Saturday, February 2, 2008

Genetic Dispositions

"Connoissuership" in drawing is developed by spending time with great drawings. Or so I read, and suppose to be true.

That is a difficult thing to understand in art, that those who spend time with art somehow earn the right to evaluate them for the rest of us. More democratic is the feeling that all our perspectives are equally valid, and represent our different backgrounds- in other words, that it is totally subjective.

Even so, it is still a difficult thing to understand what it is that actually develops when we appreciate drawing, and why- what does the appreciation truly reflect? How can lines on paper have any qualities besides what we project onto them, and then, isn't it the projector that is being reflected? Is there such a thing as a great drawing, independent of humans? It doesn't seem like there would be.


In a vacuum- and with sufficient time but no "expert advice", how might a person's appreciation turn out different? We see this in history and in cultures, and we make the assumption that they are all seeking the same things, perhaps with different emphasis, but in the end, the same human search for meaning and expression is demonstrated.

That is as we would expect, because our thinking is that deep human qualities are being expressed, not only cultural ones, but universal ones, though we are hard pressed to say what they are exactly. But why is it so difficult to know? Is it maybe because we are in fact just the security containers for genes, as Richard Dawkins suggests in The Selfish Gene? And what is it that our genes want us to express, what is it that they want from art?

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