Interview by Chris Deliso, Editor of Balkan Analysis regarding the Freed’s Teaching Fulbrights, at age 72, in Bulgarian in 1989 during Communism.
Interview by Chris Deliso, Editor of Balkan Analysis regarding the Freed’s Teaching Fulbrights, at age 72, in Bulgarian in 1989 during Communism.
A Paean to Objective Critical Thinking:
It Can Enhance Your Life and the Lives of Others
Roy N. Freed *
This article explains to general readers why the political, religious, and other annoying verbal, and even violent, polarization by individual people and groups occurs, and suggests what can be done to reduce it. That current endless public bickering in the United States dramatically exemplifies the plight of people who find it objectionable. Those who trigger polarization provocatively exploit diverse communication means to seek political, religious, or other power.
The protections of free speech normally prevent legal action against offensive, but ordinary, polarization. As I am a lawyer knowledgeable about how the human mind functions as a unique animate autonomous machine, I will propose a more salutary, but challenging, action.
My seeing polarization as human minds clashing by communication suggests examining it functionally in light of how the universal mind operates. I perceive it, as a non-scientist with an amateur-engineer’s inferred functional perception of the mind, to be a unique animate autonomous machine broadly analogous to a computer, but far superior to one.
Polarization arises within minds through their differing purposeful manipulation of coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals that represent facts and ideas as they flow through their segmented neuronal circuitry, equivalent to the wires within computers. From that, I derive a possible counteracting action people should try at least to diminish it, if not end it.
In essence, evolution’s understandable inability to use its natural selection to provide everyone with a universal social purpose for existing left us to the vagaries of our fall-back motivating instincts, or drives, to survive and to perpetuate the species. Hence, our ambiguous instinct to survive equips us to treat the utter variety of possible threats. But that leads us to polarization, which I now explain.
Polarization arises from what we consider to be threats to our intellectual integrity by contradicting, or attacking, our unique mind sets, points of view, or egos. We deem those threats to be equivalent to those to the structure of our body. Hence, our inherent instinct, or drive, to survive protects our ego at least as vigorously as it does our physique.
Our Freud-discovered egos result from the unique haphazard way evolution devised for our initially necessarily-partial blank-slate minds to gain the knowledge we need to utilize our amazing skills as we become a person. Evolution arranged for that knowledge to pour freshly into each mind, starting upon birth, as verbal, and copyable, inputs from the environment. That starts from our parents and continues widely throughout life to shape our always plastic mind, as it literally determines our thoughts, emotions, and behavior.
While that method for securing knowledge presumably beneficially avoids our inheriting accumulated out-dated facts and ideas, it introduces into each mind new ones that constitute a unique mind-set, point of view, or ego. That ordinarily starts naturally with our parents’ personal and group religion, culture, behavioral patterns, politics, and the like. But that makes each mind susceptible to a too-often blinding ideology, whose convenient comfort can deceptively obviate the desirability of thinking innovatively.
That activity makes each mind at least individually, and often even collectively, subjective, single-minded, or uniquely-programmed. Subjectivity’s ambiguity can impel positive activity, such as pursuing a craft, but more seriously negatively, by embracing a blinding ideology.
Moreover, subjective minds ordinarily determine individually, with various contexts, the facts they believe to be true, sometimes even rejecting those determined scientifically by replicable observation. Hence, those minds tend to attribute different meanings, and significance, to identical batches of electrochemical pulse signals that represent words and numbers for facts and ideas. In contrast, similarly-programmed computers predictably treat identical batches of their specially-designed electromagnetic pulse signals the same. Hence, subjectivity underlies the adage, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Constructivist psychologists, with whom I identify myself, focus on the presence, and impart, of subjectivity.
Consequently, subjective minds become too comfortably focused on their own ideas and beliefs to accept different ones available from others. More seriously, subjective minds are susceptible to ideologies, which misleadingly implicitly suggest that they spare people from the misconception that it takes effort to think originally. On the contrary, I find creative thinking an energizing experience, even at 95.
I, unfortunately, can identify only one remedy for negative subjectivity and its resulting polarization by irresponsible ideologues. Maybe others can be more creative.
I suggest that people seek to extricate themselves, and others, from polarization by drawing upon their unique human creativity, and free will, to practice, and to foster, maximal objective critical thinking. That should be a major factor in education at all levels. It is the antidote for ideologies.
While that potential remedy requires a long-term effort with lots of cooperation with others, it is well worth it. Moreover, that cooperation can be salutary for its long-range social purpose.
To the Editor,
“The Human Cost of Ideology,” May 10, 2012, dramatizes the desirability of informing people regarding the source, and impacts, of that common personal and societal experience. That knowledge can provide an opportunity to avoid their normal susceptibility to blinding ideologies through practicing, and fostering, objective critical thinking.
Ideologies routinely arise from evolution’s arranging for each partial blank-slate mind to receive the knowledge it needs to utilize its remarkable skills to be a person that are embedded in its mind through the universal reproduction gene pool. That knowledge pours in naturally, starting from birth, from the parents, regarding their religion, culture, politics, and values, and continues haphazardly from the environment throughout life to shape its plastic mind.
That knowledge constitutes each person’s individual subjective point of view, ego, or persona, which their instinct to survive protects from contradiction as vigorously as it does the physical structure of their body. That happens by verbal argumentation, or even violence, to produce all too familiar political, religious, social, and other polarization.
Furthermore, practicing critical thinking automatically reveals its general inherent value and personal satisfaction.
Roy N. Freed
The writer is authoring a book for non-scientists on the physical functioning of the mind.
To the Editor,
Apropos of “Fighting a Drawn-Out Battle Against Solitary Confinement,” March 30, 2012), I believe that the recognition that every mind needs a constant supply of neuronal pulse signals from the environment to function normally suggests that solitary confinement can be forbidden scientifically as cruel and unusual punishment because it can induce mental illness.
Roy N. Freed, Esq.
The writer is writing a book on the physical functioning of the human mind.
You might be impressed by computers, but I find that the evolution-created human mind of Homo sapiens, as it is broadly analogous to a computer but far superior to one, is really the smartest mind on earth.
After all, minds inanimately invented the computer without knowing how the mind works.
If you want to explore this further, just let me know and I will design a great program for you.
Look me up on Google as Roy Freed and Roy N. Freed. Also see the podcast of an interview of me regarding my involvement with the information technology of the human mind at the following link. Canadian Stephen Ibaraki, the noted interviewer of people internationally who are involved with information technology, interviewed me, presumably for my involvement, as a non-scientist, with the technology of the human mind. The link to the podcast of his interview is: http://www.stephenibaraki.com/cips/v0212/roy_freed.html If a break occurs between stephen and ibaraki, please delete it to make the link continuous.
Below are Prof. Weiser’s [flattering] comments on my article and a supportive one by Margaret Freeman at the Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts, as well as the latest version of the article. I will appreciate any comments you might have. I am being encouraged to try publish the article. If you have any suggestions of publications, I will welcome them. Roy
From: “Weiser, Eric” <email@example.com> To: “Roy Freed” <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 1:09 PM
Subject: RE: Fwy Art Article
Dear Mr. Freed,
I read your outstanding article about art and the mind, and I must say I am quite favorably impressed. One portion of your essay really struck me.
It was: “In contrast to art’s obvious ordinarily external physical form, and location, it also literally exists opaquely, and most significantly, in the form of my uniquely-perceived still-hidden internal coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals within each creator’s, and receptive observer’s, mind. Thus far, that status has been ironically universally-overlooked. It is those signals that enable each body, or person, to experience feeling, or emotions subconsciously from art items, while its mind at its awareness level performs thinking in general.”
That was beautifully put!
Mr. Freed, I believe you should seriously consider having this essay published. It is scholarly, extremely well-written, insightful, and offers a unique perspective on the relationship between art and the mind. I would be delighted to discuss this with you in person at some future date.
Very, very impressive work, sir. I hope all is well, and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.
With all best wishes,
Eric B. Weiser, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
1071 Blue Hill Ave.
Milton, MA 02186
Here is a [flattering] comment on my art article.
The passage Weiser quotes is indeed suggestive of what modern cognitive science is beginning to discover. What I am particularly interested in is how the “obvious ordinarily external form[s]” of art are able to trigger those subconscious impulses that enable us to experience affective responses. Keep me posted as you pursue (as I hope you will) publication.
Margaret H. Freeman
Myrifield Institute for Cognition and the Arts
P. O. Box 132
23 Avery Brook Road
Heath, MA 01346-0132
Subject: My Understanding of the Modern Functional Psychology of Art
An Explanation of How People Uniquely Functionally Create, Literally Experience, and Physically Enjoy, Art in Its Countless Forms
By Roy N. Freed
Recently, I enjoyed an epiphany! ?I wish that very poignant mental experience for all people who make intellectual contributions to others.
My experience arose from my suddenly realizing, at my mind’s awareness level, that my normal loyal, seemingly-independent, and naturally-creative subconscious moved me to start to consider, and describe for others, my understanding of the functional mental experience of creating and observing art. I now take on that task with this article, with the hope that all readers will find it informative.
While countless people call the always vital organ within the skull the “brain,” I prefer to call it the “mind.” I deem that term to signify, by my definition, that it is an animate machine that controls its autonomous encompassing extremities-equipped person by containing the necessary abilities, knowledge, internally-created and stored operating instructions equivalent to computer programs, emotions, and creativity. My supportive self-operating subconscious apparently had developed an extensive understanding of how people experience art functionally based upon my seemingly novel, and as yet little recognized, general functional perception of the nature, and operation, of the universal mind, which I now explain. This article reports what my communicating extremities have been able to dredge out from my mind’s awareness level regarding that topic. I now will identify as “I” those combined extremities, and my mind that directs them to avoid clumsy circumlocution.
In essence, I perceive the universal mind functionally to be the unique maximally-autonomous animate machine within the skull that was designed by evolution’s natural selection. As such, I find the mind to be broadly analogous, but far superior, to inanimate, but inferentially-informative, computers. The mind is so superior through the equivalent, but very different, ways it uniquely performs thinking by being creative and experiencing emotions, while enabling its related body to engage in activities by its extremities, such as communication and being mobile.
?I see that the mind resembles computers in the general way it is structured and operates. Specifically, the mind comprises vast neuronal circuitry consisting of designated segments among which it purposefully manipulates, or shunts, coded discrete batches of evolution-exploited natural electrochemical pulse signals that represent facts and ideas to utilize those signals as such, or to change them creatively, for thinking. Those signals apparently so function equivalently to the necessarily specially-designed electromagnetic pulse signals of computers. But the mind stands out for its creativity, free will, and emotions, that enable people to experience the unique normal feeling of art as its creators and observers.
Moreover, the mind can do that by performing its unique inherent multi-tasking by simultaneously operating on two levels. One is its too-often overlooked autonomous idea-producing subconscious that produces ideas, in this case, for art and directs their production. The other level is its more obvious responsive awareness level that keeps the mind in contact with the environment intellectually through its senses and actively ?through its related extremities that produce art items and enable their assessment. The mind performs both of those steps purposefully, in accordance with its internally-created, and recorded, instructions equivalent to externally-created, and introduced, computer programs.
My considering the functionality of art seemed, initially, to be original for me. I had not been aware of thinking about art from that novel functional perspective and had never read anything about either the psychology of art or, mea culpa, art criticism.
Moreover, in the course of developing my functional perception of the mind, I learned constructivist psychology, which focuses on normal subjectivity, about which I have much to say later below. For the moment, bear in mind that individual inherent subjectivity is significant for influencing each person’s reaction to art items.
Hence, my personal novel curiosity about art combined with my knowledge about the mind’s largely Freud-discovered subconscious, or his misleadingly-called “unconscious,” prompted me to suspect that a unique functional focus on art could have been germinating covertly, for some time, in my subconscious. Moreover, I knew that the subconscious is the primary source of thinking as it supports the awareness level of the mind.
My suspicion that the mind experiences art functionally, rather than merely statically, moved me to recall my following numerous bases for it. I always have been interested in art, having visited art museums throughout much of the world with my wife, been very friendly with many artists, and bought their works from them. Despite the fact that I was not trained in art and couldn’t learn to draw, I used my innate engineering aptitude, for about twenty years until 1996, to create museum-quality sculptures from found objects, or art trouve. During that period, I was president of the New England Sculptors Association for many years. In 1981, I joined a close artist friend to establish the eventually extremely successful Cape Cod Museum of Art at Dennis, Massachusetts as a modest grassroots museum, which became a major cultural resource for the entire Cape Cod. While we raised a mere $200 from our artist friends at the initiating meeting, its annual budget is now about a million dollars. I must admit that reviewing those experiences was an enjoyable reminiscence.
I hope that that brief review of my art involvements, together with my now functional perception of the mind, reveal the diversity of my experience with art. Through those involvements, I came to deem art to encompass not only sculpture, painting, and architecture, but also music, theatre, dance, oration, intellectual discussions, teaching, writing and critiquing literature, practicing medicine and psychotherapy, and almost every other social interaction that evokes emotions, or feelings, on the part of least the creator, but most commonly also of at least one observer or beholder. That array of artistic expressions should indicate that I see creating, and experiencing, art, as I so inclusively define it, to be a significant facet of the activities, and experiences, of the human mind.
After I completed the first version of this article, I was delighted to learn that Dr. Eric Kandel, the noted American psychiatrist and neuroscientist of Austrian descent, had recently published his 2012 book entitled, The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain. That happened by my observing one of his outstanding television interviews by Charlie Rose.
While I enjoyed the subject matter of that interview, I was especially fascinated by the coincidence that I had independently derived my apparently unique functional understanding of the creation, and enjoyment, of art contemporaneously with his creating his traditional abstract perception of it. While those coincidences are not unusual, and sometimes lead to disputes regarding priority, this one gladly feeds my ego as the admittedly intellectual inferior to Dr. Kandel.
?Moreover, my describing here his, and my, contrasting overlapping perceptions regarding the nature, and enjoyment of art, enables readers to compare our different professional approaches to the same topic and the influences behind them. He is a scientist regarding the mind, and I am a non-scientist aiming to understand it with merely an innate engineering aptitude and systems orientation. Moreover, he is a connoisseur of art, especially graphic art. Hence, he applies his psychology to examine the emotions painters introduce into their works, especially to the faces of their subjects, and the feelings that observers can experience from them. In contrast, I impassively discuss primarily the functional mental mechanism by which both artists, and observers, of such works, experience their individual diverse emotions or feelings physically, and subjectively..
I apparently blandly thought, before that insight occurred, that I enjoyed art for art’s sake, as some people state innocuously, and I grasped that euphonious slogan on a pure lark. When that enigmatic saying abruptly popped into my awareness, I resorted to my supportive Google.
There, I found a complex of contradictory interpretations of it. For example, to some, it reflected a rebellion against Victorian moralism, while, to others, it reflected a wise rebellion again the use of art in the service of the state, such as Soviet realism as propaganda. But, now, I revise that saying to read more appropriately “art for peoples’ sake.” That provides me with a springboard for my
iconoclastic functional perception of art for whatever uses people might find it pertinent.
I briefly found it strange that the subconscious of my innate amateur engineering mind took so long to evoke my present functional consideration of art. That probably can be excused, because it took until very recently to devise for me its underlying unique general functional perception of the overall nature, and literal functioning, of the universal human mind and its usually equivocal, and often salutary, impact on people individually and collectively as society. That perception is an ideal platform on which to examine functionally various aspects of art, as I do here.
Hence, I am delighted to share my slowly-evolved novel functional perception of art for your consideration and broad assessment. For example, it can entail a variety of social issues. Maybe my appraisal can reveal the utter impropriety, and anomaly, of action such as revealed by the following front-page screaming
headline in The New York Times on March 25, 2012: “In Europe, Where Art Is Life, Axe Falls on Public Financing.”
Moreover, my mind continues to think deeply about the functional nature, and enjoyment, of art, even to the exclusion of most other issues. That indicates to me that my originating malleable subconscious must be feeding ideas into my mind’s awareness level regarding my new functionally-perceived multifarious subject of art.
That development promptly moved me to anticipate how I might disseminate my novel understanding about art relatively widely. I disdain figuratively hiding my light under a quaint so-called bushel basket.
I sought a way to gain attention more effectively than merely by relying upon this article. My recollection of my well-received discussions of novel issues on Canton, Massachusetts, Community TV with Chad Stoughton, my bright high-school- junior friend and media colleague, initially moved me to consider another one with him on art.
That step, instead, fortuitously favored me, and I hope you, too, with a remarkably-productive bland historical background against which to savor my foregoing modern dynamic functional perception of art. That perception was enabled both by relatively recent combined neuroscientists’ discoveries of mental neuronal circuitry through which flow coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals that represent facts and ideas, in this case regarding art, and by my inferences about basic operational features of the mind from computers. My broaching that idea to Tanya Willow, Chad’s mother and the director of that channel, immediately produced the ideal cue for that historical follow-on below to this abruptly-started article with a focus on the functionality of art.
Ms. Willow nonchalantly mentioned that Leo Tolstoy, the noted Russian novelist, wrote an essay entitled, “What Is Art?” Her liberal-arts education obviously was superior to mine. And equally obviously, our minds were in sync on my new topic as a major aspect of my broad novel functional perception of the literal structure, and operation, of the mind as the unique animate thinking machine.
My promptly resorting to Google, by the tag “Tolstoy and art,”produced copious material about his ideas. In particular, Alymer Maude’s 1899 translation of that essay suggested to my mind an ideal extrapolation from Tolstoy’s largely abstract focus on art’s deep involvement with feelings. It catapulted my thoughts to my entirely-functional perception of art. I had derived that from my broad largely-inferential identification of the mind as the unique animate emotion-creating, and experiencing, machine that is, ironically, generally analogous to an emotionless computer.
Similarly, snobbishly-maligned Wikipedia states, in an article not coincidentally entitled “What Is Art?,” that Tolstoy denigrated evaluating art items “in terms of [the prevailing mantra of] the good, truth, and especially beauty,” as a counterpart of the more familiar “the good, the true, and the beautiful.” It attributes to him, instead, the belief that “art must create a specific emotional link between artist and audience, one that ‘affects’ the viewer.”
I undertake, here, to explain how that abstractly-stated desirable condition occurs functionally within the minds of not only those viewers, but also of the artists. I do that as an example of my independently-derived functional perception of the nature and operation of the mind.
Tolstoy actually was slightly functional by primarily identifying art as a communicator of feelings among people. He probably was entirely intuitively so oriented, because the later scientific and inferential bases for my functional perception were not yet available. I became aware of them by the neuroscientists’ much later combined discovery of the existence of segmented neuronal circuitry within the mind through which coded discrete batches of natural electrochemical pulse signals flow constantly, and by my resort to computers to infer introspectively the existence of many hidden equivalent basic features in the mind.
Communication during Tolstoy’s time occurred exclusively by physical light, and sound, waves that represent words, numbers, sounds, and images. It is now supplemented by electronic broadcast waves and pulse signals. All of those means communicate feelings, as well as intellectual content, but they do so ambiguously, as I explain below in connection with my discussion of inherent individual subjectivity. I assume that Tolstoy probably was unaware of that functional aspect.
That common strictly-surface view of art leads me, now, to the other, more significant way to perceive art, my deeper entirely functional one. This newer one considers how art objects literally physically interact, or communicate, within, and among, the minds of their creators and viewers or observers, thereby revealing what that communication means to, or does for, minds.?
Tolstoy’s largely-abstract focus on the feeling aspect of art necessarily lacked a scientific basis, even though art is represented, transmitted, and experienced physically and even often tangibly. That resembled Freud’s sadly unknowingly lacking the computer model to provide his futility-sought scientific basis for talking therapy, psychoanalysis, and multiplexing, or multi-tasking, regarding his theory about the subconscious. I presumptuously undertake to provide here that scientific basis posthumously with respect to Tolstoy, with the hope that I can do him justice.
Tolstoy wrote variously on art as follows, stressing its tie to feelings or emotions: “In order correctly to define art, it is necessary, first of all, to cease to consider it as a means to pleasure and to consider it as one of the conditions of human life. Viewing it in this way we cannot fail to observe that art is one of the means of [social] intercourse between man and man.” “And it is upon this capacity of man to receive another man’s expression of feeling and experience those feelings himself, that the activity of art is based.” “Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings he has lived through, and that other people are infected with these feelings and also experience them.”
It is interesting to speculate why Tolstoy failed to identify, the way I do now, what art is functionally and how, and hence, where, it literally resides to produce his suggested emotional, and possibly, also, intellectual, impact. Dr. Kandel states, at page 189 of his foregoing book, that Alois Riegl, whom I identify as a contemporary of Tolstoy, “discovered a new psychological aspect of art: namely that art is incomplete without the perceptual and emotional involvement of the viewer. Not only does the viewer collaborate with the artist in transforming a two-dimensional likeness on a canvas into a three-dimensional depiction of the visual world, the viewer interprets what he or she sees on the canvas in personal terms, thereby adding meaning to the picture.” That mention of “personal terms” suggests the normal individual subjectivity that influences reactions to all information inputs to the mind.
My combined insights from neuroscientists, and my introspective inferences from the operation of computers, comfortably inform me how art is experienced functionally individually and literally operates, solely within the minds of its creators, and viewers, through its electrochemical pulse signal manifestations there. Hence, I now distinguish my insights functionally from the normal abstract
concept of art as being simply objects in the environment that are always physical, and often tangible.
I wish that, as I proceed, you could have in hand E.H. Gombrich’s ?remarkably insightful classic book entitled, The Story of Art. His comments, and profuse illustrations, provide an ideal companion to my efforts, or possibly equally appropriately vice versa. I sadly became aware of it only after I thought that I finished this article. Reading it now ideally embellishes my concepts.
My good fortune to have more modern scientific, and technical, knowledge than Tolstoy did, especially through my introspective inferences from computers, enables me to consider art functionally, in contrast to his still-prevailing abstract manner. Hence, I posit, now, two very different possible general physical forms of art and their general locations where people can believe that art actually is created, reposes, and is experienced. Others can grasp that, because, in essence, art pragmatically exists for people to experience it, as its creators and observers, for its always emotional, and also possible intellectual, value.
Art is normally deemed to be sited in its commonly-recognized diverse locations in the environment, by, or from, which, it either communicates, or is communicated, directly to people. Its observable items are at least only physical, such as sound, or light waves, for music performances, but they most often, also, are tangible, such as sculptures, paintings, and actors.
Hence, observers experience art visually, audibly, tactually, or otherwise, and, through that, emotionally and possibly also intellectually. They can do so at either their most obvious awareness level or subliminally as muted sounds of its ostensibly silent printed words that can provide a feeling tone and even slightly audible sounds, which I experience. That is especially true of poetry. Hence, writing, and reading, can be an audible experience, and literature, as such, can be art through its language, structure, content, and the like, depending upon the emotional sensitivity of the writer and individual readers.
But any art item to which a person’s mind cannot relate functionally, whether in general or as a specific item, is effectively non-existent to that person. A person cannot so relate to an item, even though it is visually, or audibly, accessible to them by light or sound waves, unless their mind is prepared, or instructed, by language, subject matter, teaching, or the like, to manipulate mentally the
electrochemical pulse signals that would result from those waves reflected, or projected, from it.
That circumstance evokes the common superficial philosophical riddle: Can there be noise in a forest if no one is there to hear it? Like a ?person absent from that forest, one who cannot functionally relate to a specific art item is figuratively absent from it and, hence, unable to receive light or sound waves from it that would create electrochemical pulse signals to be manipulated within the mind.
Accordingly, “noise” generally is batches of physical energy pulse signals that ordinarily could exist within a mind, or computer, from light or sound waves, but which a specific one is not instructed, or programmed, to manipulate for thinking or for its equivalent computer activity. However, evolution’s natural selection, of course, selectively arranged for the minds of all hearing people to be instructed, or able, to receive automatically loud sounds, regardless of their information content, to effectuate the instinct to survive. ?Hence, the phenomenon of “noise” depends upon how it is defined.
The same perspective applies to presumable art items that are a potential source of eventual coded discrete batches of evolution-exploited electrochemical pulse signals that represent primarily emotions, but also facts and ideas. Those items are literally art only for people who create them and for beholders who can observe them by having been instructed to accept the light or sound waves that emanate from them. The other technical “noise,” rather than loud sounds, is experienced individually, because light, or sound, waves that specific senses cannot accept are noise to them.
I give credit to Dr. Claude E. Shannon, the brilliant early information-science specialist, for his having ?addressed the nature of noise by stating, cryptically, that “Information is signals that are not noise.” I was delighted initially to learn about that statement simply because it confirmed my inference that coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals exist within opaque minds, to represent words and numbers for facts and ideas, as do counterpart electromagnetic pulse signals within transparent computers. I later realized, further, that it means, wisely, that “noise” is, as I just explained, light, and sound, waves that futilely approach the senses of a person whose mind is not prepared, or programmed, to work with, just the way computers automatically reject similar potential inputs.
Accordingly, art objects clearly either literally transmit, like music and movies, or enable, like paintings and sculptures, the transmission of, their wave expressions directly to observer’s senses. They do that by means of normal reflected, or projected, light, or sound, waves that represent images, sounds, and other sensations.
Such waves are needed functionally for preliminary transmission of information that might eventually become counterpart discrete batches of evolution-exploited coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals within each mind. But both those waves and signals really are essential generally, because neither the mind, as a unique animate machine, nor counterpart computers with their coded discrete batches of electromagnetic pulse signals, can work directly on abstract items, like words and numbers, as they are encountered ephemerally in the form of light and sound waves. Both those machines uniquely need their eventual particular types of physical, but intangible, electronic-type pulse signals for that purpose.
Evolution’s natural selection filled that need of the mind by exploiting the natural electrochemical pulse signals that had come to exist at least in the minds of the creatures who just preceded Homo sapiens, and, hence, through them to us and our successors. It did that by arranging for those signals to be coded to reflect facts and ideas, as they will continue to do forever. Accordingly, those signals represent to the mind the qualities, and features, of art items, whether static or active, for each mind to consider within its unique individual frame of reference bounded by its
It is fascinating that the inventors of computers had to innovate equivalent codable electromagnetic pulse signals for their novel advanced calculating machines for the U.S. Army’s Ordnance Corps to create numerical tables for aiming ballistic missiles in World War II. They undoubtedly designed them entirely originally, because, in the mid-1940s, people apparently were unaware of counterpart electrochemical signals within the mind.
Consequently, the senses of observers of art objects rapidly ?test the emotional, and knowledge, content of waves approaching from them to learn if their related minds have been instructed, or programmed, to accept them. They can be instructed, for example, simply instinctively, through knowing a language, by instruction, or the like.
Minds so instructed trigger their senses to convert, or transduce, those waves automatically into equivalent coded discrete batches of those electrochemical pulse signals and admit them into their receiver’s mind, for it to experience as the potential individual feeling of its person or body. Computers make that conversion with their manufactured transducers, but, of course, for non-sensual objective purposes.
Most significantly, each mind experiences its feelings uniquely individually from identical signal batches, by virtue of its inherent individual ambiguous subjectivity. That subjectivity arises from each mind’s innate personal evolution-fostered unique point of view, mind set, ego, or persona, as I explain below. Art items are inherently devoid of inherent universal feelings. Minds attribute that individually to each item through their own subjectivity. For example, on April 19, 2012, the art section of The York Times, headlined a picture of the massive Great Mosque in Djenne, Mali as “A Tribute to Islam, Earthen Yet Uplifting.” Obviously, any uplift occurs individually within the mind of each beholder. That is especially the intention behind religious art.
That pervasive subjectivity, especially regarding the inherent emotional facet of art, seems to preclude, or limit, the formulation of meaningful general principles of art through traditional art criticism. Each critic, however learned, necessarily has an entirely individual take on art, individually and collectively. Still, some artists and critics might find purported criticisms intellectually simulating through their always potential open objective minds.
Moreover, I believe that each subjective mind potentially automatically protects its point of view, or ego, regarding individual, or collective, art items from contradiction. It is moved to do so by its instinct, or drive, to survive and does that at least as vigorously as it protects the physical structure of its body. It does that by argumentation, which can be either merely verbal or actually violent, to produce, automatically, social, political, religious, or other polarization. That is especially true for religious and cultural contradictions, witness the common Muslim protection of the Koran from individually-claimed blasphemy, which overhung Salman Rushdie for his The Satanic Verses.
Evolution caused subjectivity, with that always-potential diverse results, by arranging for each newly-arriving naturally partially blank-slate knowledge-lacking mind to receive from the environment the knowledge it needs to exercise its embedded array of skills as a person. Those inputs continue throughout life to shape literally each person’s inherently plastic mind individually. They first arrive from the new-born’s parents, to include their culture, behavior patterns, art sensitivity, life style, religion, politics, and the like, and continue haphazardly from countless others. That natural process is significant for normally inducing in each mind a substantial potential susceptibility to blinding ideologies and the like.
In contrast to art’s obvious ordinarily external physical form, and location, it also literally exists opaquely, and most significantly, in the form of my uniquely-perceived still-hidden internal coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals within each creator’s, and receptive observer’s, mind. Thus far, that status has been ironically universally-overlooked. It is those signals that enable each body, or person, to experience feeling, or emotions ?subconsciously from art items, while its mind at its awareness level performs thinking in general.
Moreover, each mind routinely records all of those significant internal signals to influence its related person’s potential emotions, or actions. That can continue throughout their effective life. Each mind’s individual subjectivity adapts those signal batches that it receives directly from external art objects.
Hence, Tolstoy’s accurate assertion that art exists as an experience of emotional feeling confirms, inadvertently but appreciatively, my theory of where art exists functionally. Art really literally exists to perform its function, or raison d’etre, only in the form of those coded discrete batches of natural electrochemical pulse signals within specific minds to produce emotional feeling for them.
Consequently, objects that project light, or sound, waves to minds to introduce their equivalent electrochemical signals into them for their emotional effects can be deemed functionally to be literally art-inducing. Accordingly, the word “art,” as applied to an any external object, or phenomenon, becomes a typical type of word for evoking a category of things, in this case, those encompassed by my functional meaning of it.
Hence, objects that are art to individual observers are created, and expressed, initially as entirely physical, but intangible, coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals within their creator’s mind. Those signals become effective when the mind literally records them within itself for present use and later recall.
The art-creating mind, as literally an artist of visual, or audible, objects, uses a palette of individual electrochemical pulse signals that it selectively combines electrochemically to represent words, numbers, images, colors, sounds, and shapes within itself and, then, within the minds of others by communicating to them. The particular representations, or effects, on each mind usually differ because of its individual subjectivity. Hence, Tolstoy’s idea of communicating feelings through art can be misleading, because the feelings of each recipient always potentially differ subjectively from those of the artist or other transmitter.
Furthermore, as an overlooked perception, people, acting through their minds, are, usually unknowingly, automatically unique literal sculptors of both their own minds and those of others with whom they communicate art items. Of course, subjectivity can cause the depictions to differ among the minds of the artist and viewers.
Minds are such sculptors from creating, and recording, within their own minds, and by so inducing in the minds of others, the coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals that represent various manifestations of art. People play that role through their minds, because evolution created each mind to be literally an always-dynamic plastic, or shapable, object effectively figuratively equivalent to externally observable sculptures.
Accordingly, the mind, rather than the normally-attributed encompassing body or person, with its extremities, is really more literally the actual artist, in the common-sense idea of an express creator of works of art as we know them. The mind is the artist by conceiving of the eventual objects and, then, directing its extremities, as an amanuensis, to create them in accordance with its internally-created, and recorded, instructions. Those instructions are either creatively-produced internally or introduced from a source in the environment, such as a teacher or an observable object itself. Copying has been a basis technique for learning, and creating, Chinese art.
Moreover, each mind literally is a tangibly-concealed sculpture directly with regard to its own mind, and indirectly to the minds of others. It is such by constantly projecting, internally as well as externally, its always-changing essentially-structural unobtrusively-recorded coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals. Those signals express its body’s emotions and convey its mind’s instructions for action by its extremities. Thus, the mind’s such internal projection of pulse signals to itself, and externally to the environment by light and sound waves, is equivalent to an external sculpture’s projection of reflected light waves into the environment to viewers.
The following metaphors might help conceptualize art. Maybe they can enhance my foregoing explanation.
People who create art are, in effect, innate instinctive electrical bio-engineers with respect to coded discrete batches of natural electrochemical pulse signals within their own minds. They use that skill as they adopt, and apply, the internal instructions for purposefully manipulating, among the designated segments of their neuronal circuitry, the encoded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals by which they create, and enjoy, art items.
People actually enjoy art within their minds directly from their internal coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals that represent external objects, or substances, and evoke emotional reactions. Those signals might have originated either there, or from an outside source, visually, audibly, by smell, or otherwise.
As Tolstoy’s feeling-concept of art implies, a thing is truly art, and is potentially significant as such, only by its ultimately inducing an emotional reaction, or feeling, within an individual mind by means of its coded discrete batches of electrochemical pulse signals. Hence, external physical, usually tangible, objects commonly called “art” actually function effectively actively simply by passively enabling those signals to exist in a mind.
Accordingly, all minds are potential artists. Moreover, each has the most remarkably versatile creative palette in the form of unlimited batches of codable electrochemical pulse signals to represent shapes, colors, sounds, words, numbers, and all other aspects of art. Each such mind will remain concealed as both an always covert sculptor and a sculpture, except to the extent that either modern imaging, or means for extracting the normal electromagnetic radiations from them, can so reveal its contents. That external radiation is adjunct to the mind’s electrochemical pulse signals.
Each mind individually creates within itself its emotional reaction to inputs for art items received from external sources as it is influenced by its individual subjectivity, regardless of the intention of any external creator or exhibitor.
In summary, I trust that the foregoing adequately explains the unrecognized enigma of human minds as the sole creators, and observers, of art, as it is an emotional and intellectual experience. That experience occurs through the mind’s purposeful manipulation, within its segmented neuronal circuitry, of coded discrete batches of natural evolution-exploited electrochemical pulse signals that represent physically, within itself, the external object’s actually abstract characteristics or features. That action occurs ?purposefully subjectively in accordance with each mind’s individual instructions equivalent to computer programs. Hence, I believe that my explanation presents the modern basic psychology of art. I hope that you are convinced.
In closing, I thank you for your attention through this maze of probably amazing novel concepts. Please take the time needed to digest this unique material to conceptualize this apparently singular novel functional perception of the anomalous creation, and treatment, of art in all its diverse forms. I hope that your doing that will enhance your enjoyment of art as a creator and an observer.