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About davidm

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  1. davidm added a post in a topic What Are Your Top Five Favorite Paintings?   

    Here are some long-standing ideas about the relation of Art (in the broad sense, not just pictorial art) and the world at large:
    Art tracks the contemporary world; comments on it, elucidates it, gives it form and meaning.
    Art anticipates the world to come; i.e., the notion of the artist as a seer.
    Art retroactively reconstructs what has already happened, trying to give form and meaning to the past.
    And as I write down these well-worn tropes, I feel keenly how explanatorily futile all of them are. They are little more than cliches. 
    Moreover, on my notion expressed upthread that art is dead, one might argue similarly for religion, philosophy, and even science. If this is even approximately right, what might it say about our world and where it might be headed?
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  2. davidm added a post in a topic Introduce yourself here...   

     IchBinDormin. It's as Heretic   says. But feel free to start some threads and jump start the joint. 
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  3. davidm added a post in a topic What Are Your Top Five Favorite Paintings?   

    I liked your essay, but I would contest parts of it. The fact that the U.S. shifted from a creditor to a debtor nation in 1985 does not, in my view, mean the U.S. stopped being an empire. It really depends on how you define the word "empire." If by "empire" we mean the old colonial model of European powers that physically controlled overseas territory, then certainly all empires collapsed after World War II. If we simply define "empire" as "creditor nation," then, yes, the American empire ended in 1985. But I see no reason to do that. There's nothing wrong with debt per se, provided it can be serviced. It just seems to me that the U.S. borrows to finance its empire. But it's a different kind of empire. I would say that the empire today is the empire of transnational finance -- i.e., globalism. Globalism just is the empire, and the U.S. (along with other nations, certainly) remains at the forefront of this. Greece, for example, is no longer an independent nation, and its democracy is a sick and irrelevant joke. Greece is a colony of the empire of transnational finance, its people locked forever in indentured servitude that is hardly a step ahead of real slavery.
    What has all this to do with art? Good question. When I come up with an answer, I'll let you know. But, seriously, I think there is an answer, or several answers, which touch on the interesting problem: Just what is the relation of art (and here I mean art in the broad sense; not just pictorial art, but literature, music, high art and popular art, etc. etc.) to the "real world"? So I'll try to offer some tentative answers -- opinions, really -- in a later post.
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  4. davidm added a post in a topic What Are Your Top Five Favorite Paintings?   

    Does this mean we are not going to argue and fight?
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  5. davidm added a post in a topic What Are Your Top Five Favorite Paintings?   

    Yes, I will have to finish that, won't I?
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  6. davidm added a post in a topic What Are Your Top Five Favorite Paintings?   

    I like art that is transgressive. Unfortunately, such art may no longer be possible today, since all boundaries have been transgressed! Beyond these transgressed borders lies … nothing. Nothing at all. Like Hamlet's Undiscovered Country, like death itself, it may be that the next country of art is not so much undiscovered as undiscoverable, because, like the afterlife, it fails to exist. 
    An artist like Bouguereau represents the apotheosis of a long line of artistic degeneration: Mighty Rembrandt turns in his grave. Finally, the artist, this Bouguereau,  brings to perfect fruition mindless idealization, empty prettiness, the triumph of surface over substance, of superficiality over depth. But then -- BAM! -- as though wielding Thor's hammer, the Impressionists come along and shatter art into millions of pixels of color, instigating a revolution in color and pictorial conception. A hundred fifty years later, we still have Impressionist painters, but their works are a dime a dozen, and no one cares or should care. Been there, done that. 
    Then Van Gogh comes along and answers the petit bourgeois Bouguereau and his cloying confederates by painting The Potato Eaters. Even his brother hated it! It is ugly. And so Van Gogh introduces ugliness into the art canon, a strand of creation that Picasso will pick up and refine decades later. See his Weeping Woman, for instance. And so much else!
    But Van Gogh then meets the Impressionists and abjures his own creations, contemptuously deeming them "brown-gravy" works, in the same way that in poetry, Van Gogh's contemporary, Rimbaud, abandons his own art and dismisses his work as "dishwater."
    Van Gogh does not abandon art, however, but learning from the Impressionists he transcends them and produces his own magisterial works of color expressiveness that no one had ever seen or even imagined before. After Van Gogh dies, one of his idiot relatives proposes destroying all of the artist's works, so misunderstood were they. Fortunately this doesn't happen. Van Gogh's efforts spawn the Fauves, the Wild Beasts. Then Picasso comes along and (descending from Cézanne) does to form, what the Impressionists and Van Gogh did to color. We get Cubism, and then we get, for the first time in Kandinsky, non-representational art. Art is off to the races. The 20th century represents the great triumph of artistic transgression, the rebuttal to the banalities of Bouguereau and so many other hacks. We get German expressionism, abstract expressionism, minimalism, maximalism, pop art, postmodern art, on and on … and now we are run into the ditch.
    In transgressing no borders, artists like Bouguereau negatively inspired the artists of the future to transgress all borders. However, having transgressed all borders, the artists of the last century and a half have left no borders to transgress! So pictorial art, like literature, is dead; to be sure great works are always turned out, but none of them will have the impact of the works of the past. As Henry Miller remarked about poetry in Time of the Assassins, his famous study of Rimbaud, What is the voice of poetry, above the roar of the atomic bomb? 
    The only future I can see for transgressive art is the merging of Man with Technology; i.e., metaphorically merging Rimbaud with the atom bomb.
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  7. davidm added a post in a topic What Are Your Top Five Favorite Paintings?   

    Just to note, the works I posted in no way constitute my "five favorite paintings," just specimens of work that I like. I don't find it possible to make such a list. 
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  8. davidm added a post in a topic What Are Your Top Five Favorite Paintings?   

    I agree. 
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  9. davidm added a post in a topic What Are Your Top Five Favorite Paintings?   

    God, I hate  Bouguereau.
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  10. davidm added a post in a topic What Are Your Top Five Favorite Paintings?   

    Heretic and I have been discussing (arguing about) art in chat so I thought I'd reopen this thread and continue the chat discussion (argument) here. More later. 
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  11. davidm added a post in a topic Richard Dawkins, asshole   

    That's very apropos and true!
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  12. davidm added a topic in Influence   

    Richard Dawkins, asshole
    God, what a worthless ass hole Richard Dawkins is.
    Can I be a creationist now? Because I'm moving in that direction just because of Dawkins. 
    BTW, nothing is working properly. Trying to use url tags to enclose words yields gibberish. That's why I just posted the link raw. 
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  13. davidm added a post in a topic Site update problesm   

    OK, yeah, status update is completely incapacitated for me. Can't do it! Can't even respond to other status updates, though I could do that at first, after the upgrade. Now I can't. 
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  14. davidm added a post in a topic 2015 NFL Week 1 Picks   

    "Washington Racial Slur," LOL
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  15. davidm added a post in a topic Site update problesm   

    Thanks, I'll do that Hugo. There still remain a couple of other glitches I'm finding. I can't post up a new status reply of my own, and now I find I can't even reply to the status replies of others, though before I could. When I try to do either, a box very briefly pops up, then disappears, and I am returned to the home page. Also, there no longer seems to be a "preview post" button. 
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