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Non Objective art

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#151
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Mystery arouses speculation, curiosity, anticipation; volition is involved with the action of seeking answers. I am inviting your discerning powers to make sense of something. Mystery is not an end, it is an invitation to greater discovery. I believe the image you discover is beautiful enough to reward the investment of your attention. The medium is beautiful, it is an expression of energy, it has a great deal to say about life in addition to the entity it is attributed to.

This is an aspect that I liked about your "Inkling" painting. To me, a painting like that has an implicit sense of fun. Also, it makes an implicit statement that the viewer is an intelligent being, capable of focus.

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#152
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The first gives me the feeling of energy, determination and action...
The second image gives me the feeling of serenity...

The artist and viewer project feelings onto the work. Some men like abstract art because it allows them to believe what they want to believe about it. It is important to differentiate that action as an act of volition as opposed to an act of Subjectivism.


But then when I point out that music, architecture and dance don't fit Rand's definition of art, suddenly the idea of sticking to definitions is not important, or we don't need to consider revising or refining the definition in the name of consistency and coherence. Suddenly its okay to live with contradictions, double standards and imprecise definitions.

If an Objectivist denies the validity of non-Objective art he has to live with contradictions, double standards and imprecise definitions, but if he is to accept the validity of non-Objective art he has to live with the contradictions, double standards and imprecise definitions of the art work....?
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#153
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But abstract visual art was rejected by Rand because she "said so." She was bored by it, she didn't feel anything while looking at it, and she found no meaning in it, and she ignored the fact that others do feel something and get meaning out of it.

I think Ayn Rand's problem with non-Objective art was the attempt of it's practitioners to eliminate man from the equation, to be meaningless and bore him on purpose, while at the same time calling into question his ability to judge. She probably did not detect the music she liked attempting to eliminate man from the equation, and would object to a school of music who's professed goal was to eliminate man.


Well, since you think that music is art, then I can only assume that you must agree that abstract visual art is also art, since it can “communicate” as much to me and millions of others as music did to Rand.

Ayn Rand had the same negative interpretation of certain types of music that she had with the non-Objective art she experienced. She rejected the notion that every noise and color is art, by establishing a hierarchy based on the values the work projected. At the time the practitioners of modern art had failed to translate the value of their work in a way that Rand could appreciate in the upper echelons of her hierarchy, certain musicians succeeded in doing so.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#154
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Thank you softwareNerd for your compliment.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#155
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The texture enhances the way one experiences the keys as a treasure. If the keys were like a photo it would no longer be art, it would be a picture of keys.



Here you acknowledge that the study of the attribute “texture” adds to the perception of the piece.

I like the beauty in painting of the keys, it says 'I have something worth protecting', but on a darker side keys are a necessity to keep thieves from stealing our property. Countless man hours are spent locking and unlocking doors, and looking for lost keys.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#156
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doesn't mean that he's rebelling against consciousness or whatever.

“or whatever” seems to be a marginalization of the value of consciousness, which is exactly what Ayn Rand claimed that non-Objective art was attempting to do.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#157
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Politically, I think Picasso and other Cubists were quite twisted, but that has nothing to do with whether or not their explorations of visual arts techniques have merit, and it isn't proof that their art is an act of rebellion against or disintegration of man's consciousness.

When millions of dollars are generated for communist organizations in the name of these artists the threat becomes more clear. It becomes necessary to understand the intentions of the artist who's work you are buying if you would like to avoid fueling your own destroyers. Still, aside from their personal views, I find value in studying their exploration of attributes, actions, and composition.

“Isn't proof against” is a double negative. How about proving that the exploration of visual art techniques, attributes, and actions can and do rationally integrate with man's consciousness.


-down to the rebellion against consciousness, expressed by a phenomenon such as Cubism which seeks specifically to disintegrate mans consciousness by painting objects as man does not perceive them(from many perspectives at once). -Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto, 31-32



Well, what about distortions of time? Man perceives existence chronologically. So, wouldn't it also be a "rebellion against consciousness" to create a work of art which includes any use of flashbacks or other distortions of time (as man does not perceive time)?

I perceive in certain works of Cubism the expression of time, movement, and the moment of deciding to make a volitional choice between many options, it interests me in my own work. It can visually symbolize the concentration of percepts into concepts with wider and wider abstractions. It also symbolizes the time saving advantages of multi-tasking. The disintegration comes into effect in particular works that make the entities involved appear at odds with the circumstance they are in. Disintegration also comes into effect when the artist used mind destroying chemicals to induce a state of disconnection with reality and then tried to translate that to the canvas. In these cases the intention of the artist is important in the analysis of the work.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#158
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A determinist might have a very positive view of the things that he believes mankind is destined to accomplish, and he might present an image of a man as fated to glory rather than defeat and despair.

The nature of determinism insinuates that man has no choice in the matter, determinism is a contradiction of volition, whether it is determined to be good or bad. Determinism marginalizes mans consciousness.


Well, Naturalism isn't essentially or necessarily deterministic, and determinism isn't necessarily a vision based in defeat or despair. You could say that she redefined both terms by non-essentials.

Consciousness is the “non-essential' you seem to be missing. If a Naturalist work has acts of volition in it, it is a Naturalist work with hints of Romanticism. In determinism why would a hero have to make any effort of his own if he is already determined by fate to accomplish great things?

If one has a foundation in objective thinking he can learn more about consciousness than he could if he approached it from a purely Subjectivist perspective. Subjectivism dismisses other viewpoints, by saying lets agree to disagree. Objectivism is an attempt to come to as universal an understanding as possible about a topic.

An intense focus in Man's consciousness is inherent in the creation, utilization and contemplation of the Architecture, and Music that Rand liked.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#159
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There is no sense in which looking at a painting is like learning a language.

In order to create art, I do think of recognizing attributes and actions of art as part of the development of a visual language. Some Objectivists do themselves a disservice by avoiding or discarding the contemplation of attributes and actions of art.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#160
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In regard to the Luc Travers video and the painting of Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien-Lepage

I don't see the three figures as angels, I think of them as driving forces in her own consciousness; her grief, her longing for goodness, and her longing for retribution. They are attached to the home she wishes to defend. Maybe she invented the story about the Angels to justify her volitional choice to move forward with a plan that she knew could lead to being burned at the stake, but her convictions were worth that risk.

Edited by Tenderlysharp, 25 June 2011 - 09:46 AM.

"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#161
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Approaching Objectivism as though it is out to suppress joy in art is not a productive path to take on either side of an argument. An Objectivist values feeling, he just wants you to know where your feeling is coming from.




"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#162
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In order to create art, I do think of recognizing attributes and actions of art as part of the development of a visual language. Some Objectivists do themselves a disservice by avoiding or discarding the contemplation of attributes and actions of art.

I would agree. Creating art is not the same kind of mental work as viewing art, and the artist's perspective is not the same as a non-artist's. Being an Objectivist or not is not the issue, but simply a person's level of interest in the process of creating art. Most people are not artists.

Regarding your earlier comment on how some modern art appears to study some attributes in isolation, that could well be the artist's perspective at work. Modern art is art for artists. There are keyboard exercises for learning piano that have a similar relation to actual music.

#163
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Being an Objectivist or not is not the issue, but simply a person's level of interest in the process of creating art. Most people are not artists.


I should have said Artists rather than Objectivists, or anyone with a vested interest in understanding all of the ways visual media can affect them.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#164
Jonathan13

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Objectivism vs. Subjectivism in art. Objectivist are weary of stepping onto the slippery slope of Subjectivism.


Objectivists don't seem to have any problem whatsoever accepting subjective art forms like music, architecture and dance which very clearly don't fit Rand's criteria for what is objective, or for what is art.


If you want an Objectivist to see what you see, you have to be able to objectively defend your assertion that it is there.


I've never seen any Objectivists "objectively defend" what they assert is in works of music, architecture and dance.


To show there is objectively something that exists in the artwork or music, something that is there whether every viewer sees it or not, it has to be communicated and defined in a proper context.


The problem is that when I point to something that exists in an abstract artwork, such as, say, subdued tones, soft forms, and lack of dramatic contrasts, etc., and I then inform Objectivists of what those features add up to and mean to me, they tell me that I'm "rationalizing" and "just making stuff up" and "saying whatever subjectively pops into my head."


Subjectivism is a tool used to avoid value judgments, and an attempt to get out of being held accountable for mistakes.


I think it's rational and objective to recognize that some judgments are subjective: Music is not objectively intelligible. Architecture, as an art form, works in exactly the same way that abstract sculpture does. It has expressiveness without being directly representational or mimetic. We each respond to works of music and architecture differently, and get different meanings out of them. That's what subjectivity means -- as Rand said about music, we can't clearly tell which aspects of our aesthetic experiences are in the work, and which are contributed by our consciousness. That's the nature of those art forms -- they are a mix of objectivity and subjectivity, and the attempt to "objectify" the subjective aspects of one's judgments is just as mistaken as attempting to deny the objective aspects of others' judgments.


Subjectivism is a tool people use to get out of the effort it takes to present an objective case for the source of their feelings. Subjectivism has been a tool man has used to escape the oppression of the whims of mysticism.


I think a better case could be made for the idea that oppression has resulted from people trying to claim the objectivity of their subjective opinions. People who come from the mindset of absolute objective certainty (and from the unwarranted assumption of the objective superiority of their own aesthetic tastes and sensitivities) are more likely to impose their views on others, primarily because they've somehow convinced themselves that their own subjective whims are not subjective whims but "universal objective truths," and that everyone else is irrational and in need of correction.


If Ayn Rand could have projected the ideal man better in music or visual art than she did with words she might have chosen them as her vocation. Existence, Identity, Consciousness, Reason, Self-esteem, Purpose, Volition, Choice, Decision, Freedom, Communication, Values, Virtue, Morality, Fair Trade, Productivity, Justice, Accountability, The Pursuit of Happiness, Investment, Standards, Incentive, Ambition... The more concepts pertaining to consciousness a piece of work can express the better the work of art.


That's not the Objectivist position. A work of art can express the exact opposite of the values that you listed, as well as express very few concepts pertaining to consciousness, and still be judged a great work of art according to Objectivism. Objectivism does not tie aesthetic judgments to the moral rightness or wrongness of the work.


Ayn Rand found some music that gave her a sense of a projection of the ideal man, she did not find it in most music, nor in modern art, but in Objective Epistemology she did leave all definitions open to be expanded on in the future if an objective criteria could be developed.


I disagree. She only left room for future discoveries or definitional expansion in regard to the art forms that she liked.


She wrote the Romantic Manifesto for herself. She was not primarily a visual artist, nor a musician...


My understanding is that not only was she "not primarily a visual artist, nor a musician," but that she wasn't a visual artist or musician at all.


...she left these fields open for others to develop...


When reading her comments on visual art, I don't get the impression that she was leaving anything open to future devolopment. She doesn't come across to me as someone who admits that she's not an expert on the subject, but as someone with very set opinions and a desire to assume the position of teacher rather than student or unbiased, objective philosophical investigator.


...but her philosophy is geared toward avoiding the rational disintegration of Subjectivism.


And yet her philosophy accepts non-objective art forms like music, architecture and dance.


If Subjectivism is allowed and/or necessary in art why is it not acceptable in all of the other fields of existence?


Must something be acceptable in all fields in order for it to be acceptable in some? Rand said that until a conceptual vocabulary of music is identified, we must treat our musical tastes as a subjective matter. Why is that acceptable?


An Objectivist says “I have not discovered a reason to find this valuable.” If it is valuable to you, and you want an Objectivist to value it, it is necessary to present a reasoned argument for your case. How effective will an attempt to get Objectivists to accept Subjectivism be?


I think you're looking at things backwards. Your mindset seems to be that Objectivists are right by default, and that it is the responsibility of others to convince them of their differing views. You seem to have somehow promoted Objectivists to the position of judge and jury. I see things the opposite way: If Objectivists wish to convince the population of the world that they should value Objectivists' views on art, then they had better offer some reasoned arguments for their case, and they had better address the Objectivist Esthetics' blatant contradictions and inconsistencies.

So, my goal is not to convince Objectivists of what they should value. I'm only interested in getting Objectivists to be philosophically consistent when it comes to aesthetics. I'm asking them to reconsider the double standards that they use when it comes to the issue of "re-creation" and intelligibility in art -- they can't objectively identify any meaning in abstract paintings, so they claim that such paintings are not art, but when I show them that they also can't objectively identify any meaning in music, architecture and dance, and often times in very realistic paintings such as still lifes, they still assert that those things are nevertheless art. It's quite irrational, contradictory and subjectively whimsical -- and all in the name of alleged "objectivity."

J

Edited by Jonathan13, 28 June 2011 - 03:37 PM.


#165
Jonathan13

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I think Ayn Rand's problem with non-Objective art was the attempt of it's practitioners to eliminate man from the equation, to be meaningless and bore him on purpose, while at the same time calling into question his ability to judge. She probably did not detect the music she liked attempting to eliminate man from the equation, and would object to a school of music who's professed goal was to eliminate man.


Which of abstract art's practitioners sought to "eliminate man from the equation, to be meaningless and bore him on purpose, while at the same time calling into question his ability to judge"? I know of none who had those goals. From what I've read of their ideas, they sought to improve mankind's spirit, to give him greater meaning, and to refine and enhance his ability to judge.


Ayn Rand had the same negative interpretation of certain types of music that she had with the non-Objective art she experienced. She rejected the notion that every noise and color is art, by establishing a hierarchy based on the values the work projected. At the time the practitioners of modern art had failed to translate the value of their work in a way that Rand could appreciate in the upper echelons of her hierarchy, certain musicians succeeded in doing so.


Not true. The practitioners of modern art had not failed to translate the value of their work in a way that Rand could have appreciated if she had read their ideas. Kandinsky was quite clear and objective on the subject 60 years before Rand had anything to say about it. The fact that she wasn't aware of his arguments, which are quite famous, reveals how little she knew about the subject of what abstract artists valued or hoped to achieve. She misidentified their motives.

J

#166
Jonathan13

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“or whatever” seems to be a marginalization of the value of consciousness, which is exactly what Ayn Rand claimed that non-Objective art was attempting to do.


My use of "or whatever" was simply meant to signify that artists were not rebelling against consciousness or whatever other unjustified accusations Rand made against them without knowing anything about them or their actual ideas.

J

#167
Jonathan13

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“Isn't proof against” is a double negative.


Well, then it's a good thing that I didn't say “Isn't proof against.”


How about proving that the exploration of visual art techniques, attributes, and actions can and do rationally integrate with man's consciousness.


That's exactly what abstract art theorists have done, and it's exactly what I've done on this and many other threads here. Any proof that I offer is usually automatically rejected as "rationalizing" and "just making stuff up." When I happen to know certain things from having studied art and worked for a few decades as a visual artist, and I share them with Objectivists who know next to nothing about the subject, I'm apparently taken as a threat to their belief system, or to their inflated images of themselves, and therefore my proof is rejected immediately as Evil Anti-Objectivism. And that's true of realist aesthetic issues in addition to abstract ones -- if I support my views with a discussion on the science of perspective with Ifat, for example, I'm accused of "making stuff up" and of opposing Objectivism.

J

#168
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In determinism why would a hero have to make any effort of his own if he is already determined by fate to accomplish great things?


Because he's been determined to make the effort? Anyway, my point was simply that all determinists do not believe the same things. Not all of them sit around believing that they are fated to failure and misery.


If one has a foundation in objective thinking he can learn more about consciousness than he could if he approached it from a purely Subjectivist perspective. Subjectivism dismisses other viewpoints, by saying lets agree to disagree. Objectivism is an attempt to come to as universal an understanding as possible about a topic.


From my perspective, it often seems that the goal of certain Objectivists is to assert that their opinions and judgments are "objective" where anyone who has a differing opinion is "subjective." And the more adamant a person is about the alleged objectivity and superiority of his aesthetic tastes and judgments, the more likely it seems to be that he'll actually turn out to know very little about art, and be hilariously, blunderingly inept at interpreting it. The Dunning–Kruger effect, basically.


An intense focus in Man's consciousness is inherent in the creation, utilization and contemplation of the Architecture, and Music that Rand liked.


And an intense focus in Man's consciousness is inherent in the creation, utilization and contemplation of many other manmade products, but that doesn't make them art by Rand's criteria. Rand's view was that art must "re-create reality" and that it must present objectively intelligible subjects and meanings. Music, architecture and dance don't meet her criteria any more than abstract art does, or, put conversely, abstract art is no less valid by Objectivist criteria than music, architecture and dance.

J

#169
Tenderlysharp

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Because he's been determined to make the effort? Anyway, my point was simply that all determinists do not believe the same things. Not all of them sit around believing that they are fated to failure and misery.

“Volition” is essential in understanding Objectivism. Determinism is a force that is outside the control of a Man. He can generate a volitional determination, but that is not the same thing as being determined by fate. Whether for good or bad determinism takes the choice away from the man. Volition and Determinism are not compatible. At any point a man must be free to choose because man's consciousness is volitional.



"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#170
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Freedom of speech allows Subjectivists to call anything they want art. Objectivists will not stop you or censor you from claiming that Non-Objective Art is Art, but why do you expect them to agree with you? Why is it so important to come to an Objectivist forum and tell Objectivists that their objective criteria for art is subjective, when you don't seem to fully understand the objective elements they are basing their perspective on? If you did fully understand you might present Modern art in a more objective way rather than trying to impose subjectivity onto it.

You say art is subjective. Why? Because abstract art makes you feel what John Gault made Ayn Rand feel? But, does abstract art mean what John Gault means?

Why is Ayn Rand's appraisal of certain types of Music, certain types of Dance, certain types of Architecture, certain types of Writing, certain types of Painting, certain types of Sculpture, higher than her appraisal of non-objective art?


Metaphysics—the science that deals with the fundamental nature of reality—involves man’s widest abstractions. It includes every concrete he has ever perceived, it involves such a vast sum of knowledge and such a long chain of concepts that no man could hold it all in the focus of his immediate conscious awareness. Yet he needs that sum and that awareness to guide him—he needs the power to summon them into full, conscious focus.

That power is given to him by art.

The Romantic Manifesto “The Psycho-Epistemology of Art,” 19.


Edited by Tenderlysharp, 29 June 2011 - 10:09 PM.

"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

#171
Jonathan13

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Freedom of speech allows Subjectivists to call anything they want art.


Freedom of speech also allows students of Objectivism to falsely assert that their subjective tastes and subjective aesthetic responses are "objective."


Objectivists will not stop you or censor you from claiming that Non-Objective Art is Art...


Actually, Objectivists WILL and HAVE stopped or censored me for expressing views that they disagree with. The only places I've ever been moderated or banned for politely expressing opinions is in Objectivist fora. It's happened a lot, including here. Objectivists don't have a good track record of being able to deal with informed dissenting opinions.


...but why do you expect them to agree with you?


I expect them to agree with me because they value rationality, and they hate contradictions and double standards. What should an Objectivist do when confronted with a contradiction or double standard? Should she bury her head in the sand? No, she should recognize it and resolve it, right? That's what I'm asking Objectivists to do with the contradictions and double standards in the Objectivist Esthetics.


Why is it so important to come to an Objectivist forum and tell Objectivists that their objective criteria for art is subjective...


I have not told Objectivists that their objective criteria for art are subjective. I've told them that their subjective judgments are subjective, and that those judgments won't magically become objective just by calling them "objective." There are no objective criteria for music, dance and architecture. If you disagree, then please identify the criteria. Show me where Rand or any other Objectivist identified "conceptual vocabularies" or other clearly defined objective criteria for judging those art forms.


...when you don't seem to fully understand the objective elements they are basing their perspective on?


Which objective elements have they based their perspective on? When I ask them to objectively identify subjects and meanings in works of art, and to support their judgments by referring to the content in the art, they don't -- or can't -- do so. It doesn't matter if it's music, architecture, or even realist paintings. They have a very hard time identifying anything conceptual in almost any work of art, other than Rand's novels.


If you did fully understand you might present Modern art in a more objective way rather than trying to impose subjectivity onto it.


Have you read my posts here? I've done practically nothing but present modern art in an objective way!

I'm not "imposing" subjectivity on anything. I'm rationally identifying the fact that people's objective judgments are objective, but that their subjective judgments are subjective. Objectivists' subjective judgments don't become objective just because they scream and holler that they're objective.


You say art is subjective.


Actually my view is that our judgments of art are a mixture of objectivity and subjectivity.

Here's an idea: Will you give me an example of a purely objective judgment of a work of art, one which follows Rand's stated method of objective aesthetic judgment? I've never seen one. All of the aesthetic judgments that I've seen people make, including Rand, have contained a lot of subjective tastes, preferences and interpretations.

Anyway, why are you avoiding addressing the substance of my comments on Rand's recognition that there are no Objective criteria of aesthetic judgment of music? Why are you not addressing the issue that Objectivism accepts architecture as an art form despite holding the position that it "does not recreate reality"?


Why? Because abstract art makes you feel what John Gault made Ayn Rand feel? But, does abstract art mean what John Gault means?


To whom? To some people, certain works of abstract art mean much more than what John Galt means to them. Does it anger you that others value art that you don't, or that they don't value art that you do?


Why is Ayn Rand's appraisal of certain types of Music, certain types of Dance, certain types of Architecture, certain types of Writing, certain types of Painting, certain types of Sculpture, higher than her appraisal of non-objective art?


In the above, you've included music, dance and architecture among the types of art against which you contrast "non-objective art." Music, dance and architecture are themselves "non-objective," at least by Objectivist standards, and they will remain being non-objective until you or anyone else clearly identifies objective, universal "conceptual vocabularies" for them.

Anyway, to answer your question, basically, I think that Rand appraised certain works of art higher than others because she liked them. Certain works of art made her feel exaltation, where others apparently made her feel disgust (or perhaps made her feel nothing), and she seems to have then jumped to the conclusion that her interpretations were the "correct" and "objective" interpretations, and that anyone who was rational and had a proper "sense of life" would interpret and respond to each work of art just as she did.


Ayn_Rand said:

Metaphysics—the science that deals with the fundamental nature of reality—involves man’s widest abstractions. It includes every concrete he has ever perceived, it involves such a vast sum of knowledge and such a long chain of concepts that no man could hold it all in the focus of his immediate conscious awareness. Yet he needs that sum and that awareness to guide him—he needs the power to summon them into full, conscious focus.

That power is given to him by art.

The Romantic Manifesto “The Psycho-Epistemology of Art,” 19.


Paul Guyer says that Kant believed something quite similar:

...Kant now emphasizes that we are sensuous as well as rational creatures, and therefore need sensuous as well as rational presentation and confirmation of the conditions of the possibility of morality. He explicitly acknowledges this three years after the Critique of the Power of Judgment, when in Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason he asserts "the natural need of all human beings to demand for even the highest concepts and grounds of reason something that the senses can hold on to, some confirmation from experience or the like" (RBMR, 6:109). In Kant's mind, the deepest connection between aesthetic and teleological experience and judgment is that both give us sensuous images of morality and a feeling of its achievability that can supplement and strengthen our purely — but also merely — rational insight into its demands and the possibility of our fulfilling them.

...Kant's interest in aesthetic phenomena is precisely his view that the freedom of the imagination that we experience in our encounter with beautiful objects can give us a feeling of the reality of the freedom of the will that we can only postulate within purely moral reasoning, and the natural existence of beauty can give us a feeling that nature is hospitable to the achievement of our moral goals as well, again something we can only postulate in the moral theory of the highest good — aesthetic feelings with an emotional impact that can support the effect of pure reason upon our sensible side.


J

Edited by Jonathan13, 30 June 2011 - 02:36 PM.


#172
Tenderlysharp

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Anyway, why are you avoiding addressing the substance of my comments on Rand's recognition that there are no Objective criteria of aesthetic judgment of music? Why are you not addressing the issue that Objectivism accepts architecture as an art form despite holding the position that it "does not recreate reality"?


Because they take time to think about and time to answer, which I am attempting to do, while at the same time I am trying to understand what exactly you are missing. Why are you avoiding the substance of my comments?
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

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Jonathan13

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Because they take time to think about and time to answer, which I am attempting to do, while at the same time I am trying to understand what exactly you are missing.


Why do assume that I'm missing something? Is it even a possibility in your mind that the Objectivist Esthetics is missing something?


Why are you avoiding the substance of my comments?


Which of your comments do you believe I haven't addressed? I thought that I had been thorough in responding to the comments of yours which are relevant to the topic of this thread, but if I've missed something, please point it out and I'll do my best to answer it.

J

#174
Tenderlysharp

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Objectivists don't seem to have any problem whatsoever accepting subjective art forms like music, architecture and dance which very clearly don't fit Rand's criteria for what is objective, or for what is art.

Objectivists do have a problem accepting subjectivism in any cognitive function. When Ayn Rand writes about having to treat music subjectively it can't be taken out of the context of the 15 pages of objective analysis on music, nor out of the context of her entire approach to existence. It has to be treated subjectively until there is a conceptual language for it, which she believed was possible only after an immense amount of physiological and psychological research.

Saying that Non-Objective art is just as subjective as Ayn Rand's taste in music is different than saying Non-objective art may have a "not yet defined" objective base similar to that of music.


I've never seen any Objectivists "objectively defend" what they assert is in works of music, architecture and dance.

If you read Atlas Shrugged, you did see it, but you didn't understand it.


The problem is that when I point to something that exists in an abstract artwork, such as, say, subdued tones, soft forms, and lack of dramatic contrasts, etc., and I then inform Objectivists of what those features add up to and mean to me, they tell me that I'm "rationalizing" and "just making stuff up" and "saying whatever subjectively pops into my head."

This is why I brought up projection in my post: http://forum.objecti...60 In order to differentiate what man projects onto the work, from what the work Objectively shows.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics

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I think it's rational and objective to recognize that some judgments are subjective: Music is not objectively intelligible. Architecture, as an art form, works in exactly the same way that abstract sculpture does. It has expressiveness without being directly representational or mimetic. We each respond to works of music and architecture differently, and get different meanings out of them. That's what subjectivity means -- as Rand said about music, we can't clearly tell which aspects of our aesthetic experiences are in the work, and which are contributed by our consciousness. That's the nature of those art forms -- they are a mix of objectivity and subjectivity, and the attempt to "objectify" the subjective aspects of one's judgments is just as mistaken as attempting to deny the objective aspects of others' judgments.

This passage suggests that you do not have clear definitions in your mind regarding:
Subjectivism: http://aynrandlexico...bjectivism.html
Objectivity: http://aynrandlexico...bjectivity.html


I think a better case could be made for the idea that oppression has resulted from people trying to claim the objectivity of their subjective opinions. People who come from the mindset of absolute objective certainty (and from the unwarranted assumption of the objective superiority of their own aesthetic tastes and sensitivities) are more likely to impose their views on others, primarily because they've somehow convinced themselves that their own subjective whims are not subjective whims but "universal objective truths," and that everyone else is irrational and in need of correction.

In the previous passage you said Subjectivity is a good thing, now you say it isn't?

Assuming Objectivism is out to oppress you disregards all of the tenants of Objective ethics. Freedom of speech, volition, individualism, consciousness. Disagreeing with you is not the same as oppressing you.

The nominalist school begins, with empiricist humility, by negating the power of consciousness to from any valid generalizations about existence-and ends up with a subjectivism that requires no sanction, a consciousness freed from the “tyranny” of reality.
Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Pg 54


Subjectivism has been used as a defense against the whims of mysticism and the whims of society, by making the whims of the individual supreme. It is an attempt to save the individual from the burden of oppression, but it also shelters him from the 'burden' of achieving reason and moral certainty. It takes an immense amount of volitional effort for an individual to figure out why Objectivism disagrees. A wealth information has been supplied in Ayn Rand's writings, and no one can give that to you but yourself. I scratch the surface of it here, but you seem to disregard key elements as unimportant.
"Man, the highest living species on this earth- the being whose consciousness has a limitless capacity for gaining knowledge-man is the only living entity born without any guarantee of remaining conscious at all. Man's particular distinction from all other living species is the fact that his consciousness is volitional" - Ayn Rand - The Objectivist Ethics


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