## the After-Art

Contemporary art seems to aim, as best it can, to overturn or destroy social norms and habits. Or at the very least, tries to get us to examine and challenge them! Specifically, the contemporary cultural definition of art, artists, and the art world in which they exist. One by one, the usual parameters in which we typically regard the art world are being challenged, and often successfully! The day will come, either sooner or later, when it will succeed! Perhaps not directly, but when the balance of questions/answers surpasses the tipping point, the scales will break, and all metes and measures will be ceremonial, and superficial.

At this point, there can be found no single vein which clearly and innately describes what "art" is. Therefore, in absence of universals art becomes so balkanized and sectioned, that only one's personal opinions of specific art pieces will hold value...! In essence, the art critic will go the way of the artisan or expert.

Robert Wilson describes what he refers to as the '*Jumping Jesus Phenomenon'. *This is the rapid and exponential acceleration of knowledge as measured by accumulation of knowledge in the modern world. We may return to this more specifically later, but for now it serves as an example for how exponential systems cannot continue their growth indefinitely- not outside purely mathematical models at least.

Art is one such system. Some might argue that these systems level off for natural strain of those resources that fuel their growth. This is, of course, true for some of these systems. Were this the case of the jumping jesus phenomenon, one would argue that the sum of knowledge is limited and therefore its accumulation must come to a stop at some point in the future.

Or...

It could be that the asymptote that this graph approaches is not the sum of knowledge, but the confine of that certain category of knowledge which can be defined in the way it is measured. What this means, is that when we reach a certain kind of growth, the system by which we measure information (that is, the way in which this growth is presented and graphed) is no longer an adequate tool to measure the growth itself.

Essentially, we reach a point where all measurement and representation breaks down. So too will our definitions of information and knowledge be either revisited and modified, or done away with altogether...! This can be seen in maths, when one brings 'infinities' into the mix. There are some real world mathematical calculations whose solutions 'break' math. Fitting infinite boxes into an infinite box, which includes the very box into which all others fit... for instance. Topological representations of matrix sets which represent infinite-dimentional space. Or the most elegant of them, in my opinion: the sum of all real numbers yields a negative fraction. That is, an infinite sum of real, whole numbers; a divergent series, which when added outright races beyond the computational, or even conceptual horizons... is -1/12. Really? Well, no, not really, and yet, computationally, in physics, and quantum mechanics, it does seem to work!

The point, here, is that what was traditionally referred to as math, has now been sub-categorized as "primitive recursive arithmetic" to distinguish it from the more comprehensive computational repertoire of higher, more complex mathematical tools and ideas. Much in the same was as what, at one time was considered simply "physics" is now "Newtonian Physics" or 'Newtonian Mechanics' as distinguished by the discrepancies between it and General Relativity, which set up the groundwork for Quantum Mechanics (at which point, it was necessary for for the out-dated, or less precise theory to take a new name).

Each previous language (from natural philosophy, to newtonian mechanics, to relativistic mechanics, to quantum mechanics, until recently, quantum field theory) was deemed unfit to shelve the new tools of measurement and description, despite the fact, that these tools emerged from the very language they would later [contest] refute!