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Why Beauty Matters
#1
"Philosopher Roger Scruton presents a provocative essay on the importance of beauty in the arts and in our lives.

In the 20th century, Scruton argues, art, architecture and music turned their backs on beauty, making a cult of ugliness and leading us into a spiritual desert.

Using the thoughts of philosophers from Plato to Kant, and by talking to artists Michael Craig-Martin and Alexander Stoddart, Scruton analyses where art went wrong and presents his own impassioned case for restoring beauty to its traditional position at the centre of our civilisation."

Couldn't agree more that art, architecture etc nowadays merely reflect the uglyness in our lives and world, but do no longer create objects of beauty, and that would be precisely what we need most.

Why Beauty Matters



"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#2
As usual, the program is hogwash. While humans may rebel against what is in their genes, they always come back to it. And they do this because humans are hard wired to recognize beauty, and are attracted to it naturally.

Beauty is best understood mathematically. If any object, including facial angles, does not correspond to what is known as the Golden Ratio, the brain will not be attracted subconsciously. This is just one more negative program of which only the beeb is imminently capable.



As I have stated before, mammals, birds, and other high order animals, recognize this ration immediately and are attracted to it. No matter how much we may try to break the ration of 1:618, we cannot escape it.

Even my monitor maker, HP, understands this. While they made the monitor correspond to the new aspect ratio of 16:9(1.7777), they made certain the actual frame surrounding it followed the Golden Rule. The dimensions are 14" h X 22.5" wide. That comes out mathematically to 1:1.6. Monitor makers who ignore this equation will not create successful monitors.

Q Wrote:Couldn't agree more that art, architecture etc nowadays merely reflect the uglyness in our lives and world, but do no longer create objects of beauty, and that would be precisely what we need most.

Some people solve that problem by not using their mirror. S5
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"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#3
I thought you wouldn't like it, and I doubt you understood much of it. Pretty anti-capitalist, and even though the philosopher is flirting with religion all over the film, at the end it turns out that religion just satisfies the same emotional niche like love, or looking at beauty.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#4
(03-26-2012, 10:27 AM)quadrat Wrote: I thought you wouldn't like it, and I doubt you understood much of it. Pretty anti-capitalist, and even though the philosopher is flirting with religion all over the film, at the end it turns out that religion just satisfies the same emotional niche like love, or looking at beauty.

Why am I not surprised?

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#5
Q, I agree with the way you represented Roger Scruton teaching that "In the 20th century...art, architecture and music turned their backs on beauty, making a cult of ugliness and leading us into a spiritual desert." Modern abstract artists seem to be more concerned with being clever, using codes in their abstractions that mean something to other modern abstract artists. I hold the same thing is very true of music. Most modern music seems to have renounced any interest in beauty. Often it employs only the most elementary chord successions, any melody present seems to be more of an accident than by design, and rap has none at all. I deny that anything that is not beautiful is art. My soul rejects it, and I will not let it in.
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#6
Head for the hills, the Philistines are on the loose! Somehow, I suspect that these whimperings over "beauty" are little other than hankerings for what might kindly be called formulaic kitsch! As for music, I doubt anyone goes around invoking the melodious in La Mer or whistling a tune from Pierrot Lumaire, or for that matter the countercurrents and tempos that are the driving forces in jazz, so to carp that "Rap" lacks the melodious is utter nonesense since melody does dance attendance to the spiel. In a way it is an elemental form recalling the origins of formal musical composition as background to the poetic. So please refrain from yammering about beauty unless you are suffering from a Rossetti complex suitable to the Victorian cauldron of aesthetical gobbledy-gook.
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein
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#7
drgonzaga, you are clearly an abstract artist. All rap has is rhythm.

Sure, some people oversimplify and wrongly claim that all syncopation is inherently bad. It depends on how it is used. Brahms used syncopation in his Protestant Requiem to great effect, wonderfully communicating the happiness of the redeemed (such as the chorus, "The Redeemed of the Lord"). Some people look down on dissonant harmonies--things like diminished seventh chords, etc.--not realizing how much of the most uplifting church music in standard hymnals routinely uses those very elements--along with resolutions of the dissonance that please the soul. None of that proves your point. Rap cannot be music. It has no beauty. It is just pure, spasmodic ugliness. I cannot imagine the angels in Heaven praising God with rap music.
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#8
(03-26-2012, 05:52 PM)Ron Lambert Wrote: drgonzaga, you are clearly an abstract artist. All rap has is rhythm.

Sure, some people oversimplify and wrongly claim that all syncopation is inherently bad. It depends on how it is used. Brahms used syncopation in his Protestant Requiem to great effect, wonderfully communicating the happiness of the redeemed (such as the chorus, "The Redeemed of the Lord"). Some people look down on dissonant harmonies--things like diminished seventh chords, etc.--not realizing how much of the most uplifting church music in standard hymnals routinely uses those very elements--along with resolutions of the dissonance that please the soul. None of that proves your point. Rap cannot be music. It has no beauty. It is just pure, spasmodic ugliness. I cannot imagine the angels in Heaven praising God with rap music.

Leave the angels dancing on the pin head because on earth the Christians do praise with "Rap"...heck there's even a web site that discusses Hip-Hop with the Spirit:

http://www.christianguitar.org/forums/t177917/

http://www.cdbaby.com/style/66

And that was back quite a few years ago...get with the times...

http://cnsmusic.com/browse-our-music/rap...reet-songs

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein
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#9
(03-26-2012, 04:25 PM)drgonzaga Wrote: Head for the hills, the Philistines are on the loose! Somehow, I suspect that these whimperings over "beauty" are little other than hankerings for what might kindly be called formulaic kitsch! As for music, I doubt anyone goes around invoking the melodious in La Mer or whistling a tune from Pierrot Lumaire, or for that matter the countercurrents and tempos that are the driving forces in jazz, so to carp that "Rap" lacks the melodious is utter nonesense since melody does dance attendance to the spiel. In a way it is an elemental form recalling the origins of formal musical composition as background to the poetic. So please refrain from yammering about beauty unless you are suffering from a Rossetti complex suitable to the Victorian cauldron of aesthetical gobbledy-gook.
It wasn't so much about music, and pop music doesn't claim to be art. It wasn't about movies at all, where kitsch is sometimes good. Chaplin's City Lights is a sentimental film, but great nonetheless. It was about the environment we live in being deformed by ugly architecture, and a mockery of art. What's going on in you when you walk in an exhibition of so called modern art, do you pretend to appreciate it, or do you ask yourself WTF? And for architecture, you can put 1:618 into buildings as much as you want, if there's nothing but straight horizontal and vertical lines, it's ugly.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#10
Gee...I think I heard another German grumbling about architecture--we wont even mention certain artistic aspirations--and how decadent modernity was...need I say more Q?
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein
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#11
We owe him for closing the Bauhaus of the criminals Gropius and van der Rohe. Are we to be automatically for what he was against?
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#12
Functional architecture with clean lines and dedicated space has a beauty all of its own...that a schmuck like A. Hitler went for grandiose and severe pomposities because of his pedestrian "tastes" is but another example of his proclivity toward hating the successful or must we talk over his orgiastic lust for book burning. The archietcural modus known as "stripped classicism" is, naturally, cold and authoritarian and a favorite of the megalomaniacal mind [and here we must acknowledge that much was borrowed from elsewhere], but even in this good old Adolf found a "professional" to express his instabilities: Albert Speer.

http://mj-sunderland.quazen.com/arts/arc...hitecture/

As an aside, recall how fascinated the MSM was with the "spectacle" of the Beijing Olympics. In actuality this regimentation should have been frightening to any lucid thinker and artistic mind--devious regimentation on a grand scale has a social purpose and should scare the bejeezus out of any libertarian.
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein
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#13
Art is subjective to the person viewing it. What one person thinks is beautiful, another may find it hideous. Art in all it's forms, from paintings and drawings, photography, buildings, sculpture, music, poetry, and writing are all subjective to the one observing them.

You can't collectively and unanimously agree and disagree on ugly and pretty. Yes, small groups will agree on many of the same things, but on a mass scale it's impossible.

I do agree with architecture though. I love walking through the city and looking at the old buildings and the Art Deco buildings. The new, shiny things just don't intrigue me like those old ones do. Add some gargoyles in and the building is a hit. Most modern, clean lined cities seem almost sterile to me, but I don't hate them. I CAN appreciate them for what they are, I just can't fall in love with them like the old stuff.
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#14
My Philosophy of Art Professor taught his course with the idea that good art is objective- not subjective. You can find art in an upside down urinal and call it "The Fountain", as did Marcel Duchamp - and it can sell for thousands of dollars.
[Image: 437px-Duchamp_Fountaine.jpg]
But someone liking it, collecting it, and saying subjective Hosanahs does not make it good art.

As an artist, I know how to use white space, form a center of interest, combine colors, and all the myriads of things that together make art that works. Much famous art is poor art - but famous. People who enjoy it can do so - but enjoying bad art is its own penalty.

I look at artists like Picasso who were renowned and praised as brilliant, but he was good because he was talented. He didn't draw Guernica because he didn't know cows had eyes on each side of its head, he knew how to draw, and purposefully changed reality to tell a story. The story had impact. Many imitators with no skill or talent thought they could make art without doing their homework and learning their craft. Chimpanzees throwing paint on a canvas make interesting splashes - but shouldn't be compared to Carravagio.
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#15
(03-27-2012, 04:44 PM)WmLambert Wrote: "enjoying bad art is its own penalty."

I love that!

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#16
(03-27-2012, 12:36 PM)Joan Wrote: I do agree with architecture though. I love walking through the city and looking at the old buildings and the Art Deco buildings. The new, shiny things just don't intrigue me like those old ones do. Add some gargoyles in and the building is a hit. Most modern, clean lined cities seem almost sterile to me, but I don't hate them. I CAN appreciate them for what they are, I just can't fall in love with them like the old stuff.

There's little Art Deco in Europe, but lots of styles that predate it. I like Biedermeier and Neo Baroque most. My wife is from Karlsbad, old German, later Austrian, now Czech town and spa. The centre is almost 100% those two styles, for me the single most beautiful place in the world in architecture. Visiting it feels like time travel, back to the kuk monarchy. No cars in the centre, horse-drawn carriages instead.



"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#17
We also have some great architecture at our own Karlsbad, but it is all underground.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"INSIDE EVERY PROGRESSIVE IS A TOTALITARIAN SCREAMING TO GET OUT" - David Horowitz

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#18
(03-28-2012, 12:20 AM)quadrat Wrote:
(03-27-2012, 12:36 PM)Joan Wrote: I do agree with architecture though. I love walking through the city and looking at the old buildings and the Art Deco buildings. The new, shiny things just don't intrigue me like those old ones do. Add some gargoyles in and the building is a hit. Most modern, clean lined cities seem almost sterile to me, but I don't hate them. I CAN appreciate them for what they are, I just can't fall in love with them like the old stuff.

There's little Art Deco in Europe, but lots of styles that predate it. I like Biedermeier and Neo Baroque most. My wife is from Karlsbad, old German, later Austrian, now Czech town and spa. The centre is almost 100% those two styles, for me the single most beautiful place in the world in architecture. Visiting it feels like time travel, back to the kuk monarchy. No cars in the centre, horse-drawn carriages instead.




Very nice, Quadrat.
NYC is where we have some really great architecture. I'm not up on the actual architects, names, styles etc - I never bothered to learn, but I know there is a great mix of styles here. Some neighborhoods are like you say, you can imagine older times when it was less congested and people used horse drawn carriages.

We don't have the years of history Europe has so we kind of got a weird mix of things here.

This is an apartment building I took with my cell phone last summer. It's upper mid-town across from the Beacon Theater. Sorry for the poor quality. It was a gloomy, drizzly day and I took it in a hurry.

   
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#19
Ah the bliss of "wedding cake" fru fru from the turreted corner to the mansard topping, it tries to recall a past while ignoring the fact that it went up in the 20th century [keep in mind that functional buildings taller than five stories were the results of technological confluences subsequent to 1880: steel (load bearing capacity), electricity (for the elevators), and functional plumbing. Anything above ten stories in New York City went "up" between 1902 and 1913]. Sorry, Joan, but although that building tries hard to recall the tastes of the Gilded Age, it is a "time transvestite"...a modern structure decked out to fool the historical eye. Yes, it's Art Nouveau for the bourgeoisis.

Of course, I could not but smile over your nostalgic statement about "less congested" times, when the simple fact remains that it was artifices such as the one pictured that created the "congestion" of the urban environment!
"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the former."

Albert Einstein
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#20
Next time I'm in the area I'm going to take a look at the cornerstone on that building.

Doesn't matter to me the history of the building anyway. It appeals to me and nothing can change that.
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