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Let us make some noise over this silence....

 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 160
Registered: Sep-04
I am for once almost speechless with a feeling which flickers from a a simple and pure dismissal to a slightly more complicated disgust.
Let's break it down....

"The audience saw him sit.... The piece had passed without any notes being played...."
No notes = no music. End of story. You can intelectualize as much as you like upon whether such a simple and logical conclusion such as mine embodies ignorance and how I've missed the point or not. That is irelevent however, to the fact that without sound, there is no music.

Silence must be part of music, because if it did not exist, then the sound ceases to be music. The point people miss when evaluating this kind of pretentious slop is that without silence to punctuate the sound, there can only be a continous wave of sound. This would equate to noise and when it's use is accompanied by intellectual interpretation, forms the other end of the spectrum of bollocks. If I were to write an essay with no spaces or full stops, the result would equate to one long nonsensical word. If, on the other hand I were to write the entire thing without letters- just spaces - then this would eqaute to one long space - ergo - lots of blank paper. Neither of these is an essay, although one stands more chance of being able to interpret the former than trying to find meaning in the latter, which actually contains zero material. The meaning of this could range from "didn't feel like writing an essay this morning...." to any reason at all why I did not write. My intellectual reasons for not putting pen to paper do not suddenly make the blank paper morph into an essay. This then, in our modern and polite society, would then have to be termed art, a human entity of expression; a term which has been abused over the years - the word having taken up the post of becoming a cop out for anything people do not understand and are too polite to disregard. The use of the word 'art' has become synonymous with that of the word 'paranormal'. In times past, any phenomenon not understood might have been labelled 'magic' or the work of gods and devils.

This kind of thing irritates me on a level which I absolutely refute to the hilt is a result of the effect of the idea conveyed. It irrtitates me because art is work. Without work, there is no art. Without work, there is no science and without science there can exist no technology.

It seems to me that the validity of pretentious and arrogant artists such as Cage et al hinge on a twisted logic which says that because a reasonable person gets angry when nothing is produced that it was the 'nature of the nothing' which made them so, without considering the possibility we are actually hungry to hear a well crafted piece of work. It is without doubt, a plain cheat which is analogous to the Emporer's New Clothes.

You and John A. agreed earlier that there must be a world, whose naturewe must agree upon in order to make any scientific and useful evaluation of it.

Art is something. Nothing is nothing and silence is the abscence of sound, also open to being subjective as I could be 'silent' myself in a room full of noisy people. Agreed. Intellectual apraisal of modern art though, is often an excuse made for not really being moved by it. Intellectualism therefore makes up for what we percieve to be a 'failure' to feel the emotional content of the work. I constantly ask why - do so many people see the need to try and squeeze something out of an experience that did not move them. Just be honest and say that silence is not music, instead of trying to justify it just because you may respect Cage for having already made a valid contribution to music in the past. Please remember that being polite to Cage's silent piece does not improve it's validity, or detract from it's qaulity as a pisstake of modern musical critisism.

I can get all the artificial silence I need, either from a BBC sound effects tape or from going to a forest (I think this has been said before) without subscribing to an overpriced offering by this idiot.

Thankyou for reading.

V



 

Veli
Unregistered guest
Many artists do hide satire inside their work of art. The question is, what was the purpose of the satire. Did Gage mean to cause brainstorm in the head of the "listeners" or just sucker the audience?

Anyway, I have not seen the music sheet of 4'33'', but I assume it to contain some guidance on how to perform the silence. I consider this to be theater - not music. If it would be explicitly stated by Cage to be theater, then everything would be OK for me.

Veli

 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 162
Registered: Sep-04
Yes, Veli.... I believe you are on the right track there. Theatre, not music. Maybe even 'performance art'. Silence can never be music just because it punctuates it and music is not silence - it is made of sound. Not all sound is music, either.... Music is the arrangment of sounds to create an artistic composition.

Sorry to state the obvious to people who's intelligence I rate highly in here.... I just think we should be sure about our definitions, otherwise we could end up embracing the idea that all our definitions are arbitrary, sending us back to Nietsche and co!

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest
































































































































But your defintions are arbitrary. Who appointed you as the arbiter of defintions?






Click
pop

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Gentlemen, the debate you wish to engage in has been ongoing for at least the last century if not longer. Do you really think we can reach any sort of conclusion on this forum? It may be worth discussing, but, I doubt we will have accomplished much when the last post is finally made. My point in my remarks has been to suggest the more dangerous position is to think anyone can decide and define what is art. A quick review of socialist realism would be good for both of you before we proceed. You might want to give a nod to all the artists that simply disappeared during the domination of Soviet and German dictators who also thought they could define other people's concepts of what is art. Though your question doesn't reach the level of incarceration or worse, the moment someone else decides what is art, religion or political point of view for another person the implication has been stated there can be rules set forth for this sort of behavior. Once there are rules there have to be punishments for those that break the rules. No people can stand when breaking the rules isn't met with punishment. Who shall set the defintion of the appropriate punishment?

Whether you personally like the art, or understand the art, is not the job of the artist. When you speak of art being work you seem to ignore the work that must be done by the observer. To suggest that art can be quantified and labelled is not only dangerous, in my view, but, it suggests you know better than another where art should have stopped progressing. Would you have preferred Bach, Beethoven or Tchaikovsky had not pushed their art to the next level? Would you prefer that all representative art stop before perspective was introduced? Ballet and not Balachine?

What is more ego driven? Can we decide between the artist who creates a blank canvas or the dictator who has his image plastered on everything his subjects see as they go about their daily lives? A constant reminder that you can have your life taken away by looking at unapproved art (or ideas) is more dangerous to me than a few minutes of silence. To seriously debate the question you ask is to assume the dictator is right. That, I believe, moves us closer to accepting Neitzche's preference for the Superman.


 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 163
Registered: Sep-04
J. Vigne,

A very commendable and well thought out argument.

I shall respond in due course.

Please, can I ask respectfully that you spare us the 'blank essays'. I would not think of posting my own art on here - and you write too well, it would be a shame to see you sink to Cage's level :-)

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Ahh, I see the flicker of a response to my effort.



 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 164
Registered: Sep-04
Hmm, it may be more of an explosion, than a flicker I'm afraid.

Yes, I'm aware of where the debate originates for you. I would say it's been going far longer than the last century, indeed.

" Do you really think we can reach any sort of conclusion on this forum?"

Yes. Why not? We did alright with the last one.

" It may be worth discussing, but, I doubt we will have accomplished much when the last post is finally made."

I consider it an accomplishment if either one of us learns something from the other, either for or against one's own position. I'm open to your comments.

" My point in my remarks has been to suggest the more dangerous position is to think anyone can decide and define what is art."

That's the whole point! Anyone CAN define and decide 'what is art' - and that, my friend, is exactly what I am arguing against.

You see, this is just the kind of double standard I can't get along with. If the medical profession, for instance, started to blur it's edges on the question of 'what is medicine?' we might have an epidemic of charlatans on our hands. Many alternative therapies can be said to work, but to deny us the definitions of 'alternative' 'faith' and 'proven' could potentially rate therapies such as Homeopathy alongside a scientifically proven, chemical one.

"A quick review of socialist realism would be good for both of you before we proceed."

Would it now? Would not a quick review of how capitalism has allowed redefinitions of 'good business' to propogate debt be good for you?

"You might want to give a nod to all the artists that simply disappeared during the domination of Soviet and German dictators who also thought they could define other people's concepts of what is art."

I think you take things too far to the extreme, which is, I think, one of the possible natural negative side effects of left wing thinking.

And if you're looking for 'danger', I suggest you look deeper into your own society and it's government.

This is not a question of whether we have the freedom to consider 'what is art' on a personal level, it is my rebuttal against the critics who are allowed to climb into a postion of misguided power where they can define art for us. This, for many, is not a mere passtime and jolly debate - it helps decide who gets the grants and the exposure. If you were a socialist, or a democrat, you might argue that it is the opinion of the majority (or the common man who pays for it) which counts, as everyone is supposed to be equal. That is the point of voting, is it not?

Whether I believe people are equal to each other or not is irelevent though. The point is that hypocrasy is in my estimation the biggest sin an intelligent mind can commit. I do not think all people are equal - I just think that political freedom and consideration for the working classes is the best way to maintain civilisation. The majority of working people respect an artist for the work he has done - not for what he hasn't done, or pretends to do. It's a craft; it's a job and it's also a scholarly exploit. End of rant.

The problem for me lies in the ennui it produces. I find most conceptual modern art intellectually immature and pathetically obvious. None of it is clever or subtle and still the Turner prize goes to a retarded idiot who rips paper and stretches blu-tack. For this reason, I think I am qualified to say what is quality or worthwhile art, in the same way as you consider yourself able to determine and define a good sound - and rate the equipment in your shop accordingly. I believe you are an honest man, and so I would expect you to have sold me the thing which is right for my needs, rather than a piece of junk with a successful name attached to it. That is the analogy and that is the point, on which I expand in the next paragraph.

Ultimately in the artworld, it is "not WHAT, but WHO you know". it aspires to a class system and I'll tell you now, that before you graduate, if the establishment who is turning you out sees that you are doing something contrary to the aims of the school, you get the low marks. Sorry, but the sad truth is that the schools are not aiming to turn out the most original free-thinker.... They are sending out a worthy representative by the marks they give. I think that is far more dangerous to art and our civilised culture than 4 minutes of silence, or for that matter a little sensible definition. I'm afraid art already HAS been defined by a certain collective of self-serving despots.... So I got there too late. You only have to look at my own position - I have to keep my illustration work a secret from the galleries who would take my freestyle, expressive works. Now if that isn't a danger to a working person's career, then I do not know what is.

In conclusion, you should ask yourself two things.
First, an example: Someone has already stipulated for you what is decent and what is obscene. It's called censorship. This means that you are regarded as an outcast for liking porn0gr@phy. You have not exactly been imprisoned for it and you are unlikely to dissapear for liking it - not even for actual crimes does this happen. So that's pretty much the "MIB coming for the art lover" fallacy dealt with. Farrenheight 451 may be a cautionary tale worthy of note, but it is is also a work of fantasy - for your entertainment.

Secondly, you have to make up your own mind from this if fascism really went away, or whether it's evolved into something far more subtle in the guise of 'freedom'.

Freedom? Bollocks! It's an illusion.

And can someone please explain to me how I can write the word 'Bollocks' in here, but not 'P0rn0gr@phy'???? Now, you see what I mean!!??

V











 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 165
Registered: Sep-04
" Once there are rules there have to be punishments for those that break the rules. No people can stand when breaking the rules isn't met with punishment. Who shall set the defintion of the appropriate punishment?"

Why are you so obsessed with the notion that definition must equate to law - and why are you so set on the idea that all crime leads to due punishment? Maybe it should, but often it doesn't. Crime leads to law suits, earnings for lawyers and political ratings for politicians - not always the justice which it deserves.

Do you honestly think anyone would bother to enforce definitions of art in our pathetically leanient and money oriented society?

With respect, J, Get real, please!

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Before I begin, this will amount to a political statement that may rub some people the wrong way. Several on this thread are, or should be, aware of my political stance and how I feel about certain subjects.
This is meant as a warning to any who would read this and would try to suggest I have wronged them in any way. If you know my politics and do not agree with them - STOP READING NOW!!! If you continue, you are assuming the risk of being offended and I shall not accept any responsibility for what happens.

***********************************************

I admit some of my fear of a forced justice can be considered a part of my left wing view of what America has become and what it wishes to impose upon the rest of the world at the barrell of a gun. There is a great fear among the left about what George Bush and the right wing, Christian conservatives have and continue to do to the idea of freedom of expression. Maybe I see too much, but, maybe you see too little. The danger of hearing and seeing only what you wish to be true is what both of us should be aware of.
The right wing in the US has long preached of a slippery slope while "liberally" providing the grease when it benefits them and their causes. More on this later.

As to the censorship on this forum, I have long protested the fact that I can write screw, screw you, screw George Bush, screw all the fascists, screw the world, but, I can't write the word G-A-Y without resorting to a ridiculous level. But that has little to do with our discussion of the free market of capitalism and the unfree market of ideas. I hope.

I have to leave for awhile but thought I would start my response. I will return.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Varney - If you should get here before I can continue, I would appreciate a clarification of your statement all men are not equal. I can easily agree people have a difference in height, intelligence, wealth and, by a stroke of the genetic machine, color of skin. But your blanket assertion is troubling to me.


 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 166
Registered: Sep-04
Don't let it trouble you, J.

<v>" I do not think all people are equal"

As someone who strives for the 'something' I have to concede that there are people who paint better than me, as I would take confidence from the fact I paint better than some. This applies to what it is we are trying to achieve with the painting. The term 'painting' I use to convey the communication, ideas, subtle subtexts, success of the piece visually as well as the physical laying down of paint with an understanding of light, form and texture.

Some people are stronger than others, more intuitive, intelligent, knowledgable, you name it, we and our traits exist by degrees.

No-one is superior to another, other than by their actions and then that is in the mind of the reciever. We all have the equal right to exist, work, play and do what it is we want, so long as it harms none.

I take it this is what you were looking to find out about me?

Before I go - and you come back -

I would just like to make it clear I did not actually come here to discuss world politics, other than to use examples where they may overlap and affect art and music.

I have seen other forums degenerate into deep and heated political debate when my original purpose is to find slightly lighter relief in talking about the things I enjoy. There is plenty of opportunity to do this on forums which are expressly for this purpose, as well as television and radio. I'd urge you not to let this forum become one of them. Let's keep it on track with the cultrural effects of, and analogies to, the equipment and artistic material of sound and vision.

I don't think you stand much chance of offending me with left wing views. I think we can safely assume we think much the same on such issues, but I may not necessarily respond to discussions on your personal overview of the world. That doesn't mean I don't care. Quite the contrary in fact.

My last post merely sets out to explain how I feel about definitions of art and music and how they affect the artist. My point is that music is a combination of notes and art must be a 'something' in order to exist in valid form, in the same way that Medicene that is of 'nothing' is known as a placebo. Defintitions have never hurt anyone unless they are enforced by extreme cultures. It happens more with religion as far as I can tell.

I am tring to show that the passion is being overtaken by intellectualization and the 'object of beauty or disgust' can be replaced with passionless cleverness.

My only politcal stance is one of balanced view. I cannot subscribe to any extreme form of either left or right. That is really all I need to say on the subject.

V
 

Veli
Unregistered guest
Do we want to discuss this or debate? I assume there is no final conclusion in a discussion - only grown common understanding of the issue (if the discussion was done in positive spirit). I assume there is usually a winner in a debate (a person with his original statement).

I find two things to be important: why we call something art and why we classify art into music, theater, literature etc.

I do not know when the concept of art (and further music) was born in the history humankind. I think music origianally was part of normal life (even if music was ritual, all rituals were part of the everyday life). Stereotyping has its advantages and disadvantages. When you see a pile of trash on the floor of an art museum, the question is, does it create inside your head emotions that you classify as fine art emotions. When you "hear" 3'44'', does it create emotions that you classify as music related? Surely this varies from people to people. If you get emotions like "I am being suckered", then probably the work is at least inside a grey zone. With not so concrete things like art the classification is surely not so easy. Human beings use fuzzy logic - something seems to be e.g. more theater than music. This is how I assume my emotional reaction to 4'33'' to work.

During a course on project management a lecturer taught me: all people are perfect. This means we have all the good mental properties in place to deal with our environment. When we grow up, we gather a lot of "dirt" that covers the perfectness (one example is predjudice). Many classification mechanisms are probably situated on this outer shell of our mind. Based on certain rules (that have partly been planted and partly have evolved due to you own processing) it classifies e.g. art. People are also classified using this filter in our mind.

Whether there exist universal moral/ethic rules in the world is another valid question. The western rules seem to be those that win (along with their double standard).

In totalitarism everything is easy: just obey, the responsibility is not yours. In freedom you are responsible of what you do.

Veli
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Let me begin by making two things clear. First, I have no disagreement with your ideas that much of what passes for art today is a poor representation of talent and will pass into history only to show up on some version of "Antiques Roadshow" in 2121. When the owner is asked if they have any idea what it is worth, the appraiser will cheerfully inform them it is worth less than the box of corn flakes used to make it. And why would that be? Someone with the power to decide has made it so.

Secondly, the reason I am concerned about the definitions of art being a source of danger is there are still vast areas of the world where it is considered dangerous to have a thought that isn't approved by the ruling body. I don't think we should divorce ourself from that reality. Following that thought I would ask what is extreme?
I notice both Varney and Veli live outside the US and may have little information on how my country has changed recently. We are in a 24/7 news cycle that is filtered by the ideas of the people who control our networks. An ever decreasing number of people make the decision what the American people will see and hear. We have lost and forever changed the lives of American soldiers and Afghan and Iraqi civilians fighting for what we prefer to call our values. The last American presidential election was one of values. Though the values of a group such as the Taliban would be considered despicable to most of the world, they were considered appropriate to quite a large number of people. Who made the rules for the Taliban? Someone. Someone who felt they should have the literal power over life and death when the whim struck them.
The debacle the US finds itself in within Iraq is a constant reminder of the lack of understanding by the Bush administration (and the American people) for other cultures and values. The US will continue to impose its view of democracy on the Middle East until we are once again run out at gun point.
What is extreme? Here in the US the Attorney General warned that those that question the administration are giving aid to the enemy. We are now replacing that man with another who instructed the president how to apply torture outside the "antiquated" and "quaint" rules of the Geneva conventions. Words have been turned on their heads in the US. In Dallas, where I live, there are four radio stations that broadcast conservative ideolgy on a 24/7 basis. Some of those shows call for the outright imprisonment of anyone who disagrees. The US has arrested its own citizens and held them with no trial or proof a crime other than they thought something. The US is building a prison to detain forever enemies of the state where they have no proof of a crime but refuse to release the prisoner.

Yes, those are extreme examples, but, in the US there are almost fifty per cent of the citizens who favor limiting the Constitutional rights of some citizens while, at the same time, insisting they have the Constitutional right to own military assault weapons. Far too many people I spoke to about George Bush voted for him for no other reason than he is a "good man". The religious conservatives feel emboldened by the reelection of George Bush and have annouced their intention to flex their muscle in overturning laws that do not meet their approval. They feel they can decide what morality is for everyone.
More over there are many who take the mere mention of anything that doesn't suit their idea of how things should be as an attack on their values and their country. Some on this forum. That is the reason for my earlier comments.

So, gentlemen, I don't think we can just ignore the fact that there are quite a few people in the world today that would still prefer to tell us what is acceptable. And I don't think we can ignore the fact that those people are self appointed.
I will do my best to keep my politics out of this discussion. Both of you must know, however, art and politics are linked through history. When you remove the political from the defintions of art the only thing you have left are the critics. And, on the whole, they are a sorry lot to be left with any decision.






 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 167
Registered: Sep-04
Well, J,

Always one to admit my errors - I asked you to "get real" and you did just that, with a reality which is.... Well, what can I say that you have not already.

My point however is that a definition of art would benefit those who practice honestly and sincerely, whatever it is they do. I do not view a lot of what I see as sincere and I have also aluded to the fact that art has already been defined within the colleges as something without definition, while auspicious education amounts to the grooming of their subjects to represent the establishment from which they came. To me, that is not honest and sincere art, it's puppetry. I hate it and with a passion we both feel when we look at the issues you describe.

Like I said, I'm not here to discuss world politics. Perhaps I've touched on the politics of art because that is as inescapable for me as the former is to both of us.

I would liken it to you opening a Hi-Fi shop and someone later opening one right next door to you. How would you feel if that person sold shoe boxes and called it imaginary Hi-Fi? To make it worse, they also convinced your customers it "was the cutting edge technology and not to be fooled by the outdated rubbish J. Vigne sells next door?"

That sounds utterly bizzare - but people are making money out of 'nothing' and a pile of trash on the carpet. I have to think, work, dream, investigate, photograph, graft and pay the bills through it. These people get up in the morning and know theirs are paid because another bunch of suckers went and paid to look at a piece of dead fish they hung from the ceiling yesterday.

Ideas are not art. They are ideas. Art is the result of DOING SOMETHING with an idea - and, I hasten to add - DOING IT WELL!

That is really my stance. It is not something I would like to see enforced at gunpoint or by law. That is also my stance, because I'm not a fascist, am I? I just feel our society is too ready to fall for the gimmick - and that underates the work put in by a skilled person who cares about their craft.

I don't know why I'm even saying this, as you already seem to agree.... but then, this is really now a discussion, rather than a debate, as you so aptly put it.

Regards,

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Now, that said, I don't believe the US is about to fall to the levels of Stalinist dictatorship. Artists are not going to be shot in the street. But two facts remain in my view; there are portions of this world where power is held over who thinks what, and, in the US there is a new found boldness for a small group to define what is acceptable, moral and right. I would be suprised to find any part of the world where this attitude doesn't exist since it has been with us for the last several thousand years. I would therefore ask once again; what is extreme?



Varney argues that anyone can define what is art and he is against that idea. But that also seems to dictate the idea that someone can dictate other aspects of another persons life. If you can define for another person what they think about art, where is the next arena that will fall under the suspicion of not suiting your standards? It would be hard for some people to stop just at art. Even if you feel that is your only intent. What would be your reaction if someone should decide for you what constitutes art? Well, I believe we are seeing it laid out in front of us in this discussion. You are upset and want it changed. I dare say, changed to meet your personal prescription of art.

Varney, you raise the question of medicine and the charlatans that have given alternative healing a bad name. But you can't deny that power of the placebo. If you broaden your definition of medicine to be what heals, then the healing that is accomplished through these alternative methods should fit into that definition. (I hesitate to refer to modern medicine as traditional, since it has existed for only the last 150 years in the Western cultures.) If you look at modern Western medicine, I think you will also find charlatans abounding. Turn on your TV anytime to see the claims for weight loss, relief from pain, etc.; you see, simply putting your medicine in a pill does not guarantee results any more than creating bad art should be accepted as art.

But, art and medicine follow the money trail.
"Would it now? Would not a quick review of how capitalism has allowed redefinitions of 'good business' to propogate debt be good for you."
Varney, here I think you accuse me of something I haven't promoted. The idea that I acknowledge the influence of money on art doesn't mean I whole heartedly espouse capitalism as a philanthropic venture. I have to rely on the adage capitalism is the worst system in the world, except all the rest. Greed is a human emotion and it is a form of greed that wants to define ideas for other people. Varney suggests I can find danger in my own government. I have to say that appears more like another accusation where I am being blaimed for the failings of my society. Though some consider me arrogant and a cad, I can't accept the blame for all of my society. That's just a bit too much.

If you wish to lay the blame at the collective feet of the critics and sellers of art, then I have little quarrel with your claims. For just as our corn flake laden object
d'art will be rejected by those who can define art's value, so have they determined through history what is artistic. Someone or some group has set the value of art to suit their own needs. That they did it without your consent is not the issue. Is it?

If there is a danger in this to you, it would appear to be someone else will decide who gets the grants and whose work sells for the highest price. In the US the religious fanatics feel they have the right to decide who shall get their tax dollars. Why should we trust them to make the right deicison and the right defintion? What is to guarantee they won't simply make a choice that lines the pockets of their contribtuors while trying to disguise their effort as morality. Hypocrisy and morality have long been the closest of companions.

I would prefer a socialist attitude of wealth distribution among artists. Not a socialism as it has been employed in the world, but, a socialism that contains the ideals of what everyone as equals should mean. And yet, which society has held the power of art in such high regard as have the corrupt socialist societies? Where else would you be shot for a poem? A litle of that regard for the power of art and less of the fear of that power might not be a bad thing for the Western world. As we have it now, the elites are the ones chosen to decide the power of art. That there are elites troubles me more than a few misplaced corn flakes.

Varney's claim that the majority of working people respect an artist for what they have done is, in one sense, as blind to reality as denying the existence of totalitarian regimes. I have found the majority of working people in the US haven't a clue what happens in the art world and think of Jessica Simpson as an artist. This is the wide gap between the US and Europe and is a great boon to those who would define ideas for someone else. When the majority is not paying attention they are far more likely to be misled.

Modern art does induce an ennui that is staggering. But it isn't always the fault of the artist. There has to be a certain amount of work that is involved in understanding art. The riots that ensued at the premiere of a work or the artist who gets shot involved work of some sort. When the majority lets someone else define what they should like they become numb to the experience of art. It is the mechanization and proliferation of art in the last 150 years that has brought about this ennui. We have a proliferation of art that was not possible 200 years ago. And as people have moved to a more urban society we come in contact with art more often. And the better artist's reaction to this overloaded ennui is to present works that shock the public into paying attention. If the public fails to grasp the attempt, that is not the fault of the artist. If the artist fails to make an honest effort at this work, then the artist is at fault.

If the audience finds a piece of work vacuous and devoid of meaning, isn't it possible the audience has simply not the referrence to understand the work? What is the difference between the audience who doesn't understand primitive art and the audience who can't and won't understand modern art? The difference is slight but it is the laziness of the audience in both cases. I can't imagine any one of you who doesn't look to the dictionary for a word they come across when they feel they should understand the meaning. Why shouldn't an audience at a performance reach for a reference when confronted with an unusual piece of art? Only because they are too lazy and self absorbed to do so.

Varney's example of my selling audio based on my judgement is, in my opinion, somewhat faulty. First, I never sold just what I felt to be "correct" audio. The client had the ability and the right to make the decision for themself what they would purchase. Second, if I chose wrong too many times in my decision of what was acceptable, I was out of business. Art and hifi go with the money trail. That is capitalism.

At the heart of all commerce is cronyism. I can't deny what Varney says about "who you know". I have experienced this in my own life. But what makes you think this is only a problem of the arts? That is life. Van Gogh didn't sell his art during his life even though Theo was connected to wealthy clients. What happened to make them worth millions? Nothing that happened in a school! The elite few who had the power to make them worth millions stepped in and the act was done. Would you prefer Van Gogh had disappeared into the oblivion he existed in during his life?

So you must admit a good and a bad side to the elites who control the value of art and those who decide what art actually will be. Despots among philanthropists. The two balance themself.

What I see in the arguments you gentlemen have put forth so far is nothing more than a dislike for those who control the purse strings of the art world. And, you would prefer to blame the art itself. It is a far more convenient escape from the situation. Varney, I'm sorry if you have fallen on the periphery of what you would like to produce. I can't help but say I see more offense taken at the idea there are defintions, not made by you, than I see a reason for your dislike of modern art's vagueries in total. Veli, I would suggest maybe you haven't the vocabulary to understand the work you don't grasp.

The conclusion to Varney's post is I should ask myself two questions. I fail to see the questions. In the first example, I will admit to being somewhat lost. What is it you would have me ask? In the second example, I assume you are asking me to judge whether fascism of ideas has been replaced by fascism of the market. I would answer they have always been one and the same. It is you, Varney, who should ask if that isn't what you are railing against.



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Varney, do you have a web site where I can see some of your work?


 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 398
Registered: Oct-04
Well, I don't know a lot about art. But I know what I like! (grin)
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 168
Registered: Sep-04
J, I'd like to answer most of what you have put, but I do not have the time at present.

Thankyou for an interesting discussion on the subject. I will respond in due course, when time allows.

Here is a link.

http://www.immanionpress.wox.org/immanion/IP0054.htm

I'm afraid my website is badly in need of some attention, and does not represent what I'm doing now, or even in the last seven years. So I'll update you as and when it is.

I'm still waiting for Immanion's website to be updated with my bio, which is a little embarrasing, as you will not see me in "Meet The Staff" yet.

Regards,

V

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Larry - Consider yourself drug out into the street and shot ... several times!


 

Silver Member
Username: Larry_r

Naples, FL

Post Number: 402
Registered: Oct-04
Jan V. - Yeah, I know - kill the messenger!
(grin) Don't worry, I won't be "polluting" this thread anymore - just HAD to throw in one liddle dig.
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Varney - "Charlemagne, Man or Myth". Is there such a controversy?

I didn't see your name, as "Varney" anywhere in the catalog section I went through. Should I be looking for something else?
Having a moderate interest in the type of art you apparently produce for this job, I understand much of your frustration at those who appear to throw something at a surface and deem it a creation of inspiration. But you are not alone in your frustration, even those who engage in creative throwing get frustrated by the whims of the market place and those who succeed on personality networks as opposed to any apparent talent. But you must realize there are hundreds of aspiring artists who would gladly take your position and swap it for their own. You have reached a level many of those artists will never achieve. Since I haven't seen anything I can say is your art, I don't mean to imply anything in my remarks; but, don't you think some would say you have managed to get your security from the people you know? Artists are a jealous lot on the whole. While I received encouragement from several artists that thought I had some talent and some promise, there were more working artists that saw a threat to their security and did everything they could to keep me from acheieving what I wanted. I finally decided didn't want to fight the personalities along the way. I had other talents that offered a more secure future. You have made a living at your art and that is something most aspiring artists can't manage.

Veli - I do not understand your desire to compartmentalize. Why would one work be OK if it was called theater and not OK when called music?


As to your trash on the floor; one of my memories that has stuck with me for over a decade is a trip to the Dallas art museum. The new building had been completed just recently and this was my first trip to see the new space. It was an autumn day with an overcast sky. Natural lighting was subdued. As I found myself uninterested in the exhibit in one room, I turned away to give those with me time to reflect on what they saw. What I saw through the large slab of glass wall that I faced was more artistic than anything I had seen so far in the museum. Outside the window a niche in the structure of the building created a play of light and shadow with multiple values that fell across the grey concrete surfaces and also into a small rectangular pool that had been placed between the vertical intersections that formed the museum's outer walls. Floating on the surface of the pond were a few dozen small autumn leaves which cast shadows on the few dozen more that had sunk to the bottom of the pool. There was no breeze so the surface of the pool and the floating leaves remained motionless as if fixed by an artist's vision. I was struck by the many lines, the interplay of shadow values against the various shades of concrete color and the dash of warm colors in the leaves. The stark lines of the building's strucure were muted just slightly by the leaves that had reached the bottom of the pool where their shapes were refracted by the surface of the pool's water. It was the most inspiring moment I have seen in that museum that day or since. I've returned to that space and never found the same moment. I'm certain some worker came along later and swept the leaves from the pool so that other museum vistors wouldn't be offended by something that didn't show Dallas as the epitome of cleanliness and refinement. That moment will never exist again and yet it remains as one of the most striking moments I have in my memory. I've often wondered whether other visitors that day turned away uninterested in what they saw inside the museum only to find a fascinating moment outside their space. Whether the architect of the building ever had such a moment in mind when the hard lines of concrete and glass were laid out, I will never know. But that moment, in a structure that was completely modern combined with a bit of assistance from nature, will be one I carry with me forever. It will be a transcendant moment in my life. Who could ask more of a modern artifact?



 

Bronze Member
Username: Cheapskate

Post Number: 83
Registered: Mar-04
minimalist performance art
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Budget minded in terms of word usage?


 

Veli
Unregistered guest
J. Vigne: Calling 4'33'' theater would be fine to me, because then I would not have to feel (less) uncomfortable concerning the original intensions of the "composer". I hate being suckered - that may be my personal problem.

It is absolutely sure, that concerning the reached level of (pleasant) emotions, human artifacts of fine art can possibly never exceed those provided by nature. Whether this applies also music, is a potential topic for another (long) discussion thread.

Veli
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Veli - As I suggested, your feeling of being suckered seems, to me, to be a too convenient response. You must have a hard time at a performance of Shakespeare with a rhythmic pattern to the language. Maybe you would prefer a more modern interpretation?


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I guess you can consider the experience I described as an appreciation of nature. I view it as a monentary communion of nature's whims and the solid, planned construction of man's designs. The changing value of nature provided the lighting and the color intensity. The desire of man to stand against nature provided the backdrop and the linear structure. Was it a joint effort that was created by the two joining forces, or, merely the intrusion of the cycle of life and nature into the stark reality of man's ego driven pursuits? Those are only two simple interpretations of what I saw. The greatness of art is in how many possibilities it opens up to one's imagination. To quickly dismiss something out of hand (as I suspect the pool cleaner and many others that day would have done) is hardly being suckered. The more you look and observe, or listen and understand, the more open you become to what you experience.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

As an "artist", I thought that day, and have wondered many times since, how I would render the image and emotion I perceived in a two dimension representation. I knew I lacked the amount of skill and talent that it would require and doubted that even a photographic attempt to capture the moment would truly do it justice. It has remained one of the elusive goals of my development to imagine how I would enable myself to pass on what I found so intriguing about that space. It was the silence that surrounded me in the museum that gave a bit of meaning to the time. Yet there wasn't silence as the museum was rather busy that day. So the silence was a moment when I heard but didn't place it at the forefront of my perception. How do I convet the actual moment?


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

As an "artist", I thought that day, and have wondered many times since, how I would render the image and emotion I perceived in a two dimension representation. I knew I lacked the amount of skill and talent that it would require and doubted that even a photographic attempt to capture the moment would truly do it justice. It has remained one of the elusive goals of my development to imagine how I would enable myself to pass on what I found so intriguing about that space. It was the silence that surrounded me in the museum that gave a bit of meaning to the time. Yet there wasn't silence as the museum was rather busy that day. So the silence was a moment when I heard but didn't place it at the forefront of my perception. How do I convey the actual moment? Wouldn't any attempt I made be an artistic interpretation that could be dismissed by the public as suckering them?



 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 169
Registered: Sep-04
J, I could be here for many hours and type my fingers to the bone, with open books all over the desk for reference and cross reference. I could go into an extremely long and drawn out argument with you which would fill the thread only for many people to take one look and be daunted by the sheer length of each post as we spar back and forth with accusations and defence that I am / am not a fascist who would redefine art for others as well as myself.

This calls for a step back for a moment to see what concessions I can make before launching into a knee-jerk, auto-defence routine which serves only to inflame both our senses of rightousness perhaps amusing or boring our spectators in the process. Maybe even each other.

Even then, someone may saunter along and flippantly accuse us of creating 'art'.

I think perhaps you were right on one thing at least and, I qoute:

".... but, I doubt we will have accomplished much when the last post is finally made."

I would, however ask these two questions in the interests of clarification.

Tracy Emmin pisses on a mattress.... Is that art?

If a singer or musician records a belch on a tape and releases it as a single, (just the belch, nothing else) does that make it either music, a song, or a recording of a belch?

"Larry - Consider yourself drug out into the street and shot ... several times!"

A flippant remark - but which pays little compliment to your more sincere posts, in which you might concede I'm not for fascism.

If I may - (it's 'dragged', not 'drug')

In conclusion and after some careful thought, I think it is more of a personal thing than I originally postulated it should be. I was intitally calling for a definition of art, which might help disqualify acts of celebrity and social experimentation, allowing them to practice and exist in their own right, without sullying the reputation of sincere art. All the good-intentioned unanimity in a Hi-Fi forum isn't going to change anything in the world of art, but it might show how people feel about being taken for a ride when they visit an art exhibition.

If our definitions were enforced at the barrel of a gun, the threat of torture or physical ostrisization, it would not be a real and heartfelt definition, but a law to be kept out of fear. Many people flaunt the ruling on marijuan@, with the feeling they have the right to enjoy it. I feel since the definitions of art were not enforced in these ways in the first place, it is hardly likely that a group consensus, which votes with it's feet would bring about such madness. Indeed, it might serve to inject some sanity into a more-than-scatty branch of our culture, where psuedo-intellectualism and peer pressure has dominated some people's need to psuedo-appreciate it. In light of this new thought, I suggest only that the simple raising of awareness, however impolite it may be towards the 'social experimenteurs' is an effective measure without the overhead of enforced definition changes.

Contrary to your idea that the common working person does not appreciate art - I think it is that they appreciate the time, effort and expertise which goes into a modern piece which retains the traditional values of presentation. Because it mirrors their own graft, it brings about a sense of respect. By traditional, I mean realistic representation of light, form, shadow; romance and heroic depiction; compositional sectioning and devices. This is not speculation, but a fact I have tested quite successfully.

Finally, it is the oft-made statement:

"Well, I don't know a lot about art. But I know what I like! (grin)" (Thankyou, Larry)

....Which unwittingly gets to the heart of things. To me, it hints at a presumption that; apart from the technical aspects required in execution; there is something else to 'know' in order to appreciate it. My point is that people can look at a painting and not know why they get on with it or not. Actually, hidden in this feeling, is an inbuilt human reaction to the 'correctness' of shape and the way light falls and casts shadow. The optimal use of compositional sectioning may keep the spectator involved for longer with the piece, in the same way as a strong bass line in a song may keep the listener on track and involved in the music. I find that a tight bass line may lead me, like an eloquent host, into other aspects of the music I would not otherwise have noticed, had it been a sloppy one. My analogy to the visual devices.

This is not to say that all art must always follow these technical guidelines. Far from it for me to suggest that. But it is this knowledge of the craft which allows an artist to experiment and ultimately progress into alternative ways to lead the audience around a piece in order to entertain, educate and share feelings effectively.

Now, onto your favourite issue, J. When Adolf Hitler and his cronies went into France, I think they'd already dispensed with many artists and didn't Pablo himself get a hint to move sharply out before they came? Okay, so the point I'm making is that the N@zi goal was to suppress potential enemies of their impending state. If they were to build and control a successful empire, it was as well to remove those who might be influencial in making people think differently to their 'norm'. I think part of their fear must have been that, since they themselves appreciated how an artist can make people think on subtle levels (they'd already mastered that one earlier with propganda); they could not hope to predict what would happen if wild cards to their regime were left unchecked and free to practice. 'Better to be safe than sorry' type thinking, as something could well kick off behind their backs and they wouldn't know it. That was the technique used to suppress free thought and prevent creases from forming, where dirt might otherwise collect and hide from view. That might even at a stretch, be slight insight into the real amount of faith Adolf actually had in his administrators....(?).

It's hard to deny the N@zi's had taste (subjective term?) and an ability to dress appropriately for the role of world dominatrix, bringing new meaning to and, making an unintentional pun of the term: 'theatre of war'. They knew a well executed painting when they saw one, as well as a good Jewish tailor or two!

But the above is not part of my argument, you see. It is simply to show that even evil can take the guise of a gentleman and a scholar (as well as being irretrievably stupid and a thuglike!). The point is, they stole what they could of the world's art treasures and sought to stifle anything which they percieved could potentially detract from their authority.

Unless you aspire to An@rchy, it is hard to deny that changes in definitions would amount to this if the proof of the pudding could indeed, be found in the eating, over a period of time. I also try to show how changes already made to our definitions - pictures are now 'illustrative'; walking down the road could be considered as much an art form as your very existance; and useless ideas such as: "everyone is an artist" - have influenced the minds of young art students. They have not as yet, caused such unrest that we need be overly concerned. I do not think redefinition and a re-injection of traditional values would affect the right of the celebrity to display their bowel movements to a mawkish spectator, I just think the tax payer or the serious art viewer might be less inclined to pay for the privelage, just so they can impress their friends.

Perhaps, instead of continuing to argue my face blue on a very old and worn subject, I shall content myself with the notion that what goes around, comes around. I shall await the next renaissance with due fervour; maybe even contribute to it in some way.

Okay, so it's long.... but it could have been longer!

Regards,

V

And what the hell is wrong with this forum? You 'll probably see the dissalowed words in blue. I assume this thing was made in America?

"Freedom,.... democracy,.... cupcakes!"
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 170
Registered: Sep-04
Actually, J.Vigne, a few points I feel it's fair to include and some answers to the questions you asked:


....how capitalism has allowed redefinitions of 'good business' to propogate debt be good for you."
"Varney, here I think you accuse me of something I haven't promoted."

Nope. Be calm. I did not accuse you of anything. I merely used it as a reverse example, since your original remark read:

""A quick review of socialist realism would be good for both of you before we proceed."

That is because I have a good idea of both socialist AND capitalist realism and have no desire to promote either.

" Varney suggests I can find danger in my own government. I have to say that appears more like another accusation where I am being blaimed for the failings of my society."

Again, relax. I say and mean nothing of the sort. I can assure you, if I thought you were to blame for the failings of your society, you would have heard it from me long before now. And I was not far wrong. I hate to say it, but I could see you building up to it when we started with the Nietsche thing. All it needed was another gentle push to tip you up with the weight on your mind. Well, I can assure you it was not my intention to do that - it just happened and I'm sorry. Such things have been on my mind, too - so you're not alone.

Though some consider me arrogant and a cad, I can't accept the blame for all of my society. That's just a bit too much.

Again, if I thought you were arrogant, you'd have heard. You have the courage to speak your mind, so not a cad either.

"Varney's example of my selling audio based on my judgement is, in my opinion, somewhat faulty. First, I never sold just what I felt to be "correct" audio."

Varney's example situates a Hi-Fi seller next door to a seller of cardboard shoe boxes, not inferior sounding audio, which is why Varney's example maybe isn't faulty. The boxes are meant to represent the 'nothing' kind of art I was discussing, next to the metal ones in your shop which actually make a sound.

"Varney, I'm sorry if you have fallen on the periphery of what you would like to produce."

Excuse me, but could clarify for me what that sentence actually means, please?

"The conclusion to Varney's post is I should ask myself two questions. I fail to see the questions. In the first example, I will admit to being somewhat lost."

Bad writing on my part. Originally I had two questions, the first got overwritten with the answer, which only left the one question, which you've answered.

Hope this puts a few things straight between us.

Regards,

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 171
Registered: Sep-04
Correction:

"Unless you aspire to An@rchy, it is hard to SAY (not 'deny') IF changes in definitions would amount to this"

Apologies,

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"(it's 'dragged', not 'drug')"

My constant defense is I lives in Texas.



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

http://www.politicalcompass.org/

and

http://www.futurenet.org/article.asp?id=874



"I think it is that they appreciate the time, effort and expertise which goes into a modern piece which retains the traditional values of presentation. Because it mirrors their own graft, it brings about a sense of respect. By traditional, I mean realistic representation of light, form, shadow; romance and heroic depiction; compositional sectioning and devices."


Do you have to understand and be more interested in the human form or light and shadow to appreciate this work?

http://www.mala.bc.ca/~lanes/english/hemngway/picasso/guernica.htm

I haven't had the good fortune to see this work, but, I understand the enormity of the canvas is as striking as the work itself. There appears to be a new found respect for the artist, the work and the theme when seen in person. And it is often sighted as the archetypal example of the power of modern art. But, of course, some dismiss it as something they don't "like".

Larry's comment has been in the back of my mind for decades before he made the remark. It is the, "I don't know a lot about ... " that has bothered me for as many years. It is this laziness of attitude that vexes me. I have a friend who prefers his art spoon fed to him. Why? Because art, particularly art to most Americans, is inconsequential. The ability of art to suround him at any moment of his day has devalued art to a commodity. It can be dismissed as easily as he can drive past a restaraunt that serves food he has never experienced. This friend can tell me the statistics of various sports teams without a pause. Ask him who Jackson Pollack was and he looks at me with a blank stare.

"Actually, hidden in this feeling, is an inbuilt human reaction to the 'correctness' of shape and the way light falls and casts shadow. The optimal use of compositional sectioning may keep the spectator involved for longer with the piece ... "

It is, I would guess, the play of shadow and lines that make the Picasso work involving before you discover it's intent.
And yet, a single dot placed in the uppermost corner of an otherwise blank canvas, outside the rules of the Golden Section, will possibly cause a viewer to pause and reflect on what they have always assumed. But only if they have the reference to the division of space and only if they are willing to consider something unlike "traditional" values.

Funny you should mention Pablo. I'm sure you know he was considered a master draftsman who could render anything he wished in a "realistic" fashion.

http://www.weinstein.com/picasso/PP0176.jpg

The politics behind why he chose modern art are too involved to discuss here. But political it was to the group of artists assembled around Paris in the 1920's. He was a contemporary of Artaud; and, Artaud, though in a different league some would say
from Picasso, rejected many of the traditional enslavements found in Picasso's style. In his lifetime Artaud was unsuccessful, a result in no small part due to his mania. However Artaud has found a life beyond the grave that has a resonance with many in today's world.



"Tracy Emmin pisses on a mattress.... Is that art?"

If you can think of no good reason for this to be an artistic expression, maybe we should step back and ask the question, "what is the purpose of art?".

Instead of bantering back and forth over words we feel support our own ideas. I think that might be a better question to have an answer to right now. I can only assume once again that our ideas of what art is meant to be and do are quite different. You would prefer definitons of art, so here is the chance for anyone interested to define art as they see fit.

You first.




 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

As I ran some errands, I thought about your example and began to wonder about several things. What size matress did she relieve herself on? Was it a twin, queen or possibly a king? Surely the British don't have a parlimentary size matress. Or was it a matress that was fit for a bunk?

I have to admit this falls into what can be described as "catechismal art". Much like the Catholic interpretation of mortal sin, in this art you don't have to actually perform the act, just thinking about it will suffice.



Not to continually drag this along, but ...

"I feel since the definitions of art were not enforced in these ways in the first place, it is hardly likely that a group consensus, which votes with it's feet would bring about such madness."

If possible ask a Muslim how he feels about Salman Rushdie's art. That's a group that votes with its feet. They will follow Rushdie anywhere to follow Ayatollah Khomeini's call for Rushdie's execution. All that over a book. I'm unclear as to whether the death threat has been lifted.


 

nout
Unregistered guest
I can't think of any definition that coveres it.
Cynically you could say that the definition is made by the critics (with the biggest influence).
I think of art as something that makes you question things, something that gives you an alternative view of things. (it can give an alternative view about art aswell, the kind of art I personally don't like - art for artsake- an 1ncestuous type of art)
This alternative view can include all kinds of disciplines even p0rnography.
Whether a work is good or bad is for each individual himself to decide, therefore you could say that art in a way is defined by the viewer not by the artist.
I haven't been in a museum or art gallery for years, I was an art student myself (a poor one, not a great deal of talent), because I need the distance at the moment to clear my mind about things.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Here I go, plunging in where I should hold my tongue. Nout, could it be there is a connection between your inability to see a definiton of Varney's example and your admitted amount of talent? I really mean no harm. And I do not wish to portray myself as some wiser, all knowing guru on this topic. I would have to agree that, on the value of the description alone, the act is self indulgent and redundant. It actually borders on the self indulgence and redundancey of America's favorite Artist of Light, Thomas Kincaid. As I've said, I find his traditional style of art, with its familiar if not trite shapes, colors and use of space (and the enormous amounts of income he generates), to be far and away more personally revolting to me than any of what I have seen described on this thread. If you can grant me that Ms. Emmin took a tiny bit of a chance with her act, I would say she is in a totally different universe of art than Mr. Kincaid.

I can't agree with your attitude towards art for art sake. It isn't about the inside joke. It presents the audience with a challenge to see how it fits into the world that is around them. Unfortunately, I have to continually go back to the fact that many people, and Americans are the worst, have no clue as to what is around them. They are absorbed in what TV or hifi to buy, what their favorite team did last weekend, what their coworker said about them, etc.

I do agree with your idea that art can only be defined by the audience. Not only defined but accepted. Whether there is a psuedo-intelligence that permeates the art world is, quite often the brunt of the work. How to keep it meaning something is the challenge to the artist. Those that can only repeat the same cliches are not giving more than a p*ss about their art. I think on that we can all agree.

We should also be able to agree, especially those who are interested in ceating art, that the artist is at the whim of the critic and the dollars that the proper connections can have on an artist. I don't think that is what we should be discussing, though. That relationship hasn't changed because art became "modern". Patronage goes back as far as the Greeks. If we are to discuss modern art, shouldn't we restrain our crticisms to what is modern about modern art? Obviously there are themes that have acompanied art throughout history that can't be ignored. The social and political taboos and icons are ever present and are much of what has inspired artists through the centuries. But, I find blamimg the artist for the patrons they collect as unable to provide any definitons of art.

"I haven't been in a museum or art gallery for years, I was an art student myself (a poor one, not a great deal of talent), because I need the distance at the moment to clear my mind about things."

Though I have attended performances and museum events as well as music performances I understand a need to clear your thoughts. I have a recurring problem with what I experience when I attend some events. It is unbelievable to me that what I experience can be considered much of anything other than schlock. But then I remember I live in a world where the toilet paper has pictures of animals and the plastic fish on the wall can sing Elvis tunes.


 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 172
Registered: Sep-04
"If possible ask a Muslim how he feels about Salman Rushdie's art. That's a group that votes with its feet. They will follow Rushdie anywhere to follow Ayatollah Khomeini's call for Rushdie's execution. All that over a book. I'm unclear as to whether the death threat has been lifted."

I have. The one I spoke to couldn't really give a crap about Khomeni's ruling, not least because he was dead, and also because he and Salman both live in a free (as he sees it) society where freedom of speech is allowed. A more important reason was the fact the guy actually disagrees with taking a person's life, according to both his religion and his humanity. Additionally, he says, what Salman did will not affect his faith, as it's stronger than to allow one man to upset the cart.

Not all people of Islamic faith are Rushdie headhunters. The actual threat, as far as I am aware, has not actually been officially lifted at any time, since the large turbaned one who made it is unable to do so, now he's dead. I could be wrong on that, but it's the last I heard.

And it doesn't look like they followed him very far, does it? I don't know where Mr. Rushdie now resides, do you? But I gather he is still alive. In any religious group you have extremists, bullies and big heads.

V

 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 173
Registered: Sep-04
Sorry, I swore I wouldn't get side tracked. Momentary lapse.

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 174
Registered: Sep-04
I'd still like an answer to my question, though:

"Varney, I'm sorry if you have fallen on the periphery of what you would like to produce."

Excuse me, but could you clarify for me what that sentence actually means, please?

V

 

nout
Unregistered guest
Nout, could it be there is a connection between your inability to see a definiton of Varney's example and your admitted amount of talent? I really mean no harm

Which sample? Perhaps I didn't read properly.
Don't worry about "harming" me, I don't feel insulted easily.
I'm the first to admit that I'm not very gifted at anything. But I'm a kind person, if I say so myself, that's a virtue too. :-)

I can't agree with your attitude towards art for art sake. It isn't about the inside joke. It presents the audience with a challenge to see how it fits into the world that is around them.

I agree with you on that. I was a bit harsh in my judgement, but the image that came to my mind was of a work which only "insiders" can judge on its merits and which has no other meaning than talking about art. For me a work must communicate with its audience without the necessity of a written explanation (which words are many times pretentious and self-important).
Not to say that I dissaprove any written notes about context and meaning of the work. Nor do I think that a work must be understood by the audience.

If we are to discuss modern art, shouldn't we restrain our crticisms to what is modern about modern art?

That's a good question.
For many people Mondriaan is still modern art (the same goes for music: Schoenberg and Varese)

I think modern art is having a tough time in "competing" with today's soceity which is overloaded with images.
Everywhere you look there're strong images, in commercials, in magazines.
At the same time: as an artist you have the freedom to do anything, there're no rules concerning techniques, style, format etc.
You cannot play the rebel, because you're allowed to do anything.
I think modern art is in some kind of an identity crisis.
New rules should be set for others to break.

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"You only have to look at my own position - I have to keep my illustration work a secret from the galleries who would take my freestyle, expressive works. Now if that isn't a danger to a working person's career, then I do not know what is."

Am I wrong in taking from that statement there is another art you would rather be producing? You certainly wouldn't be the first artist to pay the bills with one job while trying to create what you want on the side.



 

Veli
Unregistered guest
Yes, perhaps I can never be sure of other peoples intentions concerning their artifacts. Perhaps I should also remember, that the guy who taught me about our mental filtering mechanism (including classification mechanism - perhaps this could also be called prejudice) said, that try the following: stop using the filter and swallow other peoples message inside as it comes. When the whole message is inside, start analysing whether there is sense in it. I am afraid that even though I try to follow this advice it is very easy to do only the filtering. Aargh, am I now changing my attitude to 4'33''...

>Veli - As I suggested, your feeling of being
>suckered seems, to me, to be a too convenient
>response. You must have a hard time at a
>performance of Shakespeare with a rhythmic
>pattern to the language. Maybe you would prefer
>a more modern interpretation?

 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Veli - Isn't education wonderful? Of course the filters are necessary. There are those out there who would prefer to sucker us. And, I'm not here to defend every bodily function some misdirected soul performs in public. As your instructor suggested, I find it easier to let the information in before I apply filters. In a country where communication is among those who agree with your ideology and all other discussion quickly breaks down into a shouting match, there is little to be learned by only listening to those that agree with your own point of view. Unfortunately what your side wants you to hear is more often you should never trust the other side. It becomes a Pavlovian response in many cases to dismiss an idea as without merit.

If you have taken in the information and you find it without value, you are free to discard the information on many grounds. If you don't make the effort to understand the experience in the first place, then, you have done an injustice to yourself. Learning is opening up to new ideas. Even if that process leads to a dislike, you have firmer ground to stand on than merely I like or I don't like. There is possibly something valuable even in what you decide is less than your cup of tea, you may come away with something of value. If you're an artist, maybe you can take away from this experience an idea to create what will truly be rewarding.

I find Strindberg's "Ghost Sonata" to be a fascinating piece of theatre. But it is a precursor to surrealism and its staging is quite difficult to achieve. So far I've seen eight versions, in my opinion, that show how not to perform "Ghost Sonata". But I'll always go back to another performance because I know one day I'll find the perfect piece.

And, among the filters we all have, the one I personally find the least useful is the filter that keeps me from reexamining my ideas. To look back at the experience and what my reaction to it was at the time is often more informative than the intitial response.



 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 175
Registered: Sep-04
"Am I wrong in taking from that statement there is another art you would rather be producing? You certainly wouldn't be the first artist to pay the bills with one job while trying to create what you want on the side."

Well, yes and no, J, as I enjoy both. The more expressive work is really more of a private venture, which isn't a money making one at present. It's also very personal. The issue is not whether I can sell it, it's the problem of snobbery and the secrets I must keep in order to sell it through them. Many galleries don't like to take on illustrators, because they'd rather not define them as fine artists. Many a jobbing illustrator considers his/her work art, since it is still a creative process. In many ways, I find it challenging in ways different to pure self expression and that is enough to keep me interested for now. I'm not sure I could do it if I lost interest, but then we are not afforded the luxury to think of our jobs in that way, when they pay the bills; but I'd rather be doing this than any other job right now.

Contrary to how my position illuminates personal feelings on modern art, I am more concerned, in reality, with the business of making images, than I am with defining what they are in relation to conceptual offerings.

I think many underestimate the connundrum I am faced with, however, when I do come to compare what I make, with what conceptual 'artists' offer us in terms of 'treasure'.

My obsession with treasure probably means I have pirate blood in me. Not to be confused with modern cash, by the way.

I think it also easy to underestimate my intent to understand myself and relationship to the other in this discussion. It is easy to put oneself at risk socially, when making comparisons. The mind is probably the most important piece of hardware the artist owns. As a tool, it is run optimally when left unchoked by the extraneous negative trappings of modern society which, like moisture to a machine, can bring about a corrosion of the inner lining. But if I manage to scrape enough of it out, then it is possible I may have a new material with which to fashion a piece on the subject.

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 176
Registered: Sep-04
Larry's comment might represent the quadruple amputee who somehow manages to freewheel himself into the middle of the crash mat where you're holding your Kung-Fu tournament. But beware of getting too close.... you do not know yet, how sharp his teeth are.

Not the speaker, but the similitude of the phrase spoken.

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I've used the word political many times in this thread and I would like to bring it back one more time. Not to use it as a weapon to bash anyone into submission, but, to expand the idea of the word political itself. Words are frequently mistaken for meaning what the reader wishes to see and not what the writer intended. It is then the words will be used to batter the writer of the word. Is this a matter of a poor vocabulary on the part of the writer or the reader? Or is it merely a lack of desire to comprehend a new vaocabulary and thus a new idea?

If you read any of the notes on the link to Artaud, you will have seen a reference to his "Theatre of Cruelty". One of the reasons Artaud has been dismissed by so many critics is the unwillingness to explore the concept of Cruelty as having more than one meaning. Many artists evolving out of the fertile period Artaud existed in would use the term "grotesque" in a primitive context that would, like cruelty, be taken to mean only what the reader wished to use to prove the lack of value in an idea they opposed.

In the US much has been made of the power of manipulating words for the benefit of the user by phrasing terms that will harm the public in simple, moralistic terms. Most often these phrases are meant to disguise a political motivation that is more likely to harm, instead of benefit, the public. The classic example of this is "Tax Relief". The concept of taxes is generally accepted as bad because it takes your money and redistributes wealth. (Whether you personally agree with the concept of taxes as bad and the redistribution of wealth as bad is irrelevant here.) So the obvious benefit of tax relief is one which no morally upright individual could oppose. What in reality has benefitted a small (wealthy) percentage of the populace is ignored by those who wish to hear no more than "Tax Relief". Our current administration has turned this idea of word reversal into a bit of an art with concepts such as "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests"; both of which turn control of the nation's resources over to the industries that have long sought to circumvent government control of their profitable environmental destruction.

The concept of political has taken on a meaning in our red state/blue state nation that has lost the subtlety it should have. It is this broader concept of politics which I feel is the purpose of a peculiar type of art. Not all art has to espouse to political motivations for me to be satisfied with its place in the art world. There are creations that exist solely for the purpose of being artistic. I wouldn't expect Italian Art Glass to comment on the role of women in society. Nor would I expect to find a sermon in most Broadway Musicals (though the few suprisingly good artists still manage to sneak in the moral at the end). Here is another example of how the term politcal can enter into the vocabulary of anyone experiencing an artistc work. I find it a good example of how to let ideas enter into your already existent vocabulary and then start the filering process. This was taken from the "New Political Compass" in case you didn't spend time looking around on that site which I linked to earlier.


http://www.futurenet.org/article.asp?ID=510


"Music is such a friendly art that Vladimir Lenin worried it would make him soft. 'I cannot listen to music too often,' he wrote. 'It makes me want to say kind, stupid things, and pat the heads of people.'"





 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

I've used the word political many times in this thread and I would like to bring it back one more time. Not to use it as a weapon to bash anyone into submission, but, to expand the idea of the word political itself. Words are frequently mistaken for meaning what the reader wishes to see and not what the writer intended. It is then the words will be used to batter the writer of the word. Is this a matter of a poor vocabulary on the part of the writer or the reader? Or is it merely a lack of desire to comprehend a new vaocabulary and thus a new idea?

If you read any of the notes on the link to Artaud, you will have seen a reference to his "Theatre of Cruelty". One of the reasons Artaud has been dismissed by so many critics is the unwillingness to explore the concept of Cruelty as having more than one meaning. Many artists evolving out of the fertile period Artaud existed in would use the term "grotesque" in a primitive context that would, like cruelty, be taken to mean only what the reader wished to use to prove the lack of value in an idea they opposed.

In the US much has been made of the power of manipulating words for the benefit of the user by phrasing terms that will harm the public in simple, moralistic terms. Most often these phrases are meant to disguise a political motivation that is more likely to harm, instead of benefit, the public. The classic example of this is "Tax Relief". The concept of taxes is generally accepted as bad because it takes your money and redistributes wealth. (Whether you personally agree with the concept of taxes as bad and the redistribution of wealth as bad is irrelevant here.) So the obvious benefit of tax relief is one which no morally upright individual could oppose. What in reality has benefitted a small (wealthy) percentage of the populace is ignored by those who wish to hear no more than "Tax Relief". Our current administration has turned this idea of word reversal into a bit of an art with concepts such as "Clear Skies" and "Healthy Forests"; both of which turn control of the nation's resources over to the industries that have long sought to circumvent government control of their profitable environmental destruction.

The concept of political has taken on a meaning in our red state/blue state nation that has lost the subtlety it should have. It is this broader concept of politics which I feel is the purpose of a peculiar type of art. Not all art has to espouse to political motivations for me to be satisfied with its place in the art world. There are creations that exist solely for the purpose of being artistic. I wouldn't expect Italian Art Glass to comment on the role of women in society. Nor would I expect to find a sermon in most Broadway Musicals (though the few suprisingly good artists still manage to sneak in the moral at the end). Here is another example of how the term politcal can enter into the vocabulary of anyone experiencing an artistc work. I find it a good example of how to let ideas enter into your already existent vocabulary and then start the filering process. This was taken from the "New Political Compass" in case you didn't spend time looking around on that site which I linked to earlier.


http://www.futurenet.org/article.asp?ID=510


"Music is such a friendly art that Vladimir Lenin worried it would make him soft. 'I cannot listen to music too often,' he wrote. 'It makes me want to say kind, stupid things, and pat the heads of people.'"





 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"Larry's comment might represent the quadruple amputee who somehow manages to freewheel himself into the middle of the crash mat where you're holding your Kung-Fu tournament. But beware of getting too close.... you do not know yet, how sharp his teeth are."

And what is there to grab hold of for leverage against him?


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"The dictionary says that to wait is: to be available or in readiness, to look forward eagerly, to stay or rest in expectation, to attend upon or escort, esp. as a sign of respect, to soar over ground until prey appears.

Etymology: Old high German wachton: to be wide awake."

"If you watch someone dancing this way or simply moving through life like this, you see a compelling poise, a freedom of choice, and a range of dynamics. She seems to have all the time in the world.
And if you move like this yourself, you feel less constrained and more spontaneous. Because of the multiple possibilities that arise in each moment, there are fewer opportunities for self-criticism. You don't think, "Oh, I missed that one" so often, because there are many more than one possibility to choose from."


"In each moment you relax in a profusion of options. In that generosity of possibility, the cusp of the present gets wider. Each moment becomes the apex, the peak, and in each moment you can choose to go down or up any face of the mountain."

http://www.futurenet.org/article.asp?ID=511




Veli - How would you think each second of 4'33" would be perceived by an individual who had lived 104 years?





 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Veli - I don't wish to challenge you and I certainly don't wish to confuse you. I don't want you to think of Cage's 4'33". If that is what your mind went to you have used, in this case, an outdated reference. Or possibly a reference that isn't open to all the possibilities of what 4'33" could mean.




In my reference to 4'33", I was trying to get you to conceive of the time it takes to live 4'3" out of a life that has lasted 104 years. That individual's perception of time would surely be different from the youth of 11 years who finds time drags by until the school bell rings. Think if you will of the time it takes to live 4'33" when you have been told you will die shortly, when you are a soldier in Iraq facing a deadly battle, when you are a young mother who has just gone through delivery and you are now seeing your child for the first 4'33" of her new life. If you don't think of how Cage may have suckered you with his theatrics, you might find new meaning in the concept of the work.

How often have you, or someone around you, said, "I can't believe it's 5:30 already." Or can't believe it's June, or it's time for the performance to begin or they are already 75 years old. Possibly you have sat in an audience and thought, as the performers walked on stage, the performance will begin in less than 4'33". It is true you will never get that 4'33" back. That would be one way I would interpret Cage's work.


As humans we have the conciet of thinking about time in relation to our own lifespan. 4'33" is a short tick on the evolutionary clock and even less to the antiquites of Rome.

And with those few examples we have barely cracked the surface of all the potential meaning behind 4'33"







 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"They learned the meaning behind the creation of the canoe: It is not the death of a 1,000-year-old cedar, but a transformation, a way of bringing something sacred back to life."



 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

"Beginning with silence: Imagine hearing a symphony in your mind: full orchestral score, a large choir, and majestic Mahler-like sustained progressions. Now imagine that all you have to play it on is a banjo. Plunkety-plunk-plunk. The gap between what you imagine and what you actually produce is vast. You then have a choice. You can toss the banjo furiously out the window or you can trust that something true and essential of the big music can still live in the tiny sound. Artists choose the second path. They believe that small things done well have power. As Lewis Hyde so wonderfully described in his book The Gift, artists know that on the deepest level the work does not originate with the self, rather it is an offering, a blessing. Their work begins with silence, with fierce listening for subtleties that come from within and without to seed moments powerful enough to sustain the entire length of the project. Sometimes the work lasts minutes, often years, and sometimes a lifetime.

Seeing with fresh eyes: To become receptive to these seed moments, artists labor to free themselves from the consensus reality that daily routine requires. The artist endeavors to perceive directly, without filters or notions. Henri Matisse wrote, "To see is itself a creative operation. Everything that we see in our daily lives is more or less distorted by acquired habits ... and ready-made images which are to the eye what prejudice is to the mind." It takes courage to discern one's own thoughts. But in the process the artist becomes more aware of the assumptions and myths that govern the world and so gains the ability to discard the obsolete, empower the appropriate, and create the new."


"Crafting the form: To honor the muse, artists will try to infuse their message through all the parts of the work. True art does not carry the message, it is the message. When the work is crafted well, the memo becomes transparent. The artist feels an ever-present imperative to choose exactly the right word for the poem, the right stone for the wall, the right structure for the land. He can't help but consider the smallest details, attentively harmonizing inspiration with available materials. These materials are not just the means to an end. They possess qualities the artist must perceive to create work with resonance and beauty. In this sense, crafting is always a co-creative process. The artist partakes of abundant existent creations, whether natural, such as wood or stone or a piece of land, manufactured, such as words or instrument sounds, or with colleagues who have their own unique sensibilities and talents. The artist will take all these ingredients and synthesize something new."

"Fred Polak, a Dutch futurist st,ated that the rise and fall of images of the future precedes or accompanies the rise and fall of cultures. Images of the future generated through the power of imagination are essential to the health of all cultures, for a society's vitality is lost once its capacity to imagine is gone. The work of artists, then, represents culture's way of imagining beyond its linear and predicable patterns. Artists can be a culture's scouts, forging paths into the future and their works, at their best, are prophetic."

"Presenting the work: When the work is fully realized, the artist presents it as a gift to others. It began as a gift so it only makes sense to return the favor. In our culture, art is mostly seen as a commodity. But just as the sale of one's work is necessary for the livelihood of the worker, so a spiritual giving of the product of work is necessary for growth and creativity. In so doing the artist acknowledges that the created thing acquires a new layer of meaning as it is received by others. This completes the cycle by enriching the community and clearing space within the artist for a new beginning. In the end, there should be three results: competled artwork, a wiser person who grew within the creative process, and an enhanced community gifted with a new way of seeing, hearing, or thinking."


"The process described thus far is, of course, idealized. Reality hardly ever works this way. Reality is a banjo."



http://www.futurenet.org/article.asp?ID=517








 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 177
Registered: Sep-04
Larry's comment might represent the quadruple amputee who somehow manages to freewheel himself into the middle of the crash mat where you're holding your Kung-Fu tournament. But beware of getting too close.... you do not know yet, how sharp his teeth are."

And what is there to grab hold of for leverage against him?

He likes Elvis, therefore uses a lot of hair gel.

As if liking Elvis was not enough!

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 178
Registered: Sep-04
I do not think that finding out the purpose of art really helps very much in finding the definition for it. Perhaps reading the next post below might....
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 179
Registered: Sep-04
ART

1.Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
2. a. The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
b.The study of these activities.
c. The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.
3. High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.
4. A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.
5. A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.
6. a. A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building.
b. A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.
7. a. Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith's art.
b. Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: "Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice" (Joyce Carol Oates).
8. a. arts Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks.
b. Artful contrivance; cunning.
9. Printing. Illustrative material.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin ars, art-. See ar- in Indo-European Roots.]

Synonyms: art, 1craft, expertise, knack, know-how, technique
These nouns denote skill in doing or performing that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of rhetoric; pottery that reveals an artist's craft; political expertise; a knack for teaching; mechanical know-how; a precise diving technique.

CONCEPT

con·cept (knspt)
n.
1. An abstract idea or notion.
2. An explanatory principle in a scientific system. Also called conception.

Main Entry: con·cept
Pronunciation: 'kan-"sept
Function: noun
1 : something conceived in the mind
2 : an abstract or generic idea generalized from particular instances

concept

n : an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances [syn: conception, construct] [ant: misconception]
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 180
Registered: Sep-04
Chinky Chinky China-man,
Chop chop chop,
Pissed in a bucket and called it pop. (that's lemonade in UK English slang).

Tracey Emin pissed on a matress and called it art.

If we are to accept our dictionary reference, posted above, then the China-man and Tracy Emin are very similar in two ways. First they pissed, then they called the result something else.

Another thing our dictionary shows us is that 'art' and 'concept' are two different words, meaning different things.

I hope that it also shows that where a concept is synonymous with a thought, art implies that something has been done. One requires that you actually get up off your @rse and do something, whereas the other does not.

If you would bastardize the terms, combine them and accept your new result, then you must also concede that what Dahmer did with his materials can also be considered art.

Gentlemen, I speculate we could easily civilize ourselves out of a civilized condition, by remaining so polite in our concessions to those who would concieve and carry out acts which bear very little resemblance to the intention and purpose I'm sure you would like to accord art. Conversley, and paradoxically, we could achieve the same should we apoint a group to censor it.

My conclusion from this?
I have to concede that where an act has been carried out, it may, however difficult for me to swallow, be termed art, under the definitions I have offered above and by the examples I have shown.

So now that you've had it spelled out for you, the choice is yours. Go pay your money and accept your result, while the devil sells you the air freshener for your home - laughing always, as he does.

I have one last thought to leave you with:

8b.



Finally, if there is anyone from China here, please note that I would normally use the term: 'Chinese person' to describe your ethnic origin.

V

 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 181
Registered: Sep-04
J. Vigne,

Can I ask, since I am aware you sold Hi-Fi for about 3 decades - what it is you do now?

V
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

Due to a family situation, I am a pet sitter and a caregiver.


 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 184
Registered: Sep-04
I understand.

I was wondering if you'd ever thought about writing? Silly question as you do plenty of that here, but you know what I mean.

You earlier asked (perhaps not me personally, just a question into the aether) how you would artistically express the feeling of the silence.

I don't know about the silence. I think silence itself is perhaps the best answer to that one. I don't know if you can share it, as there is so much noise in all of our heads. Silence is something we find when we meditate. It is something very personal I feel and in my opinion is one of those rare things which is hard to convey using a physical art. Not impossible, just hard.

One of the things I always felt was lacking in my own personal development was the ability to play an instrument. I tried with the guitar when I was very young, but my left hand was too lazy and musical notation was daunting to me, as were the maths. So as a teenager I aquired a Washburn acoustic, learnt about 3 chords and proceeded to jam. My right hand then becomes impatient with my left, because it's miles ahead in it's apointed rythym department. Therefore, I'm sure I'd have been the type who never wrote music, but played (alfresco? Ala-prima?) off the cuff.

I think we are all gifted in some way and it is a matter of finding out what that talent is we posess. I have my own views on what constitutes and causes talent and it would be an entirely different debate.

It seems I've put what was lacking in my musical ability into 2 dimensionaal painting and 3D sculpture. If you already have a talent, which manifests in writing, then that might be the way for you to express those ideas you have.

I have been thinking how I would portray the silence we have talked about in 2 or 3 dimensional art, ever since you asked the question. To offer a blank canvas or an empty space would be the most obvious, but it would not, in my opinion, convey the mood which accompanies that silence as a a one-off, unique moment in time. I get that a unique feeling from a certain beach scene painted by, I think, Monet. You know that moment, when the wind seems to carry the voices of people on the beach and the sound of the sea away, putting you momentarily into a void of psuedo-silence. To convey that in paint, to me presents a challenge in a way that inviting people to an empty space doesn't.

Just a few thoughts on a gift you plainly exhibit. You may already have thought about it already. I don't know.

V









 

Veli
Unregistered guest
>Veli - How would you think each second of 4'33"
>would be perceived by an individual who had
>lived 104 years?

J: Read your explanation before answering - would probably have missed the context without.

I find sense in considering Cages work from that perspective. Of the dimensions were have around us the time is the most interesting: there is no "present" because "present" is infinitely small fraction of a time flow that is endless (if we reagard universum being endless from one individual's point of view). There is only past and future.

I can recall some musical performances I have made as worth remembering. This is perhaps the most exotic one:

http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/wikla/mus/KRHetta.jpg

However, the most memorable peformance happened on the top of Atavyros mountain on the isle of Rhodes in Greece. A group of decided to climb to the top of the mountain where there are the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to Zeus. By a small source I and one of my friends got an idea to sing the Song of Seikilos. The mountain top was completely calm as we started to sing. Then suddenly a small whirlwind appeard like from nowhere and passed us by the source. It was like - the spirit of Zeus.

Seikilos wrote about time: "As long as you live, be bright, don not regret anything, life is short and time ask for its end."

Veli
 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest

First, let me say to Veli, anyone who can remember the words to Song of Seikilos has my admiration. I can't make to the second verse of Happy Birthday. Your story tops mine, I would say, Zues vs. a pool cleaner.

Varney - Thanks for the kind words. At the moment my life is undecided. The current situation probably won't last for long. At least not in relative terms of time. But I have no direction I'm headed in. I've taken some time to consider where I'll go when the occasion arrives and haven't found anything that I feel I really want to do. That leaves me with some less than ideal alternatives. I feel a bit beaten down by the politics of living and trying to accomplish something. I came upon some of my illustrations and theatrical designs from twenty years ago and, along with this thread, have been reliving some of the attitudes I was faced with when I was doing what at one time I hoped would be my career. It seems quite impossible for some people to offer encouragement when resentment serves their purpose. I have been told, by those willing to set aside their personal ambitions, I have the talent to choose between several paths. I just don't know, at this time in my life, whether I have the desire to do any of them. You also have my admiration for doing what you want to do as a career.

One of the most disingenuous phrases I've heard in my life has been, "If you ever need a job, ... "


How does anyone as an artist portray for the audience what is in the intent behind a work. I attend theatre pieces and find so many are 80% finished. I leave some shows thinking the director chose this play because they had an idea how to stage a single moment of the whole and then forgot the rest of the play had to accompany that moment. The art I see being peddled is, in my opinion, too often a step above white glue and macaroni on a paper plate. When I attend a student performance, I often see the most interesting attitudes. They haven't been spoiled by anything that represents the commercial world. Yet. The world awaits them for good and bad. Of course, I wonder how many in twenty years will have their hopes stored in the back of their closets.

I am inspired by the good and even great art that I encounter. Living in Dallas has been a mixed blessing. Dallas is, in Texas terms, all hat and no cattle when it comes to the arts. We have some wonderful artists here, but, on the whole Dallas audiences will applaud a sideways phart. So the extremely good art gets lost in the muck and it all becomes a commodity.

I try to take a little of everything I encounter. Bad performances of "The Ghost Sonata" only give more reason to see the next performance. One day I will find the perfect staging of that play. Bad art is, despite the frustration, a lesson in how to make mistakes. That it is applauded and purchased is an amazement. So don't think I'm unaware of what you have encountered, Varney. One of the realities of Dallas is any art will be forgotten once the football season begins. Bad art will mean no more than incredible art.

I have one friend who just sold a painting for $5,000. He admits he went to the clients' home and saw the colors they liked and just slapped some paint on a canvas. He has their money and they have a piece of art. A piece of art big enough to fill the space they have. They're both happy.


 

J. Vigne
Unregistered guest


Enough about me and art in Texas.

"Robert Rauschenberg had ... produced a series of white paintings. These were apparently blank canvases that, in fact, changed according to varying light conditions in the rooms in which they were hung, the shadows of people in the room and so on."


" ... as he wrote later, he "heard two sounds, one high and one low. When I described them to the engineer in charge, he informed me that the high one was my nervous system in operation, the low one my blood in circulation."


"Anybody listening intently would have heard them: while nobody produces sound deliberately, there will nonetheless be sounds in the concert hall (just as there were sounds in the anechoic chamber at Harvard). It is these sounds, unpredictable and unintentional, that are to be regarded as constituting the music in this piece."

Does anyone have a familiarity with the plays of Harold Pinter and his use of silence with prescribed pauses? Or Beckett and his observations of time in "Waiting for Godot"?



 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 193
Registered: Sep-04
Fully familiar with Pinter. Studied his work at college and took a backwards excusion to the Dumb Waiter for inspiration later on.

The 'Pinter Pause', as it's known is a device used to punctuate, in the way that I have described the use of punctuation in all other media.

The fact that the 'Pinter pause' is so long, tells us it is as much a part of the work as the active dialogue, but in a way which makes us question and re-affirm how valuable (no - essential) the pauses are to all dramatic works. It's just that we take the silence completely for granted, in pieces where the difference is streamlined to represent our perception of realistic dialogue.

During an extended moment of Pinteresque 'puntuation', of course, the observer is forced to consider the situtation mid way and up to it's current stage of development. It provides time to re-evaluate the growing tension. The silence, if you will, has been 'loaded' by the dialogue which preceedes it. Therefore, we can safely say that it has no meaning unless primed with the energy which went before. This also works in reverse, when a quiet utterance from the stage interupts in a way that might not have been achieved, had the period of silence been shorter.

The one compliments and 'energises' the other, in the way amps and speakers are useless boxes until connected together.

V
 

Silver Member
Username: Varney

BirminghamEngland, UK

Post Number: 199
Registered: Sep-04
Time changes according to the circumstances - at least your perception of it does.

There was an Australian performance art group, who set out in one of their pieces to show the audience how we unconsciously define a space around us, which is not to be encroached upon by another, unless we are emotionally close to them.

They sought to break down this and other barriers by asking the audience to turn around and to touch someone they found attractive. They also climbed into drums, naked, inviting members of the audience to put their hands inside, among many other devices to put over their intention.

The finale involved a moment of silence with a hint the doors would be locked until just one person volunteered to take centre stage, remove all of their clothing, and stand, naked for exactly one minute. Timed exactly - no more no less.

After a long silence, a pretty young woman stood up and proceeded to walk down the aisle. When she got to the bottom, she entered the stage area and stood in the centre, which was fully lit.

She then proceeded to remove all items of her clothing, one by one and drop them to the floor - until finally her p@nties came off and....

Do you want me to continue this...?! I thought so.

As she stood under the spotlight, she looked somewhat vulnerable. When interviewed afterwards, all but one said that it was the longest moment of their lives they had ever experienced.

The other? Well, I guess he didn't think it was quite long enough! :-)

I guess all modern art can't be ALL bad.... Can it?

V



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