Le Witt, Kriedler, Text Scores & Idea Lists.

Stating ideas, intents and experiments as works of art in themselves. Very liberating. Sometimes I wonder if the thing that makes me most satisfied creatively is conceiving works and that I could just do that and be very happy. The concept of the text score is thus appealing.

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Sentences on Musical Concept-Art – Johannes Kriedler (2013)

  1. A concept piece is entirely determined by one trenchant idea.
  2. The idea is a machine that produces the work of art. The process should have required no intervention, it should take its own course. (LeWitt 1967)
  3. The concept-machine today is above all the algorithm.
  4. The processing-material of the machine today is the total archive.
  5. Details, rhetorical means, and formal design are usually only suitable in the form of readymades or by means of chance generators.
  6. For each work of art that is performed physically, there are many unperformed variants. (LeWitt 1967)
  7. The sensual appearance is only one aspect of the work, to which more or less value can be granted.
  8. Each piece of New Music has conceptual aspects. (Spahlinger 2009)
  9. Not all ideas have to be implemented. (LeWitt 1967)
  10. On the other hand, one can also compose a detailed form out of many different concept-variants or -pieces. Enrichment with jokes is also OK.
  11. A banal idea cannot be rescued by a beautiful and expressive design. However, it is difficult to bungle a good idea. (LeWitt 1967)
  12. A good idea can be bungled through a beautiful and expressive design.
  13. Ideas are the most expressive and most beautiful of all.
  14. Improvisation is rarely musical concept-art, least of all when the improvisation is good.
  15. Musical conceptualism can be considered as a minimalism.
  16. Music does not have to be self-explanatory. The composer does not need to shy away from intermedial ingredients (text, video, performance), indeed it makes perfect sense to articulate them (no hiding important information in the program notes).
  17. Dare to make public/publish the even slightest idea if you believe there’s something in it. But give it a proportionate effort (no more than a small text for a small idea).
  18. A piece of conceptual music does not have to be completely heard.
  19. Music is only New Music when it raises the question: is this actually music? (Spahlinger 1992)
  20. The more unmusical, the better.
  21. Out of conceptualization emerges contextualization. (Weibel 1993)

 

Paragraphs on Conceptual Art – Sol Le Witt (1967)

  1. Conceptual artists are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach.
  2. Rational judgements repeat rational judgements.
  3. Irrational judgements lead to new experience.
  4. Formal art is essentially rational.
  5. Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically.
  6. If the artist changes his mind midway through the execution of the piece he compromises the result and repeats past results.
  7. The artist’s will is secondary to the process he initiates from idea to completion. His wilfulness may only be ego.
  8. When words such as painting and sculpture are used, they connote a whole tradition and imply a consequent acceptance of this tradition, thus placing limitations on the artist who would be reluctant to make art that goes beyond the limitations.
  9. The concept and idea are different. The former implies a general direction while the latter is the component. Ideas implement the concept.
  10. Ideas can be works of art; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical.
  11. Ideas do not necessarily proceed in logical order. They may set one off in unexpected directions, but an idea must necessarily be completed in the mind before the next one is formed.
  12. For each work of art that becomes physical there are many variations that do not.
  13. A work of art may be understood as a conductor from the artist’s mind to the viewer’s. But it may never reach the viewer, or it may never leave the artist’s mind.
  14. The words of one artist to another may induce an idea chain, if they share the same concept.
  15. Since no form is intrinsically superior to another, the artist may use any form, from an expression of words (written or spoken) to physical reality, equally.
  16. If words are used, and they proceed from ideas about art, then they are art and not literature; numbers are not mathematics.
  17. All ideas are art if they are concerned with art and fall within the conventions of art.
  18. One usually understands the art of the past by applying the convention of the present, thus misunderstanding the art of the past.
  19. The conventions of art are altered by works of art.
  20. Successful art changes our understanding of the conventions by altering our perceptions.
  21. Perception of ideas leads to new ideas.
  22. The artist cannot imagine his art, and cannot perceive it until it is complete.
  23. The artist may misperceive (understand it differently from the artist) a work of art but still be set off in his own chain of thought by that misconstrual.
  24. Perception is subjective.
  25. The artist may not necessarily understand his own art. His perception is neither better nor worse than that of others.
  26. An artist may perceive the art of others better than his own.
  27. The concept of a work of art may involve the matter of the piece or the process in which it is made.
  28. Once the idea of the piece is established in the artist’s mind and the final form is decided, the process is carried out blindly. There are many side effects that the artist cannot imagine. These may be used as ideas for new works.
  29. The process is mechanical and should not be tampered with. It should run its course.
  30. There are many elements involved in a work of art. The most important are the most obvious.
  31. If an artist uses the same form in a group of works, and changes the material, one would assume the artist’s concept involved the material.
  32. Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution.
  33. It is difficult to bungle a good idea.
  34. When an artist learns his craft too well he makes slick art.
  35. These sentences comment on art, but are not art.

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