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Innovation and fine arts

2021.02.24

Innovation and fine arts

 

Innovation is the essence of man and humanity: it is a fundamental question: to do everything unchanged or to change, sometimes a little, sometimes bigger. Historically, the decision is influenced by geographical factors and their changes: where the circumstances are more varied, the more problems to be solved, it usually inspires the need for change. It can be observed, for example, that in a geographical area where there is more diversity, there are changes from time to time in the climate, in physical conditions (eg in a continental climate) the “compulsion” to change is more and more inspiring to innovate, as a society operating in a more stable geographical environment. The analysis of the innovation process does not analyze, evaluate, determine the causes and connections of the great social processes and historical relations, what actually moves the historical processes, but serves as a significant additive to them.

It is beyond the scope of this article to present the innovation process in its philosophical depth, i.e., how typical are elements primarily related to the issue of philosophy, such as “quantity taps into quality” or the issue of evolution-revolution. However, these pairs of concepts can sometimes be studied very well in connection with a specific case, for example, we think through the history of small arms from the front - loading rifle to the innovations of Colt and Winchester. These leaps associated with the named person also meant quality leaps in the development of these goods. And quality leaps have often expanded the use of a given product to a huge extent. A number of elements can be presented that can be identified as jumping points or revolutionary points.

Innovations are of several types, such as technical or technical, economic, or strongly linked to human activity. It should be noted that I interpret social innovations much more broadly than the usual corporate, economic management solutions.

In fact, at the same time, there are innovations in each sub-area that mark a milestone in great historical processes. Thus, among the technical innovations, the “invention” of the wheel, the invention of the printing or steam engine, among the economic innovations, the interest of money, the “invention” of the stock market, the formation of business forms are turning points in the great historical processes.

In the social sphere, in addition to Jesus, all those who think in the other great world religions emphasize the idea of ​​social solidarity, which, of course, is then institutionalized in some form. Thus, in Europe, such institutions in the twelfth century e.g. the so-called beguinages, the institutions for the safety of women left alone, later the institutions of orphanages, or, from the end of the 19th century, the development of social security systems are all huge changes. Such great turning points can also be detected in the field of the arts as the most peculiar human activity.

Another peculiarity of innovation processes, collectively known and broadly interpreted, is that a widening follower-development layer sometimes develops in the form of a pyramid behind the development wedges; The “evolution” of innovation often manifests itself in smaller or larger steps until it reaches a new phase. The idea and novelty are further developed, step by step, until you reach another big jumping point.

In the case of technical innovations, the accepted view is that there are pulling sectors, so above all, the military industry was considered to be it. This role has been taken over by space research since the 1960s and 70s.

Another aspect of research is the spread of innovation between geographical areas, along the settlement hierarchy or even between social strata. In the evenings, the speed, direction and characteristics of the spread can be well demonstrated. Of course, curves, etc. can be specified. In general, there are steeper curves, curves with different slopes, regular and less regular, undulating, and protruding curves. There is a way that a given product that was once considered a novelty will pass away. (Patent systems raise awareness of this in time zones by those with intellectual property).

There are some novelties

• where the spread between countries is decisive (eg innovations related to labor law, eg the issue of leave, innovations in family support systems, or among technical ones, eg the spread of nuclear power plants, etc.),

• there are those in which the spread between social groups is more typical (eg the toolbox of housing conditions, leisure activities, technical means of use, eg (washing machine, refrigerator spread)

• there are also those where the spread of settlements is typical: it spreads quickly in big cities, from there it drains faster and slower towards smaller settlements).

In fact, the analysis and comparison of different curves can lead to the creation of working models, which at the same time makes the directions of change and some of its features somewhat tangible.

It is precisely for this reason that the relationship between the fine arts and innovation processes can be given special attention because the fine arts are one of the fundamental and characteristic and exclusively human activities, the “documentation” of which, in turn, can be well followed. The creators of works of fine art have been counted from a relatively early age, while this demand, as an intellectual achievement that also brings profit to its inventor, was later institutionalized in the case of technical products. The English law of 1641 can be considered important in this regard. Intellectual property is protected by laws and institutions, first in England, then during the French Revolution and then in other European countries. That is, such an accurate tracing of technical innovations is only possible from the beginning of the 19th century, until the invention offices were put into operation. The Patent Office has been operating in Hungary since 1896.

Maybe Gutenberg is an exception. The invention of printing has taken a historic turn in the crucial issue of storing and transmitting information. In addition to the printing devices, of course, toner and paper were needed to start the process. It was not at the same time and jumping out of the “bathtub” that this very important technical solution was born. It is known that as early as the 11th century in China, Pi Seng created the first essentially functional device model. The invention of the paper is named after Caj Lem (China). They moved slowly, step by step, to Europe. On the other hand, Gutenberg's great innovation is the fact that the writings used in Europe can be used to solve successful operations in about 100 characters, and he has made a breakthrough in the field of information transfer and preservation. In this form, from the printing of the first Bible in Europe (by agreement 1452. Mainz), each country took over the invention in turn, over a period of 5-20-25 years. (In Hungary, 1473 is considered the foundation of printing).

However, the innovation process of the fine arts can be traced well from the very beginning, both in terms of “idea” and “execution” and the changes that take place in them. Here I mean the way of representation and the content of the idea, while the implementation is worth thinking through the technical solutions and methods (technical side).

Especially after the first millennium, with some settlements, new ideas can be traced, above all in European culture. It is known who and where he portrayed in a novel way, he brought a new idea compared to previous solutions. All this is well documented in the history of the fine arts. Also how the new techniques (paints and other display devices, canvas, or eg the spread of paper) have influenced the thought execution.

Another element of the analysis of innovation processes is the spread of novelties. It can be said that the “spread” of art is determined by a strong intention to follow. Innovations usually spread between larger regions and countries, but there is also a strong spread along social definition and settlement hierarchy. There is also a big difference in the way and pace of tracking between settlements.

Although the spread of innovation in the fine arts is one of the little-studied processes, it has not been discussed in such a formulation, ie what layers follow the novelties of the fine arts in what way and at what pace. In the 1500s and 1600s, the spread of novelties between countries could be expected to be at least 8-10-15 years, and this rate of spread was reduced to 3-5 years by the end of the 1800s. This applies to both the “idea” level and the technical level.

It should be noted that this period, when the fine arts became a “productive force,” became an important tool in many fields with the introduction, spread, teachability, and learnability of accurate, lifelike representation. For example, an important member of the expeditionary expeditions was the removal of a person with good imagery (along with paper and good imagery, of course) whose work allowed them to present discoveries, new landscapes, people, new and old flora and fauna, and even the existing environment in general. etc.  In the 18th century, only aesthetic representation and specifically technical, scientific representation, technical, design drawings, map drawing, etc. are separated.For example, increasingly scientific criminology has also benefited from good representation.

The interaction between the fine arts and other innovations from outside deserves special attention. The most characteristic of this is the appearance and spread of photography. Photography manifested itself as a faithful representation of the present moment. At the same time, with the advent and technical development of photography, depictions, whether in the form of persons, portraits, or landscapes, were already on a high and high artistic level, with precise, faithful yet highly decorative solutions widespread. With this, photography had to compete and adopt the modes of representation followed and accepted there. Photography - including about people, family events (wedding photos) - provided the widest, least affluent strata with an opportunity to show themselves that was previously only available to the affluent strata.

Photography, as a competitor to the fine arts and at the same time a very slowly developing activity into an independent branch of art, is particularly interesting nowadays, when a new technical challenge has emerged, the possibility of digitization and digital art.

The road is far from the drawings on the walls of the caves that also serve as dwellings, and it is a long time before the dwellings of today's citizens. These images, by the way, reflect the ability of a 2-3 year old child to portray and accommodate. About 4,000 years ago, there was a clear division between public architectural objects and public spaces, as well as private spaces, private architecture. In ancient times, it has already been established how large community spaces (churches, public buildings, public spaces) are decorated. Within this, it is certain that the apartment of the Roman (but rather we do not know that the Egyptian, etc.) citizen, especially of the more affluent, of course, was adorned with works of art, it belonged to the status of a farmer, he even needed a contractor. In the early Middle Ages, the supply of private spaces with art objects was somewhat relegated to the background, but in the 1400s and 1500s the spread of private assignments boomed again and reached a similar magnitude to public commissions. During the late renaissance, it became natural that pictures hung on the walls of the citizens' homes, especially the wealthy ones, and there were perhaps one or two sculptures in the garden. A 17-18. The theme was crystallized in the 19th century, which was typical for a long time: it consisted mainly of sacred images, portraits, family-themed pictures and landscapes, and towards the end of the 18th century, other works with other themes also contributed to this (eg nude pictures,). The expansion of demand has created an expansion for the service sector: it was worth learning to be a painter, but even to deal with it in an amateur way. By the middle of the 19th century, the decoration of flats with pictures became more and more common, lower prestige, less moderate citizens also started to decorate their living environment with pictures, who were the salon, who were the clean room, above all. The social distribution is characteristic, in the rural, moderate peasant environment the sacred images dominated, while the salons of the more bourgeois persons are colored by persons, landscapes and mythological scenes.

Of course, the supply responded to the demand, a large number of artists appeared, while in the end the science of painting became an activity also practiced by housewives. In the twenties and thirties of the 20th century, the number of amateur artists multiplied, becoming a not uncommon phenomenon.

Let's take a specific example, which is still a popular and popular theme in today's Hungary: namely, the open-hearted depictions of Jesus and Mary. The works of fine art that show this now seem to be in a descending branch.

Apparently, it was already medically known that there was indeed such a disorder that the heart was located outside the ribs (but not outside the chest!), A phenomenon that could be observed for a few hours to a few years. However, it is related to the visions of St. Margaret of Alacoque, who lived in the 17th century, and as a result spread the well-known depiction of the heart of Jesus: a heart blazing outside the chest and even outside the robe. The sister, who lived in the convent of Paray-le-Monial, had visions of the Heart of Jesus for three years (1673-1675). He also told his church superiors the essence of his visions, but considering that it was neither written in the Bible nor compatible with ordinary experience, the sister was sent to a distant mountain monastery for good air. But the ghost broke free from the bottle, and the idea set off on its world-conquering journey.

His first artistic representation is named after P. Battoni, (1760), in his representation he holds the inner organ in the hands of Jesus, stretching it towards the viewer. Then the idea was further developed and more gently, more acceptable to the general public, already points to the transparent heart of Jesus through the garment. And another popular depiction was born of the visions of Sister St. Faustina: in the image of the Merciful Jesus, mercy and love flow like rays of light from the heart of Jesus. Another further thought on the subject was that Mary was also presented with a heart outside such a dress. From these types, countless (and therefore better or better) works were born all over the world, and in addition to sacred places, they also became a popular type of image in homes.

Anyway, the model worked at least once more. (Visions of Lourdesi).

Anyway, it can be said based on experience only that in 80% of the flats, 45-50% of the images of sacred objects are depictions of Mary, with or without a child, going to the menu, or just alone, with an open heart or lily. The portrayal of Jesus is also done primarily in the above way. The remainder of the religious representations may have been made up of a patron saint related to the family, less often other representations. Otherwise, it is really and possibly difficult to find an explanation for such a success in the open-hearted depiction of Jesus and Mary. Even if worn out of the living environment, these images survive for a long time in sacred places.

In the fine arts, this is not the only idea that has been processed several times, variations have been formed from them. This also exists in the technical field, but there are also ideas in the literature for such “remakes”, such as the survival of a hermit on the shore, which has been processed several times, the idea of ​​escaping from prison, and so on. Fine art also has ideas that are renewable, repeatedly processed.

Nowadays, the fine arts also face several challenges. It should be stated at the outset that this activity is not threatened by robotization. What digitalization, however, has to face, which affects this human activity in several forms.

Further steps in the fine arts:

• new display modes, technical tools. Within this, new tools such as paints, (e.g. the latest paint sensation is the so-called YInMn blue success (cf. Magyar Hang 2021.Iv. Volume No. 5). Trifle, but due to the traditional Chinese writing style, recommended for children in school paints are also better than those made in Europe, so there are great opportunities even in the field of technical renewal.

• painting is the art of light, which light initially meant primarily sunlight. Beyond that, however, as Rembrandt has shown above all else, light has many forms of appearance: moonlight, torch light, candle light, lamp light, LED light, as these lights split into the dark, and so on. There are even opportunities for the light itself and its environment to work together.

 

Overall, however, these challenges and opportunities fall short of the greatest challenge of our time: the digital world.

• Digitization is emerging as a new technical element and opportunity, which is yet to be developed into a real art: digital forms, the possibilities of computer visualization are actually still in an experimental stage, but this will change in the foreseeable future.

• Another huge opportunity is in the dissemination of knowledge. No one can visit all the museums in the world. The digital display, on the other hand, has a number of advantages over printed reproductions. The works are presented at all, they can be learned at least on a simple screen level. Oeuvres may also be presented. Obviously, it does not only partially return the original work, but it does provide at least some information, the works can be known on some level. It is no exaggeration to say that it reproduces the works even more analytically, in a more comprehensible way in detail, than a reproduction produced in print.

• 3D printing allows you to make copies, which can bring many new possibilities, although not always in a positive sense.

Large museums in large countries have embarked on a powerful digitization to make works of art easy to learn about.

 

Question: Will this trend reach us in 20 or 25 years?

 

Additional notes:

A significant and increasingly significant part of technical innovations no longer comes from Europe. Latin America, for example, has been competitive in artistic innovations for decades. In the case of socio-social innovations, however, Europe is leading the way and will continue to be so for a long time to come.

It is not useless to broaden the concept of innovation and review it on a broader basis, because in this way the so-called a concept formerly called the human factor can also be grasped. In fact, the analysis and comparison of different types of curves can lead to the creation of working models, which at the same time makes the directions of change and some of their features somewhat tangible.

Digitalisation is not yet able to capture many things - brain research here or there. Digitization and the techniques based on it use binary codes, yes-no. With this, a lot can be grasped, but human thinking is really more diverse and diverse than that.

To give an example from the field of law: legal principles and laws are formed along a logically mathematical approach: definition, statement, proof, means, methods of proof, etc. However, in the field of law, there is a concept that cannot be approached from the side of formal logic: for example, when a judge has to decide whether something is “life-like or non-life-like”. This is not yet well approached by today’s digital applications, as this concept has spatial and temporal definitions, but also individual characteristics.

That’s why I brought up this fine art example of what makes something popular and believable, it should be a field for even more reflection.

(In memoriam: in memory of ancestors, one was a painter, his paintings are in the National Gallery, another inventor, according to the records of the Patent Office)

(the article is translated by Google machine)