Nature vs Culture - or are they the same?
There are two worlds. Nature and Culture.
The world of nature is everything that the animals perceive. Meaning all the physical elements around us and a lot of energetic and emotional stuff as well. I mean, Oskar (my dog) knows when I’m sad, or angry, or happy. He know’s when there is a tension in the room. He also knows there is a table, that he has to go around it in order to not bump into it.
What he doesn’t know is that it is called ‘a table’ and that you have to sit ‘at’ it. That you don’t climb it for example.
That part of calling it a table and giving it a specific use: That is the other world. The world of culture: The human world, the world of words, of language, of time, of etiquette, of stories of… my paintings?
Funny… that urge to create culture. Somehow, apparently, I feel that urge to create culture from my experiences of nature. Am I trying to explain the world of nature with culture.
But explaining alone is of course something we only know in culture. Animals don’t explain each other anything. Neither do trees. They just exist and experience.
What about music? And dance? Are they nature or culture? I mean, animals do perceive music and dance. And they do react on their emotional influence. I know a lot of animals who really enjoy classical music. And Oskar certainly reacts to dancing. He jumps in on the high energy immediately.
So, dance and music are actually nature.
But what about my paintings? Come to think of it, Oskar does react to the fact that I’m painting. When I’m painting I know he feels the energy surrounding me. But does he still feel something when I’m finished? When he is in proximity to the painting as an object?
Or do we humans only feel things with visual art because we somehow have some culture-thing going on which translates culture back to nature (read emotions and feelings)?
Because I certainly have natural experiences when close to certain art objects. It jus radiates. I really do wonder if animals can experience that as well.
Actually, I do think they do. I’m convinced that if I could bring Oskar into the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam he would experience something there.
Meaning that also visual art should be considered as part of the natural world.
Hah! So the big flagship of culture - art - is actually nature!