Mea culpa ... or whatever.

I have a tendency to revert back to the original (~ two millenia ago) definition of "aesthetics" ... or "esthetics" ... or however one chooses to spell it: "Not subject to reason, but only there by the process of perception" ... and I welcome correction here. Later philosophers have changed that to something like "The science of ART, and a REASONABLE framework for determining what is, and what is NOT "art" - something I find diametrically opposite.

I will submit that we need another word, one the expresses the same thought as the original: "It WORKS, and I don't know WHY ... and from what I've been able to gather, no one else knows WHY, either."

I have been a student of "composition", for a long time now ... since when the earth cooled... and as far as I can tell, it is an "after the fact" analysis. In trying to determine common characteristics of art that is considered to be "great", there are certain weak correlations: the idea that points of interest will fall at the intersections of a grid based on "thirds"; that the same may apply to the "golden section"; that there is a "balance" between heavy and light; that the foregrounds - generally - are lighter than backgrounds. Renoir 's famous `warm and cold limbed' "X" ... the list is far more extensive.

I doubt ... make that DOUBT that any of the great art works were created to satisfy the "commonalites" ... they were found to "fit" after - many times long after - the intial studies of "composition".

It certainly is POSSIBLE to create a work that will accurately FIT the "commonalities" ... RULES ... of composition, and the result will be completely lifeless. One only has to consider the illustrations in the composition books, of cubes, pyramids, cones, and spheres placed in the "proper places" to see the lifelessness.

If we eliminate all the artwork that dies not conform, we will have eliminated much of the really GREAT art that now exists.

Music? I do not profess any level of knowledge about music, other than I have heard that there are mathematical "commonalities" that seem to be present in many of the great works. I would GUESS there are truly great works that do NOT follow the "rules" as well.

What about it, gang? A word - polished, esoteric, suitable for "artspeak" ... that expresses, "It WORKS".