> Aesthetic Renaissance

The Coming Aesthetic Renaissance

by: Anthony AJ Jackson
February 7, 1999 (Began)
February 16, 1999 (Completed)

When one is surrounded by people doing ugly deeds, one tends to shut out the world around him and retreat within his mind. This happens everyday, but it is not a healthy response because people tend to lose their social skills when they do not use them regularly. They find it increasingly difficult to relate in the proper manner with those around them. This leads to a breakdown of understanding, which is a crucial part of communication, and everyone knows when communication breaks down, soon senseless conflict rushes into the equation. Do we really need more conflict internationally, nationally, interpersonally, or intrapersonally? The answer across the board is, "No."

All of that is resultant of people shutting out a cold, bitter world. Almost everyone has been in that mindset at some point in their lives. The world is what we perceive it to be and nothing more. If everywhere we look we see people doing bad, we will perceive an ill-fated world, but, on the other hand, if we see nothing but beautiful sights, sounds, and deeds, perceptions will change for the positive. Either way, the world we see around us affects the way we will react to it.

The arts, which are made up of the works of creative artists, are the way to a more perfect system. Creativity is contagious. It breeds invention and innovation. What is an innovation if not an improvement made upon an already existing idea? Is there anyone out there who disputes that our global society is not in need of any improvements?

Now imagine a world led by the collective creativity of the human race. Imagine discarding a decaying system both outdated and failing. Could a system be erected which could truly be impregnable to the greed and corruptionperpetrated by lawyers, politicians, big business and law enforcement gone bad? I wonder, but our end goal must always be to reach that destination on the other side of possible. If we strive for the unattainable we will always surpass mediocrity, landing far beyond what was initially considered "possible".

Imagine a world where the great minds commit to existence great words, images, ideas, inventions, and deeds geared towards a more peaceful, more humane world. Rampant creative juices would flow from people artistically dry most of their lives, feeding others as well as being fed by others.Take this well-known dynamic of art feeding off of art and think what will happen when we bring about this Renaissance and art invades our whole way of living:

A poet is moved to write love-laced verses which convey his undying adoration after being entranced by his woman's beautiful smile. A songwriter happens upon the poem, and he gets permission to add both additional verses and music to accompany them. Later those verses will be sung by a vocalist wanting to give the song his distinctive sound, and the music will be delivered by a band equally distinctive. A filmmaker, who is polishing up his newest masterpiece [which is composed of the actions of dramatic actors, a script adapted from a novel, lighting and set design by creative specialists in those fields] is looking for a song themed apt enough to be used within his production. And so on and so on....an endless cycle blissfully feeding on itself over and over.

As stated previously, this dynamic already happens, and it is beautiful yet somewhat dilluted by greed and the resulting artistic concessions which are made often in order to appease studio executives and fickle masses. Art must flourish beyond the commercialized big businesses of today. It must overtake pop culture, rushing passed the greed, and bringing an upswing unending in the art house productions and grassroots, independent projects of every art. When we allow art to grasp our society, it will begin to be transformed into a humanistic masterpiece unimaginable.

Music. Film. Literature. Poetry. Theater. Performance Art. Painting. Sculpture.

These will be the pillars holding up our future, our great society. They are the building blocks of new, powerful multimedia arts that have yet to arise. Just as stage productions eventually led to motion pictures, new media such as HTML will bring about similiar aesthetic revolutions.

As of now, our evils grossly outweigh our goodness. The Aesthetic Renaissance being called for is needed to put our souls back into balance. It will bring about the social revolution essential for denting our problems to the point they no longer seem unsurpassable, thus abling us to tame them.

One might be inclined to ask, "What problems can the arts really reduce or remove?" In a society that thrives on the arts and their ability to constantly bring fresh innovations into actions, the skyrocketing crime rate would fall, as would the rising suicide rate, and instances of homelessness, and stress-related illnesses.

  • Crime

    Crime has overtaken urban America and is quickly spreading to suburbia and rural areas. One might argue that crime, which is most prevailent in the cities, cannot be affected by art and offer the logic that art is more accessable in cities. The problem with such thinking is that income, which has long been shown to affect crime rates, fluctuates more in the cities as well. The urban rich can afford to surround themselves with beautiful things, but the destitute cannot and are more prone to a life of crime. No new government agency is being proposed. Actually, quite the opposite idea is being offered. The community and individuals must be responsible for improving the quality of life for themselves and those around them. Money tends to rise to the top where it is not needed, and art follows suit. The good thing is that more art can always be produced without the consent of some government agency (unlike currency thank God).

  • Suicide

    More people kill themselves with each passing year. One must wonder if such senseless deaths could have been prevented. Would they have still murdered themselves if they had allowed themselves some artistic outlet to vent the unhealthy feelings and thoughts plaguing them? Furthermore, studies have shown that most people commiting suicide are not in the deepest reaches of depression at the time they carry out (or attempt to carry out) the act. Most are just coming out of depression when they finally get the will-power. Would it not make sense that if a potentially suicidal person had both a creative outlet to vent and caring people to listen at that crucial crossroad rarely would suicide seem so appealing to those individuals? Again, this goes back to what was said earlier about people shutting themselves off. When we shut ourselves off, not only are we hurting ourselves, but also those around us who feel the desperation of confiding to deaf ears.

  • Homelessness

    Could this problem really be brought under control by the arts? Yes. Imagine communes that provide room and board and instruction in various arts in exchange for manual labor being set up in rural areas by artists. Some of the art created at such a commune by both artists and the student-homeless could be auctioned off to help support it. While resident there, the student-homeless would have a mailing address which they could use for pending work applications. Poets and musicians could follow the lead of the art communes. The new society will be a society where no one is left out in the cold or slipping through the cracks, but the keys are Community and Unity

  • Stress and Related Illnesses

    People who are exposed to a lot of art are less likely to fall prey to stress and the resultant medical problems. An alarming fact is that children today are much more stressed than children of generations past. Kids are forced to grow up faster and deal with "grown-up" issues at earlier ages. Kids are not alone in this trend though. Adults faced with information overload feel the time crunch. Relationships suffer from neglect, and communication again breaks down. Frustration and bitterness both emotionally and physically mount. A recent study released proclaims that 33% of the population of the United States suffer from some sexual dysfunction. Are not most violent crimes committed by highly sexually frustrated individuals? What affects would a healthy dose of all-encompassing art have upon such individuals and their environments?

    Hopefully, we will one day know. If the human race is to continue to thrive alterations must be made soon. Just as medieval Europe was lifted out of the Dark Ages by the introduction of paper, a great new society will emerge in the coming years ushered in via the internet. The Aesthetic Renaissance is upon us.