|Thesis | Thinking on Space Art | Principle|1 Space Art and Time Art
Thinking on Space Art

Written and Translated by Taketoshi Murayama
Original translation is rewritten by C T

This original text is written in Japanese.
 This text should not be translated into any other languages without author's permission.
Part 1   Principle


Chapter 1  Space Art and Time Art

 @Immanuel Kant defined time and space as a priori forms that appear in our sensibility. Since Kant was interested only in the mechanistic natural science, as a point of deperture of his thought, he mainly regarded time and space merely as basis for the empirical positivity of human reason. Therefore, in his view, sensibility is limitedly equivalent to sensation which provides materials of experimental science for the idea.
  However, time and space are important logic categories permeating the entire human mind, and they may even be rooted at the basis of metaphysics as the necessary condition for logic. Therefore, these two categories provide the most important criterion in the analysis of art type and function as a first step for its understanding of Homology. (Kant had a keen eye in transforming time and space from the objective criteria for classification into a subjective attribute, in criticism against Aristotle's category.)
  If time and space relate to the whole human mind and serve to classify the art type, then it can be said that they go beyond being merely a sensibility that provides proof for positive science; they are a priori forms of intuition that even hold revelation within their confine.
  Intuition transcends the human subject as a mere holder of idea, and for the Existence whose conscience is turned to the existence (the real); it provides the path for the recognition of this very existence (the real). This path shows the place where the Existence receives the indication from the Superior Being, who is irreplaceable for the Existence. We define it "field," universal to every Existence.

Immanuel Kant
 Immanuel Kant  

  This "field" is a peculiar encountering point where the Existence meets the existence (the real), and there, time and space are limited together from the beginning. This limitation happens at the same time and it rejects any separation by analytical reason. More accurately, the detachment of time and space by analysis brings the deformation of the "field."
  Inversely speaking, time and space for intuition in general are always integrated as spatio-temporality. This interestingly accords with contemporary physics after the theory of relativity, which changed the concept of classic dynamics from its foundation, proving that time and space in natural science are integrated in a continuum of space-time.
  Kant regarded art as acting on a sentiment completely different from science, and tried to solve the mystery of why this would hold any universality. However, if these two both relates to life, having time and space as their basis, then there is a possibility of discussing all the values in the same ground. It is naturally conceivable that the world-view of the 18th century when inorganic dynamics was equally placed with natural science differs from the world-view of the present time in which science approaches until the root of the mystery of life.
  If "field's" most important meaning rests on it being the encounter with revelation, then it represents the most important place for a religious as well. However, pursuing universality at the same time, a religious cannot help hesitating in sticking to the "field," which has a strong color of individual.
  On the other hand, for an artist who brings personal experiences to the fore and has little doubt in explicitly expanding it into the experience of the whole humanity, the adherence to the "field" is a privilege and also a pride. Hence, the artwork as the product of artist's practice is also strongly influenced by the structure of the "field," and here we find the significance of analyzing/clarifying his/her artwork from the "field."
  If "field" is the spot of integration of time and space, the reader will easily understand the importance of re-capturing art from the spatio-temporality. This paper will, from this point of view, analyze and clarify the unified principle that permeates all art, and will examine how it developed in the history of humanity; this will surely lead to a deeper understanding of this mental work called art.

   We already described that division of attribute united in certain substratum produces different one and that it destroys original incorporation of the substratum. However, if not forgetting first original incorporation constantly and continuing to recognize clearly that divided attribute is only a moment leading it, division of attribute is useful for deeper understanding of the incorporation of the substratum. In addition, if we can grasp even the nature peculiar to the divided attribute, the synthetic incorporation will gain more abundant contents.
  Therefore, at first it is important for a process of clearing the essential ideal of art which is prescribed by the structure of the "field" to analyze the "field" from time and space which are the attribute of it and to investigate the way that each contributes for art activity. Then, it is needless to say that this must be integrated in the form of art of time and space as final completion of the third step.
  Anyone can understand easily that two types such as time art and space art are brought as the way of prescription of art derived from the analysis of this time and space. These two types are perceived as art field which is clear divided in the level of our daily experience. And also anyone can consent easily that space art means the whole fine art and that a representative of time art is music.
  Hence the purpose of this small thesis is to elucidate the meaning of fine art for human race, of course, it investigates what is space art. Then, as above-mentioned, since space is united with time originally and the complete understanding about it accompanies the recognition of time, we will state additionally about the outline of time art as long as necessary.

   Either space art or time art, all art uses material. As for space art, this material has physical stable existence and as for time art, it becomes energy. Then, the material creates contents of each art. However, since time and space are mere a priori form of the intuition, saying in other words, it does not include contents in itself at all. It is a matter of course that because this very content is an element to distinguish identify of an individual work for an appreciator in addition to a creator of art, this attracts attention most. Then, we cannot deny that eagerness to find the essence of the things in the place to which the most attention is paid is the proclivity of perception of human being.
  Therefore, in the past, it is no wonder that a lot of statements about art paid little attention to simple forms, such as time and space. However, the essence has two kinds such as the individual essence and the universal essence. The individual essence only teaches an individual existence, we must reach the universal essence to grasp overall phenomenon totally. Then, no matter how it is covered with a formal outward appearance, if the essence lying behind there, we must continue to irradiate light of reason there.
  Of course, all creators process the material which forms contents of work. Therefore, his/her consciousness and ardor are paid to this material. In this case, on his/her consciousness, time and space have hidden in the rear of this creation act. However, the creation activity has two kinds. One is the activity which stamps certain world with a material, the other is the activity which repeats specified style. The first made one of the specified style is a stamp of the world, but, becoming a legend and norm in the specific vocational group, it changes into the fixed style, in other words, the dead world, that is to say, a wreckage of the world. A notice must be given in "the world" described here because the special meaning different from normal usage is contained. At first we are necessary to give definition in this "world".
  "The world" which an individual creator stamps directly to the material is expression of his mind and it is a reflection of the living "world", i.e. uplifting life. In this case, existence of "the world" closes on the creator and he/she is conscious of it frequently. "The world" is none other than a shape in which above-mentioned the spatio-temporal is embodied. Speaking in another way, the ensemble of the contents with a special meaning which the Existence of a creator received in his/her "field" in the frame of the spatio-temporal is "the world".

  In other words, "the world" is the moment of creation of creator and the form of realization. The creation holds "the world" must be strictly distinguished from the creation in which it is fossilized. Then, we call the person who performs the creation which contains "the world" an artist and the person who performs the creation in which "the world" is perished an artisan.
  For the artisan, material is everything. Therefore, for him/her, the spatio-temporal has no meaning. However, by all means, the artist cannot help viewing the spatio-temporal which is the formal and essential attribute indispensable for "the world" located in the source of his/her creation. Therefore, he/she once looks back upon the meaning of the spatio-temporal at least.
  Thinking in this way, we can define that the art is an occupation making "the world" which is announced to an individual Existence as an artist through "the field" a work by storing it in a formal frame called the spatio-temporal. Because the spatio-temporal is formal, it never elucidates characteristic of an individual artist but it distinguishes acts of artist in general. (We put quotation marks to "the world" which has a special meaning in the relation with this creation of artist in the following description. Incidentally, when a term, the view of the world, is used, "the world" which was defined here is used, but we do not put quotation marks to it specifically, because this words are a set phrase.)

   As above-mentioned, space art and time art are distinguished on the concept as well as from the characteristic of material. It derives from the fact that artwork needs to be recorded on a certain medium. The only filmed actual world in the spatio-temporal can be recorded as a form which can be recognized in the sense of the other persons, otherwise it is sometimes recorded to the memory of human beings. However, the technology of audio-visual media appeared in the end of the 19th century in the history of human race. On the other hand, art creations continue to be performed for about one hundred and fifty thousands years since Homo sapience appeared on the ground.
  In short, it is possible to say that medium which records the world directly hardly exists in the art history of human race. In the long dark times when there is no medium to record the spatio-temporal, human race could not find other way than performance to express the spatio-temporal. On the situation of lack of a
Walter Benjamin
Walter Benjamin
medium which can record the spatio-temporal, we must endure with a medium which can record only either time or space. Therefore, in most of the history of art, human race was forced to specialize space art and time art on technical reason in case of leaving a work in the fixed form. (The special meaning of recording medium in art was elucidated by Walter Benjamin early in the 20th century for the first time.)
  As mentioned above, material of space art is physical stable existence and that of time art is energy. Physical stable existence becomes a record as it is because of its permanent existence. However, record of energy needs a technology which converts this into visible sign and it needs progress of advanced science. The difficulty of recording an actual world in the spatio-temporal mainly depends on this hardness of recording material of time art.
  Since each artist was seldom conscious of the formal frame such as time and space in a body, space art and time art was considered as entirely different type historically and there is no thought and system bridging both. In the ancient times of the Western countries, music was tied up with philosophy or mathematics and in the medieval times, it became an indispensable culture of freemen, but fine art was buried in the craftsmanship for a long time and was regarded as unrelated with the learning. In the Orient music was tied up with poetry and the position of fine art was same as the Western countries. Both in the Orient and the Occident, on the stage where the spatio-temporal was performed directly, they met each other only accidentally.
  Due to such a physical limitation of expression medium, fine art and music were considered as independent art field from the early time and separate experts were produced respectively. But, no one was clearly conscious of the fact that each of them essentially concerns time and space as an element of the spatio-temporal. However, since to argue about the whole art in a body has no concerning for the realization of individual work, and it did not almost have influences on creation activity and appreciation, and it only satisfied a pedantic hobby of partial philosophers and highbrows, lack of consciousness of this was never an obstacle for formation of art.

  If grasping fine art and music from the universal essence separated from an individual work and creation act, they are defined as space art and time art. Then, space art is intentional processing of space, if saying moreover; it is called the reorganization of original space given by nature. The same definition can be given to music in respect of time.
  Thinking from this definition, the reorganization of space, the most suitable style for space art is none other than architecture. However, observing historically, architecture was always handled as far from art. In Western Europe, sculpture and painting were picked up as art education object of Academy but architecture was excluded from this by reason of strong practicality. In the Orient, this is entirely considered only as accumulation of craftsmanship, too.

St Denis Basilique
Gothic architecture
(St. Denis Basilique
in France designed by
Abbot Suger)

 As mentioned above, it is natural that sole control of workman technique separates architecture from the category of art because of his/her lack of view of the world. However, if there is actually a person who has clear view of the world besides workman, for example Abbot Suger who indicated the conception of style of Gothic architecture, as far as his/her creation act is thought to be accomplished, there is no reason for denying to call it art.
  However, the reason why architecture has been excluded from art for a long time might lie in the point that the spatial reorganization which appears most conspicuously there was not considered as fruit of creation act poured into material because of its formality.
  The object of creation becomes denser material in sculpture. Therefore, because consciousness of material accompanies process of space in consequence of their unification, space loses its originality more and more. In this point, taking notice of the transformation of space surrounding material is attended with the difficulty equal to understanding gravity as warp of space-time in the general theory of relativity. We will wait for long historical time and appearance of special genius to obtain this revolutionary recognition.

   Since reproduce of an object to full plane is basic in painting, the spatiality is easy to be conscious paradoxically. The just reason is that the natural existence for reappearance object exists always in the three-dimensional space. Therefore, because lack of the dimension in drawing surface occurs continuously to the mind of painter, technique which complements this is forced to be contrived for him/her and spatial recognition is compelled to be aware in its process.
  However, ironically, the painter who excels in reappearance technique needs not to feel the necessity to consider the spatiality theoretically, because he/she can complement the lack of the dimension easily by a fingertip-drawing act. Therefore, if every painter would be excellence, the nature of painting as space art might be difficult to be conscious on the contrary. Specifically, the more severely a painter disciplines technique for the object reappearance only by plaster sketching, the stronger such a tendency will grow. It is caused on ground that the spatiality in sculpture has the highest nature of concealment.
  In this case, if he/she awakes to reappearance of setting, specifically correct reappearance of the building placed there, through the spatiality dwelt in this thing which is a product of typical space art, the nature of painting as space art can be grasped analogically. Historically discovery of perspective in Western Europe at the close of the medieval times brought this, in this case, reappearance of contents being emphasized, grasp of the spatiality had been weakened on account of consciousness to technique.
  And also the mathematical strictness which inheres in this technique charmed persons concerning to fine art, by the reaction to painting's not being regarded as the learning for many years, it drove them to the direction which deepened a degree of absorption to technique moreover. On such a reason, the environment to make people conscious that painting is space art vividly is seldom arranged.

   The reconstruction of space in photograph is not so outstandingly. This new art style which has history of only one hundred and fifty years was a mere complement of the representational paintings originally. The ideal of the representational paintings is perfect reappearance of object, speaking in another way; it has extremely little will which remodels an object.
  In photographs, only complements of the representational paintings, the will for reconstruction of object is weakened more than in paintings. In case of paintings, because painter him/herself must build color and line with his/her hand, it sometimes heads for will of reconstruction of object. However, it is only setting a position of light source and photographer that can be operated in photograph. In case of scenery photograph, because the position of light source becomes given, only the position of photographer can be chosen.
  It is only using space that photographer searches his/her photographing point, even if he/she does it as far as possible. It is possible to say that this act, using space, is distant from reconstruction. Therefore, by expanding meaning of the word, reconstruction, at the maximum, the scenery photograph can be barely put in the category of space art. In any case, except for photo collage, it may be possible to say that photograph is the thinnest passive expression form in the inclination to creative alteration.
  On the other hand, in painting, by operating the attribute of color, reconstruction of space can be done even in a landscape. Expressing a position of light source in value and expressing a distance between a light-reflected thing from light source and an observer in chroma, the psychological volume of space where painting spreads can be built. Generally, the drawing objects of paintings become light-reflected one from light source. It is sufficiently possible that light source becomes main drawing object without reflected thing apart from the case to painting the sun directly. "The Blinding of Samson" of Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, "Repenting Magdalene" of Georges La Tour, and "Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes" of Artemisia Gentileschi may be typical examples. In this case, only value comes into question, as for the construction of space, it is never different from case of the other painting.

The Blinding of Samson
The Blinding of Samson
Judith and Her Maidservant
Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes
Repenting Magdalene
Repenting Magdalene

   As for music which is a representative of time art, its material is undulation energy of the sound transmitted through air. The technology equal to film is necessary to record this directly, but it was recorded indirectly by using the note, a kind of the sign which has a feature like the language. However, in a lot of cases, it was reproduced by performance like the art which expresses the spatio-temporal directly. In this meaning, as for the historic thickness of performance for reappearance in music is equipped with philosophical carry much deeper than the improvisation, the irreversibility and the inter-subjectivity of intuitive grasp of Wilhelm Furtwängler. 
Wilhelm Furtwangler
Wilhelm Furtwängler

   Incidentally, because the reappearance by music performance does not show a player, in case that an aspect of the player is far apart from the played music, appreciator must either block off sight to keep an image to receive from the music or devote it to amplification of favorable psychological interpretation.
  As for dance which is another form of time art, because there is not a correct indirect means for record as much as the note, there is no other choice to permit change by verbal legend. However, to the extent that importance of the act of reappearance by performance increases, room of an ad-lib development at the stage will spread as well. By the way, the thing which is expressed in dance is the movement energy of dancer.

   Because the object expressed by art exists in the actual world, it is possible to say that it is in the united spatio-temporal. With the limitation of expression medium, the fact that only an object partially located in time or space can be recorded was an actually unnatural phenomenon. However, as aforesaid, human race didn't have means of recording the spatio-temporal directly for a long time. Therefore, when expressing an object which exists in the spatio-temporal, human race depended on the form called performance, and were compelled to deal with extremely limited appreciators.
  However, artist zest of expressing the object exists actually in the spatio-temporal did not run out and also their conation of showing it to more appreciators did not declined. If there are many limitations, means of breaking it down is always contrived. The thing invented here was a try to express the spatio-temporal in space art and time art where record means somehow or other exists. This was accomplished from the two directions such as introducing the temporality into space art or introducing the spatiality into time art.
  Space art is the act of expressing a specific situation of phenomenon at some moment and time art expresses the change of phenomenon from certain situation to another one. Speaking in another way, space art is an expression act to concentrate to the specific moment and time art is an expression act to connect plural pieces of moment. Saying this philosophically, space art is an expression of "the term" and time art is an expression of "the relation". Using a mathematical analogy, it is possible to say that time art is like derivatives and that space art is like primitive functions. Using a physics analogy, time art is like gage boson which transmits power such as photon, gluon, and weak boson, and space art resembles proton and neutron which is composed of quark.
  The situation includes above-mentioned physical stable existence and the change is caused by energy. The situation can be grasped by sense but the change can be known by awareness and memory of the identity. Both become object of the perception together but state of appearance in the perception is different completely. However, the situation and the change continue mutually. The change neighbors the situation and the situation is cause of the change and result of that as well.
  If it is so, it is not so difficult to express some situation and a change which connects with it or to express some change and a situation which has the causality with it. There is a limitation in expression medium of space art and time art originally; it can express this neighbor continuity sufficiently within the range of the limitation.
  Saying concretely, by drawing the scene in which a specific object is about to move to a following motion in painting, some situation and a change which is caused from it can be expressed. This can be expressed by a moving object and also things around it, e.g. soaring earth under its foot or adjusting eye of a neighbor person to front of its movement.
  Doing in this way, drawing the spatiality which an arrangement of phenomenon in some moment shows and a little time in which it changes together, fragment of the spatio-temporal unification can be fixed on canvas. Then, the actual world exists in the spatio-temporal becomes close more and more possibly. Since an appreciator experiences the actual world in the spatio-temporal like a creator, he/she can guess the spatio-temporal from a fragment of the time dropped into a painting, however its way of expression is symbolic. In this way, the fragment of the spatio-temporal shown in some specific painting work propagates surely into a society.

Dying Slave
Dying Slave

  Incidentally, at sculpture, such an expression of the spatio-temporal is possible, too. However, sculpture is an art style in which only an object exists and lacks a setting with which painting is equipped. Therefore, introduction of time can be expressed only in change of the object and the multilayered way using a setting like painting cannot be adopted. And therefore, sculpture depends on an exaggerated motion and look of face for an expression of the spatio-temporal expression like famous "Laokoon" and "Dying Slave" more and more.
  Then, since only a frame of setting exists in architecture, unless changing this frame itself, it is impossible to introduce the temporality. Even if putting such a change, since it is only a kind of a natural phenomenon, it is not possible to cause a world of the spatio-temporal calls an internal sympathy of human being. In this way, viewing the point that the introduction of time is almost empty, it is possible to say the fact that architecture is pure space art.

   In case of doing an expression of the spatio-temporal in time art like music, the operation completely different from the thing mentioned above is accomplished. In this case because plural changing situations appear, the identity and the disparity are contrasted. Then, a unifying law must be made between these. Because an invariable one must be found in the changing situations to introduce the spatiality, it is entrusted to construction of the identity. West European music was enthusiastic to create this identity. Then, tonic as mastering sound and scale arranged on it and then decision of tonality through consonances on scale create the firm identity to changing melody.
  Moreover, identical scale structure being made relatively on all sounds by invention of temperament, reaction to more various changes becomes possible by discovering the bigger identity including free modulation.
  Due to the identity of tonality and the control of tonality by temperament, the spatiality is introduced into the temporality expressed by the changing melody. In an actual creation, by constant appearance of chords, this identity is embodied on the sense of hearing as well. The appreciator is continuously forced to listen to the construction of sound in this scale and tonality, they are conscious of this as an emergence of the spatio-temporal in music.
  Seeing from different angle, non-West European music which does not have such a systematical scale and tonality is almost weak in the point of introduction of the spatiality. It only reconfirms a direction of unstable melody. Exclusive of the meaning to renounce the introduction of the spatiality completely and to show an antithesis to the constructiveness of West European music, such music satisfies an ethnic nostalgia only.
  Using a dissonance and a chromatic scale inside West European harmonic system more, because the unification of its system is fluctuated, power of the spatiality created by it is rapidly weakened. This was a conscious rebellion inside West European music, and it appeared in the first time at the step to be felt that the sticking spatiality in music became more oppressive than endurable limit. It is interesting that this movement occurred at the same time of resistance against suppression of Academy in the world of fine art.
  By the way, there is an important element called rhythm in music in addition to melody. As compared with that melody has the room in which it is absorbed to the spatial constructiveness through chord, because the more the contents of rhythm becomes abundant, the more a way of carving time becomes various, the temporality was more strengthened only. Speaking in another way, the temporal nature of music is appeared most conspicuously in rhythm. Therefore, it is natural that West European music which is enthusiastic in pursuing an expression of the spatio-temporal has weak interest in rhythm compared with non-West European music. West European music creates the huge harmonic system whereas its rhythm is monotonous surprisingly.
  In case of dance, because its expression medium is a human body, it appears as heavy stable existence from the beginning. Because it always stands predominantly to movement energy of dancer, the spatiality can be easily introduced only by fixing a posture of dancer. However, because the existence of human body itself does not indicate so big spatiality, there is a limit in the width of an expression of the spatio-temporal from this point.

   As above mentioned, because artists always had a strong desire to leave the phenomenon exists actually in a world of the spatio-temporal on even the limited recording medium, they tried to leap to expression of the spatio-temporal by even bringing an opponent element into space art and time art.
  However, as described previously, owing to the emergence of film medium which can record a world of the spatio-temporal directly since the end of the 19th century, the artist was released from such inconveniences. With it, the space artist got to pursue the purer spatiality and the time artist got to pursue the purer temporality respectively. It seems that, in the very early 20th century, the movement that abstraction paintings only with color and line emerged and that dodecaphonic music destroyed tonality by the roots flowered accorded with penetration of film medium as record means of the spatio-temporal. In this way, expression of space, expression of time and expression of the spatio-temporal gained a personal activity area respectively from the side of recording medium.
  Then, these theoretical distinctions became actual repartition. The art which practices an expression of the spatio-temporal as composite art is considered to be a separate style from space art and time art as pure art in either concept or existence. Next, we must advance towards examination of this new repartition of art.

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