5 Statements on Neuroaesthetics:
- Neuroaesthetics has generated new tools with which to understand and elucidate the history and the production of art. Through its’ window works of art have been re-sampled to create a productive phylogeny of aesthetic forms, which beyond their primary meaning as art works functioning in the aesthetic field, can also explain questions that formerly were the jurisdiction of Neuroscience, The Philosophy of Consciousness and Evolutionary Psychology just to name a few.
- Neuroaesthetics is a dynamic process in flux through which aesthetic ideas and methods pertaining to perception, concept, the phenomenal, illusions, just to name a few, which have always formed the latent content of aesthetic practice are fore-grounded. As such, it clears another path to be added to the already existing histories of art in which artistic practice can also help to play a role in the investigation of the brain. As an art historical tool it follows in the path of Rudolph Arnheim, E.H. Gombrich and recently Francesco Varella except that in its contemporary form it attempts to move the discussion away from primary structures towards a theory of the production of the mutating subject in an evolving cultural field.
- Neuroaesthetics imports, displaces, appropriates, deterritorializes and reterritorializes the ideas of neuroscience into artistic practice and thereby commits it to a very different history, context and set of genealogic conditions.
- Neuroaesthetics realizes that optical phenomena embedded in the structure of an artwork can play a significant role in how that artwork is perceived and cogitated. It is not, however, the whole artwork rather it is enmeshed in a network of cultural and historical conditions that give it meaning.
These conditions cannot be stripped from it without altering and changing it into something else. These same cultural conditions also re-make the subject as an observer in two important ways. First by affecting how, by what means, and what he or she pays attention to and secondly by changing the matter of the brain itself. Recent theories called Neural Darwinism and Neural Constructivism have given us the tools with which to understand the conditions under which this might occur and the mechanisms by which it might happen. It is by effecting the spatial and temporal distribution of connections of neurons, synapses and neural networks, that the brain uses to code the world that it acts and participates in, that new forms of thoughts become possible.
- Neuroaesthetics embraces the single occurrence as a fact and as a real thing. One artist and one artists’ work can change the course of art history and cause seismic shifts that ripple throughout the strings of networks that make up the cultural system
Finally, Neuroaesthetics adds a Bergsonian evolutionary model to that of a Darwinian one. Ideas that form the building blocks of the imagination are never subtracted and deleted but rather simply change their energy states from high to low or low to high. Variability and difference are not pruned but rather promoted. Ideas and artworks never die but rather resonate and vibrate at different intensities awaiting the proper set of cultural conditions in which to become re-activated.