Monday, July 6, 2009

Me wrestleing with subjectivity and loosing

Yeah guess what? I have two versions of this theory anthology and I just brought the old one cause I figured I’d work on the marx thing at lunch. Guess what this book doesn’t have? Yeah I am pissed. It has some Marx but not everything I need. I definatly need a lot of stuff out of the communist manifesto. I could just hop over to gutenberg and get it but you know? My copy of the book is all highlighted and has all the notes on everything I need. So screw that. So I think I will try poking at the issue of subjective vs. objective art.

There is no objective art DONE!!! I r a theorist give me teh sex & a doktorate.

Still doesn’t anyone find that to be just the slightest bit reductive? I know I do. If you don’t then go away. No for reals though, all art is subjective and we are done with it. The thing is that not all art is subjective. Some of it just is. For example, we’ll use me. The whole Outer Church Politics thing in relation to how it worked with relationships is a highly subjective undertaking. I was sad confused and frustrated over the dissolussion of my relationship, especially when it is something that neither of us wanted. So in order to deal with it I wrote theory…I am the biggest fucking dork on the face of the planet. Subjective no doubt. However, lets take this current project here. It stems from the fact that I am in the mood to theorize, that I left the Marxism I need at home, and that I want to wait on sasha’s email and I want to mentally go over some of the NA25 stuff I came up with in my head before typing it up. Also not in the mood for video games at the moment. I have little to no stake in what I am writing right now, and if you thought it was the most billiant thing in the world I would gladly accept your compliment, otherwise I couldn’t care less if you don’t like it or not.

So when we look at subjectivity, especially as the opposite of objectivity all the sudden the case for this being a subjective piece of work starts to seem just ever so slightly silly.

To use another example. I get pretty riled up about people blaming violenc on video games. So I write a story where they use the bible as a reason to commit violence and they blame the bible, et cetera. So there is a senator running around trying to ban the bible because it causes people to do bat shit silly things far more often than video games, et cetera. it’s a great story and you love it LOVE IT!. I have lots of stake in it. It is a highly subjective piece of work.

I write a poem for class. I scribble it down on a test I get back the class before in under 5 minuts. I don’t even remember what it is about. Some people will love it anyway, that is just the way things go.

I can smell the question. If it isn’t subjective and it isn’t objective than what is it? Well it simply is. It is inert. Well then how do we tell the diffrence between a subjective piece of art and an inert one? This answer is also simple. We don’t.

Art has no intrinsic value. The only value it has is the value we asighn to it when we make it the subject to our thoughts. Art is designed in such a way so that it is potentially a pleasing or at least interesting potential subject. However, until it becomes a subject of our thoughts and thus enters into our subjective universe it is mearly an object that can be just as easily looked over as a particularly uniteresting brick.

I am not one of those people who believe that the world ceases to excist if no one is observing it. Those people are weird and they place far to much self importance on our flawed sensory perceptions. Rather I would have the argument reframed in the perspective of the viewer, or more appropriately the critic. There is a large and colorful movement arguing for the artistic importance of literary criticism. I would like to take it one step to the left and argue that it is the central focus that makes which allows for art to be interacted with. Even if it just involves shutting off your brain and enjoying the visceral thrills of Transformers 2 you are still engaging in a very primal sort of criticism.

Or not. See I don’t like this line of reasoning at all and I am going to abandon it here but not before kicking the compleate and utter crap out of it. See I am on the right track bringing the end value of art back into the viewer. That is what makes the Kantian Sublime special. The problem with this idea, is that it takes away a lot of the intrinsic value that art has. Sure sure I am a critic by trade, it is how I deal with my life problems apparently. While that is fucking weird you know what I am going to do? Criticise that. It makes sense that I would put criticism up on top. It also makes sense from a practical perspective. Kid to the left of your shoots 20 people after dying again in mega man 9 we blame the video games, even though it is clearly the kid’s fault. It still isn’t worth it to me, to have that slight advantage. Especially since I have most of the argument on lock is.
The other problem is pretty obvious. This is definatly one of those hair splitting arguments that I loath in general. It does however, have its purposes. Here look at this: now look at this,, notice the philosophical under objective opposed to subjectivity. See now this is a problem. Granted it is wiki, so take it with a grain of salt. However, I do think that this very moment is extremely telling as it shows that there is a dimetricly opposed situation here between the two beliefs. So much so that one person decided to define one in terms of the other. That’s not cool. Ideas can be opposite, but they also need to stand on their own as independent units. An idea can’t flourish if it is only the by product of some other idea. So some middle ground between the two needs to be established.

This is where I get crazy, but I worked it out during lunch, however I was dehydrated so I don’t know if it will still work out in the same way as before. Alright here it goes. Above when I took all the value out of art and placed it in the critic, I went to far. I saw that as soon as I typed it. However, I do think that there needs to be a sort of categorization between objects of critcism. For example putting a Harlequin Romance novel on the same plate as Heart of Darkness is a little silly. One is the by product of an average writter that is looking to make a quick buck, the other is Heart of Darkness a book written in such a way so that every sentence is imprinting as a sentence in poetry condemning the practice colonialism. Are they the same? See there is a whole branch of theory talking about this. The thing is though the answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on what the critic can engage in. So if you can write a 5 volume treatise on a bunch of harliquin romances, great! And if you can’t on Heart of Darkness, well I might think there is something wrong with you but these things happen. The critismsm prodiced is just as valid in either case.

This way art has intrinsic value apart from criticism…if I didn’t make it clear it does deal with it, criticism maintains its value, and we have strains of objectivity and subjectivity. It is a little bit messy, but this is something I came up with over lunch because I was bored so it isn’t bad.

One of the most important things to bring away from this is that I replaced one reductive argument with another one. I made fun of the fact that there is no objective art book closed. But then I moved all subjectivity into the critic which is also reductive. Doing a reductive argument against a reductive argument isn’t cool. Again keeping the value in art is important, and keeping the rampant individuality of the critic is very important. Most importantly is allowing the critic to draw from any source necessary to do their rampant individuality.

Not bad, for lunch time thought rambling.

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