Friday, October 31, 2008

A Note to The Conceptual Aesthetic

If a requirement of art is the aesthetic experience then certainly it is understood that art theorists and philosophers have attempted to define this experience. My concern here is not to elaborate on this definition, only to note that in my perception of the times of which I am a part, and perhaps throughout the past, that certain men and women have taken pleasure in the experience of conceptualization. This emotional response to the formulation of concepts and the process of conceptualization I consider to be at some level an aesthetic experience as well as inherently human. Considering this I am turned to recognize a vast arena of activity that may well be removed from the field of visual aesthetics but stands to elucidate the overwhelming interest in certain areas of the arts, namely the conceptual arts and the portion of visual arts extending into history that supply the viewer with some concept-knowledge that desires to be contemplated and resolved, such as a problem is to be solved. This domain of the aesthetic experience I refer to as the ‘conceptual aesthetic’ and attribute some portion of its attractiveness and existence to the region of the human mind that profits from learning and knowledge. It can certainly be ruled by the assumed extension of the philosophy of aesthetics that man has an innate desire to learn and that this can be represented in and throughout the experience of art. I cannot act as the voice for another man but I can certainly profess my own experience of this attraction. I have for some time now, so far into my history that I cannot recall its origin, taken pleasure and perhaps even pain form my own insatiable desire for this experience; the experience of the conceptual aesthetic. I profess here only that I recognize this experience of conceptual engagement as being bound to the idea of the aesthetic experience as I know it to exist. I also find it helpful in finding validity in the practice of art, as well as the source of some valuable function, which I will hardly describe here, that facilitates in my own experience of learning and of the purely emotional response of reverence towards the greater aesthetic experience of art and life.

Arthur Ganson- Wishbone

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Boundaries to Creativity and Innovation

It appears that some of the most critical advancements in technology and practice are preceded by the collaborative efforts of people from diverse educational backgrounds. The seeds of the most widely appreciated technologies of today were developed and cultivated in environments where the cross fertilization of ideas can flourish. Why then does there remain, on a general level of organization in the domain of education, an impetus to segregate spaces, professions, and practices? What drives this type of segregation and why, when some of our greatest triumphs have proven, is there not a consistent appeal for the creation of spaces, events and opportunities that lead to interaction among the separate communities.

Bell Laboratories, throughout a period between the late 1920's and the 1990's, was a hub for this type of interaction. An endless array of technologies were conceived and developed within the walls of this facility; photovoltaic cells, speech synthesizers, semiconductors, microphones, the wireless local area networks. The list goes on an on. The developments that extended from Bell Laboratories are the infrastructural elements of today's technologically infused environment. One of the key factors behind those developments was Bell Laboratories extension of freedom and diversity into the working environment. In the glory days of the mid 20th century designers, scientists and engineers were provided an environment that encouraged cross pollination. Scattered throughout the facility these professionals were organized dynamically, in a way that fostered random encounters and an overall atmosphere of diversity. A decision that pushed for creative exchange of information; and it worked.

Today, there are conferences, charrettes and civic meetings that bring together a broad coalition of thinkers; building teams that are as diverse as the ecologies of the great barrier reefs. This atmosphere is were the ideas of the future are born and the old ways of segregation are deemed a past-time.

At what point do other more common industrial and academic practices change to meet the demands of such a rapidly evolving social and environmental reality? What is the lag time for such change and how can the established organizations reduce such time, thereby increasing the opportunities for real-time growth and development; meeting the needs of the younger generations who readily acquire the perspectives of the time at hand.

The boundaries to our creative future are only those things that we are unwilling to take the time and perhaps the risk to change. They are the stagnant waters of our social and cultural ecology. They are the places where thoughtful men and women are marginalized for the sake of homogeneity.

This is not an argument for or against specialization in our professional communities. It is an acknowledgment of the value of diversity in the greater practices of humanity; those that assemble to direct the developments of our common future. In place of conformity among the normalization of our institutions let there be a push for diversity, a protest against the homogeneity and a clear expression of the value for variation as exhibited in the atmosphere of those places where our greatest leaps in technology, theory and practice have been witnessed.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

WRIR 97.3: Listen to the interview

I just recieved a copy of the interview that was aired on WRIR 97.3 last friday.
You can listen to the entire 30 minute interview by clicking the following link.

Please note this download takes approxamately 1.5 minutes at 4mb per sec. (143mb total file size)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

WRIR 97.3 : The Zero Hour with Tim Bowring

I was recently interviewed by Tim Bowring, host of "Zero Hour", a weekly show on Richmond's Independent Radio Station, WRIR 97.3. Having the opportunity to express what it is that I do probably should have prompted my response to organize my thoughts and present a more cohesive image of my work. But, I figured there was little need for this type of preparation. I talk about my work whenever the opportunity presents itself and I find my head is regularly glued to the pages of my journal noting the dynamic methods that make up the modes of my practice. Anyway, this was my first radio interview but my stomach did not become the habitat of unruly butterflies. Tim's demeanor certainly facilitated my relaxed approach and I quickly become comfortable rambling on about those things that I find intriguing. The interview went by in the blink of an eye and there it was, fully expressed on the monitor as a series of waveforms, question - response - rambling - direction.... This was great. I am doing exactly what it is that I do when surrounded by comfortable conditions and engaged in a free dialogue. I tend to ramble. And this was the perfect time for me to be free. I am still laughing.

I stepped out of the interview got in my car and then it hit me. Well, it was more of a small tap at the back of the pre-frontal lobe. What did I not say? What about the serious side, the depth of my work that I can barely express when not pasted to my journal? This still passes through my head. And so I am once again determined to write about some of these things. Moving away form the poetic, free, and rambling personality that I exhibit when placed in the comfort zone. Moving towards the other side of my self; the side that analyzes, plans, and organizes cohesive thoughts into paragraphs that could have been taken from some journal article, filed in with the relative mass of writings from our domain of science. This is the flip side of me; the side that I barely even tiptoed around while discussing my background in Planning and Ecology. The side I didn't leave behind when I became a component of the "Art-World" but choose to leave just behind the veil of the work. The place between the atmosphere and the gut of the work; the mind. Its practically always there in some way. It is the cognitive and perhaps conditioned component of my work. And, while rambling on about the other side of my practice, the content that can perhaps be overlooked. My task now will be to express some of those things that I did not express while discussing my work in this interview. I will begin here and now, but this effort will continue as I post a series of entries related to this portion of my practice.

But before i go any farther. This interview will air on Friday, October 24th, 2008 at 12:30 on WRIR 97.3 Richmond Independent Radio.

You can stream the interview from there website via the link above.

Big Thanks Tim, I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunitiy.

And now, the beginning.

A Quick Introduction to The Coming Posts.

I have said, while developing the various artistic statements that i have produced, that revealing the core of my work is not essential to the aesthetic experience. But there is indeed a core, a central concept around which the majority of my work revolves. I am typically not concerned with communicating this content through the work, though it is the impetus behind the majority of what you see when looking at the things that I create. I have however recently decided to begin articulating this content. And this is what i will be posting in the near future.

to be continued.

Next Post Title: The Core: Large Scale Coherence and Small Scale Diversity

Friday, October 17, 2008

Reverence: Review by Portfolio Weekly

"The Smallest Footprint: Ecologically Sustainable Art" was recently reviewed by Betsy DiJulio, critic for Portfolio Weekly.

I am grateful for such coverage and would like to take a moment to thank Betsy for her time.

I became aware of exactly how much influence my previous work had while installing this piece, but it truly hit me while reading this review. Betsy takes time to show her appreciation for this work within the paragraphs of her article. She also tossed in a small jab from the curator in the first line of my portion of the review. But I must say, if the only thing missing in this exhibition was more of my work, then i am happy. This was a welcome way of expressing the curators frustration. It appears that i was contracted to do something other than i thought was clear; maintain artistic freedom, respond openly to the theme of the exhibition and do what it is that i do. The curator was apparently expecting my "stones". She certainly expressed her appreciation for this work but remained open to new work and produced no contract agreement when asked. But, I am pleased that she enjoyed my previous work enough to be frustrated that i did not re-create it for this exhibition. So, I apologised for not supply what was desired. Though this should have been more thoroughly communicated in a contract agreement.

My intention with this exhibition however was to investigate the theme of this show: Ecologically Responsible Art. What is it that makes my previous work responsible to the environment? What is it that characterizes Eco-Art and its many examples in contemporary art? Certainly I consider my work to exist within the domain of an environment. I also consider carefully the material decisions that i make when setting out to create work. That being so, it is rare, if ever, that I re-create work. This would be difficult lest my intention was to directly continue a particular method of expression and even then the work would most certainly take on a different appearance; a different morph. This exhibition however, presented clear path; investigating the principle of being responsible to an ecology, and therefore required a completely different approach. Thus new work, specific to the concept; an honest and unique response that expressed, as an object, my aesthetic. That is not to say that this is what ecologically responsible work is. Reverence is not meant to epitomize my thougths regarding ecologically responsible art. It is simply work that extended from the motivation provided by the exhibit.

Moving on, what should I express, what did I learn form all this:

Always get a contact and always keep the communication flowing to ensure that there is a genuine understanding of what is desired by the gallery.

Also... Make what is true to you and your work; and be prepared to take a a sugar coated punch.

Thanks for the sugar Betsy.

-Bob and Weave.