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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. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    You've a taste for the macabre, William. A walk on the dark side. Don't get me wrong, I'm not so delicate as to be disturbed by a suggestion of departed souls, and I early fooled around making similar gloomily spectral images (double exposure photos in b+w). I find this one a bit cheesily over dramatic. You must know Nietzsche's caution about he who fights monsters: if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you. Ha.
  2. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Wow, this always amazes me. If a writer were to write spitefully in a novel about a race of people, or he attacks man's mind and his freedom to act, you'd have no problem calling him a hateful bigot or aiding totalitarianism or an anti-intellectual. You'd have direct understanding of what he writes and hold him, the author to his word. When, identically, a picture in which the artist goes to the extra trouble of ravaging a man's features, or depicting life as mean, petty, full of horror, dirty and hopeless in any fashion? You guys say it was his right to do so and who knew his purpose, and who can "moralize"? Is it necessary to point out, the visual artist has an infinite number of possibilities of subjects - and manners of stylizing them, at his fingertips. Which he chooses, is - well - his choice. What comes out at the end - his choice. That end informed at every point by his conscious opinions("...according to [his] metaphysical value-judgements".) and subconscious, pre-formed feelings about his subject. A painting can as easily be of a laughing, handsome islander on a bright beach, full of life and intelligence, or a million other things - or it can show, deliberately, a deformed face, insanity and crudeness. Are those to be treated the same? Does one take a visual artist at his final word, or does one make excuses for him? Is he and his mind and hand responsible, or did a "vision" just come over him which he had to obey? Visual art is made to be immediately seen, and one's inferences drawn directly from what one sees. Because that's the nature of the medium. What you see is what you get, and nothing outside of it matters a bean. One takes art literally as presented and with direct understanding of the artist's intention. One thing stood out for me was how seriously Rand viewed art and literature and their crucial effects on the mind. It confirmed what I'd believed. What I see now is visual art being taken quite lightly. And in their own ways, why is the word any more powerful than the image? Both artists and writers have something important 'to say', or should have, and one must take them exactly at their word and image; only, don't forget the processes of creating, and viewers absorbing their works, are entirely distinct actions of (volitional) consciousness..
  3. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    "Personal", as in individual, exclusive and private, to and in, one's life, experiences, thinking and emotions. That's about the closest I can come up with. Not to be confused with "subjective", as it usually is. But that particular, complex blend of thoughts and emotions from a specific artwork, for a specific individual, at a stage of his life is rarely or ever going to be exactly the same, and possibly unique, so - personal - to him/her. This gives rise to "subjective". "... a phenomenon such as art has remained a dark mystery [compared with the sciences], with little or nothing known about its nature, its function in human life or the cause of its tremendous psychological power. Yet art is of passionately intense importance and profoundly ~personal~ concern to most men..." [p15, tRM] Two fundamental questions Rand posed and replied to: Does art have an objective identity? Does art have objective value? And I think the prerequisite for "value" is that it has objective "identity". I.e., it is a real existent which a mind can perceive and identify. "Value" - the individual's, personal value in his life, his highest value - is derivative of the abstraction- "Man's life is the standard of value" (which is inarguable - lacking man and his life and mind, there cannot be value, perceived nor created). Being of "subjective" nature and "subjective" value, of course means that an entity or whole class of existents is not fixed, can change, or go in and out of existence--and - one's consciousness decides at whim or feeling what it is to be, in value and identity, in any instant. Beauty is ugliness, ugly is beauty, reality is untrue, etc. etc, all follow when men depart from definitions and standards. The noise about abstract art I think is a cover up. The biggest gripe with O'ist art theory lies in judgments of value, I think you recognize, Ellen. By what right, expertise, education and "perfect" knowledge, critics ask, does someone get to "judge" a picture? And if you do, where's the "proof". Who are you to "moralize"? Why are you so arrogant? (But objectivity is not having "ineffable" knowledge nor having "perfect" standards of value). Here, as Rand indicates, is the last, untouchable preserve (in the 21st C!) of mystique and mystery. Thou shalt not judge art. Everything and anything else in existence we can criticize, except that which is of most profound importance to the depths of one's mind, one's actions and one's emotional enjoyment.
  4. Right, the so-called strategy for playing video poker (or any machines) is so much publicity fluff, with the payout percentage algorithmically fixed, long-term - and every casino table game (with the exception of player to player "live" poker ) has a built-in edge for the house too. (Around 1.5% on blackjack, if my memory serves me.) A money laundering scheme for illegal gun sales looks most probable. The more time goes by without the exhaustive search uncovering an apparent "motive", the more that Mark's "movie script" idea begins to look not impossible. If not Paddock, then whom? The most obvious answer is terrorists, but the see-no-evil PC media doesn't want to investigate that theory over-much. How terrible it would be to wrongly blame Islamist killers... for killing. It could hurt their feelings.
  5. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Oh. Right. So that is why, after the excerpt, you wrote: "See, you have her permission to identify meaning in abstract forms!" You mixed your genres, and that's the end of it. And, after misapplying "attributes" to abstract art. I'm going to call you Smoky Joe from now, J. You've never lost an argument which you couldn't wiggle your way out of with a word-storm. That's enough from me for now.
  6. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Leave it or leave it. I'm not setting up to scientifically 'prove' what's in some artist's mind. And seeing you're invoking her, she did not state that one must "demonstrate" one's conclusions. That's your addition. The assessment was for *my* purpose as I've always done - I.e. The individual, for whom Rand laid out her theory: a surprise to you! Can you understand that concept? Art for the individual, not the mystic collective. Rand clearly did not intend to train art teachers primarily, although the philosophic base is there to become proficient in art if one chooses. If I was at all interested in that picture I'd examine it further - but I think it's a close assessment. You could of course render your judgment? Feel free. I am well over explaining to you the differences between empirically and - objectively. You still think "objectivity" equals "empiricism", and it informs your misinterpretations and errors of Objectivism for years. For you then, art is a science experiment - enjoy. ;)
  7. Dealing with distractions from your values

    Floods of data, factoids and ready-made opinions, one could get lost in without trace! Making all the more critical conceptual minds. And there is every sign that conceptualism is on the decrease (from complacent reliance on the 'flood', sadly and ironically).
  8. Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally Madness

    Ugh. The Fascist Left is getting a free ride by playing up the less dangerous far Right.
  9. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Jeez. You do realise that writers do and always have described an existent, by some or many of its attributes? "Her hair was ..., her lips were shaped ..., her eyes the color of...," - etc. Conversely, of course you also know that the artist has to present an existent (e.g. her face) for view, 'all in one go', so to speak. He doesn't have the luxury of separating/isolating attributes and properties from existents. Are you are mixing up your genres again? You must know from Rand's RM, that the mental processes in fiction and visual art are different.
  10. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    The theme? The mindless primitive. Backed up with some effectively appropriate esthetics: in primary colors, crudely daubed rather than fine brushstrokes. Misarranged features, blanked, zombie eyes and screeching or cackling mouth. Well achieved, technically, by an artist with a sick sense of life and horrible view of existence.
  11. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    You are a big laugh, J. Disingenuously, you try to justify the arbitrary shapes and lines of abstract art, which depicts no referents to reality - ie. is Subjective - by the Objectivist method. Ouch. Then you let your sensations and free associations fill in the blanks. Yeah, a curve is an "attribute" of an existent -- when it IS an existent. Not a curve alone. Attributes refer to an entity, see? Or will you now report the ability to discern an entity in the abstract art? Then we're into psychic space. An emotion, btw, is the valid consequence of cognition and value-judgment, and I guess Rand did hers on Capuletti first. Fail.
  12. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    Nice try! Afraid not. As easy as it is to borrow the words, "I identify" - you've made no identifications. You see those textures, colors, curving forms [in abstract art]- as - "soothing calmness". (Sure, and industrial design, interior decoration, etc. depend on just that mood enhancement. Which is why it's "design" and not "art". Sure, and realist artists use the same esthetic techniques of texture, form, line, etc.... to stylize their realist, representational artworks ). But you've described taking the sense-data and jumping straight to a feeling. You'll know full well in O'ism, that "I identify" is one's identification and integration of real existents. Easy to say, a la Rand, that you're following a conceptual process, "sensations>percepts>concepts". Except, "soothing calmness" isn't a concept, it's an emotion.
  13. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

  14. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    No, I'm not saying that. But that's closer. I'm saying "meaning" is epistemological - not intrinsic to things ("entities"), man-made things included. A "meaning" is at first 'in your head' (or Michelangelo's or whomever) as a concept. If you're good enough, you can transfer "meaning" to another's mind by art and literature. What we're witnessing by the abstract artists is the attempt to deny and go around the processes of consciousness. "After all, why should there be an "intelligible" picture? Why must we be dictated to by old artistic standards and structures? And, "the meaning" exists IN the abstract painting (only if you are enough educated and "visually aware" to grasp it) and evoking sensations/feelings are all that ever mattered in art". Related to them, the Post-moderns are also in a sort of 'deconstructionist' mode, i.e. So you ask for 'reality' and "intelligibility"? Here it is - reality, in our coarse, sniggering, cynical or nihilistic versions. They are both in childish revolt against the mind and reality - the PModernists predominantly attack "value", and the abstractionists against "identity". (Predictable that there are some hopeful signs of some art revival, I've picked up. People aren't fooled all the time by pretensions of art and some artists have painted themselves into a corner with no place left to turn. Fine artists with standards such as yourself shouldn't be displeased).
  15. Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

    That's intelligible art William. If I'm ever to think of the 'Deep Swamp Creature' (in another thread), this ugly mutation might come to mind. It befits an ISIS sub-animal too.