Art, what is it?

Discussion of Joseph Campbell's work with an emphasis on the personal creative impulse as well as the sociological role of the artist in today's global community.

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David Allen Bales
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Post by David Allen Bales » Fri Nov 21, 2008 2:41 pm

Martin, Maybe it's just me being selfish, but I don't think most artists create works to communicate with the world. They create to communicate with themselves. Much like in therapy. They communicate with themselves and the world looks over their shoulder. Is the world a better place for it? Hopefully so. Changing from artist to viewer often gets in the way of creating a piece of art. It's hard to work and critique at the same time. I do agree that Artwork enriches our lives and the world. That's just not why I create art. I create art to enrich my life and I hope the world is a better place for it. I know that everyone is not like me. I was just sharing my thoughts on my own creative process. I do understand that nothing we do is separate from society or the influence that society has on us. I just feel that everyone should interpret art for themselves, and not be told by someone else what that work should mean to them. Much like religion. You should find your own path and not have someone else tell you to follow their path. It's follow your bliss. Not follow my bliss. Art means something different to each and every one of us. Could you explane communicative refinement of mankind.
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Post by Martin_Weyers » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:20 pm

David,

I think we can agree on this! And if creating makes the world a better place for you, without doing harm to anybody else, it makes the world a better place under the bottom line.

Sorry for the pretentious "communicative refinement of mankind" - I think what I was trying to say is simply "making the world a better place" by communicating through the arts, or even through online forums.
Works of art are indeed always products of having been in danger, of having gone to the very end in an experience, to where man can go no further. -- Rainer Maria Rilke
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Post by David Allen Bales » Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:37 pm

Martin, I think we agree on alot of things. Thanks for the conversation.
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Post by Poncho » Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:13 pm

If you are wondering who won (well OK I know you have better things to do with your time) the Turner Prize this year (No it wasn’t dear Tracey EMIN - beware nudity) then click HERE


... but is it art? Well of course not, but it's all part of the fun of being English :? :shock: :D


If you are not sure who Turner was click HERE
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Post by Poncho » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:56 pm

A piece of public art was unveiled by England’s Timelord, Stephen Hawkin, on September 19th September. Click HERE

Make sure your volume is switched on to enjoy the sound :lol:


More information if you click here HERE
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Post by lsg » Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:42 pm

What is art, Leo Tolstoy, claims, "art is an organ of human life transmitting man's reasonable perception into feeling". SO, look at all of the perceptions into feeling of human organs in the world and you will find the meaning of art.[/b]
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Post by Scarlett » Wed Dec 24, 2008 2:20 am

Hello,

Martin Wrote:
Great art is not produced by individuals in blissful moments; In a way it's created by community, by culture, by civilization, with the artist as its servant.

That's why producing art is not always fun; It can be joyful, and it can be an ordeal. Joyful participation in the sorrows of the world means, to me, also joyful participation in the burden of creating something that is bigger than me, and yet a crystallization of the best parts of myself.

To share my work helps me to connect to the best parts of other human beings, in service of life and transcending ego, rather than ego boosting.
Thank you for that insight! It prompted me to think of some things.

Joseph Campbell wrote in The Inner Reaches of Outer Space: Metaphor a Myth and as Religion:
‘All life is sorrowful!’ Thus the First Noble Truth of the Buddha. The aim of the quivering, drawn bow, therefore, the intended target of the feathered word, is but one feature of a context in which the artist himself participates, and the force that carries the arrow to its mark is compassion. The arrow, furthermore, is not the artist’s own, but a gift to him, of which he is responsible agent, a gift to him of spirit, which is in love with the productions of time. (p. 116)
So is Campbell saying that the ‘arrow’ is something given to the artist whether she/he is a novelist, poet, painter, sculptor, etc?

If artists, whether, novelists, poets, painters, sculptors, etc, are the ‘agents,’ of the spirit’s arrow, does the sorrowful part go away once they surrender into their life’s work? I’m guessing sorrow does not go away because it is a natural part of life -- even if one is following their heart and acting as a ‘responsible agent’ to their craft.

When the spirit is stirred, it cannot be ignored. That is something that I can say I’ve learned over the years. Once stirred, the person can no longer ignore the inner calling or she/he will be cutting off a vital source. Sometimes, I’ve read people can even become sick both mentally and physically if they stop or don’t even begin to craft the bow that will shoot their spirit arrow (I’m speaking metaphorically of course).

So the work of the soul begins.

Thomas Moore wrote in his book, Care of the Soul:
“Soul work involves an effort toward increasing awareness of these myths that form the foundation of our lives, for if we become familiar with the characters and themes that are central to our myths, we can be free from their compulsions and blindness that comes upon us when we are caught up in them. Again, we can see the importance of imaginal practices such as journals, dream work, poetry, painting, and therapy aimed at exploring images in dream and life. These methods keep us actively engaged in the mythologies that are the stuff of our own lives.
The frog chorus in Aristophanes’ drama offers a good image for a way of life accommodated to myth. They are amphibious creatures who can live both on the surface and in the depths.” (p.224)
This passage caught my attention this summer because I had wonderful dream about frog-people. Sort of a silly dream – resembling a fairytale almost. However, I did ‘tend’ the dream. And I wanted to thank you for posting that reference to dream tending months ago – I found it very insightful.


Moore says we need to be free of our ‘compulsions and blindness.’ Is that a challenge for an artist when working with personal inner and outer images?

My question reminded me of an excerpt from a Rainer Maria Rilke’s Poem:
Turning

For the act of gazing sets limits.
And the world gazed at more deeply
Wants to flourish in love.

Work of the eyes is done,
Begin heartwork now
On those images in you, those captive ones;
For you conquered them: but now you don’t know them.
Behold, inner man, you inner woman,
She who was won
From a thousand natures, she
The till now only won,
As yet never loved creation.

From The Uncollected Poems of Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Edward Snow
Beginning ‘heartwork’ is a challenge.

I was just dropping by to say thank you! Over the years, JCF has been a refreshing watering hole for me.

--Scarlett
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Post by Deniz Kite » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:52 pm

Hi!
I try to use this first time and let's see how it shall end!

Firstly, Art to me is a healing process, first. A way to communicate with myself and with universe. It really heals to write, to paint, to sing.
Secondly, by healing the Self, I can heal others; meaning each emotion, like a spiral, creates similiar emotions...
Thirdly each peace of art is a symbol. The looking eye will see it through his own eye. From this perspective, no need to explain or complain like Kubrik unless the artist need compliments.Yet at this stage we go back to the first: A person needing compliments, needs to heal the Self...

Warm regards from Ankara!
vasa wrote:" People can misinterpret almost anything so that it coincides with views they already hold. They take from art what they already believe, and I wonder how many people have ever had their views about anything important changed by a work of art".

-stanley kubric-

i was once in discussion with a very good friend of mine (an artist) and we were open to eachothers views on art, i being a lover of classical art and she - contemporary.
my debate was that classical and historical art had essence, beauty and meaning, including reference to myth and spirit...that it also required talent and skill. (keeping in mind that talent and skill is subject to opinon and perception)...
my friend then went on to say how artists make art to whatever is relevent for there place in time. in classical art it was religeon (to this she informed me that many artists in history never signed their names on their paintings as they were meant to have been divinated by the hand of God ???? does anyone have info on this?).
i tend not to divulge in contemporary art often because i found most of it to be banal, however i assume much of it relates more towards Self expression.
(i am trying to keep this very brief....apologies if it comes out in bits and pieces)
our conversation went right through to morning, and even though a lot was said, this was the most enlightening for me because art - i believe - is human essence, which is godly + truth. and this matter from within doesnt need to be judged by others, nor be put into opinions - it doesnt seem right that it be explained by classification. like the quote above, everyone will always have their perceptions, intellectual projection and they will always come across what they need to see.
i feel art is expression- and everyone has the right to express. and it will always be about the issues of our time, and it is evident that we are trying to find our way home. no matter what stage you are at in your evolution, it will always express the truth...(zen; all ways lead to the Way)

for me, the recent art i have come across, seems farther and farther from simple yet deep Truths, because - generally - some people are so far from themselves; more like waves instead of the depths of the sea.

i am interested to know how people actually respond + react to art these days. if the art is so personal and put to the public for viewing/exposure, how then to appreciate it?

this is such a huge subject, so much more i want to say, but im sure everyone is capable of filling in the gaps and sifting away the surface issues. again, i hope i have written what i intended to say........
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Post by Deniz Kite » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:53 pm

Deniz Kite wrote:Hi!
I try to use this first time and let's see how it shall end!

Firstly, Art to me is a healing process, A way to communicate with myself and with universe. It really heals to write, to paint, to sing.
Secondly, by healing the Self, I can heal others; meaning each emotion, like a spiral, creates similiar emotions...
Thirdly each peace of art is a symbol. The looking eye will see it through his own eye. From this perspective, no need to explain or complain like Kubrik unless the artist need compliments.Yet at this stage we go back to the first: A person needing compliments, needs to heal the Self...

Warm regards from Ankara!
vasa wrote:" People can misinterpret almost anything so that it coincides with views they already hold. They take from art what they already believe, and I wonder how many people have ever had their views about anything important changed by a work of art".

-stanley kubric-

i was once in discussion with a very good friend of mine (an artist) and we were open to eachothers views on art, i being a lover of classical art and she - contemporary.
my debate was that classical and historical art had essence, beauty and meaning, including reference to myth and spirit...that it also required talent and skill. (keeping in mind that talent and skill is subject to opinon and perception)...
my friend then went on to say how artists make art to whatever is relevent for there place in time. in classical art it was religeon (to this she informed me that many artists in history never signed their names on their paintings as they were meant to have been divinated by the hand of God ???? does anyone have info on this?).
i tend not to divulge in contemporary art often because i found most of it to be banal, however i assume much of it relates more towards Self expression.
(i am trying to keep this very brief....apologies if it comes out in bits and pieces)
our conversation went right through to morning, and even though a lot was said, this was the most enlightening for me because art - i believe - is human essence, which is godly + truth. and this matter from within doesnt need to be judged by others, nor be put into opinions - it doesnt seem right that it be explained by classification. like the quote above, everyone will always have their perceptions, intellectual projection and they will always come across what they need to see.
i feel art is expression- and everyone has the right to express. and it will always be about the issues of our time, and it is evident that we are trying to find our way home. no matter what stage you are at in your evolution, it will always express the truth...(zen; all ways lead to the Way)

for me, the recent art i have come across, seems farther and farther from simple yet deep Truths, because - generally - some people are so far from themselves; more like waves instead of the depths of the sea.

i am interested to know how people actually respond + react to art these days. if the art is so personal and put to the public for viewing/exposure, how then to appreciate it?

this is such a huge subject, so much more i want to say, but im sure everyone is capable of filling in the gaps and sifting away the surface issues. again, i hope i have written what i intended to say........
Deniz Kite
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Post by ALOberhoulser » Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:11 pm

I love this thread...I've been away from a computer - with some intermittent visits - for a few years now.

I just wanted to share here something I heard from David Crosby during a movie I watched that was about the CSNY tour a few years back -

He said good art makes you feel - sometimes not good - but it makes you feel SOMETHING...

It reminded me of this thread, and as I write I'm listenin' to Neil Young sing "Heart of Gold"...ironic!

Anyway, i think to define art that way strays away from defining an asthetic quality of art - which, to me is a personal philosophical position regarding what is good OR bad or somwhere in between...

Just thought I'd chime in....

Peace,
AL
Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are a part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.
~Max Planck
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Post by David Allen Bales » Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:55 am

Art is defined by the individual. A question only answered by you. Art like myth is a very personal thing.
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Post by ALOberhoulser » Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:47 am

my myth is not personal at all....it was given to me - entrusted. Every person alive whom exists with it in an aspect of consciousness- even partially - creats a dynamic that is not personal - or completely subjective.
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Post by Poncho » Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:56 pm

It's that time of year again - The Turner Prize. If you want a laugh click HERE dear friends.


All part of the fun of being English! :wink:



I still think that the best piece of modern public art is the Chronophage that I referred to in an earlier post. Click HERE

Don't forget to have the volume switched on.
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Post by Andreas » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:31 am

Hey everyone,

I came around this book "How the mind works" of Stephen Pinker where he says that art is a concentration of tastes. Ivor i remember when i was studying in England we went with our tutor to a photograph exhibition and i saw the most weird things there... like photographed feet and other weird stuff which i did not consider them to be art. So normally i asked whats the meaning of this and the answer i got was that it didnt need to have meaning its art :roll:

I agree with what Martin says about art :

I think we can agree on this! And if creating makes the world a better place for you, without doing harm to anybody else, it makes the world a better place under the bottom line.
But in all honestly i dont believe that art should be specific or understood only by the artist. Art needs to communicate to society how the world is shaped and through that insight you can get a glimpse of the future in order to try and improve the world and yourself.

I certainly had a laugh in the link you posted Ivor, I mean i dont have a problem with it but i when i look at it i go HUH?? so its not meaningful to me at all and does not help me understand what is happening around me or inside me maybe perhaps it evens confuses me more. Hey let me grab a bucket and splash on the canvas and its art... ART is constantly breaking the barriers of yourself and your imagination and for me art is a struggle there is just no way you can create something beautiful, emotional, meaningful without struggle at least thats what is happening with me. Its the final result that makes you go wow i did this and iam proud of it and it communicates what i was aiming at but the process is horrifying.

Anyway back to struggling... i think i need to get a bucket or something maybe that will ease my pain.
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Post by richard silliker » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:05 pm

Following your bliss can be hell, there is no doubt about it in my mind. The joy that arises comes when I understand something as I have never understood it before. The joy is momentery and soon enough the "hell" returns to engulf me. This hell is represented by my dislikes which surround me. My "centre", my gravity, is my likes. The only way out is through my dislikes into my indifference. It is here I can acquire novelty to build a infinitely larger world,

Give me novelty, lots of novelty. Don't fence me in.

RS
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