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Is an artist's "vision" primarily a product of experience or imagination? I don't want to pursue the simple answer that it's both. Is it primarily one or the other, of if it's just plain old both, how do they interact to create an imaginary world?

Is it true that some people have more artistic vision than others, or is this kind of seeing equally available to all?

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Comment by xiver on January 5, 2008 at 12:37pm
We corcern about art. We know there's two kind of art. Soul touching and mind distortion. Soul touching makes us understand without think hard because beyond our mind can accept that. Mind distortion makes us respons of think, made conversations, or even doing something. I saw that your 'art' is mind distortion. That's not everybody can do. Salute to you..
Comment by Partha Dasgupta on January 5, 2008 at 12:08am
Guess it's like the concept of the "road less tread". Forget which writer it was who talks about going for a walk with an elder relative in the morning across a snow covered field as a child. Once they'd crossed, the older relative turned around and showed the child his straight steps while the child's meandered across the entire field and how the boy had 'wated time & energy' - which is when the Author decided never to stop exploring. If in the race to get to the destination, we ignore the beauty of the journey, who knows how many of life's adventures we'll miss.
Comment by Stacy Esch on January 4, 2008 at 10:06am
Sometimes I think if we worked harder at expanding our perceptions we would be more imaginative, which is a little like saying if we let more reality in, we'll become more visionary, which seems paradoxical but I think it's true. To take Partha's example above, if we weren't satisfied with just touching the tail, or the trunk, or the flank, but kept going until we experienced all three--that would produce, maybe, a transcendent vision....

Our brain can act like a prison guard, directing us to perceive only what we expect to perceive. We're used to seeing tails, so that's what we see over and over again, and the trench gets deeper and deeper until it's a rut... On the other hand, it must also be true that we have the power to free ourselves by training ourselves to expand our experience and especially our field of perception. I think this is what artists do regularly without even thinking about it.

I always find that the more I DO, the more active my imagination becomes, and the more creative output I get. It's always when I have too much time to sit around doing nothing, that everything dries up, and the time I thought I wanted is just wasted.
Comment by Stacy Esch on January 2, 2008 at 9:28am
Partha, I can't help thinking, too, of the awesome Kurasawa film, Rashamon.
Comment by Partha Dasgupta on January 1, 2008 at 10:36pm

I guess the issue is of perception. There's a popular folk tale in India of 3 blind men coming upon an elephant. One touched the tail and described the elephant as snake like, the other touched the trunk and said it was like a Giraffe while the third touched the flank and described it as a Rhino. We all see different things in different ways and then express it the best we can. The artist takes a further freedom as he is also imbibing emotions and statements within the artwork - the freedom of making a statement without considering how clearly the viewpoint is stated for common consumption.
Comment by Stacy Esch on December 31, 2007 at 12:30pm
Shane, rambling is my specialty--I appreciate your thoughts--I'm going to digest a while before responding, but you gave me a lot to think about.

Happy new year!
Comment by Shane Dean on December 31, 2007 at 3:00am
Hello Stacy,

In response to your post:

I believe that when a child thinks and has 'vision' and the 'what if' mentality... unafraid of what others will think etc, it is recognized by adults as a 'wild imagination', when it really could be identified as imagination/vision.

We are so dulled by experience and life that we forget to listen to the tiny voice in our heads that allow us to imagine and have vision. I do not believe that any one person has more or less vision, or even imagination... but that people choose to filter out what they are conditioned to portray as their own self image.

Many times, people sacrifice what they truly are for public perception and/or projected image. 'Free thinkers' and artists still tend to listen to this 'tiny voice' that allows them/us to be daring and 'dream' a little. If it weren't for the dreamers, what would the rest of the world talk about?

I would feel safe to say that vision and imagination are not the same but are sisters of the product we call our self. They are born and either grow or hide as we gain life experiences. I believe they never go away either, changes in life situations can foster new visions of creativity for instance.

A drastic change of relationship can force a binge of self exploration that could manifest itself in a flurry of music or art, dark or bright.. it is imagination. it never left, but was dormant and stimulated by emotional trauma.

Vision can be awakened for instance by a memory, or a learned skill that enables one to change a situation. Maybe you have learned to develop real estate for example. You drive by an old place you are familiar with... you can envision the old being as you remembered by using your new skills to make it happen, or not. The important thing is the vision... you can see it. It is not imagined but it is possible in your mind. That 'feels' and 'is'... so it is vision.

heehee Maybe I am rambling here but it is a fun tangent.

Take care and have a great new year!!!

Thanks for the thread, nice fodder for thought.

Comment by xatstilo on December 28, 2007 at 12:30pm
Talking about happiness, Jiddu Krishnamurti said that happiness is a state of unconsciousness. Of which people is not aware!
The boundaries of these two worlds, the entertainment world and the artistic world are not very determined or realistically defined.
We are, all, a little bit, entertainers!
As the fact: - Artists are truth tellers above all.-
There are many things to say about it, for example, the relationship between acting a scene and living a reality.
A sort of mystification is always inside the Science of Art. Thomas Mann, said that, if the readers had known, how and where the novelists find their writing matter, the readers would have been disgusted.
I think that your idea, that artists were in some way alienated, from a "normal" way of life, is not only a romantic heritage but also a problem that the poets, the writes, the painters and the novelists lived on their body until last century.
It is a political problem, today again.

I hope to continue this conversation on future with you.
Comment by Stacy Esch on December 23, 2007 at 11:23am
The romantic poets seem to have left us with the notion that artists are separate, not really one of us, but alienated and apart. In my own experience I feel that they were right to some degree, but I don't think it's because artists are really so very different. I think the alienation is more due to the complacency of certain cultures not wanting to confront the truths that artists are able to see and communicate.

The truth hurts, and artists are truth tellers above all.

For me that's what separates the entertainment world, which is so celebrated, and the artistic world, which is so marginalized. The entertainers never challenge us at all on any level. They merely keep us distracted and complacent. And we call it happiness.
Comment by xatstilo on December 20, 2007 at 9:24am
Ciao Stacy, come stai?
About Artistic Vision:
An artistic vision is primarily a product of imagination.
Surely there is an interaction between the two, but I'm convinced that, the source of creations of mental imaginary vision, is before experience. There are many examples to support my theory. As the fact of realistic vision is equally available to all, I could say that Cognitive Science demonstrated there is only a percentage of people that is able to think with realistic vision but I do not remember which is the value.

See you on the next comment :-) .


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