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IB WORLD LITERATURE - Interactive Oral Assignment

Payton Smith

on 6 September 2013

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Transcript of Minimalism

Minimalism in the Arts
Minimalist Lifestyles
The belief that the significant fact is that we, and things in general, exist, but have no meaning unless we create it ourselves.
a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity
The History of Minimalism
A trend from early 19th century
Intended to expose the essence or identity of a subject through eliminating all non-essential forms, features or concepts.
Gradually became an important movement in response to the over decorated, busy, and flamboyant designs of the previous period
American movement in art in the 1960s and 1970s.
Minimal Music
Minimal Musicians:
Terry Riley, John Adams, Phillip Glass
What Is It?
How to Start
When sorting through your belongings, everything should go in to one of these categories:
Benefits of Minimalist Living
Spend less
Stress less
Easier to clean
Become more productive
Own higher quality things
Freedom from the 'comparison game'
Time for things that matter most
Not tied down by the past
More rest
Find things easier
Display what means the most
A Branch of Existentialism
The universe gives no clues on how to live
Humans are aware of the potential for nothingness and the absurdity of the world, which causes fear and anxiety
Longing for a meaningful experience as a way to gain personal gratitude
Doing the most with the least
A person advocating a minimal policy, style, technique, etc
Living with the bare essentials and continuing to pursue dreams and aspirations
Minimalism is usually associated with the arts and music
1940's - Literary Minimalism
1960's - Minimal Art
1970's - Minimal Music
1990's - Minimalist Architecture and Space
People, still to this day, have created a minimalist lifestyle in which they live by day to day
James M. Cain
Michael Nyman
Piet Mondrian
Created By: Payton Smith, Caroline Rothschild, Alexis Bennett, Grace Bass, Jarrett Sippola, and Carter Culwell
Stripped to the essence of their identity, "beauty in simplicity"
Characterized by use of abstract ideas, geometric shapes, and simple color schemes
Works have meaning in and of themselves
Minimalist Visual Artists
John McCracken, Donald Judd, Anges Martin, Frank Stella
Believed there was no point to life and that life was absurd in general
Believed there was no point to existence and that one should not strive for anything but to just be comfortable
Spoke of their characters as outsiders to the world around them
Believe that there is nothing worth committing to
Developed his work from the writing of Camus and other minimalist authors
Believed the outsider feels crowded by the world around them
Believes these outsiders do not want to be outsiders but wish to to live wholly and create their own "religion"
Argues that these alientated people must pass through this stage of seclusion of society and eventually cease to be an outsider
Albert Camus
Colin Wilson
Minimal Art
Minimal Art
Let's Compare!
Camus vs. Wilson
Minimalist Philosophy
Here is an example of minimal music
Terry Riley- Happy Ending
Get rid of all excess belongings and things that are not necessary
Make sure you keep an open mind
Keep and Use
Minimalist living is counter-cultural. It is contrary to every advertisement we have ever seen because we live in a society that prides itself on the accumulation of possessions. There is far more joy to be found in the pursuit of fewer possessions than can ever be discovered in the pursuit of more. Consider just some of the benefits of living with fewer possession
Simplicity brings balance, freedom, and joy. When we begin to live simply and experience these benefits, we begin to ask the next question, “Where else in my life can I remove distraction and simply focus on the essential?”
Philip Glass and Terry Riley
Minimal composers who brought a new style of simplicity to music
Philip Glass wrote modern classical music
Terry Riley wrote experimental music based heavily on improvisation
Now its YOUR turn to be the artist!
Discussion Questions
What does it mean to be a minimalist?
Why do
think Meursault has a minimalist way of thinking and living, and seems to have no feelings at all?
Why do the philosophers of existentialism delve into the consideration of absurdity? Do they have to be existentialists themselves for there to be a purpose behind their studies?
What do you think Camus was considered in this situation?
The Stranger and Minimalism
Meursault's way of thinking seems strange to all of us living in Carollton. Why?
Meursault has a very minimalist mind. Although we don't know what began his journey of being such a minimalist, we can try to understand why he wanted to think this way.
In the stranger, he seems to have no feeling about very emotional subjects... such as:
His mother's death
When he murdered the Arab on the beach
Raymond's mistress getting beaten
Meursault may have this way of thinking because he is afraid of his feelings
He feels that he'd rather feel nothing at all then hurt some of the time
In Part I, it also tells us about Meursault's living conditions. He lives in a small apartment with on a bed, wardrobe, dining table, chairs, and a bathroom.
Everything else he had once owned, was thrown out when Maman died, becasue it was 'useless'.
Existentialist Philosophers

~ "Man exists, turns up, appears on the scene, and, only afterward, defines himself."
Essence is the mere existence of meaning, but Sartre explored the thought of humans possessing no essence.
~ "Subjectivity is truth"
A difference between what is objectively true and an individual's emotional rather than factual relation to that truth.
Coincides with the movement in American visual arts
"experimental" music
characterized by repetition, drones, use of motifs, and tonal consonance
The Existence
of Existentialists
The Philosophers' Quotes:
"Man cannot endure his own littleness unless he can translate it into meaningfulness on the largest possible level."
~ Ernest Becker
"...no existence can be validly fulfilled if it is limited to itself."
~ Simone de Beau
"Thus, human existence--at least as long as it has not been neurotically distorted--is always directed to something, or someone, other than itself, be it a meaning to fulfill or another human being to encounter lovingly.
~ Viktor E. Frankl
Are there actually any real existentialists out there?
My job was to search for well-known existentialists of the world. But the problem I came across was - well, are there any? None were to be found.
Why do we not know of any well-known existentialists? Or do you?
Is that apart of their philosophy? - to not shine?
Philip Glass- The Poet Acts

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