An Illustrated précis of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish

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Recently I was able to be part of the Marshall Container Company’s lecture series Rough Draught. Each part of the lecture series is based off a two word topic, and having the privilege of choosing the topic for this round of lectures I chose Discipline and Punishment (with the  intent of basing my presentation off a book by Foucault with a very similar title: Discipline and Punish.) 

One very challenging part of the lecture is to distill a topic down to a presentation that can be accomplished in 15 minutes or less. This can be difficult, especially when working with someone as dense and meticulous as Foucault. Below I’ve included the visuals from my presentation, along with a slightly more wordy summary of my entire talk.

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Some Notes on Technique

“The most perfect technique is that which is not noticed at all.” –Pablo Casals

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I’ve been working on a commission painting for the last couple months, wrestling with it a bit but making some good progress. I enjoy the commissions because they involve subject matter that I wouldn’t normally focus on in my own work, and with this comes new problems that (once resolved) leave me with a larger toolbox of solutions for getting the desired results with my own paintings. These “commission painting problems” could be resolved in any variety of ways; with a certain combination of brushes, a certain medium, a specific kind of application, and so on, usually relying on a combination of several factors that each contribute to the solution. (more…)

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Memento Mori

“It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

-Marcus Aurelius

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Memento Mori is a Latin phrase meaning, more or less, “remember you’re going to die.” Though it’s been used since the 5th century to call into question the vanity of earthy life, and to realign focus on the Christian afterlife, I’m referring to it here in a different way, offering a different kind of immortality. To contemplate death for a best possible life here and now – remembering oblivion’s unavoidable approach and letting petty concerns fall away, choosing to be guided instead by desire and self-realization – all in order to live well and to gauge our realization of a fulfilling life by asking ourselves if we’d be willing to accept our own immortality, our own life relived for eternity by us without any changes. Asking this is daunting but also promising; we’re forced to face whatever boredom, lack, or horror has come before and to justify its return by affirming henceforth a life so fulfilling that no prior misfortune would scare us from saying yes to our own immortality.

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