Friday, July 06, 2007

Some random notes on beauty and art.

You don't need aesthetics to be impressed by beauty and an artwork. But I am the kind of person who stumbles on a small question and can not go on. There are many books on the subject that are boring and/or hard to understand . But the followings are some quotes that has helped me to go on.

On beauty

Plotinus can be taken as enunciating the things which are most important to him and erecting them into a description of the universe. It seems clear that he was moved by a deep yearning for completeness and harmony in himself---perfect condition in which, he believed , he would become most fully himself. Beauty is the imitation of this most-longed-for state. ....When we find something beautiful, Plotinus suggests, we don't just want to keep it or own it. Rather, we want it to take possession of us.(page 76)

The beauty of a physical object embodies purity , perfection, harmony and order. And these, precisely, the qualities that the soul strives to attain in itself. (page 72)

When we consider the notion of an 'ideal' of of 'perfection' we frequently think of something rather cold and inhuman. But this must be error. For in so imagining we don't actually think that this is perfect or deal. The coldness and the inhumanity would obviously themselves be imperfection. (page 76)

This reminds me of "wabi" in which you find beauty in the imperfection.
(the secret power of beauty john armstrong)

On Art
Art is 'a continuous examination of our perceptual awareness and continuous awareness of the world around us.(Robert Irwin)(page 138 Art theory Cynthia Freeland)

the value of the art
The more imaginative a photographer is , the more he or she is likely to select a point of view from which, left to our own devices, we would never seen the landscape. The photographer's imagination chooses a point of view and the photograph directs our perception to see what we would not otherwise have seen accordingly (page 64)

...photographers, poets and painters can direct the mind but the point of their direction does not make reference to anything beyond the work.
The sitters (the object of the paint--zero) are dead and gone, and we can not check the likeness for our self.
(page 66)

War and Peace is wrongly regarded as a record of the impact the Napoleonic Wars had on Russia, but not wrongly regarded as in par an image of the impact war in general.(page67)

Scientific understanding has an object-the natural world or physical universe. ...what is the object (of artistic understanding)?...human nature , human condition.....the human condition is made up of elements at least some of which affect all human beings----susceptibility to cold, hunger and disease, the nature of childbirth, the existence of pain, illness, bereavement and mortality---and the concept 'human nature' can be confined to such things as interests in sexual relations , humor, sorrow, anger , pride, and so on. All of these provide the recurrent them of songs, story telling and depiction in every culture.

(philosophy of the arts Gordon Graham)

Interpreting the artwork
Artists use symbols to represent and express feelings, opinions, thoughts and ideas. Artists communicate to an audience, which in turn must interpret the artworks(page 116 Art theory /Cynthia Freeland)

Thus, to locate art is to situate it in its various context. Art includes, in its development that is envelopment;

the primal holon or original intent of the maker....both conscious and unconscious...

the artwork holons itself, the public work materialized, in both its form and content.

the history of reception and response(the numerous views holons) that in important ways are constitutive of the overall work

the wider contexts in the world at large, economic and technical and linguistic and cultural contexts, without which specific meanings could not be generated in the first place. (page 121 The Eye of Spirit Ken Wilber)

Myth share a lot of characteristics with artworks.
The neanderthal grave tell us five important tings about myth. First it is nearly always rooted in the experience of death and the fear of extinction. Second, the animal bones indicated the burial was accompanied by a sacrifice. ...Many myths make no sense outside a liturgical drama that brings them to life and are incomprehensible in a profane setting. Third, the Neanderthal myth was in some way recalled besides a grave, at the the limit of human life. ...There are moments when we all, in one way or another, have to go to a place that we have never seen, and do what we have never done before...Fourth, Myth is not a story told for its own sake, It shows us how we should behave.....Finally all mythology speaks of another plane that exists alongside our own world, and that in some sense supports it....They told them how the gods behaved, not out of idle curiosity ....but to enable men and women to imitate these powerful beings and experience divinity. (page3-5 A short history of myth/Karen Armstrong)

No comments: