Art as defined by Oxford Dictionary is The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
Art as defined by Babatunde Lawal in his book The Gelede Spectalce
‘In summary, African art in its societal and spiritual roles projects values aimed at making the world a better place in which to live. The Gelede spectacle of the Yoruba can be understood.. as an active expression of the Yoruba idea of Ifogbontaayese; that is the development of social strategies for promoting community peace, happiness, and togetherness (asuwada).’
i am aiming for the latter..
these selected videos are examples of that (later i will expound on why this is necessary, what this may look like and how this may be achieved within/without the current paradigms that host art..)
Sun Ra’s Arkestra still lives, performing today opening doors to the cosmos, though many people unable to peer behind the many veils Sun Ra has put up, see him simply as a talented eccentric, not as a philosopher attempting and succeeding to re-orientate and re-educate people about the legacy of African civilisations. Teaching thru sound and lyric and dance (holistic practice) what can be learnt from what has come before, in order to improve our current world. the talk of space, as the place (for my perspective), not so much as a physical outer space but the space potential in all of us, that in that is the place where we find what we are looking for. that being the dormant tools in which we have to make the world a more harmonious place in which to live.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s music was weapon, is weapon, when wielded with right hand is a powerful force in the elucidation of the reality of the post colonial (if we pretend colonisation has finished) African Wol’ (world). Blueprints, (flawed.. maybe) he offers of ways to deal with the malaise whether it be illness started, continued by black hand or white hand.. again a totality, lyric, dance, sound.
Bob Marley… he being propelled to represent a zenith of Rasta Culture in its popular manifestation as a livity of personal, political, spiritual and cultural import (in both meanings).
Again we deal with totality, what these three artists speak to is a combination of perhaps a time, a space, a unification of often disparate ideas, sounds and thoughts transmitted thru one, played by many, heard by many more.
Though in the realm of music, their art as transcendent force and their persons as transcendent force being to speak to more than sound, reaching the point (in some cases, not all) of.. project(ing) values aimed at making the world a better place in which to live.