Something I want to open: Integral Visual Arts

Good Morning, again!

I was doing my morning reading when I happened across a really interesting interview with Ken Wilbur (who is the founder on the Integral Institute) and this part of the interview really where he is talking about art in general, all forms of art.
This interview was done with music as art being the topic to begin with, but of course KW transcends the surface of all things.

You can read the whole interview HERE, it’s a very interesting, mind thrilling ride/read.

Before that I just wanted to speak a little on my view point on evolutionary art. Being that I am creating art, and many of us artists today are, that is on and from a higher level of meme (see chart below) than that of the current state of economy or mind-think of the business world; we are forcing a new revolution upon the globe. Self-Representing Artist. People ask me all the time, what kind of art do you do? I smile and say “heather-ism”.

It’s true! I don’t fit into the current state of labels in the business world of art. What’s a kitty to do? Create her own world, what else? I do what I do, it finds the people it needs to find, the people that need it find me, it’s a whole circle kinda deal. It’s also a form of magic. Ancient magic, Evolution, which for humans also means revolution sometimes (most times).
OK here is the snippit that found me asking these questions and finding an answer in my brain right away from the interview:

“And whether it’s in music, or painting, or literature, it can transmit that second-tier evocation, that integral transmission.  And then another is its capacity for states, and in this capacity, as in the past, art has a possibility of evoking state experiences in the viewer, listener, or reader.  And these can be subtle states, of just emotional intensity, but it can be spiritual states of causal contemplation and nondual flow.  And it was nondual flow, for example, that Schopenhauerhad in mind when he talked about art transmitting spiritual awareness, where subject and object become one in the viewer, and that’s a nondual flow state.  So, sort of two parts – and that’s just an analytical, third-person answer to the question.

There’s also first-person answers to the question, which are just more aesthetic responses to what aesthetics is.  But that’s kind of an overview, a third-person view, of where art is and that it’s opening up on a frontier now of a second-tier transmission as well as being able to transmit and evoke states of consciousness.  And those are essentially similar in the past, except that they are going to be interpreted.  If somebody comes out of a nondual flow state, and somebody happens to be at turquoise –

[Ken uses a color-coding scheme to refer to specific altitudes.  “Turquoise” refers to a mature and stable realization of so-called “integral” or “second-tier” consciousness.  See the chart below, from Integral Spirituality (hi-res image viewable here).]

Correlations of Developmental Psych Research

– and the art itself was composed by a turquoise mind, then if you asked the person, the listener/hearer/viewer to explain the artwork, they will explain it from an integral vantage point.  They’ll explain it from an turquoise vantage point, in terms of just the effect it has on them.  And whether that’s music, and it just somehow “makes me feel whole,” and whether it’s literature, and there’s a consistent writing from a second-tier perspective that’s taken and conveyed and evoked in the narrative itself, or whether any sort of art in its communicative form now has signifiers that are available at second-tier.  And this is basically, this is a fairly novel breakthrough.  And certain great artists of the past have had a chance to push into second-tier cognitively and relate that aesthetically, but we’re coming to a point now where there are a large number of everyday individuals that are at that – they’re advanced everyday individuals, but it’s somewhere upwards of five percent of the population, so that adds a mix to art that was not present before.

And the last thing I’ll say about is, when it comes to art recognized by art critics, we have basically just about run the course of postmodern art, and that’s art that has green-altitude signifiers [conveying an awareness of the social construction of the ego and systematically “deconstructing” it by illuminating its reliance on cultural context] and is heavily invested with normative judgments [declarations of right and wrong].  So art basically has been politicized, which is not really its function, but that’s what green postmodern artists and critics have done with it.  But we have about run that course, and so what’s new is signifiers coming from integral.  Signifiers coming from post-postmodern.  And whether that’s just in music composed by individuals at second-tier, kind of a certain resonance that comes across in that, or whether its actual narrative forms that convey these second-tier perspectives either explicitly by talking about integrative material or implicitly by coming from that altitude – however the form that they are, it has the capacity to use signifiers, and it is going to start using signifiers, that are post-postmodern.  And that’s going to be kind of huge.  We’re waiting to see how it breaks out, waiting to see what form it takes, waiting to see what narrative form it takes and particularly what visual arts do in the face of integral.

So that’s all right on the horizon, and that’s why it’s a very exciting time in the art world, we’re watching the death of a huge movement and the birth of what will be a huge movement, and we’re right on that cusp.”

I get it! The understanding that I can say much clearer and with more authenticity, I am a full time Integral Artist, and I minor in revolutions. *grins* I am finding in my own life experiment that understanding not what I do (the making of the art) but understanding myself, and my world is what makes it work for me instead of trying to push, form myself into the system, resist the natural flow of growing and accepting the role of evolution as a familiar. Then, the “mind -think” can and will and IS changing! When you create a new world…well…it’s a NEW world. Whatcha you think was going to happen?


What do you think the role of modern art IS in the cycle of global evolution and in the bio/integral science of humanity? I would love to know what you all think.


Burning questions,


Oh, don’t miss the art for the day post, it’s below. 🙂


  1. cynthia
    February 18, 2008

    It’s a lot to digest before I’ve had a full cup of coffee – but I do think that art and philosophy live just underneath the waking currents of everyday life. So often we think we have an original idea and someone, somewhere across the globe or even across the street has thought up the same thing.

    I’m reminded of an art history class I took years ago and the prof reminding us that before phones, internet and even global travel, pyramid shapes were conceived as an architectural forms in both South and Central America and in Egypt at about the same time. One of my favorite all time books is “Hero with a Thousand Faces” by Joseph Campbell – it’s a fascinating look at civilization.

    In a way, Post Modernism is what has allowed you and me and everyone else declare themselves an artist. It will be interesting to look back 100 years from now to see what it is that the new era of art will be named. 100 years ago, we could have thrown our hat (or petticoat) into a number of art “isms” – I was always sort of enthralled with Futurism since it’s so strict – plus I loved that they had a “manifesto”. Maybe I need one of those. LOL.

    Anyway, interesting post – I will probably have to read it again after I’m fully caffeinated

  2. jafabrit
    February 19, 2008

    I have referred to myself as an interstitial artist, but that requires an explanation in itself.

    I didn’t realize it was becoming recognized as a movement, but that is cool. Whenever people ask me what I create or paint, I say anything and everything, I weave between genre’s, from classicical to art brut, from abstract to representational, and on any material I am in the mood to paint on.

    I think it is great that we have escaped the confines of academic art ,and now the restrictions by Elitists, galleries/market driven art venues. We don’t have to be pigeonholed into one style or genre. YEA!!!!!!!!

  3. Kalliope Amorphous
    February 20, 2008

    Very insightful article. I am strongly resonating with all of the above.

  4. Kalliope Amorphous
    February 20, 2008

    ….and definitely linking you on my blog. Your work and insights are fantastic! I am usually more long-winded, but just wanted to say I am adoring your site. Thanks for finding me…otherwise I wouldn’t have landed on all of this gorgeousness! 🙂

  5. Vikki North
    February 21, 2008

    I just read this today and found myself completely dumbfounded, Heather. It’s is not only ‘profound’ as someone said, but a little creepy (meant in the positive.) I had just written a new blog for tomorrow that actually (in a small way) touches on the subject of the evolving process of art. Certainly not as in depth or insightful as yours but the sentiment is there. It was actually in response to a small comment you made. Anyway, pretty amazing subject. I’d really love to hear more.


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