Re: Extropic art: symbolism, interpretation & association

Sarah Marr (
Mon, 17 Mar 1997 19:11:50 +0000

At 08:40 17/03/97 -0600, Gregory Houston wrote:
>The following are responses to TOMorrow, Kathryn Aegis, and Sarah Marr:
> wrote:
>> I think that trying to define art accomplishes embarassingly
>> little. Far better to just create it, share it, and enjoy it.
>You have just defined it then. You have defined art as something to be
>created, shared, and enjoyed.

I don't think TOMorrow has done any such thing. He has stated an preferred
mode of use for art, but, given an object, his statement does not allow me
to say whether or not TOMorrow would consider that object 'art'. Put
another way: his statement does not say that everything which is created,
shared or enjoyed is art; nor does it say that art is everything which is
created, shared or enjoyed.

>This definintion corrollates directly with
>my subjective definition of art: the manifestation of our pleasures, and
>ignores my objective definition: that art is the status of our

You have yet to provide your working definitions of subjectivity and

>...the people of the
>future will have even better understanding of psychology coupled with a
>great deal more data to make objective corrollations with.

There objectivity will be more objective than our objectivity. In which
case our objective analysis of historic art will be surpassed by them also.
We may, in fact, be getting totally wrong. This seem's to be an
exceptionally shaky variety of objectivity.

>Sarah Marr wrote:
>> They respond just as subjectively: their subjectivity is merely more
>> informed, and more in line with majority thought (which, of course, itself
>> differs from culture to culture).
>No, not "just" as subjectively. Trained scientific professionals are
>trained not to act "just" as subjectively. Trained scientific
>proffessionals base their observations on collected scientific data.
>There is a major difference between interpreting artwork subjectively,
>"What do I personally think or feel about this work?", and interpreting
>it objectively, "How do the qualities of this work corrallate with the
>collected data at my disposal?"

To an extent I agree: they are _more_ objective. They are not, however,

>I can look up at the stars and say, "Wow those are beautiful," and then
>continue to make up all kinds of astrological fairy tales about those
>stars, or I can seek to become more objective in my interpretation of
>the stars and create a science called, astronomy.

Why is the creation of astronomy more objective than the creation of
astrology and mythology? It isn't: it's just your preconceptions which
cause you to equate objectivity with post-Enlightenment rationality. This
is not a valid. (Or, at the very least, not the generally accepted version
of 'objectivity': the laying of stress upon what is external to the mind;
the placement of the knowledge of the non-ego as prior in sequence to the
knowledge of the ego.)

Put another way:

I flick a light switch and a light comes on. I interpret that as a flow of
electricity, because I apply all my knowledge of what others have said.
Someone else does the same, gets the same results, and interprets it as
magic, applying all his knowledge of what others have said. We are both
equally objective in our interpretations: there is no difference in the
process we follow to reach our conclusion.

>You do not have to believe
>in an objective definition of art for such to exist.

The point being, that the objective definition of anything, if an objective
defintion can exist, is temporally and culturally variant.


Sarah Kathryn Marr