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Integral Art --- A Manifesto

Last post 10-21-2007, 7:28 PM by Sirenia67. 0 replies.
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  •  10-21-2007, 7:28 PM 30435

    • Sirenia67 is not online. Last active: 10-21-2007, 8:09 PM Sirenia67
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    Integral Art --- A Manifesto

    Integral Art--- A Manifesto

     

               As we move into the twenty first century, our culture as a society is changing, moving towards a new consciousness of ideals, and a new Integral methodology. Artists, as observers of the world, have always responded to and reflected changes in culture with their artwork. As human beings we must respond in a way that reflects a new consciousness, and a way to honor others.

     

    Artwork has always been about values, which is why there has been so many different art movements, because, artists have been influenced by something, and according to their subjective values, have either embraced something, or in reaction to it, have moved away from it. What are values except felt emotions? Values don’t exist in the external world, or in the artwork. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  Rather, values exist in the individual. The value of a piece of artwork exists within the viewer.

     

               There is both Integral Art and artwork done integrally. These are two different strands and should not be confused. So, what is Integral Art? Simple, it’s artwork that showcases the integral world.  Not all artwork needs to be about or inspired by, the integral view, because, after all, we are not fascists, imposing our own ascetic values upon the community, but Integral Art would showcase the ideas of holons, transcending and including, the four quadrants…etc. Artwork done integrally, can be any type of art, that has a different subject matter…i.e. “first tier” subjects survival, fantasy, art for pure ascetic value(the art for art’s sake)…etc. traditionally,  that is part of the “human” experience but is now informed integrally. This being informed integrally is having the artist know about the different holonic realms of Art. This is

     

               It’s important to realize the Integral method isn’t a method of how we should do art, just as the Integral method isn’t The Way or the path, that which is only known by experience.  The Way is like the Tao, which is beyond words and cannot be named.  Rather, the Integral Method is a way of synthesizing information and tools, a way of understanding the different paths that we take.  Science is a tool, just as Religion, Philosophy, Art…etc. is also a tool. It depends on where your looking from, and what you are trying to accomplish.

              

               What are some of the examples of Integral Artwork? This is also simple also. It hasn’t really been created yet (or not yet widely created). Just as modern day spiritual people turn towards the myths and stories of previous generations, and incorporate the transpersonal elements of it, the Integral artist will turn towards previous generations and will use the methods and techniques of the previous masters and will use this “vocabulary,” of the medium, but now looking towards a different future and a new theme. One of the artist who we can could call Integrally informed is the visionary artist Alex Grey, who shows us artwork that reminds us of Spirit. As the people become more spiritual, holistic, and integrally informed, then there will arise more artists who will heed the call of bringing this consciousness in visual, auditory, kinesthetic…form.

               Hopefully, this new type of artwork won’t become just another Ism of the modern era….Impressionsism, Fauvism, Futurism…etc. This Integral Art won’t be the Modernist idea of utopia that failed. Rather, it acknowledges, that the world is in front of us, and that we are creating a better world with each step, here and now. We are acknowledging the god-process of creating our future.  This artwork will incorporate Post-Modernism in the sense that it will have a myriad of different styles, each coming from a different individual, that realizes they are each part of an individual/collective. It will embrace Post-Modernism this way, but in another way will transcend it. It will add a new layer of depth to the artworld, and in the process, the Kosmos. 

               So where do we go, if we are to move beyond Post-Modernism?  Our society needs to move towards an Integral future, where we can make these distinctions and move towards a more holistic inter-subjective world. Art doesn’t have to have a specific form, because the World of Form also changes, and the form of Art will change depending on cultural contexts, technology….etc.

     

    Whatever, it looks like, it will address what Raymond Tallis, in the magazine Philosophy Now, says is the fourth hunger  (“Art (and Philosophy) and the Ultimate Aims of Human Life.”). The fourth hunger is trying to satisfy the agony of “never having been fully there,” or the incongruity between our expectations and reality. “We may translate the mismatch between our experience and the idea of it-as a result of which we somehow do not experience our experiences- as a disconnection between content and form. The content is the actual experience, with all the sense data served up by the accidents of the moment: and the form is the idea of experience. In a truly realized work of art, in contrast with our lives, form and content are in harmony”

     

               For those of you who believe you have an idea of what art is supposed to look like, I leave you with a parable of the Buddha.

     

     

               At that time, a certain monk went to his fellow monk and asked: “Friend, how is understanding fully purified?’

               “When one sees as it really is the arising and ceasing of the sixfold sense base, then understanding is fully purified.”

               But dissatisfied with that answer, that monk went on to another monk and asked the same question, and he was told: “Friend, when one sees as it really is the arising and ceasing of the clinging aggregates, then understanding is fully purified.”

               But again that monk was dissatisfied with that answer, so he went to another monk, asked the same question, and was told: “Friend, when one sees as it really is the arising and ceasing of the four great elements, then understanding is fully purified.”

               But still dissatisfied with that answer, he went to yet another monk, put his question again, and that monk replied: “Friend, when one sees as it really is that everything that arises also passes away, then understanding is fully purified.”

               Still dissatisfied with all these answers, that monk approached the Lord and told him of the question he had asked and the replies he had received. Then he addressed the Lord and said: “Lord, how is understanding fully purified?”

               “Suppose,” said the Lord, “a man has never seen a kimsuka tree so he goes to a man who has, and asks: ‘What is a kimsuka tree like?’ And that man replies: ‘Well, my man, a kimsuka tree is blackish, something like a charred stump.’ So, for the time being, the tree is to him as the other man sees it. Not satisfied with this answer to his question he goes to another man who has seen one, and again puts his question. And the other man answers: ‘Well, my man, a kimsuka tree is reddish, something like a lump of meat.’ So, for the time being, the tree is to him as the other man sees it. Still not satisfied, he goes to another man who has seen a kimsuka tree and puts his question to him. And the other man answers: ‘Well, my man, a kimsuka tree has no bark and its seed pods burst something like an acacia tree.’ So, for the time being, the tree is to him as the other man sees it. Still dissatisfied, he goes to another man who has seen a kimsuka tree and puts his question yet again. And that man answers: ‘Well, a kimsuka tree has thick leaves and gives close shade something like a banyan tree.’ So, for the time being, the tree is to him as the other man sees it. All these good folk have given their explanations according to the purity of their understanding. In the same way the understanding of the monks you have asked has been purified according to their individual inclinations and they have given their explanations accordingly.”

     

               So, now the question is, how is the understanding of Art fully purified? Can it be told, or is it an experiential reality. That which can only be experienced for oneself. Art exists in the realm of contemplatio, of contemplation.  The great debate between realistic art and abstract art is both silly and pointless. It arises from a dualistic mindset. For all Art, both realistic and abstract is both subjective and objective. “Realistic” art never was realistic, and it shows the subjective view of the artist, and “Abstract” art is never apart from an object, even if that object is an idea. It always makes some statement, even if that statement is “the artist as creator,” or the joy of creating. Art only exists when the artist is creating, or when the viewer is contemplating the artwork. But, as the parable above illustrates, this can only be experienced for oneself. 

               I encourage all those whose feel the urge to create to experience this for themselves, and to help creating a more unified reality.

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