8.45 am. A former PhD Art History student messaged me to ask whether spiritualist art could be regarded as religious art (a question that I’ve addressed in the past). Some, but not all, modes of religious art are considered sacred:
‘Sacred’, in the Judaeo-Christian context, means set apart for a religious purpose. ‘Holy’ has some of the same connotations. So the word has more to do with function and purpose than with content or any inherent ‘spiritual’ nature that is claimed for an object. I regard spiritualist objects as religious (and as ‘art’, in the case of the supernatural paintings and drawings) insomuch as they are putative manifestations of the invisible, spiritual world, and require faith on the part of the percipient in order to be apprehended as such (Facebook message, 17 09 2014).
Matt. 20.20 is begun and the current and penultimate Art/Sound lecture, recommenced. I sense that there’s the need for a smaller, supplementary module that would explore more deeply and widely the last twenty years in the history of sound art, as well as the emergent discipline of art history and sound of which the current module is an expression. In the latter part of the morning, seeking to rest my tired eyes, I took to the studio with the aim of recording something — anything — that would take as long to make as it did to hear (12.22_17 09 14). Far too dance-orientated for my purposes. The improvisation was captured acoustically:
I walked to the campus to attend an E-learning, learning workshop only to discover that I’d been sent to the wrong event. Back, then, to the lecture and sound file processing for the remainder of the afternoon.
6.15 pm. Practise session 1. Before I returned to writing, I watched John Peel’s fascinating documentary profile on Captain Beefheart (musician, composer, and painter). CB was one of most innovative contributors to 1970s and 80s rock. But he had only a relatively small following, and made little if any money from his music. Again, there is sometimes a yawning chasm between significance and success.
9.40 pm. Practise session 2.