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08 July 2005 @ 09:56 pm
A and I are watching Hero, a Jet Li movie that was in the theatres recently.

Having been a long-time kung fu fan, I was awed by the level of art that is suddenly coming out of China and turned to A and said, "The art coming out of China right now is amazing. What does that mean?"

"Art precedes science," he said.

In archaeology, there are these long periods, maybe 2-3 centuries, where a culture's art will suddenly become and be described as "decadent". What that means is, the art is rote, it's copy, it's bland. No one is inspired, no one is creative on a grand scale that lasts 1,000 years, no one demands beautiful things and that each tradesman find the height of their skills through constant challenge. I'm getting romantic but you get the idea.

I think our science is dead. Grant limitations and commerce obsession have castrated pure research.

I think our art is dying very quickly. Dating an arts organization executive director only enhances that sensation, I think.

What was the last piece of modern art that truly touched or inspired you, that has a chance of surviving the next 1,000 years?

In the voice of Lando Molari: "We are a decadent people."

I don't want to be decadent. I'm surrounded by brilliant people, and I feel the absence of a monument to the kind of brilliance we share.

Let's see if I can focus on this Hero-induced epiphany long enough to alter my path a bit and have a more artful life...
Current Mood: Science.
__m_ on July 9th, 2005 05:23 am (UTC)
In the voice of Lando Molari: "We are a decadent people."

In the voice of Lando Calrissian: "I've just made a deal that will keep the Empire out of here for good."

You think i'm making a funny, but consider that quote along with your post.
Artemis Jonesrimrunner on July 9th, 2005 05:40 am (UTC)
I've been predicting that China will be the next superpower for years.

Recently I'm laying about 50-50 odds between China and India. But it'll be one of 'em.
__m_ on July 9th, 2005 05:59 am (UTC)
Ok, consider this:

I was in high school 7 years ago.

A friend of mine and I, both very into studying the way history has progressed and affected us today, came to that same conclusion.

China *will* be the next superpower. It will be a longtime coming for them and a long rule as Super Power #1!
Artemis Jonesrimrunner on July 9th, 2005 05:20 pm (UTC)
I was in high school 7 years ago.

Dude, now I feel old.

But, yeah. They've been a superpower before. They definitely have it in 'em to be one again.
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)

I think I hope it's India.

The only thing that keeps from not saying "I hope it's NOT China" is ... honestly, that I wonder... if religion causes most major wars, and if the Chinese are eradicating religion (even pacifist religions that don't cause wars, *seethe*) ... in the short-term, they're anti-tolerant bigoted pigs, but in the long-term ... does state-mandated secularism increase peace by reducing inter-religious or spiritually sanctioned frictions? I'm sure there are examples in history, but I don't know any offhand.
Sarah: Wufsarmonster on July 9th, 2005 05:51 am (UTC)
I think it is just easier for those with little talent to be published, looking for good art is like going to Kareoke: You gotta sit through a lot of mediocre stuff before you find the gem.
I think right-brained people are going to be in very high demand in Aremica the next decade, as industries globalize. This is the beginning of a VERY good time for American creatives.

Sarah: Blindsunsarmonster on July 9th, 2005 05:54 am (UTC)
Apologies for the impassioned, horrible typing.
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)

Who's art is that? It looks like a Niven front cover to me.
Sarahsarmonster on July 15th, 2005 08:38 pm (UTC)
Michael Whelan, so good guess!
Tracy Lauricellatmib on July 9th, 2005 06:10 am (UTC)

"What was the last piece of modern art that truly touched or inspired you, that has a chance of surviving the next 1,000 years?"

kumimonster: lindArmkumimonster on July 9th, 2005 08:50 am (UTC)
i love the movie

i've yet to figure out what all the colors represent
tho i do know they mean something

unfortunately, jet li is the actor that grabs ppl
yet the others are all great if you watch enough azn films

the fight between him and donnie yen is the best and they are two great fighters as well

but i think my fave character is the emperor himself
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:34 pm (UTC)
I think agree - the emperor himself was the one who gave me the deepest challenge to reconsider my knee-jerk reactions to many things. That, or Broken Sword, for those 2 simple, beautiful words.

I keep thinking "our people" about everyone fucking around on this Earth. As in, it was "our people" who just bombed more of "our people" in London, Iraq and Israel...
Zen_Cowboyjakeaidan on July 15th, 2005 08:22 pm (UTC)
I have the Chinese version of Hero (I have a region free DVD player and no patience :). Instead of the phrase being "our people", in the chinese release of the movie, the phrase is "All Under Heaven", which I also found moving.
(Deleted comment)
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
C'est la verite.
Chriscryophile on July 10th, 2005 12:55 am (UTC)
I don't see how you can claim that our science is dead. It's frustrating sometimes that pure research isn't more of a priority, that we're not operating at our full potential. But scientific discovery is still happening . . . Three spectacular recent images from three different unmanned spacecraft:

Martian sunrise:
Impact on Comet Tempel 1:
Moving clouds and 'lake' on Titan:

. . . all a result of the human desire to understand the universe, with no practical applications in mind. Like most art, wonderfully useless.
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:36 pm (UTC)
Ok, so I was being dramatic, but if you compare our mentality about science research, esp in space, 1960 vs. now ... I just hope it's a sinusoid and not a decaying pattern.
Cassandrakasiandra on July 10th, 2005 11:35 am (UTC)
What was the last piece of modern art that truly touched or inspired you, that has a chance of surviving the next 1,000 years?

Perhaps I am too simple. The last "piece" of modern art that truly touched and inspired me was the Chagall exhibit at the San Franciso Museum of Modern Art. True, he was Russian and most of his work was from the early half of the 20th century but you didn't specify how modern or that it had to be by an American.

And actually, that is only true if we're speaking solely about visual art. In literature, I have found great inspiration (and sadness and indignation and passion) in the works of Barbara Kingsolver. And though I realize that I am joining the party quite late, my kids and I have lately been quite suprisingly touched by the Beatles and the Brothers Creeggan. ;)

There is art out there. It just takes an open spirit and a touch of innocent wonder to recognize it.

Art is just a little piece of soul, packaged up for others to enjoy.
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 07:39 pm (UTC)
I'll have to check out Chagall.

Kingslover did that one book with the little girl named Bean, yes? If so, I read that, struggled with the getting through the sexual abuse part of it, but otherwise liked it very much.

I still think of you whenever I hear BNL and I'd say that there is most definitely art in "...but not a real green dress, that's cruel..."
indie: catindiefic on July 10th, 2005 02:36 pm (UTC)
I think we're a goldfish society right now, bombarded by the shiny attention-grabbing 2 second media clips right and left.

I think that tends to drown out a lot of things and makes it incredibly hard to weed through and see the true beauty.

I don't believe our art is dying. I do believe that perhaps it is changing. We're no longer making the colliseum (by that, I mean I don't believe the superstructures we're currently creating will stand the test of time). I believe our art is becoming more of spiritual practice, belief, awareness than of a tactile, physical end product. I believe that people do demand beautiful things and that there are patrons for the arts, I just think more often than not, it's not a traditional art form, which is fine by me.

I also do not believe that science and pure research is dead. I sit in staff meetings every week where we discuss the absolute need for pure research.
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
Does the discussion of the need for pure research result in grants granted for pure research with commercial goal? I forget sometimes what a cool job you have, and how instrumental you are, truly, in shaping part of our future.

What is a good example of art in a non-tactile, more spiritual sense? I'm probably being Little Ms. Black & White by not coming up with anything on my own. O:>
indieindiefic on July 15th, 2005 09:43 pm (UTC)
Does the discussion of the need for pure research result in grants granted for pure research with commercial goal?

No. Actually, quite the opposite. The discussions are geared toward how you protect pure research for the sake of research when so many grants are currently geared toward commercial success and how absolutely integral pure research is, especially in this day and age. The discussions are usually about trying to convince big granting agencies that there is much to be earned through sponsoring pure research vs. sponsoring outcome based research. Most of the monumental scientific breakthroughs of our time came about accidentally and not out of targeted research (penicillin, the microwave, etc).

What is a good example of art in a non-tactile, more spiritual sense?

I guess by that I mean things like energy work, which I think is definitely an art form. Dance. Even things like mass art projects involving people like the big nude photo that was taken in Central Park last year. Or a lot of forms of experimental music, especially jazz where there may be a standardized version of a muscial piece but the true beauty in it is when talented musicians are allowed to expand upon the base idea and take it in new directions.
Zen_Cowboyjakeaidan on July 15th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
Ah, the curse of capitalism
"The curse of capitalism is that the exploration of the soul, through art or through science is balked and turned by the increasing desire for wealth and luxury. As art and science are bound to markets and return on investments, we find ourselves in a society increasingly willing to sacrifice fullfillment for attainment."

That said, I think art and science are still flourishing, it's just a question of the focus. Certainly the science based around the transistor has exploded in the last half century.
Kburgunder on July 15th, 2005 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Ah, the curse of capitalism
I love that quote. Who said it?
Zen_Cowboyjakeaidan on July 15th, 2005 08:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Ah, the curse of capitalism
It's from an entry I wrote in my journal (handwritten journal) in 1996. I was having difficulty maintaining my focus and passion in Classical Studies when there seemed to be little applicable value. I was trying to rekindle my altruistic love of knowledge and study. I regret to say it was only partially successful.