Wright and the Creative Mind

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Roderick Grant
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

It does not please me that these contraptions cost as much as they do considering how short a time they work.

SDR
Posts: 19603
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Yes. I wasn't about the pay Apple prices for an exquisitely designed and made keyboard; this one was less that $50 and seems to work just fine
---even if it has an irrelevant circus of alternating LED colored lighting (which spills unattractively around each key). Jony Ive would plotz . . .

I set it on steady white---or blue, on holidays---and flame on. Flat keys are still a novelty for me.

S

jay
Posts: 289
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

The process of creating art and the experience of it after the fact are two different subjects.
"In particular, the experiences of the author during the creation of the work do not constitute any part of the created work. It may happen––and one should not dispute this––that there are various close relations between the work and the psychic life and individuality of the author. The genesis of the literary work in particular may be conditioned by the author's determinate experiences, and it may be that the whole structure of the work and its individual qualities are functionally dependent on the psychic qualities of the author, his talent, and the type of his "world of ideas" and his feelings, and that the work thus carries the more of less pronounced traces of his total personality and in this way "expresses" it. But all these facts in no way change the primary and yet frequently unappreciated fact that the author and his work constitute two heterogeneous objects which, already on the basis of their radical heterogeneity, must be fully differentiated." (italics added)
--Roman Ingarden, "The Literary Work of Art"

For me, this passage alone sums up how we can easily separate the art from the artist.

Sadly, for this discussion at least, created works have been analyzed far more often than the creative process itself..... If anyone has any recommendations for books that dig deep into the function of the imagination, generally or specifically to any artist, I'd be very interested.

SDR
Posts: 19603
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Good. If not "how" we can differentiate between the two, the quoted passage at least makes clear that we must try to make that distinction . . . ?

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

I have never had the slightest idea how to differentiate between what was going on in the head of an artist and the art produced as a result. It cannot be deduced without a complete understanding of the mind of the artist in general, before, during and after the work being examined, which, even with the cooperation of the artist, is a subjective determination. It would necessarily involve some sort of psychoanalysis, which may be presumed to be a scientific methodology, but which is definitely not rigorous.

With respect to FLW specifically, add to this difficulty the complete unwillingness (if ever it had come up) of him to subject himself to such examination, and you get nowhere.

I am not convinced that it is necessary, or, if it is at all possible, desirable.

SDR
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Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I'll buy that.

It seems to be the job of religion to answer the unanswerable; perhaps there's a faith or a philosophy that can provide a clue ? I suppose not . . .

In the meantime, the discussion raises the question, always of interest to me, of whether the viewer of art needs extraneous input---data not visible
to the casual observer---in order properly to "appreciate" the work. I have in mind, for instance, painting (a purely visual art) when asking myself this
question.

Does one need more than the work itself to get something from, say, a Jackson Pollock ? Does it help to know what came before, and after, the
work in question ? Can one understand the work better after reading about how Pollock came to make such a painting; to know specifically how
the work was made; to learn what the artist himself may have said or written, on any subject related to this work or to his output in general ?

Finally, what would Pollock have said if asked whether one needed anything beyond the painting itself, to understand and/or to enjoy it ?

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

If a painting needs explanation, it isn't doing its job.

The first time I saw a painting by Chaim Soutine, I had no idea who he was, where he was from, what devils or angels begat his work, yet it amazed me. It was "The Polish Girl" (1929; the blue one). Portraits are generally of little interest to me, but this one spoke without any tidbits of information captioned underneath.

Although it may be a simplification, and perhaps it is the one thing that separates humans from (most) other animals, philosophy is a pastime.

jay
Posts: 289
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 8:04 pm

Post by jay »

the discussion raises the question, always of interest to me, of whether the viewer of art needs extraneous input---data not visible
to the casual observer---in order properly to "appreciate" the work.
This is a great question. Not even for an "appreciation" of art, but does extraneous input add more (or less) pleasure to the experience? For example, when I now visit a Wright building for a first time, I understand a fair amount of his methods, and I question if something like "compression and release" becomes more enjoyable, as I'm aware of the sequence, or less, because the act of "thinking about compression and release" is in some sense keeping me from just entirely experiencing the effect fully.

There's an interesting suggestion in this DMN/aesthetics study where we could apply the left brain (pragmatism) engagement versus the right brain (insight) while looking at art:
"Additional support for this interpretation comes from a recent study in which observers were instructed to view artworks in terms of semantic or visual detail (“pragmatically�), as opposed to in terms of color, composition, shapes, mood, and evoked emotion (“aesthetically�). They found an activation in left lateral prefrontal cortex (−44, 37, 7; BA 10) corresponding to what we term left IFGt, which was selectively engaged in the “aesthetic� condition."
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10 ... 00066/full

As the study illustrates, our brains light up like a lantern when we have subjectively strong aesthetic experiences. They connect with deeper regions of our mind because somehow the artwork becomes personally relevant to us. (Or does it become relevant because it connects deeply?) But does the "rationalizing" side of our mind eclipse the "insight/intuition" side, in some cases, therefore diminishing the aesthetic effect?

I'd like to say art doesn't need explanation, that it makes it a less pure experience....but perhaps in some instances it does enhance the experience?

SDR
Posts: 19603
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Good questions.

I can say that for me, while aesthetic appreciation is of primary concern/interest, I tend to go quickly to analysis: "how was that done ?" and then,
perhaps, "why was that done ?"

When viewing a movie, for instance, I am very easily distracted by the questions "how did they get that shot ?" and by physical artifacts in the
scene. (And I instinctively back away from some emotional content, especially when it involves or presages conflict between characters.)

I don't tend to question the motivations of an artist; I understand the drive to create. Naturally, I'm drawn to work that exhibits satisfying aesthetic
choices---color, composition---and turn away from work that seems obscure; if the maker hasn't made his intentions clear, is keeping something
under his hat, is not communicating, I am usually repelled---or simply bored ?

S

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