Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Some people make things, the rest of us use them and sometimes we like them without knowing why. We may like their shape so much that we call it art and other people try to rationalize this process and write a lot about those things that we call art. We like some shapes thanks to the genetically accumulated and cultural information available to its fast processing functions that are necessary to shortcut decisions in our daily life in the jungles, savannas, workshops, financial districts or pubs.
So we know that an aerodynamic shape can move faster through the media that are common in our life: air and water; so we like vehicles that can suggest such fast moving features by showing off streamlined shapes and muscles. And we know that round hips and breast give more chances of successful childbirth so we have learnt to admire women that show them off.
We know that the largest and loudest animal or man has more chances to succeed in life by impressing his adversaries so we like to ride loud and big vehicles to compensate our inferiority complexes.
We have learnt to see how the structures bend under loads and we have associated such distortions with the strength of the buildings up to the point that we intentionally create buildings that seems already distorted by design to suggest the solidity of them. And we know that a smooth and shiny shape is related to a material that doesn’t rust and last longer, so we like metallic, silver or gold colored objects and i-pads, phones, etc...
The brain mixes all such knowledge and confuses them especially in our modern life when the need for all such features is not essential anymore, but since the decisional shortcuts are still there we still cover ourselves with jewellery, buy big, noisy and large cars, dream of busty women and prefer shiny objects without sharp edges (except diamonds, perhaps beacuse they can not be cut roundish). Depending on how well those objects satisfy our brain superficial appreciation we may call it art and if we study it we may build complex theories of symbols to argue which one has more value, gives more significance and satisfaction to its owner, user or admiring public.
In all this process we forget the function of things, we forget the cost of making or procuring them and we are fooled by the ones who manipulate the information and create the market in which we are forced to survive.
Finally we end up our life in the idolatry of useless objects that satisfies the superficial ancestral and already useless shortcuts in our brain. How better would be the world if all of us understood functions better than surfaces? But for that we need deeper knowledge, and education which are not given to everyone, so that we can still keep the majority of us in the need of those shiny stockings for the hope of a better life.