anthony

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    tony garland

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    A. GARLAND
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    My all-time quote: "Man is a being of self-made soul."
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  1. Not very new I am sure, but all this has seemed to me about the pragmatist-(cum realist) individualist-Constitutionalists versus the social metaphysician-Progressivists (not fully accurate, as those in the first bloc who traditionally wish for g-ment involvment in others' private lives, should also be rated "social metaphysicians"). The 'order' of the day, is how people all over have absconded their individual power to governments. Expecting to be led away from Statism at this stage of the game by a free market politician, puts the cart before the horse and I think, is over idealistic. All in good time. Statism we have to accept for now - and what remains is: what kind of statism? I am strongly for the slide into Progressivist-statism in the US, and on a world-wide scale, having its brakes put on, after which the pendulum may/will swing back. America can show it is possible (and beneficial). May the best man win, I say.
  2. We're talking past each other. The root is identity. I won't ask what you see when you look around you there, but here I see many people who couldn't identify their way out of a paper bag. They hardly learned how to, or it was discouraged. Politicians who won't call anything like it really IS, if their lives depended on it. Media (here too) who deliberately distort identification and "spin" news stories toward the ruling Party.. And the people. Also here, rioting; usually strikers, this time round self-righteous university students breaking up several campuses demanding by intimidation their "right" to free tutelage. And a large number who support that "heroic" narrative. Plain, isn't it, many people cannot identify even who and what they are, nor distinguish themselves from others' lives (and property). To a pathological degree the sense of self-identity is decreasing everywhere. I say it begins well before political upheavals with an individual's identification. Look at this here argument, with some accepting 'anything goes' to identify art - after all, "who am I to know better"- the artist alone knows. Mystical authoritarianism, self-doubt and subjective feelings are the causes and effects of that. Art as laid out by the modern art intellectuals, seeping into popular arts, has an insidious effect on a culture eventually. And for one to identify the best or worst of art? That takes individual value judgment and judgment has long been a dirty word. (If you want to bring in the field of music, go ahead). Where did I say one can't-won't contemplate, think about, etc. nature? There is the man-made vs. metaphysical-given distinction. Art alone is looked at and thought about -- knowing -- that it has been selected, isolated, emphasised and 'processed' by someone's mind.
  3. Really? Have you read The Romantic Manifesto recently? plenty of "philosophical gobbledygook" in there... To put it one more way, one's conceptual epistemology is what one brings to bear on reality to comprehend it and integrate it. Art is the "re-creation of reality" (in the artist's own image). Again, "reality" - with one significant bonus: It is a real image made purposefully by men and women to be looked at, contemplated, thought about and felt about - while 'natural' reality was not 'made', it evolved. In that case I ask you, do percepts and concepts by artists not require *at least* as much applied epistemology as all reality? If not moreso? And yeah, anybody can "tell" the artist whatever he thinks to respond with, as to anyone else who writes or speaks an opinion about life. Why is the artist above the same treatment? This tends to confirm the notion that he is seen to be a mystical 'medium'. Abstract 'art', doesn't have a distinction from representational art. They aren't even related, except in paint on paper (etc). If a picture hasn't anything else perceivable, but patterns, shapes, lines (etc.etc.) it doesn't objectively qualify as "art". It's the equivalent of an anti-concept. "Abstract" is a fanciful, made-up misnomer unrelated to man's "abstractions" - obviously a concrete entity can't be abstract - and "art" it is not. (whew, and the beat/debate goes on...). And there are no "rules" for art btw. Where did that come from? Can you see what it is, is not a rule.
  4. We agree then, good. One's senses are trustworthy and must be relied upon. The aberrations and exceptions are too few contexts to matter, and can be adjusted swiftly.
  5. But it's not "meaning" we look for in ... anything. We see. We look to establish the nature/causation of some thing. What it is, how it came about, what could be its consequences. (Causality, identity in action). Hardly "meaning". Nature doesn't have meaning, it has identity. Fine Art is made for an artist's purposeful expression, evident to vision and mind, and what he made has a concrete identity (which can ground one of your concepts). Religiously seeking "meaning"- out there - could be the first stage of subjectivity in art or existence. In this respect, I think art, in general is where one may and will, learn to reason early on in life, first providing a kindergarten of conceptualism on through adulthood. There's as much philosophy in art as in anything else, may be clearer now. The big philosophers understood this. Start with the wrong method, and thinking in general goes wrong too. Then, it could well be a permanent fixture. The wrong method may start in art: a). with seeing art as a metaphysical-given, delivered THROUGH the medium (artist), to be gratefully accepted as such - created mystically, unknowable - above reasoning. And interchangeably, b). something produced empirically, without a consciousness. Either way we'll get 'causeless' emotion, which one is fallaciously supposed to feel, PRIOR TO identification and value-judgment. The aim is: perceive with your emotions, judge with your emotions, act upon emotions. There go many people today and unsurprisingly the popular arts today. Which is where Rand will always be excoriated and get people bitter and twisted. She blew the lid off the Sublimists' fallacy and turned her searchlight on the dark and "mystical" corners others would not acknowledge and question. To the empiricists, she showed the proper role of consciousness. No doubt - is there? - that "abstract" art is primacy of consciousness stuff. From 'artist's' - to viewer's, who must supposedly ingest the unidentifiable imagery direct-to-psyche, bypassing identity and value-assessment.
  6. You are one size fits all, in your grasp of Rand's art theory. You know this. She treated the different genres quite differently. There are different perceptual-conceptual processes she distinguished for music, literature and visual arts. (While allowing that music is still not fully understood). Blending them together is deceptive of you and how you arrive at "Rand's self-contradictions" you are always claiming. Second, no excuse for pretending you don't recall and what I answered recently. "Meaning" is not the objective, objectively. A picture doesn't have meaning - it is 'real, it is WHAT it is. And HOW the artist styles his subject is everything else, and displays his personal view of existence. An attractive face can be cynically made to appear misshapen or contorted and therefore derisable; a quite plain face might be depicted as strongly characterful. Or with lively intelligence. Ad infinitum. Conversely, what you dug up out of that one abstract piece shows a fantastical quest to find "meaning". Do you truly look for "meaning" in reality with real things? Or do you "identify" it and them? You apparently fixate on one or two (hypothetically) 'real' existents, e.g. concentric circles, which could "mean" nothing, or anything at all - and build up the rest out of your head, to fit. "...the abstract art forms that she liked..." - is funny. All art is therefore abstract?! ha! What you say is if there is 'abstraction' (concepts) involved, it must be "abstract"...? I think that is mixing up metaphysics and epistemology. And funny is the artfulness in your using "the exact same method that Rand used in interpreting [those]." Sure glad you agree with Rand on something. But - wrong method, wrong subject matter. A subjective 'method' for a subjective painting: now that IS appropriate, and how minds turn into mush.
  7. Asked like a doubting empiricist. To invoke an uncommon, momentarily doubt-inducing, incidental of entertainment which was purposely designed by men to fool the eye. Is your question meant to place uncertainty in one's mind - and 'validate skepticism'? (If that's not the biggest contradiction in terms, and a stolen concept fallacy). It is fitting to this debate about 'abstract' art. Quite, in such a circumstance viewed for the first time and if you didn't know what a magician IS and does, then you would very briefly believe your senses. Then you'd immediately follow with inductive checks. Would they really do this? Can this be possible? -- No, almost certainly not. It must be an arranged trick. OK, then how does he do it? The next time you see a magician at work, that prior experience will dispense with that process, except the 'how?' The mystery will only 'work' once on any sensible individual, before he regains his sensory certainty. Life and reality - clearly - isn't a series of illusions (staged or natural). In such a rare occurence, one simply checks his premises.
  8. "Literally", is the only way to take our perceptions. Mankind would have died out long ago failing that, I think. Paraphrasing you: *concepts* progress, because we look beyond our senses - while sticking close to them too.
  9. Yes. Sorry, but Rand got there first...;) If you're not meaning, however, that art "is abstract", in itself. Like everything in reality it has a concrete form. Abstractions are epistemological tools and don't exist. All arts are conceptually based and conceptually apprehended. We know the axioms, existence (identity)and consciousness (identification)can't be escaped or avoided, and newly-created existents, artworks, no less.
  10. Just as the sort of stoned mind which fixes its gaze on a motif of the wall paper: Wow dude, d'you see those concentric circles expanding like waves...planetary orbits ... the spinning electrons of an atom ... whatever a blank mind fancies. "Faking reality" is what it is. I had a designer friend, a "commercial artist", and she regularly painted and drew similar designs, quite intricate some times. For e.g. gift wrapping paper, wall paper. Meaningless (she knew that) and pretty. If a section were reproduced on canvas and showed to you, you'd doubtless find your own subjective meaning in it. 'Abstract artists' couldn't tell the difference, between much decorative design and most types of (symmetrical, homogenous) 'abstract art'. You're faking/fantasizing and it doesn't work on me.
  11. Yah, It about sums up my argument about art. "Fallibility doesn't make knowledge impossible, knowledge is what makes possible the discovery of fallibility". Peikoff. Otherwise, put - you presuppose the existence of certainty by knowing something to be "an illusion". Good that we don't live in this cunningly created stunt full time, hey Bob?
  12. Doing your slippery bit again. You have turned this upside-down. A hundred times the past years, you have demanded of Objectivists: "show me the proof!" What "proof"? Of what is visible to all, of what one can see...? Finally, I now said that you do it yourself. The onus was always on YOU, as the supposed abstract art expert - AND - as the art-empiricist, to validate your claims of abstract art's intelligibility. The burden of proof is on the claimant - remember? While the Objectivist states, visible things don't need "proof", they just *are*. So far, you have made arbitrary/emotional assertions, about what you say you find in the three abstract pics. But no proof yet. For that, you would have to show: 1. What secret code you and all abstract artists have, in recognizing each colour and texture etc. or combinations, that gives you such mood insights. Which means explaining to readers your analysis of the contents of each picture, in entirety. 2. Then: proper, empirical proof - tested scientifically against other 'experts' who should approximately conclude with the same stories you intuited. 3. (This would be the clincher. Signed affidavits by the artists who painted them, affirming the same things). You want empiricism, ya got it. Or else your "sensitive" readings remain arbitrary assertions. A cute parlor trick or a psychic phenomenon (like reading tea leaves). If you can't accomplish the tests, then it follows you always disingenuously knew O'ists couldn't either. J. I've been noticing over all these debates: Although perhaps 95% of all art existing is realist, you like to negotiate on the dim fringes of "identification" - often depicting ambivalent, to Impressionist, to doubtful imagery - always invoking connotation, association. "Could be... may be... Who knows...?". This is worse than what the 'abstract artists' do, as far as I'm concerned. At least they are clear in their unclarity. The art 'in-betweeners' deliberately insert uncertainty in others' vision and minds. Uncertainty. Self-doubt. Cynicism. Emotionalism. Authority figures. Loss of independence. THAT sums up the general state of art today (and the state of men's minds - and culture).
  13. I don't demand tests. I have no need of them. That's your 'scientific' standard - J - and you must live up to it, not I. "..acting and affecting each other through their environment... fondly looking back ... from being exposed to others who differ..." This sounds like a puffed-up critique for a hi-brow Art mag. Meaningless, rationalistic rubbish you imagine in your head, which nobody else will experience from those pictures. You can fool some of the people some of the time, bud. Keep it straight. Objectivism deals with and in reality - and senses, percepts and concepts. Not what you 'feel' something to be. Not what an artist wishes it to be. Especially any suspect 'abstract artist' who has to conceal reality. Emotions come from real things, not ephemera. And it isn't surprising that anti-conceptual empiricism (in art!) should revert to mysticism. Where else can it turn?? You have given me some great insights. btw: the "identity of colors, forms and textures" is not the reality of an image, they are the physical components the artist selects and molds to MAKE the image, to GIVE it identity. What the painting shows, IS the reality. Jeez, even an artist can't get the distinction...an overdose of Kant on 'beauty and the sublime', I think. I find your personal slurs, coming from you, to be complimentary.
  14. "Nothing qualifies as art by Objectivist Esthetics". Empirical "proof". Bosh. You haven't read a word I said about empiricism and art being contradictions. "They". "Their". Who are these "Objectivists" you constantly cite, as "proof" of the invalidity of O'ist esthetics? One or two you confused with superfluous "empirical" b.s. and a few border-line, Impressionist pictures? If there is anything recognizable 'of reality' in an image - YES, it 100% "qualifies as art". "Representational", as has been the vast proportion of all art created. Every Objectivist should know that, and so do you. All because, intelligibility is first priority in order to identify the subject. And of next importance is the subject's treatment or "stylization" by the artist, so his existential values, or lack of, may be evaluated.. The 'what' precedes the 'how'. So brag about your "tests", if it makes you happy, but don't evade the crux of the issue with strawmen of un-named Objectivists and ignorant caricatures of O'ist art theory. Nobody wants to take on these questions: Why should *everything* made by man be "art"? Is it - in fact? And if you don't quite agree with "everything", then you STILL have to somewhere draw a cut-off point between art - and non-art. Where is that point? Anyone? I've earlier shown my 'literary art' in gibberish words in a sentence which any sane person would laugh at, ignore or become irritated with. But then - why does anyone not take it seriously, and believe me? It's what "I wished to be art", written in my newly invented vocabulary. I even claim to have collated a new dictionary of new word-concepts. How do you know otherwise? It is no different - conceptually - from visual art, which also has a "vocabulary" (plainly, self-evidently) called "reality". What you can SEE. What exists there that one can make sense of. Notwithstanding the secondary aesthetic technicalities, conventions and skillsets which most artists are educated in. But yet, in this case of unintelligibility - abstract art - no one laughs at it; everyone bows to the artist's authority, because HE must know what he meant, if you don't, and perhaps because it's performed with a little decorative skill (when it's not random paint splatter). Then some "sensitives" say they can experience emotions, because of colours (etc) in abstract art - but they will never specify what subjects they can see. It is not even emotion I think, it is "moods", like the ambience in an interior lit with "mood" lighting. The great impossibility: emotion detached from idenitity. Go ahead, J. Put yourself to the test with above abstract pictures 1, 3, and 6. Convey to us what subjects you SEE; your emotions don't count.
  15. Now you are getting the picture, William. "Decor, design, fun, props ..." Exactly. What's wrong with the description "fun"? Or "design"? Etc. An image can be fun, without being art. A decoration will be often pretty, and not art. The design of an implement can be effective as well as ergonomic and visually appealing. But a kettle or an automobile "is art"? And there are also many "fun", realist, art works. What "reality is referenced" in that installation? Yet again, we have to consider a vague, borderline example (as though it seals any argument...) For me, it could represent something organic - possibly "vegetable" but redolent more of "animal" - or a combination. I'd settle for the foot/claw of some giant beast like a dinosaur. It is "fun". Have fun in London, loaded with your cheap Pounds.