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One thing this discussion is highlighting it he question of what people
are looking at in regard to art and artists. Typically, in the larger
and vaguer Western culture we have focused on the individual, in art on
the individual artist. It is possible to take an ecological viewpoint
however. It does not invalidate the perspective of individualism but
represents only another, alternitive viewpoint.
Artists, like almost all of us, are part and products of a larger social
ecology. When you remove a creature from its native ecology and cage
it in a 19th century zoo it can no longer exist without artificial
support from the zoo staff. An artist might be seen in a similar light.
Even relative isolates such as Van Gogh could be seen as reflecting a
lack of important nourishment from the community. Yes we can look only at
the artist and we can see the artists decisions and behaviors as entities
arising from the artist alone. There are good, time honored reasons for
taking such a view. But I think we can also learn something through
examining the various communities penetrated by, or participated in, by the
artist. To a degree they might be said to be co-creators and it can be
interesting to imagine how this might be occuring.
All-in-all we "see" very little of what goes on for an artist, or a the
community: artist/ecology. There may be a lot of data to look at, but
there is no doubt much more that remains unseen. Further the
relationships and interconnectivity is quite complex and often impossible
to trace very far.
I should note something that may have been mis-communicated or
mis-understood in my earliest posts on this thread. I responded to the
discussion of problems and DBAE NOT in an attempt to invalidate or "dis"
DBAE but as a notation of some areas in DBAE where my needs are not being
met so far. Things I'd like to find more accessible in DBAE. I have
tended to see DBAE as a vital living, and therefore growing and
changing thing; not as a fixed unevolving methodology or perspective.
DBAE is capable of an almost infinite variety of things, but not unless
we ask or begin the inquery....
But, back to the concept of the "outsider". I've frequently thought of
late that when we are involved in art work sometimes it is in respose to
existing art, to history, to familiar aesthetics. At other, usually rarer,
times the art work arises almost exclusively from inner needs which may
be difficult even for the artist to perceive or express. Historically,
from this perspective, most art would be "about art" and in one way or
another "insider art". From this perspective, Van Gogh and Seurat could
be seen as outsiders. Henri Rousseau might be too from a slightly
different point of view or for slightly different reasons. (Half a
century from now it might be possible to look at Finster in a similar way
to that in which we "look" at Rousseau)
I particularly enjoyed the inclusion of Dubuffet here, I'd forgotten that
in Janson. Does Klee fit here as well?