Energy Art Movement Manifesto

written by Giorgio Vaselli and Laura Zerebeski on May 9, 2008

We, a handful of artists on the brink of the third millennium, propose to unite under a common flag of artistic taste, that of high-quality visual dynamism. Many illustrious artists in the past have demonstrated this taste and feeling, both individually and in isolated groups, yet their descendants have lost it once again. The special taste of visual dynamism appears to be a consequence of both developing artistic and periodic styles, as suggested and shown below. Therefore we have come to realize, promote, and state its upholding as our common primary purpose.

We believe that unlike logical intelligence, an artist’s visuality – and thus a period’s collective visual intelligence – improves at a steady rate, so the complexity of the images depicted will grow proportional to it. Looking at the artworks and artists of periods, there is generally a late peak of collective visual intelligence, which drops suddenly and unexpectedly. This may be due to drastic environmental changes, or other reasons. Also, those who follow may not feel or understand the previous visual complexity which may have led to an unsustainably high level of abstraction, even in realism. The next generation of artists may either question the validity of the previous style that will typically cause them to start all over, or attempt to imitate the former style with much lower quality. Often a period of decadence follows. We later illustrate this via examples below.

We wish to further point out the relation between visual complexity and dynamism, while attempting to give a general definition. There are five important criteria, or attributes of artworks, which they may be judged by: color, form, composition, inventiveness, expression. Increasing the level of any one of these in a work, tends to increase the satisfaction it visually provides, for those capable of digesting this increase. Visual dynamism serves to increase the last two criteria, by basing itself on the first three. The use and arrangement of colors can in itself increase the dynamism of a piece. Forms may be arranged, directed, and shaped in a manner that provides a sense of dynamism. The idea of proper arrangement in both cases, is composition. Increased dynamism in these three attributes serves to improve the inventiveness of a piece, because invention is necessary to depict the dynamism itself. The level of expression may also increase through dynamism, because the viewer through the sense of motion may more easily place oneself into the atmosphere of the concept. So in general, visual dynamism increases the value and complexity of any work, and thus tends to be a consequence of individuals’ and periods’ improving intelligence and changing taste.

[ A Historical Account of Energy Art is an appendix to this writing, and it should be read at this point. ]

To state our purposes more explicitly, we do not hide our dissatisfaction with certain current low trends in the Fine Arts, that we wish to take stance against. We believe that visual dynamism is one of those attributes which serves to improve the five values of visual taste, as described above. It has been taught by our forefathers that it is also an unavoidable consequence in our quest to ascend the staircase of visual complexity. With full realization, we undertake this quest, individually and together, in order to improve both our own and our period’s visual taste and values.

Our initiative is to be called the “Energy Art Movement”, to reflect our energy and dedication to our purpose above, as well as to name “visual dynamism” with a more common term.

[ Sub-Movements, Membership Types and Criteria is a second appendix to this writing, and it should be read at this point. ]

To conclude this manifesto and sum up all we stand for and against, let us be reminded of the encouraging words of Vasari (in the preface to “The Lives of the Artists”):

“… if ever it happens, which God forbid, that the arts should once more fall to a … ruin and disorder, through the negligence of man, the malignity of the age, … these labours of mine … may maintain the arts in life, or … encourage the better spirits to provide them with every assistance, so that, by my good will and the labours of such men, they may have an abundance of those aids and embellishments which, if I may speak the truth freely, they have lacked until now.”