I find this discussion extremely interesting -- and indeed I wish I
could be a more eloquent speaker on the subject -- here goes anyway.
I'll start with just a critique -- just to form my thoughts -- read
between the lines, please
On 9-aug-2005, at 6:33, Eryk Salvaggio wrote:
> Hi Joe,
> I would challenge the idea that there is no physical manifestation
> of even the most purely conceptual art. If it can be recieved by
> another person, then it has a medium. The only completely
> conceptual piece, then, is an idea no one talks about.
And I'd say the "talking about it" is what makes a work of art
culturally important -- think about how much is said about
Michelangelo's David on a daily basis. You might retort that there
could be important works that nobody talks about -- that would indeed
mean that these works have conceptual, ie unrealised, importance.
These works might not be talked about YET. Undiscovered. Or yet to be
> It would seem to me that you're advocating language into a
> particular corner here, with the idea that since words are the
> simplest and most direct form of elucidation we have at our
> disposal, then we should use language for that purpose, and art for
> purposes that extend beyond our linguistic landscape. I'll say
> that's a choice, though it's not a choice I make. I feel that
> whatever can be signified can be signified in an endless number of
> ways. You can write a play or a song about the same ideas, and
> signify them in a whole new way. But to dismantle or draw new
> connections between concepts is a real challenge, and this can be
> done through a reinvention of them, which is the role art plays in
> our brains.
> After all, an art object is still signifying, it's a stand in for
> something else, a representation of an emotion or idea or event.
But that's the main issue, isn't it? How do we know that art is a
representation? Language builds its own reality. Is there something
out there, or is it just us, talking?
> The idea of conceptual art, to elicit the response from the
> thoughts it evokes, instead of from an art object, is essentially
> the same thing once it gets behind our eyeballs. Whether it's
> flowing to the amygdala or the cerebral cortex depends more on the
> ideas within us already that are evoked by the piece, or the idea.
> I have had emotional responses to conceptual art; I've had
> intellectualized responses to physical art. Both are valid, and
> they are not mutually exclusive.
> It's clear you and I make different choices about what interests
> us, but I just wanted to step up to the plate and put in a defense
> of the conceptual side of things.
> ----- Original Message ----- From: <firstname.lastname@example.org
> To: <email@example.com
> Sent: Monday, August 08, 2005 9:04 PM
> Subject: RHIZOME_RAW: Re: Re: Regarding The
>> I just received an email regarding Charlotte's article, my
>> comments and Curt's additional support links.
>> Please post your comments here as this is what these boards are
>> for and it's more fun when we get to share. :)
>> To put my comments above more succinctly, ideas are ultimately
>> only capable of being broken down into smaller groups of words.
>> The clearest way to elucidate various word-groups (ideas) is to
>> use more words to attempt a further clarification.
>> That is why I am not creating an animated gif here to explain this
>> concept. A visual/sculptural/audio etc. "something" happening
>> here would be ridiculous in place of this simple explanation of my
>> When it comes to those things we can never clearly communicate
>> (justice, love, the religious impulse etc) we turn to the arts as
>> a higher form of communication than the mundanities of the 1=1
>> reasoning of facts that and the left brained prejudices that the
>> advent of language (particularly phonetic alphabets and
>> typography) created in our species.
>> The root of "Philosophy"is "Philos", LOVE!
>> The Philosophy of an Art that is purely "conceptual" is an
>> intellectual mistake. It says more about onanistic ritual-in which
>> the "realized" object becomes a fetish-than it does about the
>> potency of the artist in his/her ability to move the viewer.
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