Notes on Physical Empathy

“What do I want to say? I have a theory regarding Art. That there is a side of its creation and appreciation that can be defined as a physical empathy. This empathy is developed from an early age and is connected with the development of sexuality. Most will develop parallel thoughts of sexuality and Art appreciation that seem unique. Some will have inter-related appreciations of sexual desire and the aesthetic. I would argue that the minor secondary group are more likely to produce Art with meaning as Art than those of the former.”

“The beginning is childhood sexuality, an awkward subject, difficult to research. A quick Google shows the expected reports on child abuse, with some countering articles on sex education. Adding ‘psychology’ to the search gives us the great lump that is Freud and his psychosexual development. Worth digging into in some respects but I’ve always has trouble with Freud’s idea of normality. In our day it makes him almost too historical. I’m thinking about the stage of ‘polymorphous perversity’ that a child experiences, but that it is not limited to the few erogenous body parts that Freud lists. There are surely an array of materials and objects, human and non-human, that a child finds comfort and curiosity in. At this stage and onward the only things that will dictate which of these becomes the most enjoyed or desired are social constraints.”

“Thinking now, I wonder about the familiarity of fetishised objects. Far from being the only blouse fetishist I find there are many men like me, and that their idea of the attributes of a desirable blouse design can be very similar. That must mean that there are conventions in place, unwritten and unacknowledged perhaps, that dictate the seemingly random: the most erotic blouse pattern, the most arousing boot, the most stimulating texture of goop. Somewhere at the root of these desires is a point of aesthetic creation that satisfies the conditions of both body and society. This would suggest that the conditions of æsthetics are mimicked by the conditions of fetishisation.”

 

Wagner