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Summary of Rolf's talk on the Artistic Approach to Knowledge 27_10_07

Author: Rolf

Last Updated: December 21, 2007

Summary of Rolf's talk on the Artistic Approach to Knowledge 27_10_07

Excerpt from the presentation:

"For me art is not only painting, it is music, it s feeling, its a way of being, you bring down something from within or above as you see it. I often compare it to music. You dont pick up a saxophone for the first time and play it like John Coltrane. It is question of learning the instrument. This part is also important in education. When I wanted to become more specialized, design school was there giving a test. I did some sketches of a few objects as I had done before. Then the instructor came and explained to us what we were seeing. The whole world suddenly changed radically for me and I immediately drew differently like the instructor himself - and was accepted. It was like living in a two dimensional world and suddenly coming out into the three dimensional space with a heightened awareness. Later I learned that most people live in the two dimensional world.

Parallel to that, I had strong inner experiences. I was asking where it was coming from because it seemed more real than reality. Between seeing normally and seeing the energy state of matter, the air is visible Art is one way to awaken in a student this kind of thing, and then developing the skill of the hand to express it on paper one needs the tools. Later when I learned all the techniques, in art history we went through self portraits, then at home and I sat in front of the mirror and made a self portrait. It was nice technically but akh, how could I get this (self) out ? then something happened, it was like breaking the rules and leaving all the techniques. Two hours later my friends came in and I woke up. I was in a kind of trance and the whole room was full of self portraits. Here things go beyond what you learn in school. You become the tool. (Some fun anecdotes about music and art, then photos of art work passed around)

Art happened only here in Auroville. I was making music with some friends and closed my eyes and started to have a vision. There were three stars in endless space coming closer together. It was a beautiful crystalline structure hanging in space, luminous, with tiny crystals traveling between the three structures. Then a sound spoke to me like three hundred trumpets saying what you see here are the arts, the three big structures, and the small crystals are the artists. You are one of them. I refused this. Later on in Auroville I remembered this vision. I painted a girl in the classical style, something didnt come out so I started again. I tried the next day and it still didnt work. Then I switched off the light to paint and there was a breakthrough. One has to let go of the mind and ideas, and be empty, then not talking, thinking, just doingby going inside and switching off the mind then I could see the finished thing, what is there.

Later when I discovered sculpture, I had to design an exhibition space, I was super busy, and then suddenly this and that didnt work out and I was suddenly free. I remembered that Pierre had a few pieces of marble and went there and got a piece, a hammer and a chisel. I started chipping and the whole world changed. The marble turned into a luminous diamond. I was forming this and during two hours I had a number of times the strong experience of being so familiar with this, I didnt need to learn it. If you become one with the stone it goes like butter. Its an approach to matter which is leaving your knowledge behindits there but its behind, one doesnt think about it. I felt like the sculpture touched something deep inside me. (wonderful anecdotes about going to Rajasthan for a lorry load of marble)" -Rolf

Listen to the full audio presentation at: