Re: Extropic art: symbolism, interpretation & association

Gregory Houston (
Sat, 15 Mar 1997 11:46:37 -0600

I wrote:
> >Thus [objectively] the importance of the artist is the artist's
> >revalatory capacity.

Sarah Marr wrote:
> Though, of course, exactly what is revealed is just as much, if not more,
> dependent on the observer.

The same is true of looking at a sample of something through a
microscope. Exactly what is revealed to the scientist peeking at the
sample "is just as much, if not more, dependent on the observer." What
makes the scientist better capable of making useful observations is his

That is why we have professionally trained psychologists and
psychiatrists, people who have rigorously developed specialized skills
in analyzing subtle symptoms. Via their education, these people tend to
be, by degree, less likely to respond subjectively, and more likely to
respond objectively. From large sums of learned data, these
professionals can make beneficial associations between symptoms and
neurosis. These professionals have developed a greater sensitivity to
ascertaing the condition of another entity.

How we percieve art necessarily entails how we interpret it. Normally we
percieve art subjectively, indulging in it, and thus we interpret it in
a wholly different fashion than a person seeking to analyse that work
objectively, simply recording the symptoms that they have learned to
identify in order that those symptoms may be assessed in retrospect of
past tests and experiments showing certain corrollations between certain
symptoms and certain neurosis.

Thus I believe the interpretation of what is revealed is potentially
much less subjective, and much more scientific than your response may be

Simply put, some people are more qualified than others.

I believe a number of artists find comfort in the idea of art's elusive
subjectivity while they promote art's continued mystification. Artists
of this type are often unable and/or unwilling to express their feelings
directly to another, and thus, necessitated to express themselves in
some fashion, they choose art believing that their true identity will be
somehow veiled through their art. In this sense art is sacred to them.
But the science of objectivity has a thing with spoiling sacred ground,
and science can better learn to objectively interpret what the artist is
expressing, unbeknowst to the artist, and in many cases, more
affectively than the artist him or herself. For the artist, though
having a skill in creating expressive work, may have little education or
concern in interpreting all the depths of what that art may corrollate


Gregory Houston          Triberian Institute of Emotive Education