Emerald City Productions

Artistic License or the Norm??

by Paul on June 15, 2010

in Electronic Music, General, Music

Hi There,

Re-evaluating 18m 38s Electronic work. Question: does artistic artistic license need to be preserved against what is the musical norm or must we experiment at the expense of being accepted musically or financial success?  I go for the second as that leads to progress in art forms.  There is something to be said for both camps though.

As a practising musician, I think there is something to be said for the restraints of learning form and structure which give a form which can be understood by the masses.  If there is no form or structure which a human being can ‘put a coat onto’, there will be no understanding of the art work or anything which can be understood.  It would be like sending out a radio message in prehistoric times where there was no radio set with which to decode the message.  Similarly, music or art would be nothing if it was not there, even if someone said it was!  This argument does impinge a little on the modern thinking where I recently saw an example.  I do not decry the artist or his thinking in this example.  In MIMA (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art) where 70 white canvasses had a very very faint almost translucent wash of ‘colour’ such that it barely could be said to be a painting.  No form, no structure-but the canvass.  The work had a discussion about a field of daises which put into the mind that it was meant to be that, however there was nothing to suggest it except imagination!  Was this art?  Is the mere projection of words into the mind ‘the work of art’ or can art be said to images projetced into the mind through whatever means are?  See (www.thisistomorrow.info/viewArticle.aspx?artId=358&Title=Felix%20Gonzales-Torres%20and%20William%20McKeown:%20A%20certain%20distance,%20endless%20light)

This was also previously done with music in the classic attempt by the composer John Cage (1912–1992) in his infamous piece 4′ 33″ where not a note was played!  Discussions still ‘rage’ about that.

The fact that there is a physical suggestion whether the paint or audible notes or sounds is important in my thinking.  An external input must be made that has form or structure of some kind otherwise there is nothing happening in front of you apart from your imagination!  Is imagination art?-categorically no-otherwise we would all be called artists.  Art must involve construction on the part of the artist to ‘direct’ the onlooker or hearer in some method to change perception. Art must encompass change in perception or direction otherwise nothing happens in the mind.  I would argue the ‘Field of Daises’ canvasses in MIMA relies only on what is already in the mind of the observer, and is therefore not art in reality.  John Cages piece 4′ 33″ only has audience noise and outside noise which are already perceived and been allocated to their respective memories in the brain with appropriate association-i.e. an eggcup is used for eating eggs-the ‘field of daises’ is only a field of daises till it is painted  in purple for example, changing perception.  In that way true art must alter the mind image whether visual or aural.

I move….

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