Re: Rand and Romanticism

Technotranscendence (
Sat, 23 Oct 1999 10:23:56 -0700

On Friday, October 22, 1999 7:17 PM Natasha Vita-More wrote:
>Anyhow, this might not seem germane to any current topics, though it does
> >relate to art and esthetics. Not having read Natasha's book (yet!:), I
> >can't say what exactly the mainstream Extropian or transhumanist position
> >art is. Nor does this mean there should be. I mean, not everything has
> >be taken up into our professed beliefs...
> Very funny -:) I guess you will find out after you read my book!

:) Though for those who have read your book, I wonder if all agree with you?

> >I do fear, as I've mentioned on this list before, that conscious attempts
> >create art movements usually backfire.
> A myth to be debunked. Never head of one backfiring,

Socialist realism, which is mostly slop. Objectivist art which is mostly pale imitations of Rand. Imagism, in poetry, which quickly changed once Amy Lowell manifestoed it. The best imagists left the movement because they were good poets not just imagists -- such as Ezra Pound and H.D.

> although some
> performance art has use back fires, and some paintings have been burned,
> then there's Burning Man, and torch dancers. Even if an art movement
> produced an unwanted result, the process has meaning. Sometimes what the
> unexpected brings to light can be even more exciting that what had been
> planned. Artists build upon ideas. Even if an idea fizzles or turns sour,
> the creative individual finds a challenge in this and moves it along into
> new realms.

I agree. I just mean that often a conscious doctrine inhibits creativity, especially when the artists (and wannabes) try to follow the doctrine. I.e., when they try not to create great art, but art which meets some criteria imposed by ideology.

> '>The Objectivist movement's art is a
> >case in point.
> It's not an art movement that I am familiar with. Perhaps it is not a
> genre that artists want to exemplify.

Well, the artists who are Objectivists might beg to differ. I mean they want to create what they term "Romantic Realism," though what they typically produce are formula driven works.

However, as you say, the good ones do learn and I don't want to reject all Objectivist artists. Some are good, though most are bad. Maybe this is to be expected because in just about any movement, most of the work is best forgotten. E.g., out of Elizabethan drama, only Shakespeare and, to a lesser degree, Marlowe are remembered by most.


Daniel Ust