Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Is reality real?

"Is reality real?"

Remember the age old philosophical question?  If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it fall does it make a sound?  One can extend the question to does the tree exist, does sound exist if no one hears it no one sees it.

Well if no one is around to hear it then no one hears it. But that does not mean it doesn’t make a sound.  It is an objective fact that the tree makes a sound.  Just as it is a fact that just because no one sees it it still exists.  It is real.  A tree is a tree, a sound is a sound.

I believe that reality does exist within our perceptions.  We can’t make sound anything other than sound, we can’t make an object anything other than an object.  A tree is a tree.  A sound is a sound. 
But we can create other things that we can identify as a tree, a sound.  We can make purple trees for example.  And sounds that sound like a falling tree but it isn’t the sound of a real tree falling. 
We allow creativity, and we identify with things that we create because of their relationships to some reality.  Something real.  We create ourselves, self.  If a collective: a group say a gang, a political party, creates a notion of self, example all the individuals who belong or identify with the political party or gang, then the self does not exist for the party is just taking relating the elements of the party to a real self.  Good examples, a rich self, a poor self, a flamboyant self.  The real self can only be “you” your foundations, your personal contexts.  They are like no other reality.  Just like no two trees are alike and no two sounds are alike. 

Self is an original, unique one of a kind.  Art is also unique, original and one of a kind.  We create art not to give it’s power to identity and others to use but so one can identify with being a thing in itself, not a thing of a collective.  The power of a collective destroys self.  The power of a collective label destroys art.

The collective cannot exist in a vacuum cannot exist without a concept of the self and without the context of the self a collective power cannot exist.  If we had all individual, independent selves and no social collective there would be no need for an individual independent self.  Same is true for a social collective.  We need a binary, opposites, differences to create values for the self and the collective.  Omit the binary and just have harmony and you end up with nothing. 

The self changes, as self changes collectives change.  It should not be the other way around.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"Galaxy"  by Christine Alfery  22x30 Watercolor 

How Do We Know It Is Art?

To know something is to have knowledge of something. So how do we know something?  Do we used words, numbers to know something?  Words and numbers can be manipulated to suit desires and needs.  So we may know something that is based on desires and needs but that isn’t a kind of knowledge that can be valued and judged by all as a truth.  How we know something, our knowledge of something needs to be based on facts.

Words numbers need not be related to something, they can be arbitrary and based on social conventions.  Facts need to be related to something, visible to all, they cannot be arbitrary.  Words often are based on social conventions.  If knowledge, how we know something, is based on social conventions such as words and numbers then knowledge is arbitrary.

Knowledge with this kind of foundation, words and numbers based on social conventions and desires, is only valid because it is convenient for it to be valid.  To validate something in this manner makes value and truths arbitrary and variable simply said not valuable. 

Knowledge with a foundation of facts that don’t change based on desires and social conventions can validate something.  Facts are valuable.

So how should we validate art?  How do we know a work is indeed art?  Should art be validated through arbitrary words such as, I like it so it is good, or I call it art so it is art. 

Where is the power behind art?  In the past and indeed to this day art has been validated through aesthetics.  But the aesthetic is arbitrary and personal and filled with desire.  The power behind art lies in the values we place on art.  Art must have value, it cannot be anything and everything. 

Where is the power behind art?  It is not in arbitrary words and numbers that change with desires, rather it is through facts, real facts.  What are the real facts of a work of art?  Is it original?  Is it one of a kind? Is it unique? Does the artists self shine through the work?  Does the concept of what the artist is trying to convey shine through the work?  Is the context of the work evident? 

I have talked about concepts before, so I will just give a brief summary here.  Concepts are created from abstractions, abstractions are floating around in the artists mind, and when the artist relates them to something, interlinks them to something they become conceptual.  Once they are conceptual they are integrated with context.  Context is how we know something.  How we know something can be based on facts which are real or words and numbers that can be manipulated. 

The power behind art is how we value it.  How we value art is based on how we know art.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Art needs to be valued.

                What should art be within our culture?  There is no question that there will be many diverse answers to that question.  Some see art as a social tool to manipulate a political agenda, others see it as something mystical that appears out of nowhere and is beautiful, others see art as historical showing the reality of a time.  However you understand or see art, art needs to be questioned as to how it is understood and used.
                Art today illustrates the enormous gulf between what we know, that is what is objective, physical, real and knowable and the mystical, the unknowable, superstition and imaginings.
                Art can be understood, judged, questioned through the knowable.  Art cannot be judged on the unknowable.  Aesthetics is not an unknowable.  Aesthetics are knowable and can be valued as knowable, beautiful and real.  Aesthetics magnify discovery.  And are identified and judged through our lives and how we live our lives. 
                For an artists that means judging the work they create through the abstract meaning of their work.  Abstract meaning is the concept/s that are formed by the artist through real life experiences.  If an artist can convey meaning that can be understood and seen by a viewer, by one who would judge it then it can be valued. 

                Art needs to be valued. How we value art, is the same as how we personally value life.