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See also: [L/D] [S/D] See also: [af/art3/pkda2001 - pizoig gaming projects] [Samplers] Ab Fr \ / +----------------+ /| /| / | / | / | / | Fu / | / | \ / | / | +----------------+--Hu | | | "RS-3" | | [Quick Index] | Jz--+----------|-----+ | / | / \ | / | / Sc | / | / | / | / |/ |/ +----------------+ / \ Sp Ar "Reality Structure 3" (mark II) This iconosphere owes much of its existence to Phillip Glass:Symp #3 & #2. [Learn more about the Iconosphere] [Cross Product Space] (entry port ABxAB) [Semi-linear blog-o-sphere] (and duck crossing) -^_6


(table of contents follows...)

More Triple-Cross Products

NOTE: Recent theoretical work on the possibilities of Quadrupple (4-tupple) Cross Products has been suspended due to a lack of funding. Data processin continues - un-abated. AxB (v) :: C -[ SC x SP (Earth) :: (expressed via) ART -> Eco Psychology, etc]- See also: The name re-makes the thing (HUM x SCI (word) :: EXP as JAZ). -^_6 On this page: {A philosophy of Art {Drawing/painting} {Sculpture} {Colour and Texture} {Assemblage/Collage: Putting it all together} {Film Content} NOTE: For avant garde, see: [Futurist entry] See also: -[mfa (aesthetic)]- And of course my "magnum opus" (i can just hear Harlan yelling get on with it - we go to press in 2 weeks!!!) - not that i ever got anything published (could the "jinx effect" be affecting me? I'm about to send some stuff off, and the publiation goes out of biz.... hmm) -[Thru a Ritual Darkly: Translating Art into Ritual Terms]-

A philosophy of Art

This section is best read while listening to Shostakovich Symphony #5.... From the primoridal darkness we come. We are dragged onto the unlit shore. We make our way without thought; for at this point there is only pure ego and even no realisation of it. For the moment we are free. Pure creativity, un-encumbered by critical method other than direct feedback. And then this thing called "reason" starts to intrude; we are inculcated and indoctrinated in the "ways of the world". And then (if we are lucky - or not), in the sixth grade they (who are this they? educators? a policy board?) then they begin to have us learn to sing and to paint. And yet overhead; all, around; are the weapons of war. The harsh world stidently shaping our young minds into what is NEEDED - the leader demands it. We learn the proper salute, the proper oaths, the proper allegiances. We learn that THEY might at any time come to our door and try to get us to become ONE OF THEM. and for what small purpose.... ? do we garner the flag and wave it, marching in lockstep with the COMMON, RIGHT AND PROPER good? The King demands it; so, thus it is..... (if you have reached 11;20 minutes into the first movement, then you may certainly change the music....) and open your clenched fingers and look towards some hidden heaven or at least the ceiling.... -^_6

A second philosophy of art

(at this point, switch to Shostakovich Symphony #6, 3rd movement) By the age of 12 or so, the human brain/mind becomes very self aware. As such, it tends to view the world around it as a thing to be understood (analytically) and interacted with (both physically, and emotionally) in ways that here-to-fore weren't simply not thought of. For example, a mind in such a state might well "discover" (for that is the right word) the number pi. And then (affraid that it might forget it, concentrate very consciously on memorising it; a conscious effort here-to-fore NOT exhibited). And yet the preconditioning (if it has indeed been present and more importantly prevalent) will remain. Conflicts will occur. This is part of the process of becoming an independent entity. The brain (indeed, the entire body) begins to not just explore what is possible or what "i" am able to do - more importantly: "Why do i belive such and so?", "Why are things the way that they are?", and so forth. It is at this point that the next stage in the ontiologoical development of what for the first time we might refer to as the thing's "mind" begins to deveolop. The person (may we use that term for both a human and a robot?) begins to not just respond to external stimulae, but to create internal ones as well. In the mental (eg, cerebro-physical) a "rushing forward" towards some in-definable goal is felt. Though this is an almost purely mental effect, its manifestation becomes at the very least psycho-physical. (this concludes this section) -^_6

A further philosophy of art

(at this point, use Shostakovich Symphony #9, 2nd movement) At this point in the development of the subject (unit), certain thoughts come in which are of a much less lightly lit nature; we (as artists usually refer to this as "darkness" - since we associate the absences of light and colour as being dark, un-lit, without sound, silent (or nearly silent), and for that reason most probably introspective). Primary among this affect is the concept of death. A questioning of the meaning of life, its purpose, and pourhaps even its meaning-^_6less-^_6ness. The death of a pet, relative, friend, or even family member at this time. Or just possibly even the realisation that there is indeed no justice in the world - or at least no idylic justice where all that hear the strum of the world, the beat of the electrons in their infinite danse - that for many there simply isn't ANY justice. Worse yet: That these misseries are completely preventable. That just a little care or concern or even an occassional word might prevent the death of a pet turtle in its plastic island universe. What is it? Why is there no light? Who can be responsible for this? And it is at this point, that dreams become less random and chaotic and the mind speaks (crys? sings? laughs?) to itself and the dolls of dreams, the puppets, even a pet dog that never existed become silent (or not so) partners in a new thing: Reason.

a partial conclusion/answer

in the philosophy of art

If one thinks about it, the way that we view the world (even if "blind" - and those that refuse to see are (sadly) the blindest of all; for indeed we have books). Helen Keller always said: Libraries are my Utopia. Or as the Buddhist philosophy puts it: A book is a garden that you can carry in your pocket. The crash of the world comes about us, so gently that we often are scarce able to perceive it. The massive, mostly unfathomable weight of it, slowly crawl over us to engulf, ensnare, and corrupt us. To turn us into a part of it. Slogans of predjudice are sliced out of tasty pies, and plopped down in front of us like so much gold, dross, power, and comfort. And slowly, insidiously we are swept out to sea, until we are so far from shore, that we not only begin to doubt that there ever WAS a shore of any sort - but, that the morass of hatred and unifying feelings of being part and partner in the greater good for the RIGHT AND PROPER PEOPLE / COUNTRY / NATION / RACE... And yet, some still quiet voice within us, hopes that we can somehow escape. For we were taught meaningless tales in youth. Of Hansel and Grettle, and of Big Bad Wolfs. Meaningless. And yet... Cautionary. Warnings. Timeless Safeguards not to trust too deeply. not to.... (you should be at about 7:00 or 7:30 or so)

A non-sequitur philosophy of art

There is no resolution for the world. It's arguments of :might makes right:, and :nlu - Not Like Us:, and :The One, Treu Faith!: ---^_6They are simply too strong. Every reasoned argument against them will fail. like oersites, there is NO escape from the furies... (simply press STOP to halt the 2nd movement; then move the pointer back to the first movement of Shosty Symp #9 ... or take a brief break...) PRESS PAUSE, since, first.... -^_6

A non-sequitur philosophy of art

(for the next sub-segment, i prefer: "Mystery Men; track 5", but the 1st & 2nd movements of Black Star will work as well as "Take Five" (jazz greats vers) as well - party like it's 1999 all over again.. the next segment requires a (a brief) diversion into hyper-space text... [

This way to the clown parade; exit?

CUE UP SHOST #9, MOVMEENT 1... play take five 9create cusp here0 a cat is cool; but a bird is cooler still. STOP PLAY ON TAKE FIVE play #9/mvt 1... somewhere in california a pinhead drawer is contemplating waffles and tuesday weld. somewhere in manhattan a earth quake can only happen if a pidgeon drop isn't taken from this we derive that two C (or one D) battery and an un-retired cartoonist best known as the fleas that inhabbit certain owls can show that evolution is wrog, wrong, frog, frong, flerm and beflirmishly so. and then out into the snake's glowing red light danse nikita kruschev and lyndon johnson but suddenly they are joined by a block mon from down under protesting that the resident of a sheep paddock didn't even think to canvas any of the "lowlies" her/his revenge is of course to wrap books on the southside of dallas and that wasn't even on a tuesday. (ms. weld was not available for comment) and yet in a wax museum, the world pauses for comment that the hotel is wrapped by two mad artists (one is not jean-claude and the other is most DEF not christo) but, just then, a singing bard stombles onto a piece of burlap and keeps on stombling for some other time it is not to be tried at home (even if your brother's name IS Buster) and of all of this comes a final blow which odd for a violin. 9and as the curtain draws to a close, we see the ushers opening the outer doors, but it turns out not to be a non otter but indeed - as we see that it is indeed a "certain" duck 0 note: in part of the performance, the part of the left and right parenthesises were played by the numerals 9 and 0.

And an infinite philosophy of art

(Frank Zappa, Pink Album Track 5 - Are we not alone? of! yes/how/cow-limits?) So, part of what we do as artists is to explain what we do as artists. Thus, i'm writing this meta section of this paper of the zix42 to try to explain this. After all, we know that a nice picture of dogs playing cards is more art than a $32 piece of notebook paper tossed in the dust bin when there weren't even any pidgeon or pigeons or pigs flying (even if it wasn't thursday still).... START AGAIN So, the problem is WHY do we do that? The materialist (or normal person) - so we are informed - can't tell why we would do something so many times. One time while (it's a v. short story) i was minding the Amnesty Internatioal table (yes, we believe that torture and the death penalty are wrong - wackos that we are) (small: start again) anyway, i'd been working on the "next" stage in my pollock series (which eventually led to "The Spider Web" (as it is lovingly and popularly known) So, i kept scetching the lines of the cliff. That is a cliff that extended into the picture space of the paper as a trapazoid at the bottom (large size to hug the bottom on the canvas/paper and then the smaller edge into the centre-stage of the canvas. And then i'd make the SAME shape but use different marks (this was *LONG* before "The Million", btw) into that space. The textures, densities, lengths, of the PEN marks on the (xerox paper; assumed acid free (what with all the paranoia these (those) days; 8-1/2" x 11") page and then working into it with cross hatching or not, or with varied mixtures of lines, sort of like dashes long with small dash-letts below and then long dashers again and repeating, and repeating, and ... Anyway, that's the story, i drew maybe 10 or 20 or somethng like that - and each one took about 5 or 10 (maybe more?) solid minutes to do and to all extents of the "normals" they all looke the same. Why is he doing that? (not even some Amnesty Internatioal froodz weren't asking). Pretty bizare. The only think that i can say is: It's like the film "The Man Facing South West" (or was it Northe East?) he stares there each nite to send/receive messages and to all appearances there is no difference. That's part of the thing that we don't really communicate very well. And yet, we go back to the question: So, if what we are doing in our WRITING (texts, critical reviews, artsits's stmts, etc) doesn't even really say what/why/how/etc we are doing the whatness of what we are doing - then is it a waste of time? Or is it just part of the art that seems textual and not art-like at alll? --42--


The mark is made. Whether it's from pen, pencil, oil/water/acrylic paint, or whatever -- it is the 1-d mark on the 2-d space. But, then, if i use yarn in space, it's still 1-d but in 3-d. And if it is put up, and then taken down, it's 1-d in 4-d. But, what if i make a surface? (and draw upon it - or not) it's in space, is it sculpture? What if, i start writing text on one wall of the gallery and continue around the corner (convex? concave? orthogonal?) is it now sculpture? If i use text to "fill in" an outline (very popular in magazines) to make a "shape", is it now drawing, or is it simply still text arranged only "slightly" differently than the usual rectangles in a magazine/newspaper/book article? Again: What is art? || Art is what? Is art human? Would the bowerbird say no? Is art craft? The functional ceramist sez no, yes, ... i don't know?


If i bend a piece of paper to make a tunnel and write on it is it sculpture or simply the surface for my drawing? We speak of "sculptural lines" (Franz Kline, Kupka), can we speak of non-sculptural sculptures? Yes: Wires arranged. Yes, but what if they are flat: 2-d tracings of a set of hyperbolas? They are composed of 1-d lines of wire drawn upon the 2-d surface that "just happens to be" in a space that we can inhabit and walk around. If i project two images onto a piece of paper so that from one side you see one thing, and from the other side, you see something else? (eg, Scott Trent's "Box") is it drawing (with alterity) or is it decorated sculpture? Are the Lascoux caves drawings? The artist(s) used the surface textures to enhance the drawings' 3-dimensionality.


To be or not to be, that is the question. The answer is 42, but we don't know what the question is. (let alone what it means) At some point if people (even your art friends) aren't attending a performance piece, then why do it? Metaphysics: If we introduce the sound of the falling tree into and empty forest, is there a tree in theory? Is the documentation of the work (the design of the art work) "as good" as the actual work "would be" or "might be" or "should be" or should it all be banned?

Colour and Texture

Have you ever noticed the way that the same tree looks in the morning as opposed to during the afternoon, or evening or even minute to minute? If you haven't then you obviously aren't a painter. One of the earliest "impressionist" painters, Paul Ceszane said, "Until i sit down to draw or paing something, i find that i haven't really ever looked at it before." So profound was this (and a sign of the genius of Ceszane), that it led him to look at the way light plays around us. If you look at a leaf (and game progammers familiar with Doom3 know this as well), it has a variety of "colours". Early in computer graphics, everything looked like "plastic". It was later discovered that the way that light hits a surface is different in several ways. First off there is the colour spectrum of the reflected light. A mirror's reflected spectrum would *ideally* be exactly equal to the incidnet spectrum. But, most mirrors are not perfect. As such, they tend to absorb certain colours. The colours that they reflect are the ones that we "see" when we look in a mirror. Whatever colours ARE being reflected, they leave us with the *impression* (there's that word again), that the mirror is "silver". The mirror ISN'T silver (it's usually some sort of metal, probably aluminum. But, the colour spectrum which is reflected "looks silver". A perfect mirror would be invisible. If we came up on one, we would be struck by an exact image of ourselves in it. Imagine entering a room, and coming face to face with an exact replica of yourself; a robot? an alien able to mimic you perfectly -- and to what end, what is its "agenda"? If the mirror's reflective surface was red (eg, look at a red-tinted piece of acetate like those report folders), then we KNOW that we will look red as well. Thus, the red mirror is absorbing all colurs but red, and reflecting only things in the "red" portion of the spectrum. Quickly now: It turns out that ALL objects don't have just ONE spectrum. They have: a "reflected spectrum" (eg, our red mirror), a "transmitted spectrum" (eg, a pair of sunglasses blocks out cetain colours) a "scatterned spectrum" (eg, a brown piece of paper and an exactly similarlly coloured piece of brown wood, brown metal, brown skin -- all look different not only because of their surface textures, but because of how they "scatter" different colours of light. A perfectly smooth piece of skin does NOT look like a perfectly smooth piece of wood, metal, etc -- because it's NOT wood, metal, etc. What it's composed of (chemically, mollecularly, structurally) determines how it scatters the light. Suface of course is important, but again a mottled bit of skin does NOT look like an identically mottled piece of terra-cotta ceramics -- even though both are slightly dull in appearance, rough, and textured identically. an "absorbed spectrum" (eg, a green apple is green becasue it's absorbing all colours of light (mainly red and blue), EXCEPT for green. Thus, as it turns out the way that light interracts with everything determines why it "looks" different. So, what about sound? Same thing: reflected, transmitted, scattered, absorbed. And what about the "texturing" of the light or sound or the "suface" onto which it is "played" ? Same thing.

Putting it all together: Assemblage/Collage

In this section: {
A bit of Mime Play} (may be skipped) {Context matters}

A bit of Mime Play

Colnsider two mimes. They come on stage from LEFT and RIGHT, the bow to each other or shake hands, etc. One takes out an imaignayr pitcher and pours a glass of water into an immaginary glass -- apparently using the bit of ALL of the water in the pitcher. The first mime fills the glass to the brim, and then after spilling a bit, wipes the rim and is about to drink. But then noticing her/his/its friend (the other mime) defers, reaches up and takes another imaginary glass off an immaginary shelf. And pours half the water into the glass. The other mime "thanks" the first one, they "toast" (salute!) each other. As the second mime starts drinking, the first mime watches (glad that her/his/its friend is enjoying the water). The first mime turns their glass upside down "pouring" the water out onto the floor. The second mime stops drinking and looks surprised, but before they can gesture "what did you do that for?", the first mime then puts their lips on the edge of the BOTTOM of the glass (the open end), and with their head turned downward (face parallel to the floor), slowly tilts the glass upward apparently sipping the water. After a brief taste, pulls back and nodds approval and again "toasts" the second mime. The second mime pauses, looks at the floor, looks at the first mime (still holding the INVERTED glass aloft in the "toast gesture"), shruggs and lifts her/his/its glass as well and heartily toasts the first mime. They (each in their own way) "drink" -- exit music. (etc) It's a cute trick isn't it (i would like to think that it deserves a place up there with the "killed clown" bit, but it might need a bit of work)? Or shouldn't that rather be: It's a cute trick isn't it? I would like to think that this bit of mime-play deserves a place in the "Clown Hall of Fame" up there with the "Killked Clown" bit. But, then maybe it's a bit "too cute" or at very least might need a bit or work on the bit. Of course every "bit" needs a "title". How about: "To each his own" ? Alaas, i digress. Needless to say, the drama has elements of the so-called "reversal of fortune" in it. The fact that the glass is turned upside down bears pondering. Write an essay on it and turn it in at the end of class. Unfortately that's LINEAR thinking. The piece ISN'T linear. It's (only slightly absurd) -- what keeps it from BEING absurd (i would maintain that it can NOT be absurd) is the way that the second mime (apparently the reasonable one) "fills in" for us. They don't understand why their friend is behaving that way. At first they might consider that it's all a joke. But, then the first mime DID offer their friend half of the water. So, why isn't it absurd. First off: IT"S MIMES YOU IDIOT!! (sorry had the volume a bit high). Almost by defacto WHAT-EVER mimes do is "ok". Or is it? In this case, the "bit" doesn't *quite* make sense. Usually what mimes do is to "mime" (mimic -- from our old Greek word "mimesis") REAL things around us. The props are almost always imaginary. But. The bit doesn't mak sense now does it? I mean what about the spilled water? And what about the "fact" that the first mime is apparently able to enjoy the glass of water when he/she/it has just very purposefully dumped it out on the floor. It's like a magic trick. Once you know it, it's boring. I cheated. I left out KEY directions to give you (the reader of what i'm writing a false impression of almost everything of importance). Do you understand what i'm saying ? I hope not. Because i'm not SAYING anything. I'm at home, late on Saturday night typing on an old lap top computer the six-key of which doen's work. So, if you think that i'm SAYING anything to you, you're crazy. Right? (i want to thank cartoonist/writer Scott McCloud for that one). Ok, so, anyway. If i tell you the title, then the trick is revealed (and you'll be able to "fill in the missing pieces of the action). So, that we can "move along" (and in a total breech of the magician's code, the bit is called "half empty half full". But, that's the point: It's supposed to be a minimalist bit; like the nature of mime itself. In fact when mime is "over the top" (that is NOT minimialst) is when mime is mediocre. If we begi to ADD things to the bit, then it brings it back from the edge of minimalism. Note: we could "merely" photograph a picture of a glass of water with no title -- that would be even more minimalist. We ADD textrue to it that might or might NOT change it. We could add dramatic music (eg, a piano and a stet of cymbals as asw used in the first performance of Alfred Jarry's play "Ubu Roi" -- it was touted as having "full orchestral accompaniment". Wewe could adds ound effects. Except for one KEY point they would NOT effect the bit. When the first mime turns the glass upside down -- do we hear water splashing out? For the "integrity of the bit", we knwo that there should not be any sound. We might try to cover it up with music as the second mime "reels" at the idea of pouring out the delicious water. What about dialog? Spoken we would then be pantomimeing (if i read the word correctly) or at the very least "regular acting" but with "pretend" props.


Even in the artistic way, we must be aware of the philosopher/writer Umberto Ecco's addage: Context is King. There are of course several contexts at work at all times; eg:

Context: The artist and art object as participant

The old phrase "art happens" often comes to mind. Part of this is that we create an expectaion that art is occuring by the simple act of saying that we are doing art. Becasue of the pseudo-mythical "powers" bestoyed on us (by the "art loving public", critics, collectors, news paper reporters, etc) we can not help but PRODUCE art even if we attempt to create -[
non-art]-, -[anti-art]-, or -[meaningless art]-. Note that reputaions (and therfore EXPECTATION) come into play, etc. The fact that a museuem or gallery is involved automatically sets the stage for "traditional" art to happen in. The reputaion of even an eccentric (or well known) artist creates that expectation. Further the art object can become art due to context. If we are walking along a side walk and we see a child's "hop-scotch" drawing we usually don't regard it as art. But, if the same child draws a picture of a stick fiugre, house, and a tree next to it, we automaticaly put it into the category of "art". The fact that we "recognise" the artness of one object as opposed to the other is a very subtle part of context. And is based on varying degrees of FAMILIARITY.

Context: Environment

For example if we got to a museum and happen to see a bucket and mop over to the side of one room, we dismiss it as the indication that a janitor has been temporarily called away from their cleaing duty. We might even (given that we are in a museum and our aesthetic senses are "alreted") notice that the wooden mop handle must have been broken since it was quite apparently "fixed" with a very adeptly applied use of duck tape. Later in the muesuem we encounter the mop and bucket again. Finally, as we progress further into the museum, we find a person dressed in a grey "jumper" with a name tag on the breast pocket (say "Joe" or "Sally" or "Toby") and they are sitting there in a folding chair, a broom propped up against the wall, and of all things smoking -- the near-by gallery guard oblivious to this breech in conduct. How absurd. Then finally someone in another group decides to do something about it, and goes over to the guard and says, "Shouldn't you do something about that?". The guard (who quite apparently has been "dozing") draws themself up and walks over to the wayward janitor and sternly admonishes, "What do you think you are doing? You can't smoke in here!" As the janitor steps on the cigarette, the guard notices that the broom is right next to a painting and so says to the janitor and you can't leave that thing there." As the guard goes back to their post, they tug down on their shirt to straighten it. The janitor shrugs their shoulders, goes over to the wall and picks up the painting and totes if off -- leaving the broom. Another magic trick. So, would a museum label saying "All Cleaned Up" be "over the top"? Thus, the "usual art environment" (a museum, gallery, etc) FORCES the context on us. The point is, that we "expect" many things. Even our behaviours are under control -- the dictim "don't touch the art" is exctaly NOT true in the case of the "floor covered with wrapped lemon drops" by Torres, where the participants are encouraged to pick one out.

Context: Social Dynamics

Depending upon the culture, somethings are normal and other are acceptable, while others are taboo or illegal. If we are in a bank and an elderly man (quite shabbily dressed) comes in and starts singing quite loudly several things may happen. The guard may wait for a second and then approach the man asking if he's ok. Everyone may stop what they are doing and simply watch. The guard does nothing (other than turn and face the old man). Some people act nervous and start to leave, others turn and simply stare, a few make "music motions" -- but do not join in. Finally the man finishes singing the traditional Christmas song "Oh Come All Yea Faithful", and everyone applauds, the door to the bank opens and snow blows in from the sub-zero weather outside. Or perhaps every looks totally bewildered because it is July. If the people in the bank know the man one social dynamic exists, if not, then it tends toward the "us vs them" mentality in varying degrees. If they know the man (and it IS July) and they know that he suffers from Alzheimer's Disease, yet another dynamic plays out. Now these are "normal" behavious that in turn form a "stage" into which we can inject art. We can have several approaches. 0. The Observer Affect. In the day of film, news crews, and cameras. Almost anything can be done if there is a camera around; alternatively, a sound recroder, or even a "survey clip board" can be used. A startling example of this was related by the independent film producer/writer Darren Arronofski ??sp??. During the shooting of the film "Pi", they used the New York subway (at about 4am) as a "set" for one of the main character's , Max (played by Sean Gillette) migrane attacks. The scene was like something out of "Rosmary's Baby" -- very bizzare. As they were setting up, one of New York's finest (a woman cop in this case) walked over to where one of the "props" was sitting on stairs leading up out of the subway. As she bent over to look at it, the cammera woman nudged Arronovski and they were terrified that they might be fined or told to shut down as they didn't have a license to shoot. Without really looking at them, the cop just walked away. Later they found out that directly above (on the street level), Woody Allen was shooiting a film and the cop had assumed that they were part of his "second unit". Thus, the *real* power of Andy Warhol's "fifteen minutes of fame". Part of the aesthetic of this level of social dynamic IS the idea that the "camera creates its own reality". We all know that the way that a film is edited, or the lighting in a play, or the "mikeing" of a concert can make or break the event. Thus, while we can *literally* get away with anything, the TIMING and INTENSITY will affect the BELIEVABILITY. For example, take a street scene where we are going to stage a killing. It could be a spy or godfather, sfm or love movie -- each genre has its own little twists. A legitimate film would start at 5 am -- possibly even before dawn. Police cars would be present to keep people out. Special effects people are crawiling all over the place, camera, electrical, prop, and lighting people everywhere, etc. FInally, the cast is brought out and sign a few autographs, and then the action begins. Literally, anything could transpire there. Of course there would be an element of non-reality about it, since no one would really believe that this famous actor is really going to shoot down the other in the first place -- i mean, *really*, not even Hollywood is THAT catty. Besides, why is this famous actress drressed as a half human cyborg anyway? Note that the total NON-reality of the filming (capturing the art) is contrasted with the need to create TOTAL-reality during the viewing of the same images/sounds/etc. At the other end of the spectrum, some one with a camera may be able to interview people and even have a couple of (unknown) actors pretending to shoot each other down. But, more likely than not the police will be called in to investigate the situation and it unlikely that the artist involve will be lucky enough to have Woody Allen (or similar) in the next block shooting a legitmate movie -- transference of authority or "guilt by association". Also, not the context of the genre again. If the actors are dressed in "normal" clothing the event becomes more real, and thus challenges passerby's (as well as the police) to become more involved. If we saw two people dressed as "knights of the realm" and speaking in archaid English, the police might not even bother to check it out until they heard the director yell "cut". An investigation might then reveal that the would-be film makers did NOT have a permit (required by the Mayor's office). The police might "let it go", or they might have to insist -- those TWO (only two) options are exigiencies of the "normal" world. Which brings us to... 1. Nomative/Normal. That is, we act or do something slightly odd but, not too "out of the norm". This might include standing on the sidewalk playing the violin to get money, doing chalk drawings on the sidewalk, handing out leaflets, etc. If we do these in the CONTEXT of art, then we are infact using the normal patterns of the social dynamic and then adding by our work something to it that we as artists *call* art. Say i stand on the corner outside a new restaurant that has just opened and hand out flyers that have a "15% off" coupon on it. This is the border line of art/non-art for such an activiy. If i (as a graphic artist) hand out posters for an up-coming concert, when in fact the posters are simply art work that i (or a friend) has done, then this is much more of an "art" like dynamic. This was the subject of the artist/writer Winston Smith in his "fake" punk rock concert posters. These are examples in a nomative space, but imagine similar "almost normal" art acts in private property cases. Of course in the context of *these* environments, the "borders" of normality are much closer in -- the streets *are* dangerous because anything can happen. This of course is the illusion of control, since anything can happen anywhere. Take the "Waco Compound" incident -- because they were in a demense, they could not immagine being "invaded" by the ATF agents. The illusion of control. The aesthetic of the normal is of course the degree to which we want to embrace or defy the norm. What is the art work trying to say? That is, its howness, aboutness, and whatness? This is a difficult topic to address, but here we go. If the point of using "normality" is underscore the mundaneness of normality, then every attempt must be made to embrace that normality. We might use absurdity to underscore certain aspects of "normality", but then we approache pastiche, non-reality, and of course anti-art, nihilism, etc. For example, the absurdity in Kafka's "The Metamorphsis" occurs NOT because Gregor Samsa is transformed a giant cockroach -- indeed that would be basis for an excellent sf comedy/drama), but that rather after he is so transformed that he still insists on trying to go to work -- trying to act normally and "as expected" even though quite clearly (to us, less to him) things are not normal. The same occurs in the film "Love Story" by ??author?? when ??part-name?? (played by Ali McGraw) is crying and applogising when she says that she "lost my key" -- when the underlaying tragedy is that she is dieing of cancer. ??details?? Where we draw the line between "real" reality and "surreality" is of course difficult as well. From a classical, surrealist POV, we use "dream-like" or "larger then life" imagery/action/sounds/etc to dig deep into the human psyche, condition, and to highlight overlooked events/people/trends/etc in society. The mere mundannity of things (ie, their "reeking with normality") can then be used either create tragedy or comedy -- two sides of a very thin coin. In several of Charles Mingus' works using both modern Jazz and traditional African (tribal) themes, the music often devloves from "acceptable" (normal) music into wailing cries that seem to put-offish as to be offensive. In the middle of such carrying on, he will often almost silently say the word "freedom". Thus, very forecfully taking what appears to have wandered far from acceptable (normal) music and flinging it like a dead albatross into the listener's metaphorical face: Freedom -- the one thing the African American didn't have despite all of the lies that s/he was better off then living among the savages he left behind in "The Dark Continent"; as if they had a choice in "leaving". Thus, the "normal" may be stretched without crossing over into either the absurd or the "out of bounds" -- but the aesthetic is a delicte and ellusive one. 2. Exceeding the normal threshold. This would include things that are clearly outside of the norm. With today's streets crowded, much abberant behaviour actually exists. The streets are full of derilicts that "society" has simply given up on. Eventually, the derelicts give up on themselves and they end up in a body bag labeled "John Doe" or such. Thus, the attempt by the artist to push the limits has a well established need. People like Mother Terressa and Albert Schweitzer who were moved by their faith and compassion are the models that all artists must acckowledge. Part of the "cannon" of art history (the "language" that artists all over the world speak) consists of a good deal from the "big three" (Jewish, Christain, and Islamic) religions, their art, iconograaphy and stories. Naturally in the context of art "outside the gallery" there is always going to be a certain amount of personal risk. This artwork include almost all so-called "guerrilla art". This is of course of several forms: Documentational, Imitative or Mocking. The ways that these three forms can be mixed lead to three corresponding types of what is commonly labeld "pop art". NOTE: I set asside "popular art", that is art that people buy because it seems pleasing or decorative. These might include original or reproduced works of art such as found in the renaisaance, impressionist, etc period. The designation "pop art" must necessarily exclude religious works of art since they are not intended purely (or even mainly) for their aesthetic value, but rather for their spiritual signficance. also exclude family portraits, the works by members of the family or friends as well since they have more peronsal meaning than even "signed Picasso" might. Thus, for example, a traditionally made quilt is popular art, NOT pop art while the so-called "abolitionist quilts" [sewn by many white women in the 1800c to show their support for the abolition of slavery] are pop art -- at least Pop Art Type II, possibly Type III (see below). An interesting side-light to this is the "poster" art common to teenager's rooms which are often time anti-thetical to the aesthetic of their parents. I leave this out for the most part since it is a form of social protest or identity establishment and therefore (like family portraits) of a more persona nature than say a billboard. Thus, the poster that a teenager might have on their wall of say "Philip Glass" would be personal art -- although the poster is derived from the same "machine" of mass production as would be a BillBoard add announcing a Philip Glass concert. Both are examples of Pop Art. Pop Art Type I -- Ostensibly this is mass-produced art including such well known examples as Andy Warhol's "25 Marylins", or even the "Coca Cola" sign, etc. Early "pop artists" identified these cultural markers and how they permiated the "modern". Even Marcell Duchamp's well-known "Mona Lisa with the Moustache" ("LHOOQ") brough out the fact that when the Mona Lisa ("The Lady La Giocanda") appears on a dress label, then it has certainly taken on "something" that is NOT art. The film Koyansquatsi ??sp?? is an example of an "art film" that links many of these well known images together into a visual collage. The musical aesthetic that Phiilip Glass used in layering his music over these images is beyond my understanding, although like many things: "I may not know much about crustaceans; but, i know what i like". ["The Aeesthetic Life", Volume #1, VHS ??refs??] The riese of pop art to the point of mediocrity was highlighted by "Mad Magazine" (itself a pop art "factory" -- as much as Warhol's; positioning as it did it's oppostiion to "Madison Avenue"; that is, "the modern advertising mania"). In one article, Mad Magazine showed how to appear "with it" (ie, cool, "in", etc). The poor slob was admonished to make up a carefully lettered sign saying "Trash" and put it in fornt of the his trash. Another sign read "Dirty Laundry". This was supposed to evoke the aesthetics of both the "Beatniks" as well as "The Avant Garde" moderns including most notably the "pop artists". The responses to Part Art I (a thesis if you will in the Hegelian sense) was of course several fold. A return to "proper art" characterised most notably by framed copies of the "classics" (the aforementioned works of the renaisance, impressionists, etc), as well as "acceptable" works by such artists as Thomas Kincaid, etc. Another response was by the "minimallists" such as Ad Rhinhardt, Donnald Judd, ??name?? Flavin, etc. And of course: Pop Art Type II: Social commentary. This often took the guise of "pop art" but in reality had an critical edge to it. One notable example ws the emmergence of "underground art" notably the so-called underground comics. Of the many notable examples are Robert Crumb ("Zap Comics", "Fritz the Cat", "Mr. Natural", "Fear and Loathing Comics"), as well as his wife Aline Kominski-Crumb, as well as other feminist, as well as an emerging group of "minority" artists. These sprang up all over the world (even behind the "iron curtain" of Communism). Examples (briefly) include Mexican phographer Ignaacio "Nacho" Lopez ("On the Poor Go to Hell"), Cuban graffitis Jean Michelle Basquiat ("Samo"), as well as one of the earliest victims of Aids, the late, great artist Keith Harring (his style has saddly been appropriateed by corporations dispensing the same kinds of mediocrity by which the AIDS epidemic -- even now -- spreads. Most notable was Harring's "Silence = Death" cartoons. Further feminist activities include the public works by the so-called Guerrilla Girls, as well as such notable womyn artists as Judy Chicago ("Tje Dinner Party"), Barbara Kruger ("I Shop, Therefore I am"), etc. Pop Art Type III: Where-as pop aret type II might "merely" comment on social conditions (Barbara Kruger emblazened one of Malcom X's statements of busses throughout New York: "If you spent half as much time on your mind as you do on your hair, then your brain woould be a thousand times better for it.". ??exact quote?? -- "type III" artists attempted to more directly change (not just criticize) social conditions. These include inverntionist artists, out-spoken and directly involved members of the various art areas. Examples include, TV Mogul Ted Turner donating one billion $ US to the United Nations's Children's fund, actor Dennis Weaver setting up environmental housing alternatives and actively debating conservatives on envrionmental issues, singer/song-writer Willie Nelson getting involved in producing diesal fuels from renewable sources such as soy beans, environmental artists Jean-Claude and her husband Christo "wrapping" buidlings and bridges (all of deep historical importance), islands in Florida (highlighting a very fragile eccosystem at risk due to development) and opening larger-than-life umbrellas SIMULTANEOUSLY in Japan and the United States (at a time when international economic competition was given rise to almost racist dialog to discourage co-operation between two the world's leaders in technology and social developmetn). Gladly, this trend is continuing, for instance super-star/director Mel Brooks ("Blazing Saddels", "Young Frankenstein") undertook to create the film "Life Stinks" at the height of the "Reagan Era" when government policies were turning out people on the street in "cut back programs". This fact is underlined by the fact that (now a famous and wealthy man), Brooks barely survived his early "Student Art" days. After finishing probably his two best "art works" the films "The Twelve Chairs" and "The Producers" -- both financial failures. He met one of the producers of the soon-to be made movie "Texas-X" in the street who recognised him. When asked what he was doing these days, Brooks replied, "Actually, i'm walking around the stret looking for dimes to pay the rent". The film "Texas-X" (a reference to recently assasinated Malcom-X was directed by Brooks (with comedian/writer Richard Prior as one of the writers) and released as the film "Blazing Saddles". But, alas; i, digress. 3. Direct Social Commentary. This has a long histroy from the critical lithographs of Honore Daumier ??sp?? to the incissive eye of Edgar Degas' "dancers" series, Mark Twain's ascerbic pen, ??name?? Hartman's collages of the fascists carving up the war, to direct reporting and filming of the War in Viet Nam, etc. Let's face it, we live in a sick worlod. Part of the *intent* of the inventor of iconsopher is that it be used to increase Man's understanding of the world and to slow his pace towards oblivion; is it too much to hope that it might help to prevent that oblivion? As the Russians say, "Perhaps. Perhaps.". There are of course several approaches to commentary. These include the making of documentaries which can consist of photographics records and interviews as well as the more "now-generation" accessible mdeium of videoes, podcasts (audio/video downloadable media), and of course cartoon books/shows, pop songs, etc.

Film Content

We could start with "the basics" ... In this section:
Documentary The Western Adventure Romance Comedy Backstage & Musical (tips towel in Dr. Dariese's general direction) Horror/SF (well, it's a start)


The Western




Backstage &Musical

(tips towel in Dr. Dariese's general direction) First there was the musical, but then "with the maturation of the genre", came the "backstage musical". {
Jump down there now...} As the late, great mythologist, Joseph Campbell has told us: -[(in humanist)]- "Every myth is based on some previous event/fact. It may have mutated over time to be all but un-recognisable; but that original truth is there." -- def, not an exact quote.

The Backstage Musical


This section is divided into two sub-sections:
Horror SF But, first:

So, queg the phot do you keep saying...

That there IS a diff between horror and sf? cf/qv "Terminator" & "Cyborg 2087"