[ExI] aesthetics

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 22 19:09:37 UTC 2015

(a reply to Dan later)

If there were no financial value to it, I would not give you $20 for the
Mona Lisa, as I would not want to hang it in my house (I was across the
room from it and did not get nearer - others were, I suppose, trying to
figure out what's the big deal here).  I'd give maybe $40 for Starry Night,
a bit more for Lilies, by Monet.

What would I give for a very rare example of Shakespeare's signature?
Nothing.  Not if I couldn't sell it.

I would pay just as much for an exact copy of an art work as for the

I go to MOMA and think:  just why would anyone want to do that?  Some are
quite interesting, but meaningless to me.  So if there is anything to a
visual art work beyond what it looks like, I don't care about that.

Of course I am talking about essence, the idea that there is some special
quality to things depending on who did it, where it came from and so on.
The metadata, I think we'd say - "what PIcasso meant by that......"
"that's from the middle period and so what it is trying to say is...."
"Greeks never put Corinthian columns outside, thus...."  "from the title,
Magnificent Work #45, we can say........"

"It's not just any old bent spoon, it was Mama's!"  Contained some essence
of her did it?  How can one tell?  If you can't heal with pieces of the
true cross, what good are they?  They are just pieces of wood.

So, if I were a snobby kind of person, I would buy a $20 'Rolex' and
pretend it's the real thing to other people.  If you can't tell the
difference, what difference is there?  To me, that is, not to some expert.
If I found some sheet music, possibly written by Mozart and possibly by one
of his students, what difference would it make to me?  None unless I wanted
to sell it.  'If it sounds good, it is good' - Duke Ellington.  And by
extension, if it smells, tastes, feels, looks............

This is what happens without essence and without money reasons - down to
the nitty-gritty.  Whatever drains your hose.

bill w
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