From the Editor’s Desk 54

optima

Is it that I like veiled, indirect explanations or is that all explanations are indirect? If you read my ponderings about sarah v. goetz final exhibit in Durham, you will know that the why’s of Art are a central question for me.

Goetz captions some of her work in Haiku, see here on her Instagram. This is the veil I am referring too. People often want the caption to explain the work literally.* This is an impossible mission. Should we surrender knowing that? Give in and be as declarative and didactic as possible?

I believe Art reminds and explains to us that these approaches are part and parcel of the same continuum. We can never follow each other’s meaning or thoughts exactly.

The Marxist thinker David Harvey and his cohort, UNC-CH Professor Emeritus, Jim Peacock, call this trap the Leibnizian Conceit after the German philosopher and mathematician. Ontologically we can only think from inside our own heads. We will never “know” completely what another is thinking.

Leibniz

Leibniz

We when we feel as though we do, we have a special word for such a state. We call it “love” and love is magical, uniquely precious, and, sadly, not particularly common.

Typically we can only perceive the world outwardly through our own eyes, our own lens, our own biases, and our own experiences. Leibniz’s presumption was that he could apply his experience and perceptions to everyone.

My friend, Mark the Painter, says that most people have a particular intelligence or learning style: visceral, analytical, or kinesthetic. It is not only that our perceptions are different, but that the foci of perception are different among us.

Art responds to those queries. We are unable to capture entire ages in the history books. Our ancestors could not tell us their entire life-story in full, it would take as long as they had lived so far. This conundrum, too, is answered by Art.

Time is neither static nor summarizable. We cannot explain it or stop it. Our mortal existence defines us. We are alone.

Yet, we feel one another. We communicate with one other. We make Art. And we live and love one another.

Cave Paintings in Lascaux, Fra.

Cave Paintings in Lascaux, Fra.

Notes

old context, literally—actually, that what is

literally

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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