Thursday, October 4, 2007

New ART.

Not only does music can break away from the "old tradition." But, so can many arts in general. I was browsing at Barnes and Nobles few months ago, and saw an interesting book, titled "Only Revolutions," by Mark Z. Danielewski. The book layout consists of "360 pages of 360 words per page, about two protaganists who've come unstuck in time. It is a narrative book, fills with multicolored streamed of consciousness."
What makes me want to put this information out in this blog is the following statement during the interview with Mark Z. Danielewski.
"I don't really write books for today and tomorrow. I write for today, tomorrow and a thousand years and a thousand tomorrows after that. It would be foolish to expect dense pieces like this to be fully digested and comprehended within a week of their unveiling." This speaks for composers today, and the past who've been this artisry. Art is for an eternity, and "it's not like contemporary culture's obsession with DISPOSABLE products of all sorts." His books Only revolution is something that he "designed to last for a long time." And that's what so great about Art in itself. We can always come back to it, and each time, we would formed different opinions because it has many "dimensions" that offers variety of perspectives. ("only revolution" allows the reader to read the book from back to front, starts at the middle page and read outwards, from front to back, upside down, right side up.) What's more important besides exploring different ways to read that book, is the essence of the artist's mind, because that's what gives the art its identity; that's where the creative process begins; And that's also where the "true art" lies.
Art becomes infinite when the art itself continues to raise questions. The questions (that we have) are our curiosities of trying to figure out the artist's thoughts, ideas, concepts etc.
Art is progressive as we progress intellectually. ART doesn't defines time, or anything for that matter. ARt teaches us how the world is changing.
(For example, in music: 1) tempo marking: There wasn't in any chants, only because the music was transmitted aurally, and they're usually used for religious reasons. When Bach comes along, he described the suits by type of dances (Sarabande, Courante etc.) Mozart/Beethoven time, used daily expression and emotions (Grave, Expressivo, Cantabile etc.) Now, we used quarter note = 150 (of course, we still used the Italian words for tempo markings) I think all art emboided its historical values.
EAch of us is responsible for this change. Because we decide on which kind of arts are worth discussing about for the eternity.

1 comment:

Richard said...

I wonder if the attitude of writing "for today, tomorrow and a thousand years and a thousand tomorrows after that," is self-conscious. If so, is this self-conscious attitude is necessary for creating great art?

Should art try to be for an eternity? It seems that there are so many more distractions from this aim in today's world. This question reminded me of the section in the Levine about Andy Warhol. I had heard of his name before but wasn't familiar with what he did. As I vaguely understand it, supplemented by Wikipedia, he embraced America's market culture (like exactly what we're reading about in Cooke) in producing his art, which basically started pop art. His art was mass-produced, so did this lead to a loss of uniqueness of the work of art, for people to undervalue his art, and for his art to take on a more transient existence? If his aim was not for eternal art, what should the aim of art to be? I think one motivator for creating art is wanting to become immortal. (And nowhere is reality of mortality made more clear than in the progress of time through music) Maybe "writing for the ages" is a manifestation of this phenomenon. In today's frenetic and transient, materialistic culture, perhaps this attitude is a natural reaction. Perhaps this is a large part of our age's context for the music that we produce. On one hand we have the reactionary striving for eternity in art, and on the other hand, we have the somewhat nihilistic approach of Warhol that embraces the system.