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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperArt (Moderator: JWK5)Trying to define an art movement that doesn't belong in the toilet.
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Author Topic: Trying to define an art movement that doesn't belong in the toilet.  (Read 3327 times)
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« on: June 04, 2022, 02:31:28 AM »

I was pointed to this article:


and it got me thinking...

What is art?

And decided that the whole WHAT IS AHHHHHHART question deserves a bit more thought.

I don't like the postmodern movement because it is self contradictory, relies on so much theory that to master it you need to read thousands of pages of gobbledygook (which is elitist btw), and the rejection of narratives results in so many disingenuous narratives that the so called "baby culture wars" is all we get for public discussion (Is this Disney princess politically correct? Find out on buzfeed!)

Also, not to get too political, the modern movement had some big dicks in its shadow during WWII because the result of modern thinking was seen to produce a somewhat tyrannical obsession with totally controlling the people who consume art. One of the draws of postmodernism is that it was designed to avoid such thinking, but there is also some bad news in the shadow of postmodernism: there are certain presidents who are in every way postmodern thinkers who do belong in the toilet, IMO.

So as much as there are some nice postmodern works. I have an Andy Warhol soup can on my wall, and I love campy batman from the 60s etc. It seems to be a dead end in that we have come to a wasteland where most artists produce Nintendo fan art (an image of Mario in a dress) as the most "popular" art in existence, while everyone is tweeting political nonsense and so on.

A new direction.

So I do think we need a new direction for art, the inspiration article, "entanglement" seems to be a bit "out there" in that I can pick at a bunch of things in it that are somewhat nonsensical and the use of the word entanglement seems a bit silly almost since it seems to be drawing from quantum physics? Like are we saying that due to the introduction of observers changing quantum states, that thus the nature of art if affected by observation? A big leap to say the least as its unclear that bigger particles are affected in the way that electrons can be entangled. Maybe its metaphorical?

A bit more definition:

My personal thesis is the idea that art can come from a place of happiness, safety, security, and health, simply because I want those things in my life as an artist, not to eschew freedom as the highest ideal, I'm not so sure I want to even be free to say, do drugs for example, because though there is a storied tradition of artists relying on such things to make great work, I'd rather produce the work in a more secure and controlled way.

I do stick to the definition that art is the synthesis of logic and emotion. More and more that has been a guiding rail for me, and bigger art synthesizes the two opposing forces better and in bigger ways, so its a pretty simple intuitive guide for people who want to make something. Of any work you are analyzing artistically you can ask what are the logical bits, what are the emotional bits, does the sum of all make something better than the individual pieces? With those 3 questions you can cut through a lot of bullshit and really tell what a piece is doing and its very helpful to have that lens for me.

The existence of pain

One thing that makes me somewhat iconoclastic is that I don't like pain, nor do I think art should definitionally come from pain. I've heard many lectures about the importance of crying and pain and feeling blue and all that, and they make me want to jump out a window. I wouldn't want to stop people who are into hurting so good from feeling the pain they crave, because I know when many people enjoy *serious* art it is a common feeling to just not be able to reach that place of artistic bliss without some pain, but me personally, I don't want it in my life at all. In fact, I spend a lot of time telling somewhat sadistic but influential figures in the art world to go suck an egg. However, I do think that by knowing our biases we can overcome them, so I don't want to propose a direction in art that blocks people who feel one way or another.

Some Canons
Ah, my favorite part! Telling people what to do!

  • 1) The systems around art must protect and empower artists.
  • 2) For art to be amazing, writing/analysis/critique of art must also be amazing.
  • 3) Art must be observed to be art, and the quality of the observers impacts the quality of the art.
  • 4) Art is never made alone.

1) I personally have spent a large time fighting off trolls/bad actors/malicious forces seen and unseen etc to get to where I am as an artist. To some extent, most artists never manage to get as supportive an environment as I do. In this way, the people who know artists and who work with them or are just friends with them must conspire to lift up creative people. I'm very privileged to have a great support network, but also, everyone on earth is privileged to be able to enjoy great art. Not necessarily my art, but the act of enjoying art in general is a privilege that we should fight to allow everyone to have. In order to do that, we must consciously help artists become artists on their terms.

2) We must will ourselves to fight the urge of sensational bullshit baby politics that gets all the attention because if we do, we will end up with art that feeds that wolf rather than art that says more meaningful things. Are we strong enough as artists to make powerful and real statements with our work rather than give in to the easy pandering? Of course, we can't impose really boring stuff that is out of touch on the world, but the other extreme is also a problem.

3) When we observe art we must take care to actually see what is there beyond even what the artist's intent was. Sometimes the audience finds things that even the artist does not know. I've heard many times critique of novels where audiences are seeing themes and ideas that some say the author did not even mean or know of. We should lift up this process, not call bullshit. The audience gets to own a piece of art and make it something more than what the artist even realized it could be. Starry Night was considered a failure by van Gogh but audiences saw it as a masterpiece. Even Moby Dick seems a bit dry to me, but fans have made it into the greatest novel of all time.

4) Even when one person draws something with only their own hand, that art is part of a larger system and influences of that artist. There are millions of influences one has even just sitting in their office or a coffee shop, and even if one were to make art in a silent padded room, the influences we bring into that room from our memory still affect us. To some extent, art is like a piece of DNA, it has its own narrative about the entire timeline that created it. This is more "entanglement" stuff but really the conscious mind cannot exist outside of the universe its contained in, and so art is the same way.

And on the "Art can't be made alone" canon I'll leave the article here and ask if anyone has any other ideas, thoughts, think I'm full of it, etc.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk.

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