Natural Art Individuals

I first got a hold of Camille Paglia’s Sexual Personae in Binghamton (Camille Paglia went there as undergraduate and I went there for my PhD much later). That book influenced my thinking a lot, I even used it as inspiration for the ability of users to select different “personae” in the recommender systems I developed in the 90s and 00s. Years later I realized how much in sync I was with her naturalized approach to identity and the importance of art in expressing and playing physically with identity. Or maybe was just her disco-punk attitude and interest in Bowie and Patti Smithand Madonna alike that resonated with me. The recent article by Mark Bauerlein is one of the best I have read recently explaining her relevance today — -when issues of identity can quickly become more like religion and nothing like true academic scholarship. A True Force of Nature to be taken seriously:

‘The truth Paglia identified long ago is that in all human beings there is an “emotional turmoil that is going on above and below politics, outside the scheme of social life.” Great art touches it, and so does religion. Individuals who respond to art and religion understand that when politics and social life presume to replace them as right expressions of that turmoil, they falsify it instead…’