Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thoughts on Art and Society

It seems that what makes something truly remarkable, or a great work of art, is when it
accomplishes one of the following: when something, seemingly complex, is done in a
beautifully simplistic way; A commonly accepted or known way of doing things is challenged
by a completely radical idea; or when a body of work is used to indirectly cause the same
conclusion to be drawn by anyone who sees it.

The common theme between the people who have created works of art throughout history, that
have then gone on to alter its path going forward, is the straddling of the line between
genius and insanity. Like Tesla says in the Prestige, "Society only tolerates one change at
a time." This is because one level of thought different is considered genius and is rushed
to acceptance, but extrapolating further passes the breaking point of acceptance for society
as a whole, requiring at least a generational change before society can be bent again to
accept it. Too radical an acceptance of change would allow a chaos beyond acceptable for
growth, which would put at risk the evolutionary growth achieved so far. In other words,
universally, preservation is preferred over growth since it prevents the current progress
from being jeopardized.

Another definition I've come up with for art, is that art is the right brain's science.
Diametrically opposed, the two are really the same, just so many can only seem to understand
one or the other. At a deeper level, it seems that humanity is constantly struggling to
better understand the world it inhabits, and does so incrementally through the passage of
time. This understanding is then shared through a medium, which catches the next generation
up to the level that the previous understood, so it can than carry the torch farther in the
future. This medium is classified as art or science based on how it appeals to the mind,
but in reality is still accomplishing the same task.

Extrapolating this out further, a way of looking at this is to say that the environment we
exist in, including the other humans outside of the singular one we perceive through, is
what is commonly referred to as "God". Our lives are a constant struggle to make peace with
God by finding a way of living that quenches our desire for greater understanding through a
channel that appeals to what suits our particular vessel's understanding.

Maybe the reason the human brain is so complicated is that no one brain is exactly the same
as any other. The unique connections that form constantly alter our way of perceiving the
world from everyone else's, making our understandings infinitely different. Only the
simplest concepts that can cut to the core are seen as appealing because of their universal
ability to communicate, despite the radical differences.

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