Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sorry, bookworming again

From The Practice and Science of Drawing, 1913:
But while in science observation is made much more effective by the use of mechanical instruments in registering facts, the facts with which art deals, being those of feeling, can only be recorded by the feeling instrument—man, and are entirely missed by any mechanically devised substitutes.
While art is still opposing other activities here, please note that the author is trying to put it into a rational coordiate system with an explanation of an artist being a recorder for feelings, a complex recording device, not yet studied thoroughly but probably would sometime. No references to divine intervention and that pathetic stuff: the nature of many things and processes is unknown but there must be an explanation, and meanwhile we can give them names (i.e. Harmony, Beauty, Rhythm) and use them as black boxes knowing input and output.
[...] beauty is, strictly speaking, a state of mind rather than an attribute of certain objects, although certain things have the power of inducting it more than others
What a lovely Victorian era echo, badly missed nowdays.

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