“Tyrants throughout the ages have feared the revolutionary potential of art, and the tyrants of our own day are no exception. But just as art can be used to expand consciousness, it can be used against us to keep us locked in the control grid…”¹ You must decide whether to create art to expand the consciousness of others, or continue to spread the lies we are told by the tyrants of our own times who are maliciously keeping the populace in the dark?
Never forget the power of your art, it is more than just something to decorate a wall with or to hang in a museum, it has the power to open people’s minds to new ideas expanding their consciousness. Of the myriad of ways artistic expression can be used to achieve this goal I am going to discuss the four most common ways which are presenting a message, telling a story, recording events, and teaching.
Presenting a Message
Let us first discuss presenting a message; which does exactly what it says, it presents a message through the expression of your opinions, points of view, or facts on topics ranging from anarchy, and civil disobedience, to faith. This is the most prevalent of the four ways artistic expression can be used to expand people’s consciousness, and is present in the three other ways listed above. The reason is that there is great power in the ability to spread ones knowledge and views throughout society, and art is the perfect tool for the job. There are a number of techniques which can be usedto spread your message consisting of parody, satire, and the rhetorical devices of, metaphor, and allegory. All these techniques give you a means to express yourself with greater energy. Most of these techniques are commonly used in writing, but I believe they can be used just as affectively in art.
Parody is defined as “a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule”, and legally “According to the U.S. Supreme Court, a parody “is the use of some elements of a prior author’s composition to create a new one that, at least in part, comments on that author’s works. Like other forms of comment or criticism, parody can provide social benefit, by shedding light on an earlier work, and, in the process, creating a new one””A good example of parody is this t-shirt from liberty maniacs:
“Satire is used in many works of literature to show foolishness or vice in humans, organizations, or even governments – it uses sarcasm, ridicule, or irony. For example, satire is often used to effect political or social change, or to prevent it. Satire can be used in a part of a work or it can be used throughout an entire work. “6 It is used in literature, music, plays, and even movies which people are most familiar with. Films such as “Shrek. Meaning: the film mocks the cliché, a knight in shining armor saves the princess, by making the main character an ogre. The movie also portrays the princess as a strong, independent characters, as opposed to the typical damsel in distress.”6 and even “O Brother, Where Art Thou? Meaning: This adventure film that uses satire to show the public the evils of the South. The film parallels Homers The Odyssey, and makes references to the classic satire Sullivans Travels.”6 Satire is also used in art specifically in political cartoons as demonstrated in the following example.
Allegory is a rhetorical device in which characters or events in a literary, visual, or musical art form represent or symbolize ideas and concepts.” this is a rather abstract device, and the best example I could find was Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” which is written as a dialogue between Plato’s brother and his mentor Socrates, narrated by the latter.”Plato has Socrates describe a gathering of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all of their lives, facing a blank wall. The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire behind them, and begin to designate names to these shadows. The shadows are as close as the prisoners get to viewing reality. He then explains how the philosopher is like a prisoner who is freed from the cave and comes to understand that the shadows on the wall do not make up reality at all, as he can perceive the true form of reality rather than the mere shadows seen by the prisoners.”² Now let us move onto the visual examples.
A Metaphor is “A trope or figure of speech in which an implied comparison is made between two unlike things that actually have something in common.” simply put “A metaphor expresses the unfamiliar in terms of the familiar.” For example “But my heart is a lonely hunter that hunts on a lonely hill.”(William Sharp, “The Lonely Hunter”)”3 or something simpler such as strong as a bull, or bright as the sun.
Telling a Story
Next let us discuss using artwork to tell a story; which canbe used to entertain, and/or to teach.This brings to mind the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”, meaning a complicated idea can be presented in one or more images. This is used mostly in sequential art, such as a flip or comic book. With this method the ability to read is not required, meaning young children, or those who never learned to read can look at your art and grasp the meaning (if they understand the topic being portrayed to begin with) being portrayed. A symbol such as a cross can also be used, when you look at one you immediately think of the crucifixion of Christ for our salvation. All this is known with no words being written or spoken, but none the less tells a story. Come to think of it all of the methods discussed for presenting a message, and presenting a message itself can be used to enhance your story telling.
Third let us discuss using art to record or discuss your opinions on events. You can record political events like elections, social events such as a community arts festival, or even the military events of war. Through your art not only can you record the event itself, you can express your opinion of the event. A perfect example is the ancient Egyptians use of hieroglyphics which told the stories of the lives of deceased Pharaohs, and their accomplishments in life.
Last but not least art can be used to teach any subject you want from algebra to philosophy. Art is a great teaching toll because some people learn better visually through the use of diagrams, maps, and step by step instructions such as you would find in an instruction manual. Another reason It is ideal for teaching is that it is a quick and effective way to explain complicated ideas, and to absorb large amounts of information in a short amount of time.
There are many things you can show with your art, but what are the benefits of doing them with art, versus writing, in actuality the answer is threefold.Art is multilingual because the ideas are explained with images which breaks the language barrier because frankly words are not needed, as long as you can see you can understand the message. Another benefit is that artwork is timeless, meaning a story such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet used a very different vocabulary then we are used to, which makes it hard to understand. If you took the same story and made it into a comic book it would be easier to follow regardless of the vocabulary used. As mentioned earlier it is a quick and effective way to explain complicated ideas, and to absorb large amounts of information in a short amount of time.
Never forget the power of your art, it is more than just something to decorate a wall with, or a dusty piece of art hanging in a museum, it has the power to open people’s minds to new ideas thus expanding their consciousness.
- metaphor – definitions and examples – figures of speech
- Liberty Maniacs