…Culture provides us with the psycho-biological advantage of greater adaptability.
All human cultures tend towards cultural slowdown and comfortableness. Art is a form of rebellion against this; a necessary antagonism against mainstream cultural mores to ensure our survival when the circumstances change.
Hood explains cultural mores can become the crab’s rigid shell, preventing us from growing and changing as a species. A crab needs to split its hard shell and expose a soft new shell capable of allowing new growth.
And so artists feel fragile and unworthy and unnecessary precisely because that’s their role in society, to be vulnerable and expose human nature at the forefront of uncertainty and soft shells!
Hood says fine artists (whose primary work is to affect the mind or spirit rather than fulfil a function) do two things: “crack the shell of cultural rigidity” and “restore adaptability to changing circumstance on which life depends”.
This means thinking outside the shell; imagining ideas and solutions and stories that are not there because they are beyond the current environment and constraints. And we constantly need more as the environment is changed by new ideas and resources. It’s a constant cycle of creative inspiration – right?
“Creating the new shell, art and science function as the growth point of culture,” he says.
Art must challenge our daily life to allow our minds to imagine new things, as a matter of survival, so we are prepared for change.
So, the point of art here?
– Advancement for advancement’s sake and creative survival.
– Greater adaptability to different environments
– To provoke new thoughts and new ideas and freedom from circumstances
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