Where the mind is able to function in an orderly fashion, progressively developing, this activity takes on the significance of a work of art, a human aesthetics. As one grows more aware of this resonance of knowledge in an aesthetics of the mind, as one’s eagerness to learn is matched by an acceleration in the growth of one’s knowledge, a diffuse Prometheanism of a sort associates itself with learning. We learn in general from others and from books; but learning here becomes ours in a deeper sense, uplifting us above ourselves, above ordinary nature.
Bachelard, Gaston. Fragments of a Poetics of Fire. Trans. Kenneth Haltman. Dallas: The Dallas Institute Publications, 1988. 73.
Teaching, too, is no longer transmission of a body of useful information, but’s conversation, alone, together, whether in a place appointed or not in that place, whether with those concerned or those unaware of what is being said. We talk, moving from one idea to another as though we were hunters.
Cage, John. A Year from Monday. Middleton, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1967. 21.
In these phonetic poems we totally renounce the language that journalism has abused and corrupted. We must return to the innermost alchemy of the word, we must even give up the word too, to keep poetry for its last and holiest refuge.
Ball, Hugo. Flight out of Time: A Dada Diary, tr. Ann Raimes (New York: Viking Pres, 1974) p. 71.
How to begin? At a chosen moment in a vacant country house (mill, abbey, church or castle) not too far from the City of London, we shall foment a kind of cultural “jam session”: out of this will evolve the prototype of our spontaneous university.
The original building will stand deep within its own grounds, preferably on a river bank. It should be large enough for a pilot group (astronauts of inner space) to situate itself, orgasm and genius, and their tools and dream-machines and amazing apparatus and appurtenances; with outhouses for “workshops” large as could accommodate light industry; the entire site to allow for sponatneous architecture and eventual town planning. I underline the last because we cannot place too much emphasis on the fact that “l’art integral ne pourvait se realiser qu’au niveau de l’urbanisme” [integral art cannot be accomplished except on the level of urbanism] (Documents Situationnistes, Guy-Ernest Debord. At present, town planning is determined by and tends to reinforce conventional functions, conventional attitudes. You sleep here, eat there, work there, die there. A revolutionary architecture will take no account of functions to be transcended.) In the 1920s, Diaghilev, Picasso, Stravinski, and Nijinsky acted in concert to produce a ballet; surely it does not strain our credulity to imagine a far larger group of our contemporaries acting in concert to create a town. We envisage the whole as a vital laboratory for the creation (and evaluation) of conscious situations; it goes without saying that it is not only the environment which is in question, plastic, subject to change, but men also.
We envisage an organization whose structure and mechanisms are infinitely elastic; we see it as the gradual crystallization of a regenerative cultural force, a perpetual brainwave, creative intelligence everywhere recognizing and affirming its own involvement.
Trocchi, Alexander. A Revolutionary Proposal: Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds. Published as “Technique du coupe du monde,” Internationale Situationniste #8 (January 1963) <http://www.notbored.org/invisible.html>