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Beauty is awesome, in many respects incomprehensible. This is especially true when a design is undetectable to the untrained gaze.

now that's a quote to live by!

it takes letting go of time to sink deep.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 08:45:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
OK guys, allow me a break for two days... I knew I shouldn't start something I didn't have the mean to finish in time :-)

Some quick answers...  I wouldn't rally to Plato just like that but you are right that there isn't much irony (apart maybe the dust of time :-) ). I'm much more radical then one could think ! (w e did have some debates on community and collectivity :-) )

 Between verb and noun... Sure! But many debates today are held by people who's english is just like mine, learned through experience rather then at school... It has limits... Just as my english is limited on such subjects, whereas in french I would choose the proper word for the proper sense... (Sigh)

I agree with the notion of the "untrained gaze" and the cerebral part of art, as in fact, contemporary art feeds on the message, not the media.

I'll take a snip at Melo's musical experience... As a  listener, he came back touched and transformed to the point he wanted to give back to others what he then felt.
Yet to be a musician capable of transmitting such a level of emotion, you need to train in a technical way, to optimize your instrument, maybe even to pay for it... And even then, when you play, you aren't sure that it works each time (reproducibility as remarked Sven).
So there is art along that line of events (spiritual emotion, rapture, transportation (?)), but only at some key instants, while most of the time it's more about acquiring a craft, a knowledge... (Phew)

I must now leave for something that looks like an intimate spiritual journey, whether I believe in an afterlife or not, it's more, for me, a peculiar alchemy about memory through rituals... :-)

"What can I do, What can I write, Against the fall of Night". A.E. Housman

by margouillat (hemidactylus(dot)frenatus(at)wanadoo(dot)fr) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 09:26:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
my nick looks weird to me with a capital M!
margouillat:

I'll take a snip at Melo's musical experience... As a  listener, he came back touched and transformed to the point he wanted to give back to others what he then felt.
Yet to be a musician capable of transmitting such a level of emotion, you need to train in a technical way, to optimize your instrument, maybe even to pay for it... And even then, when you play, you aren't sure that it works each time (reproducibility as remarked Sven).

well, perhaps i misunderstand your mean of 'snip', but i am in agreement with everything in that statement.

perhaps i would substitute 'listen and learn from people whose mastery you admire and resonate with' for 'train in a technical way'.

playing an instrument is basically telling a story. you don't need a degree in linguistics to tell a good yarn, in fact it may get in the way.

sure technique is cool, but too often substitutes for taste.

there was a poster here for a while, techno was his nick, and i learned a lot from him.

he mentioned that traing horses was a technology, whereas i had thought it a skill. i guess the distinction is pretty fine.

knowing how to shape a chord, or harmonise a line of melody can be learned from others, but that's imitation, and eventually if you want to build your own voice you have to leave those behind.

those seeking your roots will be able to trace them in what you do, and how you do it, but if that job's too easy, you haven't really individualised your art.

for some that's much less important, to be part of a great choir for example takes great skill, but individuation is not the prime motive, though even then it can happen.

i see art as human destiny, it adds the missing 'special' in life, and as a way of respecting the importance of emotion, especially in a world so divorced from its own heart right now.

but arranging flowers, or tidying a room is inherently just as artistic as writing a sonata, it depends on your state of being as you address the tasks.

i must re-emphasise the 'stepping out of time's river' factor. to prioritise making the world more beautiful, when it's already overloaded with beauty already to those with eyes to see, sometimes seems like gilding the lily, veneering a true grain, and this aspect lends a certain cosmic futility to the whole operation, but the payoff comes when your art connects, and someone's life is subtly altered.

for all i know that girl singing at the troubadour was thinking about how she forgot to hang up the wash while she was singing, but the sound did its work of penetrating and melting the armour i didn't even know i was wearing!

the tibetans believe in certain 'seed syllables' and i think that's what's going on, these sounds act like keys to unlock one's own perception.

great discussion, thanks for starting it, sassafrass.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:07:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lorsque le mot juste est difficile à trouver, écris en français, il se trouvera toujours quelqu'un pour tenter de trouver le mot juste en traduction... ;)

Pour les rituels qui t'attendent, bon voyage.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:07:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ca m'est un petit peu opaque, ce que tu veux dire.

quand-meme le rapport entre rituel et l'art, cela vaudrait un 'diary'.

quand est-ce qu'elle devient un rituel, une habitude?

existe-t-il un vrai difference, ou ca depend de la concentration?

excusez mon francais plutot atroce!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:50:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd have problems with the idea of an untrained gaze, what do you mean by it? Surely nearly all gazes in the modern world are culturally trained in some way or other? or are you talking a more specific meaning of untrained?

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 10:54:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Bourdieu put a lot of time and attention into deconstructing the politics of art. His idea is that art - and especially art appreciation - are caste markers.

The middle classes study art avidly in order to improve themselves. The dominating classes collect art as a monument to their own significance, without necessarily being interested in it or appreciating it with a 'trained gaze'. Their native tastes are crude, simplistic and even vulgar, and when it comes to appreciating value, they're surprisingly easily led.

One of the London art fairs offers the services of personal shoppers who can guide the nervous but well-heeled acolyte towards one or more purchases will be suitable as a demonstration of their elevated status.

At another art fair I was told that certain famous collectors demanded huge discounts from up and coming artists, because their decision to buy a work sanctified and anointed the artist with a value they wouldn't otherwise have had.

There are also completely unfounded rumours and suspicions that certain auction houses may knowingly misrepresent the history and origin of certain pieces, to persuade buyers to part with their money. If that happened to be true - and I'm sure it isn't - a hypothetical old master might be worth tens of millions, where a hypothetical fake or poor imitation would be worth next to nothing.

There's no doubting that there's an aesthetic instinct, as there is a transcendent one. Humans put a lot of effort into decorating objects, enhancing their personal living spaces, and sharing their more rarefied experiences.

But there's also an art market which trades in these things as if they were common commodities, which can be marketed and boosted like other commodities, irrespective of any other value.

Depending on the market, it's not always easy to tell the difference between cultural value, market value, and inherent impact.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 12:27:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Surely nearly all gazes in the modern world are culturally trained in some way or other?

Yes, obedience to propriety is one objective of training. My meaning engrosses this (intellectual) dimension of pedagogy --"socialization" if you prefer of both artist and patron-- and, more important, training in techniques of manufacture, that is how to manipulate materials in order to achieve a desired symbolic effect from the material(s) ... not to mention the versimlitude of affect elicited by these artifacts in the "beholder."

In other words, the "untrained gaze" is uninformed.

Mystification of a thing --"art" apposed to "decorative art" for example-- arises, largely, from ignorance of the processes of making it ("Wow, that's awesome!") and the wildly erroneous assumption, the creator is unwilling or unable to control --has no "design upon"-- the media in hand (e.g. Pollack, DADA, any ethnographic fetish).

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jun 15th, 2009 at 01:26:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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