Tag Archives: art

Predictive Art

Do you think this is art? (Or just something your kid could do?)

“Coffee Thyme” by Sam Gilliam, 1980, crayon

Your opinion on this turns out to be highly correlated with your opinion about our current (miserable excuse for a) President.

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Anno Stella Bella

Star Wars

Blessed be the Force!

As long as I’ve been picking my own reading material, a huge fraction of it has science fiction. I’ve been doing that picking since about 1963-ish, so let’s just call it 50+ years. Up until around the mid 1990s, it would have been hard to name a science fiction book or movie I didn’t know (and in many cases, own).

But somewhere near the end of the last century science fiction became a full-fledged mass-produced commodity that through sheer over-exposure became dull and uninteresting. In a way, I blame George Lucas and Star Wars, so I split SF into two eras:

Before Lucas (B.L.) and Anno Stella Bella (ASB).

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Unalike Minds

mind-0A while back I realized I had an Engineer’s Mind. I’ve always had a sense of that. What I realized was the significance of the Engineer’s Mind category. And of other categories of Mind — for example an Artist’s Mind (which I didn’t discover I also had until high school; see My Life 2.0).

Having a given Mind doesn’t mean one is necessarily good at something (skill takes practice), but it does suggest a predisposition or talent for it. Our minds seem to come pre-wired in two ways: core wiring that makes us human; and “flavor” wiring that gives us (some of our) basic traits. For instance, some people have — or strongly do not to have — a Math Mind.

I’ve found Mind a useful metaphor as well as a game to play.

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Crumpled Paper Balls

ideaYou couldn’t know this, but my blogging workspace is littered with balls of virtual crumpled paper.  The ones writers make when they rip failed writing attempts from their typewriter, smush them up in disgust, and toss them disdainfully over their shoulder. This post — which has been in my mental queue for well over a year — has the strongest resistance to being written that I’ve ever encountered.

I wrote the note you see here somewhere back in 2013. It seemed like exactly the sort of thought chain that would make an interesting post. Many of the items in that chain (consciousness, art, science) are things that fascinate me and are even areas this blog tries to discuss.

So why is a post about it so dang hard to write?

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Breaking the (Art) Rules

Recently I tried to (at least start to) give you my answer to the question, What Is Art? Here’s a look at an interesting aspect of creative work that differs somewhat from the usual way of things. At least it does when looked at from a certain angle. It has to do with breaking the rules.

The angle I have in mind sees rules and laws as being along a similar yardstick. They are actually different basic ideas, but they share a continuum such that one blends into the other. They are not a Yin/Yang pair; one is not in any sense the opposite of the other.  Rules and a laws are just similar, but distinct, ideas.

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Sideband #33: Confessions of a Jerk

In this morning’s article, I tried to explain my way of answering a question that may not be objectively answerable. I intend at least one more article along this path as I attempt to apply my answer to various kinds of art or not-art. That will come later, but considering the question brought to mind a discussion I had long ago with someone. The long and short of it is that (a) I was a jerk and (b) I was wrong. Completely wrong.

It’s funny how things stick with you. A single conversation held roughly three decades ago remains a focal point in my thoughts (albeit not a huge one). I remember where I was sitting; I remember where he was sitting. That’s actually saying something, as my memory for past events is infamously awful. Maybe it was the weight of the error never fully acknowledged that gives it such sticking power. If so, perhaps this semi-public confession will redress matters.

My culpa was to accuse a friend, whose life and work was art, of not being an artist.

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What is Art?

An old and challenging question is, “What is art?” The question is probably as old as art and artists; the moment someone made a cave painting, someone else probably asked, “But is it art?”

It’s possible the question cannot be answered in any objective way; we may each have a personal definition of art. Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

First, there are (at least) three distinct questions one might ask regarding art:

  1. Is it art?
  2. Is it good art?
  3. Do I like it?

This essay is strictly about the first question. Critical review (whether a piece of Art is good) and taste (whether you like it) are separate matters.

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