My First Response to the beauty and the sublime

The most interesting thing about this chapter was how to interact with this form of literature, and this experience helped me learn more about my approaches to art in general. I was not completely sure what exactly you were planning, nor asking for, in this assignment aside from wanting to know our responses and reactions to the literature. In this context, my honest response is my enjoyment in understanding how philosophers really think and how philosophy is cognitively pursued. More particularly, by understanding the way in which philosophers think, perhaps my communication skills, or just the communication between me and any other academic instructor, can improve from this experience. To clarify, the paragraph below is an excerpt from a previous attempt to writing this response :

“Immediately in the beginning sentences, I tried to comprehend exactly what the author’s point was and took several times reading over the first two pages. In the first couple of times, most of my thinking of this selection was focused on decomposing the content, much like most philosophical literary works I have previously encountered. Soon, I found myself summarizing what I read, as it appeared to be just a sea of historical information and definitions. I felt lost, as though I was merely seeing a collection of words without a point, nor a goal. It starts just by  stating the historical references of the ancients gendering art, using the Greek column designs as an example. Then it mentions Sharpiro’s thoughts and I wasn’t sure what exactly was being said. I consulted my mom, who is more adept in literary structures than I, to take a look into the selection and help clarify what is really being discussed in the text.”

After we both read the first few pages together, we then had a long conversation discussing what is happening. I found out that there was a little bit more than just a sea of information. Sharpiro was suggesting that that is not the case. Instead the contrast between femininity and Masculinity was to help illustrate the diversity of  art and its characteristics. This is the understanding mom and I had reached when we were working together on this. So now there seemed to be some direction, so I continued reading, shortly enough, it seemed like the selection went back to producing just a stream of facts and information and I began to get lost in the content. I looked back into the beginning pages to understand what is the main point of this piece, and I looked at Shapiro’s rhetorical questions, “What -and how much- should be made of such expression?” and thought that was the main idea to explore. In short, I was struggling with “What is the goal here?” Was it an informative, essay and I didn’t recognize it? but then why would you want our thoughts on it?

To get a better idea, I look happened to find some help on YouTube, which gave insight on how to write a paper for your philosophy classes, but it also had something else that helped me the most, how to wonder. Wondering, in philosophy, is the art of asking questions to open up new ideas in an already existing concept. In the explanation, one of the things to avoid is asking questions to find an answer. This contradicts the nature of wondering and there is no progression. I have ran into several similar situations with making art. My awareness to my mentality with art became more clear. I have looked at art, as well as everything else, as a mechanic. Everything seemed like an equation and the challenge is to find its missing components. Much of art, from what I have seen, has more so been the wondering described in the video. This I find more interesting because perhaps that is what my approach should be to my senior exit. Instead of imposing answers, I could also try wondering with my concepts. This mentality could also be used in other projects I come across, or at least other research projects.

In light of this revelation, I then thought of what you mentioned in the announcement on blackboard,

 “It fascinates me how inspired you all are with art and I believe you want it as a part of your lives. But, there seems to be an attraction and a fear associated with its creation and presentation. The making of art is admittedly full of failure but those failures are what make it so rewarding”

And I agree, except with the attraction and the fear. Comparing what you had stated, with the description of Sublime, I have not considered the thrill in the danger, or pain, in art making. In a video I am making, in reaction to the pechakucha critiques, I mention liking art because I could escape a perceived reality and just enjoy the adventure. When I began to think of design, I took that out and switched to the “mechanic” mentality I mentioned earlier. This later just made it seem like work; a math equation that needed it’s missing parts; and when I thought I found the parts, something seemed to change and not give me an answer I was expecting.

From the reading, it seems to suggest that we are, or maybe should be; considering the definitions and descriptions of sublime and beauty given in the reading, afraid of what we admire, but love what submits to us. Your statement, however, admitted that the failure is necessary to achieve the goal in. To me, it doesn’t seem to be an issue of fear, but more so an issue of “why?”. Why make certain decisions, and why go about this approach? Ultimately, I wonder why must I make a series of failures if I could skip them?, along with, could I skip them. From there, other things encountered before began to connect and make more sense.


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