• Coben
    1.5k
    Remember, I said that you are solely responsible for the creation of your own phenomenological experience of the art, the artist plays no role in this. — Metaphysician Undercover


    When did you say this? I seem to remember Coben calling you out on a phenomenological issue, rather than you concocting one. Bullshit.
    Noble Dust
    He did say this to me, don't know if he did to you. I thought it was odd that he now was explaining a position that was more radical than ours, after we defended a more modest co-creation model. I do understand that he is adding in this idea of phenomenologically (and one could actually argue NEUROGOLICALLY it is the case) and so he didn't think he was conceding anything, since he thought we were arguing, somehow, that the viewer actually made the physical sculture, say. But it seems like having this idea, he could have responded to us in a much less dismissive way. I did respond to his 100 percent idea and disagreed with it, while thinking and saying that argument has merit. Given that what we create in our minds will defnitely carry over relationships between parts in the physical artwork, color patterns and more from the original, even if some of these are qualia - since the artist also experiences quaiia he or she is presenting us they tried and true dyanmics with and between qualia -, we are not just being stimulated and then freely doing whatever with the original. What we, yes, create in our minds, is controlled and led in many ways by the physical artwork. I can certainly concede. and did. that fifty percent is a stab in the dark, but it represents to me the idea that we co-create the experience of the artwork. It is not the same as sitting in a dark room and making up a painting just in our minds. That virtual image in the mind is something based very much on the artwork, though feelings, portions of the painting that we focus on, our own unconscious associations and more come from our, the viewers side. That to me is a kind of cocreation. And one that many artists want to have happening. In fact, I have been working on a play. When writing plays you want to avoid writing on the nose, you want subtext, and the better plays are filled with subtext, with just the occasional, often climactice moments where on the nose statements arise. Why? Because on the nose does not allow for the audience to co-create as much. It tries to eliminate this cocreation. It can't of course, given that our minds must recreate the play inside us. But it limits this cocreation as much as it can. It is similar, in a way, to the artist statement.

    But then his last post to me I read, he 'summed up' my position in way that meant he either was not reading my posts or for some other reason did not want to actually respond to my position, but rather strawman positions, so that ended that, coupled with the suddenly now having a more radical position than ours while at the same time talking down to us for supposedly having an idiotic position, just led to my saying bye, bye to him. It feels like he just wants to win and concessions, if they come at all, are going to be framed as 'here's something you didn't think of moron.' I'd prefer someone who can manage to be collaborative even in disagreement.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.3k
    It should be, but it's not, because there's a deficit of communication between us, clearly. And that was the polite version. :heart:Noble Dust

    The non-polite version is to tell me that I speak like a kindergarten student?
    "That's a pretty picture. I can see a man and a woman in there, a horse and a barn. Am I missing anything?"
    I suppose there's even less polite versions.

    Nope, I never described a "shared experience between the artist and the viewer". Maybe I communicated poorly, or maybe you interpreted poorly.Noble Dust

    You are Noble Dust aren't you? This is where I first engaged you:

    This is important because the audience is half the work anyway. The audience members unique experiences, perspectives, and mindset will determine their interpretation. That's not to say that the artist can't have an explanation at hand; but forcing it on the audience will just inevitably cheapen the experience, and therefore, the work itself.Noble Dust

    It's not nonsensical; what borders on the nonsensical is that you barely even addressed what you quoted, which was a description of the difference between the viewer following their own interpretive path based on their inevitable 50% contribution to the work itself, vs. an artist statement trying to block this process. Try again.Noble Dust

    If "the audience is half the work", and "their inevitable 50% contribution to the work itself", doesn't imply that "the work" is a shared experience, then what could "the work" possibly refer to?

    When did you say this?Noble Dust

    Sure, it was a reply to Coben, but it was over a number of posts. Here:

    .
    Let's start with a realistic premise. Let's assume that the viewer creates the "work of art experience", completely, one hundred percentage, and uses the work of art as a tool toward creating that experience. Consider therefore, that the viewer must choose the tools (works of art), which one will be using to bring about the desired experience. Can you make your argument from this perspective?Metaphysician Undercover

    What you don't seem to be grasping is that the viewer has the power of choice. Because of this, the artist really provides nothing at all to the phenomenological experience. You need not view any art whatsoever to have a phenomenological experience. That you choose to include some artwork into your experience is of you own making...Metaphysician Undercover

    Coben seemed to be somewhat receptive of this position, but said "I don't want to go over to the 100 percent camp. I think it is a collaborative creation, at the level of experiencing the work of art."

    Again, you're singing to the choir here, talking about not apprehending meaning.Noble Dust

    Then are you ready to release the idea of collaboration between artist and audience, as if each contributes to the piece of art? If it is wrong to say that the art has "meaning", and correct to say that there is no shared experience, then where does the idea that the audience is half the work come from? Furthermore, you ought to dismiss this notion of "interpretation" completely, as there is fundamentally no meaning to be interpreted.

    Once we establish a clean slate as a starting point, then we can proceed to address the issue of appreciating a piece of art, and whether or not a "statement" is acceptable as a form of art. You do recognize that some so-called "artwork", poetry for instance, consists of statements? If some people might see meaning in those statements, are we to dismiss this type of artwork as not "true art", just because it is not "pure art" (perfectly without meaning)?

    I think that "pure art", absolutely without meaning, might be a little boring. What interests me is how the artist introduces meaning into a medium, which is essentially meaningless. Do you see that "meaning" is the basis for the claim that there is something shared? And, that "interpretation" only starts to make sense after we've made the judgement that there is meaning?
  • Noble Dust
    3.8k
    If "the audience is half the work", and "their inevitable 50% contribution to the work itself", doesn't imply that "the work" is a shared experience, then what could "the work" possibly refer to?Metaphysician Undercover

    Of course there's no shared experience; there's the private experience of the artist making the work, and the private experience of the audience experiencing the work.

    Then are you ready to release the idea of collaboration between artist and audienceMetaphysician Undercover

    Not only am I not ready to release the idea, I never suggested the idea in the first place. All I'm ever talking about is the existential reality that art requires both artist and audience, and that art itself as a philosophical concept only exists with both; mover and moved. There's no collaboration; collaboration is when two artists work together on an artwork. The reality of the artist and audience relationship is closer to a sexual relationship, by analogy.

    I think I know why we disagree so much; my approach is existential, and yours is not.

    You do recognize that some so-called "artwork", poetry for instance, consists of statements? If some people might see meaning in those statements, are we to dismiss this type of artwork as not "true art", just because it is not "pure art" (perfectly without meaning)?Metaphysician Undercover

    Back to kindergarten we go. Analogous to poetry in this example is physical artwork; so analogous to the artist statement about a physical artwork would be a written artist statement about a poem.

    I think that "pure art", absolutely without meaning, might be a little boring.Metaphysician Undercover

    I confess I always work from my musical background. From there, I don't believe there's such a thing as art without meaning. Because it's clear that there's no music without meaning, existentially (i.e. this is realized by listening to music.)
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.3k
    All I'm ever talking about is the existential reality that art requires both artist and audience, and that art itself as a philosophical concept only exists with both; mover and moved.Noble Dust

    This is the falsity which you refuse to acknowledge. No audience is required. The artist can create without an observer. The art exists with or without the observer. Your "philosophical concept" is faulty.

    The reality of the artist and audience relationship is closer to a sexual relationship, by analogy.Noble Dust

    This analogy doesn't work. The piece of art exists as a medium between the act of the artist and the act of the audience. This separates the two acts as distinct. There is no such medium in the sexual act, unless you are using a condom. You need to account for the fact that the piece of art is a real thing existing between the artist and the audience.

    I think I know why we disagree so much; my approach is existential, and yours is not.Noble Dust

    Your "existential" approach seems to involve a faulty definition of "exist". You require that something be observed by an audience in order to exist.
  • Coben
    1.5k
    This is the falsity which you refuse to acknowledge. No audience is required. The artist can create without an observer. The art exists with or without the observer. Your "philosophical concept" is faulty.Metaphysician Undercover
    The artist would through the entire process be an observer, and one contruction with some but not total freedom the experienced artwork and affected by it. And strong artists are surprised and frustrated by their art, which always will go beyond the conscious mind's ability to control and will always have meanings and implications the artist did not intend, EVEN for him or herself as a viewer. And artists should be wary of saying what their art means, because they are not aware of what in them has affected the art. I've gone back to old work and realized, much later, that it clearly dealt with, for example, family issues I was not thinking of at all when I made it. And I have also denied certain interpretations of my art, only much later to realize the other person was very likely quite correct. The intentions in the conscious mind are only a small part of what is going on. Another reason the artist statement - if it goes into any of these areas - is confused about art and their own minds.

    Those who make shallow art or art of ideas only can have more control over 'the meaning', but even then not all and may be quite off when it comes to what the work of art conveys.

    And no work of art can be created without the artist also being a viewer.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.3k
    The artist would through the entire process be an observer, and one contruction with some but not total freedom the experienced artwork and affected by it.Coben

    But this is not an 'observer' in the sense that Noble Dust is talking about the audience. The artist, as one's own observer has inside information on one's own piece, so that "the statement" is completely irrelevant. If the artist is allowed to be one and the same as the audience, then there is nothing to discuss here, regardless of whether the artist is aware of what oneself is doing.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    The fact that an artist is a connoisseur of art prior to making the piece informs the piece.
  • Noble Dust
    3.8k
    This is the falsity which you refuse to acknowledge. No audience is required. The artist can create without an observer. The art exists with or without the observer. Your "philosophical concept" is faulty.Metaphysician Undercover

    No, as I and Coben have said, the artist themselves is an audience member to their own work, so it's faulty to say that no audience is required. Actually it's not even the right way to express it; there's no "requirement" or not; there's just the reality of the artist as audience, which forms the basis of the symbiotic relationship between artist and audience. In other words, at minimum there's an audience of 1: the artist. From there, the audience naturally grows into whatever size it happens to become. Look to @Coben's explanation of this reality in their most recent reply to you above to get a sense of why this is true (i.e. the part of their post that you didn't respond to).
  • Noble Dust
    3.8k
    The artist, as one's own observer has inside information on one's own piece,Metaphysician Undercover

    In other words, you must have missed all of this:

    And strong artists are surprised and frustrated by their art, which always will go beyond the conscious mind's ability to control and will always have meanings and implications the artist did not intend, EVEN for him or herself as a viewer. And artists should be wary of saying what their art means, because they are not aware of what in them has affected the art. I've gone back to old work and realized, much later, that it clearly dealt with, for example, family issues I was not thinking of at all when I made it. And I have also denied certain interpretations of my art, only much later to realize the other person was very likely quite correct. The intentions in the conscious mind are only a small part of what is going on. Another reason the artist statement - if it goes into any of these areas - is confused about art and their own minds.

    Those who make shallow art or art of ideas only can have more control over 'the meaning', but even then not all and may be quite off when it comes to what the work of art conveys.
    Coben

    What's amusing here is we have 3 actual artists trying to demonstrate these aspects of our work, and then we have 1 (apparently) non-artist attempting to explain to us that we're wrong about our experience of our work. This is getting boring, to be honest.
  • Coben
    1.5k
    What's amusing here is we have 3 actual artists trying to demonstrate these aspects of our work, and then we have 1 (apparently) non-artist attempting to explain to us that we're wrong about our experience of our work. This is getting boring, to be honest.Noble Dust
    Yes, I don't know how you've lasted so long. And the problem is things like this...

    The artist, as one's own observer has inside information on one's own piece,Metaphysician Undercover
    ...do not contradict what we are saying. Yes, an artist has insights into his or her work. On the other hand so do other viewers of that art. A smart artist will not want to narrow down the range of insights or put other viewers in the position of having to overcome the artist's necessarily limited set of insights about that work. Further as we have pointed out repeatedly it's pressing the mental verbal mind to the immediate prioritized fore by having the artist's statment. You want people to have a felt and sensual experience and telling them what to think and feel diminishes this and its range and actually sets the wrong portions of the brain going when first encountering a piece of art. The idea of the art is not just to generate thinking. At least it used to be. Now you can go to museums and see whole shows which are primarily about generating ideas - with sensual and aesthetic facets radically diminished over other kinds of shows. That would be fine if one had to choose between aesthetic and meaning/conceptual factors, but you don't. So we have diminished one facet of great art for no reason. The occasional piece that does this could be and has been an interesting contrast, and those first artists who did this often created a powerful effect. But that this has become more of a rule is a loss. And the artist's statement is a side effect.

    This isn't marketing where there is, behind any image, for example, one goal - get them to buy a product. Get them to buy an idea.

    I think he actually thinks that art is primarily getting people to think certain things and he is not alone. One it it put blankly like that on a page, I doubt most would agree, but if you listen to them in galleries, that is what the talk sounds like. Idea wanking. That's not why Cezanne spent so much time painting that mountain, as one example amongst hundreds of the artists who will last through time as opposed to those who won't.

    Here's what to think when looking at my art is damaging, it reduces the experience. And it affects even experienced artists.

    An artists does have insights into his or her own art, but if that artists has paid any attention over time, they will have noticed that they realize things later they did not then, even missing the core part of the artwork. But regardless, even if the artists knew everydamnthing, it is a confused idea about
    what
    experiencing art
    is
    about.

    It's not

    think in words first and get the right thoughts in place.

    It's not a test.

    Jeez just hand museum goers your great thoughts and don't waste time making a painting.

    Of course, if you are a trained artists, rather than a text polemicist or other kind of writer, why not let your skills in your chosen field speak for themselves.

    i could tell the woman I love what I mean with each particular kiss - with this kiss I am trying to tell you what I feel when you are away - but I guarantee the smart wife or girlfriend is going to tell me to shut up and kiss her.
  • Noble Dust
    3.8k
    Yes, I don't know how you've lasted so long. And the problem is things like this...

    The artist, as one's own observer has inside information on one's own piece,
    — Metaphysician Undercover
    ...do not contradict what we are saying. Yes, an artist has insights into his or her work. On the other hand so do other viewers of that art. A smart artist will not want to narrow down the range of insights or put other viewers in the position of having to overcome the artist's necessarily limited set of insights about that work.
    Coben

    Man, it's rare for me to agree so much with someone here, but I really do feel that you're speaking my own mind here, and it's very encouraging, which is why I bring it up. Thanks.

    An artists does have insights into his or her own art, but if that artists has paid any attention over time, they will have noticed that they realize things later they did not then, even missing the core part of the artwork.Coben

    Yes, I've experienced this in a pretty profound way in my own work. There's sort of an accidental trio of records I've made over the past 8 years which form a very spooky narrative that was not at all intentional. They basically narrate my own experience of moving from religious doubt, all the way to completely "losing my religion" (despite the annoying cliche there). 8 years later, I can look at these 3 collections of songs (around 40 minutes each - i.e. two piddly hours of music created over an 8 year period!!!) and see the logical progression that completely maps against my personal experience; but none of this was conscious. That's because the specific experience of moving through stages of religious doubt, all the way to a lack of belief is a complex, malleable experience; at no point was I saying "a-ha, I'm now no longer religious; therefore I'll write this song that represents this". No, I was "in the trenches"; I still wanted to believe, for instance, in certain complex ways, and so I wrote songs, unconsciously, that reflected all this complexity of experience. I was writing honestly. To the point that I was afraid to share the songs with people. I didn't want people to know about what I was experiencing, because I didn't even really understand what I was experiencing, and then writing about, anyway. I still don't, although to a lesser degree.

    If anyone cares to "be an audience member" of this 8 year process, here's an example from each (chronologically ordered):

    https://matthewanderson.bandcamp.com/track/that-one-true-tune

    [as I listen to this I just now, 8 years later, understand for the first time why I used this little sample of a woman saying "yeah, that's me, I talk to the trees" in a few songs on this record. No joke]

    https://matthewanderson.bandcamp.com/track/coventry

    https://matthewanderson.bandcamp.com/track/new-mythology
  • Noble Dust
    3.8k
    I don't mean to get circle-jerky here, but as I re-read through this page of the thread, this stands out:

    The intentions in the conscious mind are only a small part of what is going on.Coben

    ...As being perhaps the hallmark of @Metaphysician Undercover's mistake.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    The intentions in the conscious mind are only a small part of what is going on.

    Yes, this nails it, along with the fact that an artist is informed by previously being a viewer of art.

    So art is a touch stone through which artists and viewers of art live an aesthetic narrative. I see the spiritual angle come back into view here.
  • Noble Dust
    3.8k


    Gahh, you and @Coben need to stop speaking my language so much! (no worries, metaphysician will be along shortly to bring back the Eeyore vibes [luv u MU]).

    Indeed, there's a mystery here that deals with the connection between the artistic the mystical. If I can be so bold, I would almost say that this connection is the crux of, not only the misunderstanding here in this thread, but even of the breakdown of communication within artistic circles of various mediums over the past century. Does the mystical play a role in good art? Does anyone even have an inkling of what "mystical" means, other than culturally acquired taboos? If anything, the best we can do is turn to the artists who have demonstrated the connection between the artistic and the mystical; I naturally look towards music, and some of the clearest (and culturally acceptable examples) would be the Coltranes:

    John himself:



    And Alice:



    And her influence on her grand-nephew, Flying Lotus:



    And Fly-Lo's influence/collab with Kendrick...



    Nice...that was a sick historical lesson.
  • Punshhh
    2k

    I agree with your observation of an artist not knowing what he/she is creating subliminally. I have an insight with many artists of how they are trying to reach this subliminal narrative. For me Picasso is the clearest example. I can see how his style developed, what he was trying to achieve, how he struggled and so often failed to grasp his vision. Also his subliminal messages.

    Indeed he addressed this directly in his Vollard Suite, a collection of drawings in which Picasso explores the artist's studio of an artist attempting to capture the beauty of life itself with the aid of his lover and muse. Over the course of the suite he lays his psyche bare, I doubt it was his intention, but it is there for the perceptive viewer to see.
    Here is one of the earlier sketches
    IMG-9058.jpg
    And here is one towards the end of the suite where Picasso( in the subliminal viewing) has become a blind, impotent Minotaur, a figure he was to become in his later years. Crippled by his loss of virulence, youth and new vision.
    IMG-9059.jpg
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Thanks for that I'm a big Coltrane fan.
  • Noble Dust
    3.8k


    Oh man, Picasso is such an excellent example. I'll never forget a few years ago, at MoMA, there was a special exhibit of hundreds of Picasso's sculptures. I went with some friends on literally the final night of the exhibit; it was open until midnight. We walked through for a few hours, and I was entranced. His guitar sculptures were some of my favorites; this one is apparently not a better known example; I could only find this google image, but the one on the right was one of my favorites:

    SkA5I8jO4ZkDgtRW6t8djA-fJ3XehSlZAV_QEptfG_edsFffKR2nxa6qmbK5WAV3kCKlnye5tOeiJOdTrgxakd5676Wqi0K3dS9-J_fQUV8wL-OUbvVWQxYXX6MMFBN4NhDJDy4QoPM9hvM1yGLWPA
  • Coben
    1.5k
    You know, I just realized how I even fell into his frame. Note that it is all about insights. Yes, the artists has insights. Is the goal to pass on insights. They don't bother with art school and training with color or form or composition, just hand out the damn insights on paper on the corner.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.3k
    No, as I and Coben have said, the artist themselves is an audience member to their own work, so it's faulty to say that no audience is required. Actually it's not even the right way to express it; there's no "requirement" or not; there's just the reality of the artist as audience, which forms the basis of the symbiotic relationship between artist and audience. In other words, at minimum there's an audience of 1: the artist. From there, the audience naturally grows into whatever size it happens to become. Look to Coben's explanation of this reality in their most recent reply to you above to get a sense of why this is true (i.e. the part of their post that you didn't respond to).Noble Dust

    If you look at the artist and observer in this way, it only renders your earlier statements, that the artist makes up part of the work, and the observer makes up part, as completely nonsensical. There is now no sense in dividing the art into part which the artist contributes, and part which the observer contributes because the artist and observer might be one and the same. And if they might be one and the same then there is no point in talking about a difference between them, as if they each make up a part of the art. We can't divide the artist into two, as if part of the artist is observer and part is creator. They are simply one and the same person. So the artist is all that is required, for there to be art, because the artist acts as observer as well as creator, and any other observers are irrelevant.

    So, can we start from this position, which you have described? Any member of the audience, other than the artist in person, is irrelevant to the piece of artwork, because the artist makes up a completed work of art by being both producer and observer.

    From there, the audience naturally grows into whatever size it happens to become. Look to Coben's explanation of this reality in their most recent reply to you above to get a sense of why this is true (i.e. the part of their post that you didn't respond to).Noble Dust

    I didn't respond to this because under this new principle, that the artist is both creator and audience, the piece of art is entirely complete right here, at this moment in time. Any other audience, later in time, is completely irrelevant to the artwork, and whether or not the audience grows, how it grows, or how the artist views the creation at a different time, is completely irrelevant, unless the artist changes the piece, Therefore this further audience need not be discussed.

    What's amusing here is we have 3 actual artists trying to demonstrate these aspects of our work, and then we have 1 (apparently) non-artist attempting to explain to us that we're wrong about our experience of our work. This is getting boring, to be honest.Noble Dust

    How ironic!
    The person railing against the artist's statement, as if the artist ought not be telling the observer how to experience the art, is now insisting that the artist's experience of one's own work is the true, or correct experience of the work. Please don't make me sick. That type of irony, which might better be called hypocrisy tends to have that effect on me.

    Further as we have pointed out repeatedly it's pressing the mental verbal mind to the immediate prioritized fore by having the artist's statment. You want people to have a felt and sensual experience and telling them what to think and feel diminishes this and its range and actually sets the wrong portions of the brain going when first encountering a piece of art.Coben

    If this is part of the work, then it's part of the work. Where's the problem? It makes no sense for you to say that the artist ought to set one part of the brain in motion, and not another. That, is narrow mindedness, explicitly. It's like saying that the artist should not have used this colour of paint here because it's making me think that it's the wrong colour, and this is getting the wrong part of my brain going, thereby ruining my experience. It ruins my experience, therefore it's wrong for artists to do this type of thing. If a particular technique leads you to the belief that the technique is wrong, then that is your opinion. But your opinion doesn't make the technique wrong. Who are you to say that a particular technique is wrong?

    Your analogy doesn't work. Sometimes a women wants to hear "I love you" more than she wants to be kissed. We can't make the type of generalizations you want to make, that this technique is always wrong, and this one is always right. Variety is the spice of life.

    That would be fine if one had to choose between aesthetic and meaning/conceptual factors, but you don't. So we have diminished one facet of great art for no reason.Coben

    You show yourself as extremely opinionated, and I don't have much respect for that. All you are saying is "my art is far superior to their art". Your expressions appear as arrogance.

    I don't mean to get circle-jerky here, but as I re-read through this page of the thread, this stands out:

    The intentions in the conscious mind are only a small part of what is going on. — Coben
    ...As being perhaps the hallmark of Metaphysician Undercover's mistake.
    Noble Dust

    Didn't I suggest, as a starting point, to dismiss intentions completely, and then proceed toward understanding how intention seeps in to the artwork? This is how I got rid of meaning and interpretation, What is "meant". How is it possible that focusing on intention is my mistake, when that's exactly what I said I wanted to get away from?

    Yes, this nails it, along with the fact that an artist is informed by previously being a viewer of art.Punshhh

    Right, this was the point I was making. Fundamentally art is something to get inspiration from, not something to get meaning from. However, this does not mean that art is something we cannot get meaning from.
  • Noble Dust
    3.8k
    We can't divide the artist into two, as if part of the artist is observer and part is creator.Metaphysician Undercover

    This is so absurd. Artist and audience member are roles; clearly an artist can play multiple roles. An artist might also be their own PR person, as is increasingly the case. They may run their own record label to release their music; a musician might be a songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist and a recording engineer, fulfilling all of those roles in order to create a work. Being an audience member is another role.

    I didn't respond to this because under this new principle, that the artist is both creator and audience, the piece of art is entirely complete right here, at this moment in time. Any other audience, later in time, is completely irrelevant to the artwork, and whether or not the audience grows, how it grows, or how the artist views the creation at a different time, is completely irrelevant, unless the artist changes the piece, Therefore this further audience need not be discussed.Metaphysician Undercover

    Also absurd. Of course a piece of art isn't complete just because the artist also plays the role of audience. That makes no sense.

    The person railing against the artist's statement, as if the artist ought not be telling the observer how to experience the art, is now insisting that the artist's experience of one's own work is the true, or correct experience of the work.Metaphysician Undercover

    No, I'm not insisting that. An artist making an artist statement and attempting to dictate how the audience experiences the work is not the same thing as 3 artists describing our process and broader existential experience. We aren't forcing specific interpretations of specific work down your throat like an artist statement can be in danger of doing; we're describing the actual experience of creating art, vs. your theoretical ideas about what we do. Completely and utterly different things. Clearly.

    Didn't I suggest, as a starting point, to dismiss intentions completely, and then proceed toward understanding how intention seeps in to the artwork? This is how I got rid of meaning and interpretation, What is "meant". How is it possible that focusing on intention is my mistake, when that's exactly what I said I wanted to get away from?Metaphysician Undercover

    You're completely missing what I'm saying, because you're taking that quote from Coben out of context. Go back and re-read what they said if you want to address that, and then re-read what I said.
  • Punshhh
    2k
    Right, this was the point I was making. Fundamentally art is something to get inspiration from, not something to get meaning from. However, this does not mean that art is something we cannot get meaning from.
    I can't see where there is a disagreement between us.
  • Coben
    1.5k
    ↪Metaphysician Undercover
    Right, this was the point I was making. Fundamentally art is something to get inspiration from, not something to get meaning from. However, this does not mean that art is something we cannot get meaning from.
    I can't see where there is a disagreement between us.
    Punshhh
    And none of us are arguing that one cannot or shouldn't get meaning out of it.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.3k
    This is so absurd. Artist and audience member are roles; clearly an artist can play multiple roles. An artist might also be their own PR person, as is increasingly the case. They may run their own record label to release their music; a musician might be a songwriter and a multi-instrumentalist and a recording engineer, fulfilling all of those roles in order to create a work. Being an audience member is another role.Noble Dust

    Yes, but we were talking about the existential status of the art. Existentially, the artist is one existent person, in relation to the existence of the art. The fact that the artist can play different roles in one's life is irrelevant to the existence of the art. But if, in relation to the existence of the art, the artist is both creator and viewer, then all other viewers are unnecessary in relation to the existential status of the art. Therefore we can dismiss all other viewers, their attitudes, etc., as irrelevant to the existence of the art.

    An artist making an artist statement and attempting to dictate how the audience experiences the work is not the same thing as 3 artists describing our process and broader existential experience.Noble Dust

    Don't you see, that the artist's statement is no more of an attempt to dictate how the audience experiences the art than any other aspect of the art? If this is your argument, that the artist ought not dictate how the artist experiences the work, then you might as well argue that the artist ought not make any artwork at all. The statement is just another aspect of the work. If you perceive the statement as the artist laying down rules as to how you must experience the piece, then why don't you perceive every piece of art as the artist attempting to govern your experience?

    You really need to lighten up and stop perceiving words as the rules of a dictator. Do you think that words in a piece of music are the composer's attempt to dictate how you experience the music? If having words attached, makes the art unenjoyable to you, because you're extremely paranoid that the artist is attempting to be a dictator, then go look at something else that doesn't make you feel paranoid.

    We aren't forcing specific interpretations of specific work down your throat like an artist statement can be in danger of doing...Noble Dust

    Paranoia! Remember, there is no need to interpret any piece of art, relax and enjoy it. You do not need to interpret to enjoy.

    And none of us are arguing that one cannot or shouldn't get meaning out of it.Coben

    Right, but what seems to be at issue is how we get meaning, from the art, if we want to get meaning, that is.

    Let's say that a purist aficionado of fine art wants to get no meaning from the work whatsoever, only enjoying the inspiration derived from the aesthetic beauty. There is work hanging all over the person's house, because the person simply enjoys seeing it (but not as a status symbol because that would give meaning to it). The person feels no need to interpret the work, enjoyment does not involve interpretation. Any statement of words would probably distract from the beauty of the piece so the person would have to ignore it or avoid such a work altogether.

    However, sometimes people want to get meaning from the work, maybe the artist is looked at by some people as having some special knowledge, perhaps even as a sage of some sort. The artist has something to tell us. Now, these people are looking for meaning in the work, they think that the artist has something to say. Some people even believe that artists, having a full compliment of experience, have very important things to say, so they go looking for this.

    I would think that there are many ways in which an artist might respond to this fact. The artist might ignore these people completely, trying to maintain that purist perspective, attempting to produce pure aesthetic value without saying anything, no meaning. However, there seems to be a large demand for meaning in art, many people expect the artists to be saying something, and want the artists to be saying something, so they go looking for what the artist is saying. And this can be where the fun begins, for the artist, if the artist is prepared to play that game. We can start with simple tricks, hidden meaning, creating the appearance of meaning where there is none, etc., the artist can do all sorts of things. These people who are looking for meaning must see some evidence that there is some meaning there, in order to go looking for it. If an artist is playing that game, one will always be looking for new ways to create the appearance of meaning. The statement is just another way of playing the game.
  • Noble Dust
    3.8k
    Yes, but we were talking about the existential status of the art. Existentially, the artist is one existent person, in relation to the existence of the art. The fact that the artist can play different roles in one's life is irrelevant to the existence of the art. But if, in relation to the existence of the art, the artist is both creator and viewer, then all other viewers are unnecessary in relation to the existential status of the art. Therefore we can dismiss all other viewers, their attitudes, etc., as irrelevant to the existence of the art.Metaphysician Undercover

    Lol, you can't just tack the word "existential" unto the same argument you made awhile back and call it a response to what I laid out about roles.

    Don't you see, that the artist's statement is no more of an attempt to dictate how the audience experiences the art than any other aspect of the art?Metaphysician Undercover

    No I don't, because it's not. I've demonstrated this many times at this point.

    You really need to lighten up and stop perceiving words as the rules of a dictator. Do you think that words in a piece of music are the composer's attempt to dictate how you experience the music? If having words attached, makes the art unenjoyable to you, because you're extremely paranoid that the artist is attempting to be a dictator, then go look at something else that doesn't make you feel paranoid.Metaphysician Undercover

    Jesus Christ, stop putting words in my fucking mouth. I don't perceive words as rules of a dictator, and I'm not extremely paranoid. What a fucking uncharitable projection unto my arguments. I'm done with this discussion.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    7.3k
    Lol, you can't just tack the word "existential" unto the same argument you made awhile back and call it a response to what I laid out about roles.Noble Dust

    You seem to have a short memory. Look back to the top of the page, the "existential" approach was your argument.

    Not only am I not ready to release the idea, I never suggested the idea in the first place. All I'm ever talking about is the existential reality that art requires both artist and audience, and that art itself as a philosophical concept only exists with both; mover and moved. There's no collaboration; collaboration is when two artists work together on an artwork. The reality of the artist and audience relationship is closer to a sexual relationship, by analogy.

    I think I know why we disagree so much; my approach is existential, and yours is not.
    Noble Dust

    When one person plays both roles it's called masturbation. But there's no sexual relationship involved with masturbation because it's only one person, it's a sexual act without the relationship. So if the artist plays both roles, that of the creator and also the audience, the artwork is no longer analogous to a sexual relation, it's a masturbation.
  • thewonder
    473

    I agree with most of this thread, it seems, in that the statement is just resultant of academic pretense. It's just a means to jot down a lot of multisyllabic words with no agreed upon definitions so as to qualify a work of Art as being of high culture. It's kind of like the Art equivalent to what gets printed on the back of a wine label. Some of them can be quite interesting, though.
  • Punkkus
    4
    An artist statement is optional, at the discretion of the artist to deem necessary. Perhaps you believe your art should be obvious enough to not require an explanation. Art is interpretative and thus susceptible to misinterpretation. An artist's statement would offer further support in clarifying the intention of a piece should it's integrity ever be called into question.
  • avalon
    8
    I agree with you entirely.

    However, for the sake of argument and discussion, perhaps the “artist’s statement” can be considered part of the art itself. For example, if one were to look at a painting, who’s to say the art in question ends at the frame? Perhaps the art is incomplete without the aforementioned statement.
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