Friday, March 27, 2009

The Shock Of The New

A human being is a society of cells, each cell leading an independent life. Humans like change, and the drama of the new and the different. A society of humans also forms a lifeform, and each civilisation or country assumes the characteristics of a gigantic creature. The creature's tastes are called culture, and like all life it likes change, and the drama of the new and the different.

Art therefore is most effective when it says with passion that which opposes the view of the masses. The red rose in a field of white roses stands out, and that rose is the artist. In civilisation the most striking art then is rebellious art. Secular art in a religious society, divine art in a secular one, mathematical art in an emotional society, delicate and detailed art in a world of abstracted messes, violent art in a twee society, chaotic art in an ordered society, and the art of stability in a chaotic society.

Because of this, tastes change, and what is powerful art changes with tastes. The significance of great art of the past changes depending on the situation of current cultural states. The artist that seeks appreciation might anticipate change in order to make the greatest impact. Such artists might stand out from the crowd for their entire career, while the artists that do not change will flicker and glow and fade, perhaps re-glowing as tastes cycle. Either way, the great creature will subsume and absorb art, and culture will change, and as it does the art will look the same but constantly change in how "good" (effective, fashionable, applicable, appreciated) it is.

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