The Laws of Nature

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Simple Explanations and Your Tax Dollars

Occam's Razor by Katharine A. Cartwright Watercolor on Arches paper 26" x 20" If two theories predict phenomena to the same accuracy, then the one which is simpler is the better one. Moreover, additional aspects of a theory which do not lend it more powerful predicting ability are unnecessary and should be stripped away. The simplest explanation for my extended absence from blogging is lack of high-speed internet access. Moving to Maine has only one "down side" and that's it! Time-Warner won't string cable to our home, Hughes satellite is too expensive and unreliable, Verizon's MiFi doesn't get a signal, and local WiFi access is a fifteen minute drive. So, I'll post when I can and apologize for not visiting your posts!! In the midst of settling in to our new home, I managed to add this painting to the "Laws of Nature Series." My interpretation of "Occam's Razor" is that the "singularity" that theoretically gave birth to our universe is the simplest possible explanation for the laws of physics. Our complicated and elaborate attempts to modify what naturally occurs leads to chaos and can only be imperfect. So, the razor cuts through our efforts to reveal the primordial singularity in the ancient sky. I intend to stick with this new series for at least five years and will interpret all the laws I've already painted and visit some new ones. There's always room for improvement and new ideas. On another note, I'd like your opinion about public support for the arts. I was having dinner with some folks the other night and someone made the comment that he didn't want his tax dollars used for the arts. I strongly disagreed with him for many reasons, but would like your opinions. Should public funds be used to support artists and art projects? Why or why not? To what degree?


Linda Roth said...

Of course, there should be public funding for the arts. What artist would think otherwise? Yet we are outnumbered by the philistines who think they should have art available to them, but don't want to support it financially. The importance of art isn't as important as the welfare of the citizenry-- the homeless, undernourished children,obese children, a failing educational system, unemployment etc. Art is definitely way down the line from these concerns--and rightly so.

While art lifts our spirits and that's a healthy thing, indeed a state of being we need to keep us upbeat enough to take care of all the problems we have in society , the average Joe doesn't think of art that way. To him it's something that's locked away in a mausoleum type building that's under heavy guard and subsidized by his hard earned tax dollars. I think that's why I'm such a supporter of street artists who take art right out there to the people and bring light and smiles to their lives through their graffiti.

Linda Roth said...

Post Script: I got so carried away, I forgot to tell you I like this new painting of yours. The tear in the fabric offers hope, peace, rest.

Casey Klahn said...

This painting is the most active, and layered, of the series to me. I am excited to hear your plans for the series - go for it!

I am okay with public support for art, but it needs to be responsive to the public, which is a tenuous position for the arts. And, at this time, there aren't funds for anything, which makes the decision easier. We are proper broke, in my estimation.

We just quit out Hughes sat., Kathy, and went with a local provider who have an antennae that is in our line of sight. Maybe your community of neighbors can figure out a local solution for this, and get a provider to put up an antennae. Our new internet is the bomb - I love it.

Mark Sheeky said...

Good painting, slicing through complexity to reveal simplicity. The painting IS occams razor.

I think art is very important and should be funded. That said, even funding for NASA is unpopular. Oddly, funding for wars is always popular. Does this mean that fund peace not war is something most people disagree with?

People who aren't interested in art have no idea of how much it impacts and can change lives, so art education is important too.

I'd so miss Internet access! Any change you can put a wire in yourself? :)

Carolyn Abrams said...

Hi Kathy, great to see you on the web even if it is sporadic. i check each day to see if there is a post from you! Love the new work. very intriguing design and theory. i love reading your explanation of all these laws i am so ignorant about!

Yes, public funding for the arts is definitely a dilemma given the state of things. But i truly believe if the arts centers and galleries and museums etc make it "user friendly" for all that it will help when it comes to obtaining funds. For too long many of these venues were intimidating to many who would love to go but did not feel welcome.

hw (hallie) farber said...

Tough question in these times.

Wonderful painting, and great that you have a five-year plan.

Linda Roth said...

Discussed the topic with my husband. While he agreed that the general public wouldn't be pleased with art and artists being funded with their tax dollars; he thought all the programs
I mentioned would be funded no matter what and dollars to the arts would be just one more every bit as important to the quality of life as the others. I didn't choose a dummy to hook up with.

Our conversation then went on to the very wealthy Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who have given great amounts back to society to be used for projects affecting all the problems we face today--they didn't attach any stipulations--they didn't just give it to those projects they favored, (like Oprah).

And finally we ended up talking about the Kresge Art x festivities here in Detroit this weekend where 38 local artists were awarded recognition for their work-- music and performance art to painting and sculpture. Corporations have long been benefactors for the arts. There's a special evening at the Detroit Institute of Art celebrating Diago Rivera's "Detroit Industry" murals in the center court of the museum commissioned by Henry Ford in 1933. They are this city's greatest masterpiece, yet there were demonstrations in the streets over them by both the people and the museum's patrons: the artist was a socialist and a foreigner. I find this odd. This country is made up of foreigners--even the snotty Daughters of the Revolution. This city is a city of workers who should be honored for their industry and the glory it brought to the city.

You really asked a good one Katharine. Kept us talking all day.

Celeste Bergin said...

Love your new painting...your work is intricate, but also direct. It is ALWAYS fun to see your new pieces, there is always a surprise in them.
Mark wrote what I was thinking, people are kind of happy over wars and destruction! Many people these days don't see the value of art. They would if it were all taken away from them and they had to live in an artless world.
I don't know who should pay. It IS hard to conceive of funding when there are so many other needs. I don't have a good answer.

Joyfulartist said...

Funding...private or public? Who gets to decide what is funded? That's the crux of the matter, isn't it?

Dan Kent said...

Interesting what you have done with this painting - I think the law it illustrates is "Man plans and God laughs."

Last week if you had asked the same question I would have been wholeheartedly in favor of public support of the arts. This week in my state they are cutting crucial support services for the disabled. The results are horrible. I also learned of a painter whose art was not unique in any way and who had received a government grant but has not even been able to sell his art on the market. These two events have given me pause, and now I don't know what to think.

Stan Kurth said...

Another great painting, Kathy! I agree with Dan, I see the power of an infinite Alpha and Omega (God) with man's feeble efforts (beautifully rendered) somewhere in the span.

T.Nara said...

"Man plans and God laughs". I like that one. It helps to put some perspective on it all. Yet it is still important to put our best efforts out there. I imagine God is like the parent of a toddler trying to figure something out, watching us with love, knowing that doing it for us would not do us any good in the long run.

The discussion of public funding for the arts brought up good points I had not thought of. In the 30's there was the CCC (I think that is what it was called) It is how Jacob Lawrence and some others got their start. It combined public funds and the arts in a way that also addressed other social needs. Perhaps that is the way we should be thinking?

T.Nara said...

Oops, the CCC was a different program. It was the WPA that Jacob Lawrence was involved in.

RH Carpenter said...

This is a fascinating piece, Kathy. Sorry you don't have high speed access - I was just thinking about you the other day and wondering why I haven't been visiting your blog and maybe it's you that have been absent? Anyway, great piece!
As for tax money for the arts. I truly believe art is what makes us human; what gives us hope; what keeps us sane and ties us together. That won't cut it for those who think otherwise - but tell them to remove every piece of art from their home and see if they feel better - or worse.

lifeartist said...

I would address your anti-art-support- friend on a purely philistine level. S/he obviously had no appreciation of art for art's sake.

The arts are attended by more people than all the sporting events COMBINED! They generate huge revenues to the communities in which they flourish.

An art center at the heart of the Lincoln Road complex in Miami Beach brought the whole area back from the depths to make South Beach one of the most sought after destinations.

This is the case anywhere artists move into an area. They are followed by cafes and shops which make the area a desirable place to live and to visit.

Tell your friend to suck it up and pay his measly 75 cents to support the arts. It's to her/his benefit in the long run.