Saturday, July 13, 2013

Facebook and the Meaning of Art

The Explosion
Many people wonder what purpose fine art serves, even those who spend exorbitant amounts of time creating it. Sometimes it seems like one of those questions for which there is no simple, good answer. much like that burning mystery, 'What is the meaning of life?"

And this drives us nuts.

Well, I think I figured it out this morning. Imagine that, all it took was scrolling through Facebook to solve one of the mysteries of the universe.

Thank you, Mark Zuckerberg.

As usual, when I woke up this morning, I grabbed my phone to check email and Facebook. It helps me wake up.

Really.

Scrolling down my Facebook news feed, it struck me that a lot of art had been posted by my international friends during the night. I looked at and studied the art, as I always do, ignoring the words and comments since they weren't English.

Then it hit me.

Just as math is the universal language of logic, fine art, is the universal language of emotion.

Of course it's necessary!
She Escapes Me

I once knew a woman from Pakistan. Her family came to the US when she was ten years old. She told me that she couldn't speak any English but she had to start public school in New Jersey. She learned over time but during the process, she fell in love with math because she could understand it. For her it was a universal language that made her comfortable and relieved her worries that those surrounding her had absolutely nothing in common with her and her family.

Math demonstrates a universal element of our humanity. It relays our logic and intellect, and that can connect us in powerful ways. But without art, the conclusion of who we are is deceiving. Fine art, like music, demonstrates our heart and soul. Logic and intellect without heart and soul can never fully relay who we are as inhabitants of the planet Earth.

In talking about this to my husband this morning, he mentioned that he read somewhere that the SETI program sends signals across the universe that includes mathematical elements because it's the universal language. Considering this, I realized that the combination of math and fine art is perhaps most critical when considering the biggest picture of all .... the mystery of our universe.

It may sound extreme, but should aliens ever arrive or send probes to understand who we are, they will only discern the reality of the situation by observing both our capacity for logic and for love. With only one, we can never relay our reality, our truth, our extraordinary world.

What Did You Say?
You may wonder why music can't serve as our universal language of emotion on its own. Both fine artists and musicians who can best pour the human heart and soul into their work are our greatest hope of capturing that important element of our humanity. Music certainly plays a absolutely critical role, but it lacks the visual element that fine art provides.

Fine art stands on its own as a necessity. As decades pass, each generation of great artists continue a critical thread that visually exposes our hearts and souls in the midst of whatever new technological advances our mathematical counterparts have achieved. For each side of the coin, there is a basic truth. And for each side of the coin, there is a timeline. And the music plays on, wrapping it all up into an extraordinary package.

I hope my work is contributing.

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