Tuesday, June 02, 2009

after Kandinsky

(a provisional reconstruction of, and development of, Kandinsky's system, outlined in Kandinsky's 1911 monograph Concerning the Spiritual in Art, but considered to have possibly wider sociological relevence.)

1. Initial premises:

Suppose a special case of neo Burkean naturalistic philosophy: the absence of an immanent technical limit. Consider designated artistic masterpieces to represent the precipitate of humanity's self actualising struggle. These designated masterpieces can be called "dominant art". Humanity is considered to be purposive and its dominant art sublative of its purposive struggle.

2a. Since works of art concretely exist, a technical limit must exist for "humanity's self actualising struggle".

2b. hence abstract art: the dramatisation of an imagined technical limit.

2c. dominant art is abstract art (2a).

3a. from the systematisation of dominant art necessarily follows the innovation of new dominant art, since dominant art is necessarily formally unamenable to systematisation (2c), and dominant art represents the precipitate of humanity's ongoing purposive struggle.

3b. hence the stress on systematisation as a political strategy in 20th Century social criticism; or, the imagined political efficacy of art criticism in 20th Century literature.

3c. since dominant art sublates humanity's purposive struggle, humanity cannot purposively effect innovation in art without this new art negating existant dominant art and superceding it in turn.

3d. hence the Hegelian dynamics of late 19th and early 20th Century art and art criticism.

4a. since all instances of dominant art are equally sublative of humanity's purposive struggle, dominant art is not merely art, but only one kind of omnological work. The importance of art subsists in its sublative function rather than its optical merits. The particular form of an omnological work is relatively unimportant.

4b. paintings are equivalent to "the spiritual life".

4c. art is equivalent to philosophy.

4d. sex is equivalent to art; is equivalent to philosophy.

4e. "a chef can discourse on cooking techniques as if they were moments in universal history".

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