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About anthony

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    tony garland

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    My all-time quote: "Man is a being of self-made soul."
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  1. Correct. And calling it not-so won't make it not-so. I think you must have gathered there are broadly two different philosophies pertaining to art here. But I'm always happy to hear what the Kantian side has to say.
  2. Yes, it was J I was addressing. That's a good question about meditation vis a vis the desirability of (lets say) "soothing" imagery. A juxtaposition or blend of colours can have an effect which will be efficacious and relaxing. (As I see it, one's mind can take a break every so often from all the "focusing"). At times, simply 'looking' at natural things (without analysing anything) is similar although better, I believe. But do such mood images have to be called "art"? There's quite a few alternative names. Especially considering that there are countless realist paintings which can 'soothe' too, cleverly employing the same colours, lines, et al - the stylistic technique ... plus content. Content and beauty/technical beauty are co-existents, but the subject is the base. Yes for sure. Consciousness precedes art - as with anything man-made - creating or viewing. Art is not a metaphysical given. And ~how~ one thinks ( how one regards reality and uses reason), is exposed in art debates even more than 'normal' topics (e.g. politics) so that's why such contrasting philosophies are coming out of the woodwork here.
  3. Is it not a particular emotion which is evoked by some music on which one can pin one's thinking? (abstractions). A friend was just telling me how he'd once played a piece for his son and asked him to imagine an Army marching home after a battle. The question he asked was did they lose or win? The boy instantly replied "they won of course!" - he was an untrained seven y.o. and recognised the triumphal music (of 'Aida'), and could already abstract an image and a thought. I think theres an almost unlimited musical 'vocabulary' (the large array of instrumentation and the manner specific instruments are played, is alone a huge variable) by which composers (inc. rock and ballads, etc.) are able to suggest any emotions, but the piece has to have a minimum basic structure and its development listened to over a progressive time frame to have a "suggestive" effect. Unlike 'abstract' art. Totally different perceptual processes. Abstractions from 'abstractions' (visual), don't work. A consciousness has limits.
  4. All equivocations, false equivalences and rationalizations. Same old empirical rap posing as intellectualisms. In your anti-intellectual take on it, I believe you think the music must "re-create reality" -physically - in your living room! But of course Rand didn't think of that and "contradicted herself"...! Wow, you do take her very lightly. I have ~a little~ more respect than that, for your mentor, Kant, and I think he was a dreamy fantasist about art, beauty, the sublime. Um - visual art is the medium of images, musical art is the medium of harmonic, melodic sound. And to make a real ~musical~ comparison with 'abstract art'? Completely unharmonic sound. (And easy to make, as well). Neither makes sense to the eye or the ear - and the mind - whatever a mystical art psychic tells us. Perhaps that's what you call "music", too? 'Abstract music'... why not. The puzzle is getting clearer to me: 'Abstract art' appeals to those who won't or don't make abstractions for themselves. Unintelligibility on canvas transposes to non-conceptual content in a mind. You have done me a service. Architecture is another topic, again treated differently.
  5. "...the abstract compositions of architecture and music..." (J) "Abstract"?!! Sez who? You? Is music sound? Does one's hearing perceive sound? Can one's hearing and mind perceive a ~different and varying~ arrangement of sounds-- melody, notes, chords, etc. etc.? Can one distinguish distinct musical instruments? and so on ... without requiring any expertise in music. "Abstract"--because music is not a 'solid' existent ...ha! talk about anti-conceptual mindsets. So. Music has identity, and each musical piece its own identity, which can be identified by consciousness. i.e. it is NOT "abstract". Emotional value-judgements and our concepts are 'affirmed' by our percepts of music. i.e. music has objective value(or, at times, little or none). Go read the Manifesto again. Rather don't. You have often, and clearly evade understanding much in it. Your underhand and second-hand misrepresentations of the book only persuade those few who can't be bothered to thoroughly study it themselves. For many years this has been your one weapon. Rand spent about 25 pages on music, and its notable differences from other arts, particularly man's absorption of it.You have been deliberately and deceitfully treating the visual and auditory arts the same, and slipping in your prefered "abstract" to try to validate unrecognizable ('abstract') 'art'. To say nothing of the mystique/mysticism allocated to the word "abstract". Some guy or other had to first dub unintelligible paintings by that term. A smart PR man, maybe, and after that it penetrated to the credulous public. The word is man made, yes? like art is. It didn't come down from a Heavenly Authority. Believing in 'The Word' over senses and reason is actually simple intrinsicism, and intrinsicism-empiricism go well together, specially in your case.
  7. You have the gist of it. But what do you say to the guy who speaks in gibberish to you, no matter how musically-pleasant it sounds, but is apparently convinced it's real language? You eventually tell him he's faking reality and ignore him, presumably. Whatever is expressed from inside some artist's "head" doesn't automatically qualify as art, any more than garble from inside that man's head qualifies as language.. However, the artist is forgiven and applauded for faking reality or for assuring others he feels he knows what abstract art represents, if they can't. I don't take anyone's word for it, and can't abide reality-fakirs. "Worthy" of my "sanction" is any single thing I can recognise in reality. Not just me, vision and mind is the one "universal", common to all. You've often shown an interesting, if ambivalent outlook on what "abstract" is, which I've inferred from other people too. But the artist's act of 're-constituting' reality by accentuating his work with a special treatment, is what many do mistake as abstraction, I think. Rather, it's due to his eye, his consciousness, his personal view of existence, and learned and tirelessly practised technical skills that add the 'glow' to a subject he isolates, and which he considers a highly important aspect of existence. In a sense, a representational artist plays God, and improves on the original - of course - why not?. He can even add further things from his memory and imagination. I assume all that's the root of the almost mystical reverence he's traditionally paid. "Abstract" concepts only exist in one's mind and cannot be re-created in concrete form on canvas. They need a vehicle. Setting a 'mood' is what we have decoration for. Qua argument, argue with that. ;)
  8. Thorn seems straight-up, and I'd like to hear if he believes he would gain his "abstract" feelings of "beauty and expressiveness" if the lines he complimented in the images - depicted exactly *nothing at all*, instead of those human figures. He said: "my enjoyment of art is very abstract". Not, you notice, "my enjoyment of abstract art". No mind can form abstractions from an 'abstract'. It needs to perceive real things. (Does anyone know otherwise?) To make his emotional abstractions - if there were nothing of reality to 'hang' it upon - would be impossible. Maybe he'll answer for himself. You must be the last to notice that you've run out of steam. You have no arguments left, just appeals to "universal" authority and empirical assertions, empty of art's greatest value to man's percepts/concepts. To raise a "continuum of departure" roughly between Impressionist - 'abstract art', looks to me like a last ditch effort to enforce a stale argument and as ever instill uncertainty in some inexperienced readers, to undermine the trust in their perception abilities. I reckon it is so, that there can be a grey area of less-to- lesser coherency of visual art (before descending to totally unintelligible 'abstract art') which, in quantity and quality, doesn't represent ~anything~ like the vast bulk of all art. You know this. Those grey, ambiguous fringes you enjoy so much ... and which validates just the opposite to your intention. Still, who cares what "meaning" anyone claims to see? If an image can't be made real, with ~some~ clarity by its painter - and contain ~some~ amount of distinguishable subject matter - and therefore cannot be quickly identifiable - it won't be of perceptual use to make concrete a viewer's concepts, so to be seen as no more than an ornament (often not even beautiful). Get this in your head: Men see reality. A mind needs it, more than ever from art, made by men. (That portion of mankind's minds at least that hasn't been seduced by neo-mystical Kantian krapola).
  9. You'd have to define how you mean "abstract". Abstract as in 'abstract art', is accepted to mean there are no real subjects ~at all~ to see, isn't as you apparently use it, which seems to me roughly "a subtle suggestion of something less well-defined and reduced to essentials". The minimalist styles in the drawings do suggest emotion or activity to the viewers, I agree. I quite like the one of the girl and its suggestion of the her vivacity and movement. As you say yourself, the abstract quality is what YOU make of the pictures in your eyes and mind - only human minds can abstract anything. iow "abstract" can't be inherent to a picture, here they are simply the artists' deliberate stylizing choices. So these aren't at all "abstract art" which is only incoherent lines and shapes etc. - but representational, as you say. And if you think that the subject matter is ~ever~ "secondary", just try to visualize these images totally without real, intelligible subjects and you might see that the results can't be anything but a confused mess!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.