[NetBehaviour] On art and art-making and needs
Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Sun Jul 16 18:21:18 CEST 2017
thanks for the discussion, I have to re-read the starting point as i missed it.
Because all cultures and almost all human beings have those impulses. All children draw, or doodle patterns; all children tap out a rhythm or sing songs; all children tell stories, and
like to hear them told; all children like rhymes and jokes; and all children, if you give them a bit of plasticine, will make something out of it and then start to play with whatever they've made
The problem of course is that we are not children anymore.
Nor would I follow this line of argument, Edward. Also, I question whether it is quite true to argue that "we tend to confuse ourselves by trying to define art in terms of what's on show in the most advanced galleries at the moment, what's making money or not, what's "in" and what's "out", what's being produced by the most cutting-edge practitioners, or what's being espoused by the most advanced theorists ."
I rarely look at what's on show these days because it's on or in. I like looking at work again that has inspired me in the past and that I admired in stages of my life, and I look for work
that can do so now and addresses some aesthetic interests or curiosities I have about compositions, materials, what/how they convey, how they provoke thought.
This morning I ran in the forest, and one of the co-runners told me how puzzled (and fed up) she was looking at some sculptures at the Skulptur Projekte Münster (in North Germany);
she found them inexplicably poorly executed and obscure, and then mentioned that these works, some put up in urban space and not recognizable as art (which I liked), made her wonder how much more
poetic she found her grandchild's drawings of white rainbows, many white rainbows on white paper drawn out with a pencil.
The argument, and we've all heard it, is that this child created something abstractly or conceptually beautiful in her innocence? she told a story?
The psychological origin story, I sense, takes us back to an anthropology of ritual or shamanic practices, am I correct? and thus to religious or spiritual needs. They can't really be linked to childhood or a need for patterns, can they?
From: netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org [netbehaviour-bounces at netbehaviour.org] on behalf of Edward Picot [julian.lesaux at gmail.com]
Sent: 16 July 2017 15:45
To: netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org
Subject: Re: [NetBehaviour] On art and art-making: I do or do not make pictures.
This is a very interesting discussion!
I like Alan's 'art as an ongoing process' and 'art as a way of knowing
the world' formulations, and I also like Aharon's idea about the alien
who has been told that art is something humans do, and who visits earth
asking to be shown examples and have them explained. I also like the
gallery curator's response - "art's the stuff I choose to hang on the
walls" - because in the post-Duchamp world, art can be anything, if we
can be persuaded to look at it with our 'art' spectacles on.
However, if the alien came to me and asked me to define art and explain
what it was for, I'd tell him to go and talk to some children. Because
art is something all children do, something all children recognise, and
something all children can identify as being different from other forms
of activity and discourse. This isn't to say that children aren't
dismissive or uncomprehending if you show them certain things like
conceptual art or abstract paintings: but I think we tend to confuse
ourselves by trying to define art in terms of what's on show in the most
advanced galleries at the moment, what's making money or not, what's
"in" and what's "out", what's being produced by the most cutting-edge
practitioners, or what's being espoused by the most advanced theorists -
instead of thinking about it in terms of its psychological origins,
where the impulse to produce art and to recognise things as art comes
from in the first place. Because all cultures and almost all human
beings have those impulses. All children draw, or doodle patterns; all
children tap out a rhythm or sing songs; all children tell stories, and
like to hear them told; all children like rhymes and jokes; and all
children, if you give them a bit of plasticine, will make something out
of it and then start to play with whatever they've made. Children will
also respond to something produced by someone else - a drawing or a
plasticine model, a tune or a story, a rhyme or a joke. They'll either
like it or dislike it, and if they like it they'll get a real sense of
pleasure from it. And those are the most fundamental forms of art and
engagement with art. So, I think it's got something to do with the urge
to divert ourselves and educate ourselves through creative play, and the
urge to create and recognise patterns. There's something deeply
satisfying about those two things - creative play and pattern - that
draws us to them, both as artists and as audiences.
On 15/07/17 16:08, Alan Sondheim wrote:
> I want to thank aharon for the below, and Ruth, also, who wrote me,
> asking about other humans, of course, in the network and media; this
> is also a question of community and audience for me, for whom is one
> making art, beyond navel-gazing? In relation to aharon, an art also
> then of nothing perhaps. [...]
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