Him on the warmlight park bench he scritched his head—and out from the scalp alteration tiny birds flew out, blue and red tinybirds flowing out in spirals and in every-directionals out of his head, certain large birds also popping out and going to the fishtree branch, and he sat through this eruption. It stopped after awhile.
Still Eating Oranges
Toward an experiential art
We have said that art does not exist. However, those works which are called “art” do exist; and, when we are immersed in them, we have experiences. The most honest aesthetic theory does not go beyond these immediate surface experiences, in which the viewer connects to the work intuitively, without attempting to take control via the ironic, critical eye. That is, every work is an experiential space: an un-dissectible surface that evokes from us feelings or emotions. The significance of a work is in this encounter; not in any hidden “subtext”. To dig for subtext is to destroy the work’s experiential quality—its core.
However, not all experiences are created equal. The traditional function of “art”, and its highest, is to elicit from the viewer an experience of near-religious wonder. As with all art-experiences, wonder begins in depiction: the bare facts presented on a work’s surface, to which we react. Depiction is the experiential space created by the artist for the viewer. When we examine the profound angles of a Bernini sculpture, or witness the spastic, urban energy of a Basquiat painting, we are pulled in. These works depict—they put forth displays—and we connect intuitively. We have immediate experiences. Yet, while it is relatively simple to make a depiction that, for example, surprises or thrills, it is far less clear how to create one that generates wonder.