Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Ever work spontaneously and intuitively, without the intervention of conscious thought processes?

Well then! You might not be familiar with this, but the Automatons, a french Canadian group of artists were doing this and the 40's and 50', also an important ingredient in North American Abstract Expressionism.

So if you haven't tried it, please do. Pick up a pen, clear your mind and draw, or write, make any mark you want. And if that' s too boring, there is always contourism...

"We are never in full control of our actions, but driven by unconscious impulses."(Freud, who else.)


PS Oh darn, isn't blind contour intuitive? Oh, there's the Sun, gotta run.


Blogger D.Macri said...

Ok, first of all, I understand what might appeal to you in this automatic/spontaneous/intuitive approach. It sounds fun! But...

I'd like to question,
"Clear your mind"
Can this be done? I don't mean to get too philosophical in a comment, but is nothing something? If so, when you clear your mind, your not clearing anything, your changing it. If I say ohm 100 times my mind isn't empty, it's full of ohms. When I draw, it's full of lines (or whatever elements or principals im using. That's why i think visualization is so interesting, it is a rare example of non-linguistic thinking.

"we are never in full control of our actions, but driven by unconscious impulses" a quote by freud, sort of gets under my skin. It is too convenient for Freud in its contemporary context. Freud was a sell out. His whole psycho-analysis theory was a cop-out. His original studies of the troubled aristocratic youth of his time showed a disturbing (but probably more acurate) explanation. When Freud suggested that the behavioral problems of the youth he studied were the result of long term physical, sexual, and psychological abuse it was not readily accepted . The people asking for the analysis (the parents)were suddenly now the accused. But Freud didn't bat a lash, off to the drawing board to smoke a nice cigar, snort some coke, and make up some oedipus and electra complexes. Talk about not being in control!

So, well it might be fun once and a while as recreation, or stress relief, having an "empty mind" (or as courtnage says, no-mind)and going running off to play in the sun, is good,thinking is also good. Even the American Abstract Expressionists were logical, especially in the use of formal elements in thier visual arts. It might have been intuitive, but it was thinking and it was truth. I guess it comes back to this failure of closure thing again. You just can't pin down infinite.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your comments David!

You are correct! 'Pure' forms of automatic anything rarely exist, pure blind contour included.

You're right about Freud, but you can't change what they believed in the 1940's, and Freud was one of them.

And I admit this is all about looking back, and while the American abstractionists were doing there thing, there was an entire group of artists doing their thing in Canada, in reaction to Pollock, and Newman, and Rothko(just a few). So Boudras and Pellan were automatons.

Definitions are ways to categorize things, usually only good when naming wines, but history likes to do this to help people remember things that happened. I dunno. Hope this helped someone out there....


5:04 PM  
Blogger D.Macri said...

Well it sparked a little discussion at least didn't it?

6:13 PM  

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