Bronson,

 

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.
 
Love,
Dad

March 10, 2007

 

 

 

 

Sent: Friday, May 11, 2007 10:02 AM
 

Hey Dad,

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!

Love,
Bronson  

 

 

 

Hi Bronson,
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.
 
Love,
dad