Meditation on Art

We want to breathe the art of wit when we sit for our meditations. Art, from the Art of Altamira to the the Art of the Deal, is, we don’t shun this bold statement, first and foremost a celebration. We imagine anthropological researchers digging up objects with no evident usefulness. What to do with them? There are many younger accounts (we are still talking about the first hominids, not about the Neolithic revolution) that establish the connection between them and superstitions. But older than our need to understand the world and fill in our perceived gaps in the fabric of causality with the supernatural, is our need to celebrate.

Celebration is play organized around a common purpose, and fosters a strong bond in tribes. Since this is a meditation, we are allowed to think this here without providing footnotes or references. Celebration is as old as tribal cooperation itself, we submit. Let’s not forget to breathe.

So, art began as act and celebration. Dance and music were the first art forms (they leave no fossil traces so that’s not a falsifiable hypothesis). This communal dancing and singing wasn’t always the most efficient way to bond, especially in times of hardships. As our symbolical minds became more powerful, we began to create artefacts. A visual artwork is the shadow of a celebration.

We breathe calmly and feel the rest of our body. We now define an artwork as a human-made object that celebrates its own existence. We quickly check if this is true from daguerrotypes to Duchamp to David. Of course, an object cannot celebrate anything. That is ‘just’ our interpretation. We are always allowed to rephrase this within Kantian “apostrophes”: an artwork is a human-made object that its observer is able to see as celebrating its own existence. I like this definition that feels Nietzschean.

Yes, there is a nature of the artwork. We can trace it back through archeology of the mind, following our proclivity to celebrate.

Meditation on Art was originally published on Meandering home

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Just now, I was intimidated

Just now, I was intimidated by an indestructible paper cup
towering in front of me, a long shadow bulging
from its rim. The straw hole in its stained lid vows
to annihilate me, its cardboard jacket sinks
frivolously in the surface of the table.
Sovereignly, he does not move.
I ask what do you want?
– I want to be art, it says.
Don’t we all, I say.

Just now, I was intimidated was originally published on Meandering home

March 8.

Making the concepts of death and peace converge, how’s that for universal religion?

In the Mapuche village near San Martin de los Andes a child held the barrier for the tourists. We walked around; the people had conserved some aspects of their traditional lifestyle. A girl herded some sheep. I photographed some goats. Their was a like with a small island. We swam in the lake with part of our clothes on that didn’t matter it was drying quickly anyway. It was a nice swim and I advise you to do the exact same thing if you are a) hot and b) in San Martin de los Andes. Just ask for the lake.

In the afternoon, an effort to hitchhike to Junin. It didn’t work out so we ended in the other hostel of San Martin. We ate icecream too they really stuffed as much icecream in a tiny cone as they could. A guy in the hostel told us he hitched to the Chilenean border and it was easy so we decided to try that tomorrow.

Why do I like writing so much? How come that I’m so convinced words can do things beyond the obvious, beyond organizing our Lebenswelt? That they can give birth to some chaos? I want to produce a thick carpet of language, you know. The letters should be like drips of heavy liquid when I strike the keys on the keyboard, sugary inert sticky plots of ocher caramelizing in your mind to cause some mental image there like a little miracle.

This is a work of art. Instead of rough brush strokes I use unpolished words. Why is it a work of art? Because I think of it as some painting, because I think of being a pointillist of words, scattering them to mark the contours of some of my thoughts, the ones I want to communicate to you? Perhaps. But the status of an artwork should never be reduced to the (alleged) intention of its producer. Every fool can intent to produce art, and regardless the banality of his output, there will be museums willing to hang his pieces. So we got a bit of a problem here. Perhaps this is no art after all. But let’s suppose it it. In that case it is talking about itself. “I am a mediocre chain of words” it can say. And then you go “That’s weird. How can this thing reflect about itself without having a proper comparison? You have to be above average on some scale to be that reflective.” And you don’t believe the mediocrity thing. Maybe it’s propaganda. The more you think about it, the more you associate this work of art with the word “brilliant”. And from there, there’s no route back. You will found a welcome committee and all kind of red carpets will be rolled out for me when I return. That’s the way the system works. No-one can change that.

March 8.

Making the concepts of death and peace converge, how’s that for universal religion?

In the Mapuche village near San Martin de los Andes a child held the barrier for the tourists. We walked around; the people had conserved some aspects of their traditional lifestyle. A girl herded some sheep. I photographed some goats. Their was a like with a small island. We swam in the lake with part of our clothes on that didn’t matter it was drying quickly anyway. It was a nice swim and I advise you to do the exact same thing if you are a) hot and b) in San Martin de los Andes. Just ask for the lake.

In the afternoon, an effort to hitchhike to Junin. It didn’t work out so we ended in the other hostel of San Martin. We ate icecream too they really stuffed as much icecream in a tiny cone as they could. A guy in the hostel told us he hitched to the Chilenean border and it was easy so we decided to try that tomorrow.

Why do I like writing so much? How come that I’m so convinced words can do things beyond the obvious, beyond organizing our Lebenswelt? That they can give birth to some chaos? I want to produce a thick carpet of language, you know. The letters should be like drips of heavy liquid when I strike the keys on the keyboard, sugary inert sticky plots of ocher caramelizing in your mind to cause some mental image there like a little miracle.

This is a work of art. Instead of rough brush strokes I use unpolished words. Why is it a work of art? Because I think of it as some painting, because I think of being a pointillist of words, scattering them to mark the contours of some of my thoughts, the ones I want to communicate to you? Perhaps. But the status of an artwork should never be reduced to the (alleged) intention of its producer. Every fool can intent to produce art, and regardless the banality of his output, there will be museums willing to hang his pieces. So we got a bit of a problem here. Perhaps this is no art after all. But let’s suppose it it. In that case it is talking about itself. “I am a mediocre chain of words” it can say. And then you go “That’s weird. How can this thing reflect about itself without having a proper comparison? You have to be above average on some scale to be that reflective.” And you don’t believe the mediocrity thing. Maybe it’s propaganda. The more you think about it, the more you associate this work of art with the word “brilliant”. And from there, there’s no route back. You will found a welcome committee and all kind of red carpets will be rolled out for me when I return. That’s the way the system works. No-one can change that.

March 8.

Making the concepts of death and peace converge, how’s that for universal religion?

In the Mapuche village near San Martin de los Andes a child held the barrier for the tourists. We walked around; the people had conserved some aspects of their traditional lifestyle. A girl herded some sheep. I photographed some goats. Their was a like with a small island. We swam in the lake with part of our clothes on that didn’t matter it was drying quickly anyway. It was a nice swim and I advise you to do the exact same thing if you are a) hot and b) in San Martin de los Andes. Just ask for the lake.

In the afternoon, an effort to hitchhike to Junin. It didn’t work out so we ended in the other hostel of San Martin. We ate icecream too they really stuffed as much icecream in a tiny cone as they could. A guy in the hostel told us he hitched to the Chilenean border and it was easy so we decided to try that tomorrow.

Why do I like writing so much? How come that I’m so convinced words can do things beyond the obvious, beyond organizing our Lebenswelt? That they can give birth to some chaos? I want to produce a thick carpet of language, you know. The letters should be like drips of heavy liquid when I strike the keys on the keyboard, sugary inert sticky plots of ocher caramelizing in your mind to cause some mental image there like a little miracle.

This is a work of art. Instead of rough brush strokes I use unpolished words. Why is it a work of art? Because I think of it as some painting, because I think of being a pointillist of words, scattering them to mark the contours of some of my thoughts, the ones I want to communicate to you? Perhaps. But the status of an artwork should never be reduced to the (alleged) intention of its producer. Every fool can intent to produce art, and regardless the banality of his output, there will be museums willing to hang his pieces. So we got a bit of a problem here. Perhaps this is no art after all. But let’s suppose it it. In that case it is talking about itself. “I am a mediocre chain of words” it can say. And then you go “That’s weird. How can this thing reflect about itself without having a proper comparison? You have to be above average on some scale to be that reflective.” And you don’t believe the mediocrity thing. Maybe it’s propaganda. The more you think about it, the more you associate this work of art with the word “brilliant”. And from there, there’s no route back. You will found a welcome committee and all kind of red carpets will be rolled out for me when I return. That’s the way the system works. No-one can change that.

March 8.

Making the concepts of death and peace converge, how’s that for universal religion?

In the Mapuche village near San Martin de los Andes a child held the barrier for the tourists. We walked around; the people had conserved some aspects of their traditional lifestyle. A girl herded some sheep. I photographed some goats. Their was a like with a small island. We swam in the lake with part of our clothes on that didn’t matter it was drying quickly anyway. It was a nice swim and I advise you to do the exact same thing if you are a) hot and b) in San Martin de los Andes. Just ask for the lake.

In the afternoon, an effort to hitchhike to Junin. It didn’t work out so we ended in the other hostel of San Martin. We ate icecream too they really stuffed as much icecream in a tiny cone as they could. A guy in the hostel told us he hitched to the Chilenean border and it was easy so we decided to try that tomorrow.

Why do I like writing so much? How come that I’m so convinced words can do things beyond the obvious, beyond organizing our Lebenswelt? That they can give birth to some chaos? I want to produce a thick carpet of language, you know. The letters should be like drips of heavy liquid when I strike the keys on the keyboard, sugary inert sticky plots of ocher caramelizing in your mind to cause some mental image there like a little miracle.

This is a work of art. Instead of rough brush strokes I use unpolished words. Why is it a work of art? Because I think of it as some painting, because I think of being a pointillist of words, scattering them to mark the contours of some of my thoughts, the ones I want to communicate to you? Perhaps. But the status of an artwork should never be reduced to the (alleged) intention of its producer. Every fool can intent to produce art, and regardless the banality of his output, there will be museums willing to hang his pieces. So we got a bit of a problem here. Perhaps this is no art after all. But let’s suppose it it. In that case it is talking about itself. “I am a mediocre chain of words” it can say. And then you go “That’s weird. How can this thing reflect about itself without having a proper comparison? You have to be above average on some scale to be that reflective.” And you don’t believe the mediocrity thing. Maybe it’s propaganda. The more you think about it, the more you associate this work of art with the word “brilliant”. And from there, there’s no route back. You will found a welcome committee and all kind of red carpets will be rolled out for me when I return. That’s the way the system works. No-one can change that.

March 8. was originally published on Meandering home