"Narrativism, as represented by Hayden White and Frank Ankersmit, can fruitfully be analyzed as an inversion of two brands of positivism. First, narrativist epistemology can be regarded as an inversion of empiricism. Its thesis that narratives function as metaphors which do not possess a cognitive content is built on an empiricist, 'picture view' of knowledge. Moreover, all the non-cognitive aspects attributed as such are dependent on this picture theory of knowledge and a picture theory of representation. Most of the epistemological characteristics that White and Ankersmit attribute to historical narratives therefore share the problems of this picture theory.
The article's second thesis is that the theories of narrative explanation can also fruitfully be analyzed as inversions of positivist covering-law theory. Ankersmit's brand of narrativism is the most radical in this respect because it posits an opposition between narrative and causal modes of comprehension while simultaneously eliminating causality from narrativist historical understanding. White's brand of narrativism is more of a hybrid than is Ankersmit's as far as its theory of explanation is concerned; nevertheless, it can also be fruitfully interpreted as an inversion of covering-law theory, replacing it by an indefinite multitude of explanatory strategies.
Most of the striking characteristics of both White's and Ankersmit's narrativism pre-suppose positivism in these two senses, especially their claim that historical narratives have a metaphorical structure and therefore no truth-value. These claims are had to reconcile with the factual characteristics of debates by historians; this problem can be tracked down to the absence in 'metaphorical' narrativism of a conceptual connection between historical narratives and historical research."
(Chris Lorenz, 1998, Wiley-Blackwell)
Lorenz, C. (1998). "Can Histories Be True? Narrativism, Positivism, and the "MetaphoricalTurn"." History and Theory 37(3): 309-329.
"This newscast from KRON in San Francisco in 1981 has been making the rounds recently. It's labeled 'primitive Internet report,' but what it presents is actually one example of the many pre-Internet efforts that the newspaper industry made to try to plan for an online future - and stake out its own turf in that forthcoming world. ...
In the video, you can hear [Dave] Cole say, of the 'Electronic Examiner' he was demonstrating, 'We're not in it to make money.' At the end, the announcer points out that an entire edition of the paper takes two hours to download, at a $5/hour cost - making this 'telepaper' little competition for the paper edition. 'For the moment at least,' the reporter declares, over the image of a sidewalk news vendor hawking the afternoon edition, 'this fellow isn't worried about being out of a job.'
Though the piece does say that 'Engineers now predict the day will come when we get all our newspapers and magazines by home computer,' its underlying message is - Don't worry. This crazy computer stuff isn't going to change anything much for now. And indeed it took 10 years for any sort of online service to become even remotely popular. Almost 30 years later, newspapers are still in business; some are even still sold by guys on sidewalks. It has taken this long for the technology to transform the newspaper biz in a big way. ...
But even as the downloads sped up and the connect-time costs dropped, the industry held onto that approach, instead of coming to grips with the fundamentally different dynamics of a new communications medium. What had made sense in the early days over time became a crippling set of blinders. The spirit of experimentation that the Examiner set out with in 1981 dried up, replaced by an industry-wide allergy to fundamental change.
'Let's use the new technology,' editors and executives would say, 'but let's not let the technology change our profession or our industry.' They largely succeeded in resisting change. Now it's catching up with them."
(Scott Rosenberg, 29 January 2009)
Kinetica Art Fair 2013, February 28th - March 3rd 2013, Ambika P3, 35 Marylebone Road, NW1 5LS, London, UK
"The Kinetica feature exhibition and events programme is themed on 'Illusion and Reality' and the thin veil that divides what is real and perceived. The exhibition will focus on perceptions of reality, with works by 19 international artists exploring the many dimensions of illusion. The exhibition aims to challenge ideas on what is real, perceived or imagined, and focuses on transformation, metamorphism, visual paradox, vibration, nature, the subliminal and the subconscious.
The exhibition includes a huge interactive light sculpture from Dutch artist Titia Ex, an exoskeleton hybrid of man-animal-machine by Christiann Zwanniken and a giant three dimensional zoetrope by Greg Barsamian.
The boundaries between reality and illusion will be explored in a series of live performances using the Musion holographic projection system, and features an international line-up including the award-winning audiovisual collective Origamibiro ; a fusion of 3d imaging and quantum mechanics in danceroom Spectroscopy ; a hypnotic audiovisual experience from Simulacrum ; and multi-sensory Polish collective INIRE. The Musion Academy will present a further series of captivating performances including Analema Group, AV3, IEOIE and Paul Prudence.
Key figures and eminent pioneers in the fields of new media art and neurosciences have been invited to participate in a daily programme of Talks, which also features presentations by experimental artists exhibiting at the Fair."
(Kinetica Museum, UK)
"Social networks such as Facebook and on-line gaming are changing people's view of who they are and their place in the world, according to a report for the government's chief scientist. The report, published by Prof Sir John Beddington, says that traditional ideas of identity will be less meaningful. ... It states that the changing nature of identities will have substantial implications for what is meant by communities and by social integration.
The study shows that traditional elements that shape a person's identity, such as their religion, ethnicity, job and age are less important than they once were. Instead, particularly among younger people, their view of themselves is shaped increasingly by on-line interactions of social networks and on online role playing games.
The study found that far from creating superficial or fantasy identities that some critics suggest, in many cases it allowed people to escape the preconceptions of those immediately around them and find their 'true' identity. This is especially true of disabled people who told researchers that online gaming enabled them to socialise on an equal footing with others."
(Pallab Ghosh, 21 January 2013, BBC News)
"But as a strategy and a form, the interview-oriented film has problems of its own. ... the film-maker with intertitles, making patently clear what has been implicit all along: documentaries always were forms of re-presentation, never clear windows onto 'reality'; the film-maker was always a participant-witness and an active fabricator of meaning, a producer of cinematic discourse rather than a neautral or all-knowing reporter of the way things truely are."
(David MacDougall p.260, 1985)
MacDougall, David. "The Voice of Documentary", in Movies and Methods: Volume II, Bill Nichols ed. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.
Fig.1 Dana Perry and her son Evan Scott Perry, at age 3, HBO documentary "Boy Interrupted" [http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/boy-interrupted]