For Anon E. Mouse,
Well I could list quite a few people in various arts who incorporate critical thought into their work, among them Paul Klee (painting), Tarkovsky (film), Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Schaeffer (music). Ansel Adams certainly committed many words to paper in relation to his social documentary work but perhaps this falls in the category of metadata. I suppose I would counter your point by saying that a history of art would have to include artists who were comfortable being intuitive and others who were comfortable with a critical process surrounding their work. So I don't believe creating a work "requires" critical thought but I also don't think it is necessarily a hindrance. I don't think intuition and thinking are mutually exclusive.
Which means the art is not dependant on intuition or reasoning, so neither can be used to define it as it could be entirely one or the other or something in between or neither.
I think most linguists would be surprised at such a narrow definition of language.
Any linguist in particular? Do you know of any spoken language that does not have words?
I really don't believe that language is just a matter of grammatical structure. If you really want to conflate language with grammar then I will try another term: code. Photographs can be decoded, in fact we need to do this to recognise and read something as a "photograph". Michael's article on abstraction
deals with this to some extent. The case of the tribe who could not see the representation of reality in a film is a famous one. Representations still need codes to allow them to be recognised or read because they differ so markedly from the presentation of the world which our senses normally give us. To "see" a photograph and recognise it as such is to call on internalised codes in order to do so. The whole thing seems transparent or intuitive because it is so commonplace.
I would say you are confusing language or codes with object perception. They are totally different things. I do not need "codes" to see an image. I simply need to train my visual system. This does not require definitions of the object nor interpretations of the contents of the object. I can also percieve a completely alien object - abstract art. I won't have a word for it, but that does not prevent me from from percieving it. But that is not the case with language or coded information.
We are not disputing Micheal has a photograph. What we are taking about is whether there is a meaning inherent in the image and that it can be expressed. (And natually language is more complex than simply grammar; I was using that as an example.) Micheals exercise is interesting, but I think is says more about him than the photograph.
Your example of grammatical order and temporality only works for Germanic languages like English. Other languages have different orders for subject, object and verb.
I think you missed my point. I never said all languages followed the same grammar, I said all languages are temporal in that the order of the elements (words) follow a set of rules. What I said equally applies to German or Japanese. I can give you an example in Japanese if you would like.
Your example does show that if you stuff up the rules of a particular symbolic system you can end up with apparent nonsense (or poetry) but I would hazard to say that the coded "rules" of photographic images often allow for spatial rearrangement of elements. But what happens if you turn an ordinary landscape photograph upside down rather than just flip it horizontally? The result might look interesting but is it still a landscape or is it nonsense? Or is it still within the coded confines of art?
What are the coded rules of photography and art? I know of none.
If I turn a picture upsidedown, I can recognize it as an upsidedown picture and still recognize the contents. Even with abstraction where there is is no recognized form, the image is not nonsense. Language without form is not language (and you can substitute "language" with "code").
I agree that inherently images have no meaning. They don't need meaning to exist or even to be registered by our senses. But the same can be said of the marks and sounds which we associate with words. They are arbitrary things to which we have to learn to attach meaning. This is why I can't read Hindi. But it looks beautiful as art if I read it that way.
Well, it looks like we agree and (perhaps) disagree. It is an interesting topic. Certainly no one has been able to solve it and I doubt we will have any success ourselves, but thanks for your thoughtful reply.