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Posted by Luis Hamburgh on May 28, 2002 00:45:11 UTC


Picking up where we left off a couple weeks ago:

I think a deeper examination of your last post strengthens my position. Consider:

>>>"Put together music that violates the laws of music (as you understand them) and advertise it as 'you cannot help but totally hate this music'" etc...

Can't we do this trick with philosophy as well? Of course we can, and I bet a few yahoos would quickly buy into our ad hoc philosophy. But, a thrown-together piece/type of music (or philosophy) is hardly tantamount to an entire culture's music (or philosophy), no matter how isolated the culture might be!

>>>"We humans obviously have prejudices for certain tones, colors, morals, logics, etc, but we have another tendency to love things that are contrary to those 'universals'."

Ahh, again you've opened the door to another trap! Not just anything contrary to 'universals' works. If it did, I'd invest in a bunch of paint and become the next Pollock!

Art progression isn't simply a matter of who thought of it first, and how original it was. Indeed, there is complex and subtle rationale behind all art. Edgard Varese's avant garde material wasn't popular simply because it was avant garde. Anyone can make a bunch of noise, but there is a logical transition from contemporary trends to "cutting edge."

>>>"Art is known to play with universals and contradict them."

And philosophy is not?

>>>"The art of 21st century would not be recognizable to someone in the 15th century who valued 'universals' of good art."

I disagree!

Let's consider existentialism. Is there not a solid stream of logic behind existentialism? Could the Greeks have understood and appreciated it? Of course! Did they come up with it, or did the transition take centuries?

The movement clearly has its ancient and religious origins, but again we see how this weakens your position: art and music have ancient and religious roots too!

As the tired old expression goes, hindsight is 20/20.

In the mid 1970s an avant garde band calling themselves The Residents created a type of sublime music light years ahead of other 'cutting edge' groups (in terms of artistic genius). At around the same time, or a little thereafter, another group calling itself Negativland (sic) released its own brand of avant garde soundscapes. Much unlike The Residents, Negativland failed to garner any real critical success -- not because someone with influence came out first with the assessment "this is Language Removed," but rather because Negativland just didn't get it.

Of course, the logic behind art is much more complex and intangible than the logic behind philosophy. Indeed, art is the highest form of philosophy!


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