Monday, August 1, 2011

Art And Reality

We need men who can dream of things that never were.

President John Kennedy
Whenever I experience an original work of art I want to be astonished. Whether it's a song, a dance, a picture or a story, I want the artist to take me someplace I've never been before, somewhere beyond knowledge, beyond my knowledge. I want to see even more perceptively than ever a challenge to the so-called authority of realism. I want existence redefined for me. I want to see a new world, or an old world in a new place. I want to see the stars rearranged. I want to see something that has never been become a reality.

Is such art possible? Or is it something beyond art? A new art perhaps. Will it be possible some day for an artist to eliminate the technically limited and create purely from imagination, to make the image become reality by the imagining of it? William James wrote "Human beings by changing the inner attitudes of their minds can change the outer aspects of their lives."

If so it could only be done by someone pure and innocent who can imagine only the beautiful and true. Such a one would be an ubermensch of an artist. I believe it is not outside of the realm of possibility.

As an artist I know, as every artist knows, there are moments when the creative process seems to be going on by itself, when the artist is merely an observer of it. Those are the moments when I feel that there is another character, another intelligence at work and it is between imagination and the art, having freed itself from the middle man, me, the artist, At those times it is interesting to ponder who or what is the real artist. the real creator.

Now ponder what that same mysterious process would be like in the realms of nation building, invention, exploration and discovery. That is a question that has puzzled some inspired philosophers over the years. Do we believe what we see or do we see what we believe? Is reality what we think it is or does it become what we think it is? And is it possible to change the reality we see, creating a new reality by how we imagine it. This all may seem like the stuff of science fiction, but so was going to the moon a few decades ago.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Never give up

It's a long, hot, sticky summer, so here's a hot, sticky question for you. Don't let the recent New York State decision rob you of your thunder.

Same sex marriage. Should it be legal or not? If so, why? If not, why not?

13 answers so far.

You have until the last day of summer, but don't dally.
I eagerly await your answer.


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