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Visual Art, Society & Visual Language

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Isolating, and blocking the real high-end visual art from society by museums and paid channels is one of the the main reasons for the deterioration of artistic taste, and the pollution of the individual’s artistic taste from public space, which leads to extremism.

You will ask how is that possible?

The answer is that art is the measure of civilization and humanity. The development of art means the moral development of humanity, which is what we lack today. The absence of real high art from society opened the way for trivial art to float. This type of art must contribute to the deterioration of the psychological state of human taste.


There is a tremendous scientific development, but there is no cultural, human, and artistic development on the same level or to the same degree until society is balanced.

Civilized and human development is measured by the development of science, culture and art, in the sense of cognitive development that refines feelings and normal behavior. Of course, this is what evolutionary psychology says. If this balance is upset and the polite cultural and artistic factor is absent it will lead to the egoistic side to prevail over the one’s self and the extremist side will reappear.

There is a tremendous scientific development, but there is no cultural, human, and artistic development on the same level or to the same degree until society is balanced. The absence of this balance may lead to a major imbalance and setback in values. The biggest evidence is the relapse towards racism and extremism among almost everyone even the most civilized nations.

One of the most important causes for the current situation is the lack of development of the arts and raising the general taste of societies, thus raising the aesthetic taste that is effective in developing and exalting public morals. Therefore, the monopoly and commodification of arts contributed to this intellectual and civilized degeneration of human societies. In addition, it contributed to the spread of artistic banality that provokes instinct as well, which causes extremism from another type which is the dissolution of public taste and consequently moral disorder. It is clear to everyone from the increase in the spread of prostitution, drugs and crime in different societies at a terrible speed based on statistics of specialized organizations around the world.


Several societies have gone through this deterioration throughout history. However, and with tremendous scientific progress and the increase in the current population size, if the world does not find solutions quickly then the situation will be catastrophic. Probably, no one will be spared from it, and it will lead mankind to its inevitable doom.


So what is the solution?

You may be surprised if I tell you that the solution is simple and absolutely inexpensive.

The solution is to get rid of greed, yes greed and fake economic predation. If we took the surplus global production of the trivial things produced by this failed and absolutely unnecessary economy and added it to the cost of producing weapons it will be more than enough to make humanity live in peace and contentment and produce its needs sustainably to infinity. It will eliminate ignorance, poverty, and artificial diseases. Realistically, the process won’t need more than 10 years to be applied with people of faith in change and access to resources.


In addition, one of the basic solutions is to erase your visual illiteracy. Visual literacy is one of the most important factors of our cognitive and moral development, because we derive our information from our eyes, from the images that we see, analyze and store in our brains to the extent that our analysis is logical for the information. So that we know the foundations and elements on which the visual language is based on.


Our eyes constitute almost 95% of the extent of our sensory knowledge and 5% of the rest of the senses. It depicts the amount of visual information that we receive especially in the present day which we can call it the age of image and visual communication. In the absence of awareness and proper visual analysis, we will be in a state of complete blindness and absence of meaning, purpose, and employment for any image we see as if we see and do not see.


It is worth mentioning also that the massive visual pumping through social media that is reaching billions annually whether it is Facebook or Instagram and others, so you can imagine the size of the numbers and their seriousness.


Why we learn visual language?

There are such interesting psychological and philosophical reasons in visual language that teaches us the implications and reasons of why it is a better method than simply experiencing on a cognitive whim.


Our mind operates on the basis of polarization. So if we do not know the importance of color, we will not understand what beauty is in nature, and If we do not realize the importance of light and its details we will not understand the basis of our lives. If you do not understand and appreciate one, it is difficult to fully understand and appreciate the other.


The relationship between what we see and our perception of its value constitutes correct and abstract understanding. Consciously, we may not love and avoid something. On the other hand, and on a subconscious level there is often something around us that tempts us or needs it even though we may not believe it.


If you have always been accustomed to seeing natural images with soft and peaceful focus, does it mean that there is also something about the acute conflict situations within your mind that you need to understand and embrace?


If you always insisted on seeing in black and white, what colors would you overlook, and how would that benefit you if you were seeing with a binocular?

There are several eastern philosophies, as well as some western psychological thinkers such as Carl Jung speak of how a healthy personality embraces the interaction and balance between opposing inner forces, such as love and hate, strength and submission, happiness and sadness.


When we are satisfied with a limited source of knowledge. We become stagnant, trapped, and limited in the way we think, feel, and perceive. By allowing ourselves to be open to expressing forces opposed to the traditional method of knowledge leads to new insights and a broader field of vision.


In other words, dialectical philosophy can describe it as challenging a hypothesis with a counter-hypothesis in order to arrive at a higher truth bringing together the best insights of these opposing views.


Visual language stimulates your artistic, technical, and conceptual muscles by activating and polarizing your mind to free thinking, and If you want to be unique you have to diversify your ways of knowing because each person has a unique personality and life.


An individual's visual vision always reflects his personality and life, therefore, an individual's visual understanding is always unique. So if you want to be visually tactile then you have to know that each person's image is different, and each person's visual vision is different from the other. It is important to know that it is all about your vision and how you express it. Perhaps the truth is somewhere in between these two views.


For those people who seek to find their artistic sense in visual language, the challenge is not about doing something that no one else has done. The challenge is figuring out who you are and what is important to you and mastering the skills that help you express it.


Those who break the monotony are the ones who see the abstract image, either in nature, or in their imagination. You have to come out of stagnation, open your eyes to see, but at different angles and in all directions. If you do so, your knowledge is abstract and free.

Human activity and its complexities have become in dire need to expand their knowledge and perceptions from what they were in the previous century. Therefore, we need a flexible language that is easy and quick to understand without interpretation, and this is what the classical language cannot do. Therefore, it is necessary to learn the visual language, especially since we draw 95% of it from our sensory information as I mentioned earlier.


Can you imagine anymore what that means?

It means that your visual perception is the modern key to solving dilemmas and opening new horizons for development, finding solutions, and for cultural, artistic and aesthetic advancement. It is inevitably the main solution for human elevation and human advancement.


Kemal OGHLY

Head of Photography Dept. at the International Cultural Academy

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