Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!


Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
gogins@pipeline.com
Date: Wed Aug 03 2005 - 13:36:15 EDT


Very nice: I would say there are objectively great works of art, and
they're hard to identify, and many many of them start out as
entertainment/hack work/trash/from those of no account, and fight their way
upstream until they nail us.

I don't like a canon as an imperilistic club, but I really need a canon as
a basis for my civilization; there always is one, even if only by default.
And it is always in contest and in transition but real and important none
the less.

Regards, Mike

Regards, Mike

Original Message:
-----------------
From: shane.turner@sympatico.ca
Date: Wed, 3 Aug 2005 10:11:13 -0400
To: cec-conference@concordia.ca
Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!

It is true that a historian, or a history textbook, or anthropologist can
refer to something as a piece of artwork regardless of the reason it was
created. For example, whether or not it was done for-hire/for the
sake-of-art's sake/for religious rites, if I am viewing a Teotihuacan mask,
it will most likely be referred to as a piece of art. (Although that may
have the qualifier "primitive" or "ancient" attached). I suppose that,
that would fit into your viewpoint that you are discussing, as the mask is
created intentionally for some specific purpose, to garnish some specific
reaction from its viewers, be it for entertainment or to motivate a
religious reaction (?) Of course, when viewing foreign or ancient art,
our understanding of it is not the same as those who live/d in that
culture. What separates a "very great" Raga from a simply "good" one, or a
"good" Mesopotamian scupture from a "bad" one, and how can I know since I'm
not from that culture, unless I live in it f!
 or years and years (not an option with the latter!)? Even the question
itself might be invalid in some cases. I guess what I'm attempting to
convey is that there does actually seem to be boundaries/definitions on
what art is, but as you mentioned, these boundaries do vary from place to
place, and wildly, and maybe only those who study humanity on a larger
scale can start to understand the sheer variety that exists.

Perhaps the student I mentioned before had an English teacher with a point
of view similar to that of certain music teachers I had when I was a child.
The great symphonies, great composers, sonatas, fugues, tone poems, and so
forth are Art. This other/newer stuff is just "fun stuff" or "junk food."
There werel no dissenters in our music class, although it didn't take some
of us very long to suspect that something slightly fishy was going on.

--Shane Turner

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Gogins" <gogins@pipeline.com>
To: <cec-conference@concordia.ca>
Sent: Tuesday, August 02, 2005 2:46 PM
Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!

>I doubt a sociologist or a historian would have as much trouble with this
word 'art', actually. Gentlemen of leisure collect it and dabble in it,
people of all classes love to go to shows of it, and there is a certain
class of semi-respectable fools who make it. True in all civilizations I
ever heard of.
>
> Best,
> Mike
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: shane.turner@sympatico.ca
> Sent: Aug 1, 2005 11:21 AM
> To: cec-conference@concordia.ca
> Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
>
> About a month ago an acquaintance of mine from the Henan province in
China and I were talking a little about music and art, as I was curious
about the state of traditional music in China (which it seems that few of
the younger generation has any interest in.) He told me that regarding
music, "We have no art." He attempted to explain this by saying that their
music was very simple, not like what comes from Europe.. the symphonies..
very complex.. and so forth.
>
> I was a bit let down at first. It reminded me of reading Marshall
McLuhan: "Balinese man: 'We have no art.'"
>
> Then I realized that "Art" is a word in the English language. For
example in Japanese, there are several words that roughly translate as
"Art," but they have slightly different usages and connotations.
>
> There really is no black and white in this area.
>
> --Shane Turner
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Michael Gogins" <gogins@pipeline.com>
> To: <cec-conference@concordia.ca>
> Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 9:45 AM
> Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
>
>
>> What a wonderful can of worms.
>>
>> The definition of art depends upon one's theology, politics, and
probably even one's brand of metamathematics or computer science. That much
I think we can agree on! But I think there are other things we can agree
on.
>>
>> I think another thing we can all agree on, is that every human society
known to us has made and used art. So, I think it's fair to say one can't
be fully human without it.
>>
>> Another thing that's pretty clear, is that there is no art without an
art object, a physical phenomenon, even if it is as fleeting and evanescent
as a mime at midnight or a string quartet behind a curtain or conceptual
art carried in a pamphlet or on a whisper. No mind-to-mind transmission or
private experience in art. It is physically transmitted.
>>
>> Another thing beyond dispute is that art is not science, politics, or
engineering. It does not make other things happen, at least not directly.
You can't use it to study physics or get elected.
>>
>> Another indisputable fact about art is that, for those with some
exposure or connoisseurship, some art is far, far better than other art and
one quality of the best art is a compelling power, an ability to pull you
in and make you pay attention, to surprise you and almost possess you, to
keep you humming the tune or re-telling the story or making your clothes a
certain way.
>>
>> Also another thing about art that's beyond dispute, some of it far
outlasts its makers and even its culture and era of making and goes on to
compel audiences far away from and long after it was made. So much so, that
it contributes to forming later cultures at a fundamental level.
>>
>> Another fact is that art is integrated into religious ritual in every
last religion, and art is used to explicitly illustrate or convey religion.
And art seems to do a better job at this than at conveying physics (with a
minor nod towards science fiction literature).
>>
>> Anyone want to dispute these things? I think they go a long way towards
showing what art is.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Mike
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: bill thompson <innerd00r@yahoo.com>
>> Sent: Aug 1, 2005 5:46 AM
>> To: cec-conference@concordia.ca
>> Subject: Re: (More) Cool sounds from outer space!
>>
>> i think we need to be careful relying on a dictionary
>> to define what art is. i'm not being an ass, but this
>> year i've been reading book after book on aesthetics
>> and if there's anything that's consistent, it's that
>> no 'definition' seems to be able to 'define' what art
>> is consistently (at least not from book to book,
>> author to author, or time period to time
>> period...perhaps that's the strength of art?...)
>>
>> for me, it's better to talk about an 'aesthetic
>> experience' rather then trying to define art...then we
>> don't have to worry about if 'i' am communicating
>> 'something' via 'art' too you...of if it's
>> 'intentional' 'creative' or whatever...the focus moves
>> more to the experiencer, which is really where 'art'
>> occurs...it's not in the thing...it's in the
>> experience.
>>
>> i happen to be able to have that experience listening
>> to beethoven (not so much mozart though) as well as
>> listening to buildings in the wind, found cassettes,
>> and cicadas at night. i honestly feel sad for people
>> (this isn't directed specifically at you) that
>> can't/don't have those experiences...they miss out on
>> SO MUCH BEAUTY for whatever reasons....because they're
>> not supposed to? or it's not valid? they feel silly? i
>> don't know.
>>
>> for me, what i do know, is i don't care if it's 'art'
>> (or music, or sound art, or whatever)...i care about
>> what it sounds like, how i experience it.
>>
>> words are tools, good ones! useful. but they're not
>> the thing in itself...point to the moon all you want,
>> just stop looking at my finger :)
>>
>> b.
>>
>> --- "Jan L." <jan@mostek.se> wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> If words mean something it makes discussion easier.
>>> Otherwise we can
>>> go back to grunting (which would be an interesting
>>> exercise ;=))
>>>
>>> Much as I dearly love the soundscape in the woods
>>> here - it is really
>>> wunderschoen but it is not art.
>>>
>>> On the other hand I have heard much EA that I think
>>> is pure bullshit.
>>> But I would call it art. Bad art in my opinion.
>>>
>>> Here is what wikipedia says:
>>> Characteristics of art
>>>
>>> - Requires creative perception both by the artist
>>> and by the audience
>>> - Elusive
>>> - Communicates on many levels and is open to many
>>> interpretations
>>> - Connotes a sense of ability
>>> - Interplay between the conscious and unconscious
>>> part of our being,
>>> between what is real and what is an illusion
>>> - Any human creation which contains an idea other
>>> than its
>>> utilitarian purpose.
>>> - That which is created with intention to be
>>> experienced as art
>>>
>>>
>>> /Jan L.
>>>
>>>
>>> 1 aug 2005 kl. 05.32 skrev Jean-Marc Pelletier:
>>>
>>> > Just in case, some found my original answer to
>>> > electroacoustic@canada.com a bit short:
>>> >
>>> > Last week, we had an ea concert at our school.
>>> About half-way
>>> > through I got up and left. I even left in the
>>> middle of a piece,
>>> > which I reckon was rude, but I really didn't feel
>>> like staying any
>>> > longer. I went outside and laid in the grass,
>>> watching the stars
>>> > and listening to the chorus of cicadas, crickets
>>> and frogs,
>>> > accompanied by the wind brushing the nearby trees.
>>> I couldn't help
>>> > feeling that all of this was infinitely more
>>> beautiful and
>>> > interesting than anything I'd heard or seen in the
>>> half concert I
>>> > attended. This isn't a statement about art. It's
>>> not a statement
>>> > about music, not even about that particular
>>> concert, just my
>>> > current state of mind. I haven't bought all that
>>> many CDs recently,
>>> > and haven't really listened to those I did buy.
>>> Instead my
>>> > fascination for the order of the world around me
>>> has grown.
>>> >
>>> > I linked to the first sample, the one from Saturn,
>>> because of its
>>> > uncanny resemblance to 1960s SF soundtracks
>>> inspired by the Barons'
>>> > work. My use of the adjective "cool" was strictly
>>> tongue in cheek.
>>> > I was trying to capture a little of that 1960s
>>> camp in my choice of
>>> > words. I might have failed.
>>> >
>>> > The VLT recordings are somewhat different. As some
>>> people very
>>> > thankfully noticed, VLT transmissions just happen,
>>> by chance, to
>>> > fall right smack in the human frequency hearing
>>> range. Not only
>>> > that, the time-scale of the various events is such
>>> that there is no
>>> > need for any time compression. The setup needed to
>>> make these
>>> > emissions audible is simply radio receiver -> amp
>>> -> speaker. This
>>> > makes it an electroacoustic phenomenon. As in
>>> electrons to sounds.
>>> > This is the list of the Canadian *electroacoustic*
>>> community and I
>>> > thought this would be more than relevant.
>>> >
>>> > Just to re-iteratate: VLT recordings are 1 to 1
>>> mappings of electro-
>>> > magnetic disturbances associated with auroras.
>>> They are not
>>> > "illustrations" but simple transduction. Unless
>>> you are
>>> > unbelievably pendant, they *are* caused by auroras
>>> (in some cases
>>> > at least).
>>> >
>>> > I find the question of what is "art" or "music"
>>> spectacularly
>>> > boring. "Gesang der Junglinge", "Vingt regards sur
>>> l'enfant J�sus",
>>> > last week's cicada chorus and VLT emission
>>> recordings are all sonic
>>> > structures. As perceptible material, they all have
>>> value, be it
>>> > semantic or morphological. "Dawn chorus"-type of
>>> VLT are so-called
>>> > because they sound like the chorus of birds in the
>>> morning. They
>>> > are "beautiful" in part because they function in a
>>> programmatic
>>> > fashion, appealing to the listener's imagination.
>>> This
>>> > morphological proximity between "dawn chorus" VLT
>>> and birdsong
>>> > causes a number of semantic associations in the
>>> listener's mind.
>>> > Entire imaginary landscapes and sceneries arise
>>> before the mind's eye.
>>> >
>>> > In the end, it's all energy. The Pathetic Sonata,
>>> "Chiaroscuro",
>>> > VLT, me, you, this e-mail message. However, as I
>>> sentient being, I
>>> > choose to try to find beauty wherever I turn my
>>> ear or eye.
>>> >
>>> > Jean-Marc
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>> >
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>>
>> www.billthompson.org
>>
>> ........................................................................
>> "The more you think about things the weirder they seem." -Calvin
>>
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