I had been playing with various fractal apps in the early 2000’s and marveled shortly at the wild gyrations on the screen. But I rapidly started to feel uneasy with the machine like perfect outcome of those works. Such a perfection in my eyes appeared to be devoid of life characteristics such as the flaws that litter the path taken by the process of constant transformations that life is all about. In the case of a visual sign such flaws of life can take different forms like an imperfection in a line indicating an accidental move of the author’s hand. I always felt that the absence of such signs of life deny human craft qualities to these works. And this is how I started to experiment diverse methods to digitally transform photographs of my paintings. In 2006 I terminated 12 digital variations of each of the 40 acrylics in my acrylics “artsense” series. This gave 480 digital variations that were edited as very short limited edition prints. These works can be seen here.
I later summed up my feelings about what I see are the main differences between fractals and digital transformations in the following posts:
"The only acceptable status for China is as a distinctly lesser power. To ensure such an outcome, administration officials insist, the U.S. must take action on a daily basis to contain or impede its rise. "
" Five hundred years ago, Hernán Cortés began the European annihilation of the Mayan, Aztec, and other indigenous civilizations in the Western Hemisphere. Six months later, in August 1519, Magellan [Fernão de Magalhães] launched his circumnavigation of the globe. For five centuries thereafter, a series of Western powers — Portugal, Spain, Holland, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and, finally, the United States — overturned preexisting regional orders as they imposed their own on the world. That era has now come to an end. "
Remarks to the St. Petersburg Conference on World Affairs
by Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. (USFS, Ret.)
Senior Fellow, Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, Brown University
St. Petersburg, Florida, 12 February 2019
A few weeks ago my friend Titus Hora (Facebook, Pinterest), and I, entered a conversation relating to art which is also the core subject of this blog. I wrote a sketch of a summary about my series of posts titled “From Modernity to After-Modernity” that I wanted to share with him and I post it here for the readers of this blog who might be interested.
After formatting the series I got some 1500 book pages that I’ll further edit and gradually publish within the coming months or years. This text is the first of two posts that sketch a summary, in 10 pages, of that series (1 page summary for every 150 pages in book format).
An e-book of all posts in the series “A growing disconnect between China and the West”.
After editing the posts the e-book totals 150 pages.
Click on its cover page hereunder for download.
In the present stage of our understanding tribal art emerged roughly around 40,000 years ago while Chinese Xieyi painting, Chinese Buddhist painting and Christian painting only started around 500 AD.
Chinese calligraphy originates sometimes before 200 BC. It was revered as a fine art in line with poetry and music while painting was merely viewed as a craft applied in the field of decoration, remembrance of ancestors, or illustration of daily life. Xieyi appeared later as an extension of calligraphy and this is when painting finally acceded to the status of a fine art in China.
What is striking, in the juxtaposition of images here under, is how visually similar Chinese Xieyi painting is to tribal art. Chinese Buddhism still has some common traits with tribal art but with Christianity we enter into a whole new world.
Why is Xieyi so similar to tribal art?
Why is Christian art depicting such a totally different world than tribal and Xieyi art?
First part of his article here
3. Humanity’s future and the role of the artist
I first need to clarify the meaning of the word artist. Millions of people today qualify themselves as artists. But what do they mean exactly? The great majority among them try to produce pleasing little squares or rectangles to be hung as decorations on white walls. But such products qualify at best as interior decoration commodities that have no commonalities with artworks. They may eventually reflect the technical mastery of their authors but this does in no way transform such works into works of art. Having understood how the art market values works others have adapted their productions to its monetary game of speculation. But I would venture to say that interior decoration and financial speculation have nothing to do with what art is all about.
This series of posts about “the disconnection between the West and China” centers around societal evolution, and more particularly, the present shifting of the center of gravity of the economy-world from the US to the territorial expanse of the Chinese civilization in North-East Asia. In the preceding posts we have seen how this shift is due to the interactions between the following factors:
How to understand art?
Through reason and words?
Or through images of the thing itself?
In the Peoples Republic of China the communist party literally owns the institutions of state and no interference in the decision making of these institutions is accepted by any group of interest. This is quite different from the West where lobbies write the laws relating to their interests. What this means is that the communist party has an absolute control over the way society functions. Now this does not mean, as most Westerners believe, that China is a dictatorship. Individuals and economic actors are participating in the decision making process by giving their ideas and opinions about what should be done. During this consultation phase civil society debates with the representatives of the party and the state about solutions and the media also relays these debates. Once the consultation phase concludes civil society retreats and lets the party and state institutions formalize the decisions and their implementation. And once the rules of the game have been formalized everybody is expected to participate in their implementation.
In democracies a few families own controlling stakes of the capital that is invested in strategic sectors of the economy. This gives them, among other, the control over the media and ensures them the power to shape public opinion. And so the political decision making process is rendered captive of a public opinion that is being constantly framed around the interests of big capital holders.
In my last post I tried to brush a rapid sketch of the profound mental disconnect between the West and China. In the present post I’ll brush an even more rapid sketch about how large societies function; it lays the foundations upon which, in my next 3 posts, I’ll build a more in-depth comparative analysis between the present and the future of Western and Chinese societies.
This article is a sketch of the general context of the present moment we find ourselves in the world. It comes as a conclusion of my short series “the disconnection in perceptions between East and West”. I'll follow this sketch with 2 more posts addressing – the realities on the ground in China and the West, – their future prospects in view of their present realities.
To my regular readers "welcome back" and to new readers "welcome". Since I stopped blogging over a year ago let me start with a recapitulation of my past blogging activity.
This 4th of July Patrick Buchanan asked if America is still a nation (1).
This question touches a raw nerve and our minds ache.
What will we do without America?