Takeuchi/Nonaka - Social Ecology of Art - Wilden/Bateson

To continue this line of thinking, we now turn to Anthony Wilden's explication of logical types. In the essay "Nature and Culture" which is found in the book System and Structure: Essays in Communication and Exchange, Wilden writes:

"...every 'phenomenon', must be dealt with both in terms of its own level of logical typing and in terms of the higher synchronic levels of logical typing which make it possible. The relationship between higher levels of organization and higher levels of logical typing is inverse: the higher the logical type, the lower the level of organization (complexity). Similarly, the lower the level of organization, the more preponderance structure has over system..."

In all of this material we see the framework for understanding how multiple processes within individual and social learning systems are enmeshed in complex feedback loops that operate recursively to shape each other. In extending Takeuchi and Nonaka to art practice, we see how tacit knowledge (or the concrete practices of material production) can be formalized, or even "dematerialized," into theoretical, explicit knowledge that becomes a shared conceptual horizion for art discourse before being, ultimately, reabsorbed into individual material practice.

Wilden, who we did a rather poor job in summarizing, provides a way to explain "intuitive" decisions in art practices. Intuitve choices are choices made without access to the higher logical type that governs the decision. One might see that the choice "makes sense" without being to explain fully why. One of the functions of critiques and or critical writing is to try to establish a frame of reference for describing the higher logical type that constrains the decision making in a work.

Bateson's model provides a way of seeing how all of this plays out at the level of an "individual mind." The scare quotes are necessary because Bateson's notion of an individual and of a mind are not straightforward. They are, to some degree, just stable nodes in autocatalytic feedback loops, and thus not the usual humanist categories.

Placing each of these together we begin to build a map of how material practices, abstract systems, individual identity formation, discourse networks, critical feedback, constraints, etc. form a social ecology of art. A change in any component creates a series of recursive descriptions and re-descriptions that alter both individuals and their contextual environment.

To use Adam Skibinski's more general description (from Metalogy:
A Commentary on Mind, Recursion and Toplogical Inference), but one which is easy to see applied to our narrower focus:

"Establishing oneself in a network of exchange with others, in relations within any local population and its environment, results, gradually, ontogenetically, in self-discovery of myself as a person...What appears with an advent of language is socially constructed, inter-relational self, embodied in communication practices in populations as networks of exchange. We might claim that language exchanges produce and re-produce both a person and a social system. [Emphasis ours]"