One of the earliest definitions of chaos, found in Hesiod, is the unformed primordial mass of primal existence. An imposition of an order on chaos produced the cosmos.
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In Genesis 1, it is the earth "without form and void. If chaos precedes arch? Following this framework, anarchy is neither order nor chaos, although it contains of elements of both, and may be defined as an action that connects them, a permanent strife produced between the constructing and deconstructing of origins. This focal point is continuously displaced throughout history: ideal city, heavenly kingdom, the happiness of the greatest number, noumenal and legislative freedom, "transcendental pragmatic consensus" Apel , etc.
But none of these transferences destroys the attributive, participative, and therefore normative, pattern itself. The arch? In the epoch of closure, on the other hand, the regularity of the principles that have reigned over action can be laid out. Needless to say, here it will not be a question of anarchy in the sense of Proudhon, Bakunin, and their disciples.
What these masters sought was to displace the origin, to substitute the rational power, principium, for the power of authority, princeps -as metaphysical an operation as has ever been.
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They sought to replace one focal point with another. The anarchy that will be at issue here is the name of a history affecting the ground or foundation of action, a history where the bedrock yields and where it becomes obvious that the principle of cohesion, be it authoritarian or "rational," is no longer anything more than a blank space deprived of legislative, normative, power. Anarchy expresses a destiny of decline, the decay of the standards to which Westerners since Plato have related their acts and deeds in order to anchor them there and to withdraw them from change and doubt.
In Russian modernity, however, ontological anarchy expressed as well a return, the turning point away from Eurocentric values established by two centuries of Westernization, and toward the cautious revision of the beginnings of Russian religious and intellectual thought, shaped by Byzantine and Eastern philosophies, and embedded in pre-Petrine culture. From this perspective, anarchy may well be interpreted as a deconstruction of order. Anarchy is not an "origin," but it signifies this active process toward "origin," the strife produced between chaos and order that may be identified with the Heideggerian notion of beginning, which "always contains the undisclosed abundance of the awesome, which means that it also contains strife with the familiar and ordinary.
Chaos, on the other hand, does not have this element.
The notion of anarchy I have discussed here overlaps with art, and is based on the Heideggerian idea of aesthetics and a new ontology. In his essay "The Origin of the Work of Art," Heidegger writes, "Whenever art happens-that is, whenever there is a beginning-a thrust enters history; history either begins or starts over again.
This transformation becomes transparent in particular movements, such as Zurich Dada or its predecessor, early Russian Futurism of In Europe and Russia the beginning of the avant-garde movement was determined by and coincided with an aroused historical consciousness and an awareness of historical transition beyond nationality. The German artist Franz Marc, a member and organizer with Kandinsky of the Blaue Reiter artistic movement and journal, who was close to cultural developments in Russia, expressed this historical consciousness as "the turning point of two long epochs, similar to the state of the world fifteen hundred years ago, when there was also a transitional period without art and religion-a period in which great and traditional ideas died and new and unexpected ones took their place The first works of a new era are tremendously difficult to define.
We can follow this line of thought, arguing that anarchy also restarts history, and is a discourse of epochal transformation and historical "openness. This end is not merely an awareness of leaving an epoch, but above all the conscious withdrawal from it, indeed, the sharpest rejection of it.
This reflective knowledge was the preliminary preparation not only for creating art, but for the becoming of art. From this perspective, a more dialectical approach is the recent definition of modernist art developed by Arthur Danto, who views a work of art against a theoretical contextual background that Danto calls the "art world": "the nature of an art theory, which is so powerful a thing as to detach objects from the real world and make them part of a different world, an art world, a world of interpreted things. It is not just that appreciation is a function of the cognitive location of the aesthete, but that the aesthetic qualities of the work are a function of their own historical identity.
The withdrawal from the preceding epoch reveals not just a new style or rather an anti-style in this case in the pure sense, but a new aesthetic philosophy, one that emerged during the nineteenth century and took shape in the twentieth, based on a new definition of art. In , Nikolai Berdyaev, one of the leading Russian intellectuals of the era, wrote: "We are witnessing a general crisis in art that is shaking it to its thousand-year foundations.
The old idea of classical beauty has dimmed forever, and one senses that there is no returning to its images. Art is convulsively trying to escape from its boundaries Never before has the problem of the relationship between art and life been so critical; never before has their been such a hunger to shift from a creation of works of art to the creation of life itself-a new life. In the historical trajectory of the early Russian avant-garde the aesthetics of anarchy represents a constant de-construction dis-konstruktsiia, as the Russian futurist poet, artist, and theoretician David Burliuk put it in of the established canon, rather than a pure demolition of it.
This apathetic sequence of opposites leads to affirmation through negation, and makes it clear to the reader that Burliuk's "deconstruction" or rather, in the most precise translation, "dis-construction" does not exist on its own, but follows "construction" and is etymologically and semantically secondary to it. Burliuk's notion of "deconstruction," which he applied to aesthetics, differs greatly from the modern philosophical concept. However, there are some points at which they overlap in a very general way, for example, in the deconstruction of the origin, or canon.
The strong element of negation in this aesthetic "projects" itself onto contemporary criticism and influences its language. It gave birth to numerous vague critical definitions founded on the acknowledgment of the same "negative passion" of the avant-garde, as "anti-art," usually associated with the transgression of cultural boundaries a term coined by Zurich Dadaists , or an "anti-style" accepted by contemporary criticism.
The anarchic tendency of the early Russian avant-garde manifests itself most clearly in the notion of "art for life" and "life for art," which developed into the theoretical concept of the movement: "The course of art and a love of life have been our guides After the long isolation of artists, we have loudly summoned life and life has invaded art, it is time for art to invade life.
In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche was the first to approach science from the point of view of the artist, and art from the perspective of life- being. Blanchot suggests that here "nihilism is an event accomplished in history that is like a shedding of history-the moment when history turns and that is indicated by a negative trait: that values no longer have values in themselves.
There is also a positive trait: for the first time the horizon is infinitely open to knowledge, 'Everything is permitted. In Russian philosophy, a similar stance was taken by Nikolai Berdyaev, who was particularly interested in the investigation of the meaning of "freedom" and "creativity": "Creativity is something which proceeds from within, out of immeasurable and inexplicable depths, not from without, not from the world's necessity.
The very desire to make the creative act understandable, to find a basis for it, is failure to comprehend it. To comprehend the creative act means to recognize that it is inexplicable and without foundation. The fundamental Nietzschean idea of the "will to power" and the concept of "eternal return" have never been limited to the biological or organic domain a vulgar interpretation of this idea popular in the beginning of the century , and refer to the universal force, the energy energeia of the very essence of being.
This energy, at once creative and destructive, which determines the flow of being, is beyond the human realm, and therefore beyond "good and evil. Nietzsche calls it amor fati, the acceptance of one's earthly fate and faithfulness to every minute of one's life.
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To accept the world, humbly accept the world with all its seemingly senseless, insignificant details The process of life-one should believe in it," Elena Guro wrote in her diary in Acceptance of life "as such"-as a given, as a gift-hides the dramatic heroic stance of the early avant-garde. It brings with it the recognition of the finitude of human presence as well, death, understood as the highest revelation of "presencing-in-the-world. A threat? Perhaps a Joy? Yes, it happens when a long-drawn-out crisis is pronounced at its end.
Joy creates a Poem. Where are you leading him? It is no exaggeration to say that this "Hafizian" acceptance of life Khlebnikov or, as Guro puts it, "gay creativity" a clear reference to Nietzsche's "gay science" , became one of the foundations of the philosophy of the early Russian avant-garde.
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This early avant-garde concept, where the notions of art and life are intertwined, differs from the preceding Symbolist sensibility, which still prioritized fixed ideas over the process of creation, even in Viacheslav Ivanov and the second generation of Symbolists' notion of "life-creating" zhiznetvorchestvo. If the Symbolists, involved in "life-creation," tried to reconstruct life around them as a work of art, the Futurists submitted their art to the evasive flux of life "as such" instead. The dramatist and stage director Nikolai Evreinov, who was the first to develop the notion of "theatricality" in Russian culture, once praised his friend the Futurist poet and aviator Vasilii Kamensky for utterly merging his public image, life and art, comparing him to Leo Tolstoy as the only other example of such completeness.
Evreinov dedicated his brochure on Theatricalization of Life to Kamensky, and placed in parenthesis the subtitle "Poet who theatricalized life. For the Symbolists, both art and life are always perceived through the mediation of a symbol, a sign, which becomes an absolute model that controls reality. Symbolism's teleological philosophy presupposes a perception of the world, founded on the traditional division between practical experience and theoretical knowledge.
This dichotomy between thought and action, "the ancient procession and legitimation of praxis from theoria ," became a central problem of twentieth-century philosophy after Nietzsche and led to a crisis of metaphysics. In their attempt to resolve this crisis, the Russian Futurists retreated to the anarchic action, where contemplation and cognition precede the traditional formulation of inspiration and are equated with creative action.
The final goal of being is being itself: the priority of telos is dissolved in the presencing in the world, where the very process of life initially posses its potency of cognizing. Life is understood here as a process of being, without a goal, "without why": "We are enthralled by new themes: superfluousness, meaninglessness, and the secret of powerful insignificance are celebrated by us.
The process of artistic creation placed on the same footing as the creative presencing-in-the-world, a spiritual action odukhotvorennoe delanie , became a goal of their art: "pure creativity is much more profound than the way it is understood in the everyday life of artists and painters. City on Fire.
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