What Will the Art of the Future Be?

13/07/2012 14:40 | Updated 12 September 2012

Wassily Kandinsky wrote this (in 1912, have our souls awakened another 100 years since then?)

Our souls, which are only now beginning to awaken after the long reign of materialism, harbour seeds of desperation, unbelief, lack of purpose. The whole nightmare of the materialistic attitude, which has turned the life of the universe into an evil purposeless game, is not yet over. The awakening soul is still deeply under the influence of this nightmare. Only a weak light glimmers, like a tiny point in an enormous circle of blackness.

It got me thinking. We use the materials available to us in any age of man to adequately represent our existence in that age, whether it be the material existence, or psychological, or expressive of the glimpse of possible futures at that moment. Abstract art really only posits a theory, made with some human process, some materials, or by reference to them (or reference to the 'lack' of them).

And so the bank of reference grows indefinitely.

Is there a future whereby the immediate thought or pre-cognified brain activity, or fluttering artistic instinct can find expression without first passing through filters of mechanics/materials/theories/histories? Is this an attainable goal for 'art'? 'I feel funky' might lay down the exact funk of that feeling, mix fire with a resonating string, it might plot a chart in changing colours accompanied by the birth of eggs suspended in a rotating sonogram. That could be its primal realisation, the place of its imagining, not destined to freeze necessarily, and able to continue realising as often as the imagining, without being bound by one or several media. Art cannot reproduce this, but it could do a good job of representing it (much in the way the brain is wired to experience 'deja vu' as 'immediate' when perhaps it must be the retriggering of something neural, or tapping a receptor that creates the illusion of deja vu to accompany events that are actually contemporary and original). 'Art' can perhaps evolve to be this process, crudely at first of course.

I went to bed with these thoughts last night, and lay in the darkness to experience what could only be an imagined form of this art, by allowing the brain to settle on clusters of red and green behind the closed eyes, which left unaffected can morph to every cellular imagining, every possible image and sensation, left to pass on from one to the next. This was 'arting', it was unrealised or unexperienced and not presented for appraisal. Left untrammeled, the connection of sound to image could morph, until road noise and background could easily be read into the clusters of red and green that have always been present in darkness (I had always blamed misspent youth for these dots). So the 'matrix of dots' was rather a reaction to each and every element of white noise; too many inputs to separate and analyse, but all combining, and in their turn setting off the imagined images of the subatomic, or activities certainly on a plane different from our cumbersomely perceived world. Always changing, but every possibility as real as Brownian motion. More of this another time.

Back to Kandinsky; this morning I tried to look up the quote at the top of this piece on the web, but couldn't immediately find it, and read this one instead

The artist must be blind to distinctions between 'recognized' and 'unrecognized' conventions of form, deaf to the transitory teaching and demands of his particular age. He must watch only the trend of the inner need, and hearken to its words alone.