Discussion in 'The Alley' started by J Keeper, Nov 11, 2013.
Sorry I missed your post.
Favorite artist of mine.
do you think these are paintings of hell
Depends on if you find this scary or unnerving I suppose.
I don't, so no.
Honestly, whatever's wrong with my noggin seems to make me think these paintings are of beautiful, albeit ominous, landscapes and beings. If anything, I think it's a closer depiction of purgatory, or perhaps even the conceptual Styx, or place where the dead go immediately after death to figure out where to go.
This one I think depicts the road to the afterlife/purgatory concept the best.
To expand on it after smoking a little weed and staring at his works, for me his scenarios always look more like where people would get lost and give up, rather than where people would get stuck and be trapped, ya know?
i've seen these before, must have been in an older thread keeper posted in.
i'd say it's more to do with death than the afterlife.
but the one keeper posted in response to you was an amazing perspective on an afterlife.
this guy is amazing, checking out more of his work, every single piece of work posted on here is remarkable.
i love it..... would make a great back tattoo....
god i wish i could draw. so many images wasted by the lack of a steady hand
i think these are images of hell. one thing that stands out right away is that everything is very grand in size and generally emerges in extremely vast extrapersonal spaces vs nearby arm length spaces. i think this involuntary submergence into vast extrapersonal spaces engenders a sense of automatic detachment and abandonment in us by stimulating a basic primal fear of extrapersonal space that humans have. i think the work around of this basic fear is dopaminergic transmission which i think evolved as a way to make us exit the safety of nearby peripersonal space and enter the more dangerous and unknown realm of extrapersonal space by evolving to make dopamine sensitive things that are embedded in extrapersonal space (eg things like food, art, music, sports, and sex mates and their sex signals) rewarding to us. the involuntary submergence into extrapersonal space is made safe for us by the existence of these dopamine sensitive things in it which therefore promotes more and more dopaminergic transmission which evolved to behave like a guardian in extrapersonal space that ultimately shields us from the feelings of detachment and abandonment that would ordinarily appear in it. existentialist crisis can be described as the inability to achieve dopaminergic transmission in extrapersonal space.
in hell these things do not exist. therefore in hell you are completely depersonalized by the fear of extrapersonal space and the inability to overcome the detachment and abandonment of existing in it by the absence of the guardian that is dopaminergic transmission.
i think this art is really similar to internet horror memes like suicidemouse.avi and sonic.exe where you are forced to submerge into an extrapersonal space that is devoid of the ability to ever achieve any dopaminergic transmission for eternity. the fear is not for the monster and for the demon but more accurately for the absence of things that make extrapersonal space safe to enter where monsters and demons or creepy music are merely analogues of this basic fear
i think the hell of z beksinski is probably relevant only to him and the experiences he had as a kid and of things like discovering dead bodies and living during war thus representing the death of his innocence and the forever scarred ability to achieve dopaminergic transmission in extrapersonal space. i dont know why but when i looked at his art i heard the song anytime by brian mcknight playing in the background in a damaged and broken way where the words would break apart for sometimes only seconds and then sometimes for weeks and years before he would sing the next words as the music played in a gargling underwater sounding and struggling way for eternity. i think to me his art represents the death of family and love
Has anyone ever asked themselves... Is this how Jewish people actually see the world? I mean go through the list of Jewish Painters and it's always some sort of vitiate work of art.
The grand in size thing is very relative. Looking at his works as a whole there isn't really theme in that regard, from my perspective. Some paintings have very large objects in them, but most I think are left to the discretion of the viewer.
The second painting, for example, I suppose could seem like the being was large and looming, but it didn't seem so to me.
What really stuck out to me was actually quite the opposite... the interpersonal space. Most of the painting have these beings within arms reach of other beings. However ominous, they are rarely alone.
Music does not exist in hell? In most hermetic/gnostic traditions, that's actually not true.
Or maybe you meant dopamine does not exist, since our physical form does not. But if that's what you mean then what you're saying is you more or less believe our personality is completed dictated by hormones and neurotransmitters, which I do not agree with. I believe our body is a reflection of our spirit, and vice versa.
^Beksinski believes his art is incredibly misinterpreted as sees beauty and life in his paintings, not everything you just described.
To me, every time I see a painting I see something I fear initially, but realize is harmless, and actually beautiful.
Hell to me is more settled. Your basing your perception of hell based on physical, earthly science. We might not take our brain with us when we die, but that doesn't mean we'd stop thinking. We can't bring dopamine with us when we die either, but that doesn't mean we'd stop feeling pleasure in risk.
some of them have every right to see the dark side of this world and its ways.
and @dolla, my sketch hand is shaky now, it's fucking annoying, i want to start sketching again.
yeah i think there is a very enchanting beauty in his art too and a very strong beauty in decay way. thats probably the hook or the big gimmick here i think. to induce that bittersweet sense of enchantment he must create a way to depersonalize you and when you are stripped naked and everything is taken away from you that is when you can truly see this secret beauty in the decay and the tragedy. that is when beauty is everywhere around you it can be very cheap but when its taken away completely the urge to search for beauty is so much more desperate and so much more meaningful. its so paradoxical that the most beautiful things exist in the most tragic environments and spaces. i think z beksinski understands that and that is why he creates these images of hell to depersonalize you and shatter you and then create these tragic forms that are strangely lovely and have arms reaching around searching desperately for some kind of beauty in their tragedy too in the way that you are now forced to do.
i think dopamine evolved primarily to make motile organisms engage the extrapersonal environment and that its first function was to instigate physical movement toward rewarding stimuli in extrapersonal space. an american neurologist named charles herrick postulated in 1908 that the olfactory organ (nose) evolved as a primitive distance receptor and that the gustatory organ (tongue) evolved from a primordial skin sensor thus thereby suggesting that there was a. a primitive mechanism to scan the extrapersonal environment and b. a mechanism to instigate rewarding stimuli by bringing in things from the extrapersonal environment to the body. these mechanisms had to have evolved around pre existing dopaminergic systems as a way to make dopaminergic transmission in the extrapersonal environment more and more streamlined. therefore things like eyes and even arms and legs are ultimately mechanisms designed as add on extensions of pre existing systems of dopaminergic transmission following the strategy postulated by herrick where bodily mechanisms encourage the engagement of the extrapersonal environment. the underlying premise to this is that if everything gradually emerged out from systems of dopaminergic transmission then the break down or achievement of dopamine is the prime dilemma of the human experience. parkinsons disease results from a degradation of dopamine in the mid brain and is characterized by inability to plan and execute movement which are two primarily dopaminergic tasks. in alzheimers disease one curious symptom is visual agnosia which is the degeneration of visual systems in the brain. someone that has alzheimers may think that a rug on the floor is really dark hole in the ground. the house of someone that has alzheimers may need to have cupboards and doors painted in special color schemes so that they can recognize that they are embedded in the extrapersonal environment and therefore even exist in reality. similarly someone that has alzheimers can frequently no longer recognize things like their own family or pets. i think the component of visual agnosia in alzheimers disease might be caused by prolonged non use of visual systems causing a gradual degradation and that this gradual degradation of vision might result from insufficient dopaminergic transmission which cause the person that has alzheimers disease to cease visually engaging the extrapersonal environment as frequently. that is that over time breakdown of dopaminergic transmission gradually ceases engagement to the extrapersonal environment consequently leading to things like visual agnosia.
anyway i think our notions of heaven and hell are similarly patterned around this dilemma of dopaminergic transmission too. i think z beksinski is very clever to play on this dilemma in his art and that he achieves this by depersonalizing his viewer and engendering a sense of detachment and desperation. the greatest art probably must in some way play on these feelings of existing in the danger of the extrapersonal environment and searching for reward in it. according to z beksinki, maybe the most beautiful flowers grow in hell. therefore if you could choose between hell and heaven which you pick? maybe you must go to both.
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The old bait n switch, aye?
To me, it's just not so subversive and underhanded, for some reason. Definitely paradoxical, but not self-defeating. To me, it's more about thinking in different terms. I don't necessarily see a dead person or rotting person, but a real person. Something ugly yet still instrinsically beautiful. Almost as if he's painting the opposite concept of the shallow supermodel. Something that would inevitably cause horror to most, but not me. I can see how many would see it the way you do, with decay as a lure to greater beauty, but to me, the decay IS the beauty. I don't need to look past anything to see anything else in his paintings, it's all just there.
Nah dood, I understood all that, and I appreciate your pursuit of evolutionary bio-psych, it was once my favorite topic in the social sciences (was more into sociology, but whatever).
What I didn't quite understand was why you related Earthly, physical attributes of life, to life after death in the scenarios depicted in the paintings. In other words, why are you talking about dopamine and its effects/catalyzed behaviors in hell or purgatory? I understand that neurotransmitters play a huge role in determining our personalities and behaviors, but all that goes away in death.
I must disagree with you here, my friend. Dopamine transmission occurs in several given situations which you have already spoken at length about and I don't really need to get into, but that doesn't necessarily mean people seek these things out.
My hell is not your hell. For some people, hell is congested, incessant, and loud. For others, it's sparse, silent, and lonely. I think you're a bit too strict in your interpretations of what drives humans (neurotransmitters), as many people buck what would traditionally release pleasant neurotransmitters. One man's heaven is another man's hell, dopaminergic reactions be damned.
i think some things have eternality. when the universe was young it was too hot for protons and electrons to bind together and therefore could not form neutral atoms. therefore this hot universe couldnt form hydrogen and helium to create stars. therefore it could not aggregate huge sums of mass to form solar systems and their planets and it could not heat these planets to the right temperatures to create organisms which needed to generate in water because of its efficacy as a solvent which is vital to biology because many prime biochemical reactions can only happen in an aqueous medium. these water organisms would need to gradually take on an aquadynamic body strategy to exist in this aqueous medium as organisms that fail to take on an aquadynamic body would always gradually phase out of the aqueous medium over time. this would instigate a push to more and more relevant body systems to aquadynamism and that in turn would instigate a push gradually to things like a nervous system and a brain and therefore ultimately to a substance like dopamine and in turn therefore to more and more relevant systems not just to aquadynamism but now ultimately to dopaminergic transmission. from here these new dopaminergic organisms can start to gradually form primordial thoughts and choices.
none of these things could happen had the universe stayed hot. therefore i think in this kind of a universe this is the way things always must play out and there is a kind of eternality to this and i think things like hell and heaven must be considered as part of this too
This is putting things into terms of a cycle, which is really the only form infinity we've ever been exposed to.
I believe the universe is cyclical, but life is linear. I know that sounds contradictory, but bear with me. I think the universe, as a setting in time and space, goes through cycles just like everything else. Life-death-rebirth-growth-stagnation-shrinking-etc-etc. But the life within it is linear. It progresses. Which is why there is no such thing as devolution in reality. A mutation may occur that might seem like something is devolving into a primitive form, but in reality, it is simply adapting and actually evolving to better fit a new environment.
Which is what I believe happens to our life's energy (I am one of those weirdoes that believes in a life force, not necessarily a soul, but energy within us that is only there when we are alive, separate from all the forms of energy we are currently aware of and can measure, but still fitting the properties of being unable to be destroyed). It doesn't evaporate into the grass to begin the cycle of life anew, it evolves into something else to better fit the new environment the energy is thrust into. I believe we still reside in this universe after death, just in a different dimension, one immune to the material nature of the perceivable three dimensions, and maybe even immune to the effects of time and space itself. Like a dimension that exists everywhere around those dimensions, but not within it.
You obviously base your observations and assumptions more on concrete material, so sorry for all the abstract conceptualizations.
i think even the most abstract notion has to acknowledge the special history of this universe because it was that special history that ultimately produced it. therefore to understand why abstract notions like heaven and hell are the way we think they are we have to look at this special history. i think heaven and hell are ultimately expressions of dopaminergic transmission in the extrapersonal environment where heaven is the achievement of dopaminergic transmission and hell is the absence of it. in this sense i think that heaven and hell are not just poignant musings but are very real things that can be known to us by understanding the way that the brain renders and engages 3D space
theres a book by cs lewis called the great divorce that i think summarizes this view
i think the tragedy of the ghosts was ultimately their ignorance and how this causes them to never enter heaven though completely free to do so and thus failing to do so remaining in grey town waiting only in fear of the ever nearing night soon to come. i think that the inability to exit grey town and enter heaven is analogous to the inability to exit peripersonal space and enter extrapersonal space and ultimately the inability to exit the dependency of engulfment and achieve the autonomy of engulfment avoidance which skews our capacity to engage reality boldly resulting in things such as drug abuse. i named this chelsea's dilemma.
For me, the special history of the universe didn't produce these things though, only the physical manifestations of them. The dopaminergic transmission and relationship between perception and mood is simply a physical manifestation of something we experience in a spiritual manner.
The spirit is void of all physicality. There may be an analog for the dopaminergic transmission in the afterlife, but dopamine itself had rotted away, along with the rest of the mortal coil.
Speaking of CS Lewis, have you ever read the Screwtape Letters? One of my favorite books and one of my favorite head-on takes of spiritual morality.
Interesting, but until I read the book I can't really comment on your analogy.
A question arises though. Do you think that humanity evolves at the same pace of the spirit within them? Because as we evolve, we generally seek more high risk-low reward behaviors (i.e. skydiving, base-jumping, extreme sports, etc.), which I would relate to a heightened desire for the dopaminergic transmissions found by pursuing extrapersonal space, and if that's the case, then the concept CS Lewis relates would mean there are far more lost souls, or ghosts, from times past than in modern times.
Separate names with a comma.