Let us suppose for a moment that the Western world has been hugely fragmented and splintered in its consciousness and its individualism for many centuries. And that under electric conditions it is being integrated and merged together again at a very fast clip. The question for us is, all right, if this is happening, what is a valid human strategy for conduct? Should we resist it and detach ourselves? Should we involve ourselves?... As far as the artist can clarify issues in this way, he is doing very important work. — Marshall McLuhan
The transformations of culture do not take place in history. They take place in myth. It is because the individual cannot perceive in the limits of his own lifetime such transformations as the Neolithic or Industrial revolutions that we have need of myth. A model, a hypothesis or a myth is a way of rendering the invisible. Because the unconscious is outside of time, it can perceive transformations beyond the limits of the ego. These unconscious perceptions are expressed in art or mythologies. We ourselves are living in an age of cultural transformation, but if you went to the experts to ask for a description, they could tell you nothing. You have to go to those who are at home in the unconscious and the super-conscious, the artists and prophets; through myth and symbol in art, science fiction or religion, they will describe the present by speaking about the future. — William Irwin Thompson
The way we think has everything to do with the way we perceive. With our logical, rational frames of reference, we can only see small pieces of the larger patterns of our world; but art is impatient, skips over decades of theory, and is either baffling or stretches perception into new territories of knowing. There are levels of communication that only art can reach. For me, this is where hope waits.
— Nora Bateson
Don’t forget that it is much more important for the city to prosper than its individual members, for if the individual members prosper and the city is ruined, then they are ruined with her, but if a citizen is unfortunate while the city is not, he has a much better hope of mending his fortunes.
— Pericles (5th century BCE)
It’s important to encourage artists to use their creativity to address the issues of the world today. They obviously have an important role to play because of their creative spirit, their way of communicating and seeing the world. They often look outside the box. They touch our heart, and sometimes touch our heart before our mind! Their compassion is essential.
— Kofi Annan
What is essential in a work of art is that it should rise far above the realm of personal life, and speak
from the spirit and heart of the poet as man to the spirit and heart of humankind. —
Carl Gustav Jung
There is no conflict between mysticism and science, but there is a conflict between the science of 2000 BC. and the science of 2000 AD.. The three-level universe of the Bible is of no use to us. We have to have poets, we have to have seers who will render to us the experience of the transcendent through the world in which we are living. — Joseph Campbell
Art is to the community what the dream is to the individual. — Thomas Mann
The business of art is to reveal the relation between man and his environment.
— D.H. Lawrence
We must think of art and its production (creation) as a social project, and not as local and circumstantial praxis that varies with momentary events. We need to shift from a vision of utilitarian activity towards a symbolic function that is useful for and in society. We must think of art, in culture, as an activity in which every human being, that is to say social being, can distance, can question, can re-examine the rules, forms, and norms in order to explore and confront his own representations of the world. To propose art as a means to examine the world order, and thus as a tool for emancipation, autonomy, for individual and collective responsibility. A realm and project of democracy. — Michel Simmonot
The new age of education is programmed for discovery rather than instruction.
Art as radar environment, radar feedback, early warning system: the antennae of the race.
— Marshall McLuhan
THE TRANSFORMATIVE FUNCTION OF ART
The (work of art) becomes a document on the fragmentary state of the vision of a certain moment of history. The work reveals man’s conception of his situation in the world at a certain stage of evolution of his species and in function of the information received about his status in the universe. Each time a fresh piece of information questions the reigning definition, man gains a new awareness of his relationship with the world —and the artist within the pictorial space represents a new visual system which explains it. At this moment emerges the deconstruction of the former system, and the setting up of a new scheme. — Réalités magazine
In matters of war too the Druids and singing bards are readily obeyed, and this by their enemies as well as by their own people. Often, in fact, when battle lines are drawn and armies close ground with swords and spears poised, they will step out into the middle and stop both sides as if enchanting wild beasts.
Thus the spirit yields to the Arts, and Mars reveres the Muses.
Diodorus Siculus (1st century BCE)
I write these words against a background of seemingly ungovernable crisis. It’s the Age of the Apocalypse, for no-one any longer can say whether humanity will survive. The world’s leading scientists in the relevant fields seem agreed about this: we’ve created for ourselves as set of... crises, which may prove impossible to contain... Repeatedly, we attack dysfunctions in our social organisation while the symptoms continue to worsen… I submit that what causes the helpless feeling is the inadequacy of old forms of thought to cope with an historically unprecedented situation. We can’t even think of solutions without correctly recognising the problem, and its now commonplace to pose our problems incorrectly. We tend to focus on what’s seen rather than on our way of seeing… Instead of focusing on how we produce and consume, we must focus on how we perceive and on how we communicate.
— Gene Youngblood
Bringing people to speak together is the most important art. — Joseph Beuys
Language is an instrument of thought. The core principles of language are those that determine how you construct and determine thoughts. — Noam Chomsky
Language is our refuge, but it is also our prison. Words create a wall around us which keeps us trapped inside. Yet, in this wall, there is a fissure, a potential way out, a hope for release and freedom outside the boundaries imposed by language : and that is art! —
Until notation systems apart from language are developed for culture, it is doubtful that the type of revolution occasioned by the development of writing and mathematics will occur. When this happens, however, there is no way of gauging the effect on human consciousness. —
Edward T. Hall
To understand the whole of us and the world, we have to participate with the whole of us. Specifically, the bringing together of verbal and non-verbal forms of knowledge - rational and intuitive - is necessary. — Francisco Varela
The change is at the level of how the world is perceived, and then the values, morals, technology and governance will adjust as a consequence of perception shift. — Nora Bateson
I just want to have a ringside seat, I want to know about the new Mother Earth,
I want to hear and see everything. —
I want to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race.
— James Joyce