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Feanne (F, 32)
Metro Manila, PH
Immortal since Dec 12, 2007
Uplinks: 0, Generation 2

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    art will save the world
    I had an interview and some artworks published in Luminous Magazine Issue #2 recently, here is the last question and my answer to it:

    You have stated that you believe art will save the world. How do you see this occurring in day-to-day life?

    This is a complex multi-faceted question and there are so many different ways to answer it. For one thing— you'd have to define "art", and you'd have to define what is it that art will save the world from. However, let's not get bogged down in semantics. :)

    Personally, I've encountered and participated in various art-for-a-cause groups and events. These basically revolve around selling art and then giving the proceeds to charity. This is a fairly direct form of help and probably the most obvious answer to this question.

    But the other, less obvious answers are worth mentioning. Art is such a powerful form of communication. It moves people. It can move people to act to change things that are wrong in the world. It can influence people's beliefs and ignite paradigm shifts. It is an essential part of what makes us human. Through art, we contemplate, share, and learn.

    Those who truly experience art in their lives find it very difficult not to live more holistically, passionately, and meaningfully.


    Not to say that art is the only essential thing in this world. It's just that I'm an artist myself. :)

    It's great to be in a website like this, where everything is brought together, all the fields interconnected. I draw plenty of inspiration from the "Recent Images" page, which always contains really interesting things.

    Thu, Dec 27, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: art, food for thought
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    folkert     Thu, Dec 27, 2007  Permanent link
    A great quote from William Burrough's 1979 essay Sects and Death:

    I postulate that the function of art and all creative thought is to make us aware of what we know and don't know that we know. You can't tell anybody anything he doesn't know already. Like those folks living on the sea coast in the Middle Ages, watching those ships come in mast-first year after year - then Galileo wises them up and they are ready to burn him as an egghead deviant. But they cool it out over the years and finally have to admit: "It's round, boys, it's round. We knew it all along." Cezanne showed the viewer objects seen from a certain angle in a certain light and they attacked his canvases with umbrellas at the first exhibition. Well, that doesn't happen any more and any child would recognize the objects in a Cezanne canvas. Joyce made readers aware of their own stream of consciousness and was accused of promulgating a cult of unintelligibility.

    If the function of art is to make us aware of what we know and don't know we know, the function of the Christian Church and all its metastases has been and still is to keep us in ignorance of what we know.

    First Dark     Thu, Dec 27, 2007  Permanent link
    This kinda reminds me of The New Sincerity.

    The New Sincerity is a cultural reemphasis on art as a harbinger for social change. It is a compromise between the tenets of modernism and postmodernism that returns an idea of progress, purpose and greater good. It brings an impetus of idealism, but with an inherent sense of healthy skepticism.
    aeonbeat     Thu, Dec 27, 2007  Permanent link
    guys, this is my favourite posting so far! I just posted something related, check synapses if you're interested. Thank you! I will sleep well! ;-)

    congratulations for the statement, feanne!

    Not to say that art is the only essential thing in this world. It's just that I'm an artist myself. :)
    nagash     Fri, Mar 20, 2009  Permanent link
    nowadays, it's hard to find something that is not art.
    we have too much of it. too much bad art, but also an overwhelming amount of fresh ideas, connection, recycling and reinventions...

    It's only a matter of channeling art to vibrate in the right direction, that's hard. today we see most people alienated, totally selfish and drove to ego, sex, violence and money. these people can't possibly be happy, so, I think art can save humanity from this dead-end.
    but, again, that's hard.
    ahmattox     Thu, Apr 2, 2009  Permanent link
    When I first went to school they had us write an essay on how we can rationalize investing our lives in art while there are some many horrible things going on in the world. I can't remember what I said, but it is an important question for artists.

    I believe art and design have a huge effect on peoples attitudes no matter how much they don't want to admit it. Creating beautiful things must have some effect on the world, especially with regards to architecture and the design carrying the information all of us process every day. Professionally I try to design for people and organizations who have something good to give.
    carlos     Thu, Apr 2, 2009  Permanent link
    I'm still getting the knack of the site and understanding the flow. However, as an artist and a producer of critical thinking I find a few things that need consideration from your post.

    First and foremost, I find the term "saving" used in the title somehow problematic. I do agree with you and with most of the comments, about the idea of art as tool for generating freedom, knowledge and therefore an expansion of our activities through a continuous test of what we do know and what we don't. But art - and when I speak of art I am referring not to the commercial activity of the art, nor the art market, nor the museum, but the practice of sensible language to convey metaphors and push the boundaries of what is visible and what is known - is not there to save anyone.
    For me, talking about art in those terms is assuming a very standard and traditional role for the practice, that has less to do with widening the scope of sense and language than with social convention since mid-XIX century.

    Art is definately there to open doors of meaning and significance, but because it is there to open doors, It should be opening all of them, even its own. Art is also there to make us doubt about its function, as it is something that will always be in dispute, and from my point of view, the idea of saving the world seems a bit too conventional; a bit too overcooked, specially when we think that art can save the world through the generation of conventional wealth - that is: money.

    Don't take me wrong, I am not against money. Or at least not in a radical way. But I am totally in for art as a medium where I can think that wealth, productivity, effectiveness, are not the first tools for emancipation, and that knowledge, critical thinking and sensible experience can lead us to widen the perception of the real; to open the space of what politics are and to consider there is more effectiveness than capital generation.

    Finally, I don't think art should be the only important thing. Nor I believe in essences. Art is important because it is a language, and as such, its power resides in the possibilities and potential it has when it comes to relate and link concepts. The more concepts and different disciplines we have, the more art and the other disciplines may grow.
    I do have a colleague, an art scholar in Spain, that regularly describes this situation in a very interesting way.
    She says that, against what we usually may think, art is the tool for dispute, for a healthy and respectful disagreement, so that we can doubt about we know, and move forward into a collective construction between what I knew and what the other knew.

    Spaceweaver     Sat, Apr 4, 2009  Permanent link
    What is art? Indeed a worthy, interesting and always intriguing question. I agree with Carlos that art is not about saving anybody or anything. As soon as we try to understand art by assigning a function to it, we draw its limits while art is best described (if at all) as a catalyst of openness.
    Art as a catalyst of openness influences our minds by invoking improbable paths of perception, of thought-sensation, of minding... Once we encounter the improbable in our own minds, we mostly deflect it. Yet, at those rare instances that we do not, our reflective consciousness expands in potentiality space, we come to appreciate an instance of beauty which ,for us, was not there before.

    On a second thought, if art saves us from anything, it saves us from the boredom of a recurrent mind.