Saturday, January 26, 2008

Kabuki: Scarab

It’s been a long while since a graphic novel tickled my interest. This one did.

There is no "past". No "future". Just an endless succession of "now"...

The "now" of experiencing. The "now" of remembering.

The "now" of mixing the two into some reality recipe.

Now that is some decent philosophy comming from a book of drawings, word balloons, and Japanese girls armed with swords.

Not at all bad for an aspiring artist who did the project as his thesis. Personally, I've mixed feelings about relying on art for insight. Most art is pretension, the product of a mind that wants to live a self-centered ethos and lifestyle.

I prefer science as a means of seeing the world, rather than artistic conceit. Not too reductionist mind you, as events and entities outside the laboratory exist in a world of interconnection and overlapping influences. Still, science often seems to embrace a level of selflessness and clarity that egocentric artists have a hard time reaching

That is not to say that there are never moments of actual artistic insight. There are times when a writer or painter or other artist manages to discern one of life’s underlying dynamics, and then successfully passes that gnoetic moment along to others.

I think that any artist worth his or her salt should be grounded in the world of fact and observation. I am firmly convinced that most artist would benefit from exposure to science as a way of seeing the world from a more concrete perspective, as well as deriving inspiration from it.

I believe that art’s strength is its ability to directly shed light on the experiential components of our awareness. My favorite examples of this are the works of Yves Kline’s Blue Period and Jackson Pollock’s Spring Period. Mr. Kline’s blues use simplicity and saturation to play with the fundamental components of color, shape, and texture. Pollack’s drip paintings, filled with fractal patterns and order underlying chaos, tease the pattern recognition filters that our minds and brains use to forge a representation of the external world from the wilderness of raw data that confronts our senses.

Perhaps a truly dedicated artist’s sense of craftsmanship pushes him or her to a level of observation and engagement with the world and its materials, one that matches that of the involved scientist or engineer. Perhaps engineering is an overlap between the world of art and science, imposing human functionality on nature through a simultaneously rational and intuitive understanding of matter.

In our current age, a legitment poet must be something of a scientist, and a good scientist must be something of a poet in order to communicate the complex natures of her discoveries.


I want to do some good writing today, by my brain is too foggy.


1. Lunch
2. Weekend dessert
3. Buy most recent edition of Scientific American
4. Go to gym and reset brain with exercise. There is nothing like physical exertion to clear away an endocrinal fog and restore clarity and connection to the outside world.
5. Maybe see a movie: Cloverfield or Charley Wilson’s War.

Post Script: Cloverfield bordered on good. Unfortunately the panicky idiot factor was annoying as fuck all. Ok, so your characters are scared witless, that does not mean that they must behave like jackasses for the duration of the film. Eventually one of them is going to figure out that maintaining light and noise discipline is a good idea. Oh well, Godzilla meets Blair Witch could have been really cool, they almost pulled it off.

Anywho, while I am on my nerd rant: more Robot Chicken.

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