Monday, June 06, 2011


The aim of the artist is always precision. One strives for a precision of word and gesture, grasp and motion. One strives to perceive and to engage with one's surroundings as precisely as possible, always more precisely than the last encounter, always learning from each encounter a precision that one can take into the next.

In that sense, of course, art is merely a model for life. A life should be spent honing ones perceptions and actions towards an ever more accurate receptivity to and capacity for experience.

There is, no doubt, a phase of natural development where greater precision is achieved willy-nilly as the body grows. And there is, perhaps, a period where precision is lost regardless of one's efforts. But I'm thinking of the, let's say, "normal adult", who struggles with the vagueries of a particular age against the loss of vision and tension.


ayeh said...

always? some artist might just want to add complexity thus reducing the "precision"... don't you think?

Thomas said...

Complexity for the sake of complexity (i.e., "just want[ing] to add it") is not art, and would, indeed, work against the drive for precision. Complexity for the sake of an accurate engagement with a complex situation is precision in the truest sense of the word. Precision can be understood as achieving the requisite complexity for any particular experience.

No (good) artist wants to reduce precision. Though the artist may accomplish precision either by complicating or simplifying matters (as the situation requires).

Art (i.e. good art) makes us more precise—makes us experience life more precisely. Bad art (i.e., junk) makes us less precise. It is the real enemy.