Art Alchemy Studio

Mixed Media Art by Chaska Peacock

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Marvelous Confabulation

By Robert Genn

Just as the whole Santa business is a marvelous confabulation,
so too is art. Perhaps it's only with the addition of
confabulation that art delivers its wizardry and magic.

Early researchers, such as psychologist Daniel Berlyne (1972),
linked confabulation with amnesia and abnormal brain chemistry.
Nowadays, it's harnessed to the marvelous potential of the
human imagination. Fantastic and spontaneous outpourings of
irrelevant associations and bizarre ideas come quite naturally
o ordinary creative folks.

There's a sack full of it in the world of art. One need only
look at pictures. Take Paul Klee's "A Young Lady's Adventure"
(1922), where convoluted lines, intertwining design and
off-beat symbolism weave a spell. Or Gustav Klimt's "Mme Fritsa
Riedler" (1906), where decorative elegance and over-the-top
opulence spin the mind to suspend belief in the normal. Just
look at the cascading negative-positive dress line that
diagonals the painting. Is this not magic?

Art without confabulation is the plain goods. Confabulatory
enhancement can come from style or stroke through the
individual maker's hand. It can also come from the brain.
Ancillary ideas, metaphors and the embellishments of truth add
interest and depth to standard pedestrian work. Consciously or
unconsciously, we ask the viewer to avoid saying, "So what."

In a world where it's easy to be complacent or uncaring,
confabulation is a key to enrichment. It's what we do with what
we have that makes art. The energy and mystique of
confabulation adds raw optimism to the human spirit. Always,
always, the hooves are prancing on the roofs of our minds. We
need to listen. We are all delivered with a gift of canvas that
we may fill any way we wish.

"The world," said Henry David Thoreau,"is but a canvas to the

To this, I humbly add that if it were not for the imaginations of
scientists, we would be without the marvelous inventions we now
take for granted. Formulas, drawings...proof, if you will, followed
what their minds could imagine.

This Christmas season and the coming New Year, I encourage you to
imagine only those things you really want, and you will be amazed
by how your world changes! Mai-Liis


Blogger Unknown said...

To read artists' new year resolutions please visit the Marvelous Confabulation Clickback on Robert Genn's website.

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