color Beyond Kandinsky: Welcome 2

The year 2011 marks the centennial of the publication of Wassily Kandinsky's classic text, On the Spiritual in Art. Inspired by this anniversary, this project set out to explore the place of the spiritual in contemporary art and to propose a challenge to the current devaluation of the inner life that prevails within the art world in our market-driven era.

Beginning on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011, a ten-day virtual symposium moderated by Taney Roniger and Eric Zechman was held in this forum. The symposium closed on the evening of Friday, April 8th. Below is the full record of the proceedings.

Panelists invited to participate were: Suzanne Anker, Laura Battle, Connie Beckley, Anney Bonney, Deirdre Boyle, Nathaniel Dorsky, Jeff Edwards, James Elkins, Max Gimblett, Tom Huhn, Atta Kim, Roger Lipsey, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Joseph Nechvatal, Daniel Siedell, Charlene Spretnak, David Levi Strauss, Alan Wanzenberg, and Pawel Wojtasik. For participant biographies and other project details, please visit our site:


March 30th–April 1st: Session I: The Spiritual Then and Now

April 2nd–April 3rd: Session II: The Changing Shape of Art

April 4th-5th: Session III: Art and Its Audience

April 6th–April 7th: Session IV: The Artist in Society

April 8th: Conclusions


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Welcome 2

Welcome to the discussion, everyone. The "spiritual" as we are discussing it here is not necessarily connected with a specific religious tradition, but is an expression of (or recognition of) the existence of an inner life. It is a uniquely human capacity for perceiving the ineffable quality of existence, that which is hidden beneath the surface; it is an intelligence about or sensitivity to the relationships between the self and other, between the world that we perceive through our senses and the very personal nature of the senses themselves. The overarching subject of the conversation over the next 10 days is how artists working today relate with those experiences in their work and whether art and artists have a particular role to play in exploring that world and revealing it to others. I look forward to reading everyone’s thoughts about this seemingly hidden aspect of contemporary art, which at its core, is an acknowledgment of an experience of the sacred or transcendent.


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  2. I'd like to thank all of you for creating this interactive online wonder. The subject matter is SO RELEVANT, now more than ever, and yet of a nature that might inhibit bodies in a room with voices too shy or ideas too convoluted to be expressed all at once. By removing the 'time-lag' of individual contemplation AND the cacophony of simultaneous collective expression, you've encouraged those of us with perhaps less academic credentials than yourselves to participate in a process that ought to matter to every practicing artist, if not every human living at this moment... Kudos to you ALL.