Re: Robin's Arts Post (Was Re: Extropic Flare In NY Art Scene

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 27 Sep 1999 15:26:40 -0400

E. Shaun Russell wrote:
> There seems to be a dangerous dichotomy at work here: whether art
> is a
>reflection of society and environment (indicating a subconscious
>calculation) or whether art is fully self-contained within the artist
>(indicating spontaneous inspiration). For art (or, on a larger scale,
>society) to progress, both must exist.

Point granted.

>... So Robin's question of what makes an artist or art
>movement popular or "hot" is a very valid one. An even deeper question
>(and one which I have never been able to answer for myself) is *why* an
>artist creates in the first place. ... Why does an artist feel the
>need to either conform to or react against popular culture? ...

I have hope that evolutionary psychology is onto some insights into why we have evolved to be the sort of creatures who like to do art. Hopefully these insights will help explain many of these puzzling details.

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323