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Old 10-29-2004, 02:58 AM   #181
Rimbaud
The Perilous Poet
 
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If one really believe that art is subjective, one cannot refer to any art as "good", etc. - it just is. .... which is untenable.
LMP, I do not actually agree that this is an untenable position. However, I would posit that the stronger position, were one to hold it, would be that ‘Art is not’. Does one judge the artistic merit of a sunrise against a painting of that sunrise?* If one does, then both are art, as would be my bathroom floor. Cleaner then to hold that neither is ‘art’, and the ‘art’ is oneself and (my favourite word again) one’s perception. Which, neatly, puts one in the uncomfortable position of making commentary not upon the object, but upon oneself. Thus, there can be no rational or widely applicable standard, and one is left alone. This, quite naturally, is unpopular to a social animal and so, even in these flights of intellectual whimsy, we depend on each other for the reassurance of agreement, to aid with basic self-recognition.

This position then followed, all that which one considers their own ‘taste’ is a process of individual and then collective aggrandisement. However; this argument falls down for me when we come to what I consider to be the crux: synaesthesia.

We are all synaesthetes, to varying degree, and to my mind, it is this mingling of the senses, of which we understand very little, that shapes our initial response to everything. Our primitive receptors are fired off in unexpected, different and unique sequences by any number of ‘events’: a piano key, a leaf, my bathroom floor, the sound of the wind, your loved ones talking. As our synaesthesias are unique, so thusly are our responses. These miniature arts form our daily sensory symphony, and it is these hardwired responses to the individual stimuli of a whole work that are similar enough to create what has been termed above the 'relative invariance of the human mind' with regard to aesthetics, and separate enough for 'each wo/man to be an island'. It is for this reason that ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ can be misleading in this context, as subjectivity suggests an amount of conscious analysis non-commensurate with the truth of initial reaction. This gives us roughly 6,470,523,588 objective opinions, which I rather like.

~~~

* Not in agreement with Renaissance delineations in this quarter...
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Last edited by Rimbaud; 10-29-2004 at 03:02 AM.
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