Editorial Volume 33 no 6 September – October 2019

One can fall in love with a magazine. With a passion for its attempt to trust its writers, edit lightly to allow for varied opinion, and its invaluable outlook inherited from the twentieth century pragmatic philosophers in Chicago. A time when America had philosophers everyone with an interest in American power and how it would be wielded, read and discussed. When alternative opinions were valued.
It is not hard to find either good writers or deep readers in the USA, it never has been. But the element of the population that thinks it knows all it will ever need to know, has spread to use modern media as a conduit to shout so loud, it is their agenda that occupies everyday discussion.
Their voices have been heard as far afield as in the UK, Hungary, Brazil and Slovakia. In such a politically fascist maelstrom it is a comfort to find places to write and be read; where you are certain the conversation flows with respect for thought and is not partisan, or bigoted or infected with the many elements of small-minded thinking that places ego above community, pits individual against individual as if it was a law of life and had no measure of that most precious of all human attributes: peace.
We now know, biodiversity is essential for natural environments to thrive and continue to sustain all life. So too, human diversity of thinking with its challenges and joys, inherent mutual respect and imparting of knowledge so that individual experience can be shared, is vital if we are to fight our way out of the limiting, valueless system of vanity that economics has become. Conversation has created all we know of civilized values; the lack of conversation has created all we know of conflict.
So we here, at the New Art Examiner delight in the questions. We are on a journey which has no ending; we assume nothing; we expect dangers, intellectual or otherwise. Should these fascists and neo-Nazis take over more countries, and should they rise to abuse free-thinkers, historians, artists and contrary opinions as they always do, the spark that is originality will be as needed as a life-saving medicine.
We have been here before, we know how it works. We can see millions of people losing their sense of where their thinking leads or more frighteningly, not caring.
So we will continue to be a place of thinkers who love the discussion because ultimately we know only from our discussions and those of others like us, comes a future of co-existence.

Daniel Nanavati / Lily Kostrzewa

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Stanislao Davis
27/11/2019 1:33 am

Dear Editor,
Are you suggesting that American philosophers no longer exist? What about David Abram, philosopher, ecologist and performance artist? Marilyn McCord Adams, who recently died? Owen Flanagan with his work on the philosophy of the mind? David Carrier, American philosopher and also art critic? Have you heard of Professor Michael Slote, professor of ethics? The list of well-known American philosophers could go on and on for pages. The American mind is not all superficial and social media focused; some people here still think they can think. 🙂

Rory Churchill
28/11/2019 1:16 am

Hi Stanislao,
Don’t you “think” that artists are also philosophers? Perhaps not all artists, but many try to portray the meaning of life in their work, giving a visual aspect to wisdom and human thought. Philosophy and art are very closely connected in their study of aesthetics, but not only.

Miklos Legrady
16/11/2019 8:44 pm

(disclosure… I have vested interests, being a NAE writer. That out of the way, everything Daniel Nanavati said is admirable.

31/10/2019 2:07 am

The X Musuem of Y has named Z
as its new deputy director and chief curator.
Z is the one who said “no one knows what art is anymore”,
and is a major promoter of artists who cut pictures out of art magazines
or who destroy furniture and claim it’s a masterpiece.
Z may occupy that position for decades. Z also hates my guts because of what I wrote,
articles trashing A and B, two of its favorite artists.
I’m ashamed for my country.

Derek Guthrie
31/10/2019 4:37 am
Reply to  Ernest

For sure the spirit of generosity is fleeing American cultural discourse. The great contribution of Trump is his banality. He has made it clear the low life is not only with the low life, it is with the high life. So what is to be done if anything?

Alan Peterson
31/10/2019 6:29 am
Reply to  Ernest

Ernest, You have written something I can clearly relate to, as we all can from wide and far. I think Thomas McEvilley covers this very well in the debate in the New York Times (October 12, 1997) led by Amei Wallach: ART; Is It Art? Is It Good? And Who Says So? Thomas, McEvilley, then Professor of art history, Rice University; contributing editor at the Artforum magazine wrote: The last time I was in Houston, I went to a place called Media Center, where someone had set up posts as in a back yard with laundry hung all over. I… Read more »

Miklos Legrady
16/11/2019 8:53 pm
Reply to  Alan Peterson

Hi Alan. I so disagree with your comment “It is art if it is called art, written about in an art magazine, exhibited in a museum or bought by a private collector.”. Would you say that sand is food if written about in a food magazine, exhibited in a food museum, and so on? Roger Scruton in his BBC article “How modern art became trapped by its urge to shock”, wrote that “it is now an effective requirement of finalists for the Turner Prize in Britain to produce something that nobody would think was art unless they were told it… Read more »

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