Philosophy: ART OBJECTS

Art Objects as a modal realism

The sections take on the big question relating to art objects. The first section surveys a key influence from early modern philosophy. A turn in ontological realism came around the turn of the twenth century. However, it is new theories of mind influenced by quantum emergence that impact the conception of outdoor art as a genera. The indoor gallery is moving out into a plethora of substitutes that has similarities to classic outdoor art.

Early modernist philosophy primer for surveying art objects.

The article initially introduces early modern philosophy from the main blog, Outdoor art, introduction. This further analysis is in part due to the enduring appeal the this classic mechanistic world view that at the time replaced the classic Roman/Greco Aristotelian concept of objects. A paradigm shift gave way to relativity, and with that modernism. There are articles that go into philosophical issues that modernism bring up, and those are linked to throughout this article.

Philosophy of aesthetic functionalism

Substance functionalism and early modern philosophy.

The question being, could an art object be distinguished from general things? It is from ‘real essences’ things are known through primary and secondary qualities (introductory article). However real essences are abstractions, and what makes an object distinct and discreate is the object has nominal essences. It is these nominal essences that are mind dependent, and therefore have modes of distinct categories.

Objects that are nominal essences

Objects acquire human definitions are nominal essences. These definitions are super mental entities allowing people to communicate that which is apart from the nature of the objects real essence. So for Locke we should be sceptical about our ability to know the real nature of ordinary things. However human perception requires distinct and meaningful objects. So using the clock analogy. It has an internal structure known by the maker who knows its real essence, but not necessarily by the user of the device. The example Locke gives is of a ‘gazing country man’ who marvels at a grand clock towers appearance, but not its internal workings. This is what Locke thought of how humans understand general discreate objects.

Solidity and modes as a method to view the art object.

So for Locke to know ordinal objects required some way to go beyond the primary qualities and secondary qualities of things. That is an objects real essences render objects as unknowable. The analogy given is a clock maker. The clock maker knowns the internal working of the clock better than a staring country man. Locke refers to solidity of objects as a general object of knowledge that at the time praised Newton for a theory of attraction of solid objects.

Early modernist world view from atomist perspective.

The question of what sort of knowledge holds as empirically valid about general appearances has an implicit impact on the art object and if it could even exist outside as a entity. The shelter contains aesthetical things of value which are framed, or placed on some familiar structure. Locke thought this had to do with geometry as a measure of human knowledge.

It is because we know the real essences of geometrical figures that that subject consists of ‘certain and universal knowledge’ obtained by a priori intuition or demonstration. But we do not know the real essences of the substances of natural philosophy, so all that we can do is to observe and list their properties, and form only beliefs and opinions about them.

The Empiricists. R.S. Woolhouse

Early modernism Empiricism and outdoor art.

A set of universals, such as geometry, and sense phenomenon, such as colour, can be known. However, these universals make little sense when applied to discrete objects. So, nominal essences give the art object its particular properties. These properties become vague as they refer to entities outside the human sphere of influence, and it is this where outside art sets itself as a vague object of knowledge.

What further articles survey early modernism.

Nature of consciousness and art objects further extends Locke’s account of modes that seeks out certain discourses around formalism, as well as Descartes substance dualism that concludes that art is for Descartes about truth, so well suited for the media age of photo journalism. (article still being compiled for publication)

Tropical abstract compositional art as a formalism from early modernism epistemology.

Outdoor art is akin to a form of metaphysics that translates into the particular order in the modernist system. It many well pertain to a tropical metaphysics that I discuss further in the philosophy of modal realism. The sense of being within a complex tropical system renders the art object as a abstract art form. The role of finding profound representations of any system maybe the role of artist as distinct from the technical roles within manufacture.

The search for the profound is akin to a teleological role of consciousness shared by all humans which makes all humans natural artists as meaning makers and conveyers of forms of truth through reason.

This search for truth as an art object may be a conscious by-product of the macro universe, and so an intrinsic abstract impulse shared by all humans.

The moving image and digital modernity.

Multi compositional art forms

Projection of self

The depiction of projected graphics images on CBD structures and the urban raw is an example of the moving image supervening on city environments. The genera of street and urban photography is a great example where the enthusiast can engage in a grassroots sense with urban renewal through photography. There are various photographic methods for this though my favourite is exploring compositional potentials through the use of various camera angles so as to best place the print within a mixed media context for compositional art..

International travel as philosophical idealism.

Intentional states

  • Essentialist point of self reference for art production.
  • Situationist materialist approach to composition.
  • Intentionality as unitary or multi layered modal (could be that).
  • Intentionality supervenes art object.
Graphic image that illustrates the theory of a multi compositional art object

Ashram art, India

What has this to do with my art practice?

Since returning from my 2004 travels through India I took up sculpture that produced artforms influenced by certain philosophical schools from the sub continent.

The context of art denotes the pursuit of humanistic concerns  through outdoor art. It is because of this constrained perspective the overview takes only a small section that I have personally encountered in greater and lesser degrees of participation since 1984

Artistic mobilization for outdoor art communities

The sculpture and outdoor art in general are influenced by the following inter cultural factors.

  • reformist Hindu movements
  • have a strong international following, as within Osho commune
  • Affiliated with United Nations as do the Brahma Kumaris
  • advocate forms of ego transcendence through meditation, as a methodology of Ramana
  • art in a liberal sense of free expression to integrate personal identity over time. as Aurobindo

Modes of artistic activity

Neo transcendentalism through art

A feature most prominent in the groups I encountered from 1984 up to 2018 is a commitment to transcend the standard ways of thinking and perceiving a person. I explore this notion in the article A sculptural odyssey. This is where the idea of a soul as the animate feature of the human animal takes on ascriptive resemblances to a stone sculpture. The act of sculpting the icon gives the inanimate stone a animate soul like property through name and form. What is new about this in a modern capitalist phase of industrial production is the art as a mode of production that also acts as a humanistic pursuit for transcendence from the animate into the icon’s vision. 

What is angular momenta?

Artworks as particles

The intentionality of these works

There is a philosophical impulse to this project. It is the theory of extending memory as art object from a locale. It theorizes modes of semantic associations. There is an association between marks. Each mark projecting into a possible world. This depicts by the angular nature the artwork. The assemblage ascribes its positionality where the momenta is a position in relation to the anchor points. An anchor point on the periphery of a boundary acts as a space time, or box type universe. The box is a simple monad structure resembling a poverty of complexity but not profoundly interesting to observe.

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Art of Personal identity.

The following account is based on Derek Parfit theory of identity known as the teletransportation paradox. Parfit being the master of the art of personal identity par excellence.

  • Personal identity suggests the same person who begins the art work project is the same person who finished the artwork, therefore the author of the artwork .
  • Personal identity suggests travel over distance entails the sameness of identity at the beginning to end.
  • These accounts suggest a philosophical bias to the ego theory of what it is to be a person.

Ego theory verses Bundle theory

  • person persists as a mental thing- a soul, or spirit
  • a person is a material thing but has a supervening series of mental states or events- a person, social identity.

Art object as ego or bundle theory

  • art object as contingent on either a soul/spirit or a series of mental events
  • art object persists as a reflection of a soul so exists as a statement of soul
  • art object persists as a social event attributed to a persons life phase

Artist belief and unbelief

Suppose an artist entered a workshop sealed off from any outside interference as an artist pod. The artist then presses a button that sets off a quantum scanner that records all brain states and cellular structure attributed to the creative process. The belief is a new art project. Hopefully, an outcome will be an artwork to be exhibited at a central gallery. Your choice as an artist is to either believe in the ego theory or bundle theory. You begin to work on the block of marble.

Thought experiment

However, unbeknown to the artist a replica of that artist , the scan produces a replica. Replica begins at the same instant in another art pod at the opposite pole position on earth. The outcome of the resultant artworks is identical in all visible respects. Question being , can an artwork be ascribed to one and only one artist? (The account is a reworking of the teletransportation paradox thought experiment)

Comparing the ego theory to bundle theory as to teletransportation paradox.

  • ego theorist might say there are two bodies but one original ego/soul.
  • therefore one artwork attributed to one and only on ego/soul
  • bundle theorist might say, there are to identical sets of physical and mental process.
  • therefore there must be two artworks attributed to two sets of physical/mental process operating in distinct spacial categories.

Will the artwork be yours?

So on the first account the artwork must be yours. There would be no doubt of originality that even if the two works had been swapped by the gallery staff. However on the second account it becomes less clear. Arguably there are two distinct artworks that look the same but attributed to distinct persons with their reasons.

The nature of time and art

A notion of past present and future seems simple to understand. I exist at a present though my memories are of past, while my intentions are about possible future states of affairs. The self exists within modernity as a vague cultural object. The artworks presented ostensibly represent this process, as the fish moves into the future, leaving its past behind depicted on the other side of the plate. The present being the ridge joining the two sides.

“THE ARROW OF TIME”

UNKNOWN AUTHOR

An A theory or time and the B theory of time.

This relates simple to a couple of theories of time. The A theory simply places time as a past, present and future states, where as the B theory of time places a before and after as the only relevant states to explain time.

So what has this to do with creating a tangible artform. The methodology of a theory of time will have a profound impact on the sort of artform. The A theory of time is more in line with a humanist approach to nature whereas the B theory of time is akin to the scientific view of nature. The classic analogy is the rationalist figurative approach that resembles the neo classic refinement placing the human form at the centre of the universe followed by Romanticism that place the human within a turbulent natural world. The modernist phase really took all figurative elements apart leaving a before and after series of events that aligns with the B theory of time.