First of all, thanks to everyone for your comments.
I don't know if I was serious or not when I wrote it. The thing I know is that I felt
it. So, I had an urge to write it.
It's all about perceptions and feelings, to make a long story short.
Degree of enjoyment of a piece of music = WTF?! Factor / Age
sensation of strangeness
that I experience when I listen to a piece of music for the first time
is the WTF?
. And I came to realize that, the more a piece of music is different
(in a way that I cannot explain objectively, especially if I do it alone
), the greater this sensation is. I can't say that the WTF? is objective
, alone, but I could say that the WTF? is universally objective
The need for universality of the aesthetic judgement. Simply put, to judge something as beautiful, we need others. We need our judgement to be shared, and we need others' judgements. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: true, but universal beauty isn't so. Put in modern terms, universally beautiful is what a community finds beautiful,
Then, if I subjectively
like this piece of music or not, is the WTF!
. The WTF! acts as a multiplicator for the WTF? in the formula. The WTF! is my opinion: it is subjective. The WTF?, instead, is universally
In fact, what is the purpose of any work of art? Its purpose is to attract some kind of attention, otherwise it wouldn't have a meaning, would it? Better, we could say that its purpose is to create some kind of shock
. This is somewhat connected to the concept of "aura" expressed by Walter Benjamin in his "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction". From wikipedia
Benjamin used the word "aura" to refer to the sense of awe and reverence one presumably experienced in the presence of unique works of art. According to Benjamin, this aura inheres not in the object itself but rather in external attributes such as its known line of ownership, its restricted exhibition, its publicized authenticity, or its cultural value. Aura is thus indicative of art's traditional association with primitive, feudal, or bourgeois structures of power and its further association with magic and (religious or secular) ritual. With the advent of art's mechanical reproducibility, and the development of forms of art (such as film) in which there is no actual original, the experience of art could be freed from place and ritual and instead brought under the gaze and control of a mass audience, leading to a shattering of the aura. "For the first time in world history," Benjamin wrote, "mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual."
5. The definition of the aura as a "unique phenomenon of a distance however close it may be" represents nothing but the formulation of the cult value of the work of art in categories of space and time perception. Distance is the opposite of closeness. The essentially distant object is the unapproachable one. Unapproachability is indeed a major quality of the cult image. True to its nature, it remains "distant, however close it may be." The closeness which one may gain from its subject matter does not impair the distance which it retains in its appearance.
"aura" of a work of art, in the age of mechanical reproduction, is no more
: "for the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual"
, he wrote. So, now, it has to be something inherent to the work of art itself, methinks.
Any true work of art is an aesthetic object. "Aesthesis" means "sense perception". The aesthetic object is NOT familiar: it's distant to us. Also, it is NOT a memory. It is something completely new. Since it is new
to us, it is strange
. And here comes the other part of my wacky theory, which may very well be open to debate: age
and bullshit accumulation
. I say that WTF?! is inversely proportional to the age: age of a single man, and age of mankind.
See, the ancient Greeks still remain an unmatched model of beauty. They could do amazing things because, unlike us, they didn't choke under the pressure of all the bullshit we have accumulated in centuries of history. They were like a child: open to experiment, mad at creativity, with no prejudices whatsoever. We, instead, are cluttered with meaningless noise: our creativity chokes under its burden. In platonic terms: they copied the idea of beauty directly from the immortal idea of beauty, while we copy copies of the idea of beauty (since we have to fit into Genres, classifications, and the like)
One should judge an aesthetic object like a child would do. And "age" may
interfere with this. But it is an age of the mind
, not of the body. Being very young helps being open-minded, naturally. But one can be old and feel like a young person, if he/she re-learns to judge things like a child would do. Methinks.
Anyway, I resurrected this topic from its grave because I'm going to graduate soon and I wondered if this could be a suitable start for a university dissertation (I'm studying media). So your opinions are very important to me. Peer-review is what I need.
But maybe it's just a wacky theory... too much wine