Western art elites dominate, have defining power, how art should be looked at in different cultures.
The anthropologist Franz Boas wrote, as early as 1927, in his cross-cultural analysis ‘Primitive Art’ that genuine comparison between western and art from indigenous societies (first nations) is not possible.
I deeply digested the book for my MA thesis (1988), but still kept my doubts all those years and since a few years I know I do not agree.
In every ‘first nation culture‘ art is intertwined in the transgenerational reproductive forces of the involved families/communities. In western culture art has many meanings and functions of which we share creating/experiencing beauty with first nations.
In this site I try to bridge ‘primitive and modern art’ by focusing on: a) creating beauty and b) creating blueprints/roadmaps to stay on track of what I as a child/young men already saw/experienced.
I am a son, out of six, of a blacksmith. My father built our own family sailing-yachts with with we made numerous magical journeys in Dutch waters. We manufactured aesthetic pieces of artefacts for customers and for ourselves. I refound my, in my childhood lost, arting my dreams about forty, in the eighties of the last century, at with support and help of Dr. Ronald ‘Black Horse’ Chavers, an Afro-American-Cherokee dancer/methodologist/shaman.
He taught me to make pieces of art as a complementary kind of knowing (knowledge-production) next to my scientific works/projects. This coincided with the epistemological foundation of systemthinker, biologist and anthropologist Gregory Bateson of which Francesco Varela and Andreas Weber are successors in seeing creating beauty as an inalienable attribute of and immanent in Nature and ourselves.
I used creating my ‘soul searching art’ to mark unfolding new phases, and stay on track, of my life-vision: what is my purpose on this earth.
Overall in this site, where fitting, I combine/intertwine these art and scientific ways of knowing.
Only a few years ago, during a PhD project which I terminated in January 2014, I discovered that Gregory Bateson’s ecological systemic epistemology was based on these premise (1972).
Scientific research/knowledge, according to Bateson, will never bring you into states of Grace in which you can experience how deep, complex, ugly and beautiful nature, you yourself, your family are.
For Bateson making and experiencing western and non-western art is the highroad to knowing, while science is the low road to knowledge. (poems, music, artefacts, paintings etc)
My pieces of art were, and some still are, roadmaps to unfold my life’s dream. They have for me healing and integrating powers whenever I lose my soul’s trail.
Look for some of my soul-trail-maps here: