Thursday, March 5, 2009

tentative preface to Maximalist Abstractionism

Art is utility to the mind only, its hunger for variety and imaginative worlds. Thus, the digital paint program or video game, anything that serves or helps us pragmatically, is not art, unless you tamper with it (unexpertly or adroitly).

Art approaches life with a sneer and a glare, which has developed into a topsy-turvy creatively mixed up orientation, from life's point of view. Thus, to be artistic begins with questioning, mis-understanding, or destroying romantically what lies before you.

Mis-direct it, force it to do what's outside its box, break its chains to purpose and popular usage, set it free to be unbridled, under-implemented, diverted from its planned and forecasted aims.

At most, a utilitarian object can be "artistic" in form, color, composition, or ergonomic elegance. A mundane item can please the eye or other senses, but not technically be "art". Utility tries to sneak into art through the backdoor of "crafts" and "artisanship", but as valuable as these are, the realm of art is the realm of the useless, the impractical, the unwanted.

Maximalist Abstractionism takes this a step further. In doing so, it offers many doors of progress that video, plastic, and musical arts may boldly and joyfully step through to enter a properly evolved future.

Maximalist Abstractionist art assembles, orchestrates, and designs a multiplicity of inter-streaming flows of meaningless, or nearly senseless, virtually illogical juxtapositions. But the genius comes into play when editing and making the entire project pleasing to both mind and heart, to human intelligence and passions.

An instance of Maximalist Abstractionism is displayed in the close alignments of the "noises" of industrial and physical labor processes with circuit bending, synthesizers, flutes, and pianos. Add to this a liturgical setting, and there you are.

With the collapse of the institutional churches comes the rise of factory worship.

This new trend is given musical expression in Str8 Sounds "Sacred Music for Industry", basing its concept on the theory that machines, like all of nature (according to Psalms), is praising the Creator God for making humans who then invented them.

Nobility of goal driven achievement, raising the machines, from ancient industrial to state of the art digital, from bicycles to hadron colliders, to an exalted status in the order of creation and science.

For example, in Str8 Sounds "Circuit Bend Fantasia", an Armenian Orthodox monk chorus blends with a classic techno drum kit and sporadic multi-tracked ensembles of circuit bending on retro talking Barbie toys and Texas Instruments Speak and Math, or "Liturgical Interludum"'s slow sliding from toy keyboards, squeaky doors, and construction sounds -- into an instructional demo on playing a Theremin.

Maximalism often consists of multiple minimalisms. However, a specific tune or composition will change as it progresses, often preluded with noise bursts, quickly moving into techno, evolving into classic with primative drumming, and ending up as jazz with space music overtones.

Thus, maximalism implies both multiple content and forms, plus complex segues transforming the single song into an EP or Maxi Single, enabling the audience and fans to experience something similar to a "set" or a live performance, a sustained but ever-morphing stream of artistically advanced music.

Musique concrete (recordings of naturally occurring or mechanical "non-musical" sounds, from barking dogs to ventilation fans) corresponds to a major influence and content factor in these adventures in sound orchestration. It's not enough to use electrical musical instruments, to be maxed out, one needs to include nature and reality, too.

Sound effects, classical strains, folk beats, industrial tones, dream waves, frequency flickerings, corrupted audio files featuring unintended distortions, undulating modes of sines and signature sounds, streaming languidly from the composer to the material, which is everything, all sounds existing or forced to exist, which are then transmitted to the fans and critics and impudent students who reject Bach and seek to wreck all the traditions, using collage technique to piece together a new mush.

Abstract, meaning not true to life as ordinarily experienced in a half-sleep programmed mode. Abstractionism seeks to uncover the buried glimpses glimmering under the mountain of mental regulations and perceptual limitations derived from societal norms that obscure the true nature of what's real, and really there, when you strip away all the normal aspects of it.

Isolating an image, removed from context, decoupaged onto the canvas alongside another, irrelevant image. Repeat this Dada operation as often as they let you, yet the mind imposes meaning or story on the whole mess, thus creating its own maximalism in the form of interpretive commentary.

What happens in blogs, the reactive comment appended to the "original content" of the blog post, has always happened mentally as we responded to art and utility.

Art, expanded and enriched by maximalism, and made anti-subjective and universal by abstractionism, is in good shape as it faces the future, which because it hasn't happened yet, is unknown and unrealizable, but foreseen by the artist who abandons utility and logic, to venture into the vast citadels of pre-conscious, futuristic grandeur.

1 comment:

carrie said...

cool last picture.... image.... you visionary, you.