Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!

Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
Date: Wed Aug 03 2005 - 13:23:06 EDT

I must say that I agree zith you about the absence of the artist as an
other in his or her work being often beneficial; that is why I used the
word lurking.

I also agree about the 'esthetic object' up to a point; I believe it's what
the art object manages to manufacture as an experience of the audience.

Regards, Mike

Original Message:
From: bill thompson
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 06:28:17 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!

well you're right rob, it's unavoidable and inevitably
in conversations like what mike and i have been having
viewpoints polarize. i have been 'leaning' quite
heavily to make my points, but yes, i'm very
interested in where pollock, or rothko, or schuller
were coming from. it informs what i'm looking at and
experiencing etc...but i guess what i meant is that
i'm not looking at their work to understand them, or
gain a communication from them, about them, really in
many ways, my experience of their work has nothing to
do with them..yes they made it, but for me, for my
experience, it's not about them, but the work and what
it's about, what it 'points to' etc...for me, the more
an artist can get 'out of the way' the better their
work is...words fail here for me.

mike's comments are very clear i think, more than
mine, and i'm left wondering what makes art 'art' for
me. i think it's when it achieves what is so easily
accomplished naturally in the world...and that's
amazing if you think about it. that an object made by
man, self-consciously attempting to create something
as beautiful and universal as the moon, or the sea, or
the wind...without actually just imitating those as seems we're so
separated from the world by being *self*conscious that
it's damn hard to make something that doesn't emphasis
or betray that fact...i think that's why i like works
that don't seem contrived or heavy handed.

it's also made me think of ingarden's ideas about
aesthetics...he had a theory that art objects had a
shelf life of sorts, and that the aesthetic potential
of a work depended very heavily on having observers
capable of appreciating it's qualities and as those
observers dwindled (through history, culture, or
circumstance) then the work became impotent to achieve
its aesthetic potential. in other words it becomes
just an artifact.

remarkably, ingarden's essay 'artistic and aesthetic
values' seems to affirm both mike's and my positions
to varying's brilliant and not a difficult
read (quite a bit harder to explain though :))

one point he does discuss which is quite illuminating
is the difference between a 'work of art' and an
'aesthetic object'...what he says is that any work of
art can have many potential 'aesthetic objects'... he
defines an aesthetic object as the concretization, or
realization of the aesthetic potential of an art
object by an observer. thus we could all be staring
at the same work of art, but observing different
'aesthetic objects' or each have more then one
'aesthetic object' while observing the same work (kind
of like hearing something new each time you listen to
a favorite piece etc)...and these shift from person to
person, from circumstance to circumstance, and
historical period to historical period.

he talks about a work of art, any work, as having
various aspects that exist only in potential and
require an observer capable of observing these
qualities to render it 'concrete' as an aesthetic
object. when there are no observers who can appreciate
the qualities of a work that would lead to this
concretization (a common product between artist and
observer) then the work looses its 'brilliance and
becomes dumb'.

thus a work has to have these qualities potential in
it's physicality, but it needs an observer capable of
'connecting the dots' as it were to bring it into
fruition, and each of us connect the dots slightly
different from each other...(boy am i mangling his
beautiful ideas! i can hear him rolling around right

anyway, i can't recommend his essay(s) highly


--- Rob Stone <> wrote:

> Bill you say you are not concerned with the other.
> Occasionally it is
> unavoidable. The soundtrack to Eleanor Antin's film,
> the Ballerina and the
> Bum, is full of accidents - overflying aircraft,
> wind banging the microphone
> etc. She has since said (the film is from 1974) that
> had she been able, she
> may have avoided those sounds. But in a film about
> the other and how others
> meet and recognize themselves as such, this
> accidental and transfixing
> allophony in fact turns out to be the most
> convincing aspect of the film's
> argument.
> r
> > From: sylvi macCormac <>
> > Reply-To: <>
> > Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2005 05:00:26 -0600
> > To: <>
> > Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
> >
> > ditto :-) what a wonderful dis cussion about art &
> aesthetics. and
> > polite too :-)
> >
> > Jean-Marc Pelletier wrote:
> >
> >> Thank you, Bill, for articulating my own feelings
> so clearly. (And
> >> thanks to you too Michael for bringing up those
> points.)
> >>
> >> bill thompson wrote:
> >>
> >>>> Sorry to sound like I'm on a soap box. But
> think
> >>>> carefully about what actually causes you to
> feel
> >>>> things.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>> not at all, i'm enjoying the conversation.
> >>>
> >>> maybe i have a very different idea of what is
> art
> >>> because i'm not concerned with the
> 'other'...which to
> >>> be honest, i'm not. i'm much more concerned
> with that
> >>> feeling of the aesthetic which i can very much
> >>> experience 'attending' the world (non-intended
> as art)
> >>> as i can listening to something created by an
> >>> individual as 'art' in a gallery or concert
> hall.
> >>>
> >

"The more you think about things the weirder they seem." -Calvin

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