2005/01/26

The subject of visual arts in postmodernism. (2)

Starting with the idea of knowledge, we know for a sure fact that the most advanced scientific undertakings are in the field of the sciences of complexity. How does life start? Is it a godly creation or is it spontaneous emergence under specific conditions?

My views are derived from the conclusions reached by contemporary scientists and also from the study of the civilizational building blocks in Europe and principally in China. As I already stated earlier late contemporary rationality seem to fuse with traditional Chinese wisdom. What is considered central in the principle of reality is change with no start nor end, no good nor bad, only the change from one state/moment to another state/moment.

The "Tao Te Ching" conceives of the sky and the earth as the combination, the ordering of an infinity of elements (ten thousand things) derived out of chaos. Once order is established, the sky and the earth are entering a non ending dance of changes that directly impacts on humans' lives. Let's relate this to astronomical studies and the ten thousand things become the elements of change following the big bang, their combination and ordering taking place along the 13.7 billion following years.

Life itself is then perceived as a gradual process of change starting some 4 billion years ago with the spontaneous emergence of unicellular organisms. The search for more complexity that is inscribed in all cells leads then those unicellular organisms, over the following one billion years, to combine together to give multi-cellular organisms. The next steps of evolution then lead to ever more deeper levels of complexity to reach the human form with its present day characteristics some 100-150,000 years ago.

Religious believers doubt this presentation and ask about what comes before the big bang. Seeing that science is without any hard fact as of today about what came before the big bang, they argue that god must have been the originator of the intelligent design that is found in our universe and so they establish their god as the ultimate final cause from which everything originates.

But this logic is flawed for it is not because science is still without any hard observations or answers today about what came before the big bang that it will not tomorrow succeed to grasp such observations. This mode of questioning the validity of the scientific model of reasoning is basically dishonest. We all know by now that science will never come to the end of its quest for understanding so taking a question that is not resolved scientifically at one particular moment in history as proof of the non validity of the scientific model is indeed fundamentally dishonest.

Suffice here to notice that traditional Chinese wisdom is not without answers. In this vision the universe that preceded ours concluded with all matter imploding into energy and this energy later exploding into the big bang that originated our present universe that is still expanding and will continue to to so till it uses all the energy liberated by the big bang. When our universe will have used up all the energy liberated in the big bang it will start shrinking till all matter implodes into energy that is bound to explode creating a new starting universe and so on. Energy is composed of the Yang principle and matter is composed of the Yin principle. Old Yang mutates into young Yin that becomes old Yin. Old Yin mutates into young Yang that ages into old Yang. Old Yang ... and so on without end.

The traditional Chinese philosophy experiences no need to find causes, it succeeds to explain changing realities from the energetic contact between polarities (chapter 2.2. of Artsense). Change is thus conceived of as being inherent to what is there. Having no intellectual need to recourse to causality the Chinese have also no need to stop the search for earlier causality with an abstractly posited final causality and thus they do not need to invent gods.

Following in the footsteps of this reasoning, we reach the conclusion that our universe follows a circular movement corresponding to the cycles of matter expansion and energy concentration.
The cosmos follows one spiral but the "ten thousand things" within the cosmos follow each a similar spiral and thus what I see now are ten thousand spirals within one huge unit that is the spiral of the universe. Humanity and individuals are both surfing, conscientiously or unconscientiously, on their own temporal spiral.
The conscience of this complex reality brings me to my mission as an artist that I see as the creation of visual signs about our surfing on the spiral waves in our cosmos.

That's the background of my painting of my visual perception of reality. That's also my personal answer to my initial questions "how to let the intellect derive a visual form out of its activity?", "what do we find in later modern times and in our present day reality that is really shaping our societies?".

Knowledge is the universal and unique answer to the quest for sense of the artist. The time of the "men of power" imposing on all the knowledge of the "men of knowledge", this time of propaganda is gone I hope with no possible return.
But this does not mean that knowledge is gone, it remains there as a possibility.

The only serious problem for the artist at the dawn of the 21st century is that knowledge today is not given, it is in the forming, in the shaping, it is indeed not mature yet and as such sharing in its shaping implies accepting to "dirty" one's hands in the intellectual process of creating ideas.

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