Man – Action – Aesthetics



What is excellence? Excellence is Art.

Dimensions of Measurement
There are three dimensions of art criticism:
– Craftsmanship (includes materials)
– Design (the play of order(composition) and bounty(beauty) and perception)
– Content (the content and values of that content)
All art can be judged by triangulation (comparison) along these three axis. There is no possible cardinality to art but ordinality can be achieved by recursive triangulation.

1. Craftsmanship (Craft) (Physical)
… Materials
… Technology
… Skill

2. Design (Design) (Sensory)
… Pattern (Sensory Aesthetics, Order)
… Depth (Complexity, Hand of man)
… Beauty (The Presence of Resources)

3. Content (Art) (Meaningful) Signal Value
… Capturing
… … Utility vs
… … the Experience, vs
… … the Moment or Era (good and bad) vs
… … the Culture or Civilization, (good and bad) vs
… … the Eternal Condition of Mankind

… Intention to Make Art
… Hand (Time) of Man, Degree of Investment (Scarcity)
… Fulfills its Promise (honest)
… Innovation (Mastery)
… Uniqueness (Novelty)
… Scale (decoration to monument)

… Measurement by Triangulation
… Competitiveness (by triangulation)

Sums To
… Culminates in Excellence

You. You and your experiences. Like reading text, the content you experience is a combination of your memories, with the art. ( Opera is an acquired taste. )

All human action can be tested by this method. All of it. Everything humans do.

Like many things our ‘taste’ consists of personal associations (subjective) to objective measures. We can measure the quality of art. “Your taste is a measure of you, not art.” So like vocabulary, or manners, or style, or other opinion, we retain some constant values, but learn to improve our taste: a skill.

“Beauty is the presence of resources”
“Excellence is the presence of Human Investment”
“Human investment is the evidence of time invested”
“The evidence of human mind and hand”

Children > Amature > Student > Practitioner > Craftsman > Master Craftsman > Artist > Representative of Movement > Peak of Movement > Peak Across Movements

All Art Begins with Monumental Architecture and Devolves to Decoration and Handcrafts
– Monumental Architecture is self selecting due to cost.
– Monumental Sculpture is self selecting due to cost.
– Monumental Painting is self selecting due to cost.
– Life Size Representationalism (not photorealism) in painting is self selecting due to cost (hours).

– Painting, Print, and Photography are not self selecting.
They are middle, working, and lower class substitutes for monuments.
– Even for the upper middle and upper class, and out-of-sight class, the few pieces of quality art that are canon (mentioned in art magazines and books, and references, or which had popular press) are inaccessible. Demand is just too high. So given the high signal value of art (yes it is an extreme expression of dominance), the market has had to experiment with novelty in order to satisfy demand.
Much of what ordinary people rail against is the same as railing against fashion: for those in the fashion industries (of which display art is a member) novelty has to function as a substitute for scarcity of craftsmanship quality (note my particular distaste for the so called ‘art glass’ industry).

– Monumental works convey ideas (allegiances, heroics, beauty)
– The demand for low cost high production ‘decoration’
(a) may form an icon or ‘remembrance’.
(b) may decorate the environment.
(c) may reflect the monumental, life sized, and representational, is misplaced in non monumental size (which is what most of us intuit as great work).

– Monumental work is misplaced in most homes and offices in market (business) and is generally reserved for the political and institutional and aristocratic.
– Most homes cannot support monumental work and require only design (decoration).
– Most people are actually not capable of design, or capable of acquiring the monumental.
– As such the colorful, abstract, the impressionistic, are to homes as type design and color pallet are to print and display advertising.

– when people purchase relatively well made ‘design’ (abstract, gestural, impressionistic) of architectural size (to fill a wall) they are practicing good aesthetics (not acting on pretense).
– when people pay homage to the monumental in private spaces, they are practicing good aesthetics. (small engineering drawings, paintings of flowers, well constructed prints)
– when people pay homage to the monumental in architectural spaces (your living room, hallway, or dining room, or office) you are (a) alienating others, and (b)  … ( … ) …


Artworks, whether craft, decoration, design, or art, need only fulfill their promise. This is why student and amature art fails. In order to fulfill the minimum promise the work must not make false promise. We can appreciate good craft, decoration, design, and art. We can appreciate all the arts by the same criteria: craft, decoration, design, and art.

Japanese ritualistic behavior in food preparation, cooking carpentry, and the crafts is the best example of institutionalized excellence. Italian design has never been equalled. Gothic architecture never equalled. German music never equalled. Russian literature never equalled.

—“Are you saying there is a formula to produce beautiful architecture, paintings, movies, music, statues etc”–Carl Persson

A formula is via positiva.
Science is via negativa.
So Reverse that.
Knowledge is not closed.
Language is not closed.
Symbolism is not closed.
We can know bad art.
We must discover good art.

Aesthetics:……………….,Truth(Testimonial), Excellence(Density), Goodness(Morality[‘the commons’]) and Beauty(Bounty).

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