Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Quote of the Day: How art is different to entertainment or pretty decoration


"This leads us to a second point and an even more remarkable assertion in neuroscience, that our brain/mind requires not satiation but a search for meaning. In his paper 'The Dance Form of the Eyes,' renowned neurophysiologist Ralph D. Ellis ... argues for the search for meaning ..., using art as his vehicle:
… "'Emotions arise from the total life process, which is a dynamical system – not as an isolated chemical event or a causal result of a simple stimulus. For this reason, emotions call not just for satiation or pleasure, but for explication; this is why art is different from entertainment or pretty decoration …  Emotions are not even triggered by simple ’stimuli,' but rather by the meaning for us of a stimulus in a total context determined by on-going and dynamical organismic purposes. Visual art affords not only a meaningful, self-directed dance of the eyes, but also a meaningful dance of this emotional explicating process....
"'In experiencing art, we want a form of symbolisation that can intensify our emotional experience … We want not only to reduce our drives, which brings pleasure in the straightforward sense meant by hedonists, but also to intensify the degree of consciousness we experience -— to fully feel the value of that which we value …'"
~ Barbara Lamprecht, from her paper 'Why Ornament Matters: A User's Guide to the 21st Century'


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