ART AND REALITY

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ART AND REALITY


Could one imagine art which had nothing to do with persons?

Could one imagine art which had nothing to do with other persons?

Could one imagine art which had nothing to do with concrete situations?

Could one imagine the existence of concrete situations without the existence of things?

Could one imagine concrete situations with persons in which the behavior of persons had no significance?

There is no meaning in talking about art without imagining persons, their behavior, things and concrete situations. When one wants to talk about art, one must therefore talk about: persons and their behavior with other persons and things in concrete situations. As a precondition that these persons are actually practicing this behavior at all, one has to imagine that they are experiencing it as meaningful. From this follows that one has to talk about: persons and their meaningful behavior with other persons and things in concrete situations. There is reason to presume that this always stands when one talks about art. Otherwise one would be able to imagine:

art which has nothing to do with persons

art which no one finds meaningful and which therefore has no significance

art which has nothing to do with the behavior of persons

art which has nothing to do with other persons

art which has nothing to do with things

art which has nothing to do with concrete situations

art which has nothing to do with persons and their behavior, meaningfulness, other persons, things and concrete situations.

Therefore we now know that:
when one talks about art one must always talk about:

Persons and their meaningful behavior with other persons and things in concrete situations

or about corresponding factors with the same significance and the same necessary relations.

This knowledge enables us to talk about art in a way that makes sense, and without allowing habitual conceptions, social conventions and concentrations of power to be of decisive importance to our experiences.



Notes:

Persons


A person can be described in an infinite number of ways. None of these descriptions can be completely adequate. We therefore can not describe precisely what a person is. Whichever way we describe a person, we do however have the possibility to point out necessary relations between persons and other factors. We have to respect these relations and factors in order not to contradict ourselves and in order to be able to talk about persons in a meaningful way.
One necessary relation is the logical relation between persons and bodies. It makes no sense to refer to a person without referring to a body. If we for example say: here we have a person, but he or she does not have a body, it does not make sense. Furthermore, there are necessary relations between persons and the rights of persons. Persons should be treated as persons and therefore as having rights. If we deny this assertion it goes wrong: here is a person, but this person should not be treated as a person, or: here is a person, who should be treated as a person, but not as having rights. Therefore we can only talk about persons in a way that makes sense if we know that persons have rights.

When one does not respect the rights of persons, then one can not respect art, as we know that art is inextricably bound up with persons.


Concrete situations

Concrete situations are the precondition of any use of language, because we know that an assertion can only be understood as something that is made by a person in a concrete situation. If for example we say: here we have an assertion, but this assertion was not made by a person in a concrete situation, it does not make sense. We can, in other words, not refer to anything without referring to concrete situations.
Concrete situations are what we talk about all the time, what we take for granted. We for example say: they sat there and they were fine. Nothing is as easy as identifying concrete situations via persons, mental states and the things of daily life in space and time. At the same time it is absolutely impossible to describe a concrete situation in an exhaustive way. This thing that a situation can be described in a vast number of ways is not an accidental property of situations, but on the contrary it is what characterizes situations. A situation that can be described in only one way is not a situation. When we try to define a situation based on one single description we prevent ourselves from experiencing it.
There is no reason to believe that a request to art that it should continue to find new forms is relevant. The historical consideration that such a request will have to be founded on, requires an impossible comparison of situations. History is concerned with descriptions from specific points of view and is not reality. In the attempt to compare situations, one reduces situations to something that can be fully understood. This is not in compliance with our knowledge of situations. If one attempts to define what art is, one only sees one's own description of it, and this description can never be exhaustive.


Things


Things have significance for concrete situations: when we say: here we have a concrete situation, but no things are of significance to this situation, this is not in compliance with our experiences.


Significance


Though concrete situations can only be identified in space and time, they can not be reduced to only existing in space and time. In any concrete situation significance plays a decisive role. If we say: they sat there and they were fine, but nothing was of significance, it does not make sense. Significance is decisive for concrete situations, but significance does not exist in time and space. What is the durability of significance and where does it exist? We do not know what significance is, but we know that significance is something which is decisive to our experience of the world. If we do not assign persons, their behavior, things and concrete situations any significance, then there is no reason to concern oneself with persons, their behaviour, things and concrete situations.

If one does not assign persons, their behavior, things and concrete situations significance, there is no reason to be concerned with art. Art has significance for our daily existence, because persons, their behavior, things and concrete situations have significance for our daily existence.


Logic


Most of our thinking and our discussions are conducted on a level where we repeat and repeat our habitual conceptions to each other. We assume that there are no other conditions to decide whether something is right or wrong, except that one does not contradict oneself nor is inconsistent with facts. Beyond this there exists only more or less thoroughly grounded subjective opinions. However, there is a level so basic that it normally does not appear in our conscious mind, where everything does not revolve around subjective opinions. At this level things are simply right or wrong.
Logical relations are the most basic and most overlooked phenomenon we know. Nothing of which we can talk rationally can exist, can be identified or referred to, except through its logical relations to other things. Logic is necessary relations between different factors, and factors are what exist by the force of those relations. The decisive thing about logical relations is that they can not be reasoned. Nevertheless, they do constitute conditions necessary for any description, because they can not be denied without rejecting the factors of the relations. Persons are, for example, totally different from their bodies. Persons can go for a walk and they can make decisions. Bodies can not do that. Nevertheless, we can not refer to persons without referring to their bodies. If we say: here we have a person, but he or she unfortunately is lacking a body, it does not make sense. Persons are totally different from the concrete situations they are in. Nevertheless, we can not refer to persons without referring to the situations they are in. If we say: here we have a person, but this person has never been in a concrete situation, it does not make sense. Language is totally different from reality. Nevertheless, we have to perceive language as something that can be used to talk about reality. If we say: here we have a language, but this language can not be used to talk about reality, it does not make sense. Logical relations have decisive significance. The absence of logical relations would mean that nothing could be of decisive significance: as long as one does not contradict oneself nor is inconsistent with facts, any point of view may be as good as the next, one can say and mean anything. Logical relations are conditions for talking rationally together. The part of the world we can talk rationally about, can thus be defined as the part we can talk about using logical relations. But we do not have any reason to assume that the world is identical with what we can talk rationally about. Logic is something more basic than language. Logical relations are what makes language a language and what assigns meaning to words. Therefore, it is impossible to learn a language, without learning to respect logical relations. But as we grow up and learn to master language, logical relations are not present on a conscious level. If we are conscious of logical relations, it is possible for us to decide whether something is right or wrong and not to allow ourselves to be ruled by for example habitual conceptions and subjective opinions.

When one wants to talk about art in a way that makes sense and without allowing oneself to be ruled by for example habitual conceptions and subjective opinions, one has to respect the logical relations and the factors which have to do with art. Therefore one has to talk about persons' meaningful behavior with other persons and things in concrete situations, when one talks about art. There is no reason to believe that what we can talk rationally about when we are talking about art, is exhaustive to what we talk about when we are talking about art.


Norms


Norms are the expression of objective knowledge. Objective knowledge is that which can not be denied. Norms are in contradiction to the view that everything depends on subjective opinions, and that one therefore can do or say anything, as long as one observes social conventions. Norms are the things we can not disagree about. Norms will always be valid. The fundamental ethical norm is that persons have rights. We are unable to talk about ethics in a way that makes sense without respecting this norm. The fundamental ethical norm does not tell us exactly what we should choose in concrete situations. Strictly speaking, this norm only tells us that persons should be treated as having rights. But if we do not observe this norm we do away with persons and the rights of persons.

It is a norm for art that when one talks about art one has to talk about persons and their meaningful behavior with other persons and things in concrete situations. By respecting this norm one can create space for art, without consideration to social conventions. This is important because social conventions do not always respect norms. Subjective opinions about art can have significance, but one should not use them as the foundation of social conventions.


Concentrations of power


Concentrations of power do not always respect the rights of persons. If one denies this fact one gets: concentrations of power always respect the rights of persons. This does not correspond with our experiences. Concentrations of power characterize our society. Concentrations of power force persons to concentrate on participating in competition and power games, in order to create a social position for themselves. Concurrently with the concentrations of power dominating our conscious mind and being decisive to our situations, the significance of our fellow humans diminishes. And our own significance becomes the significance we have for concentrations of power, the growth of concentrations of power, and the conflicts of concentrations of power.

It is clear that persons should be consciously aware of the rights of persons and therefore must seek to organize the smallest concentrations of power possible.
Examples of concentrations of power which have interests in art include: Mass media (represented by journalists, critics, etc.), capital (represented by collectors, gallery owners, etc.), governments (represented by politicians, civil servants, etc.), and science (represented by historians, theorists, etc.). One can not permit these concentrations of power to have decisive influence and at the same time respect persons, the rights of persons or art.


Politics

The fundamental purpose of politics is to protect the rights of persons. If we deny this assertion we get: the fundamental purpose of politics is not to protect the rights of persons. This suggests that one of the basic tasks of politicians could be, for example, to renounce the rights of themselves and of others. This has no meaning. Or that there is a more important purpose to politics which does not have anything to do with persons and therefore also has nothing to do with the rights of persons. That is plain nonsense. Therefore, we now know that the basic purpose of politics is to protect the rights of persons. In other words we can not talk about politics in a way that makes sense without the assumption that the fundamental purpose of politics is to protect the rights of persons. Concentrations of power do not always respect the rights of persons. If one denies this fact one gets: concentrations of power always respect the rights of persons. This does not correspond with our experiences. It is obvious that if we want to protect the rights of persons we have to organize in as small concentrations of power as possible. Since the fundamental purpose of politics is to protect the rights of persons it is of decisive importance to politics that we seek to organize in as small concentrations of power as possible. It is clear that we can not leave it to others to protect the rights of persons. The notion that it is possible to elect a small number of people to protect the rights of a vast number of people is absurd, because here we are by definition talking about concentration of power, and thus about a concentration of power. And we know that concentrations of power do not always respect the rights of persons. It is clear that if one is conscious of persons and the rights of persons one must be concerned with politics. It is clear that if one is a person and thus concerned with politics and conscious of the rights of persons, it becomes of decisive importance to organize in as small concentrations of power as possible. It becomes of decisive importance to find ways to live and behave which correspond to our knowledge of persons, the rights of persons, etc. It is clear that this is our most important task as our whole existence is threatened.

It is obvious that artists too must be conscious of persons, the rights of persons and the influence of concentrations of power and thus must be concerned with politics. It is obvious that nothing can be more important than to concern oneself with this exactly. That also artists must first and foremost be concerned with creating consciousness about this, and with trying to organize in as small concentrations of power as possible. In this way we have a case where the fundamental ethical norm, and thus ethics, become decisive for aesthetics and politics become decisive to the performance of art. Aesthetics must first and foremost be an examination of, and a science about, possibilities to exist with as small concentrations of power as possible and organize ourselves in a way so that we respect each other's rights. In a way that makes room for persons and that which has significance to them in their daily life.

Published:
© 2008 - 2020 gromyko
Comments22
anonymous's avatar
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jonathanjames's avatar
jonathanjamesHobbyist Traditional Artist
art vs kitsch
cheekymonkeyali's avatar
You seem (to me) to confuse your own satisfaction at an idea's validity with proof of it, and make bold statements as if they were facts rather than your own belief - for instance that "persons are different from their bodies." You are entitled to believe this if you wish, but not everyone does.

Even from the very beginning - "There is no meaning in talking about art without imagining persons, their behavior, things and concrete situations..."

This is presumptuous in the extreme and you have by no means proved it.

If you start out with the idea that art must be about persons in order to conclude that it is, then this circular reasoning leads nowhere.
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
It leads to the obvious...perhaps not in the near obvious but the actual obvious...By imagination(already this is under unconscious activity, free from logic)I am clearly stating the fact that the creative process involves both conscious and unconscious actions...When creating or judging/seeing a work of art one cannot deny that our preconditioned mind(both consciously and unconsciously) works towards meaningful associacion/dissociation based on our predefined /conditioned/learned experiences of persons, behaviours, things, and situations...this is then dressed up as symbols, archetypes which the mind(for the creator) expresses via the arts, and(for the viewer)interprets from the archival information based on experiences with persons, emotions, behaviors, things, phenomenon,etc...

This is an accepted fact, an obvious one actually...
cheekymonkeyali's avatar
Much of what you say I believe is true (although it has to be learned and the majority of people do not find it obvious at all). If you replaced "persons, behaviours, things and situations" with "things" (including concepts and things which are not "real") I could agree. Art may not be about persons or behaviours at all. Because this is true, I don't believe that you can extrapolate this into a political dimension. In fact, even if it was true I still don't believe it, as there would remain a very open field for art within human experience without going near a political dimension.

One should always be wary of anything that is claimed to be "obvious," or even "accepted" - don't you find that these things are also learned and ultimately much of it turns out to be not even true?

Thanks for providing thought provoking journals :)
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
your welcome...sorry for chattering too much...

This article focuses solely on reality, concrete commonal reality, the surface overwhich my philosophical discourses are about...this surface however is not closedended...I tried to provide a steady writeup about my philosophies in several article such as Transcendance in Art, the one youve read about excerpted from Ken wilber, another is a review of Kandinsky's...

I am always wary of accepted norms,tradition, the obvious and the common...this article only tackles the common, discusses the ethics, morals of the common, then goes forward to discuss the mental, then the spiritual(in the other articles i just submitted, Art and Imagination, and Transcendance in ARt)...Art is about archetypical reinterpretations of the trivial labirynth called life, but humanity, being the central point, though minute compared to the vast universe, has always been the central figure involved in aesthetics...He is actually the prime doer of art, and whatever he does all his concerns no matter how abstract, surreal, or real they art expressed in art will always be about himself, his environment, his inner and outer reality, space and beyond, his compliment, reaction,angst, criticism about life,man, religion,etc...It is the expression of humanity's limited understanding of himself and the world he lives in and beyond, his hopes and dreams, his past and future interpreted and reinterpreted...Art is and will always be about this search and this search always will center on man...I believe in the saying that one must learn first the truth about himself before he could learn the truth about others, about the outside...This oftentimes leads to confusion...We are lead to believe in preconditions ste upon us by society...I personally believe one must instrospect before he inspects...Going back to the points, art then would indirectly/directly is always about persons,etc.

O)n to your other point:
To be wary of reality, commonality etc. should be the driving force of the artist...being the seeker he must always revolutionize himself against already established norms traditions...I believe that it is our duty(as the surrealists dare declare themselves) to constantly challange the notion of reality, what is accepted must be put to the test again and again, the purpose: to discover wether this is either truth or lies..."It has been a great pleasure to delve into the realm of the known and unknown and to show the loopholes and the quicksands inhabiting these realities" as mAGRITTE WOULD HAVE SAID..."The ideal is actual and the real ideal" brancusi stated..."I dreamed to create a world where dreams are reality and reality are dreams" Dali boasted..."the artist paints/creates what he sees,only to find out what he sees are the things he paints/creates" a paradox communes..."Is this real?must we accept this is real?If we accept a thing as real or not is reality therefore a condition or a stated fact? An Ideal truth or a concrete lie? Frued puzzled...
cheekymonkeyali's avatar
Naturally I agree that man in your schema is always the producer and consumer of art, more or less. Perhaps not all art is produced for consumption and depending on what you include as "art" we are not the only animals who make artistic statements. But let's say, more or less, that it is true...

However, I was drawing a line between that and what art is "about." For me at least, "about" indicates some external reference.Otherwise the word loses any coherent meaning. A conversation between two people, in like manner, is in some ways "about" those people, but really it may be genuinely "about" a cup of tea. Can you imagine how frustrated someone would become if they asked you what a conversation was "about" and the only answer was "us"? OK, enough about that - let's say we can agree that art "indirectly/directly is always about persons," if we accept this (perverted ;)) use of the word "about."

Still, even with this understanding there is still no firm platform for saying this circle of reference must include politics. Where is it in Bird in Space? Is it not art? My answers to these questions would be "nowhere" and "of course!" And a million other examples could serve equally well. Going to another journal, it doesn't follow because men are artists and politicians and imaginers that there is necessarily a link between them beyond being human. Some artists are political, some are not. Some imaginative scientists are artists. Some are not. And so on.

I don't think that art should not encompass politics, as I think that art is free to encompass everything at some point, but politics is such a narrow field compared to art (I also have some issues with your definition of what politics is for, but let's leave that ;))

I'm not sure what your quotes are intended to say. Of course our understanding of reality should be checked. However, on the whole one finds that there is an objective reality and that acting as though it doesn't exist can cause some issues, especially when stepping off tall buildings. External reality is pretty apathetic to our acceptance or otherwise :)


(btw, I removed you from my watch list because I thought I was probably bugging you. I can add you back, but you have to be prepared for me to argue with you if I disagree ;))
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
Id appreciate your bugging good sir...your points challange me to rethink my philosophies...i will respond to your points soon meanwhile i'm pretty busy organizing the "Imaginative art Exhibit"...but i will try to response asap...btw just wondering if yourre an atheist?

G
cheekymonkeyali's avatar
Yes, I am a post-Christian atheist. I will continue to bug you then - it's interesting to me that although we seem to approach from different directions we have much overlap in taste finally, although I have never been fond of Magritte.

Good luck with the exhibition. As to responding, take your time - there is no hurry :)
kolaboy's avatar
kolaboyProfessional Traditional Artist
I appreciate the degree of thought that went into this manifesto.

I agree that in creating a piece of art one will of necessity relate it to reality in some manner, but I don't believe that it should be a conscious choice.

Personally speaking, I have learned over the torturous years that rational thought is perhaps the greatest enemy of creativity. The most beautiful truths will thrive where the light of choice/reason does not shine.
Unfortunately, immersing everything in that light is a natural human desire, for we all long to connect the dots and discover the ultimate truth. I imagine that in some instances we create the very dots that we strive to connect...

In any case, I attempt (hopefully) to purge myself of this desire, and proceed with the pure initial inspiration. All choices are (again, hopefully) unconscious ones, and all results are mysteries. Sometimes, I'll eventually learn the meaning of a particular piece, but it is of no consequence. Creating is the primary thing, and creating with the much sought after single-mindedness of an O'Brien (with apologies to Orwell) =)
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
I also agree that there lies in the subconscious a tremendous amount of "vision" that needs to be detected and shown...which is the duty of the artist to do so...however, too much inconsistent relying on "pure chance" without "meaningful association to "persons, behaviour, actions, concrete situations,etc", significance or meaning is dissolved into mere nihilism, mere art for its own sake...(though I will contest that art for its own sake is a fatalistic principle, since mere arrangement of line or colors prettilly composed, or derivation based on primitivist works should not be elevated as a virtue, instead, i believe that ARt must not be forsaken, art must continually be pushed to and forward nature, not just a mere reflection, interpretation, and derivation of it,)...

I also praise the automatic works of surrealist artists but this should not be the end but the beginning of the investigation of the human psyche...no matter how automatic a work may seem without conscious interpretation no meaning could be derived...without external factors such as the situation, the behavior, politics, then no essence could be shown or known...

therefore one cannot imagine art without reference to inner and outer influences...

The act of creation is important to me too, it gives me pleasure that i express myself via the arts, but significance in itself must not be taken out of the picture, wether we like it or not we are always prone to other people's points of view on what we do...unless in seclusion...but no man is an island...you cannot by yourself selfishly create then admire your own creation in seclusive state, narcissism results by doing so...if one remains open to other people, one learns...but i will here connote that the human experience must be a balance between external and internal influences...the same goes with art...too much conscious thought stiffens, hardens, plasticize, academicize, glorifies...too little of it ruins, nihilize, idosyncrasize...Too much unsconsciousness abstracts, reduces to the point of minimalism, leads to absurdity, to the void, a mere nothing...too little of it commonalize, stufifies, lacks bravura, lacks life...

Henry moore said it best when he says "The greatest work of art contains both abstract and surreal qualities in it"!!!
kolaboy's avatar
kolaboyProfessional Traditional Artist
Well, I'll admit that I pretty much work in seclusion. The artists that impact my life are dead ones, who exist in books and museums. The dead seldom disappoint. The living always do. Myself included.

As far as other people's points of view; on some level it's nice to know what others think, but it can never have an impact on the creative process. If it does, it dilutes the purity of the vision. I suppose one could debate as to the ultimate "wholesomeness" of this attitude, but it is what it is. An orange tree makes oranges, irrespective of what anyone thinks, or what suggestions any may have as to how it might improve the fruit. Some like oranges, and some don't. C'est la vie.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the painter C.D. Friedrich:
"I'm not so weak that I would give in to the demands of the age when they are at odds with my inner convictions. I spin a cocoon around myself. Let others do the same."
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
PS

the creative process is like an act of shamanism...i agree that if the thoughts of others are imposed then it will infect the vision...in other hand i am only explicating that art must first and foremost be an examination of, and a science about, possibilities to exist with as small concentrations of power as possible and organize ourselves in a way so that we respect each other’s rights. In a way that makes room for persons and that which has significance to them in their daily life as an artist point of vie...(on ethical grounds that is)...

Digging deeper into what i said here will require me to direct you into my other article-->the spiritual in art

sorry for the long rants...

cheers

G
kolaboy's avatar
kolaboyProfessional Traditional Artist
No apologies nessesary. Long rants are good for the soul =D
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
Glad you think they are...i will rant more whever time permits!!!Cheers my friend
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
I work also in seclusion...I think ive misalligned myself while trying to answer your responses...let me try it again...By stating that one must be conscious of other ppeople's reactions, i meant to say advices, not the negative ones...but still the chioce remains within us, we decide for ourselves...this is a fact...I think we are similar in our viewpoints but some language barrier denies me the right words to express myself in accordance with you...
The discourse that i intend to emulate here is that Art is always about the real, I mean the real in multiperspective in relation to persons, their behaviors, emotions, dreams, hopes, etc...It is an expression of reality...the ideal is real and the real ideal...
I myself will never listen to what anybody says about my art(that resulted in the misunderstanding of my art), I favor the creative process since i recieve a sense of satisfaction by this action...the level is personal as you have said, but on the level of the viewer the interpretation will not always be the same...so be it an orange tree bear orange, some people like oranges some people dont, but the fact is that there is no denying that people will like/hate what you/I do, this is the factual truth, and this truth is what makes art even more a great thing to do...
kolaboy's avatar
kolaboyProfessional Traditional Artist
Well said =)
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
Thank you
Tails-155's avatar
Tails-155Hobbyist General Artist
I'm pretty sure it's impossible, if not extremely, extremely difficult to make a piece of art without relating it to reality in at least a vague way
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
precisely
james119's avatar
james119Professional Digital Artist
Very interesting, Gromyko. Did you write that?
gromyko's avatar
gromykoProfessional Traditional Artist
I believe i did after excerting several non-nihilist publications as well as positivist houghts on art combined with my ever vigilant insight on what aesthetics is in context to reality...

BTW i will respond on your letter dear friend, i was saddened of your turning away from spiritualism, but it doesnt change our friendship...afterall you are the one whom i credit as to where i am right now...

I will also ask yor wise advises regarding with my project...

will write you soon old friend

G
anonymous's avatar
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