'Functional fixedness' is a handle coined by research psychologists to describe the myriad ways in which an individual's cognative patterning of socialized 'uses' of objects limits that person's abilities to re-utilize (or re-see) an object. In research, this usually means that the person (read: subject) cannot then solve a given problem. (Or solve it beyond a certain threshold that would then qualify said subject's solution as adequate/efficient as determined via rubrics/metrics determined by the fixed, funded, appointed, sometimes tenured, non-subject-persons.)
Or, if you prefer something more tuneful: struggles with tacks, boxes, & wax.
Today was bookended by women talking craft. Talking their art, works, process. In the beginning: the poetic talent, language, vibrations, song, humanity, voice, mortality, beyond. The question of an Ur-language, a mother tongue. But, most of all, the thingness & bloodedness, the inseperable, lovely & terrible unspeakableness of words. A feeling, for me, of homecoming & familiarity & surprise in hearing my own intuition spoken & sung forward by this other woman. Spoken forward & slanting with the light of another generation, series of generations, set of experience.
Echoes, at last, of Browning. Whitman's multitudes.
But not. As in: imagine the potential & kinetic energies unlocked by acknowledging the self in order to empty it out. Perhaps, Uncle Walt, one may contain multitudes. But what are you missing by being a solid, containing force, when you could, instead, be permeable?
At the end: ways of seeing, ink and ballpoint, obsession & necessity, repetition, My Reputation. Questions of representation, control and points-of-view. How a panorama contains stillness & myriad perspectives. The center at the center as absence. As white space. Decision-making & planning, the gift of swiftness & decisiveness & spontaneity which come via deliberation, observation, process, repetition.
There was, within one of these talks, a story of how a woman near the time of her death was suddenly overcome with words—and seeing words inside of words. How gloss contains loss. Function, unction. Sear, ear.
Whether or not this leads to wisdom, perhaps, is a function of our fixedness. How even 'stochastic' holds a trace of the metronome.
The picture is some of what I did in the studio today. Or the Big Bang. Or whatever.