You have matured intellectually to finally ask why
I have pursued art all my life. Thank you for the opportunity to share, pass
on to someone of the next gen. It started as a quest to understand better this
thing I seemed to naturally excel and be drawn to, then it was the excitement
and challenge to discovering and inventing the new. A new medium, one of the
new hi technological society and then emerging global cyberculture, enabled
me, as young artist, to actually be able to do something pioneering.
Then it became helping other artists in the same plight but without the
financial, organizational, and leadership means. So in the 80s I formed the
Hawaii Computer Art Society, Soho Too Gallery & Loft in Kalihi, led as
President the Association of Hawaii Artists, and in the 90s conceived Webism
and the Webists. Now artists around the world can follow a manifesto - of
digital art, global harmony and peace, and online art as a means of sharing
values and hope for a better world. The groups grows and is several years old
now, thanks to co-founder Ingrid Kamerbeek of Germany and her dedication to
the mission and her networking efforts and abilities. So my art efforts have
led to something larger than the making of art itself. It now serves as
a connector to global efforts using the Net for global peace and understanding
among all men. As I said last night, after terrible experience of having
to lose a large inventory of paintings and turning sixty, my senses shifted
from making to consolidating. Hence, my "life dissertation,"
an art catalog of my favorite works so that my efforts art
"published." Through it all there has had to be the added
effort to seek attention and recognition of the value of the artworks, to
show, to compile a track record of exhibiting, gain media attention and
feedback, TEACH society what the art is about. Hence articles of interviews,
television spots, and now my teachings of what my art is through the vehicle
of fictitious characters in my sci fi novels. Most importantly, the
"Artist's Journal" of lastplace.com - itself a lasting 90s
"virtual museum" for "cyberarts" for online cyberculture-
documents my "case study" (1970's-present) of my "art
process." It happens to uniquely imbedded with psychological and
philosophical questions, content, and quests for the manifested
"art." After studying the psychology and philosophy of
art/aesthetic/beauty, I formulated a philosophical position - identity- which
served well to give me "purpose" as an researcher dedicating life
quest to develop me art. Now has come the time to share - market,
promote - a level of art, product, achieved. I have worked long,
consistent, and hard and not without the financial commitment and sacrifices.
I am fortunate to reached a level of results that satisfies my judgment of the
quality of the work, hence, identifying and archiving them in a publication.
The book's intros document the process and philosophy of the artist, TEACHING
what these digital-painting abstracts mean. Why they are special in a
special niche of contemporary art. My work, besides achieving the
"ah" factor, are products of research and academia. It mirrors
my life experience and Self as the man behind the art. I look forward
now to marketing for the rest of my life to share my art and do what I can to
network and find financial and managerial support to place the works on the
pedestal that now deserve. Turning sixty, the creative work is
accomplished. Most artist I fear work to the end NOT attaining the
satisfaction of fulfilling their potential. One cannot lie to one's self
if their work really doesn't contribute anything new to society and culture.
Most will not leave behind anything society will deem worthy to preserve.
I sincerely believe my work, - my life process- is deserving. With this
long email, I hope I have been able to answer your questions presented last
night to me. Personal goals really continued to change over the decades
for why I was doing the art; many new junctures in the journey presented
different reasons to keep moving along my chosen - if not fated - life path.
March 10, 2007
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 10:02 AM
Thank you for this long and very insightful e-mail. You finally
answered the question that I was asking throughout the night.
I believe just in the short conversation that we had together the other
night, I learned a lot about you as a person. Not until recently have
I been able to open up to listen to your story. Perhaps, you have
approached me before, but I just was not intellectually ready to understand
the depth of your thoughts and ideas.
The one thing that I would like to say is that I am willing to hear your
story if you ever want to tell me it. Like most other college
students, who leave the nest, and start a new independent life, I have been
faced with exploring many new ideas and forming a new personal identity.
I believe hearing the story of you, my father, will help me along on my
uncertain path to who knows what. I also believe that if you see
that I, your son, can appreciate your thoughts and journey, you will somehow
find that it will enrich your life.
So, through the past year, I have faced much and have traveled far. I
have had such a rich experience over the past year mainly through the
classes I have taken and through the relationships I have made with other
people (namely Erin). It was a dynamic interaction between learning
through books and applying those thoughts to the real world and my personal
life. To be honest it has been the toughest road I've traveled thus
far. Simultaneously, I have confronted the all-important question
"what is the meaning of life" and struggled through a first lost
love. Many times, I see that these two questions are not as disparate
as they may at first seem.
Previously, I had approached life with the idea that relationships with
other people is where meaning is derived. And through my relationship
with Erin, I have sort of reaffirmed this thought. In philosophy, you
may hardly find any answers, there is always an objection to everything.
It seems it comes to a point where words and rationality cannot provide the
answer, but rather intuintional knowing is where the answer is found.
When you are with someone you truly love, you arrive at a point where you
need not ask any other questions and look for any other answers.
And so, relating my experience and these thoughts to your life, I asked the
question about your life pursuit of art. When asking the Question, we
are looking for what gives life meaning; it is a question of what is
valuable. So my question can be succinctly asked like this, "Does
your creation of art have intrinsic or functional value?" By
intrinsic, I mean that the mere creating of art gives it value; in this
case, it does not matter if another person even sees it to experience it;
and in this case, you would not need to worry that your talents are not
seen. By functional, I mean that meaning/value of the art is created
by leading to something that has intrinsic value. It seems in this
case that, you could call it "the principle of beauty", is what
has intrinsic value; it is what your art aims to perpetuate.
Therefore, your creation of art that inherits this principle of beauty is
valuable only when it is witnessed and experienced. The art that you
create has functional value as it leads to this intrinsically valuable end.
I don't know how accurate this is, so correct me if I am wrong.
Your pursuit of art seems analogous to my life still-ambiguous pursuit to
positively impact the world. For me, the intrinsic end is aliening
suffering and increasing happiness in the world. Although I still
question it, I am well-grounded in the belief that these two ends are in
fact intrinsically valuable and require no questioning of why they must be
pursued. There needs no response to, "Why must we help
people dying from hunger?" or "Why should we not create a better
world for our children?" Even if life is limited (no afterlife)
and the world will come to a final death (humanity extinguished), these
questions still require no answer.
And in the same way I approach these ends, as you may have approached the
"principle of beauty" through your art, I am simply finding my
uniqueness and talent that makes this life path reasonable. As
an art prodigy, it makes sense that you use your talent to achieve what is
valuable. In the same way, I believe all the factors of my life-- my
character, personality, opportunities--lead to my path of helping humanity.
It is through practical business skills that I hope to achieve my proposed
ends to the greatest extent possible.
Well, thanks for listening. I feel there will definitely be much room
for lots of conversation this summer. I look forward to it.
Have a nice day!
Very deep and intelligent email from you. You
undoubtedly will surpass me in "life." Bravo.
Yes, I guess I do believe, I am some sort of
prodigy, definitely limited to the artistic and creative realm. I would
shoulder a life long guilt if I didn't use the innate special attribute.
I think this is what drives most artists - there's not much money or even
justified public recognition in the arts. We are driven, until we have
some idea of the limit of our ideas and abilities. Of course we all hope
for financial and social rewards for our time and effort - the expending of
our short time called a life, but most know this is going to only a few chosen
and lucky ones.
My basic thrust as artist is to imbibe my ideas
and feelings IN the art. If that is successful, then like any good art,
it takes on a life of its own. I am no longer needed. The work
keeps the spirit of the creator alive, like it does now on the walls of the
museums of the world exhibiting works by deceased artists. So the power
of intrinsic value is captured in the work; just as the thoughts, messages and
feelings are captured in good songs and lyrics. The work becomes
functional when others experience it, whether they appreciate or hate it.
Positive or negative response to a tangible stimulus. This connection
between artist, object, and audience is stated in my aesthetic model which I
developed in my self-directed doctoral studies.
We'll talked some more. I this time I
believed, like the other kids, you are not interested or too busy with your
own life. Glad to know that know you are ready to communicate and share,
give and take. I never had a chance like this with my own father or
grandfather - or mother. So I welcome some new, fresh, and exciting in
my own life experience. Thanks, son.