Art: Twelve Reasons Why
Immanuel Kant believed that our minds engage the world by way of 12 categories. He derived them from the logical form of judgments. This talk presents a rather similar but alternative approach by which an artist's mind engages the perspective Why, beyond this world, by way of 12 reasons.
We may explore the limits of our imagination to derive 12 circumstances by way of the following 4 "mind games":
- Significant. If Thinking is significant, then Being is signficant. If Being is significant, then Doing is significant. If Doing is significant, then Thinking is significant.
- Constant. Search for constancy. Either we find One example of constancy, or All is constantly unconstant. And as we search, what we inspect must ever be the same as what we judge, and so the Many must be constant.
- Direct. The attention of a Subject may be directed by an Object outside of it, or it may be directed by itself, as with a Process.
- Truth. What is true and what reveals that truth may be the same, in which case it is Necessary. Or it may be different, in which case it is Actual. Or what may be true is the relationship between what is, and what is revealed, in which case it is Possible.
Robert Genn has collected about 100 quotes by famous artists about the purpose of art. These can be organized into 12 reasons for creative work.
Architect Christopher Alexander has identified 15 principles of life. They can be thought of as rules for creating art. 3 of them are of a general nature: Create strong centers, strong boundaries, and levels of scale. The other 12 can be identified with the 12 circumstances.
The first purpose of the talk is to show how these 12 circumstances, 12 reasons for art, and 12 rules for creativity, can be related, as follows:
- Be: Become and be who you truly are. Create not-separateness.
- Do: Live as Art's tool. Create gradients.
- Think: Master Art as a conceptual language. Create roughness.
- One: Immortalize yourself in some work of art. Create good shape.
- Many: Inspire creativity. Create positive space.
- All: Transform the world. Create local symmetries.
- Object: Bring out what was not noticed. Create contrast.
- Process: Get lost in the joy of creation. Create echoes.
- Subject: Foster sensitivity to moods. Create deep interlock.
- Necessity: Get into your role. Create inner calm.
- Actuality: Present reality. Create a void (a window).
- Possibility: Open up possibilities. Create alternating repetition.
The second purpose is to show that the "triggers" for the mind games (significant, constant, direct, and true) can be identified with the Why which the artist engages, as the basis for Creativity and Beauty.