File puptcrit/puptcrit.0811, message 230

Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 21:29:45 -0800
Subject: Re: [Puptcrit] politics

I don't know as much about Campbell as you do, but from the little I  
do know, it seems that his work with myth and archetype is coming  
through. I think that he has a great point about art that will be  
enduring, since his idea of art that exists without any outside  
energy implies to me that the piece is not being propped up by  
current events. That is all fine and well, but I think it is too much  
for me at least to say that the rest is not art. I am thinking of the  
power of the Greek plays that we still have (clearly saved because of  
their power and value) and the works of Shakespeare. Powerful in and  
of themselves, and yet we are constantly thrown to re-interpret them  
and look at them through our current circumstances, and to put new  
"outside energy" into the piece. when we do not, these pieces of  
theater are viewed as "museum pieces" and often lack real passion.

I think that we are constantly thrown to create new works of art that  
are reflective of our current circumstances, our environment, but  
that also speak to the more mythic, universal human condition. For  
art to really "work", it has to speak to a contemporary audience, but  
it also must have universality if it is to last. I find that out of  
context, most art is far less powerful. That is one of the reasons I  
have so little interest in modern painting, I feel like I have been  
left out of the conversation, and I don't really feel like figuring  
it out.

Now there is some spouting for you, but I don't think it is negative...
Greg Ballora
On Nov 14, 2008, at 6:05 PM, Hobey Ford wrote:

> 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
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> List address:
>>>> Admin interface: 
>>>> puptcrit
>>>> Archives:
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> List address:
>>> Admin interface:
>>> Archives:
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> List address:
>>> Admin interface:
>>> Archives:
>> --
>> FAUST PuppenFilm by Steven Ritz-Barr
>> "This is a fascinating piece which uses the visual-music aspect of  
>> puppetry
>> to make images as puppet theatre can at it's best."
>> -Dr. Kathie Folie, Univ. of Cal, Santa Cruz Theatre Chair and  
>> Professor
>> Classics in Miniature, LLC
>> Metropolitan Puppet Authority, Non-profit
>> _______________________________________________
>> List address:
>> Admin interface:
>> Archives:
> _______________________________________________
> List address:
> Admin interface:
> Archives:

List address:
Admin interface:


Driftline Main Page


Display software: ArchTracker © Malgosia Askanas, 2000-2005