File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 223

Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 21:05:29 -0500
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] politics

Joseph Cambell hade an interesting concept about the definition of
art.  The main precept was that a work of art contains everything
needed to absorb and comprehend the value within the piece.  If a
major aspect of the artwork is refrenced outside the piece and needed
to comprehend the piece then it did not meet the critieria.  I find
the concept interesting but am not completely  in agreement.  Consider
Diary of Anne Frank for instance (my example not Cambell's).  The
journal is very everyday in terms of what happens within the diary.  A
 main force of the work lies outside the book, namely the tragedy of
WWII and the mass murder of  jewish people and ultimate death of Anne.
 We find out outside the diary that Anne dies.  Cambell believed that
referencing energy outside the piece made the work something else than
art, not that is of no value but something else.  I am moved by Anne
Frank's diary but the thing that gets me lies outside the work.  What
do you think of this definition? Does the energy have to be generated
within the piece through the characters or can those energies lies
outside the work.  Consider if you made a work of art about the deaths
of 911.  Is it manipulation?  there is a lot of energy in that concept
that would come from the event not the art work necessarily. Is it
then sentimentality or jerking the audience around?  This seems to be
a factor in "political art".

On Fri, Nov 14, 2008 at 6:09 PM, Steven Barr <> wrote:
>  When is an artistic activity Art? All Art is not even Art, let alone
> Political. Much Art is Religious too.
> Some artistic activities are blatantly political (B & P), some are
> religious. I used to think B and P was a religious experience because there
> was a clear catharsis or transcendence at the end. I tend to group this
> Religious aspect with the Art aspect, but not to the Political part. It
> depends what the objective is.
> We look with distain upon the Bush admin. because they had a POV and went on
> to implement that.
> They plowed ahead in spite of opposition. Bread and puppet may be doing the
> same thing. Plowing on ahead in spite of .....
> But I also think B and P to be a type of Propaganda, one that is not always
> welcome, nor objective.
> They usually preach to the choir (I'm in that choir). I wish they would
> learn from this ordeal, because it appears that they want to enlarge their
> scope if they venture into the schools.
>     I like to think that Art transcends Politics and Religion, yet can be
> both political and religious.
> I also think i better get to work.
> cheers,
> Steven Barr
> On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 7:16 PM, Alan Cook <> wrote:
>> An essential for "good politics" is fair play & honesty, and an explanation
>> of what "bad politics" does to its victims.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Hobey Ford
>> Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 3:07 PM
>> To:
>> Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] politics
>> There are ways of speaking things political without being perceived as
>> such.  Ways of speaking the truth in a way that no one can take
>> offense.  These are sometimes the most powerful ways, entering the
>> city like a trojen horse. They never knew what hit them.  You get nice
>> letters.
>> On Tue, Nov 11, 2008 at 5:00 PM,  <> wrote:
>> >
>> >
>> > I'm sure this argument has been advanced before, but it bears
>> > repetition in the context of this thread.
>> >
>> > All Art is political.____________________________________________
>> > I totally agree with that, and in fact find it hard to grasp what
>> unbiased literature looks like as opposed to editorializing or persuasive
>> writing.  Even story is persuasive and seeks to express a world view; story,
>> like all art, also unconsciously expresses fundamental assumptions and
>> values and alignment (or lack of) with the surrounding environment.  We
>> usually don't recognize this easily unless it is the product of a different
>> culture or a different time period, we are seeped in our own time and
>> culture-kind of like we don't hear the music of the stars because we have
>> always heard the music of the stars.
>> > As a non-tv watcher (so it is out of my culture, out of my time), when I
>> see one I am overwhelmed with shock and laughter.
>> > One thing I am surprised hasn't been mentioned regarding B&P is the type
>> of political bias that IS acceptable for youth of all ages in any kind of
>> art and every setting.   A narrow definition of patriotism is
>> acceptable/encouraged in our school system and a pro-war show would not be
>> questioned out loud by the most liberal viewers.
>> > I think having coca-cola machines in a school building is a political
>> act.
>> >  Gina
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>> > - moynihan
>> >
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