Re: Art

Mike (
27 Oct 1995 17:51:52 GMT

Why should we want to do art? Well -- it's fun...

By art, presumably, you mean not just visual arts (the only ones
preserved in most archeological records, alas!) but verbal and audial
arts as well -- the whole range, music, poetry, storytelling, drawing,
combinations like cartooning, and songs, etc.? I have no ear for music
and am fond of saying that I don't know anything about art, I don't even
know what I like; but I know the literature experience backwards and
forwards. There is a *huge* advantage to literature and storytelling, in
that it allows us to benefit from other people's experience as if it were
our own, and to express what we've learned from our own experience, even
inarticulable things, in a direct and interesting fashion. It provides,
if you will, an artificial experience, breaks down the barriers between
minds (and particularly between the living and the dead). It's
frightening how many depressions I've read my way out of, how much better
I've arranged my life than I otherwise might have, thanks to the efforts
of Louisa May Alcott, Christopher Isherwood, Charlotte Bronte, and other
people with whom direct contact was impossible, and with whom I might not
have made any meaningful connection, even had I met them in the flesh.
In addition, art creates new thoughts. Surely we've all read (or seen or
listened to) something that made something click inside us, made us cry:
"So that's it!" Often the connection made is something the creator of
the responsible work never thought of, maybe even was incapable of
thinking; but you could not have thought of it without him. Art is not a
product of intelligence. It is the process of intelligence.
At least, that's how it works inside my brain. Not every brain has to
work like this, I don't suppose.