Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Art For Life's Sake

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali (1931)

A work of art, provided it’s not aleatory and doesn’t deploy surrealist devices like automatic writing, posits a universe of connectivity. The catharsis of a mystery derives from the solution. The pieces of the so-called puzzle are put together. Art, on the other hand, partakes of the Freudian and Heideggerian notion of The Uncanny. Here the experience is that of a virgin world that's strange, untouched and devoid of preconception. Still, it’s a device which would not otherwise be in the purview of an audience. Art is a curated form of reality whether it’s promoting a stoic vision or, in fact, explosive Milesian changeability. Nature is not raw. Its laws pertain both to the macrocosm (dark matter and dark energy) and the microcosm (quanta). Science may provide beauty in its unraveling of the mysteries of the universe but it doesn't create the kind of rapture that comes from Wagner's Liebestod fromTristan and Isolde. Beauty can be an element of an esthetic experience but it’s not necessary to it. Similarly order and wonder can radiate from a vision of Kepler planets, but such visions might not momentarily solve a problem--say the way Inspector Poirot can.

read "The End of Genius and the Rise of the Compassionate Artist" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to Wagner's Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde

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