Deep Listening is a way of listening to everything possible to hear, no matter what you are doing. This includes the sounds of nature, of daily life, or of one’s own thoughts. “Keeping Quiet” by Pablo Neruda was our first reading of day 7 and expresses this idea beautifully.
“Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.
For once on the face of the earth,
let’s not speak any language;
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.”
The last two readings of the day begin to address ideas of authenticity in the digital age. “Art Forgery: Why Do We Care So Much For Originals?” by Milica Jovic and “Can Machines Create Art?” by Mark Coeckelbergh open up these discussions.
The first of these two pieces look at a museum dedicated to artist Etienne Terrus in Elne, France, where it was recently discovered that 60% of its collection was deemed fake.
So why do original works of art matter? For decades, some forgeries have not only fooled museum visitors but well-known art historians as well. My fellow Culturistani’s and I seemed to concur what researchers have found: That our appreciation of an artwork heavily depends on one’s sense of connecting to the artist as much as the painting. When we find out it’s a forgery, we feel personally cheated in some way. We still believe that the essence of who the artist is can somehow be infused into their art.
The article “Can Machines Create Art?” was a bit tedious for me in that I honestly think this is a question that is impossible to answer intellectually. Not surprisingly to the rest of the group, I answered with an emphatic no. I do think machines create things that could be considered artistic, but I stop short of calling it art. This is not because of the actual “artworks” themselves. For my own work, and I think for most authentic artists, art lies in the creative process much more than the final work. Often times this can be a polarizing view but I find most who consider a machine to be able to create “art” are solely judging it on their idea of the final work and haven’t really engaged in a life of creative practice. There, I said it!
I’ll now defer to the last line of the Neruda poem we began with:
“Now I’ll count to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.”