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Duchamp on The Creative Act

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by --zeSto--, Jul 23, 2001.

  1. --zeSto--

    --zeSto-- Guest

    If you've ever called someone.."artfag"
    thia article is of no use to you.

    however.. for the artists...

    by Marcel Duchamp

    Let us consider two important factors, the two poles of the creation of art: the artist on the one hand, and on the other the spectator who later becomes the posterity.

    To all appearances, the artist acts like a mediumistic being who, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his way out to a clearing.

    If we give the attributes of a medium to the artist, we must then deny him the state of consciousness on the esthetic plane about what he is doing or why he is doing it. All his decisions in the artistic execution of the work rest with pure intuition and cannot be translated into a self-analysis, spoken or written, or even thought out.

    T.S. Eliot, in his essay on "Tradition and Individual Talent", writes: "The more perfect the artist, the more completely separate in him will be the man who suffers and the mind which creates; the more perfectly will the mind digest and transmute the passions which are its material."

    Millions of artists create; only a few thousands are discussed or accepted by the spectator and many less again are consecrated by posterity.

    In the last analysis, the artist may shout from all the rooftops that he is a genius: he will have to wait for the verdict of the spectator in order that his declarations take a social value and that, finally, posterity includes him in the primers of Artist History.

    I know that this statement will not meet with the approval of many artists who refuse this mediumistic role and insist on the validity of their awareness in the creative act - yet, art history has consistently decided upon the virtues of a work of art thorough considerations completely divorced from the rationalized explanations of the artist.

    If the artist, as a human being, full of the best intentions toward himself and the whole world, plays no role at all in the judgment of his own work, how can one describe the phenomenon which prompts the spectator to react critically to the work of art? In other words, how does this reaction come about?

    This phenomenon is comparable to a transference from the artist to the spectator in the form of an esthetic osmosis taking place through the inert matter, such as pigment, piano or marble.

    But before we go further, I want to clarify our understanding of the word 'art' - to be sure, without any attempt at a definition.

    What I have in mind is that art may be bad, good or indifferent, but, whatever adjective is used, we must call it art, and bad art is still art in the same way that a bad emotion is still an emotion.

    Therefore, when I refer to 'art coefficient', it will be understood that I refer not only to great art, but I am trying to describe the subjective mechanism which produces art in the raw state .. .`a l'e`tat brut - bad, good or indifferent.

    In the creative act, the artist goes from intention to realization through a chain of totally subjective reactions. His struggle toward the realization is a series of efforts, pains, satisfaction, refusals, decisions, which also cannot and must not be fully self-conscious, at least on the esthetic plane.

    The result of this struggle is a difference between the intention and its realization, a difference which the artist is not aware of. Consequently, in the chain of reactions accompanying the creative act, a link is missing. This gap, representing the inability of the artist to express fully his intention, this difference between what he intended to realize and did realize, is the personal 'art coefficient' contained in the work.

    In other works, the personal 'art coefficient' is like a arithmetical relation between the unexpressed but intended and the unintentionally expressed.

    To avoid a misunderstanding, we must remember that this 'art coefficient' is a personal expression of art a` l'e`tat brut, that is, still in a raw state, which must be 'refined' as pure sugar from molasses by the spectator; the digit of this coefficient has no bearing whatsoever on his verdict. The creative act takes another aspect when the spectator experiences the phenomenon of transmutation: through the change from inert matter into a work of art, an actual transubtantiation has taken place, and the role of the spectator is to determine the weight of the work on the esthetic scale.

    All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualification and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. This becomes even more obvious when posterity gives a final verdict and sometimes rehabilitates forgotten artists.

    (From Session on the Creative Act, Convention of the American Federation of Arts, Houston, Texas, April 1957)
  2. T.T Boy

    T.T Boy Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: May 18, 2001 Messages: 21,803 Likes Received: 41
    theres no way im reading that, but im sure its great.
  3. cracked ass

    cracked ass Guest

    When I get older I could see myself writing stuff like this, but right now I'm too impatient, I just want to paint shit. So it seems like a lot of intellectual wandering without enough of a point.
    I do see what he means by the gap between what was intended and what comes out, although I'm usually very conscious of how my shit didn't come out like I meant it.
    Duchamp in general gets the thumbs up, he did some dope shit and was also a strong amateur chess player.
  4. --zeSto--

    --zeSto-- Guest

    he was an expert at chess. http://members.aol.com/mindwebart3/marcelpg4.htm

    from above...
    the artist may shout from all the rooftops that he is a genius: he will have to wait for the verdict of the spectator in order that his declarations take a social value and that, finally, posterity includes him in the primers of Artist History.
  5. brown twinkie

    brown twinkie Veteran Member

    Joined: Jan 6, 2001 Messages: 8,127 Likes Received: 0
    thanks zesto.
    i'll add this, from his later years:
    "I believe that art is the only form of activity in which man shows
    himself to be a true individual....only in art is he capable of going
    beyond the animal state, because art is an outlet toward regions which
    are not ruled by space and time."
    duchamp is such a fuckin' overlord...his
    influence and ideas are so expansive...its hard to comprehend fully.....
    ...i don't know, i think he's arguably more influential than picasso...
    i fuckin' love duchamp.................................reading his stuff
    is a good way to fuck your head over and make your brain buzz....
    i actually started a thread of duchamp pieces and
    some dada stuff last night, but, as i figured, nobody
    gave a shit, and the ones that did had nothing to say about it
    or dismissed it as 'garbage'(you're too cool seeking).....
    .....so i deleted it.
    i've got the counterpart cd to "the creative act" cd...its called
    'erratum musical: 7 variations on a draw of 88 notes'....
    pretty nice....to me anyhow.
    what else you got zesto?

    [This message has been edited by brown twinkie (edited 07-23-2001).]
  6. He was a member of the national french chess team.
    but i feel what you say,being a chess player means a lot to art making
  7. Tofu

    Tofu Senior Member

    Joined: Sep 23, 2000 Messages: 1,230 Likes Received: 0
    Thanks for posting...definitely worth the read.
  8. brown twinkie

    brown twinkie Veteran Member

    Joined: Jan 6, 2001 Messages: 8,127 Likes Received: 0
    i though i'd post this stuff, maybe for interests sake, &
    cuz i'm bored................and becuz they were pals and cage
    is an incredible person as well.
    and...who could
    be seen as duchamp's equal in the music world. both
    of them played chess together, which must have been
    fun to watch....two brainiacs goin' at it....anyhow, these were done by cage.
    the title of these comes from when jasper johns was asked to
    say something about duchamp, who had died the previous year,
    and he said 'i don't want to say anything about marcel'.

    Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel, I, 1969
    " ", II
    " ", III
  9. Great stuff twinkie,
    A thread about duchamp is poor without images or even mathematics.
  10. brown twinkie

    brown twinkie Veteran Member

    Joined: Jan 6, 2001 Messages: 8,127 Likes Received: 0
    duchamp on Individuality:

    "The individual, man as a man, man as a brain, if you like, interests me more than what he
    makes, because I've noticed that most artists only repeat themselves. "

    [This message has been edited by brown twinkie (edited 07-23-2001).]
  11. All you duchamp lovers sould read(if havent already)his interviews with pierre cabanne.
    The hagakure for art


    philly mueseum of art has alot of doperiffic duchamp pieces.
  13. --zeSto--

    --zeSto-- Guest

    "Marcel brought this glass vile back to America from Paris as a Souvenir for a friend in 1919. He had gone into a Pharmacy and asked the Pharmacist to empty any vile of all its' medicine - and then to use his torch to reseal the glass, thus making the vile now full of air from Paris."

  14. chizm

    chizm Senior Member

    Joined: May 29, 2001 Messages: 1,165 Likes Received: 0
    gooooooood goood good article!!
    thanks bruva!
  15. Kr430n5_666

    Kr430n5_666 Banned

    Joined: Oct 6, 2004 Messages: 19,229 Likes Received: 30