search  current discussion  categories  philosophy 

discipline - it continues..! or, art thoughts...contin'd...

updated thu 13 may 04


pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET on wed 12 may 04

Hi Kathy,

Probably I have been sloppy...not being
clear or economical in my mentions...having pictures in
my head as I am addressing...allways that 'danger' of
unwitting abstractions being made...too...likely overworked
still, days all run together in a blurr...winds and pollens

Below...&...amid...some more Ore from the mine, just as it
comes out...maybe not too refined...

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kathy Forer"

> Hi Phil,
> A provocative essay, especially
> after
> seeing your text re-wrapped (as at the end)
> and printed
> out. Why do your posts
> always
> wrap double? It makes them
> harder to read.

Don't know - I did not know they did...when I get 'em, they
look just like when they
were writ...curious!

> Enough form. or pedantry.

...don't rule me out too fast...!
...even if I worn out plenty of shoes...

> I disagree with your premise that craftsmanship implies
utility alone,

Oh no...I must have been vague or sloppy...sorry...I had no
such premis. I had no intention of thinking anything like
that...ever...never in my Life far as I

I did intend to mention, that in practical terms, I feel
that Craftsmanship defers to many simultaneous levels of
something 'does' and never to mere banalified 'function' as
indifference to all else or as an abstraction from all else,
or, I had that in mind, if I was not clear in the mention...

"Zyglone B" was 'effecient...if disappointing maybe in it's
imports as other than an abstraction of the Chemist's or
Politician's accomplishments. A Molecule maybe takes some
Art to make, and some Craftsmanship to make...but the whole
of the tableau of what happens 'then', may not be found to
be an embuement of either Art or Craftsmanship...or maybe it
is a matter of taste, as govern our apprehensions of these

Or for is a matter of 'quality', and that, we find,
is not so easy to define. Other than it helps to have some
interest in context as well as in abstractions...or for me
it does...

Among endless examples of my favorite kinds of
things...about any upper grade Fountain Pen from the '00s or
'teens...or ditto of Watch from the first three decades of
the 19th Century, which I see, impeccible confluence
and expression of Art and Craftsmanship....unsurpassed,
maybe insurpassable...yet no gallery would likely condescend
to glance at one for a moment. Or, unless it were pretending
to be...something 'else' as say an abstract 'form' on a
dias. But to me, it, they succeed elegantly where 99 percent
of all other fatous human endevour, fails...and 95 percent
maybe of all so called 'Art' fails AS the abstraction it
seeks justification for itself IN being, or, in hideing
behind. And, where 95 percent at least, of so called 'Craft'
or Craftsmanship fails, in whatever it's justifications for
itself may be, "handmade" or not.

As a society, we wanted to make 'art' into ghettos...and
became embarassed at reminders of such aesthetics as (real)
Craftsmanship would espress...and to 'have' it, or them, AS
abstractions only. As emotionally charged commodities
themselves abstracted from our Lives, or, we from them...

So, at their heights of banality, we have now the 'whitney'
selling the 'picasso' for one hundred and ten million
dollars...whilst a 'real' Boy with or without a 'Pipe' is as
worthless as the rest of human garbage-fodder for the mills
of the marketplace.

That is something I am not likely to approve.

While 'Art' may BE as abstractions in some way, is
elegant at times, is magical at times...we may find some
dissonence between the exemplified or modified abstractions,
and, the (actual?) things they import to represent or
associate or allude to or evoke some relation about...which
is maybe a different question...but it may be a component of
the same question afterall, or can be, if we do not make the
'question' too abstract...

Now a sketch, made extempore or at liesure, on a napkin,
with a pencil, at a Cafe or something...just may attain
about as much genius and vivid compelling transcendant
'magic' as anyone can stand...may be thought of as Art in
all the happy and easy ways as the celestial hierarchies
should looking down upon, smile or nod approval glances to, that extreme, there is likely no handy notion of
Craftsmanship to be attributed...unless we say that to have
been made at all for us to see, entailed an election of
method and materials as have themselves, some contribution
to the realization of the intent, and, the quality of that
contribution, and, the uses we or anyone may have for the

Matted, Framed, hung on a wall, with a price tag on
becomes an abstraction multiplied against is
set, or elevated, into a formal role...which also can be
fine...and is a dimension of what it then, in practice,
becomes, as an exponential abstract.

It does not need justifications or explainations to BE
experienced as interesting, meritorious or
either context...and it is 'useful' to one's interests in
any number of aesthetic ways as do not rely on it's being a
physical Tool or mediacy for the management of some physical
task or intention...

I have never said that (so called) 'Art' needed to 'do'
anything pragmaticly deferential to physical deeds or uses
AS a physical object or Tool or other.

But I do feel, that a great deal of so called Art has
insinuated itself into a mystique, which as itself, it would
never have garnered or earned or retained otherwise.


I have no such premis as you mention, sorry Kathy! - I need
to be
more clear ( not allways easy for me...)

Maybe I was obliquely advocating (the noun of) Art as a
dimension OF
(the verb of) Craftsmanship, and, as well, (the noun of)
Craftsmanship as a dimension of ( the verb of)

Or, it depends on where one is looking 'from' these
terms have many connotative meanings or associations...and
as will also depend on one's experience...or that in the
generally middle of things, they are
about the same in practical my view of the
matter, but at extremes, they may differ in their emphasis.

I regret ever being lulled by others so as to 'see' Art as a
sequestered noun where it may be at the expence OF seeing it
as a verb.

Left to my own devices, I see Art as a qualitative dimension
or embuement OF something, and not, or never 'as' the thing

As a noun, it is easily mere banality, or banality making.

As a verb or as a careful noun, it (Art as has no intention
of pragmatic physical utility,) is a kind of
'Model-Making'...if of emotional or mental or
visceral-feeling Models...or, commemorations, or
conjectures, or hypotheticals of experience in some way...

And I see Craftsmanship, as the quality of realization
attained, in how something as is made, does what it does in
physical terms, as, to exist at all as a physical thing, the
way it is made, and how it will do something, will
constellate or arise from, or defer to feelings, aesthetic
sensibility, or, as may be, abstracts of them in some way.



el ve