Thursday, December 29, 2016

[Yasmin_discussions] serious discussion of STEAM

Dear Yasminers,

Julia Buntaine has expressed a very important idea in connection with
STEAM, and one which might constitute a Yasmin topic in and of itself:

>Additionally, there is the idea that restrictions and set limits
>(money, time, space, etc) actually breed creativity, because if all
>possibilities were open, where would creativity be?

Yes, as artists working with technology and science, we are excited
to have a seemingly unending supply of new tools and imagery; but
unless and until each of us have the discipline to focus on a
specific subset thereof, it is unlikely that we will be able to
exercise our creativity in some meaningful fashion -- and which for
many of us is synonymous with being able to create truly important
and memorable works of art -- as per the following series of propositions:

1. Although there is actually talk of "post-media" art (and I, for
one, am starting to be instantly suspicious of any term that begins
with "post"), one can argue that 99.9999% of humanity will continue,
as they have for the last one hundred thousand years, to understand
and respond to art as an engagement with some specific realm of
physical reality -- i.e., a medium! -- be it cords stretched across a
sounding board, or oil paint applied to a taut canvas, or wet plaster
built up over a wire armature.

2. An examination of a representative sample of works by great
artists will reveal, even beyond a preoccupation with a specific
medium, moments of intimacy with that medium which tend to be
inseparable from that which we experience as "art with a capital 'A'
", and in respect to which (and out of my embarrassment at belaboring
the obvious) I will offer but a single example: that apparent
slathering of wet plaster forming the visage of Giacometti's "Man
Pointing" [1] -- but which visage expresses not only an extraordinary
nobility, but also the sense of a gaze far, far into the future of our species.

3. It seems unlikely that such moments will occur often in the
practice of an artist who seeks to tame a circus-tent's worth of
technological wizardry; and it seems unlikely as well that such
circus-tent environments lend themselves to that which is a related
characteristic of great art: a sense of composition among and between
a definitive set of elements.



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