Art and Self-Definition

Art is the subjective modification of the empirical world in a media format, typically inspired, as most personal creations are, by a person’s subjective experience in the world. Humans are constantly creating their own proprietary — though interconnected — worlds through a process of information gathering through their senses —> processing such information through thought —> creating a mental framework for action. Art pushes such modification into the physical realm, perhaps even manifesting in forms humans use in a utilitarian manner to make sense of the world, such as language or pictorial representation. Thus, perceptions are channeled into a form of mental representation, even informing the concept of such things as are perceived, like Plato’s idea of Forms. In turn these representations can be imposed upon a format in its physical manifestation, be it a painter’s canvas, a singer’s voice, a story in a magazine… Continue reading

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Epochs of Human-Nature Relations

I’m currently in a rural area of Paraguay. Most people in my community practice subsistence agriculture using hand-tools. Moving here after living in (sub)urban areas of the United States all my life has allowed me some perspective on the ways in which humans interact with their natural environment. Since my job involves promoting sustainable, small-scale agriculture I’ve had a lot of time and context to think about these interactions particularly as they relate to agricultural use of lands, so there’s a particular degree of focus in that area I’ll be exploring in future essays on this blog. For this post, however, I’ve taken a more general approach and divided the historical stages of interactions between humans and their natural environments into five parts: Continue reading