Platt Perspective on Business and Technology

The arts as a celebration of diversity, the arts as a celebration of our underlying communality

Posted in social networking and the arts by Timothy Platt on February 10, 2010

The world news has carried stories of our division and our divisiveness as an ongoing drum beat for a number of years now. This did not by any means begin with the 9/11 attacks in the United States, though they did bring this into sharper focus for many, and not just in New York City and Washington DC, and in that field in Pennsylvania where yet one more plane was brought down.

This posting is about the arts, and about our developing multi-direction capability to network, communicate, create and share. I begin it with my thoughts divided between this positive and the equally compelling negative that would drive people to organize towards terrorism and others to follow their lead in carrying out terrorist attacks.

I find myself thinking of this stark contrast and in what it says about our capacity both to accept and embrace difference, and to deny it and push it away with violence.

The arts are a fundamentally creative voice and come from the expression of openness to new possibilities and perspectives. A work of art can be beautiful but this is not a prerequisite for it to be effective in reaching out and connecting artist and viewer. A work of art may be enduring but this is not an essential prerequisite either. I could add choice of media and format to this list of what can be more detail than essential. When I pare this back to the true essentials I am left with the sharing, however imperfect of a vision, and the vision is of pattern and flow and of the creative process in its essence. Art to truly be art is a sharing of creative vision and a drive to such sharing through unique and perhaps even idiosyncratic expression. Art is a celebration of our differences and of our underlying sameness, in value and in our individual and collective worth.

Terrorism is a denial of the other, and a seeking to damage or destroy it for being different. The roots of terrorism are negative and destructive, and deny the potential or validity of this creative sharing.

There are reasons why terrorists target places where people come together to create, and to share and to build common value. There are reasons why the earliest prehistoric and Paleolithic expressions of human creativity include objects that hold artistic form and value, even as many of them just as obviously served utilitarian function.

Lenin is known, among other things for having observed that the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, and I will add to divide. The purpose of art is to bring together and to share where that can span the entire range of emotions and feelings – both as a sharing of vision and feelings and as a bringing together.

I have been asked to participate in setting up a moving global art festival that is intended to bring together the creativity of many places and peoples to share with all peoples and everywhere. I see a profound intrinsic value in this in and of itself. I also see this as a defiant repudiation of that drive to division and denial that we face in the news so way too often.

I have been attending organizational and planning meetings for building the launch to this event, and in preparation for moving it forward. I will write in more detail of this ongoing act of artistic sharing – World Olympus in future postings but I wanted to start this new category in my blog by putting the arts per se in a very particular perspective, as to their role in our increasingly global society. There are those who would build walls of distrust and denial of others. The arts deny those walls, seeking to find the good and the commonality in all of us while celebrating our uniqueness and our differences. Great art rips us out of the inertia of our standard paths and ways of viewing the world to see everything from a new perspective. The world is filled with a richness in diversity of such perspectives, and that is what an ongoing event like World Olympus is intended to both present and celebrate.

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  1. […] networking and the arts by Timothy Platt on February 15, 2010 In my first posting in this series, The Arts as a Celebration of Diversity, the Arts as a Celebration of Our Underlying Communality I wrote of my own perspective on the arts as a voice of sharing of our creative diversity. I wrote […]

  2. […] posting because of some of the feedback I have received from my first posting in it in particular: The Arts as a Celebration of Diversity, the Arts as a Celebration of Our Underlying Communality. Some of this feedback has been in general agreement with what I wrote and I appreciate that but […]

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