Sunday, October 3, 2010

Preparing for This Bad Boy: Getting Ready For My Inadequate Writing on Art

I am starting to make baby steps on my next essay, which was inspired by Collingwood's The Principles of Art. Baby steps. Just beginning the writing. I've written about four pages. Starting to realize how difficult the topic is for me. I have all these tentative titles jumping about in my mind and I have no idea which one I will end up settling on. The general themes that I am talking about are 1. art 2. the relationship between life and art 3. the idea that every action can be artistic 4. the idea that this art of life can be a form of activism 4. the idea that activism can be a form of war 5. that the ideas I explored in my Society's Implicit War essays can be connected to this idea of art as life

Basically I have been vaguely talking about art and creativity for the last month or so. But now that I have read Collingwood's analysis of art I have a fuller picture of what art is and is not. So now I have to try and revamp all of my old writing to reflect this new nuanced understanding of what really constitutes art. Also, I know that there are very legitimate connections to Foucault waiting for me. Foucault talked explicitly about 'the aesthetics of existence'. He talked about how our lives could become objects of beauty, how we could produce our lives in a way so as to make them works of art. The artistic life is real for Collingwood and Foucault. So I need to chase this idea.

All of these ideas are hidden from me right now. The outline I have excites me. It is going to change as I write probably. Some things will get moved around, some things will be added or removed I bet. But here is the outline of the project I am currently working on.

Part I: Defining 'Art Proper'
1. Artistic Expression in General: What is 'Art Proper'?

2. Art is not Craft

3. Art is not Amusement

4. Art is not Magic

5. Art as Imaginative Expression of Emotions

5a. Expression as Exploration of our Emotions

5b. Imagination as the Space Between Sensations and Ideas

5c. Intellectual Emotions

5d. Imagination, Consciousness, and Art

6. Art as Language: How Much Of Expression Can be Artistic?

7. All Social Interaction as the Expression of Emotions

Part II: The Use of Art: Emotional Expression for the Artist and the Community

1. Art, Knowledge of Experience, and Empathy

2. Knowledge of Self and Knowledge of Others: That Artist's Universal Expression as Enabling Empathy

3. Language and Reenactment: How Does Language Work?

4. Reenactment and Empathy: What Does This Have to do With Empathy?

5. The Artist and The Audience: How Does Individual Expression Relate to the Audience?

6.
The Artist's Empathy With His Audience: Expressing The Quality of Contemporary Experience

7.
Art and the Means to a Universal Understanding/Reenactment of the Present: What Is The Universal Thing That The Artist Tries to Communicate?

8. John Searle's Status Functions and Specifying the Universality of the Artist's Expression: Understanding the Structure of Language as Understanding the Task of the Artist

Part III: Becoming the Everyday Artist: Integrating Imaginative Emotional Expression into Daily Life

1. Language and Social Life: All of Life As Art

2. Applying Artistic Expression to Daily Life: Waiting for Moment's to Express Underlying Structures of Life

3. Applying Artistic Expression as Modifying the Content of Action

4. The Constant Project of Studying and Constructing Yourself

5. Foucault's Aesthetics of Existence

Part IV: The Artist as Cultural Insurgent

1. Amusement and the Dulling of Empathy: Combating Amusement

2. Foucault as Artist: His 'Autobiographical' Monographs as Imaginative Expressions of Emotion

3. Language and the Rutting of Thought: Impediments to Creativity

Part V: Spreading the Insurrection

1. The Audience's Empathy

2. The Will to Empathy: Fostering Daily Creativity Through Artistic Work

3. The Artist as Supplying t
he Audience
the Means to Express Their Own Creativity
4. Copyright Law and Creativity: David Shields

I really feel very unsure about how all of this is going to come together. About how it is going to flow as a unified piece of writing. But here goes nothing. I guess I'll keep working on it.

Oh and here is a note about one hour after I originally wrote this. I've decided that I am going to have to do what I did for my Society's Implicit War essays. I'm going to have to flip through The Principles of Art page by page, read all the things I noted and underlined, and pull all the quotations I want. I'll then plug them into my outline in the working piece.

I was thinking for a little while that I could perhaps just sit down and write this thing. That I wouldn't need to pull lots of quotations. But as soon as I started skimming the book I realized how rich my understanding of the book would become if I really took the time to do that. If I really take the time to skim and reread I think I'll be able to do something a lot better. So. The skimming begins. Yikes.

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