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CHAT: bonfire ;) (was Re: Lighting Some Flames: Towards conlang artistry)

From:J Y S Czhang <czhang23@...>
Date:Friday, March 15, 2002, 3:30
In a message dated 2002.03.14 09.21.47 PM, ray.brown@FREEUK.COM writes:

>At 4:02 pm -0500 12/3/02, John Cowan wrote: >>Raymond Brown scripsit: >[snip] >>> Long live the hobbyists and the humble craftsmen, I say. >> >>Hear, hear. And while we're at it, let us repudiate the notion >>of artists who aren't craftspeople. Did anyone ever hear of a >>great painter who didn't happen to paint very well? >> >I agree - but some who ain't craftsman call their productions "modern art" >(quickly dons asbestos suit ;) > >But, yes, anyone who aspires to become a true artist must needs learn the >skills of his crafts first. However, IME while we can generally agree >on what constitutes good craftsmanship, there is less agreement on what >constitutes art - especially if it is contemporary. One has merely to >think of controversies whether a pile of bricks layed out on the floor >of a gallery is 'art' or not. It seems to take time before the charlatans
>the true artists get distinguished.
<SNIP> A more Asian perspective/rant: In "Western/Occidental Civilization" there seems to be a continuing arguement about the "function(s)" of "Art," the response - and responsibility/ies - of the audience in their reaction to "Art," various kinds of perception, levels of education, refinement of "taste," differences between "Art" and "Craft" or "hobby," etc.. In much Western art up to this century, there is not much appreciation for just allowing the work to be an object, an action or idea that gets the mind going. (hehe, in a sense, the German concept-word _Gedankenexperiment_, "thought-experiment," comes to mind...) How do you criticize and/or analyze a work of creativity that only really takes shape once it gets into your head (or under your skin ;)? When you try to analyze a creative work that has a kind of immediate intensity - the kind that slams you against a moment of sudden and direct experience (a sorta of _satori_), you find there is not much you can really say. Common language and logic breaks down and leaks. A glimmer of the numinous and infinite creeps up and hits you just when you thought your little old worldview was safe and comfortable. It takes your breath away with its sense of ephemerality and poignancy. You no longer will see "things" or the world the same ever after. Point to consider regarding contemporary art: talking of that much abused example of the bricks laid out on a gallery floor ... IIRC the artist's last name is Serra & his brick-work was meant to be "directly experienced" in terms of scale as well as a "re-making" of the familiar into something not so familiar (granted this brick-work is no stone garden of Ryoan-ji [which brings up another difference: a lot of Western contemporary art generally does not have the same connectedness and empathy with nature that Taoist and Zen art does. Chalk that up to the Western history & dogma of believing nature is "some thing" to conquer and re-shape versus the Asian ideal _dharma_ that one and all should co-exist with nature in harmony and balance]). Kind of related, it is interesting to note all the critics and pundits who have tried to dissect and describe the aesthetic power and qualities of Taoist and Zen art * have failed to fully render it down into digestable, reproducible formulae for Western aesthetic coopting and "Art Market" commodification. ^ * (a few examples: the deliberate, surrealist-like use of intriguing natural or accidental/found materials - _objets trouvés_ - in Japanese architecture and ceramics ... the abstract-expressionist-like Japanese stone garden of Ryoan-ji... Chinese and Japanese poetry with their compact, "cinematic" use of elliptical language and imagery) Point to consider regarding contemporary music (non-Pop):...oh, & the knee-jerk criticism that Minimalistic Music or Fractal Music is just "boring," "sheer repetitiveness," "does not make any grand artistic statement(s)," blah blah, etc.... just proves to me "mainstream Western culture" has little-to-no understanding or appreciation of other cultures' sense of time and cosmological viewpoints (i.e. Indonesian _gamelan_ - a major influence on contemporary Minimalist music - is very close to the recent music based on fractals and Chaos Science... SEE <A HREF="">COMPOSING WITH CHAOS</A>) _Ars imitatur Naturam in sua operatione._ <from Latin> = "Art is the imitation of Nature in her manner of operation." Interestingly, it turns out that chaos is nature's creativity. I am often reluctant to use the word "Art" at all since it seems so loaded down with quite a bit of Eurocentric baggage (and all that overly Romantic garbage about "Art-as-Self-Expression/Grand Statement," too). The Dadaists were rather (b)right in rejecting "Art" (and commonly-held ideas about "logic" and "Western Civilization" ). IMHO - in many ways, the West has a lot of catching up with the East to do ;) ~end ranting~
>In my view, Srikanth's Lin - to take just one example - shows far more >creativity, imagination and artistry than many of the the humdrum >natlang-clones I've seen. He has pushed the concept of compactness >(practically) to its limits with his enneasemy & other techniques. But >by no stretch of the imagination could one mistake it for a natlang (it was, >after all, designed to encode the telepathic communication of an alien >culture).
Ooh, _that_ sounds truly intriguing :) Tell me more, please. Any resources on Lin, pretty please?
> Some of the more interesting conlangs IMHO are those that >are experimental.
::wry grin:: Thanx. I am trying. Hanuman Zhang {JAHng} => Xanuman Dja:xng /' dZa'hN/ ~§~ _LILA_ <from Sanskrit> = "Divine Play" - the 'joyous exercise of spontaneity involved in the art of creation' (Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan) ...the play of creation, destruction, and re-creation, the folding and unfolding of the cosmos...both the delight and enjoyment of this moment, and the play of [the] God[head] ("the universe is what happens when God wants to play"). _Spielraum_ <from German> = free scope to experiment with things & ideas; to toy with ideas; room to play in WHIM = 1a. a sudden fancy; a caprice. b. capriciousness. 2. a kind of windlass for raising ore or water from a mine. [17th century: origin unknown] WHIMSY (plural forms: WHIMSIES, WHIMSEYS) = 1. a whim; a capricious notion or fancy. 2. capricious or quaint humour. [related to WHIM-WHAM ]/Italian _capriccio_, French _boutade_ WHIM-WHAM = a toy or plaything