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01
October
2015

Carl Kandutsch Writes On Caro, Fried, and “Prairie”

. . . we human beings tend to orient ourselves around a vertical (as opposed to horizontal) axis, literally (as in the fact that we stand) and figuratively (we aspire, reach for the stars, and when we fail, we fall down, are leveled, degraded, and so on). One manifestation of our vertical orientation is the traditional placement of sculptures on pedestals – as if placing them above rather than on the ground helps to secure the meta-physically elevated status of artworks as distinguished from ordinary objects in the world . . . Anthony Caro was not the first sculptor to eliminate the pedestal; however, as Michael Fried observes, he was the first sculptor to not just place his works at ground level but also to ground them in such a way that the ground is itself made abstract and in this way incorporated into the sculpture’s illusiveness . . .

Published on ABCRIT: https://abcrit.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/16-carl-kandutsch-writes-on-caro-fried-and-prairie/

01
July
2015

Patricia Highsmith: Ordinary Morality

To my knowledge, no American fiction writer has more carefully explored the moral instability of ordinariness than Patricia Highsmith (1921 – 1995). Highsmith’s novels and stories pose the question: How are we to reach a viewpoint from which we might scrutinize and assess the moral significance of our own lives in their very ordinariness? The absence of such a transcendental perspective is shown in the ease and unobtrusiveness – call it casualness – with which Highsmith’s characters slip from the human to the monstrous and back again, all but seamlessly.

Published in The Chiseler at http://chiseler.org/post/122941734621/patricia-highsmith-ordinary-morality

25
June
2015

The Snows of Kilimanjaro

A Comment

The association of poetry with magic goes back a long way in our culture, at least since Plato expelled poets from his Republic if not earlier. Less dramatically, let us say that the writing and reading of literature has always implied a transformative power – the power to transform the self and redeem the fallen world. But at the same time, at the end of the day, the poet needs to earn a living just like the plumber, and the weight of words neither adds to nor subtracts from the weight of the world on one’s shoulders. An entire language – the glue that constitutes a social structure over thousands of years – disappears when the body of its last native speaker withers and dies.

Published in The Chiseler @ http://chiseler.org/post/122168813796/the-snows-of-kilimanjaro

25
June
2015

Rachel's Choice

12 Years On

"I’m having a hard time right now. Just feel sick to my stomach a lot from being doted on all the time, very sweetly, by people who are facing doom. I know that from the United States, it all sounds like hyperbole. Honestly, a lot of the time the sheer kindness of the people here, coupled with the overwhelming evidence of the willful destruction of their lives, makes it seem unreal to me. I really can’t believe that something like this can happen in the world without a bigger outcry about it. It really hurts me, again, like it has hurt me in the past, to witness how awful we can allow the world to be…"

Published in The Chiseler @ http://chiseler.org/post/121428926486/rachels-choice

17
April
2015

A Yarmouk Photograph

. . . photographic images can be and almost inevitably are aestheticized, either by design (when the photographer's intention is to make art) or by the way they are displayed (for example, when documentary photographs are displayed on gallery walls). As a general matter, the aestheticization of images seems to be a fate almost inevitable in our mass-consumption society, which compulsively commodifies every conceivable sensuous object and experience for commercial use. But in any particular case, is it true that the aesthetic qualities of an image must be at odds with the image's political or moral significance? Is it not possible for the political significance of a photograph to be fully articulated in and by its artistic qualities, so that the image's moral claim on its audience only makes sense insofar as it is expressed in the language of visual art?

With these questions in mind, I would like to look at a recent photograph that has remained with me since I first encountered it on Phil Weiss's website Mondoweiss on February 20, 2015.

20
March
2015

Voices of the Ordinary; A Brazilian Song

Published in the academic journal CTheory online at http://ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=742

This article will have succeeded in achieving its purpose to the extent that it accurately accounts for the occasion of its writing. It is not written to prove or argue a point, to uncover new evidence, to elaborate a new theory, or even to intervene in any ongoing conversation concerning music, ordinary language philosophy, aesthetics, or any other current topic of which I am aware. This writing aspires to the condition of philosophy in the sense that it seeks to articulate the conditions that underlie its production. More specifically, the writing is occasioned by an intuition responding to a particular song, and its purpose is, to paraphrase Emerson, to suggest a tuition for that intuition; in other words, to test the validity of the intuition by outlining terms of criticism for what may be heard in the song. 

Written by: Carl Kandutsch

07
November
2014

Separation Anxiety

Blood Meridian’s Judge Holden in the Age of American Exceptionalism

Since first encountering Blood Meridian several years ago I have held the intuition that it is a characteristically American work, and that the depicted violence allows the reader to learn something about American violence. My purpose here is to provide some mere suggestions regarding what there is to learn in this regard.

31
October
2014

FCC to adopt hybrid approach to broadband regulation

"Back-end" transport deals to be subject to 'common carrier' regulation

 

 

30
September
2014

FCC to consider classifying “linear” online video distributors as “MVPDs”

Potential boost for online video distribution

17
June
2014

Was Wittgenstein a Conservative?

Is Wittgenstein’s later philosophy – as epitomized in the Philosophical Investigations (referred to as “PI”) – a philosophy of conservatism? Or, stated less academically and more usefully: Does Wittgenstein’s later philosophy teach anything of value to people who are not inclined toward political conservatism?

Originally published at http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/06/13/was-wittgenstein-a-conservative/

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