Rudolf Arnheim quotes

  • All perceiving is also thinking, all reasoning is also intuition, all observation is also invention.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Thinking #Intuition #Instinct

  • The least touchable object in the world is the eye.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Eye #World

  • Good art theory must smell of the studio, although its language should differ from the household talk of painters and sculptors.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Smell #Language

  • Variety is more than a means of avoiding boredom, since art is more than an entertainment of the senses.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Mean #Blessing

  • From building a fire one can learn something about artistic composition. If you use only small kindling and large logs, the fire will quickly eat up the small pieces but will not become strong enough to attack the large ones. You must supply a scale of sizes from the smallest to the largest. The human eye also will not make its way into a painting or building unless a continuum of shapes leads from the small to the large, from the large to the small.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Strong #Eye #Painting

  • What, then, is the basic difference between today's computer and an intelligent being? It is that the computer can be made to seebut not to perceive. What matters here is not that the computer is without consciousness but that thus far it is incapable of the spontaneous grasp of pattern--a capacity essential to perception and intelligence.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Intelligent #Differences #What Matters

  • Just as a chemist "isolates" a substance from contaminations that distort his view of its nature and effects, so the work of art purifies significant appearance. It presents abstract themes in their generality, but not reduced to diagrams.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Science #Views

  • The foreign accent was a promise, and indeed, all over the country, European imports added spice to the sciences, the arts, and other areas. What one had to give was not considered inferior to what one received.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Country #Art #Giving

  • Art is continually working to take the crust of familiarity off everyday objects.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Everyday #Art Is

  • The clarification of visual forms and their organization in integrated patterns as well as the attribution of such forms to suitable objects is one of the most effective training grounds of the young mind.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Education #Organization #Training

  • Order is a necessary condition for anything the human mind is to understand.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Order #Understanding #Mind

  • Rather than be asked to abandon one's own heritage and to adapt to the mores of the new country, one was expected to possess a treasure of foreign skills and customs that would enrich the resources of American living.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Country #Skills #Treasure

  • In many instances, order is apprehended first of all by the senses.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Order #Firsts #Instance

  • Modem science, then, maintains on the one hand that nature, both organic and inorganic, strives towards a state of order and that man's actions are governed by the same tendency.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Nature #Men #Hands

  • Now equilibrium is the very opposite of disorder.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Opposites #Disorder #Equilibrium

  • When a system is considered in two different states, the difference in volume or in any other property, between the two states, depends solely upon those states themselves and not upon the manner in which the system may pass from one state to the other.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Change #Two #Differences

  • The line that describes the beautiful is elliptical. It has simplicity and constant change. It cannot be described by a compass, and it changes direction at every one of its points.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Beautiful #Swag #Simplicity

  • Once it is recognized that productive thinking in any area of cognition is perceptual thinking, the central function of art in general education will become evident.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Thinking #Cognition

  • A system is in equilibrium when the forces constituting it are arranged in such a way as to compensate each other, like the two weights pulling at the arms of a pair of scales.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Two #Weight #Arms

  • At one of the annual conventions of the American Society for Aesthetics much confusion arose when the Society for Anesthetics met at the same time in the same hotel.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Confusion #Hospitality #Mets

  • As one gets older, it happens that in the morning one fails to remember the airplane trip to be taken in a few hours or the lecture scheduled for the afternoon.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Good Morning #Taken #Airplane

  • Nothing is more humbling than to look with a strong magnifying glass at an insect so tiny that the naked eye sees only the barest speck and to discover that nevertheless it is sculpted and articulated and striped with the same care and imagination...
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Strong #Humility #Eye

  • In a land of immigrants, one was not an alien but simply the latest arrival.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Land #Aliens

  • Entropy theory is indeed a first attempt to deal with global form; but it has not been dealing with structure. All it says is that a large sum of elements may have properties not found in a smaller sample of them.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Elements #May #Firsts

  • Entropy theory, on the other hand, is not concerned with the probability of succession in a series of items but with the overall distribution of kinds of items in a given arrangement.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Hands #Kind #Theory

  • The dance, just as the performance of the actor, is kinesthetic art, art of the muscle sense. The awareness of tension and relaxation within his own body, the sense of balance that distinguishes the proud stability of the vertical from the risky adventures of thrusting and falling--these are the tools of the dancer.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Dance #Art #Fall

  • The arts are neglected because they are based on perception, and perception is disdained because it is not assumed to involve thought.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Perception #Neglected

  • Climbing is a heroic liberating act; and height spontaneously symbolizes things of high value, be it in the value of worldly power or of spirituality. To rise in an elevator, balloon, or airplane is to experience being liberated from weight, sublimated, invested with superhuman abilities. In addition, to rise from the earth is to approach the realm of light and overview. Therefore the negative overcoming of weight is at the same time the positive achievement of enlightenment and an unobstructed outlook.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Airplane #Light #Climbing

  • Both art and science are bent on the understanding of the forces that shape existence, and both call for a dedication to what is. Neither of them can tolerate capricious subjectivity because both are subject to their criteria of truth. Both require precision, order, and discipline because no comprehensible statement can be made without these. Both accept the sensory world as what the Middle Ages called signatura regrum, the signature of things, but in quite different ways.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Dedication #Order

  • The rehabilitation of order as a universal principle, however, suggested at the same time that orderliness by itself is not sufficient to account for the nature of organized systems in general or for those created by man in particular.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Men #Order #Rehabilitation

  • Seeing consists of the grasping of structural features rather than the indiscriminate recording of detail.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Statistics #Details #Grasping

  • The experienced physician, mechanic, or physiologist looking at a wound, an engine, a microscopic preparation, "sees" things the novice does not see. If both, experts and laymen, were asked to make exact copies of what they see, their drawings would be quite different.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Drawing #Preparation #Doe

  • It would be most wholesome if for at least twenty years art historians were forbidden to refer to any derivations. If they were not allowed to account for a work of art mainly by tracing where it comes from, they would have to deal with it in and by itself--which is what they are most needed for.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Years #Would Be

  • A good documentary or educational film is not raw experience. The material has passed the mill of reason, it has been sifted and interpreted.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Educational #Documentaries #Film

  • A cloud can look like a camel, but a camel is unlikely to look like a cloud. This is so because the signifier must be able to stand for the whole category of the signified. The cloud looks like all camels, but no camel looks like all clouds.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Clouds #Looks #Able

  • Orderliness by itself is not sufficient to account for the nature of organized systems in general or for those created by man in particular. Mere orderliness leads to increasing impoverishment and finally to the lowest possible level of structure, no longer clearly distinguishable from chaos, which is the absence of order. A counterprinciple is needed, to which orderliness is secondary. It must supply what is to be ordered.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Men #Order #Levels

  • No mature style of art in any culture has ever been simple. In certain cultures, an overall symmetry may conceal the complexity of the work at first glance.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Simple #Style

  • The more perfect our means of direct experience, the more easily we are caught by the dangerous illusion that perceiving is tantamount to knowing and understanding.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Mean #Knowing #Perfect

  • A revolution must aim at the destruction of the given order and will succeed only by asserting an order of its own.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Order #Succeed #Revolution

  • It is good to live in a country where all are immigrants ... the newcomer is simply the latest arrival.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Country #Newcomers

  • Would there be any truth in saying that psychology was created by the sophists to sow distrust between man and his world?
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Men #Psychology #World

  • The arts, as a reflection of human existence at its highest, have always and spontaneously lived up to this demand of plenitude. No mature style of art in any culture has ever been simple.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Reflection #Simple

  • Now the work of art also represents a state of final equilibrium, of accomplished order and maximum relative entropy, and there are those who resent it. But art is not meant to stop the stream of life. Within a narrow span of duration and space the work of art concentrates a view of the human condition; and sometimes it marks the steps of progression, just as a man climbing the dark stairs of a medieval tower assures himself by the changing sights glimpsed through its narrow windows that he is getting somewhere after all.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Dark #Men

  • Every act is a visual judgement.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Choices #Judgement #Visuals

  • Form is sometimes considered a mere spice added by the artist to the representation of objects in order to make it pleasurable.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Artist #Order #Spices

  • Order is a necessary condition for making a structure function. A physical mechanism, be it a team of laborers, the body of an animal, or a machine, can work only if it is in physical order.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Team #Animal #Order

  • The principle of parsimony is valid esthetically in that the artist must not go beyond what is needed for his purpose.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Artist #Principles #Purpose

  • No longer can we consider what the artist does to be a self-contained activity, mysteriously inspired from above, unrelated and unrelatable to other human activities. Instead, we recognize the exalted kind of seeing that leads to the creation of great art as an outgrowth of the humbler and more common activity of the eyes in everyday life. Just as the prosaic search for information is "artistic" because it involves giving and finding shape and meaning, so the artist's conceiving is an instrument of life, a refined way of understanding who and where we are.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Eye #Self

  • But art not only exploits the variety of appearances, it also affirms the validity of individual outlook and thereby admits a further dimension of variety. Since the shapes of art do not primarily bear witness to the objective nature of the things for which they stand, they can reflect individual interpretation and invention.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Shapes #Bears

  • Order is a prerequisite of survival; therefore the impulse to produce orderly arrangements is inbred by evolution.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Order #Survival #Inbreds

  • Television is a new, hard test of our wisdom. If we succeed in mastering the new medium it will enrich us. But it can also put our mind to sleep. We must not forget that in the past the inability to transport immediate experience and to convey it to others made the use of language necessary and thus compelled the human mind to develop concepts. For in order to describe things one must draw the general from the specific; one must select, compare, think. When communication can be achieved by pointing with the finger, however, the mouth grows silent, the writing hand stops, and the mind shrinks.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Communication #Sleep #Writing

  • Some popular quotations smell of airless closets. They exhale the stale imagination of the intellectual lower middle class. "Suspension of disbelief" has become one of them. Dressed up as a scintillating double negation, it serves the pedestrian notion of art as illusion.
    -- Rudolf Arnheim

    #Art #Class #Smell