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You do not say of a man in a rage that his anger is well expressed. The symptoms just are what they are, there is no critical standard for symptoms. If, on the other hand, the angry man tries to tell you what he is fuming about, he will have to collect himself, curtail his emotional expression, and find words to express his ideas.

Fechamos hoje a terceira parte do nosso pequeno interlúdio contextual d'OS POSITIVOS. Save. É o fim de uma fase, e gostamos de deixar tudo bem arrumado quando levamos as caixas para a garagem. Level up, collect (press start when ready).

But art is not practical; it is neither philosophy nor science; it is not religion, morality, nor even social comment (as many drama critics take comedy to be).

E no seguimento dessa lógica, diz-nos o mesmo autor que a arte “merely presents forms - sometimes intangible forms - to imagination”. Vamos pois, imaginar que nos ocupamos de arte daqui em diante -conhecem o nosso posicionamento no tema, precisamos apenas de justificar as nossas conclusões reunindo informação que não as desminta e evitando prestar demasiada atenção aos pormenores: é o método científico at work.

Do imenso manancial de obras a citar sobre o tema, escolhemos uma curta de Susanne K. Langer(1)The Cultural Importance of the Arts” (The Journal of Aesthetic Education, 1966) para base de trabalho: a) seis páginas e hoje é domingo: não há vontade ou tempo para mais; b) cruza arte com estudos culturais no próprio título, o resto só pode ser bom; c) enterrado algures no seu texto encontramos esta pequena pérola: “(That, rather than incitement to crime, is my objection to the comics.)” – como não querer usar este texto agora?

Na sua exposição da importância de arte na cultura Langer contrapõe arte e linguagem como dois processos em permanente diálogo com diferentes responsabilidades sobre a nossa capacidade de exprimir o objectivo e subjetivo.

Citamos:

Somewhere at the animalian starting line of human evolution lie the beginnings of that supreme instrument of the mind — language. We think of it as a device for communication among the members of a society. But communication is only one, and perhaps not even the first, of its functions.

Segundo Langer,

The first thing it does is to break up (…) sense perception into units and groups, events and chains of events — things and relations, causes and effects.

Nesse processo, a linguagem produz sobre nós um efeito normativo de objectivação da experiência:

All these patterns are imposed on our experience by language. We think, as we speak, in terms of objects and their relations.

...ao qual contrapõe o papel da imaginação:

But the process of breaking up our sense experience in this way, making reality conceivable, memorable, sometimes even predictable, is a process of imagination.

…concluindo que:

Primitive conception is imagination. Language and imagination grow up together in a reciprocal tutelage.

Fácil? Ok, um recap rápido para impressionares os teus bros lá na escola:

What discursive symbolism — language in its literal use — does for our awareness of things about us and our own relation to them, the arts do for our awareness of subjective reality, feeling, and emotion;

E chegámos ao âmago da questão: a emoção. Não apenas “pleasure and pain”, “sensations”, “emotion”, “attitude”, “mental or physical condition”, etc, mas todas as definições que abarquem qualquer tipo de “feeling”:

it applies to everything that may be felt

O destaque é nosso, a sua definição de arte no âmbito da importância que lhe atribui na esfera cultural “apenas” determina a máxima:

art as the creation of perceptible forms expressive of human feeling

Infelizmente, para compreenderem a importância que temos de dar aos feelings, teremos que decompor as diferentes partes dessa sua definição -hey, queremos tanto fazer isso como vcs querem ler a coisa, shit happens! Mas tentaremos ser sucintos e descartar o descartável à nossa tese, segue-se o mashup:

Sobre a forma:

The word "form" has several current uses // a work of art is a form in the sense of an apparition given to our perception // but it is always a perceptible, self-identical whole // it has a character of organic unity, self-sufficiency, individual reality // as an appearance, that a work of art is good or bad or perhaps only rather poor; as an appearance, not as a comment on things beyond it in the world, nor as a reminder of them.

Sobre o “expressive of human feelings”, primeiro o problema da “expressão”:

The word "expression" has two principal meanings:

self-expression giving vent to our feelings. In this sense it refers to a symptom of what we feel. Self-expression is a spontaneous reaction to an actual, present situation (…); it bespeaks the physical and mental state we are in and the emotions that stir us

In another sense, however, "expression" means the presentation of an idea, usually by the proper and apt use of words.

A dualidade dos dois é-nos importante para compreender os “feelings”, vamos aprofundar a questão da “apresentação da ideia”:

a word is a symbol, and so is a meaningful combination of words. A sentence, which is a special combination of words, expresses the idea of some state of affair, real or imagined. Sentences are complicated symbols. Language will formulate new ideas as well as communicate old ones, so that all people know a lot of things that they have merely heard or read about. Symbolic expression, therefore, tends our knowledge beyond the scope of our actual experience

Por contraponto, à “conceptual expression”, temos a anterior “self-expression”:

If an idea is clearly conveyed by means of symbols we say it is well expressed. A person may work for a long time to give his statement the best possible form, to find the exact words for what he means to say, and to carry his account or his argument most directly from one point to another. But a discourse so worked out is certainly not a spontaneous reaction. Giving expression to an idea is obviously a different thing from giving expression to feelings.

O que nos trás de volta à importância da linguagem:

Language, of course, is our prime instrument of conceptual expression. The things we can say are in effect the things we can think. Words are the terms of our thinking as well as the terms in which we present our thoughts, because they present the objects of thought to the thinker himself. Before language communicates ideas, it gives them form, makes them clear, and in fact makes them what they are.

Without words, sense experience is only a flow of impressions, as subjective as our feelings; words make it objective, and carve it up into things and facts that we can note, remember, and think about. Language gives outward experience its form, and makes it definite and clear.

E por esta altura, vocês ainda se lembram por contraponto a ..? Por-amor-de-deus, começamos este post justamente por aí!

There is, however, an important part of reality that is quite inaccessible to the formative influence of language: that is the realm of so-called inner experience, the life of feeling and emotion.

Ou, “onde a imaginação e a emoção se cruzam!” - que, no nosso caso, costuma ser numa Cintiq 24HD em horas impróprias e o envolvimento de algum álcool sempre bemvindo. Continuando: à linguagem apresenta-se assim uma barreira natural:

The unfitness of language to convey subjective experience
The reason why language is so powerless here is not, as many people suppose, that feeling and emotion are irrational; on the contrary, they seem irrational because language does not help to make them conceivable, and most people cannot conceive anything without the logical scaffolding of words.

O que nos trás de volta aos “feelings”:

the gist of it is that the form of language does not reflect the natural form of feeling, so we cannot shape any extensive concepts of feeling with the help of ordinary, discursive language. (…) The real nature of feeling is something language as such — as discursive symbolism — cannot render.

…que por sua vez nos devolve à arte:

The expressiveness of art is like that of a symbol, not that of an emotional symptom; it is as a formulation of feeling for our conception that a work of art is properly said to be expressive.

Se a transição vos é repentina, repetimos:

In a special sense one may call a work of art a symbol of feeling, for, like a symbol, it formulates our ideas of inward experience, as discourse formulates our ideas of things and facts in the outside world.

Arte como símbolo das emoções, mas um tipo de símbolo diferente do linguístico:

a work of art differs from a genuine symbol —that is, a symbol in the full and usual sense — in that it does not point beyond itself to something else.

the feeling it expresses appears to be directly given with it (…) and is not separable from its expression

Mas aqui afastamo-nos da nossa tese porque nos é irrelevante essa linha de pensamento e por isso não a prosseguimos, apenas queremos reter que:

a work of art presents something like a direct vision of vitality, emotion, subjective reality

O bottom line:

The primary function of art is to objectify feelings so we can contemplate and understand it. It is the formulation of so-called inward experience, the "inner life," that is impossible to achieve by discursive thought, because it forms are incommensurable with the forms of language and all its derivatives. Art objectifies the sentience and desire, self-consciousness and world-consciousness, emotions and moods that are generally regarded as irrational because words cannot give us clear ideas of them.

Ou, dito de outra forma - e este será o principal ponto a reter no final desta exposição-, segundo a Susana:

art give form to inward experiences and thus make them conceivable. The only way we can really envisage vital movement, the stirring and growth and passage of emotion, and ultimately the whole direct sense of human life, is in artistic terms.

O destaque é novamente nosso -por nenhum motivo em particular que vos venha à cabeça quando pensam “POSITIVOS”. Ora, sobre o aqui exposto e perante tal definição, como negar que OS POSITIVOS são arte?

bad art is corruption of feeling


Notas:

(1) A Susanne tem alguns créditos em seu nome - wiki to the rescue, u dumb uneducated fools: “Susanne Katherina Langer (December 20, 1895 – July 17, 1985) was an American philosopher of mind and of art (...) She was one of the first women to achieve an academic career in philosophy and the first woman to be popularly and professionally recognized as an American philosopher.

No seu artigo Langer prossegue a explicar a importância da arte, no qual abre o anterior parêntesis sobre os cómicos mas que infelizmente não vos transcreveremos aqui: terão que ler se estiverem interessados.

Podíamos ter feito a mesma argumentação com qualquer outro paper ou só no seu abstract: sorry 'bout that :)

...and "play!"