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Thread: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

  1. #11

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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    I'm not sure how much music theory one needs to love, lets say, classical music..
    I admit that I do not really understand classical music nearly as well as my classical musician friends. No, you certainly do not need theory to appreciate something, but I am absolutely certain that there is much about it that I am missing, and that was my point. There are layers and layers beyond what your endocrine system responds to. Most of us are at the "Gee, what a cute cat in that picture" level of understanding classical music.

    I never really got into jazz until a couple of years ago. I was very surprised to discover that many of the most popular jazz greats of the 50s and 60s had a solid foundation in music theory. Bill Evans? Yup. Miles Davis. Yup, Juilliard. Thelonius Monk arranged his most famous concert with the composition professor at Juilliard. It goes on and on. I ultimately was not surprised that the one sax player I couldn't get into at all was the most untrained of all of them, and it sounded that way, even to me.

    If by "elitist" you mean, as one definition has it "considered superior by others or by themselves, as in intellect, talent, power, " I don't have any problem with that. What I do have a problem is people who look down on other people who are smarter or better informed or more talented than them because it means they have to admit they themselves aren't the best--the glorification of ignorance, in short . . . . well, that's the commonest usage I see, unfortunately.
    Last edited by mdarnton; 21-Dec-2014 at 16:10.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  2. #12

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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    What I do have a problem is people who look down on other people who are smarter or better informed or more talented than them because it means they have to admit they themselves aren't the best--the glorification of ignorance, in short . . . . well, that's the commonest usage I see, unfortunately.
    But I think that the converse, looking down on others who may have not had your education, or experiences, or opportunities, is just as bad. And that is where I am afraid much of this thread takes me.

  3. #13
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Peter Lik = Michael Jackson's Thriller album (sold about 50 million copies, churned a lot of dollars), what might be the difference?

    Compair Micheal Jackson's Thriller album sales to the sales number of any recording Saint-SaŽns 3rd symphony. Michael Jackson sells millions, Saint-SaŽns sells a few ten-thousand and it would be considered very successful.

    Point being, in music as much as in the visual arts, requires some degree of learning, understanding and appreciation to discern the difference. This belief and attitude often comes off as elitist and snobby, yet there are very real humanistic reasons why one of these musical works has stood the test of time and the other has not.



    Bernice
    Oddly enough, I probably appreciate Saint-Saens more than Michael Jackson's thriller, because I have no natural rhythm and can't dance for sh!t. But I can lose myself in a lot of classical music. However, I know even less about classical music than I know about visual arts, and make no pretenses to being an expert in either. The point remains that I am not being fleeced if I buy a ticket for $125 to the local opera's production of Carmen, any more than I am being fleeced if I buy an abstract painting for $125 from a local artist that I don't 'get', just because I want to encourage him or her to continue. We do what we do for a lot of reasons, and the mixture of money and art is a particularly murky area.

  4. #14

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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    But I think that the converse, looking down on others who may have not had your education, or experiences, or opportunities, is just as bad. And that is where I am afraid much of this thread takes me.
    That's reasonable. I don't have anything to say about anyone else's taste until they try to push it on me or others. Me, I just try to stay aware that I don't know everything about everything, so I'm constantly trying to push my own limits outwards. But that's for my personal entertainment, nothing else.

    edit: What you object to is a two-edged sword, though: Intolerance goes in two directions. It's just as bad to look down on others who have had different education, experiences, or opportunities when those are more rather than just less. Take the post that just showed up below, for instance.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  5. #15
    Dominik
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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    Kitsch is great, kitsch is super Thomas Kincade and Lik are superb and this is not meant as a joke. I believe they are much more accomplished artists than say Pollock and Gursky imo. It's the same with music Michael Jackson was a great artist and the reason why I consider those three great artists is because the were able to bring happiness and beauty into people's homes. The work they created is neither deep nor very difficult to understand but that what makes them great they can be understood by everyone and not only an elite. People who buy a Kincade think that it's a beautiful piece of art they are happy with their choice. I think the biggest accomplishment for an artist is to give people a good feeling and to make them dream. The latter is the most important part art should make people dream and draw them in. Overly elitist or smart art makes people feel dumb or less worthy this is absolutely not something that should be encouraged. Artists of the Renaissance, Baroque and up to the early 20th century understood that and made art that could be understood by the little guys and have some mind games for the educated, and upper crust elitists. In the early 20th century something changed fundamentely art was not longer made to be understood by anyone other than the artist and a select few who could feel superior to the lesser human beings.

    P.S. I also appreciate art that makes people think or that is supposed to change society. But the whole art for the art clique is something I really dislike. BTW the language of images is well understood even by non educated people it's exactly the destruction of this language that has been in vogue for quiet some time.

  6. #16

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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    Art, in my view, is ultimately a signature.
    The economic value is driven by an artificial market.
    The making of Art pre-dates the earning of money.
    How much money did the painter who painted the cave paintings in France earn for his efforts?
    Getting back to the signature idea---what does Lik's photograph tell us about Lik and contemporary tastes?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    That alleged 6.5M incident is really in a different category, since that particular individual has zero credibility in the haute art world, which I pick on from time to time too. About all we learn from this is that money can't buy brains. And never ever underestimate the role of conspicuous consumption ... people keeping up
    appearances, even though they don't have any taste of their own and can't make decisions for themselves. That's what the interior decorators and art critics are for. In this frequently wealthy Bay area the different species of the obscenely rich are largely segregated: Old money with classical tastes (Atherton), New techie money generally with good taste (Woodside), and New money with no taste (Blackhawk - sports and entertainment celebs, drug importers)... and perhaps yet one more category a bit more dispersed, A few surviving rich 60's and 70's rock stars who are still seeing flashing colored lights but not much else.

  8. #18

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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    One example of how 5% of the audience really understands the music and performance can be found during the opening Gala of the San Francisco Symphony at Davies. This is where more than a few San Francisco patrons, socialites and related dressed up in their newest finery hang out at the open bar located on the mezzanine loading up on drinks just before the performance. This is THE place to be to be seen and noted as one of them.
    These folks do make major contributions to SSF allowing MTT to do what he does best and keeps the doors open and lights on at Davies and SSF playing performances much of the year.

    Solti knowing this gap in musical appreciation and understanding worked with Dudley Moore to produce a program to help those interested to gain an better understanding of classical music in a way that is very approachable, fun and educational. This work, Orchestra! can be found as a video on various video media today.
    http://www.amazon.com/Solti-Orchestr.../dp/B000T9QFAG

    Sample clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUaof2DLEQ0

    Dudley Moore went on after this production to produce a few more presentations of this sort with Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) titled Concerto! Before Dudley's death in the later 1990's. The results and educational value of producing this series with Dudley resulted in MTT producing more of these with PBS.

    If one were to spend time watching and taking in what these presentations offer and worked to gain a deeper understanding of Classical music, it has the potential to make the classical music experience more enjoyable, a greater appreciation and understanding for the works and performances. No understanding or knowledge of musical theory is needed, just the basic understanding, an open mind and the willingness to listen and hear what is to be said. Over time, this can grow to a further and deeper understanding of musical language and what it can mean for the individual, for culture, for society and it's place in history.

    The world of photography and still image making could used a body of work much like this.


    On this study:
    http://psych.colorado.edu/~vanboven/...er_dunning.pdf

    "The wise know their weakness too well to assume infallibility; and he who knows most, knows best how little he knows." - Thomas Jefferson,

    What does it mean to know something, really know something? To know the truth of most anything requires work, serious work as it is so very easy to deceive oneself with superficial observation and draw a conclusion from that. This brings up the scientific method where an idea is proposed (theory) implications of this idea or observation calculated, experiment carefully designed, experiment executed and the results-data compared to calculations or predicted expectations. Do they agree or not? If not then why?

    Human beings have a great talent and great ability to deceive themselves in many ways as most tend to want and desire to create the belief of what will provide them relief or escape from their discontent or harsh reality of how the world might really be. There are many, many examples of this over the course o human history. Why is this?

    Self deception is one of the reasons why propaganda-marketing works so very effectively. It does much to help individuals believe in their self deception. That is to give that slight nudge to their innate bias or beliefs using this to steer them towards the agenda or goal of a specific individual, group or similar.



    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    One of my favorite things to learn was that George Solti apparently once told the Chicago Symphony in a rehearsal that not more than 5% of the audience really understands what's going on, so what you (the players) do, you do it for yourselves.

    It's certainly not necessary to fully understand something to appreciate it, so sure, someone who's not educated or even informed can understand or appreciate anything, to some extent. However, the danger here is that all of us, we only know what we know, and there's a tendency to think what we know is all there is to know. From my experience, that's wrong, wrong, wrong.

    But most people still believe that. Especially the most vocal ones saying that they do get it, all, already--those are the ones who get it the least. Here's the definitive work in that area: http://psych.colorado.edu/~vanboven/...er_dunning.pdf
    Further amusement: some of the dumbest people I know have been the most vocal in protesting this article, just as the writers would probably suggest, so watch how you respond. :-)

  9. #19

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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    One example of how 5% of the audience really understands the music and performance can be found during the opening Gala of the San Francisco Symphony at Davies. This is where more than a few San Francisco patrons, socialites and related dressed up in their newest finery hang out at the open bar located on the mezzanine loading up on drinks just before the performance. This is THE place to be to be seen and noted as one of them.
    These folks do make major contributions to SSF allowing MTT to do what he does best and keeps the doors open and lights on at Davies and SSF playing performances much of the year.

    Solti knowing this gap in musical appreciation and understanding worked with Dudley Moore to produce a program to help those interested to gain an better understanding of classical music in a way that is very approachable, fun and educational. This work, Orchestra! can be found as a video on various video media today.
    http://www.amazon.com/Solti-Orchestr.../dp/B000T9QFAG

    Sample clip:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUaof2DLEQ0

    Dudley Moore went on after this production to produce a few more presentations of this sort with Michael Tilson Thomas (MTT) titled Concerto! Before Dudley's death in the later 1990's. The results and educational value of producing this series with Dudley resulted in MTT producing more of these with PBS.

    If one were to spend time watching and taking in what these presentations offer and worked to gain a deeper understanding of Classical music, it has the potential to make the classical music experience more enjoyable, a greater appreciation and understanding for the works and performances. No understanding or knowledge of musical theory is needed, just the basic understanding, an open mind and the willingness to listen and hear what is to be said. Over time, this can grow to a further and deeper understanding of musical language and what it can mean for the individual, for culture, for society and it's place in history.

    The world of photography and still image making could used a body of work much like this.


    On this study:
    http://psych.colorado.edu/~vanboven/...er_dunning.pdf

    "The wise know their weakness too well to assume infallibility; and he who knows most, knows best how little he knows." - Thomas Jefferson,

    What does it mean to know something, really know something? To know the truth of most anything requires work, serious work as it is so very easy to deceive oneself with superficial observation and draw a conclusion from that. This brings up the scientific method where an idea is proposed (theory) implications of this idea or observation calculated, experiment carefully designed, experiment executed and the results-data compared to calculations or predicted expectations. Do they agree or not? If not then why?

    Human beings have a great talent and great ability to deceive themselves in many ways as most tend to want and desire to create the belief of what will provide them relief or escape from their discontent or harsh reality of how the world might really be. There are many, many examples of this over the course o human history. Why is this?

    Self deception is one of the reasons why propaganda-marketing works so very effectively. It does much to help individuals believe in their self deception. That is to give that slight nudge to their innate bias or beliefs using this to steer them towards the agenda or goal of a specific individual, group or similar.



    Bernice
    Bernice,

    I appreciate all your posts and your views on classical music. While there is some classical music I enjoy and dearly love, I'm more of a 'Pink Floyd' and 'The The' fan, probably because I tend to have an unhealthy negative view of life on earth and of humanity in general.

    Mike

  10. #20

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    Re: Language of Images, of Art, of human expression.

    Pink Floyd, Another Brick In The Wall was banned in South Africa under the belief this song was the cause of riots. Does this work have artistic merit, ABSOLUTELY...

    More than a few consider art to be the heart, soul and identity of their nation. This belief is why some art is considered national treasures and of great worth.

    Consider for a moment why there are photographic images made that have become a part of national identity and of historical significance.


    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by Old-N-Feeble View Post
    Bernice,

    I appreciate all your posts and your views on classical music. While there is some classical music I enjoy and dearly love, I'm more of a 'Pink Floyd' and 'The The' fan, probably because I tend to have an unhealthy negative view of life on earth and of humanity in general.

    Mike

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