Jonathan

Objectivist Esthetics, R.I.P.

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I'm arguing with something like Ayn Rand's "drooling beast," only more retarded.

2 minutes ago, anthony said:

DID you notice I was discussing 'abstract art' - and only 'abstract art'? What in hell do you think I meant by "blurred hodgepodge image"?

Yes, I did noticed!

See, the way that things work in objective reality is that there's not one set of standards that is applied to the things that you want to classify as art and another to those that you don't. That wouldn't be objective.

 

4 minutes ago, anthony said:

Claimants who "perceive" intelligibility in unintelligible art forms, should, indeed, prove their claims, or keep silent. The onus is on those who make irrational, indefensible claims. I would dearly like to see them put to the scientific test.

You've made the irrational, indefensible claim that you can identify artists' themes/meanings in alleged works of art. The onus in therefore on you to prove it.

 

6 minutes ago, anthony said:

In the meantime, objectivity needs no scientific "proof". A contradiction in terms.

No one has claimed that "objectivity needs scientific 'proof.'"  You have not been asked to prove "objectivity." Rather, you've been challenged to prove that anything has ever qualified as art by Rand's definition and criteria. Can you not tell the difference between the two? Are you really so stupid that you can't follow what you've been challenged to do? Seriously, you can't keep this challenge straight?!!!

 

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1 hour ago, BaalChatzaf said:

There is no scientific test for intelligibility in art.  

Oh but there could be a test of intelligibility for 'abstract art'. With those experts who claim that there are 'things' they are talented or trained to discern in 'abstract art', show them random, unknown samples of the art by accepted artists, mixed with arbitrary paint splatters on canvas done by children and independently quiz them. If they all describe the same objects in the first category, and reject the others, you have proof. If they differ, you have proof it's a crock. You are right otherwise, for all realist art. When someone finally conducts the experiment there will be egg on faces, and a drop in abstract art values so don't expect it anytime soon. There's big money in that market.

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

Oh but there could be a test of intelligibility for 'abstract art'. With those experts who claim that there are 'things' they are talented or trained to discern in 'abstract art', show them random, unknown samples of the art by accepted artists, mixed with arbitrary paint splatters on canvas done by children and independently quiz them.

Been there, done that. Many times, including in Objectivish forums. I've usually scored 100% each time, sometimes slightly less.

Meanwhile, do you know what the rate is for Objectivists successfully identifying artists' themes and meanings in representational realist paintings? It's still zero percent.

 

1 hour ago, anthony said:

If they all describe the same objects in the first category, and reject the others, you have proof. If they differ, you have proof it's a crock. You are right otherwise, for all realist art. When someone finally conducts the experiment there will be egg on faces, and a drop in abstract art values so don't expect it anytime soon. There's big money in that market.

Abstract paintings don't contain objects. The point isn't to identify objects, but to experience the effects of the art despite the lack of objects. Form isn't the only attribute from which people can identify meaning. Texture or color also work just fine.

And this is the point in the discussion where you usually need to be reminded that music also doesn't present objects, but that you accept it as valid art anyway. There have been many scientific tests on people's responses to music that they've never heard before, and about which they haven't been exposed to outside considerations. Their opinions on its effects and meanings are all over the place. In reality, Rand's assertions about people experiencing the same content in music is false.

I know, I know, you're response is going to be that you insist on compartmentalizing each of the art forms. All of the art forms must present intelligible subjects, subject matter, meanings, theme's, etc., except for those that don't. Art must re-create reality, except when you've decided that it arbitrarily doesn't have to. Each art form has it's own nature and rules which aren't based in anything except Tony's whims, which are based on obeying Rand's arbitrary decrees. And nothing has to ever be proved because proof is now somehow a bad thing to Objectivism. Somewhere along the line, Tony believes that Objectivism began hating and opposing the idea of proof. Everything that can't be proven is now an axiom in Tony's nutty world.

 

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19 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Been there, done that. Many times, including in Objectivish forums. I've usually scored 100% each time, sometimes slightly less.

Meanwhile, do you know what the rate is for Objectivists successfully identifying artists' themes and meanings in representational realist paintings? It's still zero percent.

 

Abstract paintings don't contain objects. The point isn't to identify objects, but to experience the effects of the art despite the lack of objects. Form isn't the only attribute from which people can identify meaning. Texture or color also work just fine.

 

2

Done that? You have been a participant in a controlled experiment with a panel of other abstract art aficionados, who have been tested in isolation on several previously unknown pieces by 'legitimate' 'abstract artists', among which are arbitrary daubs by children, to which you all agreed ("100% each time") about "the effects" experienced and 'identify meaning" of the art, while too, rejecting as bogus the kids' 'placebo' paintings? You have not.

Texture and color are attributes "from which people can identify meaning", you say. Nope, the experience is sensory, they get sensations and moods. The "meaning" is all imagined by them. We see the success of the interior decoration market; how specific mixtures of colors and textures used in decoration, curtains, wallpaper, etc. are studied and known to be effective at creating different ambiances. Dynamic and vibrant to gentle and soothing - etc. Not "meaning", nor especially, emotions, but sensations. What you've got in 'abstract art' is the most exorbitantly priced wall paper and upholstery material per sq.meter ever made.

Sensationalism has been elevated to an art form by postmodernists.

[Following - interesting views on Kant, mostly in his words, I found now on Hicks' page. Unravel his blocks of turgid syntax, and what is Kant actually describing and propagating but simple "sensationalism" ?]

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Is modern art too complicated for us?

 [June 29, 2010 Stephen Hicks  1 Comment Critique of Judgment, Finnegans Wake, Fred Lerdahl, Immanuel Kant, Jackson Pollock, modern art, Terry Teachout, the sublime in art]

"In a recent Wall Street Journal article, art critic Terry Teachout asks: “Are our brains big enough to untangle modern art?”

As examples, Teachout quotes one of thousands of sentences from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wakelike this one: “It is the circumconversioning of antelithual paganelles by a huggerknut cramwell energuman, or the caecodedition of an absquelitteris puttagonnianne to the herreraism of a cabotinesque exploser?” And he mentions “the splattery tangles and swirls” of Jackson Pollock pieces and quote music theorist Fred Lerdahl, who argues that much modernist music “overwhelms the listener’s processing capacities.”

To which I juxtapose three quotations from Section 23 of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment of 1790. Professor Kant divides art into the merely beautiful and that which is magisterially sublime:

“But there are remarkable differences between the two. The beautiful in nature is connected with the form of the object, which consists in having boundaries. The sublime, on the other hand, is to be found in a formless object, so far as in it or by the occasion of it boundlessness is represented, and yet its totality is also present to thought.”

Further: The beautiful “directly brings with it a feeling of the furtherance of life.” “But the other [i.e., the sublime] is a pleasure that arises only indirectly, viz. it is produced by the feeling of a momentary checking of the vital powers and a consequent stronger outflow of them, so that it seems to be regarded as emotion—not play, but earnest in the exercise of the imagination. Hence it is incompatible with charm; and as the mind is not merely attracted by the object but is ever being alternately repelled, the satisfaction in the sublime does not so much involve a positive pleasure as admiration or respect, which rather deserves to be called negative pleasure.”

And finally: “But the inner and most important distinction between the sublime and beautiful is, certainly, as follows. … . Natural beauty (which is independent) brings with it a purposiveness in its form by which the object seems to be, as it were preadapted to our judgment, and thus constitutes in itself an object of satisfaction. On the other hand, that which excites in us, without any reasoning about it, but in the mere apprehension of it, the feeling of the sublime may appear, as regards its form, to violate purpose in respect of the judgment, to be unsuited to our presentative faculty, and as it were to do violence to the imagination; and yet it is judged to be only the more sublime.”

So, for Kant, the sublime in art is formless, charmless, checks our vital powers, is repellent and a negative pleasure, violates our attempt to judge its purpose, and does violence to the imagination". Stephen Hicks

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

Done that? You have been a participant in a controlled experiment with a panel of other abstract art aficionados, who have been tested in isolation on several previously unknown pieces by 'legitimate' 'abstract artists', among which are arbitrary daubs by children, to which you all agreed ("100% each time") about "the effects" experienced and 'identify meaning" of the art, while too, rejecting as bogus the kids' 'placebo' paintings? The hell you have.

I've taken the tests that Objectivists have posted, and passed with a score of 100% almost every time. They were not scientifically controlled events.

I've then performed similar tests on Objectivists, using representational realist paintings. None of them could identify which were created by adults and which were created by children. None of them could identify the artists' themes/meanings. Some of the Objectivists "objectively" rated some of the most revered romantic realist art in history as "really bad art" or "lesser art."

Anyway, Tony, you're evading again. You've once again dodged the main point that I once again reminded you of just a couple of posts ago:

"You've made the irrational, indefensible claim that you can identify artists' themes/meanings in alleged works of art. The onus in therefore on you to prove it."

You still haven't proven it. Nothing has ever been objectively proven to qualify as art by Rand's definition and requirements for art.

Continuing to attack abstract art won't change that fact.

 

1 hour ago, anthony said:

Texture and color are attributes "from which people can identify meaning", you say. Nope, the experience is sensory, they get sensations and moods. The "meaning" is all imagined by them. We see the success of the interior decoration market; how specific mixtures of colors and textures used in decoration, curtains, wallpaper, etc. are studied and known to be effective at creating different ambiances. Dynamic and vibrant to gentle and soothing - etc. Not "meaning", nor especially, emotions, but sensations. What you've got in 'abstract art' is the most exorbitantly priced wall paper and upholstery material per sq.meter ever made.

The above is true of you and your fellow Rand-obeyers in regard to form and meaning: None of you can identify artists' themes/meanings via the representational forms in realist paintings. Usually, Objectivists can't even come up with a "meaning" when looking at a painting, but on the rare occasions that they do, the "meaning" is all imagined by them. Rand's theory is a fantasy. In reality, her followers can't identify what she requires them to in representational realist artworks. What you've got in visual "romantic realism," at least as far as Rand's followers demonstrate in reality, is the most exorbitantly prices wall paper and upholstery material per sq. meter ever made. (If you'll consult recent records, you'll discover that representational realist paintings have sold for the highest prices).

Despite all of your distractions and continued attacks on abstract art, the fact remains that nothing has ever been objectively proven to qualify as art by Rand's definition and criteria. Your paragraph above is the perfect example of an idiot Rand-follower attacking abstract art by using standards and criteria which, when applied to equally to all alleged art forms, result in representational realism also not qualifying. The amazing thing is that you keep using the stupid tactic. It's as if you expect me to forget the fact that representational realism is invalidate by the same standards.

Nothing has ever been objectively demonstrated to qualify as art by Rand's definition and criteria.

 

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6 minutes ago, anthony said:

Is modern art too complicated for us?

 June 29, 2010 Stephen Hicks  1 Comment Critique of Judgment, Finnegans Wake, Fred Lerdahl, Immanuel Kant, Jackson Pollock, modern art, Terry Teachout, the sublime in art

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, art critic Terry Teachout asks: “Are our brains big enough to untangle modern art?”

As examples, Teachout quotes one of thousands of sentences from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wakelike this one: “It is the circumconversioning of antelithual paganelles by a huggerknut cramwell energuman, or the caecodedition of an absquelitteris puttagonnianne to the herreraism of a cabotinesque exploser?” And he mentions “the splattery tangles and swirls” of Jackson Pollock pieces and quote music theorist Fred Lerdahl, who argues that much modernist music “overwhelms the listener’s processing capacities.”

To which I juxtapose three quotations from Section 23 of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgment of 1790. Professor Kant divides art into the merely beautiful and that which is magisterially sublime:

“But there are remarkable differences between the two. The beautiful in nature is connected with the form of the object, which consists in having boundaries. The sublime, on the other hand, is to be found in a formless object, so far as in it or by the occasion of it boundlessness is represented, and yet its totality is also present to thought.”

Further: The beautiful “directly brings with it a feeling of the furtherance of life.” “But the other [i.e., the sublime] is a pleasure that arises only indirectly, viz. it is produced by the feeling of a momentary checking of the vital powers and a consequent stronger outflow of them, so that it seems to be regarded as emotion—not play, but earnest in the exercise of the imagination. Hence it is incompatible with charm; and as the mind is not merely attracted by the object but is ever being alternately repelled, the satisfaction in the sublime does not so much involve a positive pleasure as admiration or respect, which rather deserves to be called negative pleasure.”

And finally: “But the inner and most important distinction between the sublime and beautiful is, certainly, as follows. … . Natural beauty (which is independent) brings with it a purposiveness in its form by which the object seems to be, as it were preadapted to our judgment, and thus constitutes in itself an object of satisfaction. On the other hand, that which excites in us, without any reasoning about it, but in the mere apprehension of it, the feeling of the sublime may appear, as regards its form, to violate purpose in respect of the judgment, to be unsuited to our presentative faculty, and as it were to do violence to the imagination; and yet it is judged to be only the more sublime.”

So, for Kant, the sublime in art is formless, charmless, checks our vital powers, is repellent and a negative pleasure, violates our attempt to judge its purpose, and does violence to the imagination.

Thanks for posting the above! It's a wonderful example of Hicks' having been intellectually contaminated by having trusted Newberry's shoddy, hostile misreading of Kant, and of not having had any serious academic training in the relevant areas, most notably exposure to the history of the concept of the Sublime. You can see the Newberrian taint in misinterpreting Kant as offering a normative notion rather than a descriptive one. It's a jumbled mix of beginning with a desired outcome of vilifying Kant, while starting with a layman's usage of the relevant term instead of a proper understanding of the philosophical term, and then imposing it on a selective focusing on only the negative aspects of the concept, while willfully "blanking out" the overriding positives.

You'd think that an actual employed philosophy professor would want to be more careful, and double check some of the assumptions that Newbsie smuggled in, but no. I've visited Hicks' blog in the past, and have attempted to alert him to the errors, but he had no interest because he had been told ahead of time by others that I was a big meanie. Heh.

I find it all deliciously hilarious.

I've been creating a work of art which features selected pages of Objectivist arrogant stupidity, and the Hicks being intellectually infected by Newberry thing is one of them.

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Ha. Most of the piece is written by Kant, one can see. No one needs contaminate Kant. Here he does it well, himself, in his words. And like Rilke (I think) said of him, roughly, if you truly understood what Immanuel Kant meant, you'd run away from him. Fortunately and unfortunately, buried in his verbiage, not many know all of his true meanings. But the above is revealing of the Sublime ~in his words~, indicating how little it has been understood, or cleaned up and given a gentle reception . Decontaminated, perhaps.

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7 minutes ago, anthony said:

Ha. Most of the piece is written by Kant, one can see. No one needs contaminate Kant. He does it well, himself, in his words. And like Rilke (I think) said of him, roughly, if you truly understood what Immanuel Kant meant, you'd run away from him. Fortunately and unfortunately, buried in his verbiage, not many know his meaning. But the above is revealing of the Sublime "in his words", and how little it's understood, and given a gentle reception by those who don't know.

Indeed, most of it was written by Kant. As I mentioned in my last post, the positives of the concept of the Sublime have been left out. It's a willfully selective misinterpretation of the concept.

Tony, you are just like Newbsie and Hicks in bringing your own ignorant, predetermined, hostile mindset to misreading Kant.

Newberry wasn't even aware of the fact that Kant didn't invent the concept of the Sublime. I informed of it, and he admitted that he wasn't knowledgeable of the concept's history, then he showed zero interest in looking into it, and went right back to his original position on Kant and the Sublime. Impenetrable. Drooling beast gaze. Reality must be blanked out. 

 

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Anyone who spends an hour on Hicks' website will know that he's brief and to the point, and unusually wide-ranging, topic-wise and source-wise and often puts forward others' opinions. An artist like e.g. Newberry, is only one of many voices cited (on art) among countless other subjects. You've got a fixation about someone, he's all you see, I guess. 

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8 minutes ago, anthony said:

Anyone who spends an hour on Hicks' website will know that he's brief and to the point, and unusually wide-ranging, topic-wise and source-wise and often puts forward others' opinions.

On the subject of Kant and the Sublime, Hicks is ridiculous, and he's not at all interested in factual reality. Challenge him with informed criticism, and he'll shut down the conversation and ban the critic. He's an uninformed zealot, not a true philosopher, when it comes to the subject of art and aesthetics. He's clearly not educated in the field. I would doubt that he has any coursework at all under his belt on the subject of art history.

 

15 minutes ago, anthony said:

Newberry, is only one of many voices cited (on art) among countless other subjects. You've got a fixation about someone, he's all you see, I guess. 

I've got a fixation for laughing at Rand-followers who have a fixation on vilifying Kant. It's definitely a hobby of mine. I'm still blown away by how eager certain people are to act like abject fools and destroy their own reputations in order to try to justify Rand's dumb opinions about Kant on the subject of art.

It's great entertainment.

One saving grace about bossypants Kamhi is that she's not infected with Rand's irrational Kant-hatred. She hasn't been intellectually tainted like Hicks and Newberry. I'd love to see those three discussing Kant and the Sublime. What a hoot that would be! I think Newberry would be too stupid to recognize the ass-kicking that she'd give him. Hicks, I think, would probably pick up on it. The only question would be what tactic he would use to deny or evade the reality of his ass-kicking, especially if the debate were on neutral ground and he didn't have the power to make Kamhi disappear from the conversation.

 

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And a reminder: Nothing has ever been objectively demonstrated to qualify as art by Rand's definition and criteria.

Tony has made the irrational, indefensible claim that he can identify artists' themes/meanings in alleged works of art. The onus is therefore on him to prove it. He has not done so.

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Back to package-dealing, again. There isn't a common denominator, in the creating and the contemplating, between representational and abstract art. It's like shifting your vision away from the pattern of your curtains, to your Renoir hanging on the wall.

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1 hour ago, anthony said:

Back to package-dealing, again.

Yay! Parroting another Rand term! "Package-dealing." Have you ever thought for yourself?

 

1 hour ago, anthony said:

There isn't a common denominator, in the creating and the contemplating, between representational and abstract art. It's like shifting your vision away from the pattern of your curtains, to your Renoir hanging on the wall.

Yet you can't objectively demonstrate that you've identified any of Renoir's theme's/meanings in his art! So it's not different at all from abstract art. Renoir's work is exactly the same thing as curtain patterns to you.

Since you evaded the point, I'll repeat it again, and keep on repeating it as you continue to try to dodge it:

Nothing has ever been objectively demonstrated to qualify as art by Rand's definition and criteria.

Tony has made the irrational, indefensible claim that he can identify artists' themes/meanings in alleged works of art. The onus is therefore on him to prove it. He has not done so.

 

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On 1/4/2018 at 10:41 PM, Jonathan said:

Yay! Parroting another Rand term! "Package-dealing." Have you ever thought for yourself?

 

Yet you can't objectively demonstrate that you've identified any of Renoir's theme's/meanings in his art! So it's not different at all from abstract art. Renoir's work is exactly the same thing as curtain patterns to you.

Since you evaded the point, I'll repeat it again, and keep on repeating it as you continue to try to dodge it:

Nothing has ever been objectively demonstrated to qualify as art by Rand's definition and criteria.

Tony has made the irrational, indefensible claim that he can identify artists' themes/meanings in alleged works of art. The onus is therefore on him to prove it. He has not done so.

 

Define "objectively demonstrated". But advance warning, if you still don't know, objective epistemology can't be validated with your scientific "proof". A concept isn't "a fact", instead, a very large number of facts, integrated and hierarchical. A concept was come about and built inductively over time, and would be very difficult to explain and justify. If you don't know by now from Rand (and others), you can't ever know exactly what a picture has to do with an individual's concepts. It often looks to me you are not conceptual-minded.  

What I notice influences your approach to judging art is *everything* before and after and around the artwork, (like the title, the artist's pedigree, art history, and so on)  and as if you lose sight of the bigger picture. You analyze the technicalities and fine details well, (btw, what happened to "perspective', that you once continuously referred to, as if technical considerations are *everything*?) but I can tell from many instances that you don't apprehend the picture itself, as an entire entity (i.e. as reality -- accurately, a re-creation of reality).

I can and did identify an artwork's theme earlier, and many others, objectively and well, I think. It's not hard, though the process requires close attention, a keen awareness. It rather resembles detective work and finding clues. A huge added benefit: one can practice on artworks the same method of identification one needs to make any identifications in real life. (Art as a test ground - but knowing this is man-made). And if you don't like my 'read' and believe it must be "proven" - who cares. The art is for me, not for anyone else. Who will prove me wrong? The artist? The Authorities? To start with I'm not confident many artists can think or introspect about why they do what they do. Better that way, perhaps. Maybe he/she doesn't always consciously know. In the final resort, after one has focused attentively for a while and sometimes longer out of enjoyment, on the picture, what counts is what you, yourself can take from it, regardless of your "read" precisely matching the artist's "intentions" or not.

And how does the artwork plainly reveal itself? Because what matters to every artist, without fail, is he believes deeply he has an *important* view (a sort of visual 'opinion')to "show" to the world about the world and life - which is implicitly and explicitly *why* he paints - and this view can be of value to others as well. Motivated by such *Importance*, he carefully chooses his subject and carefully styles it a certain way. "What" the subject is and "how" he does it tells you directly what his ("important") value-judgment is of existence. There is no mystery, it is visibly 'there", an artist's personal stamp on his work.

His theme is revealed in a combination of those, subject and stylization, or "bridge" between them (taken from Rand). There it is, for any viewer not "tainted" by other art philosophies, often mystical and anti-reason, to clearly see.

 

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1 minute ago, anthony said:

Define "objectively demonstrated".

Ah, you're going with the "I don't understand what words mean, so please explain them to me, so then we can run with the distraction of playing semantic games for three months" strategy.

Stalling. Game-playing. Distractions.

By "objectively demonstrate," I simply mean prove.

I mean exactly what you mean when you demand that I prove that abstract art communicates meaning. I mean exactly what you mean when you proposed your objective method to test abstract art.

 

5 minutes ago, anthony said:

I can and have identified an artwork's theme...

No one has asked you to merely identify what you imagine to be an artwork's theme.

Rather, you've been challenged to prove that you've identified the "artist's theme," as Rand requires; you've been challenged to prove that any work of art has succeeded in communicating the artist's intended theme/meaning while viewers have been denied access to outside considerations.

You've been told this dozens of times. How many more times will you need to be told before it sinks in?

Tony, if you're having this much difficulty understanding such a simple challenge, it's time for you to consider the possibility that philosophy may not be for you, since it deals with issues that are much more complex than this.

J

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Yup. A definite concrete-bound, anti-conceptualist. Not a word did he comprehend.

Objectivism, so - Objectivist art theory - is beyond him.

But I have learned more about Empiricism and its close follower, skepticism. Thanks.

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31 minutes ago, anthony said:

I can and did identify an artwork's theme earlier, and many others, objectively and well, I think. It's not hard, though the process requires close attention, a keen awareness. It rather resembles detective work and finding clues. A huge added benefit: one can practice on artworks the same method of identification one needs to make any identifications in real life.

britain-art-francis-bacon-sale.jpg

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What is the question, William? A photo of a triptych in a gallery of a (barely) human striking poses in a chair with geometric structures around him. You know already what I'll say of man represented as a gargoyle - meant as a laugh, no doubt. Not badly done, technically. Stinks of shock-cynicism, otherwise.

You were quick. The old tag team back together again? ;) Much support in the wings for J. He needs it.

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4 hours ago, anthony said:
  7 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Yay! Parroting another Rand term! "Package-dealing." Have you ever thought for yourself?

 

Actually, Anthony was "parroting" Merriam-Webster. LOL. Dang, I hate it when these Objectivists "can't think for themselves" and they use phrases from the dictionary. Double-LOL.

  •  Definition of package deal
1: an offer or agreement involving a number of related items or one making acceptance of one item dependent on the acceptance of another
2: the items offered in a package deal
NEW! Time Traveler

First Known Use: circa 1948

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13 hours ago, anthony said:

Yup. A definite concrete-bound, anti-conceptualist. Not a word did he comprehend.

Objectivism, so - Objectivist art theory - is beyond him.

But I have learned more about Empiricism and its close follower, skepticism. Thanks.

I take it that you're talking about yourself. After all, it was you who proposed the method that I'm simply demanding be applied equally to all art forms.

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9 hours ago, Roger Bissell said:

Actually, Anthony was "parroting" Merriam-Webster. LOL. Dang, I hate it when these Objectivists "can't think for themselves" and they use phrases from the dictionary. Double-LOL.

  •  Definition of package deal
1: an offer or agreement involving a number of related items or one making acceptance of one item dependent on the acceptance of another
2: the items offered in a package deal
NEW! Time Traveler

First Known Use: circa 1948

So, your little theory is that if a word or phrase is in the dictionary, therefore it must be where Tony picked it up?

His Royal Published Highness believes that he can logically conclude that finding the term in the dictionary is proof that Tony did not get it from Rand? And Tony also just happens to be using, in the same conversation, lots of other terms that Rand gave her own twist on, and used frequently as catch phrase weapons with her circle of followers, but since they're also in the dictionary, Tony could not have gotten them from Rand, and, dang, lol, my wife says "give me a break!"

You need to brush up on your logic there, Majesty.

Your Royal Published Highness, did you not notice that there's a difference between Rand's and the dictionary's definition? Triple lol.

Anyhoo, enough with your trivial venting. Do you have anything of substance to add to the discussion? Anything beyond emoting?

Do you have any proof that anything has ever qualified as art by Rand's definition and criteria? Do you know of any instances where Objectivists (or even Objectivishes) have taken the testing methods that they demand be applied to abstract art and applied them to representational realism, or to music, or even literature, and succeeded?

If so, post the results! Put up or shut up.

Tee hee hee, lol, quadruple lol, give me a break.

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On 12/23/2017 at 2:11 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Tony,

How about this. It is art in the same molds to you? (btw - These examples come from a Wikipedia article: Cave painting.)

12.23.2017-13.56.png

:)

This is (quoting from Wikipedia): "Cueva de las Manos located Perito Moreno, Argentina. The art in the cave dates between 13,000-9,000 BP." (Basically, that means about 11,000-7,000 BC.)

Or this? Is it art to you?

12.23.2017-13.59.png

:)

That is from Santa Barbara in California from about 6,000-7,500 years ago.

Tony,

I'm still curious about something here. This was your response:

On 12/23/2017 at 5:45 PM, anthony said:

Michael, I'll turn the question back to you. Which image contains at least one referent to reality...

In other words, you didn't address my question. You sidestepped it by "turning it back to me."

I'm not trying to be part of the back-and-forth raging right now :) , but I have a serious aesthetic question. 

Unfortunately, it takes a bit of projecting into the minds of others to grok and people interested in Objectivism are generally horribly incompetent at that (even unwilling), but reality is what it is and this is a requirement to get it right when looking at what ancient people have done.

Rand said the human need for art was psychological. It was a concretization of "metaphysical value judgments" and its purpose was to give the human spirit (i.e., conscious mind in her view) fuel to carry on carrying on. Essentially, for Rand, art is food.

Somehow the hands images--which in your view belong to art because it's easy to correspond the images to actual hands--are supposed to provide that fuel. When I try to project my mind into the mind of a group of primitive human beings at the time that image was made, I can't for the life of me come to anything resembling spiritual fuel. I can imagine religious kinds of connections (say, the afterlife in the underworld and dead people consigned there putting their hands on the barrier between the underworld and normal reality trying to get out or something like that), but I can't imagine a bunch of hands inspiring the primitive people to greatness or justifying their evasions or Randian things like that.

And then we come to the primitive abstract images.

Why would primitives do that?

Spiritual fuel? It doesn't make any sense. And, from a Randian perspective, considering the difficulty and effort involved in producing those images, the primitives would have to engage in such artistic efforts on purpose for a reason. So what is that reason? Why abstract images? What psychological need did it serve in primitive human beings?

After all the study I have done, I have my own ideas about this, but they are nowhere near Rand's concepts of art and decoration.

Once again, I hold that Rand wasn't wrong, but her concept of art is a smaller abstraction in a wider category, meaning it is a member (among many) of the wider abstraction called art. It pertains to a type of art practiced in parts of the relatively modern civilized world and only that.

The trouble starts when one tries to apply her concepts of art and decoration to situations where they don't work. Then come the rationalizations and blank-outs and sidesteps--which I call trying to deduce reality from a principle rather than observing what reality is (i.e., in this case, observing what people have done with art starting way back in prehistoric antiquity and trying to understand the context of the respective times) and arriving at principles from that through induction.

Michael

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2 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Once again, I hold that Rand wasn't wrong, but her concept of art is a smaller abstraction in a wider category, meaning it is a member (among many) of the wider abstraction called art. It pertains to a type of art practiced in parts of the relatively modern civilized world and only that.

The trouble starts when one tries to apply her concepts of art and decoration to situations where they don't work. Then come the rationalizations and blank-outs and sidesteps--which I call trying to deduce reality from a principle rather than observing what reality is (i.e., in this case, observing what people have done with art starting way back in prehistoric antiquity and trying to understand the context of the respective times) and arriving at principles from that through induction.

 

Well said.

Rand saw a part of a galaxy, and tried to project its features and qualities onto the entire universe of art.

As for the issue of the cave paintings, I don't accept Tony's assertion that the second image doesn't contain any "referent to reality."

Here's the relevant comment from Tony:

Quote

If we remove the context of what you inform us of the second image, (the age, place, antiquity) and one sees and considers it in isolation, (no outside considerations) and I'll wager a viewer will think "that's interesting" - maybe it is ancient hieroglyphics, religious symbols, or modern, random, abstract patterns, a dress design ...? He knows the individual signs are man-made, but he can't see them as forming a single entity, an artwork because there's nothing recognizable of "reality" in it, as the subject. The 'picture' isn't cohesive or coherent.

As usual, Tony has universalized his own personal interpretations and observational limitations, and imposed them on all mankind, including people of the distant past. Tony is assigning everyone Tony's inability to recognize, and to be cohesive and coherent.

In the second image, I see suns and stars.

Is it art now? Or does Tony's inability to see trump my ability to see? If so, why?

 

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