Exegesis Volume 3 Issue #23

From: Kepler College Development
Subject: Intro

From: mary downing
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #22

Exegesis Digest Wed, 04 Mar 1998

Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 13:46:17 -0800 (PST)
From: Kepler College Development
To: exegesis
Subject: Intro


I'm an astrologer in the Seattle area, and teach engineering at a small state university. This sounds like a fun list... I get to talk to scholars from all disciplines about astrology, and the cultural/philosophical aspects are some of the most fascinating.

I'm also one of the principle organizers of Kepler College, and that has also been a philosophical adventure. As we publicize the projects, we hear some of the most "interesting" theories about exactly what astrology is, its role and purpose in society, and how it should be communicated.

Looking forward to chatting with all of you.

Stephen James


Date: Wed, 4 Mar 1998 13:08:08 -0500 (EST)
From: mary downing
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V3 #22

Dear Mr. Tallman

I love wordy discussions about the nature of art, artists, science and technology somehow evolving into an apologia for astrology.

I'm an visual artist working in multiple media, including electronic. Have been making a living at it for at least 45 years, which qualifies me as an expert. I am also an astrologer. Both disciplines require craft, both are technologies. They are no more science than baking bread or brewing beer.

Artists are manipulators of media. The quality of their work is judged by the skill and originality/aptness of message being expressed. Biochemists may analyze their media, or programmers and engineers compile electronic tools. It comes down to skill of manipulation, content of message, and domination of media. The "hand", the tools, and the "vision".

"Fine art" assumes a historically unjustified concept that the work was done for itself and not at the behest of a patron. That would disqualify the ceiling of the Sistine chapel, the entire practice of architecture, opera, theatre, and most monumental sculpture.

There is a real difference between the analytical dismemberment of science and the active manipulation of art. The artist has no need for the indepth knowledge of the scientist. He only needs to know what works and what doesn't. "Why" isn't his concern. I do not need to understand why titanium oxide is white to dip my brush in it. I don't need to know why linseed oil thickens when exposed to sunlight to know it makes a better medium -- I just need to know that it does.

In fact, the more the "artist" needs to know about the technology of the media in order to produce a product, the less "fine" the art is considered. We are justly in awe of a Fabrege bauble, but it is now "design" and craft, not fine art. Printing is a technology that requires infinitely greater knowledge than the design component of the graphic artist, yet because of its technological restrictions, graphic design is not a fine art and nobody gives the printer time of day.

We can have an artistic "craft", a decorative applied art. That would also include all designers, copywriters, non-creative musicians, etc. Equally I would include chefs, brewers, confectioners.

So where does astrology find itself in this company? Not "fine" art, unless we limit astrology to mundane prediction. Where else can an astrologer be creative and original?

Astrologers do treat their endeavor as do craftsmen. They use media, which they don't understand in depth, and apply it. They have developed an operative technology that serves their needs. So have bakers, printers, jewelers, etc.



End of Exegesis Digest Volume 3 Issue 23

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