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Lidimist Manifesto

15 min read

Art will always be the daughter of its time, a daughter who will always be born - regardless of the time's desire - and who can take any form, any medium. Without the proper education, she can get lost in time, being swallowed up by some social network - or advertising project - and expelled back in the form of cheap and fragmenting entertainment, reinforced in its simplistic essence and a robust mass control and consumerism tool. An anesthesia that leads those who saw her to lethargy while the power, in the role of an abusive father, advances everyone like water penetrating their pores.

We live in the era of digital alchemists, transformers of what we consider authentic. They manufacture misinformation and use social networks to spread them like plagues on an already suffering plantation. They have faithful followers to help in this work of dissemination. People who extend their creations to others who - whether or not they are like them - in the end, will have contact with the plague, no matter how much they protect themselves - as in the increasingly common pandemics -. Contamination facilitates the rulership of everyone's future in a time where reality is artificially constructed, transforming itself into a scenario where we will see more and more authoritarian regimes and environmental destruction embellish the surroundings of increasing crises and capital increasingly concentrated on a small group of individuals and corporations.

Some people react to the anesthesia before being overwhelmed by apathy, but not all bodies are like that; not all bodies are present in the present and attentive to the surroundings in the same way as we do in our violent streets. Regardless of the situation, both groups tend, amid such a context, to take roads that lead to a lack of self-will in their days; useless distractions and wasted time; the lack of relevant experiences in life. Here is the first depression.

Various forms of manifestation of the first depression are intellectually accessible to ordinary people, even those at the service of digital alchemists. The main one, automatism, makes individuals live without depth. These people wake up with difficulty, look at social networks in the morning, go upset to work, and return home exhausted to sleep after some non-intellectual activity, such as watching something or getting drunk. The next day and the following ones are minor variations of that, and sometimes it takes years for these people to notice for a moment the self, the now, the time that has passed. Automatism overflows the mind with irrelevant and straightforward information and stimuli. The flooded mind only survives, as if following an algorithm, a predetermined list that requires no thought, just repetition of commands. Automatism extracts the originality of the being, creating an avatar that only survives to age or dies from some disease and subsequent lack of medical care.

People - already doomed to the enslavement implicit in daily routines searching for earnings - choose their truth, their muse of lies. A justifying and nurturing being for the Kafkaesque life they came to live. Then the spectacle of negation and ignorance grows. Here is the second depression.

Currently, there is a movement of people building their own truth almost in real-time; or allowing themselves to live the truth constructed by others - perhaps this, the worst form of the second depression -. These people speak like experts, deny science and reason, indulge in conspiracies and pseudo-knowledge, and not defend rational doubt, skeptical observation. One might even think that they ignore the extent of the betrayal of their own intellectual integrity and indulge in such daydreams for a practical matter of their own - by believing in something because they think it is valid and not because they think it is true, as Bertrand Russell said more than half a century of this text -. How much do they sacrifice in the name of a blindfold?

For a long time, rational morality has been attacked by religions and extremisms. Nowadays, when observing our proximity, we may fear that we are already too close to be too late to reverse this situation. We see a crowd of people who put away the blindfolds and gouge out their eyes, scream for attention, for their own truths, oblivious to the steps they take on a stage overloaded with recurring events. Historical facts and scientific facts, anything whose existence and veracity can be gauged, are abandoned.

It is then that the expression becomes futile, superficial; the arts fail to fulfill their social role, and the artist finds himself or herself without a sake. Everyone is in a vertiginous search for pleasure, wealth, and quick reinforcers, faster and faster. The environment does not allow for easy changes, and life goes by as fast as happiness is desired. Here is the third depression.

The ease of mass reproduction, together with the artist's desire to show what he is capable of, made art sterile, empty; just a commodity, a product distributed by the hundreds around the world in reproductions sold on the internet, with the sole purpose of making a profit; leaving the vital role of communicating the incommunicable relegated to another plan of the work.

We found, then, a devastated landscape to live, a world inhabited by society's ridiculous ignorance and its depressions. An ignorance turns itself into even more worrying when we notice that it is linked to groups' interests that need to assert themselves on a non-existent basis.

Art should not be swallowed up by the moment, by selfishness, by bad taste, by the devaluation and tyranny of its time. The artist who feels out of place should not surrender to the will of those who want to indulge. He must not sell the space for creativity within his daily thoughts to jobs that serve only the purpose of essential well-being, of basic survival, works that are done almost irrationally. The artist needs that space for himself or herself.

It is a moment where it is possible to take the gallery to people through technology, but the same technology also flourishes significant flaws that we carry from our evolution as social beings. Intellectual progress is abandoned, and life points to fame only; fame in the form of everything that can be acquired and used as a veneer over a purposeless life. Most of the failures flow into the blind search for value, which is seen only in engagement, followers, views, numbers that shouldn't be used to measure quality. It follows the abandonment of originality in exchange for a disturbed delivery to aesthetics validated in the past to gain similar recognition in these different days now. They imitate techniques, elements, and contexts of previous masters - or obligatorily use materials that were available at that time -, they feed the desire to feel like a renaissance master, an expressionist, or an academic from the past just to show supposed skills and authority using well-known building blocks; they lead art to the aesthetic apathy of our day.

Art as a sign of profound communication must react; it must follow the progress of the ages, it must surpass it, and when this era let itself be restrained, it must pull it.

Knowing that we can analyze any topic in the face of its visible phenomena and infer the invisible ones after deep skeptical analysis. Knowing that we can intuitively explore, based on the knowledge we carry, the subject's temporal and spatial lines without abandoning what Clive Bell defined as a significant form, the beauty or ugliness. We can create the inferred analytical art that materializes an instant of a complete thought, an exhibition where what everyone sees and what only the artist sees live together. Rejecting the Realism thesis because we need more than only having access to what we see immediately, instantly. Also, rejecting the pure and random automatism of the subconscious preached by the masters of Surrealism, as it is it that, in a new context, makes the current generation flee from reflections necessary for their own survival and the survival of creatures that cannot make their own choices.

Art communicates — even in the limelight with the apathetic commercial art — and when we speak of communication, of language, we talk about the mediator between reality and our mind; reality exists within us only through language. Translations will always be versions of the original; they will never express precisely the same thing and its small nuances. Concepts are lost, and sensations no longer find forms in our inner voice in the absence of language. Our homeland is our language, said Fernando Pessoa. We inhabit our language, and through art, we can share a homeland with the world, a common language, a culture, a universal language, as John Dewey said. It is foolish to leave this language abandoned to futility without value and reason.

Under what we believe, the name assigned to the new mode of expression available is LIDIMISM, a word that must be understood in a particular way. It is defined:

LIDIMISM. noun [U] 1 - Skepticism in search of understanding the truth, through which it seeks to express musically, in writing, paintings, tattoos, and any other creative medium, reality sharing space with inferences analyzed by the artist; 2 - Applied to things that we can see and things that we can only imagine and express in an allegorical way; 3 - The expression of an understanding in an almost symbolic character; exposing a surrealized reality for all its symbolic depth; 4 - Artistic-analytical movement, with aesthetic similarities with other movements, such as the Naturalist, the Surrealist, the Minimalist, and the Expressionist.

Art is a philosophy that helps us to understand the human experience through its representation, and the natural world is outdated for the arts, it can still be captured by paintings, music, or precisely by photographs, but it says little about what shows; it does not deepen anything without the help of more tools. The art born from an already tired view can only move as the cover of a closed book moves. The authentic natural world is implied in our time; it cannot be seen only with what the eyes show at first; it needs reading the book; it is dynamic. The Lidimist movement portrays what its etymology, of the Brazillian word Lidimo, teaches us: what is admitted as legitimate, accurate, authentic, genuine in all its representations. And for this, the look must be to what we see beyond the superficiality of what our eyes show in the world, even if this representation needs unrealities that metaphorically explain the real; the eyes of the mind must be used more than the eyes of the face. As Pyrrhus of Elis, we need to know that, in the world of appearances, it is impossible to obtain secure knowledge directly from reality, from the absolute nature, undeniably incomprehensible to human beings. We must then, even if it is not possible to know how things really are; without judgment; in a rational way; without being carried away by personal emotions and desires; and after an in-depth analysis of what we infer and feel about them, express how things look to us in all their completeness beyond the reality we can see, we can symbolize vision and reasoning. Here is Lidimism, working with people's imagination and emotions, inviting them to use both.

Skepticism and rationality in no way hinder free and spontaneous creation. The interpretive experience can arise naturally from skepticism; it is an essential link between the deep and the accessible.

Likewise, the aesthetic concern should not limit the creation of art; we are creating ways to communicate profound ideas, so light and shadow can have a life of their own in art - they can be more than an extension of the central theme - while expressing concepts of form. The things shown may not be possible to be seen in ordinary reality. Still, the mundane reality itself is read by the artist in search of information, of the past and future time of the chosen theme, to be expressed in language, in extraordinary reality, expressed in a way less obvious way, in an aesthetically unreal way, stimulating thought that was previously forgotten or left in the background. Again, the rational mind's eyes are used more than the eyes of the supposedly real world of manufactured truths.

Yet, just as photos express the psychology of the eye and, by absorbing the light, they replace the need for the realism of the paintings; the lidimist can absorb the bizarre; he or she can absorb the real and make it resurface from what has been absorbed. He or she can express deep concepts without ever doing them in a futile or random way because every aesthetic serves a purpose, serves an idea of communication. The lidimist can express what for a trained mind was implied in photography.

These are times when humankind ignores that it is not the center and is not the universal existence protagonist. And when we think in a global context, it becomes difficult to believe that humankind will perceive this fact only with what humanity can see daily, a world of automatisms taken from ordinary people to the galleries. Automatism in thought and action is one of the ruins of our time.

We infer from this that, for example, as many writers understand that the value of their writing is partly due to the size of their texts - their success when, in an era with so much useless information available, we should not write information that is not worthwhile. -, people increasingly feel the impact of so many distractions and useless information; they feel it when they do not notice the time passing in front of their cell phones and notice it only when they think in retrospect, they feel it when they start to get tired without having done anything relevant. Lidimism is not done without purpose.

We also infer that music, as the most popular tool of expression that we have ever developed, should not be surrendered to capitalism in any way; seeking to conceive only disposable works with no depth - uniquely popular pieces, used for distraction on a daily basis -, ignoring all the fractal that can be obtained from it rationally and analytically, the possibilities of intellectual and emotional enrichment. Lidimism explores new possibilities.

For clarity of the Lidimist objective, let us think of other movements and their popular definitions. We start in Realism, portraying man impartially while he interacts with the social environment; representations concerned with the truth of the scene, with reliability, with the dissection of bourgeois society. A more radical version of Realism appears, Naturalism, showing in a voracious and animalistic way the man as a product of this medium, showing rot, going deeper into reality, and aiming at more implicit things. Still in the 20th century, Surrealism arose, proposing something in another direction, proposing the representation of the subconscious, of the dream, which culminated in the creation of unreal, anarchic scenes in the face of reality. Lidimism is the next Naturalism step since man is still a product of the social environment, but it is a product created more intensely, manipulated by the State and algorithms in social networks and search engines. The subjectivity of social reality calls for a more unreal aesthetic to be represented in a truly realistic way - beyond the word. The new reality does not stop just in the eyes or just in the depths of the thoughts; it is the union of the two things: extrapolation, movement, sound and fury, and everything that makes it not empty of reason to exist. Even if the artist chooses not to reveal his reasons, preferring to leave the puzzle to the public to be assembled; because even the revelation would still leave room for analysis - understand the art would be like understanding someone else beyond the artist. How could we sum up a person and everything that makes him or her, just with language? Lidimistic art would still avoid the mistake of imitating modern times that bombard us with useless stimuli.

The lidimist can still think, for example, of multiple fossilized realities in a single moment where all the time is seen because, amid our reflections, we cannot forget that we can express concepts. After all, concepts are also reality. Concepts like time, anguish, and other words that express something abstract, all this dynamic nature can be expressed in a concrete concept as an idea expressed aesthetically, as well as the allegories of medieval aesthetics. Because the absurdity that it means to ignore the dynamic nature to obtain its own benefit, from financial to those related to mental health and self-esteem, is shown through the unreal and utopian, surpassing reality, which can no longer be understood so easily. The unreal can be seen as something that is not only possible but normal, common, as in the works of fantastic realism in Latin America. Doubt can be used to arrive at an expression, a deceptive art.

Let the lidimist art live not only in the galleries but also in the streets; that it captures the love, the fear, the anger, the hate. May art be the language used to explain the profound, let anyone who looks at it know that we are artists because we made it feel the same way by understanding our language!

We know how much the world has ceased to be linear - perhaps it never has been - so the perspective must also cease to be linear in the same way; it can be extreme, curvilinear, spherical, non-Euclidean, atonal, inverse. But it shouldn't be obvious because more than expression, art must also be exploration. Minimalism can be complex in times like this when the era of truth has already been left behind. Today the reality is incomplete; it is up to art to use logic, reason, and ethics to fill these gaps and serve a broader social spectrum, and not a spectrum of art through art. It is up to art to expose the dimension of the everyday themes of natural eyes and mind eyes, just as science had to expose the dimension of our planet seen from outside itself, from another perspective, as we would never have the complete notion just living on it and looking at its walls.

We have humanitarian science and technology as allies, but the same science and technology in the hands of tyrants have destroyed our privacy and lives. It is then necessary to encrypt, use smart contracts or other technology of our time to register all art, guarantee your work's authenticity, and collaborate with the logical analysis of specialists in the future. Embrace the time we wish for ourselves. Art is also an art because of the hands that created it, and only skeptical, analytical, humanistic science and philosophy can lead to a future where it is possible to live the entire spectrum of humanity.

This manifesto is a child of its time, but it must be timeless; a child who must evolve to other times and be against time; it must be updated, collective, improved. A reminder of the power of art in times of difficulty. This manifesto is timeless as long as we live in a world of insanities, as long as we live in times of abuse that are normalized and forgotten - humanitarian and those related to animal rights -; and as long as there are people interested in something better than this world, with humility about reason.

With the hope of one day, this text will become just a reference of past times when ignorance and superficiality needed to be combated because, in some way, they were still celebrated.

April 01, 2021

v1.1, Updated on April 10, 2021