Showing posts with label wittgenstein. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wittgenstein. Show all posts

Monday, January 17, 2011

what is art for? 3 (art in our merchant society)

[to continue our discussion: art and art education is important for economic development]

the first reason why art and art education are economically important was given already by looking at the world of design, and the importance of colour, form, perception for this discipline.

a second reason can be found on a more profound level. it turns out that much of our thinking is `visual'. we `see' things, see? so when we say we understand something, it often means we have a visual representation of this something which makes sense to us. also, new ideas, creative ideas, often come in visual form. but that means that we can hardly train enough our capacity for visualization and for visual communication.

for example, read this interesting article on colour by ibm researchers rogowitz and treinish: Why Should Engineers and Scientists Be Worried About Color?. they argue that specific colour representation of research data is critical for its understanding, and that colour theory should be applied when presenting data.

this is just a small portion of the ways in which we think and communicate visually. clearly, for industrial and technological innovation, visualization is of the essence. good education in visualization therefore is a vital pillar to economic development, imnsho. this also covers training in simply `seeing', `looking'.

from neurophysiological brain studies, it becomes clear that our brain has several large visual `modules', large parts of which are activated when we try to understand things.

so we come back to wittgenstein: wir machen uns bilder der welt
(we make ourselves images of the world), by which wittgenstein means that this is our way of thinking about the world and being able to grasp parts of this world.

then thirdly, there is the direct economic aspect of art: art appreciation in all its forms has a direct economic component. of course this is what most of the criticism and `looking down' on artists is about, in our merchant society, because many artists cannot really make a living out of their art.

but on who does that reflect poorly, really?

given the utmost importance of visualization, colour, creativity for human development, and given the often back-breaking effort put in by visual artists to achieve profound levels in their artistry, on who does it reflect poorly that these artists often struggle to get by?

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

all art is conceptual

once again (like in `conceptual art vs. beauty') the title says it all. but my students still liked me to explain what i mean with:

all art is conceptual

oh very well. i'll try to explain what i mean, even though the nature of the postmodern fashion of vagueness and quasi-profundity is such that one doesn't of course explain anything about quasi-profound statements, one just adds to them with new quasi-profound commentaries. once again i forsake my chances of ever becoming a successful postmodernist ;-)

so why is all art conceptual, imnsho? because, as i see it, any art work references our human existence, our human experience, our human views and emotions, our human maps of reality and fantasy and ...

in other words, as wittgenstein pointed out so obviously and yet so beautifully in his tractatus logico-philosophicus:

wir machen uns

bilder der welt

literally translated: we create for ourselves images of the world. the meaning is to me, that any image that we create of the world, is by necessity a conceptual reference. it is a map, pointing to something in the real world, the direct world (like the direct beauty i talked about in the previous post). somehow we humans have the capacity AND yearning for developing references, communicating such references, analyzing references etcetera. you could say there is a fair risk that we spend most of our times poring over our maps of our worlds...and forget to go out and experience these worlds directly.

therefore to me, what distinguishes art from nature is its referential character. precisely this referential character is what makes all art conceptual. so why coin the phrase `conceptual art'?

(to be continued in the next post)