art is a signpost

A while back I got this message via my web contact form:

"hi, love your work what is your inspiration to do the work you do" - from Michelle C.

Here is my reply:

"My inspiration is the need to express beauty. I think probably all of us have a desire towards what is beautiful and expressing it in art is one way of getting close to it. Or perhaps it is frustration at not having the real thing, like a lover wanting to have a picture of his or her beloved because their real beloved is not with them.

"Art is a signpost pointing to something else."


consciousness is not functions

The human machine is not the mind.

We think we 'do' and 'decide' but it is done for us and we respond unconsciously. Then we claim that 'I' did it. We rationalise what happened after the fact as if we had planned it consciously all along.

This article from the Economist suggests that decisions on what to think and what to do and even the solving of problems are done before they reach consciousness.

So who do we think we are? The machine which thinks and acts unconsciously? Or the consciousness that perceives after the event?

Is there any way we can rescue the 'common-sense' view that we decide what to do and then do it? Or does thinking just get in the way of decisions already made deep inside the human machine?

The study of 'artificial intelligence' mostly studies functions (like the ability to play chess, for example). It seems clear that functions can be carried out prior to (and perhaps without the help of) consciousness.


Vita - naked women and bicycles

I received an email from a gallery owner in Quebec representing an artist called Vita, who specialises in paintings of naked women, often with bicycles. The gallery owner had responded to my essay, 'Towards a new art'.

I especially liked this painting by Vita in which a woman, beautiful in her nakedness, looks at an abstract painting from which elements have fallen.

There is a commentary on the web site.

In reference to the commentary, the male and female elements both refer to our own psychology - the male guides, the female has the force of inspiration. The male has the rules, the female has the love. One is useless without the other, a string and a bow.