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Author Topic: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication  (Read 1185 times)

32BT

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Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« on: November 18, 2018, 04:47:27 am »

 
Adjectivication: Art moves in the direction of the adjective, not in the direction of the noun.


Da Beat has had somewhat of a revelation recently. As some of you may know he's a vehement proponent of Art = communication, and thus he likes to think there are  strong similarities between art and language. Even if you don't agree with that premise, you may want to humor Da Beat and bear with him for a bit. He promises to try and be brief.

In language there are nouns depicting an object or subject, and adjectives depicting the properties of the subject. Da Beat realised that art tries to capture the adjective, not the noun, and most great art tries to move away from the noun and deeper into the adjectives. Moreover, he believes that especially the art that manages to move beyond the known adjectives is the art we appreciate as Art with the capital A.

An example may clarify:

When a photographer sets up to capture “a beautiful landscape”, clearly the photographer tries to capture the beauty, and not specifically the landscape. If you need a technical document for a land survey, then you try to capture the landscape as correctly as possible, but most artists try to capture whatever they deem beautiful about the entire scene before them.

Obviously, when most tourists and the beginning photographers experience beauty, they may point the camera in the general direction of that beauty and take a snap. The capture will likely be more a record of the landscape then of its beauty. This then is the first hurdle to take when you want to become a better photographer: reducing the composition to the essence of that beauty.

This does not apply to landscapes only, of course, but similarly to more complex concepts like a weeping woman as depicted by Picasso. Clearly, Picasso attempted to move the expression away from a mere representation of a woman in tears, to the essence of crying and sadness, and the corresponding outburst of emotion.


Now, we may have many adjectives that represent an outburst of emotions through crying, and some of us are more eloquent than others when trying to describe such an outburst, and some of us know more words than others, may even be proficient in several languages, but every single one of us on the face of this earth, no matter how many languages you speak, know that there are times that words are just not enough, that experiences go beyond words.


In fact, crying itself is very likely a form of expression that signals our inability to express ourselves properly in ordinary language. In turn, even words themselves can be ordered in different form, rhythm, and rhyme, to form poetry that evokes emotions between the lines, between and beyond the actual words. Especially in poetry the nouns are primarily used to symbolise the emotions and adjectives commonly associated with these nouns, trying to evoke the entire spectrum of emotions which simply can't be described in mere words.

Viking Warrior by Taylor Mali

Or the youtube version if you prefer.

Thus, art is an attempt to capture the adjectives associated with a subject (the noun) and some art obviously tries to dissociate as far away from the noun as is reasonably possible to capture the essence of all adjectives. Clearly, we may not actually be able to explicate all adjectives which is exactly where art has its function: to evoke the additional adjectives that can't be written in words. This is even true for language itself where poetry attempts to evoke additional insights and emotions between the lines.
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Rob C

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2018, 05:54:10 am »

Very good reading Oscar, but it will never fly: lots of mentions of Vikings but not one of Hasselblad. Didn't research show you that it replaced the sword as ticket to photo heaven? In the end, noun is still vital.

;-)

Rob

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2018, 10:30:37 am »

Brilliantly put, Oscar. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to ‘Episode 2’.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 11:54:07 am »

An interesting read, Oscar.

John R

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2018, 12:27:37 pm »

An interesting read, Oscar.
Yes, a very interesting read.

JR
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Telecaster

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2018, 10:02:14 pm »

Years ago I read an interview with the painter Andrew Wyeth in which he said that if he'd made his best-known painting, Christina's World, as a more mature artist he would've been able to convey Christina's presence in the painting without needing to explicitly put her in it. Wyeth has the reputation of being a literal artist, a recorder of the noun, and is most appreciated for this by lovers of his work (like my dad was). But I don't think he saw himself that way.

-Dave-
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Rob C

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 04:20:10 am »

Years ago I read an interview with the painter Andrew Wyeth in which he said that if he'd made his best-known painting, Christina's World, as a more mature artist he would've been able to convey Christina's presence in the painting without needing to explicitly put her in it. Wyeth has the reputation of being a literal artist, a recorder of the noun, and is most appreciated for this by lovers of his work (like my dad was). But I don't think he saw himself that way.

-Dave-


It doesn't surprise me one iota. I think that we are all almost incapable of seeing ourselves as others see us, which may well be a huge blessing. Our self perception must surely be part of an elaborate defence system that we have built up for ourselves since infancy and the advent of self-awareness.

Consequently, our armour will almost certainly confuse ourselves almost as much as it is designed to confuse possible foes.

Perhaps what Wyeth was subconsciously saying is something I have echoed myself: beware the input of others. It's only that input that would be affecting his judgement as a "more mature artist" because, outwith the hermit life, that maturity is largely derived from external inputs. I believe that's the case because I tend to think that very early in life we have all the earmarks of how we are going to think already firmly ensconced inside us. Thus, change must come from outside as our own ideas become contaminated moderated by exposure to alien ones.

On the one hand this external input may be a good thing, encouraging spiritual (visual) growth or, could it, more easily just divert us from advancing along the path to the achievement of what would othewise have been our own, personal sense of maturity? Wouldn't it be fascinating if we were able to run two separate lives and try this out! Had Picasso never left Spain, where would his mind have travelled to instead of where it did after exposure to both gay Paris and the heady South of France?

What is it about the work of others that attracts us? Do we seek confirmation of ourselves or do we just like images, regardless?

Rob

32BT

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 05:47:50 am »

Quote
We don't need no stinkin' blads or Leicas to imagine ourselves true Viking warriors!

(Da Beat, circa 2018)
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Rob C

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 06:06:02 am »


We don't need no stinkin' blads or Leicas to imagine ourselves true Viking warriors!

(Da Beat, circa 2018)



That'll go down in history!

;-)

32BT

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2018, 06:11:37 am »

Da Beat very much believes, from what little he knows, that Whyet likely thought of himself more as an exponent of symbolism rather than hyperrealism. His hyperrealism served a purpose beyond mere representation. If you want to depict the delicacy of a thin veil curtain fluttering in the wind (perhaps as a symbol of the delicacy of our existence in relation to the intangible flow of life), one of your choices is hyperrealism.

Unfortunately, most people will not necessarily see beyond the hyperrealism because that in itself can be impressive enough as it is.
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Rob C

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2018, 07:43:28 am »

Da Beat very much believes, from what little he knows, that Whyet likely thought of himself more as an exponent of symbolism rather than hyperrealism. His hyperrealism served a purpose beyond mere representation. If you want to depict the delicacy of a thin veil curtain fluttering in the wind (perhaps as a symbol of the delicacy of our existence in relation to the intangible flow of life), one of your choices is hyperrealism.

Unfortunately, most people will not necessarily see beyond the hyperrealism because that in itself can be impressive enough as it is.


For that thin curtain, perhaps photography offers a better visual - if not symbolic - representation than paint because of DOF controls... or, does photography limit representation more because of its dependency (pre-Photoshop) on the physical truth, though some may doubt the very idea of a physical truth in the first place?

But then few artsits can do it all.

On that kick, where do you place our old pal Eddie Hopper with his Nighthawks?

Rob

32BT

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2018, 04:43:53 pm »


For that thin curtain, perhaps photography offers a better visual - if not symbolic - representation than paint because of DOF controls... or, does photography limit representation more because of its dependency (pre-Photoshop) on the physical truth, though some may doubt the very idea of a physical truth in the first place?

But then few artsits can do it all.

On that kick, where do you place our old pal Eddie Hopper with his Nighthawks?

Rob

How about long exposure which we are apparently able to interpret and comprehend universally for movement? Certainly works well for cloud movement as a symbol for the passage of time for example. And photography certainly allows impressionist approaches as is perfectly demonstrated by John R and your own street art mutation.

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Rob C

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2018, 05:07:34 pm »

How about long exposure which we are apparently able to interpret and comprehend universally for movement? Certainly works well for cloud movement as a symbol for the passage of time for example. And photography certainly allows impressionist approaches as is perfectly demonstrated by John R and your own street art mutation.


Yeah, long exposure would do it, but then you gotta give the model a sleeping pill. Those thin fabrics... reminds me of the shot in that Stepford movie clip with Ms Ross (if my memory works) at the dresser with the triple mirror... hey! that's what made you think of this! Don't blame you at all, a pleasant though indeed.

John Camp

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2018, 06:51:05 pm »

IMHO, almost all *generalizations* about art are, at some level, fundamentally untrue, including these about adjectives and nouns. That commentary is what you get when theory becomes more important than the face-to-face encounter with art. Matthias Grunewald's crucifixion scene is both epically noun and epically adjective and you don't need to know anything about Christ to get a powerful kick from the painting.

https://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/grunewald/crucifixion/crucifixion.jpg
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elliot_n

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2018, 02:25:54 pm »

Poetry ain't about adjectives. Neither is photography.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 03:15:04 pm by elliot_n »
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Rob C

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2018, 02:37:07 pm »

I think folks are missing the point that Oscar had been making, which I believe to be the difference that marks what the subject is (noun) and what its emotional factor (the verb) is. Perhaps a measure of its kinetic energy, if it has any?

LuLa posts many nouns, relatively few verbs.

Rob

PeterAit

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2018, 03:09:29 pm »

Is this serious? "Adjectivization" in art has been going on for hundreds of years.

Now please excuse me while I go and invent "impressionism."

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32BT

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2018, 04:13:27 pm »

I'm fairly certain Da Beat meant "adjectiviCation", a supposedly non-existing word denoting the idea that art tries to maximise the properties experience of a subject, the intangible qualities associated with an object and/or the emotional aspects thereof. In that sense art tries to move toward the adjective, and away from the noun. (Conversely indeed, technology seems to do the exact opposite.) The simplest example of this, appropriate for LuLa i think, would be a photographer who tries to capture a "beautiful landscape". He/She tries to capture the beauty experience, not specifically the landscape. One can capture the landscape in excruciating detail and still fail to capture its beauty. 

In a "beautiful landscape", "beautiful" is the adjective, "landscape" the noun. The photographer tries to capture the adjective in order to transfer the experience to the audience. Moreover, the photographer probably attempts to capture several adjectives, most of which can be explicated. Say, a beautiful, tranquil, misty, sun-bathed, warm, expansive, landscape. In order to capture this, the photographer certainly doesn't need to capture the entire "landscape" in excruciating detail. In fact, a good photographer will most likely immediately start to reduce the composition in his/her mind to the bare essentials, thus moving away from the noun, concentrating on the adjectives.

Sometimes an artist manages to capture something beyond the explicable, beyond the known adjectives. At these times the artist manages to communicate something that transcends mere representation, and this is most likely the case for those art expressions that we deem Art with a capital A.

I'm guessing though, you have to ask Da Beat to know for sure.

« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 04:39:54 pm by opgr »
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32BT

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2018, 04:22:42 pm »

Poetry ain't about adjectives. Neither is photography.

Da Beat likes to thank you for your thoughtful contribution in clearing that up.
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32BT

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Re: Da Beat's revelations, episode 1: Adjectivication
« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2018, 04:27:50 pm »

IMHO, almost all *generalizations* about art are, at some level, fundamentally untrue, including these about adjectives and nouns.

Da Beat can sympathise with your statement. Even if a generalisation applies currently, at some point an artist will likely stand up and create a revolutionary art expression that overthrows previous (mis)conceptions.

That commentary is what you get when theory becomes more important than the face-to-face encounter with art. Matthias Grunewald's crucifixion scene is both epically noun and epically adjective and you don't need to know anything about Christ to get a powerful kick from the painting.

https://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/grunewald/crucifixion/crucifixion.jpg

Da Beat believes that people who get a powerful kick out of explicit pictures of torture, need to seek professional help.
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