Numer 45/2014

  1. Editorial

Creation Between One and Many

  1. Mara Miller: I let the piece sing its own stories: Post-Modern Artistic Inspiration
  2. José Miranda Justo: Singularity, Universality and Inspiration in their Relation to Artistic Creation
  3. Derek Whitehead: Inspiration, Kenosis, and Formative Thinking about Art

Creation Between Past and Present

  1. Randall E. Auxier: Image and Act: Bergson’s Ontology and Aesthetics
  2. Maarten Doorman: The Inescapable Inspiration of the Artist: Imagination
  3. Ştefan-Sebastian Maftei: Cosmopolitanism and Creative in the Romanian avant-garde: The First Two Years of the Contimporanul Movement (1922-1923)
  4. Aleksandra Kandić, Predrag Milosavljević: World as an Artwork: Aesthetic, Artistic and Mathematical Aspects of Plato’s Cosmology
  5. Magdalena Lange: Artists in White. The Bio-Creation of Art

Reviews and Notes on Books

  1. Peter Mahr: Televisionary Moholy-Nagy. A Review of the Reprint of telehor from 1936
  2. Piotr Schollenberger: Traces of Real Presence. Jean-Luc Marion on the Origins of Courbet’s Painting
  3. Piotr Toczyski: The “Re-Mythologizing” of Wisdom: on the Margins of the New Edition of Hanna Malewska’s “The Tale of Seven Wise Men”
  4. Ewa Kofin: Radio Music Lessons with Piotr Orawski

Notes on Contributors

I let the piece sing its own stories: Post-Modern Artistic Inspiration

Mara Miller

This paper distinguishes three common definitions of inspiration, dismissing both the Platonic (defining inspiration as a superior and seemingly frenzied performance carried out without regard to rules) and “Germ” or “Springboard” (defining inspiration as taking an idea and developing it) theories as both philosophically uninteresting and inadequate to art‐making’s complexities. “Radical alterity,” by contrast, examined through the work of three contemporary women artists (Reiko Mochinaga Brandon, Kei Tsuji, and the author), recognizes art‐making as seemingly originating outside the artist (in divinities for Hesiod, in the collective unconscious for Carl Jung, in landscapes and/or events, in dreams that seem unrelated to the artist’s life). It explains why interpretation of a work of art can be difficult for the artist herself, yet others interpret the work readily.

The paper argues that the sense of transmission from sources outside the artist demands the rejection of dichotomous views of inspiration (a work is inspired or not) such as Plato’s and Jung’s, and permits a more multifaceted and continuous definition of inspiration to emerge. Radical alterity, especially when the source of inspiration might be the Jungian collective unconscious, allows artists to justify their work, and both artists and patrons to justify expense. Correctly understanding inspiration turns out to matter for many reasons.

Singularity, Universality and Inspiration in their Relation to Artistic Creation

José Miranda Justo

This article opens its discussion of inspiration by giving an outline of the extended theory of singularity in aesthetic experience that has been presented in a number of lectures and papers given or written over the last two years by the author. The second section of this text discusses the sense in which singularity and inspiration can be brought to‐ gether. A third section is dedicated to the relation between inspiration and the aesthetic experience of universality, which, according to the author’s theoretical framework, can sometimes emerge after the experience of singularity.

Inspiration, Kenosis, and Formative Thinking about Art

Derek Whitehead

This paper endeavours to mount a case for a specific study of inspiration within ‘the system’ that art has largely become, by offering the concept of kenosis. The term kenosis is taken to imply a twofold dynamic, a ‘self‐emptying’ and a ‘being‐emptied,’ oriented towards a greater creative fulfilment. In proposing a direction for creative activity at the level of formative thinking, I raise these questions, among others: Can there be some mediating territory between different sources of inspiration, external and inter‐ nal, which may be thought to take‐hold‐of an artist from within? Can this taking‐hold be construed as a self‐divesting model of inspiration? And how might kenosis mitigate art’s self‐sufficiency within the contested space of inspiration versus non‐inspiration for art and its practices? I have proposed a philosophical assessment of art’s place in the human account of reality, of art’s self‐proclaimed liberation, and an account of the key concepts of ‘detachment,’ Abgeschiedenheit, and ‘letting‐be,’ Gelassenheit, for substantiating kenosis in contemporary creative terms.

Image and Act: Bergson’s Ontology and Aesthetics

Randall Auxier

Richard Rorty left philosophy with a debilitating array of restrictions upon what it could really accomplish (at least, without committing the old mistakes that had rendered it irrelevant to the world). But Rorty placed a new emphasis on aesthetics, especially lit‐ erature and the process of creating new language. I argue that retrieving the ontology of Henri Bergson can provide a robust basis for a general aesthetics that can carry suc‐ cessfully the kind of philosophical burden Rorty placed upon it. In this essay I retrieve Bergson’s ontology in the context of a philosophy of art and I assemble it in a way he never did himself, to show, in part, how this way of thinking can expand our present ideas about aesthetics into other empirical domains.

The Inescapable Inspiration of the Artist: Imagination

Maarten Doorman

This article presents the way in which the role of imagination as a driving force of artistic creation has undergone a dynamic process up to this day. Unpopular in Antiquity and throughout most of the Middle Ages, the use of imagination changed in the so called Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes at the end of the seventeenth century. The role of the imagination exploded with Romanticism, only to be suppressed by the Avant‐garde and Conceptualism. However, as Arthur Danto remarked in his last book, art is more than an embodied concept; it is also a “wakeful dream.” Following motifs like Don Quijote or the dantesque “kiss of Paolo and Francesca,” recurring in modern literature, the article traces the boundary that separates a sufficient amount of imaginative power from its excess, that serves artistic creativity or dissipates it, respectively.

Cosmopolitanism and Creativity in the Romanian Avant-Garde: The First Two Years of the Contimporanul Movement (1922-1923)

Ştefan-Sebastian Maftei

The study focuses on two major points. The first point – considering that our major thesis is that cosmopolitanism as an explanatory framework seems to offer a new way of interpreting the social, political and aesthetic transformation within the modern artworld at the beginning of the 20th Century – seeks to put to work new theoretical paradigms of cosmopolitanism in order to explain the history of the avant‐garde. The second focal point of our research will apply the theory of creative cosmopolitan imaginary to the cosmopolitan milieu of the Romanian interwar avant‐garde group “Contimporanul.” We consider 1922 and 1923 as the period of the highest aesthetico‐political development of the Romanian avant‐garde.

World as an Artwork: Aesthetic, Artistic and Mathematical Aspects of Plato’s Cosmology

Aleksandar Kandić, Predrag Milosavljević

In this paper, we briefly reconsider the synthetic character of Plato’s cosmological thought in the Timaeus and the Republic. At the core of Plato’s cosmological theory stands a unique geometric method – thoroughly elaborated in the Timaeus – by which the structure of seemingly diverse artistic, natural, and socio‐anthropological phenomena may be explained and understood. Plato repeatedly insists on the principle of musical analogy. In order to elucidate Plato’s position, we employ several geometric diagrams and graphic representations.

Artists in White. Bio-Creation of Art

Magdalena Lange

In contemporary art inspired by biology, objects are altered or created by artists who along with scientists explore the boundaries between living plants, animals, humans and inanimate objects. Artists for whom biotechnology has become an artistic inspiration are referred to as practitioners of bio‐art. Contemporary aestheticization turned global and chose the direction of beautifying reality. Wolfgang Welsch, author of the influential Aesthetic Thinking, argues that “philosophical aesthetics was forced to change and be‐ come more flexible in order to be able to see the interdisciplinary concepts.” He suggests that aesthetics has become trans‐aesthetics and from this position is used to define the contemporary art movement that insists on breaking possible limits. Does the perspective of aesthetics beyond the traditional, narrowed type of aesthetics benefit the analysis of such art? This article concentrates on the analysis of a number of particular bio‐artistic works in the context of the aestheticization processes observed and defined by Welsch.

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