Trevor Batten -A Selection of Theoretical Texts:

home person work links

An Important Warning to the Reader:

To the careless reader, the texts listed on this page might appear to be intepretable within the general framework of what is often called "postmodernism" -however, this is not the intention of the author (although I suppose a dedicated post-modernist might claim that the author's intention is totally irrelvant).

As far as the author is concerned, (globalised) "western" culture suffers badly from the schitzophrenia of the "two cultures" -an unbridgable division of the conceptual universe into the  world of science and the world of art. A schism that probably developed as a direct consequence of the fight of the christian inquisition against heresy and witchcraft but which surely peaks in the romantic escapism of Ruskin and his followers in the midst of the horrors of the British Industrial Revolution. As a result of this unfortunate social division, and the resulting lack of mutual understanding, the "world of art (and culture)" seems to have confused a practical interpretation of "relativity" with a nihilisitc form of "relativism": So -while the world of science has learned to create "objective" knowledge by mapping between different representations -the world of art has confused itself by claiming that all representations are "subjective" and therefore equally meaningless.

Although operating primarily within the world of art, the author's sympathies lie more with the meaningful "relativity" of science than with the (literally) meaningless "relativism" of postmodern cultural theory. Despite appearences, these texts therefore represent not an extension of postmodernism but a criticism of it.

The texts attempt to develop and explore their own conceptual context (which can be tested and developed through the construction of working computer programmes (i.e. the art work as practical experiment). The work as a whole  (both theoretical texts and working programmes) is an attempt to unite the various worlds of theory and practice,  art and science,  subjectivity and objectivity, emotion and thought -possibly relating back to ancient "western" and "non-western" intellectual, social and artistic traditions -which may, or may not , represent a common origin.

 In other words, the texts (and the programmes) are attempts to find (and test) new unifying conceptual approaches to the basic problems which humanity has had to face throughout its turbulent and often (apparently) suicidal history.

 If the reader insists upon interpreting these texts within a post-modern (or other non-applicable conceptual) context -then they will not be understood. Unfortunately, the very foundation of this work is an exploration of the importance of context and the difficulty of transcending one's own conceptual universe in order to understand a different conceptual universe -so the difficulties involved for the reader are understood. The problem lies in making these problems plain for the reader -and in finding (practical) ways for both author and reader to transcend them.

The working process involved in both text and programmes is highly self-reflective. Any reader who discovers in themselves the tendency to interpret these texts in terms of quotes from other authors has already taken a dangerous path. The texts below can perhaps be developed and improved through a dialogue with other authors -but any value they might have is likely to be destroyed if they are automatically interpreted within the conceptual framework established by any other author -or any set of assumptions not expressed in the texts themselves.

email: trevor at

top home

home person work links