Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Effort of Appreciation

Text must be read, music must be listened to to appreciate them. A text or a music necessarily seeks to be appreciated, otherwise, why would any of them exist? It is a selfish thing. Seeking to be appreciated is selfish. True appreciation is a pronounced form of acceptance, though the self that commits the appreciation may simply flatter itself via living through the experience - noting therefore that it has the capacity to be impressed. Once you are impressed, your - perhaps subconscious - effort to experience appreciation is satisfied.

If you are not impressed, then but the lack of appreciation remains, though you exhibited the effort to embrace the potentiality of appreciation merely by facing the subject, by observing if the subject has the capacity to impress and demand appreciation. As humans, maybe we need to accept the limitation that communication between us is only possible by exhibiting/projecting our views and opinions on different aspects and matters of the universe as we perceive it. Acceptance seems to be a very peaceful feeling. Worship is the ultimate form of acceptance. Therefore, it is as good to be accepted as it is to be appreciated. Probably, being accepted is even more fruitful than being appreciated.

Appreciation suggests that the subject of the appreciation is a successful executor of an originally unexpressed effort. Appreciation is a result of you deciphering a message which is capable to impress you. You invoke this inner capacity to be impressed by the outer stimuli, let it be music, images, words spoken or words written. This is appreciation. You appreciate the musician because she has solid skills on her instrument and she is not afraid to show it, you appreciate the writer because he has quality stories to tell and he is more than ready to share.

Yet notice that you are required to make your own effort to appreciate THEIR efforts. Thus, letter, sound, image, art is nothing without the observer, but, in a much less- or much more sober reality - pick, please - the completed piece of art is worthless once it is scrutinized by the proper observer.

The completed piece of art with the proper observer is worthless.

And here is why: the observer offers the effort to appreciate the art, while the creator offers the art that seeks to be appreciated. Thus, it is but the sheer quality and pure nature of effort, in this case, a circulated effort that fuses art and observer together. There is no proper and improper way to interpret art. It is but the effort to interpret. The art wants to be understood, wants to impress. The observer is willing to deliver these relations towards the art once the art is qualified enough to resonate on these channels. Yet, the art that seeks to be appreciated, is but wasted effort as long as there is no cognitive consciousness around it to appreciate it.

Notice though that genius trick of art: art, for most of the time, is clever enough to be recorded. Thus, art survives essentially timelessly, ready to be observed any moment an observer shows interest in it. It is like a recording of a classic music video on YouTube. It remains existent, even when you do not watch it. It always remains ready to impress you. Even better: what it delivers - remains constant. It delivers what it delivers, and lets you, invites you to form your unique appreciation EACH TIME you watch it. Your unique approach towards that piece of art could even be an evolving experience.

Notice how we are forced to exhibit effort to appreciate something. You, as observer of a medium, must summon an inner stance, a cautious assumption that what you are about to read, hear or see, is a vibe of consensus reality that is worth observing. Worth experiencing. Yet the true understanding - if there is such a thing at all, if there is the NEED for such a thing, at all - of any piece of art would require infinite effort. There are an infinite reasons for this. But, first and foremost, you can't claim the liberty that you have the perfect understanding of this and that particular piece of art, and deny an even more better understanding than what you have from a future observer. If you do that, you are ultimately arrogant. Thus, there is no point trying to understand art. Even if you could exhibit infinite effort, you would necessarily fail to understand it, and here is why:

There is NO understanding, there is but the EFFORT to understand. To declare yourself one who understands, is to conclude yourself complete. To announce yourself complete, is to announce yourself free of the need to develop as a living being. If there would be proper understanding of art, than that understanding could be reached and agreed upon, could be achieved, and there would be no need whatsoever to exhibit effort to appreciate art.

Also notice that once we have a lesser kind of understanding or knowledge of a not too robust or even trivial matter, we necessarily lose a quality that the question we started off with had. A convincing answer eliminates that quality. As such, sometimes the desire to know might be less limiting than knowing. Once you know, you no longer possess the desire to know and what you suddenly know, surely has eliminated a magical gap that the question itself - ironically - have possessed.

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