„Das Ziel findet sich durchs Laufen!“ — A meaningful new year’s greeting from Andreas Weber
“Being an artist is not just about what happens when you are in the studio. The way you live, the people you choose to love and the way you love them, the way you vote, the words that come out of your mouth… will also become the raw material for the art you make.” —Teresita Fernández, Visionary Sculptor
The last 18 months have been extremely challenging, not to say brutal. Where there is much light there is also much shadow. Be that as it may. –– More important and effective than lamenting is in any event acting in a thoughtful way. Without slipping into actionism. More and more contemporaries find this difficult. There are frequent (unfortunately repeated) debates and even disputes just to be in the right. What’s more: the higher the level of technological development the greater the confusion. Independent thinking suffers. The scientist and brain researcher Ernst Pöppel working together with Beatrice Wagner describes the why and wherefore in his book “Stupidity: Why we don’t know the most simple things any more”. He says stupidity cannot be avoided and is part of our biological legacy.
The best advice to gain from stupidity is: “Knowing its traps can be helpful.” The scientists’ conclusion: “In an age when information is rapidly increasing, the individual person is not gaining knowledge but instead losing it dramatically. Intuitive knowledge, the capacity for self-control, the realisation of our human condition, knowledge of practical skills – all of that which for generations was necessary for survival has been thrown overboard in favour of ‘more and more’ and ‘faster and faster’.
To face ones own stupidity is not an easy endeavour but it is an essential one. The greatest stupidity that one can commit is not to devote oneself to the meaningfulness of things and one’s own action. Striving for meaningfulness as hermeneutics teaches or as summarised in English for the modern day as: “The Sense of Purpose” enables independence and the ability to communicate, the ability to view the big picture and a sense of purpose.
The meaning of meaningfulness:
Meaningfulness results primarily from knowledge, interaction and the experience of cultural achievements. In 2006 in his interpretation of Martin Heidegger’s “Being and Time” the Austrian Karl Payer dealt with the analysis of the search for the meaning of human existence. Payer succeeded in commenting on Heidegger using everyday language and putting his texts onto the net so that as many people as possible could try to deal with them themselves.
(…) To comprehend the meaningfulness of an event or an action it is not necessary for me to understand the event or the action, it is on the contrary essential for me to understand its effects. (“Although I do not understand how that has come about I see that it has a pronounced positive effect on him and I am very pleased!”)
Thus we can say: Meaning is the “uponwhich”, the aim or the purpose of the outline from which something becomes intelligible.
A meaningless action is an action consisting of partial actions where no logical connection can be identified. Example for “doing something meaningless”: “Putting salt and pepper on a balloon and then baking it in the oven.”
Meaning and process (partial process – total process): To describe something as meaningful, it must consist of several partial steps that follow each other and have an identifiable purpose. A thread running through must be identified; there must be a concept behind it in some way. The partial steps are in turn a part of a larger concept, an outline with an “uponwhich” i.e. an aim or purpose (…)
It is not the path that leads to the destination but the destination can be found by walking!
The last 18 months have been extremely challenging, not to say brutal. Where there is much light there is also much shadow. AND THAT’S HOW IT SHOULD BE! – Things are, just like all our action and doing, anything but ends in themselves. After over thirty years working with technology and innovation through communication may I say: meaningfulness in the lives of most of us is diffused. Because we have lost the thread. Because we act (all too often!) without a coherent concept. Both in our professional and private lives.
May it be recommended to all who wish to devote themselves to meaningfulness: seek a higher-level world of thought and experience. That has nothing to do with consumption (habits) and faith in technology. For me, for us at ValueArt+Com, in the last 18 months intensive involvement with art and artists has been a real lifeline. The things that have come out of it are unique moments, encounters, publications, exhibitions, innovations and experiences that have with us been fixed in thousands of people in many countries of the world. In our hearts. In our understanding. In our souls (where they exist!).