. Christensen, pg. 11)

            Occasionally, over the years, a dream recurs and puzzles my analysis. The format is similar, generally involving going, being in transit, either as in moving from one location to another or reviewing some situation (from where it once involved me to where it is evolving). In all of these there is an overriding sense of familiarity and certainty with what is involved – the environment, terrain or object of the dream. There is likewise some impediment, rearrangement or complication that familiarity (and certainty) would deem prevents a conclusion (the neighborhood has evolved, the road has been rerouted, or ownership has shifted). The sense of it has proved evasive because there is so much certainty and familiarity of all the elements involved. It is not so much a sense of frustration, as nothing is attempted to be achieved, retrieved or ascertained within the dream. Rather, it is more about a long term, slow moving kind of anxiety; an anxiety that is accumulated rather than precipitated.

            This is the dream of old age, the reliance on the familiar not in the everyday mundane sense but rather in the psychological sense, that the familiar is how we relate to our expectations, anticipations, values, etc. These were all established, determined, originated yesterday. When we are young, the expectations, anticipations, and values are coexistent and coextensive with the (contemporary) time of their fulfillment. As we age, the expectations, anticipations, values, etc. are more familiar to us than the changing contemporary where their fulfillment can only be met. Not that the fulfillment can’t be met, only the fulfillment must likewise follow changing anticipations, expectations, values, etc. When these subjective abstractions do not undergo change (do not become un-familiar), then what is being desired to be fulfilled (the expectations, anticipations, values, etc.) remain only those with which we are familiar. Hence the dream of not being able to connect with what one is so certain of, so familiar with. Cliché may be that one can never go home, but both home and expectations, anticipations, and the value of home change.

            In an analogous manner, Ranciere’s account of what makes for the expectations, anticipation, valuation of a work of art within the contemporary was formulated yesterday. That formulation did not evolve. Rather, it is continuously clarified and ascertained. In short, as the years sneak by it becomes more and more familiar and certain. The art of the contemporary, which so seamlessly accommodated the theory at its inception, today finds impediments, rerouting and impossibility. Evolving innovations in “new” technology de facto produce an art avant garde. This group’s familiarity and certainty with regard to what “creates” innovative art immediately dates them, makes them old. To be “at home” with the avant garde is to be at heart continuously in a state of uncertainty and unfamiliarity. Such is the consequences of “new” within art. How this differs from Yuriko Saito’s Everyday Aesthetics!

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