Jon P

MAX ?’s finally…

In MAX/MSP on 10/11/2009 at 7:38 PM

Sorry to Rebecca and classmates for not posting sooner, I’ve been a little busy lately so don’t take the lateness of this post as a hostile act of rebellion or anything. I now have the time…
My questions from reading are:

1. While I’m relieved that Max uses an object-oriented language to more easily program rather than relying on strict coding language- it seems a little much. Like Robert eluded to the idea of an even more user-friendly interface in his post, would the availability of a program like Max to a larger population devalue it’s wow-factor? Would you be more willing or less willing to explore with this tool if it weren’t such an abstract/esoteric presence in the world of interactive media?

2. A point that was brought up during a discussion in my thesis class was the idea that art is supposed or can be therapeutic however, since becoming a student, I have experienced art as everything but therapeutic and was wondering if I’m doing something wrong. Is it possible within the framework of digital art for a balance of technical and conceptual that could end up qualifying as therapeutic rather than arduous, devastatingly technical or mind-numbingly abstract to the point of alienation? I guess I’m relating this to the McLuhan idea of medium is the message- where the message I’m getting is to become a painter. Any thoughts?

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  1. Response to question 2
    Well, no I never feel frustrations when creating. Ha, yeah right. I feel your pain. It used to be therapy, now I think that I need therapy because of it. I think that we go about applying theory to our work all wrong. In the real world, it is not the artists who are always writing the various discourses on how their art ‘functions’ it is the critics, public and art historians. Not that we should not take the time and learn to great extent the nature of theory and how our art could possibly be seen in contrast to the multitude of theoretical ways of viewing a particular piece. But I think that often times in school we get taught that our work should come from theory, when it should be the other way around, our work should come first. One can apply almost any sort of theory to it afterward. Then only would the work be understood as to how it functions, when it is complete. The mediums of digital art at this point might be too self involved in wondering if what they are creating is considered art. So much so that the enjoyment of creation is often left aside, in pursuit of this larger ideal of Art with a capital ‘A’. But easier said than done. I tell you this though, if I find a way to bring back the therapeutic sense in creating I will give it to you all for free. After that I am selling the idea to Adobe make a crap-ton of money and then forget about the whole dilemma.

  2. Question 1:
    I agree that the object-oriented langusge is easier to use, but for someone who has no real idea about how code works, still makes it difficult to understand. I don’t believe a more useer friendly version would devalue the “wow” factor at all. The complexity of the program doesn’t define the value of the work it produces, how the creator works with the program to produce does.

  3. 2. I’m with you on this experience with digital art. I keep thinking that I might be doing something wrong as well.

    For the technical side, I think that it will always have a steeper learning curve. For that, it is just a matter of whether or not an artist can derive some enjoyment out of that process after getting familiar with the basics.

    In my opinion conceptualism is a much larger problem. Art is only therapeutic if the artist is given the opportunity to enjoy the process through exploration with the medium. That’s why I did painting for my sequence of three. It allowed me to kick back and enjoy the “happy accidents”.

    From what I can tell, Digital Art relies on conceptualism more than any other medium. It’s probably because Digital Art is the new kid in school and feels insecure and driven to find a place in the established pecking order. Photo did the same thing when they were cutting edge and that caused some anxiety for Painting. Conceptualism is just a means to justify presence and assert dominance over other mediums.

    It’s just phallic intellectualism.

    Short answer:
    No, it will not become a therapeutic outlet until the artist is free from having to justify their work. Critics and theorists are the artist’s biggest burden.

  4. Answer to 1:
    No, I wouldn’t be less wowed. I would be thankful, because in the end, it would help me teach my students in the future and allow people other than digitally-prone art students to embrace programming. I want to see 4-year olds programming. That’s my hope. Simpler and graphically-based (icon) platforms would allow that. I want my children to create programs… programs that MEAN something and enrich our lives.

    Answer to 2:
    Dude. Duuuuuude.
    I tried to enter art school twice in the last ten years, once after high school at SAIC and then at RMCAD about 7 years ago (the latter of which I actually applied by the deadline and got accepted). Both times I fled in the end, because I could not bare to think that I would eventually have to sell my work and force that kind of consumerism onto my therapeutic pracitce that got me through life and all it’s f*ed up ways.
    But you know what? It takes a really big step to walk into the realm of intellectualism and conceptualism in art and offer what you have on a plate for all to examine and decide if they want to eat it or not. You can either provide them with something digestable and delicious, or perhaps something bitter and foul, or maybe something in betwen that is bittersweet and leaves them satiated but still looking for more later.
    Taking your art to the public is the name of the game that you speak of, the game that seemingly sucks you of all your therapy and hope and sanctuary… everything you thought you were as an artist suddenlu is challenged and people are questioning you left and right about the validity of your ideas. But here’s what I think. Art or no art, this happens to EVERYONE in the world as we age and are prodded to provide examples and portfolios of our worth and excellence. That’s the corporate monster, yes, but it’s also daily living in non-corporate endeavors as well. Everyone wants to hire a rock star. No different in the arts.

    One of my favorite philosophies is that to change a system, to really make a change, you have to first be a part of that system and be one with it, so you can change it from within. No one listens as well to an outsider as they do to an insider – or a ‘supposed’ insider. Change it from within. You want art as therapy to be the name of the game? Get in the game and get known, and then tell them how it really is and where it’s going, according to you.

    Who was it, maybe Foucault… that said that the best way to work and change a system is to stay within the boundary of the discourse and then deconstruct it from within… was that Foucault or was that someone critiquing Foucault?

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