05 September 2011

An evolutionary basis for making pictures (and other random blithering)

It looks like, as a species, we've established pretty clearly that, from an evolutionary perspective, carrying around these silly big brains and producing this silly babble (I use the term advisedly) from our mouths was not such a good idea after all.

The birds communicate with each other much better, but then they've been around for a lot longer than we swaggering apes. It's important to remember we're just animals acting out of instinct. None of the findings of our neuroscience would surprise Nietzsche. He realised the rationalisations are just superfluously added on afterwards.

Both your self and your free will are illusions, wild imaginings of your mind, to be enjoyed as such but never taken seriously, no, never taken seriously.

I make pictures because I think they're the only worthwhile contribution our species has made to the world (along with maths and possibly music and architecture – oh, and philosophy and theoretical physics, but just for the laughs). If we didn't make pictures, no-one else would.

And a great picture is such a glorious thing.

This is why I also reckon that, if there's a decision to be made that affects whether a picture gets made or not, that decision is a no-brainer. If it's a question of whether the picture exists or not, of course the picture should exist. Including the bad ones. You don't know till you make it. And the distinction between good and bad is not something that anyone really has any control over anyway.

But that's a story for another day. (The short version is that the concept of control is another wild imagining.)

Like all pure research, art is a field of human endeavour to which the laws of supply and demand do not apply. (From which it follows (with some intervening steps elided) that none of the normal rules apply to artists!) Whether there is a demand for a picture is not a factor in determining whether that picture is produced. It is produced for its own sake – for a rare actual example of a term usually loosely bandied about far too widely: its inherent value.

Nothing else matters. The battle-cry: Lines and colour on a flat surface!

No comments:

visitors since 29 March 2004.