Future of the Arts in a Mixed Capitalist Economy LO30674

From: Ray Evans Harrell (mcore@nyc.rr.com)
Date: 10/08/03

Replying to LO30645 --

> I have tried to comprehend your charts. They are indeed a bit complicated
> and perhaps some indications of what you had in mind by chosing the topics
> and criteria for ordering these might help me for a deeper understanding.

Hello, Leo, Bill, At, Alan, Am and the list,

We are in the process of heavy rehearsals for our first big concert at
Merkin Hall in New York City on October 27th and so I have and am not able
to give the kind of time that I want to your good comments. I apologize
but would encourage anyone in the NYCity area to come to a great event.
That being said let met address a couple of things.

1. The choice of four quadrants was arbitrary and meant to suggest a
process that can include many other views of the Complex Arts. The 1883
date on the second chart is the beginning time of the "professionalization
and fragmentation" of the arts in America towards the current anti-market
formula that is based in feudalist aristocracy and not in a capitalist
economy. Feudalism has the permanency of aristocracy passed down through
family as a stability factor that capitalist wealth does not. That makes
the wealthy a very poor substitute for a patronage system. I'm suggesting
that there may be a third way that is more grounded in capitalism since
that is the "ism" that we have.

2. I don't think it is an issue of cognitive dissonance at its roots.
Instead I believe is it more a problem of:
a.) the hardwiring in the brain of those who do not learn to solve musical
abstract complexity early in life and thus cannot enjoy complex music beyond
the common canon of "classical music" and even that old art is becoming too
complex for the "sound bite" brain limited generation.
b.) for those who can understand and enjoy Ned Rorem and Milton Babbitt the
issue then becomes not Peregrine's "Cognitive Dissonance" but Warfield's
"Killer Assumptions" that make realization of life's artistic dialogue

3. What holds both of the above back is the same problem of the Soviet
Union's system. Distribution. The solving of the issue of "Productivity
Lag" or the fact that it is, under the current system, impossible to make a
profit or even pay costs for live performance cannot be approached until:
a.) you solve the problem of educational development of sophistication, (the
Soviets solved that)
b.) you develop the market through serious advertisement and the building of
a valuing mechanism (the Soviet system also solved that) and
c.) you develop an efficient distribution system that is efficient, makes
its peace with the need of a uniform technology while developing a one of a
kind product that is then mass marketed but is LIVE. America's solution
has been to accept inferior productive alternatives that downsized labor and
dumbed down the audience. There has to be another way if you are to develop
and distribute a complex modern product that fits the purpose of
contemporary performance beyond simple entertainment.

The Soviet system failed with distribution of basic products. America has
failed with the distribution of complex artistic and aesthetic products as
people grow less able to maintain complex cognition. Much of the writings
of such 19th century writers as C.S. Pierce are almost incomprehensible to
today's readers while 19th century music based in primal overtone
resonances is sensually enjoyed but intellectually ignored. Contemporary
music that has escaped the bounds of such primal acoustics requires
intellectual dialogue to express contemporary truths and ideals. That is
the missing element in today's audiences. I believe it is more basic than
"cognitive dissonance." But relates to the same inability as the problem
of foreign languages as you get older, especially non "Noun based"
languages that are built on process. Such languages are causing us
extreme problems today in the world as America becomes more
mono-linguistic and even mono-syllabic.

So working a way out of this maze is the subject and finding a way to be
consonant with current economic realities that is built on a prosperity
model is what I'm looking for. The problem is not primarily with product
and over-production but need and the development of a learning curve. If
you solve that then the labor problem will take care of itself. The
problem is not that much different from IBM's primary problem with
marketing the PC. But the need there was obvious and the future assured.
The Learning Curve was just outrageous. IMHO.

Ray Evans Harrell


"Ray Evans Harrell" <mcore@nyc.rr.com>

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