When we think of Art, we must take into careful consideration the three elements for understanding. The Maker. The Object. The Receiver. Without all three of those equal, triangulating elements, Art does not exist beyond the ordinariness of just being.
We often think of Art as a dyad: A conflicting synthesis between Maker and Receiver where the Receiver judges the effort of the Maker and the actual Object is just an afterthought.
Sometimes, we just look at the Object — the Art — and we are left wondering about context and intention, and without that information, we invent and conjure rationale and meaning and that does nothing to enlighten the Object we are admiring.
When it comes to judging Beauty in others, we have a standardized Human Universal Beautiful for exploitation, but we don’t really have an independent method for providing the same inherent value judgments for standalone Art without triangulation.
One person’s applied morality might be another’s public example of debauchery — and that is why Art triangulation is so important.
The Maker provides the vision and the means for that idea to take literal shape. Decisions are made about mass and volume and light and color and construction and texture.
The Object exists on its own only in the sense that its objectivity is bookended by the arc of belief of the Maker and the flow of understanding from the Receiver. The Object, without that context and confinement, becomes memeingless in relevance.
The Receiver is often given the most important, and unequal, role in the Art experience because of mass. There are more Receivers than there are Objects and Makers. That inequality in numbers must never outweigh, outvote, or out maneuver the delicate triad. No Receiver is more important than the Maker or the Object.
Triangulation creates the comprehendible whole. The Maker invents. The Object exists in a context of tension. The Receiver evaluates the Object.
I am reminded of the old business trope of Triangulation. You take a sheet of paper and draw a triangle. At each corner, you write one of these three words: “Cheap” “Good” and “Fast.” Then you give the paper to your client and say, “You can have any two of those things, but not all three. You can have it cheap and good, but not fast. You can have it good and fast, but not cheap. You can have it cheap and fast, but not good.” The trick is to convince your client that the triad is unattainable.
The separation between business and Art was never clearer — because in Art, you must have all three corners of the triangle to create a sustainable structure of substantial being — while business is built on the foundation of cutting at least one corner in order to survive in a objectified world.
Great article, David! I pass by a work of art (Object) every day that some Receivers decided wasn’t ‘good enough’ and they desecrated. I will explain more in a future article! It makes me sad to see the desecrated Object!
I like the three sides. Without one of the sides, you only have an angle, not a triangle. The third leg creates the immovable structure.
Well said, Anne! The structure of the meme requires the equal cooperation of all three sides!