November 9, 2009

“The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves.”

Willem de Kooning

Took a few days away from the essay to give time for the presentation  feed back to settle in.

Doing some more reading  brought me back to the abstract expressionists; in particular Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning because of the emphasis on  gesture and physicality in their works.

Here is the link again for the interactive Pollock site that  I posted about  at the beginning of the course back in 2007/8.

 Digital Pollock 2

The interest for me when making these digital Pollock style pieces is that the focus on the  physical engagement of the original works  is gone. I  read recently, that all of our online interaction happens through hand movements on the mouse or keyboard. What used to take bodily physical motion and time to achieve has become condensed in to small low impact isolated physical actions.

How does the concept of the ‘artist’ of 60 years ago may compare to today’s  understanding of the term ‘artist’ … the differences of expectations and contexts of that term; where that may currently fit in to a sense of global identity and propaganda?

Historically, abstract expressionism in the US has been interpreted as an exercise of a form of cultural imperialism by the USA a response to the cold war.

Threads seem to  lead to more questions in philosophical concepts.

Rationally I understand that the essay is an academic exercise. The goal should be to make a good contained job of writing and presenting the essay.

Just aim to get the essay finished.

November 6, 2009

This Tuesday the chat was based on discussion of our essay presentations.

The  online chat environment is not one I find easy.  It is a very impersonal environment that some how manages to create a very personal one.

Andy asked me two questions I wasn’t able to answer very well at the time, so will try to give a clearer response below:

The first was about the theme of walking and if I felt it dealt as a metaphor in my presentation.

Though I tried to deal with facts in the presentation, the idea of metaphor has been knocking at my consciousness but I can’t as yet articulate it clearly. I am very slow with the academic element of this course. It takes a long time to un-tease things from all the chaos that I go through both dyslexia wise and intellectually. Hope in a week or two when the essay is completed I will be able to include a clear metaphor but at this point in time how to articulate it clearly is work in progress.

Do feel some of these academic aspects have improved since first joining the course. Though  did have  a journey in that area to start with so it may seem very little progress. As long as it is going forward its all good.

The second was around Darwinism versus creationism in relation to themes in the presentation.  This question followed on from some of the issues raised in the previous discussion of Hassen’s presentation.

It is understandable that a work once it is viewed is informed for the viewer through the interpretation that they bring to the piece, based on their set of current understanding, history and experiences. Hopefully the viewer will take something away that may become relevant in a new context at some future point. Art goes with you and keeps re informing as understandings shift. This alongside its ability to raise debate is what makes it invaluable.

At a more personal level I wasn’t sure how to respond to the issues contained in Andy’s question, other than, for me this question focuses on the right to hold a personal belief structure and think we all should have a right to one and have a right to have those views respected and this is something we should all protect for each other; even if those views appear contradictory.

I have always admired Isaiah (or any  visionary), just as I admire Darwin’s tenacity and academic legacy and feel that they stem from the same place and  what is of real value is the on going debate.