Monday, 24 April 2017

What is the point, again?

There's sudden bursts of energy, then they abruptly stop. Short, sharp shocks and incoherent statements that lead nowhere. What's he trying to do, doctor?

It's a reaction to information overload, and the inability to resolve the tension between emotional and cerebral response. He knows what he feels. He's trying to justify it.

So these outbursts are fragments of a systematic process?

Not yet, at least, I don't think so. But it is a processing of raw information, and an attempt to draw that information into line, making standards for analysis.

But where's it going to end?

Okay, I can pull together some of the threads. Here: he believes - knows, even - that the 'art' happens when the object meets the audience. Following Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, he sees quality as the experience of an object. In other words, the aesthetic moment defines the nature of the engagement.

I'm sorry, that isn't clear.

Sure: when an observer experiences an event, that point of contact is, at first, emotion. The observer makes an aesthetic response.

Like when I taste fish and either like it or don't?

That might work as a short term example. Let's see. All subsequent appreciation of the art object flows from that initial experience. Let's call it the star rating.

And all this further discussion is an attempt to explain the star rating?

Yes, what we call the review is actually the analysis of the initial opinion. But he can convince himself to like something by the application of standards. You can't enjoy the fish once you've spat it out...

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