Saturday, August 8, 2009

Platonic and the Ever Changing...

From post and comments on Nigel Beale's Nota Bene ... I responded to the suggestion that appreciation of art arises from 'contemplation,' as opposed to 'inquiry'.. .which leads to 'knowledge'... the realm of science and pragmatic pursuits.

The work itself is a form inquiry–the making of it I mean. The greater problem with contemplation is that it is static; the proper object of contemplation, remember, was the eternal, the unchanging. The making of a book or painting or musical composition is all process, fabricating an emerging network of interrelated associations. Experiencing a work of art is no less dynamic; one moves through those networks, here and there, back and forth, and in the process, different configurations emerge while others recede.

The contemplative, too, seeks knowledge, knowledge not at all like that of either artist or scientist–knowledge of the immutable, which I find antithetical to both.

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