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

Robert J. Bradbury (
Tue, 28 Sep 1999 00:42:00 -0700 (PDT)

> E. Shaun Russell wrote:
> >... 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? ...

On Mon, 27 Sep 1999, Robin Hanson wrote:

> 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.

This can be condensed into the simple concept of "more, different and better". In a competetive environoment, you will always run into circumstances where individuals cannot compete in the current paradigm (hunting, strength, oratory, voluptuousness, etc.).

In those environments, it is to ones advantage to shift the value emphasis into something "different". Once you make that shift, the question becomes whether or not to engage in "more" or "better". Once those are exercised to their limits you are back to different.

Since we all seek our personal "advantage", we will all have to determine whether we are more proficient at "more", "different" or "better". In art, you have a more relaxed framework in which to explore these areas. Business, for example, which requires trust, would not function well, if suddenly one day major players decided to do things differently. Art can tolerate such transitions.