MD Intellectual Art (Dynamic Morality)

From: Erin N. (
Date: Thu Apr 03 2003 - 23:01:55 BST

  • Next message: johnny moral: "Re: MD Understanding Johnny Moral"

    rick, platt et al

    thanks for your thoughts on vonnegut,
    just thought i would throw out one more author's
    thoughts into the pile..R. Wilson

    "There are only two kinds of artists: the plagiarists and the
        -- Paul Gauguin

    I love this quote because it sums up my own philosophy of art so neatly.

    To say it in my own jargon, Gauguin's "plagiarists" consist of those who do
    relatively good or relatively bad work within "the style of the period"-- the
    dominant paradigm or current reality-tunnel-- and the "revolutionaries" create
    an entirely new style, i.e a new reality-tunnel (or, in the case of Picasso, a
    new reality-labyrinth.)

    These "plagiarists" (remember: this pejorative term comes from Gauguin, not
    from me) may provide light entertainment but they have low information in the
    sense of Shannon's "Mathematical Theory of Communication." (where information
    = the negative of the probability that you can predict the "signal" in
    advance. If you can always predict it, it ain't information.)

    In general, dogma always produces low information; see, the Fundamentalists
    (Xtian, Judaic, Moslem etc.), Marxists, Objectivists, Aryan Nation, CSICOP
    etc.) You always know what such True Believers will say even before they say
    it, and they all say it in the same words as their Fuhrer. In art, the "style
    of the period" = an equivalent of (perceptual/conceptual.) dogma, a rigid and
    familiar reality-tunnel This kind of art reaches a large public immediately,
    because the mass consists mostly of (in Houseman's phrase) "fellows whom it
    hurts to think." People in general love the familiar and predictable and have
    "crawly" sensations at the unfamiliar and unpredictable.

    The "revolutionaries" contain high information and a whole new "style" of
    reality-tunnel (high unpredictability) and annoy or infuriate the general
    public. Later, with time, they get consigned to "starters of crazes" or
    elevated to Masters (those who really did enrich our experience of Universe.)

    In my opinion, the primary "revolutionary" Masters of our past century include
    Picasso, Klee, Pound, Joyce, Faukner Ginsberg, Frank Lloyd Wright, D.W.
    Griffith, Chaplin, Welles, Clint Eastwood,, Stravinsky, Gershwin, Epstein,
    Brancusi, Carlin : the man or woman who doesn't know their work deeply and
    richly still lives in the 19th Century as the rest of us prepare to enter the
    21st. The artists on that list haven't become familiar enough to stop
    surprising us. We still need to interpret our interpreters, as Ellman said of

    The "plagiarists" appear on popular magazine covers and the NY Times
    best-seller lists. God bless them, they live happily and sincerely in the same
    world as the mass audience.

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