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Author Topic: An Essay on Art  (Read 1677 times)

RSL

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2017, 03:19:57 PM »

You're right, of course. That's what happens when you're in a hurry. It's fixed.

John R

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2017, 03:43:59 PM »

Hey Russ, really enjoyed the post and all the links. I am still going through the lot!!

JR
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 12:13:30 PM by John R »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #22 on: August 22, 2017, 04:39:13 PM »

Russ,

That is a wonderful essay, going to the heart of great art.
Thanks for sharing it. It is worth much more than all the critic-speak mumbo jumbo that seems to accessorize the art world these days.

-Eric
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opgr

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2017, 05:15:28 PM »

What differentiates the "soul" from the "seer" is that the word "soul" comes with thousands of years of religious connotations and associations, which tend to veer the "soul" off the road. The "seer" is much cleaner, and keeps us away from the edge.

A veering soul would be her cup of tea exactly. She, or at least her boss, likes to see souls in precisely that predicament.

Before I can answer the advocate's second question I'm going to need to get her to define "collective higher conscious." I've run across that vague phrase dozens of times, and at the least it suffers the same problems "soul" suffers.

She was merely wondering whether you mean that "seer" is specifically a personal/individual experience, or whether perhaps there is a greater overall collective intelligence or conscious being formed by that touch.


Being an advocate she isn't much of a proponent of the illogical, and finds that the old adagium usually holds: if it can't be explained by reason, then it must be some kind of religious experience. The "seer" to her is much like that. She doesn't deny that there may be more to experiences than what our senses alone provide, but there must be good reasons to deny an inability to explicate.

As an occupational deformation, she likes to argue her case which usually involves providing alternative interpretations. In that spirit, she would like to present an alternative interpretation of Winogrand's New Mexico.

What she sees is an unaccompanied toddler emerging from a black hole. In front of the child is a pavement of a nearly empty driveway with just a toppled trike. An additionally large part of the frame shows that in the background stormclouds are forming over distant mountains.

Well, an unaccompanied toddler walking alone out of the safety of its home is clearly a recipe for disaster, and in this case it represents very well the tabula rasa we all are before we embark on the journey of life. The journey of life nicely represented by the pavement with the toppled trike, the challenges and corresponding mistakes we will encounter and make while walking the path laid out before us. The storm is a foreboding of the challenges ahead, of the true sh*tstorm that life really is, that will form our final personality and character.

Why does she believe this to be a useful interpretation if it comes to art appreciation? Well, true art is timeless. The time and location of the architecture are not at all relevant for this interpretation, and considering the amount of architecture actually in the picture, she believes the photographer wasn't much interested in representing it.

It's an alternative interpretation she wants to give to you for consideration, if perhaps there might be subconscious logic at play. She realises full well this comes dangerously close to an artist's statement, but suppose that subconsciously you see those metaphores and understand at that subconscious level that there is a bigger picture presented here about life in a general sense. And perhaps that subconscious "knowing" or "learning" is the jolt you experience when seeing a moving piece of art and which you ascribe to a touch of the seer by perhaps an inability to explicate?
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Regards,
Oscar

Rob C

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2017, 03:50:29 AM »

You do all realise, don't you, that Winogrand was just winding on his film to the first exposure, and that the shot was simply an interface with chance and had no further significance?

The real subject (off camera, out on the left), the mother of said child, who was still having her eyeliner touched up.

That it made a cover shot is just another manifestation of the art industry at work play.

Inner comptrollers are seldom to be trusted unless they come wrapped in instinct.

Rob

farbschlurf

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2017, 04:31:45 AM »

You do all realise, don't you, that Winogrand was just winding on his film to the first exposure, and that the shot was simply an interface with chance and had no further significance?
The real subject (off camera, out on the left), the mother of said child, who was still having her eyeliner touched up.

Uh! I didn't know!!
Is this (intended) picture included in the book? I have it, will flip through ...

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farbschlurf

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2017, 04:37:51 AM »

Seems not to be in that book ("Figments ..."), do you still know where you got that from? Sorry if going OT, but I really am interested in that: It's not that seldom that the so called "photo-icons" came to existence  due to some editor ... like RobC said ...
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opgr

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2017, 05:38:45 AM »

You do all realise, don't you, that Winogrand was just winding on his film to the first exposure, and that the shot was simply an interface with chance and had no further significance?

FYP

Leave it to Rob to chime in at the mere utterance of the words "artist statement".
What do you care how he made the shot? It's the one he apparently choose to develop and print, an ordeal, as you should know, all of its own.

Besides, it is a lot like your image called driver. You may not realize the significance of that image for exactly our day, age, and time when car companies are attempting to use AI to provide us with "autonomous vehicles". I'm sure my inner advocate would love to promote that image in the art world for exactly that juxtaposition...
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Regards,
Oscar

elliot_n

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #28 on: August 23, 2017, 06:59:49 AM »

Whilst we may never gain a full understanding of the work of art, we can at least gain intimations of its truth by describing its effects. To speak of art's ineffability is to cut the conversation dead.

Oscar has had a good crack at the Winogrand photo - it is indeed full of signs of danger. Rob too - the composition is off-kilter and this draws attention to the presence of the photographer (which adds to the feeling that the child is in danger).

I'd probably analyse the photo in relation to other images - for example, we can find the child's mother in this well-known image by Robert Adams - http://anotherimg.dazedgroup.netdna-cdn.com/1000/azure/another-prod/350/4/354464.jpg

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Rob C

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #29 on: August 23, 2017, 07:03:38 AM »

Um... whether Winnie did or not get that shot before winding on to 1 is speculation: artistic licence, if you will. It's quite acceptable to think of it as my contribution to marking a step on the ladder to perceived greatness!

"Driver" is one of those images that grew into greater consciousness (mine) post-shooting...

I am perfectly happy for the inner advocate to do her part in selling me for filthy lucre.

Returning for a sec to cars - why would anyone want to give up the pleasure of driving for themselves? A boon, of course, for anyone with failed sight, but there are usually many years of wheeled joy before that hits you, if it ever does. The creation of a wide market for driverless vehicles seems distinctly sinister to me - a sort of hostile takeover of human inputs. Redundancy through the rear door, as it were.

Rob C

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2017, 07:24:01 AM »

Seems not to be in that book ("Figments ..."), do you still know where you got that from? Sorry if going OT, but I really am interested in that: It's not that seldom that the so called "photo-icons" came to existence  due to some editor ... like RobC said ...

Check out Russ' link in his essay.

Rob

RSL

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2017, 09:42:39 AM »

Oscar: I haven't time to expand at length on your advocate's ruminations, but I can't see that the seer is subject to "interpretation." She sounds as if she's making an "artist's statement."

And Rob: Great shot with the story about Winogrand just winding his film. I thought I'd read just about everything about Garry, but I missed that one. Hmmm. . . But you've done enough street to know that everything is "an interface with chance." As HCB said, "You just have to be receptive." Both Garry and Szarkowski were receptive. No, Farb, it's not in the book, but "New Mexico, 1957" is.

And Elliott: You really should have written an "artist's statement" for Garry's picture. Actually, you practically did, right here.

And Eric: Just plain thanks.

I had a lot of fun writing that essay, and I meant every word of it. The stuff in art that really bites into you doesn't do it with beauty or emotion. It goes beyond that and dances in a green bay.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 09:46:02 AM by RSL »
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2017, 11:19:29 AM »

Given some of the responses here, I might be tempted to "crop" (oops!) the word "seer" and perhaps replace it with a content-free dash, something like "------", and leave it to the reader to supply his or her own word if s/he thinks it is important to have a word for it.

It seems to me that some of the responders have gotten hung up on that word to the extent that they can't see the concept it represents. And they then lock their minds into "Artist Statement" mode.

To paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart, "I shall not today attempt further to define what Russ means by "seer," but I know it when I see it."   ;)

Eric
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Rob C

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2017, 12:35:08 PM »

FYP

Leave it to Rob to chime in at the mere utterance of the words "artist statement".
What do you care how he made the shot? It's the one he apparently choose to develop and print, an ordeal, as you should know, all of its own.

Besides, it is a lot like your image called driver. You may not realize the significance of that image for exactly our day, age, and time when car companies are attempting to use AI to provide us with "autonomous vehicles". I'm sure my inner advocate would love to promote that image in the art world for exactly that juxtaposition...


Too cruel! I believe in Statements from "artists"!

http://www.roma57.com/notice.html

Rob

RSL

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2017, 02:50:37 PM »

. . .you might enjoy Now: The Physics of Time by Richard Muller. It touched the seer in me and it addresses the metaphysical threshold and limitations of modern physics. I guarantee you'll like it and, like I did, learn something astounding and a propos of your post.

Hi David. I finished Muller's book today. As I told you, I bought the Kindle version because the softback isn't out yet. Yesterday I bought the hard copy because (1) I want it for my library, and (2) I'm going to lend it to a friend who desperately needs to read it but who won't be able to get it from any nearby library and who won't consider springing for it. Thanks so much for the suggestion.

When I went to buy the hard copy from Amazon I noticed that there were several one-star reviews. If you read them, be sure you're over a carpet. You don't want to hurt yourself when you roll on the floor laughing. It's the attack of the physicalists. They don't like the fact that Muller blew apart their religion: the faith that says physics can explain everything.

I love Muller's conclusion that "now" is the leading edge of time, which as part of the big bang is expanding the same way the physical universe is expanding.

In the end of the book I think he echoed what I wrote ten years ago in my essay, "Recessional."

"Science can tell us about chlorophyll and how photosynthesis converts sunlight to glucose, and how the plant thatís trapped the glucose feeds the cow that shows up in your Big Mac. But science canít tell you why thereís grass or why thereís a cow, and the continued existence of a society like ours depends on more than the literalisms of science. We need answers to things like why thereís grass, who we are, why weíre here, and where weíre going. We need answers to these things as individuals and as a society, and science canít answer any of these questions. You need to be still to get answers to these things, and science, by its very nature, must always be in motion."

I love the "whats" and "hows" of physics that Muller explores, but I think the bottom line for all of us is "why?" I think art can give us (our souls, our seers) a faint touch of "why," though you can't really talk abut it.

RSL

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2017, 02:55:24 PM »

Hopper's 'Rooms by the Sea' does not include a tea-cup atop a pile of books. The image you've linked to in your essay is a re-imagining of Hopper's painting by a CGI studio. Your seer is not seeing clearly.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ec/b3/8c/ecb38c5992d69371e0e7f3de65d9f712.jpg

Elliott, when I got ready to post my answer to David I read through the posts here and realized I never thanked you for picking up my error. Thanks, my friend. Keep up the good work. Don't let me get away with crap like that.

David Eckels

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2017, 03:12:08 PM »

Russ, I told you so! Glad you enjoyed the book; if I find any similar new ones, I will pass them along.

BobDavid

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Re: An Essay on Art
« Reply #37 on: September 04, 2017, 03:31:48 PM »

Since The Coffee Corner has been taken over by "Trump II" and related head-rattlings I'll post this link here. Just finished this essay: Touching the Seer.

Regarding your essay, I like the way it addresses the "ineffable." When we're at a loss for words, the cycle of sensation, perception, and cognition widens.
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