Thursday, August 10, 2017

because he said so.

"when an artistic tradition reaches the point when literally "anything goes," those who want to be creative have a problem: there are no fixed rules to rebel against, no complacent expectations to shatter, nothing to subvert, no background against which to something that is both surprising and yet meaningful. it helps to *know* the tradition if you want to subvert it. that's why so few dabblers  or novices succeed in coming up with anything truly creative." (Daniel C. Dennett)


  1. Two problems with this. First, it presupposes the idea that 'meaningful' art is required to be a subversion of something traditional; it can be, but it's hardly a requirement. Second, the idea of "anything goes" is patent nonsense. Any artist understands that the first thing to do, in any artwork, is start setting up the limits, the boundaries, the restrictions. The majority of all artistic decisions are connected with what NOT to do, rather than the opposite. Herein lies freedom, imagination, and the possibility of art.

  2. not sure there is that supposition, but I think the point here is rather that surprise is possible without it having meaning, but this leads nowhere. just to shock people results in dullness, in my experience, rather than anything useful, or, in his words, "meaningful." "any artist" I was say might have been true for the majority of artists a long time ago, but the ones I have encountered in the last, say, 25-30 years this is not true. *almost* at all. I'm sure they are out there, but I don't see or hear of them.

    maybe it's just me.

    at any rate, this relates strongly to current efforts in the past construction of "'''''''" and now, "Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Own Head," which may or may not see the light of day depending on if someone has the fortitude to take it on as a production. you might also like to contrast this or even compare it with what Bennett/Gurdjieff has to say about "freedom."