Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

13 February 2018

Dr Great Art Podcast Episode 30: 7 Fun Art Artecdotes






Dr Great Art podcast, Episode 30: Trope and Metaphor. A podcast in preparation for discussions of visual metaphor: one aspect of terminology, trope and metaphor. iTunes, Spotify, or http://drgreatart.libsyn.com/episode-30-trope-and-metaphor #arthistory #metaphor

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Dr Great Art Podcast 30

Trope and Metaphor

Hi this is Mark Staff Brandl, with the 30th "Dr Great Art" brief podcast. I hope you enjoy it and come back for each and every one.

I likely will be discussing Visual Metaphor in Art more and more frequently in future podcasts. This is because it will be returning to a preeminent position within my thoughts. I have a contract for a book with the wonderful Bloomsbury Academic Press and their Analytic Aesthetics and Contemporary Art Series edited by Tiziana Andina and David Carrier. The working title for my book is Visual Metaphor in Contemporary Art and Analytic Philosophy. Thus, I will be writing it while doing future podcasts.

I am particularly interested in receiving and discussing YOUR, my listeners' and friends,' ideas concerning visual metaphor in fine art. It is usually studied, if at all, in posters, popular media ad campaigns, and the like. I am interested in sophisticated, complex and original uses of visual metaphor in contemporary art including but not limited to painting, sculpture, installation, comics and so on.

First, though, is this podcast concerning one aspect of terminology.

TROPE AND METAPHOR

I will often be using the term trope in my podcasts when figurative language in general is meant ---- and especially when discussing the visual equivalent of this. Metaphor is one usual term for the idea which is discussed here. Unfortunately, though, this word is used in two distinct applications, one general and one particular. Confusion often results from this failure to distinguish the species from the genus. Metaphor may mean alternately either figurative expression itself, the genus, therefore identical with figurative language or trope, OR that particular instance thereof, the species, usually described as follows:

Metaphor: A figure of speech, an implied analogy in which one thing is imaginatively compared to or identified with another, dissimilar thing. In metaphor, the qualities of something are ascribed to something else, qualities that it ordinarily does not possess (as Kathleen Morner and Ralph Rausch describe it in their NTC's Dictionary of Literary Terms).

That is, the famous description of metaphor as a "comparison without a like or as," which is always taught in high school and secondary school literature classes. The most famous of these is "Achilles is a lion."

Useful terminology does not allow a thing to be a species of itself. So using the word metaphor is laden with difficulties. Other terms bring other difficulties, all probably reflecting the various underlying philosophies of the animal under study. Various general terms include trope, figure and figurative language. The latter two would cause a problem when the theory is applied to visual art. Anything containing the word language is not interdisciplinary enough and figure in visual art is widely used to mean the human form (e. g. "figure painting").

These terms are inadequate in reference to literature and visual art anyway. They clearly reinforce views of the subject opposite to those I espouse. Connotations such as figure skating or ornateness come to mind, declaring metaphor to be no more than decorative fancy, a kind of sport. (Nothing against THAT, but not anything near my interpretation of metaphor.) There are linked terms such as scheme, conceit, symbol, rhetoric, poesy, poetics, analogy, etc. Yet each expresses a particular idea somewhat askew of my intentions and my own theoretical interests. In fact, as my metaphor(m) or central trope theory comes ever more to the fore, I believe it will be shown that some of these terms describe ideas which are corollaries or particular instances of metaphor(m). They will each be addressed in the future.

In short, the problems with the term reflect old, deficient and competing theories of the thing itself. HOWEVER, I will NOT be using trope in the way it is often now misused in the artworld to mean clichéd symbol! Trope, is an older umbrella term for all rhetorical analogies (metaphor, metonymy, litotes, etc.) One which I have revived. All the arts, probably all thought, is based in tropaic thought. If you are really looking for a term for a "commonplace notion not often recognized as such," then you probably mean topos (plural topoi) NOT trope.

Trope is derived from turning, which might suggest that analogies of any sort are decorative twists on normal "transparent" speech. However, it seems that trope and its concomitant adjectives tropological or tropaic are the most promising. Turning can be envisioned in other, more evocative images and analogies. Turning something around to perceive more sides of it. Turning something toward the light to see it better. And so on.

Therefore it will serve as the general term, metaphor will be chiefly used in its specific application ("no like or as" species), occasionally substituting for the general, along with the other terms mentioned, where this occurs in common use and for stylistic variety. Metaphor is included in the title of our website, my dissertation and my book title for the word play as noted in my theory of metaphor(m) [spell], and because it remains an important keyword in any literature search of poetics.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, in addition, cognitive science, especially pragmatic, embodied cognitive theory, now envisions metaphor as the broad basis of thought itself. Generally when I am talking about metaphor here, I mean the process of making embodied visual analogies. When I mean all the possible forms of this, I will write trope. When I mean a specific form (such as in the paper I posted online recently, "Beyond Like and As in Images: Metonymy and Metaphor in Some Recent Art"), I will use the appropriate specific term from rhetoric, explaining it and why I am using it.

These include: Trope, Metaphor, Metonymy, Simile, Synecdoche, Litotes, Hyperbole, Irony, Analogy, Allegory, Symbol, Metalepsis. More about them in the future.

Thanks for listening. Podcast number 30.

Trope and Metaphor

If you enjoy my podcasts, please go to Apple podcasts and give me 5 stars and a recommendation! It helps others find this podcast. Additionally, if you have any questions or requests for topics, please feel free to contact me with them! I'd truly enjoy covering them! Especially about visual metaphor!

If you wish to hear more cool, exciting and hopefully inspiring stuff about art history and art, come back for more. Also I, Dr Mark Staff Brandl, artist and art historian, am available for live custom Performance-Lectures. In English und auf Deutsch.

I take viewers inside visual art and art history. Entertainingly, yet educationally and aesthetically, I analyze, underline, and discuss the reasons why a work of art is remarkable, or I go through entire eras, or indeed through the entirety of art history, or look at your desired theme through the lens of art history. The lectures often take place with painted background screens and even in my painting-installations.

Some recent ones were on the entire history of Postmodernist Art from 1979 through today, on Metaphor(m) in Art History, and on Mongrel Art. Once again, I'd like to thank Chloe Orwell, Brad Elvis, and the rock band the Handcuffs for composing, performing and recording my theme song, "Shut Up and Paint," a tiny portion of which begins and ends every Dr Great Art Podcast.

You can find or contact me at
www.drgreatart.com/ (spell)
book me at www.mirjamhadorn.com (spell)
or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all as Dr Great Art.

 

27 January 2018

Dr Great Art Podcast Episode 29: 7 Fun Art Artecdotes



The newest Dr Great Art podcast, Episode 29: 7 Fun Facts in Art History. A lighter episode relating seven stimulating facts about Vincent van Gogh, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Georgia O'Keeffe. At Apple Podcasts, Spotify or
http://drgreatart.libsyn.com/episode-29-7-fun-facts-in-art-history
#arthistory

Dr Great Art Podcast 29: 7 Fun Artecdotes

Hi this is Mark Staff Brandl, with the 29th "Dr Great Art" brief podcast. I hope you enjoy it and come back for each and every one.

After a series of rather resolutely critical podcasts, today my episode will be a string of more congenial artecdotes, 7 fun facts.

So let's get right into it.

First, Vincent van Gogh's name is strange to pronounce. We all do it wrong. Ask any speaker of Dutch. It is "van Go" to you Americans and French, "van Gof" to you Brits, and something like "fan Chhhochhh" really. We art historians have settled on the German version, which is about half right and not impossible for most of us: "fan Gochhhh."

Second, Vincent produced more than 2,000 works during his life: 900 paintings and 1,100+ drawings and sketches. He probably only sold one painting while he was alive, The Red Vineyard at Arles of 1888. Anna Boch, a Belgian artist, bought the painting in early 1890 for 400 Belgian francs. (I really like her own Pink and Yellow Houses painting, by the way.)

Third, van Gogh didn't even begin art until he was twenty-seven years old, died when he was thirty-seven, and the most important paintings were largely the ones in the two years before he died. He was almost entirely self-taught, an autodidact, and the speed at which he became so great and so independently original in his art is astounding. Especially in the face of being for the most part ignored.

Fourth, Leonardo da Vinci's name is NOT 'da Vinci' !
Leonardo's full name at birth was simply 'Leonardo.'

As an illegitimate child, the son of a notary and a serving girl Caterina (seen as and possible really was something like a slave). His father Piero took him away from his mother and rather ignored him, but nevertheless Leonard could then sign his name Leonardo di Ser Piero.

Leonardo was born just outside the tiny hamlet of Vinci. So people would sometimes tack his origin onto his name: "of Vinci." Leonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci. But that was not a name --- it would be like calling me "of Chicago" or " of Peoria" instead of 'Brandl.' And thus, the 'da' is not capitalized as well.

As he considered Florence to be his real hometown, the artist himself often signed his name "Leonardo the Florentine" or Leonardo the Florentine, the painter." 'Leonardo Fiorentino Pittore.'

Leonardo had twelve half-siblings, who ignored him and caused him difficulty in a dispute over his small inheritance. Yet later, after his great fame, after his death, parts of the family apparently took his place designation as a family name, thus there are "da Vincis" in Italy now. The Renaissance, by the way, was the time in Europe when surnames were being created.

In art historical circles he is simply called 'Leonardo.' Any other Leonardo needs a surname, yes, even "DiCaprio." There is only one, great "Leonardo." On the street, you can say "da Vinci" but never to an art historian.

Fifth, Michelangelo HAD a surname! 'Buonarroti' --- or in full Italian-style 'Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti.'

He is, however, as is well-known, SO important that he is simply called 'Michelangelo.' Which should be pronounced with a short 'i', thus Michelangelo, not 'Michael-Angelo,' but as with 'da Vinci,' on the street we can accept that. Maybe.

In his lifetime, Michelangelo was often called Il Divino ("the divine one"), as even then, and for about 600 years afterwards he has been immensely revered. That has even made the Church nervous on occasion, as Michi is, in a way, we artists' and art historians' chosen saint.

Sixth, while we are on the subject of names, Pablo Picasso was baptized 'Pablo Diego José Fransisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruiz y Picasso.' In Spanish style the last two words are the father's surname, the 'y' for 'and,' and then the mother's surname. So he would be Senior Ruiz. But he took his mother's family name alone in France, supposedly because it was less common, but we also know that he had serious difficulties with his father.

Seventh, not everyone needs a huge studio. Although I usually do. Georgia O'Keeffe's most unique one was a car! When she lived in the Southwest of the US, she removed the driver's seat of her Model-A automobile, unbolted the passenger seat, and turned it around to face the back seat. She put canvases on the back seat and painted. The car's limited space seems to have appealed to her because it helped further concentration, shaded her from the heat, and protected her from bothersome bees.

Thanks for listening. Podcast number 29.

7 Fun Artecdotes

If you enjoy my podcasts, please go to Apple podcasts and give me 5 stars and a recommendation! It helps others find this podcast. Additionally, if you have any questions or requests for topics, please feel free to contact me with them! I'd truly enjoy covering them!

If you wish to hear more cool, exciting and hopefully inspiring stuff about art history and art, come back for more. Also I, Dr Mark Staff Brandl, artist and art historian, am available for live custom Performance-Lectures. In English und auf Deutsch.

I take viewers inside visual art and art history. Entertainingly, yet educationally and aesthetically, I analyze, underline, and discuss the reasons why a work of art is remarkable, or I go through entire eras, or indeed through the entirety of art history, or look at your desired theme through the lens of art history. The lectures often take place with painted background screens and even in my painting-installations.

Some recent ones were on the entire history of Postmodernist Art from 1979 through today, on Metaphor(m) in Art History, and on Mongrel Art. Once again, I'd like to thank Chloe Orwell, Brad Elvis, and the rock band the Handcuffs for composing, performing and recording my theme song, "Shut Up and Paint," a tiny portion of which begins and ends every Dr Great Art Podcast.

You can find or contact me at

www.drgreatart.com/ (spell)

book me at www.mirjamhadorn.com (spell)

or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all as Dr Great Art.

Dr Great Art Podcast Episode 28: Neo-Sophistry in Art

Dr Great Art podcast Episode 28: Sophistry in Art

This episode concerns a troublesome yet seldom acknowledged tendency in the artworld: Sophistry. Why are you in this struggle? Are you an artist or critic or curator simply for careerist "success"? Weren't you actually CALLED to art?
http://drgreatart.libsyn.com/episode-28-sophistry-in-art
#arthistory #philosophy

Dr Great Art Podcast 28 28

Sophistry, Careerism in Art

Hi this is Mark Staff Brandl, with the 28th "Dr Great Art" brief podcast. I hope you enjoy it and come back for each and every one.

Today my Artecdote concerns a troublesome yet seldom acknowledged tendency I see in the artworld: Sophistry. Or more correctly, (Neo-)Sophistry

There is a new Sophistry now rampant in the world and even in the artworld, where one would least expect it.

What is Sophistry?

The essential claim of sophistry is that the actual validity of an argument is irrelevant (even non-existent); it is only the ruling of the audience which matters --- and usually only the ruling of a "chosen" audience of fellow-believers. Thus any position ruled true by these "judges" must be considered completely correct, even if it was arrived at by naked pandering to prejudices, or even by bribery or by coercion. Critics such as Socrates have, of course, argued that this claim relies on a straw man caricature of logical discourse and is, in fact, a circular, self-justifying act of self-deception and even fawning.

Sophists claim there is no reason to search for or even desire such things as quality, truth, analysis, criticality, social justice, etc. In fact, they claim that there no real knowledge, yet they historically insist on teaching this very "fact" of know-nothing-ism, producing students who excel in memorization, performance, and what we nowadays call yuppie-career-development. Socrates criticized them, noting that they are not concerned to know and teach the way anything might really stand, but only to prevail over others, merely to win, without provoking their listeners to desire anything of importance. Sophists, according to him, are not only ignorant of the essential nature of the phenomena they profess to teach, they practice deception.

In a parallel manner, many of the "powerful" in the artworld of today, even artists themselves, make no claim to any actual desire for anything beyond a rather bovine, suburban, view of career success and are happy to teach this and promote it and themselves in universities, museums, Kunsthallen, exhibitions, biennials and the like. One prominent European curator and art school director has even openly claimed his position as a complete Sophist. Most others in similar positions would deny it, but practice it, which is Sophistry at its most conformist.

Thus Neo-Sophistry is the newest form of an age-old erroneous and self-serving belief, often born of a very middlebrow envy of creativity, deeper intellectual thought or vital desire.

Ask yourself, why are you in this struggle? Are you an artist or critic or curator simply because you were too incompetent to be a success in a "real" career such as banking or popular music or novel-writing or...? I don't think so.

Weren't you actually CALLED to art in some way, by someone?

Think back. Duchamp said that that he wanted to be the "champion of the world or champion of something" yet denied easy success at every turn. He eventually claimed (fallaciously it later was revealed) to have renounced his vocation. Explaining this supposed retreat to his patron Katherine Drier, he wrote: "Don't see any pessimism in my decisions; they are only a way toward beatitude." But actually he was working on his last permanent installation.

The best way toward beatitude lies, though, NOT in denying your vocation, or lying about that, but in remembering and returning to its original roots regularly. That is in order to try to truly be yourself in art, one of THE most difficult of all things. Keep in mind your love of art.

Do not be conformed to this artworld of Neo-Sophistry, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Confidence in your calling is your source, not hypocrisy or careerism. These are false gods.

Neo-Sophistry in art is the blind promulgating the mute.

Thanks for listening. Podcast number 28.

Sophistry in Art.

If you enjoy my podcasts, please go to Apple podcasts and give me 5 stars and a recommendation! It helps others find this podcast. Additionally, if you have any questions or requests for topics, please feel free to contact me with them! I'd truly enjoy covering them!

If you wish to hear more cool, exciting and hopefully inspiring stuff about art history and art, come back for more. Also I, Dr Mark Staff Brandl, artist and art historian, am available for live custom Performance-Lectures. In English und auf Deutsch.

I take viewers inside visual art and art history. Entertainingly, yet educationally and aesthetically, I analyze, underline, and discuss the reasons why a work of art is remarkable, or I go through entire eras, or indeed through the entirety of art history, or look at your desired theme through the lens of art history. The lectures often take place with painted background screens and even in my painting-installations.

Some recent ones were on the entire history of Postmodernist Art from 1979 through today, on Metaphor(m) in Art History, and on Mongrel Art. Once again, I'd like to thank Chloe Orwell, Brad Elvis, and the rock band the Handcuffs for composing, performing and recording my theme song, "Shut Up and Paint," a tiny portion of which begins and ends every Dr Great Art Podcast.

You can find or contact me at

www.drgreatart.com/ (spell)

book me at www.mirjamhadorn.com (spell)

or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all as Dr Great Art.

Dr Great Art Podcast Episode 27: Models are Not Master Narratives


The new Episode 27: an explanation of my assertion that art history models are not necessarily master narratives. Art History is often told in versions of one linear story, thus a master narrative. This often delimits thought, sustains oppressive systems and purports to be the truth, allowing no exceptions. On the other hand, the stringent fear of modeling has sometimes lead the less inventive to fall into the simple nihilism of "I give up." In fact, models are important dialogical tools of and for thought.
http://drgreatart.libsyn.com/episode-27-models-are-not-master-narratives
#arthistory #thoughtmodels #metaphor

Dr Great Art Podcast 27

Models are Not Master Narratives

Hi this is Mark Staff Brandl, with the 27th "Dr Great Art" brief podcast. I hope you enjoy it and come back for each and every one.

Today my Artecdote is an explanation of my assertion that Art History Models are Not Necessarily Master Narratives.

First two evocative quotations:

"Rather than ask again: what is a trope? I prefer to
ask the pragmatic question: what is it that we want
our tropes to do for us?"
—Harold Bloom

"If a new metaphor enters the conceptual system
that we base our actions on, it will alter that
conceptual system and the perceptions and actions
that the system gives rise to. Much of cultural
change arises from the introduction of new
metaphorical concepts and the loss of old ones."
—George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

Master Narratives

Art History is often told in various versions of one linear story, thus a master narrative.

But what are master narratives? They are all-enveloping stories, (usually single strand or monogenic as Christian Doelker refers to them), which means they try in a rather straight-forward, (or so appearing) fashion, to relate a series of events which offer a comprehensive explanation of historical or philosophical events or knowledge. A master narrative is a grand story that 'masters' (dominates) other stories by either absorbing them or ignoring them. The basic notion, as we now use it in an importantly critical fashion, was seemingly first suggested, by Jean-François Lyotard in 1979.

What is the problem with them? Explaining all the aspects of the problems and abuses resulting from master narratives, or dominant discourses as they have also been termed, has been much of the livelihood of postmodern critics. In short, as they point out, master narratives often delimit thought, sustain oppressive systems and purport to be the truth, allowing no exceptions. On the other hand, what has been the problem with the stringent critique of master narratives? It has sometimes lead the less inventive to fall into the simple nihilism of "I give up."

In the name of "decentering the discourse" or the like, some art historians, for example, do nothing innovative, allowing their fear of potential incorrectness to lead them into a far worse scenario, a decent into a Consensus-Correct yet unproductive morass of avoidance. Yes, thank God, the wide acceptance of the Western canon as self-evidently universal (even in non-Western regions) is over; yet just when it should be significantly enlarged, it can instead become a shrunken paucity of visual-aids to solipsistic fear. Heuristically, such a vision of art history is then clearly useless. If not surreptitiously colonializing in its OWN way.

What is a Model?

Models are provisional representations of complex circumstances. Conceptual models are concepts, best of all, images of some complexity, mocking-up real world states of affairs in a fashion that helps us analyze those affairs, especially relationships among them. A model at best is testable, self-questioning, and suggests new insights. A good model forms the foundation for discussions of the concepts involved.

It is vital to stress that a model is not the real world but merely a human construct to help us better understand real world experiences. The map is not the landscape, yet it can help us appreciate various aspects of the landscape as we walk through it. The best models are clearly open to critique and suggest their own fallibility, while still serving as significant instruments of thought. We all use models, whether consciously or not. Being conscious of them and attempting to improve them, assists in stopping any slide into master narrative.

Some examples of highly useful models: imagining electrons orbiting the nucleus of an atom as similar to planets orbiting a sun; flowcharts of boxes and arrows seen as representing actions in a series; mathematical structures such as groups, fields, graphs, or even the universes of set theory to visualize mathematical logic; and so on. Clearly, most models are metaphors or combinations of tropes.

Scientific, philosophical and theoretical models are all about discussion and include the expressed aim of improving each model continuously, in a kind of calculus of thought.

A Personal Example:

In my Phd dissertation, many articles and podcasts, and my teaching, I discuss my theory of central trope, or metaphor(m). As one aspect of that, I asked myself what a model of art history itself could look like if I treated the standard timeline as an artwork of sorts, and attempted to create a new one which would embody a central trope incorporating a contemporary conception of history while retaining heuristic use as a learning device. I was not aiming to utterly dismiss the timeline in despair, as some have done. In a dialogical fashion I was answering back to the calls of the models of art history now in use, trying to improve upon them by shaping a new and better trope for understanding the discipline. I, along with John Perreault, developed a model of art history as a frayed, braided rope. More about this in a future podcast.

Tools of Thought

What do we want our tropes to do for us, as Bloom asks? We want our tropes to change the way we think. Through such alteration, we want them to offer us understanding, to help us comprehend the world of our experience, and even, perhaps, to assist us in changing that world. This is a large demand, but we should face it in all its hubris, self-contradiction, impossibility and wonder, and not evade it in cloying irony or other self-debasement. All the creative arts introduce new metaphorical concepts or surprising re-readings of older ones. This is primarily accomplished by creators through their metaphoric use of elements of the physical world, their materials, methods and formats: their metaphor(m)s, their central tropes.

As can be seen, models are not master narratives. Not in form, use, implication or application. And they can be made in ways that highlight their own provisional nature.

The almost paranoid fear of expressing any non-pre-approved analytical conception has made many a weaker contemporary art theorist make this conceptual error of identification between models and master narratives. That is merely a logical mistake. Models are tools of and for thought.

And Art History as a Braid is an important model, I believe. More about it soon!

Thanks for listening. Podcast number 27.

Models are Not Master Narratives.

If you enjoy my podcasts, please go to Apple podcasts and give me 5 stars and a recommendation! It helps others find this podcast. Additionally, if you have any questions or requests for topics, please feel free to contact me with them! I'd truly enjoy covering them!

If you wish to hear more cool, exciting and hopefully inspiring stuff about art history and art, come back for more. Also I, Dr Mark Staff Brandl, artist and art historian, am available for live custom Performance-Lectures. In English und auf Deutsch.

I take viewers inside visual art and art history. Entertainingly, yet educationally and aesthetically, I analyze, underline, and discuss the reasons why a work of art is remarkable, or I go through entire eras, or indeed through the entirety of art history, or look at your desired theme through the lens of art history. The lectures often take place with painted background screens and even in my painting-installations.

Some recent ones were on the entire history of Postmodernist Art from 1979 through today, on Metaphor(m) in Art History, and on Mongrel Art. Once again, I'd like to thank Chloe Orwell, Brad Elvis, and the rock band the Handcuffs for composing, performing and recording my theme song, "Shut Up and Paint," a tiny portion of which begins and ends every Dr Great Art Podcast.

You can find or contact me at

www.drgreatart.com/ (spell)

book me at www.mirjamhadorn.com (spell)

or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all as Dr Great Art.

02 January 2018

Blitz Art History Exclusively Women Artists


I finished! Whew! Hard work, but really fun. A hand-drawn, cursory, Blitz History of Art with only women artists! Prehistoric through now!
 Ich bin damit fertig! Harte Arbeit, aber wirklich erfreulich. Eine handgezeichnete, flüchtige Blitz-Kunstgeschichte mit nur Künstlerinnen. Prähistorisch durch und mit heute!

06 December 2017

Dr Great Art Podcast Episode 26: Artists Create New Metaphors to Live By


My newest Dr Great Art podcast, Episode 26: Artists Create New Metaphors to Live By
My Artecdote this episode is the an explanation of my assertion that "Artists Create New Metaphors to Live By." Under the inspiration of Lakoff, Johnson and Turner's Cognitive Metaphor Theory, I describe my assertion that artists create for themselves new metaphors to live by, by creating new metaphors to create with, which viewers can then also use to think with and live by. This I refer to as artists’ metaphor(m)s or central tropes.
http://drgreatart.libsyn.com/episode-26-artists-create-new-metaphors-to-live-by #arthistory #metaphor #cognitivemetaphor

his is the script (not a transcript, as I change elements when recording).

Dr Great Art Podcast 26


------------------------ 
 
Hi this is Mark Staff Brandl, with the 26th "Dr Great Art" brief podcast. I hope you enjoy it and come back for each and every one.

Today my Artecdote is the an explanation of my assertion that Artists Create New Metaphors to Live By

Under the inspiration of Lakoff, Johnson and Turner's Cognitive Metaphor Theory, years ago, I made the personal discovery which was the foundation of my dissertation, many articles, much of my art, and many podcasts here. This is, that artists create for themselves new metaphors to live by, by creating new metaphors to create with, which viewers can then also use to think with and live by. This I refer to as artists’ metaphor(m)s (spell) or central tropes.

Much of the highly imaginative work of discovering their metaphor(m)s is accomplished by artists through what Lakoff and Turner term an "image-mapping." However, these authors at first undervalued this discovery, describing image-mappings as "more fleeting metaphors," in the book More than Cool Reason. They assert that "the proliferation of detail in the images limits image-mappings to highly specific cases." By contrast, they find "image-schema mappings" less detailed and more useful in reasoning.

Image schemas generally rely on an abstracted sense of space and vision, yet can also be grounded in sound, others senses or even in cross-sensory, synaesthetic perceptions. They can often be described with prepositions or simple directionality: out, inside, from, along, up-down, front-back, etc. Something like spatial diagrams for action.

In the arts, both these image-metaphor activities shade into one another along a vast spectrum of possibilities. It must be said, that both of these authors expanded their study of visual mapping in following books. Notably, Lakoff intensified his investigation of visual art in his pioneering essay "The Neuroscience of Form in Art," in the book The Artful Mind, edited by Mark Turner. In his contribution, Lakoff reflects on Rudolf Arnheim, form as metaphor and presents the theory of "cogs" to explain this. Cogs are neural circuits, involving mirror neurons, which ordinarily perform motor control, but additionally can register and structure observation. Image schemas and force-dynamic schemas are presented as potential cognitive explanations of the application of cogs to reasoning.

I believe image-mappings are purposefully interwoven by artists into this structure of inferences as well. Furthermore, Turner's entire conception of cognitive integration and blending offers an excellent account of how metaphor(m)s are brought into being. The principal book on that theory is The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind's Hidden Complexities by Gilles Fauconnier and Turner.

Because of its proliferation of details, image-mapping provides a bonanza of abundance necessary for mining new metaphors, thus making it very important in literature and visual art, FAR more consequential than often imagined.

The operation of image-mapping is simple to describe. A mental picture is projected in the mind's eye onto another "target" image. For example, envision matching the appearance of a tree to that of a woman. Her litheness as she stands slowly moving in the breeze is dramatically foregrounded in this process, --- brought to the reader's attention. Creators structurally, often visually, pursue this reasoning within the confines --- or better said, using the treasure chest of --- their media and genre. They find potential meaning in either projecting an image onto a formal element or finding schemas adequate for use which are natural characteristics of a formal element. This is described more precisely in my dissertation, where the creative process of conceiving central tropes is delineated in detail. A few examples will suffice for now.

Simply whether a sculptural form emphasizes verticality or horizontality is a rich source of possible image schemas or image-mappings. For instance, perhaps the piece is vertical and building-like. Therefore, it is more "up" than "down," linking it to all the foundational metaphors of UP: GOOD IS UP, HAPPY IS UP, etc. Depending on the composition, perhaps the piece is vertical, yet stresses its downward movement. This would elicit metaphors of DOWN. Another example: Long, winding sentences could be seen as matching the experience of taking a leisurely journey. Image-mapping consists in conducting a kind of "sampling" of the world of experience. It does not, therefore, have to be only a visual one, although I believe it generally is. It might be based in one of the other senses, or as our culture becomes increasingly multimedial, it might be based on a combination of sensory impressions.

"New metaphors are mostly structural," according to Lakoff and Johnson, in the book Metaphors We Live By. For artists, the structure of form and the structure of desired meaning (i.e., content) are functions of one another. When an image-mapping is solidly rooted in structural similarity, Lakoff and Turner refer to it as "iconic."

This is, in general, what iconicity in language is: a metaphorical image-mapping in which the structure of the meaning is understood in terms of the structure of the form of the language presenting that meaning. Such mappings are possible because of the existence of image-schemas, such as schemas characterizing bounded spaces (with interiors and exteriors), paths, motions along those paths, forces, parts and wholes, centers and peripheries, and so on.

Therefore, metaphor(m)s are often iconic image-mappings or image schemas raised to life-determining power, Weltbestimmung through Weltanschauungen. To return to my preferred metaphor of painting, here I have reached what painters refer to as their style or approach.

The second of these terms is often preferred by creators because in common-use the term style has been debased, signifying nothing more than individual, characteristic forms of expression without content or thought --- habitual, unconscious quirks also referred to as tics. True style is much more than this. The linguistic field of stylistics shows how rich the concept can be. While such study has chiefly been carried out on literature in books such as The Concept of Style, it has exciting implications for the visual arts as well. Style is the distinctive, personal mode of production and expression of an artist which is visibly unique to his or her work: ones individualistic, intellectually and emotionally-charged mechanics of embodying meaning. (In the case of my own art this becomes more of a modus operandi, as the term is used by police to describe a criminal’s characteristic way of committing a crime, rather than a stable series of representational choices.)

Cognitive metaphor theory proffers a mode of thinking which can be applied to the analysis and creation of art, while accentuating the efforts of the makers of these objects. After the object-only orientation of Formalism, after the medium-only focus of Deconstruction, this may lead to a feeling of liberation, of agency. Oh no, the "A" word! Nevertheless, this is a theory which brings with it a new sense of the burden of the past. Whereas the Academicists were trapped in an illusionary past, Formalist Modernists felt dilusorily free from the past and the Deconstructivist Postmodernists are endlessly tangled in an inescapable present, artists as viewed through cognitive metaphor theory are directly responsible for fashioning their own tropes through the processes of extension, elaboration, composition and/or questioning. This they accomplish in and through the formal parameters of their work, with enough cultural coherence to be able to communicate, but enough originality to be significant. Important tropes cannot merely be selected from a list; they are discovered and built out of revisions of cultural possibilities, in fact, fought for and won in creative work.

Metaphor, as Lakoff and Johnson explained, is a fundamental mechanism of thought, one that allows us to use physical and social experience to understand other objects and events. Such metaphors therefore structure our most crucial understandings of our experience, they are "metaphors we live by, " often shaping our perceptions and actions without our ever noticing them. However, we can concentrate on them, notice them, and actively seek to improve our understanding through them. This occurs usually through the arts, wherein we discover new vantage points on our experiences. Therefore, artists create NEW metaphors to live by!

Artists Create New Metaphors to Live By!

Thanks for listening. Podcast number 26.

Again, thanks for the recent huge upsurge in listeners, by many thousands! Thanks to Salon.com for recommending my podcast as a great art history one. If you enjoy my podcasts, please go to Apple podcasts and give me 5 stars and a recommendation! It helps others find this podcast. Additionally, if you have any questions or requests for topics, please feel free to contact me with them! I'd truly enjoy covering them!

If you wish to hear more cool, exciting and hopefully inspiring stuff about art history and art, come back for more. Also I, Dr Mark Staff Brandl, artist and art historian, am available for live custom Performance-Lectures. In English und auf Deutsch.

I take viewers inside visual art and art history. Entertainingly, yet educationally and aesthetically, I analyze, underline, and discuss the reasons why a work of art is remarkable, or I go through entire eras, or indeed through the entirety of art history, or look at your desired theme through the lens of art history. The lectures often take place with painted background screens and even in my painting-installations.

Some recent ones were on the entire history of Postmodernist Art from 1979 through today, on Metaphor(m) in Art History, on Mongrel Art, and on Women in Art. Once again, I'd like to thank Chloe Orwell, Brad Elvis, and the rock band the Handcuffs for composing, performing and recording my theme song, "Shut Up and Paint," a tiny portion of which begins and ends every Dr Great Art Podcast.

You can find or contact me at

www.drgreatart.com/ (spell)

book me at www.mirjamhadorn.com (spell)

or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all as Dr Great Art. 

Dr Great Art Podcast Episode 25: Exhibition Comics and Iconosequentiality





The newest Dr Great Art podcast. Episode 25: Exhibition Comics and Iconosequentiality in Art
A new artistic development: Exhibition Comics and a new compositional form: Iconosequentiality.
http://drgreatart.libsyn.com/episode-24-exhibition-comics-and-iconosequentiality-in-art
#arthistory #comics #composition

This is the script (not a transcript, as I change elements when recording).

Dr Great Art Podcast 25

------------------------



Hi this is Mark Staff Brandl, with the 25th "Dr Great Art" brief podcast. I hope you enjoy it and come back for each and every one.

Today my Artecdote is the introduction of two somewhat newer terms in art: 'exhibition (or gallery) comics' and 'iconosequentiality.'

A New Artistic Development: Exhibition Comics and A New Compositional Form: Iconosequentiality.

Artist and theorist Christian Hill has created a new term to give a clear identity to a new artistic phenomenon. The appellation is gallery comics. I have revised this to exhibition comics. The second expression, iconosequentiality, is my own creation for a compositional form within comics and fine art.

Hill, a French-American artist living in California explains gallery comics as "artworks using the formal structures of comics to create pieces that are intended to be viewed in the context of a gallery or museum or Kunsthalle or other (fine) art space" --- whether hanging on a wall (a la painting), sitting on the floor (a la sculpture) or as an installation (a la – well, you get it). "A gallery comic is not necessarily, or at least not exclusively, meant to be read left to right, top to bottom."

This idea of gallery comics is open to a variety of applications, from Hill's own clearly comic-derived, fairly narrative works; to Andrei Molotiu or Mathieu Baillif's (aka Ibn al Rabin's) abstract comics; or my own painting-installation works. Thus, these artworks are: sequential, or quasi-sequential works which both can be read like a book and comfortably viewed as a gallery/museum work. So not exclusively linear, albeit sequential.

I find the term gallery comics itself a bit too limiting, and as galleries appear to be dying anyway, I have changed the nomenclature to "exhibition comics."

Now we come to our second newly-minted word, my own iconosequentiality. This is my neologism, for the unique combination of forms of phenomenological perception in comics --- and my art.

In comics as we know them, viewers frequently perceive both the entire page as an iconic unit, similar to a traditional painting, and simultaneously follow the flow of narrative or images from panel to panel, left to right, up to down. A page is often thus concurrently whole/part and openly linear (even multi-linear with the possibility one has to glance "backwards" and "forwards" if desired, while reading).

Such a work is therefore ontologically as well as phenomenologically both iconic and sequential. Aesthetic attention becomes a wonderfully anti-purist conceptually mongrel blend of, or perhaps flickering between, a rich variety of forms of reading and viewing, most of which are under the control of the perceiver. The ultimate hyper-text/hyper-image united with the joys of an image's patient always-there, self-reliant presence.

This is not a reiteration, by the way, of Werner Hofmann's iconostase, (ee-cono-staz) in French, which would be iconostasis (Ei-con-Os-tasis; or iconoSTAsis) in English. While originally meaning the wall of icons and religious paintings separating the nave from the sanctuary in an orthodox church, this notion, as applied by Andrei Molotiu to comics, describes the phenomenon where pages of sequential storytelling occasionally "freeze" into tableaus of panels that make a rather unified whole.

This occurrence is unquestionably the source of inspiration for what I am proposing, yet is almost the mirror image of what I seek to describe. In iconostasis there is a natural progression which has been slowed down, even stopped, often almost by accident, for aesthetic appreciation. Iconosequential work is the conscious, active, creative use of the marriage of iconicity and sequentiality as a visual stratagem, a "speeding up" if you will. These ideas in practice of course overlap, however the clearest simple examples I can describe would be wonderfully composed pages of panels in Steve Ditko's Spider-Man, iconostasis, as compared to Frank King's famous Sunday strips of the children playing at a house building site, iconosequentiality. Those delightfully choreographed pages of struggle drawn by Jack Kirby seem to fall in-between.

Finally, this is not really the same as the medieval paintings wherein various "adventures" of Jesus or a saint, for example, are scattered across a painting. These works are not generally genuinely sequential, usually, more haphazard, and certainly not using any implied panels or closure, both of which I feel are necessary to be comics, and for the joy of an iconosequential work.

Noticing and using such a new compositional form is important, if not for personal utilization then at least for debate. In addition to a blanket ignorance of the complexities of vernacular and popular art forms, one of the detriments in the fine-art world of the recent past has been the slow-but-steady erosion of knowledge about and interest in painting. Such blindspots have resulted in an attendant attrition of awareness of some startling accomplishments in method and thought in those disciplines, especially painting.

Composition IS important. The agonistic struggle to achieve new types, even if they are at first seemingly rather small alterations. The history of changes in composition shows this --- transformation is crucial, not due to any supposed development of "significant form" or due to a blinkered view of some march of history, but for personal and cultural metaphoric use.

From the conceptual hierarchies of early art, to the overlapping levels of Medieval art, from the Golden Rectangle and Triangle of the Renaissance, to Mannerist routines, from the Baroque spiral-into-space, to Rococo curlicues, from Neo-Classical and Romantic asymmetry, to the shocking yet "relational" composition of early abstraction, from the all-over of Pollock, to unitary Pop and Minimalist form, from Neo-Platonic yet temporal Conceptual art systems, to the environmental envelopment of installation, to now — the tackling of the practical and philosophical problems of composition in art (especially painting) has been an impatient, vital, combative struggle.

Let me emphasize, anti-Formalistically, that this endeavor to forge new compositional tools is important not in order to simply form novel conventions, but to move on to distinctive organizational structures, new tropes useful for the embodiment of arisen desires.

And now more than ever, we need methods reaching beyond the affected Duchampianesque maniere of Postmodernism so far; one for our new critical anti-purism. Iconosequentiality could be the central compositional trope we need. The new "working space" for which Frank Stella has called.

How and Why, concretely? Such a factor determines the specific modes of attention which visual art now needs and which make such works potentially far more radically liberating in form than many traditional or even most so-called new media.

Iconosequentiality has the inherent predisposition to be tropaically democratic. It is also a step beyond Pollock's revolutionary "overall" composition, while embracing that discovery, as well as its child, installation, and not retreating to relational balancing games or Neo-Conceptual "readymade" knock-offs, both of which stipulate hierarchical metaphors I find repulsive.

Exhibition comics and iconosequentiality offer fresh arenas for individual development.

Exhibition Comics and Iconosequentiality!

Thanks for listening. Podcast number 25.

Thanks for the recent huge upsurge in listeners, by many thousands! Thanks to Salon.com for recommending my podcast as a great art history one. If you enjoy my podcasts, please go to iTunes / Apple podcasts and give me 5 stars and a recommendation! It helps others find this podcast. Additionally, if you have any questions or requests for topics, please feel free to contact me with them! I'd truly enjoy covering them!

If you wish to hear more cool, exciting and hopefully inspiring stuff about art history and art, come back for more. Also I, Dr Mark Staff Brandl, artist and art historian, am available for live custom Performance-Lectures. In English und auf Deutsch.

I take viewers inside visual art and art history. Entertainingly, yet educationally and aesthetically, I analyze, underline, and discuss the reasons why a work of art is remarkable, or I go through entire eras, or indeed through the entirety of art history, or look at your desired theme through the lens of art history. The lectures often take place with painted background screens and even in my painting-installations.

Some recent ones were on the entire history of Postmodernist Art from 1979 through today, on Metaphor(m) in Art History, on Mongrel Art, and on Women in Art. Once again, I'd like to thank Chloe Orwell, Brad Elvis, and the rock band the Handcuffs for composing, performing and recording my theme song, "Shut Up and Paint," a tiny portion of which begins and ends every Dr Great Art Podcast.

You can find or contact me at

www.drgreatart.com/ (spell)

book me at www.mirjamhadorn.com (spell)

or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all as Dr Great Art.