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If Mort Divine ruled the world

Discussion in 'GMD Social Forum' started by Zephyrus, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    I doubt forms can be perfected, in which case failure would always be a component of art. I'd also be curious who determines perfection.

    But supposing forms can be perfected, why shouldn't art be a process of discovering new forms--in which case, experimentalism and imperfection are a constitutive part of the aesthetic process? Perfection is rather boring, after all.

    This assumes a set of normative values that art should preach. Order and harmony aren't transparent and apolitical concepts; they can be appropriated for political ends. The problem with art in service to normative values is that it never challenges us to think otherwise.

    This all sounds a bit Platonic and utopian, which is unusual for you (although the ideas about art are vaguely familiar).
     
    zabu of nΩd likes this.
  2. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    The unreachability of perfection is precisely why the pursuit is *not* boring.

    Broken and ugly is easy and everywhere. Entropy is the default. This is boring.

    This is always the case. It's simply a matter of what norms are pushed, where the overton window lies; what may and may not be challenged. Currently, art is destructive, and not in a Schumpeterian sense.

    If working towards ideals is utopian then sure. I don't feel like that is new for me but maybe using language like forms is. I was trying to be as encompassing as possible.
     
    #12382 Dak, Apr 9, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2021
  3. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    But now it sounds like you've contradicted yourself. You said that art should be the perfection of form(s)--not striving to perfect the form(s). If you would categorize modern art generally as the pursuit of imperfection, I would disagree. The history of art and criticism has tended to home in on the dynamic (some would say dialectic) between formal mastery and the failure to achieve it. In some way, albeit to varying degrees, art is always about mastery; what varies is the manner/style/method by which an artist incorporates the vicissitudes of failure.

    I agree completely that the impossibility of perfection makes art interesting if not exciting; but then part of that is also art's capacity for acknowledging imperfection/failure.

    I disagree that art strives for brokenness/ugliness as its sole focus. Art is always about the dynamic between formal structure and the incommensurability of what it wrestles to contain.

    An individual artist might have values that inform their art; but there is no agreed-upon set of values or morality that informs the entirety or even the majority of the contemporary art world.

    You seemed to imply that it wasn't working toward ideals but the achievement of ideals that sanctified art. That sounded utopian.

    Art is always working toward ideals--specifically, art is always working toward ideals of order and structure, but the interaction between structure and disorder is what produces the aesthetic drive. Pure structure is boring, pure disorder is boring. Art falls between the two (as do most things honestly, but art is an engagement with this dynamic).
     
  4. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    Yeah I spoke imprecisely the first time. I meant striving to perfect.

    You can read the purported "goal" or the "source" of various art pieces put out these days, and it's overwhelmingly variations of themes of leveling. Flattening. Warping. Ugly. The values are ugly. The ideal to which they strive is an ideal of nihilistic elimination or the twisting of everything into a hideous amalgam.

    Disagree with the emboldened part. Additionally, I'm not sure what "pure structure" would mean.
     
  5. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    Can you give an example?

    Pure structure = the “perfection of form” (your prior comment)

    Again, can you give an example of art that strives solely for “nihilistic elimination”? And maybe give a definition of nihilistic elimination?
     
  6. Dak

    Dak mentat

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    I should have been taking pictures the last two times I was in a gallery with the "inspiration/meaning" quotes but alas. There's far too many images available that meet the criteria on some level. Found these with a few clicks.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    upload_2021-4-10_17-47-51.png




    Something approximating a perfect form could appear in a variety of ways and not be "pure structure", in the way I would think of structure. Pure structure sounds like a perfectly rendered cylinder re: a column. On the other hand there are approximations towards perfection of the form of the column which do not attempt to be pure cylinders.

    Nihilistic elimination I mean in the rather direct translation of "meaningless death". Art which is at home with the spectacle of a holocaust/genocide.
     
  7. rms

    rms Active Member

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    upload_2021-4-11_11-43-33.png

    I didn't read the full quote or anything, but imaging phrasing the physical manifestion of racism this poorly
     
  8. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    The third piece here is Banksy's Whitewashing Lascaux, and it's highly conscious about form and history. I mean come on, it's a work of street art incorporating cave art--the oldest art we know of, which also happens to be akin to street art! Street art is an incorporative and accumulative medium, much like cave art was (i.e. it painted over itself); but Banksy is also aware of the fact that modern traditions paint over and obscure older ones. I think there's also an analogous commentary going on here about the ways that modernization erases, sterilizes, and homogenizes older traditions. Banksy is acknowledging street art's place in the lineage going back to cave art, but also acknowledging that he's covering up the past, so to speak. The piece is caught between these two poles and reflecting on that conflict.

    Formal and historical considerations aside, though, it's a very well-made and practiced piece. It looks fantastic.

    The architectural one might be unpleasant to look at. I often find such juxtapositions quite jarring and bit heavy-handed; but you can't say it's inconsiderate of form. Architectural pieces are by definition concerned with form. Buildings have to stay standing. You could say that it courts disorder through form; but it's still engaged with the dynamic between formal order and disorder, in that respect. And like Banksy's piece, it's conscious of historical traditions.

    The other two are nothing special, and might speak to your claim--but I do find something pretty funny about reversing the "animal-head-mounted-on-a-wall" trope.

    Overall, I don't think all of these are convincing examples of your thesis. I also don't see how they're "at home with the spectacle of genocide." That just seems like a provocation lacking in substance and evidence.

    I imagine he's referring to highways that were purposefully built through black neighborhoods.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/03/role-of-highways-in-american-poverty/474282/
     
    #12388 Einherjar86, Apr 11, 2021
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2021
  9. rms

    rms Active Member

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    I said he phrased it poorly,not that he's wrong
     
  10. rms

    rms Active Member

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    Been thinking about this, in the wake of chauvins guilty verdict...is there any hope to appease those who consistently cried out about the inability of our justice to find him or others like him guilty?

    Quickly, it went from "it ain't never gonna happen" to "so what, this don't mean shit and there's all this evidence" and I wonder if this has been written about in a global sense let alone american.

    I remember reading about this in Japan with how they treated sub-Asians during the second world war and no matter how much the Japanese tried to do, those affected were never satisfied (arguable to say they should be)
     
  11. Blurry_Dreams

    Blurry_Dreams Active Member

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    i actually heard the audio of when he said these words out loud
    when taken in context you can clearly understand that he's refereing to a "problem" that he, with the power of his brand-new job-title, intends on "fixing"
     
  12. rms

    rms Active Member

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  13. Bloopy

    Bloopy Active Member

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    When I went to school we had classes grouped by ability. It wasn't labelled as gifted, but the top class tended to be pushed ahead to do the math and sciences a year above.

    The dumbest kids dropped out of regular maths and did 'applied maths'. They got to go outside and measure stuff and shit. I fondly remember one of the dumbest white kids who lived near me and was a couple of years younger than me seeing this and saying "I wanna do cabbage maths, it looks awesome!" As an adult he worked hard on his tan and then joined the motorcycle division of a Maori gang (Mongrel Mob Riders MC). Incredible given our sheltered upbringing in one of the poshest suburbs and catching the bus out to a not-so-public school.
     
  14. Blurry_Dreams

    Blurry_Dreams Active Member

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    we have that in America
    the smart kids are labeled as "gifted" and the dumb kids are labeled as "special ed"
     
  15. Blurry_Dreams

    Blurry_Dreams Active Member

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    instead of responding to your words
    i'm just gonna say that these pieces of art are awesome
     
  16. Blurry_Dreams

    Blurry_Dreams Active Member

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  17. rms

    rms Active Member

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  18. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    I'm going to use this as an example for my (half-baked) argument that cancel culture is less about "the libs" (if by that we mean something like a left-wing thought police a la HBB's insane theory of American liberalism being more Marxian than Marx) than it is about capitalism and the market.

    All these places supposedly caving to "cancel culture" aren't being forced to fire anyone. They're making business decisions based on optics and future returns. Now, do these decisions sometimes fall in line with what a vaguely liberal/leftist/democratic (I use all the terms because I'm not sure which is correct, and I suspect in some way they all are) demographic pushes? Yes, absolutely.

    But they don't have to. Emily Wilder wasn't the target of liberals, but of conservatives:

    This isn't to say that so-called cancel culture never aligns with purportedly liberal values, but that it also can align with conservative values. Wilder's firing corresponds precisely to current Zionist conservative politics that aim to demonize Palestine, and the source of the pressure came from the Stanford College Republicans.

    All this is to say, cancel culture has less to do with leftism or our contemporary notion of liberalism/"the libs" than it does with the bottom line, and in this society that means financial incentives. The AP wants to avoid any controversy that might impact membership. Conservatives are rip-roaring cancel culturists, and they take any chance they can to silence those they don't like. The notion that cancel culture is a liberal movement isn't accurate, I'd say. Or rather, it's liberal insofar as liberal means liberalism--i.e. free markets.

    You can say whatever the fuck you like, but the market will have the final say. All hail capitalism.
     
  19. CiG

    CiG So Long Suckers!

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    It's a stretch to call Israel dickriding specifically "conservative" when it is (across most of the political spectrum) the safest position to take. Even if the witch-hunt was started by conservatives (they start them a lot) what matters is if it catches on, if only conservatives see someone as problematic they rarely then become radioactive enough to be fired. Being pro-Palestine is still pretty radical.

    Rainbow capitalism is "in" right now and so yeah I 100% agree that these companies are acting this way because it makes the most sense financially, as opposed to any ideological alignment with progressivism.
     
  20. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

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    Yeah, 100% that's fair. A ton of democrats still identify as pro-Israel. I guess I'd say that's just another sense in which I see cancel culture as a trans-political phenomenon, if that makes sense. It isn't really about left versus right.
     
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