"... the principle of emancipation is the dissociation of cause and effect." - Jacques Ranciere

Cause and effect, the Master and the Ignorant, the Artist the Spectator: these are the paradigms that Ranciere discusses in his talk "The Emancipated Spectator". Ranciere seems to portray a world of polar opposites, you are either the master of knowledge or the ignorant student, the enlightened artist or the passive bystander. If this is a true fact of nature than I can see the need to blur the lines artist and spectator. To involve the audience would be to rid the audience of ignorance.

However, I did not see the idea of artist and spectator as quite so black and white. I do not find the act of looking at art to be passive at all. Ranciere describes "looking is deemed the opposite of knowing." I find my expereinces to be quite the contrary in fact. Often, when looking at exhibits I find myself deeply immersed in thought. Trying to understand the artists view point, his oppinion, the message ge is trying to convey, the process of the art making... In this way I am not at all a passive observer, I am a scientist gathering data and information to understand, comprehend and better myself. So perhaps it is true that I am ignorant of the artists true meaning, but if we already knew the meaning and his point, what would be the purpose of looking?

I find that on occassion when creating my own art, I can get into a flow, almost a level of subconcious where I am not thinking, just doing, recording what my eyes see and not letting my brain interpret. This can be a mentally passive process. It is not until a point of (somewhat) objective reflection that I can gain perspective and insight in my work. It is often not until I can see the reaction of the audience to understand the scope and potenital for impact of my work.

It is a fact of nature that there will always be a paradigm of one person knowing and one person not knowing, but I have to disagree that "Being a spectator means looking at a spectacle. And
looking is a bad thing..."

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