An ancient coin with Alexander's face on it, beautifully burnished by time, may be an object that has great aesthetic value. But wait - what is that value?

The true motive behind its creation was basically the same as that behind today's political TV commercials and managing the 24 hour news cycle. Does becoming aware of that reality diminish its value?

Religious icons and paintings, particularly of the European classical era, were designed to have an impact on the viewer which was not purely aesthetic or even purely spiritual, but was about directing culture through manipulating minds.

What nearly dominates Fine Art in our time, is something called "formalism." Looking at this, you see that formal characteristics are not just more important than content, they are the content. Is this a way of cleansing ourselves of the taint of our history and its motives? Can becoming purposeless make the future better?

Or could we possibly be putting on blinders and buying into the same old, ancient, big picture purposes while denying our own humanity in the process? Whose agenda is at work, guiding our perceptions?

Shouldn't we ask, "Who is that little man behind the curtain?"


Who is in charge of Culture? To whom does one appeal to propose change in the way it is defined? Who can make such an appeal?

The reverse of the way iconic images have been used to direct the mind of culture, the way to liberate culture, is to look for the opposite of the King and the Saint - for those images that reveal the truth of humanity to itself, so as to release the energy of the mind from being put into harness for the purposes of those who would influence, manipulate and control populations.

Those moments when the truth that shall set us free is revealed are extremely fleeting, sensitive and require looking in places forbidden by "objectivity" or other intellectual "no trespassing signs" by which something can be dismissed as not the purpose of art.

We do not have information overload so much as we have nonsense overload. Compassion does not fatigue us as much as the inability to act. We have to deal with many problems every day. Sometimes our loved ones are in serious difficulty. We do not turn away from them. We want to know what is happening. We have to know the truth in order to help.

We are given sensationalistic images (even exquisitely beautiful ones) of destruction and starvation but in the end we do not know why food is not brought or order not restored. The "facts of the moment" do not add up to an explanation. There is no context given within which to digest the facts.


Fast news,like fast food, does not nourish.

Art has a moral consequence which is why it should be rooted in and engage our moral consciousness.

-Alan Pogue