Monday, September 16, 2013

Reader Response: What Is Time?

In the second part of the "What Is Time" reading, the author explores the relationship between time and one's "personal awareness of phenomena."  I thought it was interesting how throughout the text, Whitrow repeatedly describes the passage of time as a consciously perceived sensation, as it somewhat relates to the perception of time as relative, and therefore reliant upon one's perspective, which he coins as "temporal duration."  Essentially, he asserts that time is not static, but fluid through multiple perspectives.  He then goes on to introduce memory (or lack thereof), asserting its ultimate importance and fluid nature as key in one's perception of time and phenomena.    

Whitrow's placing of memory into the context of time's passage was helpful throughout the process of completing the homework, which was illustrating one's first memory.  For me at least, I find that memories are more impressionistic than detail-oriented, as I can recall the tone and feeling of a past moment more effectively and strongly than specific, ungrounded details.  Whitrow indirectly comments upon this, stating that "'long distance' remembering is not a simple re-excitation of innumerable fixed traces but is essentially an imaginative reconstruction depending upon our frame of mind at the time of recall" and remembering "only a few striking details which are actually remembered."

Monday, September 9, 2013

Reader Response: "The Whole Ball of Wax," Jerry Saltz

In his essay "The Whole Ball of Wax," Jerry Saltz explores and comments upon the daunting question of "does art change the world?"  He acknowledges that art unfortunately cannot physically halt global warming, cure AIDS, save the sea turtle, or other methods of physically changing troublesome aspects of the world.  However, he asserts that art, in fact, does change the world in other ways, "incrementally and by osmosis."  He says, "Art is a bridge to a new vision and the vision itself, a medium or matrix through which one sees the world."

I agree with Saltz's statement, and his declaration of art as "a bridge."  Art and artistic communication often acts as a translator of sorts, a changer of perspective.  A single work of art may mean one thing to a certain individual, yet something completely different interpreted by another.  It becomes a universal language that all can speak, but whose vocabulary is ceaselessly shifting.

This brings to light one of my favorite aspects of art: one must work to express oneself with it, and in traditional terms of the word, cannot fully understand it: one person's interpretation of their work may completely bypass their boundaries of definition.

IVT (Time); First Post: What Is Art? (in two sentences or less)

In a word, art is an idea.  In an additional sentence, I will add; an idea that is variable through the subjectivity of one's individual perspective; this is what makes art special, and necessary.