Past, Present, Future: It all exists. Materials can be organized to contain ideas relevant to history, relevant to contemporary culture, and all related to how human beings think and react to organized stimuli. The language of idea and material is moved from outside oneself, recognized by sensing systems, where data is transferred and processed by the higher functions of the brain. The aesthetic experience takes action, coming alive within the conceptual framework of the participant, connecting neural networks, forming new pathways to the yet unknown.
Perhaps this photo would look better without me in the forefront trying to hold myself down in the midst of blowing wind. Looking more carefully at the photo one can recognize that the presence of people really defines the complex nature of the architecture. This Museum is massive in scale, as evidenced by the workers who stand on top of the roof ridge. When human beings address problems in architecture, engineering, and art, with vigor and creativity, it seems they can be very successful!!!
‘THE EUCHARIST INCLUDES THE RELATIONS OF MEANING WHICH THE ELEMENTS GENERATE IN THE MINDS OF THOSE WHO EAT THEM’
Fuller, Beyond the Crisis in Art, Writers and Readers, 1980.
p. 221 “I have to take you into the relations existing between ideology and perception, because it is here that I find my own critical criteria.
The consciousness of men and women, of which their ‘ways of seeing’ form a part, is self-evidently subejct to continuous change and development…..Since it would be absurd to assume that modifications in ways of seeing were solely the product of the inexorably slow biological evolution of the human perceptual apparatus, I conclude that the dominant mode of peception–the way in which objects are seen–at a given historical moment, and also those modes which oppose themselves to that which is dominant, are themselves determined by historical forces.
Let me give a single example. In the seventeenth century, soon after the discovery of the microscope, scientists began to study human spermatazoa beneath the lens. Within each individual sperm, they reported seeing a homunculus, that is a diminutive but fully formed little man, within whom, they claimed, was another homunculus, and so on, ad infinitum…..It is not, and I would stress this, a question of saying that their ideology pervaded and distorted what they thought about what they saw. The distinction between perception and cognition had vanished….their perception itself was forced to conform to an elaborate degree with their pre-existing framework of prejudices. If this is sometimes (and perhaps more often than is usually admitted) true of scientists, actively trying to identify the attributes of objects, we may readily understand how much more true it is of perception exercised within the territory of aesthetics; here, we find that what people see is very often simply swarming with homunculi, as the art columns of our Sunday newspapers demonstrate week after week.”
OBSERVATION: Bias, and subjectivity actively form personal opinion. The statement ‘anything can be art’, is an interesting entry point for examining what art is. Is everything art? Can anything be art? Perhaps anything and everything can be art, though we might observe that not everything is art. Every standard, definition, context, and connotation of the word (art) must be held under severe scrutiny in order to fully comprehend a genuine meaning. The base of knowledge and experience brought to the aesthetic encounter determines the level, or levels of cognitive and perceptual contact activated by such an encounter. What one sees, and what one perceives in an aesthetic encounter result from accumulated life experience, sensory capability, and the ability for every person to participate fully in such an experience.
Peter Fuller, The Naked Artist, Writers & Readers, 1983.
“I have to be careful here because I believe that enormous gains were made through the recognition of a “natural” potentiality for creativity in all children. As a result of the ‘Child Art” movement, which began in the nineteenth century and gathered pace throughout the first half of the twentieth, art slowly came to play an integral part in nursery, primary, and secondary school education. The ‘Child Art’ movement underlined the fact that learning was not just a matter of the acquisition of knowledge and functional skills: creative living also involved the development of imaginative, intuitive and affective faculties of the kind which play such a conspicuous part in the making of art. And so this movement stressed the fact that the capacity for creative work is an innate, biologically given, potentiality of every human being, of whatever age, class, culture, or condition. This affirmation seems to me to have an importance extending far beyond its immediate applications in nursery, primary, and secondary school education. Nonetheless, there is a great gulf between the acknowledgement of the child’s capacity for creativity, and describing that creativity as some kind of exemplar, or epitome, for adult art.
Indeed, I have been forced to the conclusion that, healthy as the ‘Child Art’ movement may have been, in itself, it was also symptomatic of a profound cultural loss: that is the loss of what I have called the ‘aesthetic dimension’ in adult, social life, of the space for imaginative and fully creative work among those who are no longer children. Surely, in an aesthetically healthy society the capacity for creative work should develop continuously from the spontaneously individualistic self-expressions of the child (shaped by the processes of psycho-biological growth and development) into more complex, meaningful, and fully social (but no less creative) productions of the adult. I came to realize that we have come to fetishize ‘Child Art’ to such a degree only because aesthetic creativity is so rare in our society at other developmental stages.”
OBSERVATION: Studies in social psychology have shown that art in education provides not only developmental (psycho-biological) skills, but also adds dimension to socialization, and social networking skills. Fuller points out that creativity and self-expression are important in the process of art and art education, however, the potential for adult behavior should not necessarily be forsaken in the guise of ‘Child Art’.
In recent years many art programs have been eliminated from the school systems. According to some studies, 80% of all art programs have been eliminated in the American school system. The need for art in education, and art in society have been addressed in recent publications. Three of the top ten bestsellers in 2008, and one of the top ten bestsellers in 2009 published by Rand deal with revitalizing art education, and cultivating demand for art. Clearly these statistics indicate that art education, and public participation in art is paramount.
See also: Fuller, Beyond the Crisis in Art, Writers & Readers, 1981.
KOHLER, The Mentality of Apes, Harcourt, Brace & Co., NY, 1925. p. 190-91
“We can, in our own experience, distinguish sharply between the kind of behavior which from the very beginning arises out of a consideration of the structure of a situation, and one that does not. Only in the former case do we speak of insight, and only that behavior of animals definitely appears to us intelligent which takes account from the beginning of the lay of the land, and proceeds to deal with it in a single, continuous course. Hence follows this criterion of insight: the appearance of a complete solution with reference to the whole lay-out of the field. The contrast of the above theory (parts put together by chance) is absolute: if there the “natural fractions” were neither coherent with the structure of the situation, nor among themselves, then here a coherence1 of the “curve of solution” in itself, and with the optical situation, is absolutely required.
(To anyone who is inclined to regard the above explanations as detailed trivialities, I would suggest a glance through the psychological literature of man and animal. These trivialities should be thoroughly emphasized; in the first place, they are not always clearly understood, but are seen only through a veil of general principles2, and secondly, the last part, about insight, appears to some students not at all obvious, but rather as a sort of belief in miracles. No such superstition is meant or prepared here, and nothing that has been said involves it in the slightest.)
1 The physicists have no word that fits exactly. We use the term “Coherence” from the theory of radiation as being the least inappropriate.
2 E Wasserman, e.g. Die psychischen Fahigketen der Ameisen, 2nd ed., 1909, p. 108, seqq, has sharply defined this contrast. But he absolutely denies intelligence in animals, and further points to a logical theory of intelligent conduct (intelligence) in the case of man, which I cannot accept. O. Selz, Die Gesetze des geordneten Denkverlaufs, I., 1913, treats of reproductive thought in man from a point of view somewhat related to mine.”
Observation: Katz and Kohler brought to light the concepts of gestalt psychology in the 1930’s. Clearly Kohler had already been thinking about archetypes in human thinking earlier in the twentieth century. The quote listed above brings to mind important ideas about an attempt to define (in words and concepts) the process called insight. Much like the intellectual process of intuition, insight is that ephemeral process that does seem magical, though brilliant psychologists, such as Kohler, try to define this process clearly without allusion to miracles.
Recently, some discussion has described information that is lost, or obscure from access. The statements quoted above were selected to bring knowledge held deep within books and libraries to the interested reader.
The language of words cannot translate the experience of walking up to the bronze Buddha in Kamakura. The scale of this Buddha image can be understood relative to the size of the people with umbrellas. The Great Buddha in Kamakura is certainly one of the masterpieces of Japanese art.
Galerie Boehner in Mannheim, Germany represents my art in Central Europe. This photo shows a group of people viewing new art at the Galerie Boehner booth held at the Osnabruck Intl’ Art Fair in 2010. Gerold Maier and Claus Boehner from Galerie Boehner stated that visitors liked the new light studies, and many questions were asked. The next exhibition will be held at Galerie Boehner in Mannheim Germany (April 2010).
How the mind collates data is sometimes difficult to define. The mind constantly extracts information from past experience, recombining bits of data, ultimately transforming them in the creative process. The conscious mind acts upon these ideas in conjunction with bodily action bringing the concepts to life in various media.
Message from Steve can be read on many levels: childhood, family, mother, the bringer of life, sustenance, bilateral symmetry, cloning, material, process, action, etc.
“The universal need for expression in art (Bedurfniss zur Kunst) lies, therefore, in man’s rational impulse to exalt the inner and outer world into a spiritual consciousness for himself, as an object in which he recognizes his own self.”
page 96, Bosanquet, The Introduction to Hegel’s Philosophy of Fine Art, Paul Trench Trubner & Co., 1905.
Hegel’s, Aesthetic, in its complete form consists of 1600 pages.
Kant and Tolstoy both spent time writing about the definition of art. Tolstoy wrote, What is Art?, serving as his attempt to define the subject. Art is an evolving complex of ideas and expressions requiring study, lecture, dialogue, and creation. Art is not a single subject, but is a collection of diverse material requiring engagement of ideas, and absorption of the aesthetic encounter.
Search Google Books URL for Tolstoy’s, What is Art?: