The Question


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Carmen Hermosillo
Date submitted: 4/20/99

I think that there is tension between academic teaching and aesthetic experience.

I think that the tension is there because there is so much structure in large scale environments (I am trying HARD not to say institutions) like the academy and the corporation. I think that the tension is there because in larger environments it is close to impossible to say anything without having an Authority, whether it be footnotes, or a tech manual, or the blessing of an Upper Management type (e.g., Dean, V.P.).

I think that the tension is there because there is a quality in aesthetic that sometimes equates experience-of-beauty with moral value. (I am thinking now of Hesiod and the birth of Aphrodite; of the wicked evil queen in fairy tales who is all the more disconcerting because she is beautiful, not ugly.)

I think the tension is there because it is easier to be boring than it is to rethink one's ideas.

My solution to the question would be to throw away the notes altogether, and require academic people to read the works of Hakim Bey with the intention of seeking practical application for his theoretical ideas.

Were I a millionaire, I would endow a Chair for precisely this purpose.

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