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Expendable and disposable art

Expendable and disposable art
August 12, 2013, 01:30:53 AM
If you take art to be a communication of ideas in the abstract, does it not then become a question of the information that is intended to be communicated (and to a lesser extent, the form it takes)? From this perspective you might consider whether the information is era-specific (i.e. socio-political) in which case it doesn't matter that that artwork or the genre/movement which produced it eventually died out so long as it communicated something relevant at the time or on the other hand whether a given artwork transcends time by the sheer intensity and monumental nature of its arrival.

I wonder about this as the top ten metal albums of any given year after '98 (and this might even be stretching it for some) seldom hold interest in the long term let alone all the flotsam upon which it floats.

Are these releases then to be seen as a kind of era-specific fill-in while we wait for something that transcends it to arrive?

I wonder, would the metal community at this point even recognize it if it did?

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 12, 2013, 03:57:58 PM
I think you have found a really useful perspective on art and communication.

It seems possible and likely that metal as we know and love it has passed its stage of being relevant and communicating something crucial. Now that the style and techniques are established, we see bands with less "purpose" or "direction"; they are exploring the boundaries of the style and techniques. I get excited for bands like Portal and Deathspell Omega who fall into this sort of category (post-metal is probably an accurate term but it sounds stupid as hell) because I get excited for the actual musical development and these guys are uncovering some interesting territories. Maybe they are not unique and relevant like metal was pre-1998, but to see classic metal techniques become refocused, diffused, warped, bastardized, and subverted is very interesting to me. I'm probably in the minority here though.

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 14, 2013, 03:25:35 AM
I get excited for bands like Portal and Deathspell Omega who fall into this sort of category (post-metal is probably an accurate term but it sounds stupid as hell) because I get excited for the actual musical development and these guys are uncovering some interesting territories.

I am myself addressing the Deathspell Omega question. But as I listen to Paracletus I have a feeling of confusion. When it is not basically and honestly speaking alt rock that is being played (which is often), there are fragments of music which, on their own, are quite amazing. However i am fearing that all these fragments fit together like all the -core stuff we criticise; that is, badly. I feel no overall sense of direction in the narrative.

And i am fearing that their 'ideology' is pure wankery. "metaphysical satanism" indeed.

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 14, 2013, 03:23:00 PM
I think you have found a really useful perspective on art and communication.
Now that the style and techniques are established, we see bands with less "purpose" or "direction"; they are exploring the boundaries of the style and techniques.

What makes you think this is true?

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 14, 2013, 04:39:29 PM
I get excited for bands like Portal and Deathspell Omega who fall into this sort of category (post-metal is probably an accurate term but it sounds stupid as hell) because I get excited for the actual musical development and these guys are uncovering some interesting territories.

I am myself addressing the Deathspell Omega question. But as I listen to Paracletus I have a feeling of confusion. When it is not basically and honestly speaking alt rock that is being played (which is often), there are fragments of music which, on their own, are quite amazing. However i am fearing that all these fragments fit together like all the -core stuff we criticise; that is, badly. I feel no overall sense of direction in the narrative.

And i am fearing that their 'ideology' is pure wankery. "metaphysical satanism" indeed.

The idea of "metaphysical" Satanism is fairly well thought-out but poorly named. As with any reference to Satanism, most people will automatically jump to the thought of Satan as the antagonist to Christianity, where in fact the DSO guys are trying to present a picture of powers and forces that move beyond the Devil/God duality (much like Crowley's work, often misunderstood when seen through the warped lens of dualism that the West is so wrapped up in) . This is really the fault of those who choose to reference Satan in their ideas but it is unfortunate because a lot of the ideas are fairly unique and streamlined. A poor choice of word, "satan". In short, it is basically worship of chaos, which is legitimate today as science has revealed to us underlying universal motivators like entropy and Heisenberg's principle of uncertainty (which, without, our universe wouldn't exist).

Truthfully though the theological context in which they present their ideas is hit-or-miss depending whether references to Satan get a person excited, and those that are excited by a "Satanic" presentation are usually not prepared to set aside their conditioned dualism and contemplate truths that simply "are".

As for the composition on a pure level; I really don't think they fit their (admittedly disparate) influences together badly. Confusing, surely, but that is what happens when completely new ideas are introduced. They have to spring from an already solidified framework. If alt-rock and late black metal are the aperture from which they construct their new content, so be it. It is not a smooth fusion, to be sure, but it is *something* new and that is what matters most.

Annihiliation:

First, you say that art is essentially a translation of abstract ideas. It begins as a pure idea that is translated and presented in a relatable context. That, I think, is an insightful starting point.

In the translation process, however, there must be "impurities" introduced into the originally pure ideas. This is due to the fact that no two individuals can possibly achieve the same pure understanding on the most basic level (and this is true because, for such a thing to happen, the atomic configuration of your brain would have to be precisely identical to mine, and we know that such a thing does not occur). Therefore, the "art" that we get is really a diluted, impure, and/or mutated form of the original pure idea.

This means, then, that the art, upon creation, becomes an entity of sorts that exists independently of its creator. Whether or not it serves the creator's purpose or function is still relevant at this point, but depending on the depth of abstraction, it is possible that the art will be "misinterpreted" or reveal new ideas to other individuals. Then, those individuals who experience the art not as a direct interpretation of another's ideas, may treat the art as it's own entity that deserves to be nourished and mutated further.

So it seems to me that this is what is happening with death metal currently. The core ideas have already been presented with as much lucidity and clarity as possible by the originators; now, it has been long enough that the ideas (relevant or not) have been diluted as the music itself has passed from mind to mind and been diluted/mutated further.

So, Portal really has nothing worth "saying" in terms of presenting new criticisms of humanity's behavior or suggesting alternate paths for humanity, and they shouldn't need to; "preaching to the choir". Nevertheless, the actual physical mechanisms that the musicians employ are allowed to continue evolving, degenerating, or mutating, because those styles and techniques now exist independently of the original ideologies espoused by originary death metal bands. And, that very manner of treating the musical techniques as worthy of developing on their own, independent of ideology, is how death metal got started in the first place. Therefore, we can expect something new to emerge eventually.

tl;dr - I'm a composer who is excited by unconventional music. Portal makes me horny.

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 14, 2013, 06:49:29 PM
it is *something* new and that is what matters most.

Novelty as creativity, take me now lord!

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 15, 2013, 02:22:16 PM
it is *something* new and that is what matters most.

Novelty as creativity, take me now lord!

Where do you draw the line?

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 15, 2013, 03:17:34 PM
I think the largest problem in music of the heavy metal type today is the lack of will to actually sit down and interlace conceptual theme and form into the music. People are no longer interested in using the mediums of music to translate conscious ideas. I can't even begin to count how many times I roll my eyes when a band introduces every song and the subject matter is only about the expression of some emotional discontent.

While at the same time, the focus in metal has shifted to safe themes for fear of political backlash from lefty assholes who only want to see art as a means of deconstruction, or, confined to topics of fantasy with no basis of contradiction in their shitty socialization of ideology.

That's what originally made death and black metal so dangerous in their mind because it was an open rejection of the egalitarian artistic mindset that only safe art, or emotional expressionism can be real art, and all classical forms of art are oppression of the self because they demand discipline and a set of personal goals and standards to create.


Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 15, 2013, 04:27:58 PM
I think the largest problem in music of the heavy metal type today is the lack of will to actually sit down and interlace conceptual theme and form into the music. People are no longer interested in using the mediums of music to translate conscious ideas. I can't even begin to count how many times I roll my eyes when a band introduces every song and the subject matter is only about the expression of some emotional discontent.

This. After listening to metal nearly exclusively for the past two years, I've realized the reason I love it so much is the way the form, tone, atmosphere, lyrics, etc., of the song/album all come together to express one fully developed idea. You don't find that in rock or pop or rap or nearly any other genre of music. I don't think it would be possible to do that in those genres either because their compositional scope is so limited. Beyond using a major key for upbeat songs and a minor key for sad songs, there is no way to relate the GCD chord progression to the content of an artist's lyrics or album.

If bands would try to bring this idea back to their music, they might get somewhere. As long as they're focused on wankery, sentimentality, or any other superficial bullshit, well, it becomes just that: wankery.

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 15, 2013, 05:13:14 PM
I think the largest problem in music of the heavy metal type today is the lack of will to actually sit down and interlace conceptual theme and form into the music. People are no longer interested in using the mediums of music to translate conscious ideas. I can't even begin to count how many times I roll my eyes when a band introduces every song and the subject matter is only about the expression of some emotional discontent.

This. After listening to metal nearly exclusively for the past two years, I've realized the reason I love it so much is the way the form, tone, atmosphere, lyrics, etc., of the song/album all come together to express one fully developed idea. You don't find that in rock or pop or rap or nearly any other genre of music. I don't think it would be possible to do that in those genres either because their compositional scope is so limited. Beyond using a major key for upbeat songs and a minor key for sad songs, there is no way to relate the GCD chord progression to the content of an artist's lyrics or album.

If bands would try to bring this idea back to their music, they might get somewhere. As long as they're focused on wankery, sentimentality, or any other superficial bullshit, well, it becomes just that: wankery.

Good word from suğrheim, and squarekiller, I would recommend looking into the program music of Wagner if you want something besides metal that does a perfect job of weaving fully developed ideas into purely musical form. You don't even need the stuff with vocalization; even his instrumental work is brimming, practically *overflowing* with pride and strength that should be evident to a fan of metal. There are other composers out there who do such things but Wagner is the first one I got into so that's naturally where I'd recommend to start from but let me know if you are interested in others.

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 15, 2013, 06:00:18 PM
I think the largest problem in music of the heavy metal type today is the lack of will to actually sit down and interlace conceptual theme and form into the music. People are no longer interested in using the mediums of music to translate conscious ideas. I can't even begin to count how many times I roll my eyes when a band introduces every song and the subject matter is only about the expression of some emotional discontent.

Well said, sounds divorced from meaning is all we get from even the majority of older bands who put out content. It was a series of fortunate coincidences that led to an atmosphere where such music (by definition, art of a high calibre) could be created in the first place. Instead of rockstar attitudes, an attitude that could possibly create great metal is a priestly one, expressing something which must be both tight in form and transcendent in content.

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 15, 2013, 09:38:06 PM
I think one of the problem with metal right now and much other genre of music is that the artists or musicians are trying to create or maintain a scene. It's all about the social. It's like the world is becoming a big scene where true spirit is deamed obsene.

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 15, 2013, 11:11:29 PM
That has happened before to metal. Before the resurgent british heavy metal bands, early metal music had pretty much devolved into its rock roots. In fact one could argue that this has been the template for new development in metal music throughout its history. Innovation, development, absorption, reaction, repeat. Though almost each time the cycle has taken longer to develop and lasted for less time, I feel we are approaching another such point. The years in between are going to be terrible though. It always seems like the well has run dry but creativity is not distributed evenly and we can only decide such a thing in retrospect; a couple of visionaries and suddenly its a vibrant scene again.

The new metal must be uncool if it is to actually survive this time, in my opinion. `Fuck this gay earth!`

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 15, 2013, 11:32:55 PM
It was the main premise of scene I think too that destroyed almost all forms of creativity in metal music. The reason I think of this is because the sources of creativity were taken away, and socialized into meaning for others. You listen to Early death metal and contrast it with it's "evolved" form and you really find a definite lack of creative substance floating around in it's mutated genus. One of the things that I think is responsible for this as a large contributor is the lack of study of classical art, philosophy, and music. I also cannot even begin to account the large amount of retards always shunning classical music instruction as an infringement on their creativity as if their meaningless emotional expression was deserving of more attention than a thousand years of discovery.

From my personal opinion too, I think that the leftist idea that reality must bend to the will of the ego has permeated almost everything in western civilization. The other day I watched that travesty of a documentary "until the light takes us" and was appalled at how such creative people have had the magic they once relished removed out of their lives by the mere constant justification battles between their sacred places, and the masses of uninitiated, uneducated, and modernist idiots trying to cash in on their private tribal rituals and sources of inspiration. Once you end up explaining yourself over and over and over to people who actually don't care about the nature of your discovery, but only how to copy it; if you don't shield yourself with understanding, or a goal to move you further into that divine wilderness, you will lose the ability to travel there for some time.

Re: Expendable and disposable art
August 16, 2013, 01:27:46 AM
Where do you draw the line?

Sorry, missed your post. Draw the line with what? Novelty in itself is not desirable, so putting out something new cannot be the most important thing. Even from the perspective of it inspiring someone else with actual substantial ideas and the will and skill to translate them to music. Novelty in itself does not inspire. Look at the influences of notable metal acts, it is never just the novel but always the substantial, even if relatively mediocre. It is a matter of priorities, there is no line to draw.

Creative people are never content with just following along. It takes a degree of hubris to look at what has gone before and say: I can do better than that! Try for the best and you will break boundaries anyway, if you succeed.