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Sunday, November 27, 2016

The chance juxtaposition

An idea can come from the chance juxtaposition of two things. I found a quote I needed to write something, then found an even better quote:

In the broadest sense, art doesn't have a function for homo sapiens — it is a function of homo sapiens. Humans perceive-and-generate patterns in biologically and socially inseparable processes which generally precede application of those patterns. That's what makes the species so adaptable and dangerous. Even in the most rational or practical occupations, we're guided to new utilitarian results by aesthetics.Software engineers, for example, are offended by bad smells and seek a solution that's "Sweet!" 

 Then I picked up, on the way out of work, a book someone had left for anyone to take, on the Invention of Primitive Culture.  The idea is that primitive culture simply does not exist, is not reconstructable in any meaningful way.  If there is no primitive culture, there is no primitive art either. So I had an idea to write an article called "Theses on the Anthropology of Art."  The ideas for this started to form in my head.  Of course, I know nothing of the anthropology of art, so I would have to do a lot of reading.


Leslie said...

Ordered the book. Couldn't believe I had not seen it when it came out. Interesting to add to the collection on primitivism, modernity

Jonathan said...

It is more than 20 years old. But it is good. Not as good as it should have been. Well written, but gets bogged down in detail that loses sight of the central argument.

Leslie said...

I do this class on modernism and primitivism so it has to be in the arsenal esp. due to argument that there is no primitive art. So I will accept its age and its imperfections