Ric Amurrio
14 min readApr 10, 2021

Entertainment Surplus



“So, my good Teutons, you are proud of your good poets and artists? You point to them and brag about them to foreign nations? And since it cost you no effort to have them here among you, you spin the delightful theory that there is no reason to take any trouble about them in the future, either? They come all by themselves, isn’t that right, my innocent children? They stork brings them! Let’s not even talk about midwives!”

Art is not a thing; it is a way. Musicians find themselves pressured to create music that sells is becoming less of an art form. Music must be born out of a craving desire to channel yourself. Paul Knee stated it best when he said, “Art does not reproduce what is visible; it makes things visible” “Entertainment gives you a predictable pleasure. Art… leads to transformation. It awakens you, rather than just satisfying a craving.

Entertainment just requires passive receivers, whereas art demands purposeful action that awakens your soul. Certain genres of music have become almost formulaic because writers are forced to follow stock templates of what’s expected to happen where (i.e., the first chorus coming in 20 seconds in). The art is driven first by the desire to please a consumer base. When marketing drives the production of music, the resulting outcome is music that lacks meaning.


Art is a meeting place in which human beings commune at a level that ordinary language and sign systems do not allow. The work of art is apolitical and free of moralism. Art opposes tyranny by freeing beauty from the clutches of the powers of this world. “The artist,” Wilde said, “is free to express everything.” “It is precisely the absence of political and moral interest that makes art an agent of liberation wherever it appears,” he adds. “Only the revelation of beauty can save our world,”

The artist does not choose the prophecy. Rather, the prophetic shines through his work. It comes from elsewhere. The artist therefore needs enough courage to stay true to the work at hand. Even greater courage is required of those to whom the finished work is given. Only through art can human beings express and share the archetypal powers that shape the universe. To abandon art would mean forfeiting the gift of vision, which, by all appearances, was given to humans alone. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Art is mysterious because its purpose is unknown and its effect always exceeds the ends we put it to.

Art’s primary quality makes it a suitable sign for those who want to legitimize their authority. Art may be something before it becomes all the things we claim it to be. So also we, holding Art in our hands, confidently consider ourselves to be its masters

Herzog: Discovery of the Chauvet Cave is closer to the hypothetical unearthing of extraterrestrial artifacts than we might initially think. In the images we see them moving about the cave like pilgrims in a Gothic cathedral or space explorers. One scientist reports having overpowering dreams during his first foray into the caves. These “memories from long forgotten dreams,” as Herzog calls the paintings, seem to belong to “a familiar but distant universe”

The only human figurations are a series of handprints and the partial figure of a woman. The cave paintings include some of the oldest known at the time of this writing, dating back over thirty thousand years. The images are naturalistic yet highly stylized, strange yet beautiful. They are not crude or naive, but exhibit a high degree of technical skill, especially when we note the uneven surfaces and primitive materials.

A bull is given eight legs to create the illusion of movement, and a rhinoceros is shown thrusting its horns into the air. The painters deliberately placed these dynamic images in parts of the cave untouched by the light of day. Through Herzog’s lens, we see them moving about the cave like pilgrims. One scientist reports having overpowering dreams during his first foray into the caves. He dreams of supernatural lions, “powerful things” who showed him a new, “indirect” way of understanding.

The same lost culture also fashioned ivory fashioned flutes designed to play a full pentatonic scale. The cave paintings are some some some of the most beautiful images of our time. But we also get a glimpse of something like a shared humanity. The images seem to reach into a stranger part of ourselves, something reaching to the depths. Art may not be our invention at all, Herzog writes.

The mind acquires a kind of second sight when it is freed from the bind of immediate biological need, he says. For a human being, a block of cheddar contains countless potentialities.

“Art invented humanity” is a powerful pull, and ultimately we would have to say that Picasso got it wrong, he adds. The author was referring to the work of Pablo Picasso, who said that the first artists had “invented everything” in the form of art. In the creative imagination, things are revealed to humans that are hidden from the rest of the known cosmos.

Art is paranormal, an anomaly casting doubt upon our most cherished certainties about the nature of reality. We do not know why we make art, but we cannot subtract it from our self-image as a species without losing the thing that makes us what we are. Art discloses our own mystery even as it lays bare the mystery of consciousness.

The Chauvet Cave is one in a long list of archaeological finds revealing the aesthetic genius of the Upper Paleolithic. “Art invented humanity” as an outside call, a sudden flash of inspiration, an inner wanderlust. In the end, art may not be our invention at all.

1 Humans didn’t invent art, but rather art invented humanity

Probably, art (art as such, shamanism, magic, religion) preceded the development of differentiated self awareness

3 Then art forked into two. Acceptable art denotes the use of aesthetics to manipulate emotions in a predetermined manner, and also forks into two. OOH porn videos, advertising and generic pop songs, 2 OTOH propaganda and message films

4 The second fork is Proper Art: it uses the aesthetic to reveal things in their original preconceptual “likeness”. That is, it doesn’t reduce its content to some instrumental end. In doing this artist end up producing symbols that point to vast untapped regions of reality

5 In other words art belongs on the same plane as information physics, dreams etc. We are becoming a society without art in which people are starting to lack the most effective means to envision realities beyond the ideological horizon.

Art has a quality that exceeds their conceptual signification

Art oxygenates society by infusing it with a more expansive reality than its preconceptions allow for. Its not up to artists to produce works that will change the world. It’s up to the world to organize itself in a way that artists are able to make the art they’re called to make. Art is better than philosophy for what is enveloped in the sign is more profound than all the explicit significations

Art is more fundamentally connected to the soul than therapy is. Plotinus said the only reason there are gods is because of beauty, if there wasn’t beauty there’d only be theology. Theories about the gods. But because of Aphrodite we can see and taste and feel their radiance

Termite-tapeworm-fungus-Moss-art goes always forward eating it’s own boundaries”


An artist creates Art on their own initiative. An artist “labors” in service of their Muse, their Muse. The Muse alone is the Artist’s employer. “Do this,” she says, “and you will Live. Turn away, and at best you will only survive.” You do have a choice: You can make the Art, or not. I accept the Muse’s terms. I perform the labor, and receive my “payment”: Life.

I’d much rather serve the Muse than an employer, but although the Muse doesn’t negotiate a moneyed wage. The Muse turns out to always have the artist’s best interests at heart.


Teleology (from τέλος, telos, ‘end’, ‘aim’, or ‘goal,’ and λόγος, logos, ‘explanation’ or ‘reason’) or finality is a reason or explanation for something as a function of its end, purpose, or goal, as opposed to as a function of, say, its cause. A purpose that is imposed by a human use, such as that of a fork, is called extrinsic.

It contend that natural entities also have intrinsic purposes, irrespective of human use or opinion. For instance, Aristotle claimed that an acorn’s intrinsic telos is to become a fully grown oak tree.

In the late 18th century, Immanuel Kant used the concept of telos as a regulative principle in his Critique of Judgment (1790). Teleology was also fundamental to the philosophy of Karl Marx and G. W. F. Hegel.

If we were to talk about progress in art, we would have to posit the perfectibility of forms,. In the last century, the concept of “progress” was projected upon the arts as a measurement of quality. But expression, artistic vision has never been dependent upon the physical means of an art form.

Vermeer has not been superseded in terms of artistic quality by Picasso or Pollock. And Michelangelo not by Giacometti or Moore, Palladio not by Gropius or Le Corbusier, he adds. And the mimetic properties of Greek and Roman sculpture are as good as any figurative sculpture created in the 21st century, in many cases they’re superior.

“Good art” was “progressive art,”, and an artist did not have to commit some “groundbreaking” artistic deed to be considered a good artist. The discovery of perspective by Bruneleschi in the 15th century was also something like progress, as was the “sfumato” brushwork developed by Leonardo da Vinci, he points out. But the quality of execution has always been dependent on the means of expression,. The soul is “like the forms” precisely in respect to these metaphysical perfections.

French Impressionists, mirroring developments on the political front, set their work in opposition to the dominant trends of the day, elevating freedom and spontaneity. The Modernist illusion of progress is in effect a historical accident brought on by a cultural belief in a theory of it.

20th century painting merely reflects cultural changes in the same way Byzantine icon painting represented a cultural shift in the 12th century, no more, no less. If you look at an Ancient Roman marble. portrait heads from the first century BC to the end of the first. century AD which are remarkable in their realism, and are great portraits. And then you look the wax. encaustic Fayum portrait heads, from the Coptic Egyptians. dated from about 160 AD. The best of those are as beautiful as any portrait of any. period, anywhere. Ife and Yoruba terra cotta and bronze heads from West Africa in the. 12–14th centuries are also unsurpassed in realism and elegance. And they are surprisingly advanced compared to what was being made in Europe in. the same period.

The obligation to be “modern” closes off the arsenal of means that developed in the past. What we artists can do is make art that is from within ourselves, he writes, but it may take years to find out what that art is about. The artist looks upon the material level as the most important one. The painter Paul Gauguin suffered acutely from cosmological vertigo induced by the work of Darwin and other Victorian scientists, he adds. He ran away from Paris, family, and stockbroking career to paint native girls in the tropics, but could not escape from himself. At the bottom of his disquiet lay a longing to find what he called the “savage” primordial man, humanity in the raw, the elusive essence of our kind.

Ligeti felt imprisoned between the past and the avant-garde. He felt he had to “surpass” modernism. For him, modernism had become petrified into a mentality which had to be “overcome”



Great actors display artifice or art? Sometimes a bit of both. Artifice stresses creative skill or intelligence, but also implies a sense of falseness and trickery. Art generally rises above such falseness, suggesting instead an unanalyzable creative force.

Art calls to the surface of things their real and immanent strangeness. Wherever or whenever the experience occurs, it seems to seem to enjoy a kind of absolute reality in the minds of those who have it in their minds. “We realize afterward that the world is not what we thought it was: something hidden, impossible to communicate, though clearly expressed in the work”

There is only one thing that it can be said to “communicate” more effectively than other mediums can, and that is the weirdness of the Real.


Artifice seeks to impart information, be it a message, an opinion, a judgment, or a physiological stimulus. It is therefore naturally implicated in the creation of Consensus, a term I am using to describe the cloud of received opinions and ideas in which we all live. Consensus is the statistical world of useful knowledge, generalization, habit, custom, and ideology.

There is no room for genuine conception in Consensus but only preconception, pre-thought, all things having been packaged prior to delivery. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde wrote, “When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself” The last thing artificers want, however, is to divide their audience,” he wrote. “Anomalies must be ironed out of the work, which for its part must exhibit seamless continuity and smoothness” “Perfect artifice would evoke exactly the same emotional state in everyone regardless of who they were,” he said. Artifice appeals to our physiological urges by replacing individuality with an abstraction. The more a pornographic work objectifies people, the more the viewer is objectified in turn, he writes. Artifice can lead us to acts of self-betrayal. The marketer’s goal is to have us act in certain ways whether or not we personally approve of the prescribed behavior. Marketing exemplifies the basic principle of consumer culture, that William S. Burroughs dissects in Naked Lunch. You’re selling customers to the product. The product itself is secondary, all products are junk from the salesman’s cynical viewpoint that goes straight to the “reptilian brain,” the most primitive part of the nervous system. “The reptilian brain always wins” .

“The Customer Is Always Right” is technically a predecessor to “Do What The Algorithm Wants” Markets are an information technology. A technology is useless if it can’t be tweaked. Left and right identitarians want something that I don’t want: a committee to make sure everyone gets what’s best for them.
How much activity on the market is based on the fact that you could not buy the goods available on a fair market, but only on a market that had been rigged in your favor?

How much of the market is psychological deception to get into people’s heads the notion for situational specialty? How much of the business is committed to simulating that the company is forced breaks its own rules because, well you’re on your way up?

The question is whether the entertainment markets are by nature enough to create middle classes. Technologies are never perfect. They always need tweaks. And what does The Market want? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Aesthetic rapture is a peculiar kind of subjective phenomenon, since it presents itself as anything but subjective. It asks to be shared with others in hopes that they too might experience this thing that has had such a profound effect upon us. We then remember that the affective power of works of art varies from person to person, and even from moment to moment within the same person’s life.

Art is an objective pursuit with the same claim to truth as science. Fame, money, conformism, attention-seeking, and knee-jerk rebellion can lure artists to abandon their own vision: The crucial factor isn’t whether we have been amused or delighted by a work but whether we let the forces within it penetrate the closed perimeter of our lives and expand our horizons. If the majority of aesthetic works fails to astonish us then it may have something to do with the ingrained insensitivity that is part and parcel of contemporary life, she says.


Proper art stills us, evoking an emotional state in which “the mind is arrested and raised above desiring and desiring” Improper art does the opposite, aiming to make the percipient act, think, or feel in a prescribed manner. Art is constantly being put to uses that are at odds with its essence. Cultural institutions, social pressures, laws, customs, fashions, and trends pull it in every direction: In A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce outlines his theory of art. For the young James Joyce, true art is “static,” while false art, which he will here call artifice, is “kinetic”


Joyce describes two types of artifice: pornographic art and didactic art. In pornographic art, things are presented in a way that makes us want to possess or consume them. Didactic art is essentially pornography in the minor key, he writes. Both types are “kinetic” because they appeal to physiological urges rather than individual urges. “All forms of didacticism place art in the service of moral judgment,” he argues, “where all works are designed solely to convey a message or moral judgment” .

Our intention is not to claim that artifice is invariably “wrong,” he writes, only that it falls short of the effect that art alone can achieve. Popular fiction genres often rest on a didactic foundation. Their purpose is to teach us how to act, and show us. How to feel by giving us something to judge,” he adds. “It fails because it subordinates the aesthetic to interests that are foreign to it,” he says, “and shows us what to think, and how to Act”


The work of art is perpetually new; it demands reinterpretation with each era, each generation. Great works of art are like inexhaustible springs originating from a place beyond our “little world of little world of man” They reconnect us with a reality too vast for the rational mind to comprehend, he says. No revolution is possible without a critical mass of critical mass, he writes. The artist’s work is designed to serve instrumental reason “artifice,” he says, to reveal the unseen in the situation. “Art dissolves the fog of consensus in which we normally operate,” he adds. “It places us in exactly the same position as the first people who stared up at the stars in wonder. “No revolution is Possible without the critical mass of critical Mass of art, “and it is at once a sinking to the source and a leap toward the infinite. It is a leap to the infinite, a leap into the infinite.” Art is not for an abstract audience but for a lone percipient with whom it seeks to connect. If we really are due for a shift in consciousness, it is incumbent upon each of us to “be the change”


If you value music as an art form, it’s important to take further action. It starts with respecting the integrity musicians hold as true artists. True artists embed lighting in a bottle within their work, and their followers should invest in supporting their ambitions. Remember that all artists are entertainers, but not all entertainers are artists. It’s difficult for artists to be discovered and thrive amidst an industry congested with a surplus of entertainers, so it’s up to listeners to open the gateways for true art to give it a platform to speak.

By taking things out of any practical context and putting them on the aesthetic plane maybe you can still squeeze some mystery and bring it back to the surface