26.12.14

Coffee Cup #38: How can I not

I feel grateful... how can I not?

Many things happen for reasons. Many thing in this world and so in my life. I am in a process of learning to trust Him faithfully and keep positive with His plan. Day to day I found that His plan is really, truly beautiful.

By the way this blog is set in a public mode. So I expect there are readers like you who probably wonder how can I say His plan is beautiful? I assure you I'm not fabulously wealthy at the moment. Neither I have reached a great achievement nor found my true love. Not yet. And I'm not completely free of problems. The thing is I soon realize that life is the messy bit. It is the kind of mess which can shape you from raw stone; crave you, rub you, even burn you, and then polish you into the best gem.

I believe there's balance in life. In every goodbye there's a new hello. Sometimes win, sometimes lose. Sometimes you are lost, sometimes you are found. Sometimes you have to give before you get. Sometimes you think you are 'sacrificing' something, but actually you are making yourself richer and better.

Although there are several things that makes me sad till today, I feel I turn up being a better person. That's a good thing. This whole year (accumulated) is a super awesome one. I can't stop feeling thankful. I got a scholarship. l can study abroad. l have open and caring classmates. l found new family in Brisbane. I can perform angklung with cool mates. l had casual works better than I can imagine and get better grades than I thought I deserve. I have opportunity to do tahfidz and it was really great this year. I have beautiful friendships. I can enjoy summer with my family. And countless things which I can only keep for myself at the moment.

I have no reason to be ungrateful. Alhamdulillah.

5.9.14

TEras #11: Formalism

A SUMMARY

This is a flash visit to architectural theory. Because I was really intrigued by a statement toward particular design in the studio: “This is obviously just a form making. And this is wrong.” Curious.
And the thing is, the author of a resource in this visit is actually the Head of School in UQ.

What is Formalism? 
The definition is vary, because there’s no agreement upon this subject.

  1. K. Michael Hays: “The comparative absence of historical concerns in favor of attention to the autonomous architectural objects and its formal operations
  2. Russian Formalism: anti-realist, denying that morality or philosophy should be the concern of literature.
  3. Germany Formalism: their aesthetic emerged antagonistically in response to classical theories of imitation and representation in the arts. Form was no longer thought of as an expression of content but as co-existing with the idea. à Art aim new reality.
  4. Joseph Kosuth: “Art is abstract in relationship to cultural meanings, in the way that the noises we utter called words are meaningful only in relation to a linguistic system, not in relation to the world.”
  5. Perez-Gomez: “For more than two centuries, architects, critics, and theoreticians have been arguing functionalist and formalist positions, opposing art to social interest and ethic to poetic expressions.
  6. Mieke Bal: “Aesthetics is also a context, which is why formalism necessary fails.”
  7. Formalism has been used to promote, provoke, or dismiss one art or architectural practice over another, not so much on aesthetic grounds as on ethical or moral differences. (Kaji-O'Grady, 2012)
  8. Clement Greenberg: introducing “Flatness”, which then also influenced the advent of ‘minimalism’ ‘pop’ and ‘novelty art’, and also influenced a shift of optical formalism in abstract painting to phenomenological formalism.

In Architecture:

  1. Viollet-le-Duc: good form was concieved as the outcome of the rational procedure of a careful consideration of function and structure.
  2. Otto Wagner: shaping of form (Formgebung) should be consistent with its purpose and material. à well this is what we know as honesty which is really famous related with Modern architecture.
  3. Mies van der Rohe: “We know no forms, only building problems. Form is not the goal but the result of our work..”
  4. Viollet-le-Duc: a rational design method may not always result in a beautiful and satisfying formal outcome, buat a beautiful building is necessarily rational.
  5. Formalist ambitions in the practice of architecture are, consequently, denied, or dismissed as socially irresponsible, culturally irrelevant, solipsistic, and arbitrary. (Kaji-O'Grady, 2012)
  6. Jacques Derida: Architecture must have meaning, it must present it and through it signify. The signifying or symbolical value of this meaning must direct the structure and syntax, the form and function of architecture. It must direct from outside, according to a principle (arche), a foundmental foundation, a trancendence or finality (telos) whose locations are not themselves architectural. The experience of meaning must be dwelling.
  7. Eissenman: Post-functionalism. Architectural autonomy (which is reminds me about Libeskind’s idea about architect’s signature) consist two part: (1) the search of the way to make the elements of architecture the wall, the beam, the column self-referential; (2) the development of the process of making that could produce self-reference without referring to the formal conventions of modernism.
  8. Thomas Mical: Surrealism and Architecture (2005), that modernist architecture was essentially involved in formlessness. “Architecture must reamain void to function and incomplete to produce effects, because architecture can only be completed in the spatial immersion of the subject.”
  9. Bataille: “Forms have become more and more static, more and more dominant”. Architecture is concerned with systematic aith the regulation of the plan, and with inspiring fear and control as a mechanism for social order.  Then architecture and formlessness are oppositional categories.
  10. Blur Building: Architecture of nothing. Obfucates visuality. Pursue non-form or temporary form through making their architecture from material from each situation – the human subject, climate, the object, and territory. (this is differennt from formlessness)
  11. Robert Morris: “What art now has in its hands is mutable stuff which need not arrive at the point of being finalized with respect to either time or space.”
  12. Software-generated architecture à neologism ‘performalism’. Works of Greg Lunn, Gehry, Eisenman, Open source, Reiser & Umemoto, etc. “Digital architecture’s formalism, realized through a multidimensional use of performance, offers a field of action by far wider than mere formalism, actually defining new needs and a new inessential concept of subjectivity.” (Grobman and Neuman, 2008 as cited in (Kaji-O'Grady, 2012))
  13. Frei Otto: finding form through experiments intended to arrive at the optimization of materials and structure.
  14. Performalism: (1) curvilinear and complex form Cartesian geometries. (2) some of which are not yet contructable, some are considered ‘ugly’ and formless by architects that remained commited to the orthogonal forms of modernism.
  15. Catherine Ingraham: computatuional naturalism perpetuates a classical formalism in which programme, inhabitant, and occupant are cast aside from form-making.


In conclussions: formalism is neither a dead argument nor a fixed moment in history but it constantly reworked in light of new theories and practices. Formalist practice as a means for achieving some expression of resistance to the instrumentalism of capitalist society. (Kaji-O'Grady, 2012)

Reference:


2.9.14

Pada dasarnya, kaum yang mementingkan duniawi adalah bodoh, ceroboh, dan dangkal pikirannya. (Yahya: 2004)

28.8.14

That all readings, which come from human, should be faced critically as it can't be pure of personal interest.

26.8.14

TEras #10: Paul Oskar Kristeller, about history of the Fine Art system

OK so this is what I got from Kristeller. I would say that somehow I enjoy reading his works. It makes me want to read other writings in triple A, including Ranciere, which is a good thing, absolutely.

Who is Kristeller?

Paul Oskar Kristeller (May 22, 1905 in Berlin – June 7, 1999 in New YorkUSA) was an important scholar of Renaissance humanism. He was awarded the Haskins Medal in 1992. He was last active as Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Columbia University in New York, where he mentored both Irving Louis Horowitz and A. James Gregor. (wiki)

His influence:

The emphasis of Kristeller's research was on the philosophy of Renaissance humanism. He is the author of important studies on Marsilio FicinoPietro Pomponazzi and Giambattista Vico.An especially important achievement is his Iter Italicum (the title recalls Iter Alemannicum and other works of Martin Gerbert), a large work describing numerous uncatalogued manuscripts. After decades of neglect, Kristeller's lengthy, erudite essay of the early 1950s, "The Modern System of the Arts", in Journal of the History of Ideas, proved to be an influential, much reprinted classic reading in Philosophy of Art. (wiki)

Kristeller tells us that in the history of ‘fine arts’ before ‘modern age’ or 18th century, actually paintings rarely mentioned. Fine arts, long time ago, includes poetry, rhetoric, music, sculpture, astronomy, medicine, mathematics, etc. It even includes matters that we classify as science.  Before renaissance Paintings is classify as the act of imitation, as well as sculpture.
Considering previous reading about Kant and Hume, the definition of ‘beauty’ in ancient Greek, either, is not only limited to physical beauty but also related with beautiful habits, personal act, etc.

16th century - Renaissance

·         Renaissance writers want their paintings to be recognized as liberal art. To enhance the social and prestige of paintings and other visual art to be as good as poetry, rhetoric, and music.
·         Leonardo Da Vinci tried to emphasize a relationship of painting and mathematic and anatomy.
·         1563 in Florence, painters, sculptors, and architects builds Academy of Art, in influence of Vasari[1]. The curriculum includes anatomy and mathematics.

16th to 18th century                                                                                       

·         Writings show comparative between paintings and poetry.
·         1546 – Benedetto Varchii compare paintings and sculpture
·         Leonardo’s Paragone which argues for the superiority of paintings from poetry, music, and sculpture.  (Kristeller, 1951-2)
·         The definition of beauty in Renaissance still borrowing ancient talk (personal beauty and so on).[2]
·         The writers in this century didn’t make attempt to separate fine arts with science.[3]

17th century

·         Cultural leadership moved from Italy to French
·         Painting becomes more flourish
·         1635 Academie Francaise, French language, poetry, literature,
·         1648 Academie royale de Painture et de Sculpture
·         More academies for music, architecture, dance, three visual arts, and then academy of sciences which have no relation to fine arts.
·         There are development in theoretical and critical literature of visual art in particular.[4]
·         The parallel between poetry and painting important to the writers. The terms Beaux Art which seems related with visual arts alone, actually related with music and poetry as well.[5]
·         In this century there is a rise of emancipation of the natural science.[6] After Galileo and Descrates works have been completed. Academies des Science[7] and Royal Societies became active.
·         Querelle des Anciens et Modernes. Two points: (1) various field of human endeavor leads to various classification of knowledge and culture, (2) there are two kinds of fields: mathematical basis and talent-critique basis.[8] Separation between science and art.
·         Music mentioned in the last part of science, in Charles Perrault’s book.[9]

18th century - French

·         Interest in music and visual art increased
·         Beauty by J.P. de Crousaz (1714) is an important attempt to divide beauty definition from goodness.
·         Abbe Dubos (1719): analogies between painting and poetries and the difference between them without any interest in judging which one more prestigious. First writing about poetry and painting from the amateurs, which states that the best judgment comes from the amateur.[10]
·         Dubos includes poetry in Beaux Art
·         Abbe Batteux (1746): a system of fine arts. He separates fine arts which have pleasures to their end, from mechanical arts. Fine arts includes music, poetry, painting, sculpture, and dance. There’s a third group who combine pleasure and usefulness, which includes: eloquence, and architecture.
·         Jean de Ront d’Alembert[11] in Discourse Preliminaire divide knowledge into: Philosophy (grammar, eloquence, history, natural science), and those cognition which consist an imitation (painting, sculpture, architecture, poetry, music).[12]
·         Encyclopédie[13]
·         Larcombe portable dictionary of Fine Art covers: architecture, sculpture, engraving, painting, poetry, and music.

18th century - England

·         Henry Pecham[14]: treatrise of painting, influenced by Renaissance.
·         After Querelle influence spread from French, William Wotton: tried to cover systematically all human art and activities.[15]
·         History of The Wars of Ancients and Moderns (1705), works in England which is related with Querelle.
·         Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury: considered as founder of modern aesthetics. He did not make distinction between aesthetic and moral beauty. And his moral sense still include both ethical and aesthetic objects. He writes about imagination… the pleasure of imagination has to be found in the works such as architecture, sculpture, painting, poetry, music, gardening,
·         After Shaftesbury: distinction between ethic and aesthetic.
·         The necessary art, and the art of elegance. (James Harris)[16]

18th century - Germany

·         Baumgarten: gives definition of term aesthetic: is the theory of sensuous knowledge, which is a counterpart of logic as a theory of intellectual knowledge, firstly related to poetry and rhetoric, and later gives the theory to all arts including music and visual art.
·         Georg Friedrich Meier: limit the theory only to literature (?)
·         Laokoon (1766): put an end to the parallel between painting and sculpture.
·         Mendelsshon: demands fine art (painting, sculpture, music, dance, architecture) and belles letters (poetry, eloquence) reduced to same common principle better than imitation.
·         Sulzer: General Theory of The Fine Art, covers poetry, eloquence, music, visual art.
·         Goethe: ridicules the idea of grouping all the arts altogether which very different from each other, but in the end he accept Fine Art system.
·         Herder: active contribute to classify the Fine Art.
Back to Kant as Conclussion

Kant states that he didn’t follow Baumgarten’s terminology since he does not believe in any possibility of philosophical theory of the arts. Kant gives division of Fine Arts: plastic art (sculpture, architecture, painting, and gardening), speaking art (poetry and eloquence), art of the beautiful play of sentiments (music and the art of color).[17]

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giorgio_Vasari, last modified on 20 July 2014 at 10:08, last accessed on 26 August 2014 at 5:52 PM.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Academy_of_Sciences, last modified on 13 August 2014 at 14:59, last accessed on 26 August 2014 at 7:13 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Oskar_Kristeller,  last modified on 12 August 2014 at 02:31, last accessed on 26 August 2014 at 8:04 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_le_Rond_d'Alembert, last modified on 30 July 2014 at 03:05, last accessed on 26 August 2014 at 8:21 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Peacham, last modified on 20 June 2014 at 08:22, last accessed on 26 August 2014 8:48 PM





[1] 1511-1574, Italian Architect and Painters who first classify Paintings along with Sculpture and Architectural works. His writing titled “Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects” is the first encyclopedia of best art work during his time. (en.wikipedia.com)
[2] KRISTELLER, P. O. 1951-2. The Modern System of the Arts: a study in the history of aesthetics [parts 1 & 2]. Journal of the History of Ideas, 12, 13, 496-527, 17-46. p.186
[3] Ibid. p.189
[4] Ibid. p. 191
[5] Ibid. p.192
[6] Ibid. p.193
[7] Academies des Science in France, first known president is Napoleon Bonaparte, started in suggestion from Jean Baptise-Colbert with a small group of scholar who met in Kings Library. (en.wikipedia.com)
[8] KRISTELLER, P. O. 1951-2. The Modern System of the Arts: a study in the history of aesthetics [parts 1 & 2]. Journal of the History of Ideas, 12, 13, 496-527, 17-46. P.193-194
[9] Ibid. p.194
[10] Ibid. p.198
[11] D’Alembert was French mathematician, mechanician, Physicist, philosopher, and music theorist. The wave equation or D’Alembert formula is the most well-known thing related to him. (en.wikipedia.com)
[12] KRISTELLER, P. O. 1951-2. The Modern System of the Arts: a study in the history of aesthetics [parts 1 & 2]. Journal of the History of Ideas, 12, 13, 496-527, 17-46. p.202
[13] Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (English: Encyclopaedia, or a Systematic Dictionary of the Sciences, Arts, and Crafts) was a general encyclopedia published in France between 1751 and 1772, with later supplements, revised editions, and translations. It was edited by Denis Diderot and, until 1759, co-edited by Jean le Rond d'Alembert. (e.wikipedia.org)
[14] Henry Peacham is the name shared by two English Renaissance writers who were father and son. The elder Henry Peacham (1546–1634) was an English curate, best known for his treatise on rhetoric titled The Garden of Eloquence first published in 1577. He lived atLeverton-in-Holland, in Lincolnshire.[1] His son, Henry Peacham (b. 1578, d. in or after 1644) was a poet and writer,[2] known today primarily for his book, The Compleat Gentleman, first printed in 1622. It is presented as a guidebook on the arts for young men of good birth. In it, he discusses what writers, poets, composers, philosophers, and artists a gentlemen should study in order to become well-educated. Because he mentions a large number of contemporary artistic figures, he is often cited as a primary source in studies of Renaissance artists.
[15] KRISTELLER, P. O. 1951-2. The Modern System of the Arts: a study in the history of aesthetics [parts 1 & 2]. Journal of the History of Ideas, 12, 13, 496-527, 17-46. p. 205
[16] Ibid. p.209.
[17] Ibid. p.224