PART 4: ART & DESIGN.
The twenty-first century renaissance.
Technologies are fundamentally altering our vision of the world. Earth distances vanished. Looking in the windows of our computers, Tvs and phones we can see the lifes of the other people of the world (global village). Images from the space station help us to look at ourselves and our earth from a distance (mirror). This is plunging us in a whole new world vision that we'll take a very long time to digest.
4.1. The industrial stage of development, some would say the post-industrial stage of capitalist development, was made possible not only by an increased capital accumulation but perhaps primarily by an accumulation of knowledge without precedent in human history. By knowledge I mean here the interaction between scientific knowledge and philosophic knowledge. Science remains indeed a mechanical processing of ever increased micro observations totally detached from the global reality. The sheer size of our accumulation of scientific data becomes monstruous and human beings lost their capacity to digest intellectually all those informations. Philosophy is what allows to make sense out of the constructions derived from scientific observations.
This interaction between philosophy and science is what allows us to think out of the boxes given by religions and ideologies and as a result, an infinity of possibilities have arisen for each of us, all but the absolute truth. With the unknown as our roads, the difficulty is now to avoid falling into the absurd. We need to define the boundaries of our investigation territory. Artists need knowledge and recognized artists will be the ones who accumulate a valid base of knowledge, knowledge of their own culture and history, of the cultures and histories of the other people of this earth, knowledge of the scientific understandings of our times as focusing on the micro levels of reality, knowledge of the different philosophic approaches of the people of this earth as focusing on the macro levels of reality.
Knowledge acts as a trempoline on creativity, it projects a little further into reality and redefines the artits and thinkers of the 21st century as the new philosophers.
Art is becoming something as the production of an expression or if you prefer an impression of the inner feelings and ideas of the artist. His productions are intimately related to his knowledge. The better is knowledge base, the better we can expect his production to be. Not advertisement of an ideology but expression of an idea, of a feeling through the use of a technique. In other words, content, the artist's personalized content will find central stage in artistic creation and beauty or ugliness will more and more relate to the content of a work.
It makes indeed no sense anymore in the twenty-first century to continue to photopaint landscapes, people or whatever when we can simply use a camera and shoot a perfectly realist image. It makes also no sense anymore to continue to illustrate the ideological trappings of religious or political half baked truths as it make no more sense to plunge ourselves into the different distorsions of reality as described by the twentieth century observers of the technological alterings of our visions of reality.
4.3. Techniques of expression will be more and more varied and mixing of different techniques will more and more take place. The technique in itself is not sufficient to produce a work of art but the absence of technique will never allow a message to become a work of art on itself. In other words, an artist has to possess some mastery of his technique in order to be free to express himself and mastery I believe has to be understood as the result of practice not necessarily of schooling because schooling without practice will never procure mastery. I furthermore think that mastery is the result of a process combining work, experience and personal internal maturation.
4.4. Content and technique are blend into form. What I mean here is that whatever technique is being used to express whatever content, the resulting work must be harmonious. Harmony is the general state of our universe, of our cosmos. It is not something static, all the contrary, it is permanent change. Transformation from one state to another state. These last centuries, western artists and thinkers concentrated on the idea of an absolute truth. They lost themselves in a sysyphean act of the snapshot for truth. We must now discover the sequences between the snapshots that give sense to each moment of our lifes.
4.5. Art and design.
Art and design do not cover the same reality nor the same function.
Art is an individual undertaking that is unique, that brings some new understanding of ourselves and of our universe. In that sense, art is a risky undertaking and only a small part of an artist's works will ever reach functional status as art works.
Design in a sense is a vulgarization of the spirit of art works at the attention of larger segments of consumers. We could also say that design is the merchandisation process of the substance of art works that will introduce the spirit of the work of art into the interiors of large segments of the population.