Globatron’s Art Laws #11 – Art has no laws

Posted by on Apr 29, 2009 in Laws

If indeed everything is relative and there is no truth in art, art must have no laws. But the problem with stating
this is that it becomes a law. If it is in the nature of artists to not conform and break the laws then in return will it be the nature of artists to break this law by making art laws? I doubt it but it’s an interesting thought.

Funny thing is I was talking to my wife about this all being a circular philosophical argument and that possibly nothing was really achieved through this process. I told her I might have enjoyed being a philosophy major instead of an art major. That to me there is no end process or conclusion to these conversations where we reach our final destination. That to me it’s the journey along the way where we learn bit by bit a little more about each other. To me my limits of tolerance and compromise have been strengthened and I find real value in that.

What say you?



  1. jim draper
    April 29, 2009

    I love laws. Law is the best measure of where we are in the world as humans. If it were not for laws we would be out killing each other on the street……But ,,,,wait!!!!! We are out killing each other on the street! So, maybe the best thing to do with laws is to use them for what they are good for. Making others feel badly? One favorite
    childhood memory from the wilds of Mississippi was my grandmother
    saying about a particular local reprobate: “Someone ort to kill him and tell God that he died!” I know what she means. Laws are meant
    for those who don’t know any better to do things that the rest of us
    who really know to sit and snicker behind their backs. As a child we
    had a deep freezer full of lamb products. Leg of lamb, lamb shoulder,
    lamb steaks. I had never seen a lamb, had lots of goats and pigs, but
    no lambs. One day my grandfather was cooking lamb stew. It smelled a
    whole lot like venison. So then I realized that the “lamb” was
    out-of-season deer that he had taken to the butcher to get cut up and
    packaged for the freezer. So, the way you deal with the law, is
    put it into context. Call it lamb. By putting laws into the proper context, using them to benefit your own aesthetic code, they become useful and real. If they are hovering over you and you have to kowtow to them, making yourself diminutive to them, then they are no good. Are we above the law? Lord, I hope so! Laws are wonderful,
    breaking them is the reason we live. Surviving in a culture of defeat
    teaches us a healthy respect for laws and those poor misguided souls
    who are destined to follow them. Yes, I am all for laws. Even art
    laws. I have them all butchered and in the freezer waiting for a stew.

  2. Akbar Lightning
    April 29, 2009

    jim, your comment is interesting, poetic, but lacks a position.

    ‘culture of defeat’ implies an ideal, and it is unclear whether you identify yourself as one of the defeated or one of the winners, this is an important point because much of the interpretation of your statement hinges upon this.

    also, you mention we ought to use laws for what they are good for, and you follow it up with one possible question. it leaves us wondering what you think they are good for.

    what we have found with this discussion, and I’m glad Globatron has acted to resuscitate it, is that such a philosophical approach to art does arouse passion. people want to engage in this, but they are often cautious about enjoying the benefit of tolerance, which is the freedom to express a personal and singular perspective, to argue for those laws which guide them.

    the opposite of a principled person is a lawless one, an artist with no standards, is one who is incapable of clarity, as he/she lacks the structure with which to make decisions. we all have standards by which we come to this artistic life. a discussion of personal standards for the purposes of possibly finding shared deeper ideals that we share, is to me, a noble pursuit. not for the elimination of artists, but rather, a deeper understanding of what the term means, when we say it.

    two cents.


  3. jim draper
    April 29, 2009

    My position, in a round about way, is that there is a difference between
    principles and laws. Principles are rules that the artist has developed
    over years of internal conflict. A personal moral code, or aesthetic code. Laws are societal and may or may not fit the principles of the
    artist. I guess the larger question is are there universal aesthetic
    laws that all artists should follow? I’ll break yours if you break mine.

  4. Akbar Lightning
    April 29, 2009

    Yo Jim, there is another meaning to the word law, one that has been my understanding throughout this entire project, that is that a law is a part of nature, that cannot be broken or believed in, it just exists like gravity.

    the history of art is a long running tradition, and some of us believe there is something in every work of art that ties it all together, that makes it ‘art’, that is what we are looking for, but we have never been able to have that conversation because people consistently think we are talking about social constructs. even though art is a social construct, it is born out of a universal longing for something that we have yet to really discuss. what is it that we mean when we use the word ‘art.’ if we were to have a frank discussion of that, we would certainly find differences between us, but it is likely, if we worked at it, we would find something that binds it all together, and that would not be oppressing, it would awaken us to something we are already doing.

    bringing activity to consciousness and out of isolation cannot be a bad thing, in my opinion. the alienation of artists from one another, the over-specialization is not accidental in my mind, it is a form of appropriation and oppression, that is the result of a consumerist society.


  5. Byron King
    April 29, 2009

    Yes indeed. The word Law was taken completely out of context. I mean it’s an art blog for Pete’s sake. You would think the readers would have been able to take the word Law and read many things out of it.

    I saw it as an art project. The word law was just used in the title of the art project. I saw all of them more as questions than Laws and as entry points into a conversation. I understood what Akbar was getting at by starting it as I would love to find the unity he speaks of through any such exercise but I was just happy to be engaged intellectually.

    One of the major problems with humanity is semantics. We take words and twist them and make them into whatever we want them to be. Just like the word art of which no one, even artists seem to want to talk about, explain or define. But yet that word still exists just like God and Love.

    Take the word God, I’m still trying to explain to my mother that I believe in nearly the same thing she does but that I don’t call it God. But because of our limitations with words we have not been able to have one meaningful conversation about spirituality and religion in my lifetime. I sure hope before it’s all over that word can be tossed from our vocabulary and we can start all over. I doubt that happens though.

  6. Akbar Lightning
    April 30, 2009

    I mean, is that mustache real? I felt dirty after watching that video.

  7. globatron
    April 30, 2009

    I didn’t feel dirty. I felt like a champion… of the world. Having a family with toddlers we’re often times all walking around in our underwear or little else so it was natural to see a man in his briefs too. or not shocking at least. funny how perceptions change as you have a family.


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