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Perspective in Art and Emptiness

taiyakitaiyaki Veteran Veteran

I always enjoy teaching perspective as an art teacher. It's very fun to deconstruct visual perception.
Examining a door. We know its about 8-9 feet tall. That same door lets say 50 feet from you will look very very small.
So there is the measurement of what we know the door to be and well the door in relationship with the one perceiving.
Then we can ask what makes this door 8-9 feet? Is the measurement intrinsic to the door itself? And what is more valid the measurement or the measurement dependent on the one perceiving.

But then it struck me. Both actually don't have referents, yet both require conditions. A door must be measured and that measurement must be in relationship to other measurements. There are no free standing measurements. A foot has to actually refer to something to be a foot.

And the size change based on location only has relevance to the held concept of measurement. The further away I go, the smaller the door. The closer I go, the bigger the door. At some point based on where I stand even the door doesn't seem much like a door. It could just be a field of see through glass material. Or a blob of color.

Its very curious how we set up all these reference points. Here and there. Here being the sense organ of the eye and there being the object. This creating the sense of depth and space and even time. Yet all of it interdependent, hence empty of inherent existence.
So even a door be it a symbol in the form of conceptual expression or non-conceptual sense data require things other than itself.
And in that requirement is its lack of intrinsic identity. Doors work just fine.

If we study basic perspective in art we can see how an artist can express the illusion of three dimension on a two dimensional surface. Giving a subjective reference point and various objects relating within the space and time of the image presented.

This is also directly how the body and mind work together to construct the whole of perception. Except instead of paint there is concept and instead of canvas there is consciousness. When those two meet we have the world of perceptions.

The whole enactment of dharma is presented to see this correlation. Not necessarily to make a better perception, though that can be relatively useful. It is to recognize this process and find liberation in that direct seeing.



  • anatamananataman Who needs a title? Where am I? Veteran

    I agree with that perspective. I also have an eye for certain artists who can touch and breathe 3 or 4D life onto a 2D plane, for example William Blake, M.C.Escher and Gustav Klimpt to name a few

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2014

    Would you say even anti art is still a door? Or to put it another way, when it becomes a door is it art? Do you have a perspective on that?

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    I know you are making more of a philosophical point but indeed at several points in time there was no agreed upon standard of distance or weights. That was a big problem for commerce and trade and so governments adopted standard units.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited March 2014

    What "I" am depends on the range from which "I" am observed. Identities are constructed from constructions (sankhara). They need to be deconstructed to get to the bottom of the truth.

    "And why do you call them 'fabrications'? Because they fabricate fabricated things, thus they are called 'fabrications.'

    That's perspective.

  • taiyakitaiyaki Veteran Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Would you say even anti art is still a door? Or to put it another way, when it becomes a door is it art? Do you have a perspective on that?

    By anti-art do you mean post-modernism? And sure anything can literally be art because art is a convention we use to describe whatever we deem as art.

    The art world is just strong opinions on what true art is. Be it Cubism or Realism. Each party or group always asserts its truth.

    It is another way to see dependencies and emptiness.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    Each party or group always asserts its truth.

    I'll go through any door with the people not asserting their truth. Not the Dadaists, not the Outsiders, not those of the Royal Arte or post modernists. Though I fully agree that art is a door and anything can be art, I was perhaps asking for a door without a context . . .

    _. . . and no Mr Cushion, no one is talking about you as a door . . ._

  • taiyakitaiyaki Veteran Veteran

    Haha even a door without context has context.


  • ZenSamZenSam Explorer ZenJew Explorer


  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @ZenSam said:

    Yes. As to why you have commented on a thread that is 5 years old and 'deceased'...?

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