There never has been such a thing as solid ground. As profoundly transient beings, all we can hope for is the hospitality of the abyssal ground.[1] Perhaps that is why our everyday aesthetic appreciation of our natural environment is inseparable from indeterminacy, as change and ambiguity but also potentiality; think of the immensely pleasurable journeys through the rapidly changing shapes in fire- or cloud-gazing. But can the same be said of our machinic environment? In this article, I discuss indeterminacy as a generative principle in four realms: elemental, evental, linguistic, and machinic. Anchoring the transubstantiating potential of the four elements to butoh; multi-perspectival event-hood to John Cage’s work; linguistic “chaotics” to Xu Bing’s work; and neural-network contagions to Mario Klingemann’s work, I suggest that these perceptual architectures help us understand first, David Bohm’s implicate order (1980), and second, the seeming paradox of a hospitable abyss.

Included in

Aesthetics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.