Some morning thoughts: what is the point and purpose of aesthetics? Why is it important and towards what ends?
What is the purpose or point of beauty?
The first thought I have is in regards to beauty, the philosophy of beauty, the significance of beauty etc. On the first hand, I believe that beauty has to do with health. Physiological health, wellness, grandeur.
For example, beautiful women, finding a beautiful wife, begetting children with a beautiful woman. I think the significance of beauty, a beautiful woman is the promise that your offspring will be superior, strong, great. I believe to some degree physical and physiological beauty, aesthetic beauty, also beauty in the face has to do with the promise advancement. Your kids will be stronger, more intelligent, taller, stronger, better than you.
Then, beauty in the context of things. For example, what is the significance of beauty in regards to things, objects, spaces etc?
On the firsthand, I think it has to do with hygiene. Often places which look ugly signal some sort of degeneracy, or poor hygiene. For example, indoor places which are small tight cramped, dark and musty, perhaps signals some sort of mold, fungus, or poor air circulation, lack of natural light etc. Often beautiful spaces signal some sort of hygiene; natural light greater disinfectant from the sun, big windows, floor to ceiling windows, and windows which open which allow and lot airflow is good for our circulation and health, and also brand new spaces, especially interior spaces signal some sort of great hygiene.
Another thing in which we Americans or modern go gaga over is cars. We seem to be very very obsessed with cars, the newest car, the newest model, etc. We are addicted to cars and innovation in cars.
However is there some sort of objective measure to beauty in cars? I think there is some.
For example, beauty in the context of ugliness. Difficult to ascertain what a beautiful car is, but very very easy to ascertain what an ugly car is. An ugly car is rusted, yellowing headlights, peeling clear coat, rust, and components which have faded or haven’t aged well. For example my extreme disgust and hatred in my mom’s old car; a 1995 Nissan Maxima, six cylinder, black paint, which had 1 trillion headaches and nightmares. Peeling clearcoat made it insanely ugly, and also the V6 engine had so many problems. That car was hell.
Ultimately I think new is beautiful. New cars look beautiful because they are bright and shiny, all the components are new, nothing has faded. For example crystal clear headlights, window and car side molding, etc.
One thing I have observed about clothing is that there is no such thing as beautiful clothes, only beautiful people. For example the people who tend to wear these beautiful clothes also tend to be beautiful people. That means, a beautiful person can wear ugly clothes and still look beautiful. An ugly person, if they wear a beautiful clothes, do not become beautiful. Because there is no such thing as beautiful clothes.
Something I am obsessed about is bodily beauty and physique. Why?
THE POINT OF LIFE?
What is the point of life?
The first thought I have is the point of life is to feel more powerful, more dominant. I think there is a root and a stem both in the metaphorical and the physiological.
For example, when you get a raise, or some sort of increase, or obtain something or increase something etc.… physiologically what does one feel? I believe it is a rush of power. Feeling more powerful, more secure, greater.
Perhaps this is also the feeling of getting some sort of new tool or device or phone or car; a feeling that you are progressing, becoming stronger etc.
Towards what final ends?
My thought is the goal of power, feeling more powerful etc. is for the goal and towards the goal of art and arts production. To give birth to more art, greater art.
For example, let us consider art, art objects, etc. Essentially what is the artist doing? The artist is getting more metaphorical children in the substance form and output of art work.
For example Cindy is currently working on her first book, and truth be told, it is like metaphorically giving birth to a child.
Also, currently as I raise Seneca, he is currently two years and eight months old, he is my ultimate artistic art project.
What is art?
To me, art is metaphorical birth. That is, when you photograph something, make photos of it, produce it what are you doing? You are imputing your own metaphorical ideals into what you create and put out there.
For example, my personal suggestion is before you look at the artwork of somebody, first look at them as a human being, look at them physiologically. For example a lot of sick artists can only beget sick art. This is why I am very very suspicious of people who rely on drugs, alcohol, marijuana, or other forms of amphetamines to create artwork. I suppose my only device is coffee; But beyond that I am 100% sober, no weed no alcohol etc.
There is this strange modern day notion of the artist being some sort of strange, emaciated, pale, sickly, strange feeble individual. It is difficult to imagine an artist looking like an Arnold Schwarzenegger, or Ronnie Coleman, or like Thor with a six pack. My thought is the more physiologically strong and fit you are, the more strong and fit your photos will be in your artwork will be as well.
Why make art?
Ever since my Ricoh GR 3X has died, I’ve been experimenting a lot with different camera setups. One of them is simple: just using the old Lumix G9 I had lying around, using the Lumix Leica 12mm F1.4 lens, and more recently, getting this really great tiny pancake Lumix 14 mm F2.5 lens.
First and foremost, I think our primary preoccupation as photographer-artists is to create beautiful photos.
I never really thought it would make a difference, but switching from the Leica Lumix 12 mm F1.4 lens to the Lumix 14mm f2.5 lens, I could actually see an insanely huge difference. Things I noticed:
The first huge obvious difference is that the Lumix 14 mm F2.5 lens photos, in terms of shooting portraits, up close portraits of Seneca, the photos are aesthetically a lot uglier. It is almost too rough, too grainy, too gritty. Also something about the out of focus bokeh effect, is really ugly on the F2.5 lens.
Another thing is that the colors, when shooting color photos, intelligent auto mode on the F2.5 lens, the colors look really off and ugly. Something I didn’t think too much about, but if you shoot intelligent auto JPEG mode, straight up on the Lumix G9 with the Lumix 12 mm F1.4 lens, the photos look insanely perfect. The colors are true to life, vibrant, and beautiful.
Another huge shocking factor is that when I saw all of these photos that I shot of Seneca, with the new 14 mm F2.5 lens, of Seneca, I had some sort of visual, photo dissonance, which means that I almost didn’t recognize the photos of Seneca.
Then my simple thought: maybe I should just keep the Lumix G9 permanently paired with the 14 mm F14 lens, and just use it as a portrait art camera, and then figure out a more pocketful portable solution for street photography of strangers in public? Or just maybe use an iPhone for street photography of strangers in public and urban landscapes?
Why this matters
Walking around Culver City, downtown Culver City, the Culver City arts District, driving around LA, Sunset, West Hollywood, and just LA in general, my general thought is that it seems that at the end of the day, what we are primarily passionate about is art. For example, even being on Rodeo Drive and seeing the new Mr. Brainwash art museum, thinking about Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, etc.… it seems that the true and goal is towards art.
Even when we think about all these clothing brands, luxury object brands, what is it? Essentially it is consumer art, codified into objects. For example, getting a Richard Mille watch, is essentially an art object on your wrist. Or any sort of designer luxury designer thing, whether it be clothes, shoes, a handbag, sunglasses, I had piece etc.… They are essentially art objects you could purchase and wear and use.
Making beautiful things in your own eyes?
Then what I believe is this: perhaps the ultimate goal that we have is to create beautiful things, beautiful art objects, etc., designed in our own eyes.