Friday, June 29, 2007

Interactive art is art whose state of rest must be disturbed before it can become art at all

Feelings Are Always Local (Paperback) by Arjun Appadurai (Author), Joke Brouwer (Author), Mike Davis (Author), Alexander Galloway (Author), Tijs Goldschmidt (Author), Christopher Kelty (Author), Karim Nader (Author), Loretta Napoleoni (Author), Christa Sommerer (Author), Gijs van Oenen (Author), Arjen Mulder (Author) Editorial Reviews
Book Description: Interactive art organizes itself as an open system: it preserves its coherence by exchanging matter, energy, and information with the environment. In that manner, interactive art is art whose state of rest must be disturbed before it can become art at all. Yet, it is precisely this instability makes it ever more complex. Feelings are Always Local is published on the occasion of DEAF04, the Dutch Electronic Arts Festival, which focuses on interactivity as open system and interactivity in open systems. It features projects with a social and political slant, as well as projects that have a technological or biological character. Included as well are essays, interviews, and projects by DEAF04 international theorists and artists.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

An inner power of discrimination

All artistic work in order to be perfect must indeed have in the very act of creation the guidance of an inner power of discrimination constantly selecting and rejecting in accordance with a principle of truth and beauty which remains always faithful to a harmony, a proportion, an intimate relation of the forms to the idea; there is at the same time an exact fidelity of the idea to the spirit, nature and inner body of the thing of beauty which has been revealed to the soul and the mind, its svarupa and svabhiiva.
Therefore this discriminating inner sense rejects all that is foreign, superfluous, otiose, all that is a mere diversion distractive and deformative, excessive or defective, while it selects and finds sovereignly all that can bring out the full truth, the utter beauty, the inmost power. But this discrimination is not that of the critical intellect, nor is the harmony, proportion, relation it observes that which can be fixed by any set law of the critical reason; it exists in the very nature and truth of the thing itself, the creation itself, in its secret inner law of beauty and harmony which can be seized by vision, not by intellectual analysis.
The discrimination which works in the creator is therefore not an intellectual self-criticism or an obedience to rules imposed on him from outside by any intellectual canons, but itself creative, intuitive, a part of the vision, involved in and inseparable from the act of creation. It comes as part of that influx of power and light from above which by its divine enthusiasm lifts the faculties into their intense suprarational working.
When it fails, when it is betrayed by the lower executive instruments rational or infrarational, - and this happens when these cease to be passive and insist on obtruding their own demands or vagaries, - the work is flawed and a subsequent act of self-criticism becomes necessary. But in correcting his work the artist who attempts to do it by rule and intellectual process, uses a false or at any rate an inferior method and cannot do his best. He ought rather to call to his aid the intuitive critical vision and embody it in a fresh act of inspired creation or re-creation after bringing himself back by its means into harmony with the light and law of his original creative initiation. The critical intellect has no direct or independent part in the means of the inspired creator of beauty...Page - 131
For the conscious appreciation of beauty reaches its height of enlightenment and enjoyment not by analysis of the beauty enjoyed or even by a right and intelligent understandiJ1g of it, -these things are only a preliminary clarifying of our first unenlightened sense of the beautiful, - but by an exaltation of the soul in which it opens itself entirely to the light and power and joy of the creation. The soul of beauty in us identifies itself with the soul of beauty in the thing created and feels in appreciation the same divine intoxication and uplifting which the artist felt in creation.
Criticism reaches its highest point when it becomes the record, account, right description of this response; it must become itself inspired, intuitive, revealing. In other words, the action of the intuitive mind must complete the action of the rational intelligence and it may even wholly replace it and do more powerfully the peculiar and proper work of the intellect itself; it may explain more intimately to us the secret of the form, the strands of the process, the inner cause, essence, mechanism of the defects and limitations of the work as well as of its qualities.
For the intuitive intelligence when it has been sufficiently trained and developed, can take up always the work of the intellect and do it with a power and light and insight greater and surer than the power and light of the intellectual judgment in its widest scope. There is an intuitive discrimination which is more keen and precise in its sight than the reasoning intelligence. Page-127, Document: Home > E-Library > Works Of Sri Aurobindo > Social And Political Thought Volume-15 > The Suprarational Beauty

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Artistic expression is a means more than it is an ends

Why do many of us continue to seek a fresher, crisper, more internal ‘musical experience?’ Jewish Musicism By: Doni Joszef Published: Friday, June 22, 2007
Based on the above formulation of spiritual creativity, the explanation emerges. Artistic expression is a means more than it is an ends. An artist’s masterpiece emerges naturally when he seeks to reveal what dwells within. This cannot be forced or scripted; it must be experienced. Dovid HaMelech did not sit down with a laptop and thesaurus to write a best-selling book of “mystical meditations.” Tehillim is the natural manifestation of a soul-searching artist who used the seven musical notes and twenty-two Hebrew letters as springboards toward self-expression. These notes and letters were his tools to unlock the iron chambers to his inner self. The creative experience was his way of etching away the external rough to allow his inner ‘diamond’ to naturally shine.
For better or worse, the reality of our present-day community presents a constant roadblock before the paths of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Rigid molds and high-pressure expectations continually clog our internal stability and alienate us from our true selves. This pressure manifests itself in many different ways—some more tragic than others. The emotional health and psychological stability of our extended family has surely suffered from these challenging forces. External pressure creates a fog of anxiety and uncertainty within the minds and hearts of those who encounter it. For many of us, self-expression expired long ago—as soon as community “standards” and “expectations” took hold of our consciousness. The rich soil of our “flower-seeds” hardened. The garden dries and becomes desolate.
Creativity is the counter-force. True art involves a tzurah besoch tzurah, art within the art. It is the process through which the artist tries to naturally express what seeks to be revealed from within. This is the music that speaks to the soul. Determining what is and what is not a portrait of meaningful creativity involves no formulas or equations. It is not concrete or external. It cannot be seen or measured. But it can be sensed. It can be experienced. When music is a means by which an artist sincerely discovers and shares what dwells within, this waters the garden of creativity; this gives life to the flower seeds. Keep seeking the “tzura b’soch hatzura” and may your life be an ever-evolving work of art, continuously infused with the “inner art” of self revelation!

Friday, June 08, 2007

There is an art for each aspect of the grammar of being human

« Home » Great Artistry » The grammar of art Posted by Matthew
To taste — smell — hear — see — touch — speak — move — write … are these not the essentials of being a human? And thus, the grammar of being human? Which form the foundation of being human, and give way to how we think and reason (the dialectic of being human) and how we choose to live our lives amidst all the choices and possibilities (the rhetoric of being human). There is an art for each aspect of the grammar of being human, is there not …
Of taste (cooking) — of smell (perfumery) — of hearing (music) — of sight (painting) — of touch (sculpture) — of speaking (poetry) — of moving (dance) — of writing (literature) … and cannot these, singularly or in combination, in small as well as large scale, in these or other similar names, account for every form of art we might imagine?
Architecture, for example, is the sense of touch (sculpture) writ large. Film, to take another, is a hybrid of sight (image) as well as hearing (music), moving (dance), and writing (literature). Theatre, the hybrid of speaking (poetry), moving (dance), and writing (literature).
Thus — is it difficult to understand that what we make into objects of art comes directly from what we’ve experienced in our life, as John Dewey suggested? Or, it is easy to see this? This entry was posted on Thursday, June 7th, 2007 at 3:47 pm and is filed under Art. About the Authors Great Quotes HomeThe WoodshedElegant Thorn ReviewThe Bookshelf

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

If you are measuring beauty, you aren’t experiencing it

Socrates and beauty Posted by Matthew. In his dialogue, Charmides, Plato has Socrates say something that really caught my eye this morning as I read it for an upcoming class on this dialogue. From around 154b:
…I am not good as measuring, and in the presence of the beautiful I am like a measuring line without marks…
For me with good and beautiful works of art, the question of degree becomes one more of whether the work is exhaustible, or whether it is inexhaustible—as far as it provides perceptually and conceptually enriched experience, contemplation, depth, and sensory affect. Works of the Humanities canon are those works that are inexhaustible, and thus endlessly inspire the memory and imagination. But the matter of inexhaustibility in art is altogether different than measuring art’s beauty while one experiences it; rather, it is over months, years, and epochs, not a mere moment. But, oh, the moment—I take Socrates to mean, in essence, why measure, when the point of experiencing beauty and goodness is precisely opposite of that? And further, if you are measuring beauty, you aren’t experiencing it. This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 5th, 2007 at 5:15 pm and is filed under Memory and Imagination, Beauty. Matthew Dallman (website)