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How Bonsai Taste Evolves
http://www.artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=3864
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Author:  Ana Veler [ Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Bonsai Taste Evolves

Colin Lewis wrote:
Ana Veler wrote:
Challenging definitions of art is a respectable trade these days, in some places...


Indeed so. And about as productive as trying to catch morning mist in a butterfly net.


'Talk is cheap' was not coined by an art critic ...

Can only agree that it is not easy to get something out of that morning mist. It's been taken too seriously for too long.

Even trying to pin down who is assigned the task of deciding what art is, is quite a task these days. Among the whole mess, reshaped trees sounds like one more exercise - one that happens to have a tradition behind, longer then most definitions of art last, as of late. All that must add up to something.

I cannot think of anything that has not been tried [that's why I am not an artist!]

'Interactive art' [picked to fit the given type characteristics of 'mobility of appearance and the need for successive artists to accommodate changes brought about by the trees natural growth'] is a fairly notorious play of words - Tate Intermedia calls for it: '

"Artworks may be created with newer or older networked and time-based media [...].
The programme will also address [...] practices that challenge traditional ideas of the art object; including work that is process-driven, participatory or interactive."


Those points are reached neatly:
- 'time-based media' / what else?,
- 'networked' / what isn't,
- 'chalenge traditional ideas...'/ considering that Tate never cared
for immemorial Asian arts, and elsewhere this is challenging, yes, sir!
- 'process-driven' / kidding?
- 'participatory' / touche!
- 'interactive' / OK ... ;)

Sounds a bit like a joke, but that's about as official as a definition of 'Art' gets these wretched networked, interactive days, and I am trying to see what the corresponding boxes look like being ticked away. Not sure they are meant to - possibly why Tate is not expecting trees in pots to show up on the doorstep [and I am not an artist] ...

No idea where's this going. There it was - Intermedia, and your comments, and this place. I wonder what bonsai defined would look like in that context - possibly starting with the quirks of the medium, rather then any given utopia of aesthetics [that's what I like to think they were, as long as they were anything].


Colin Lewis wrote:
Ana Veler wrote:
What should a successful connection with another form of art accomplish?


I'm not sure it should achieve anything specific, but there are things it could achieve. It might help define bonsai to others, ...


I am surprised to find that some artists find the idea of bonsai - possibly in parallel, possibly by old-fashioned reference. So far the list is awfully short [two], but that was just the first page of Google. Who knows what's out there? ...

Author:  Gene Deci [ Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Bonsai Taste Evolves

Colin said it best I think - "bonsai is... unique". I remember a past president of our club saying to a new member, "Make sure you want to do this because it will change your life." It has a way of doing that independent of currents and critics and the fine points of esthetics.

Author:  Ana Veler [ Sat Dec 19, 2009 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Bonsai Taste Evolves

Agreed.

I also believe that 'art-out-of-a-way-of-life' has not been around in most of Europe for some generations: even the possibility has slipped from view in most places. Coincidentally, that's also where the notion of an 'aesthetic' functions at its best. The point seems worth making, but how? ...

Author:  Colin Lewis [ Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Bonsai Taste Evolves

Ana Veler wrote:
I also believe that 'art-out-of-a-way-of-life' has not been around in most of Europe for some generations.... Coincidentally, that's also where the notion of an 'aesthetic' functions at its best...


Ana, could you expand on that a little? Perhaps we can draw some others into the conversation.

Author:  Ana Veler [ Sat Dec 19, 2009 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Bonsai Taste Evolves

Colin Lewis wrote:

Ana, could you expand on that a little?



I am working on it, so the following is a half-baked opinion, at best...

I think bonsai makes an interesting case of an old way of making art around an implicit aesthetic, reinforced by the quirks of the medium.

How exactly is it different may also be seen in the strain of translating European aesthetics to fit among Japanese norms and techniques cca. Meiji. [digression: a familiar picture - from looking into how the same tenets of European arts were once grafted onto the minor cultures of the continent; very funny!] Still, that's just a story in a dozen books with five-digit readership between them, and possibly just a few potentially relevant bits. Quite another kind of thrill to find even one little case from the other side of this story. And not dead & dry between two covers, as usual!

There's more of the same, including commonalities with current art [some thrown in above]... I am only too happy to recognize that these 'Big Pictures' never quite matter to anyone too far from a university water cooler. This time, I would rather look for the bit that does matter. It seems possible here.

Author:  Mike Page [ Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Bonsai Taste Evolves

When I was very young, my Mother would admonish me with a wise saying. "Fools names and fools faces are often found in public places".

How very true. As usual, Mother was right.

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