Re: [sl4] The Starving Artist Experiment

From: Mark Nuzzolilo (
Date: Tue Nov 03 2009 - 14:23:37 MST

It would depend on MANY variables of course. The point I am trying to get
at is that I have been pondering the possibility of a biofeedback device
which can produce a similar effect, if carefully controlled. The
fundamentals of the psychology behind the "Starving Artist" are more
important than the variables of the experiment itself.

On Tue, Nov 3, 2009 at 8:02 AM, Natasha Vita-More <>wrote:

> What if the artist does not draw at all? What if s/he creates
> interactive games, programs Ai-robotics, clones cells, or writes theory?
> Putting that aside, to answer your question, it seems it would depend on
> the emotional state of the artist and whether s/he works will under
> pressure. Motivation is a meaningful partner when trying to survive. I
> suppose that most folks would improve their skill level to survive - drawing
> (metaphorically) from their knowledge base and bringing forth forgotten
> skills, or ideas, of how others have done it (most artists study the masters
> in undergraduate school and would remember what da Vinci's images looked
> like), and then try to implement that style.
> But the myth of "starving artist" is really a bit of a turn-off because it
> suggests that artists are at the mercy of a church, an institution, or a
> patron and not clever enough to build a sound business. The Van Gough
> syndrome has been damaging to the arts because one expects genius to foster
> insanity (not to mention the fact that Van Gough put his chemically-fueled
> paintbrushes in his mouth and thereby actually ate metals - which most
> likely caused or added to his mental confusion).
> I'll quickly mention another myth -- that artists have to wait to become
> famous until after they die. Equally as disparaging - so we suffer and die
> and then collectors make their bucks. Thumbs down on this old-world
> nonsense.
> Natasha
> [image: Nlogo1.tif] Natasha Vita-More <>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* [] *On Behalf Of *Mark
> Nuzzolilo
> *Sent:* Tuesday, November 03, 2009 3:15 AM
> *To:*;;
> *Subject:* [sl4] The Starving Artist Experiment
> Suppose I were to take a willing participant in captivity, who does not
> know how to draw art very well, and deprive him of food for a day or two.
> Thereafter I would put in front of him his favorite food, and tell him that
> unless he draws me a decent picture of something, the food will be given
> away to somebody else. For this thought experiment, I would like you to
> assume that the effects of hunger on the human mind and body are not
> significantly inhibiting in any way his "regular" ability to think or draw.
> The question is, will he then draw greatly above his previous skill level?
> What implications does this have for intelligence, and has there been any
> research into intelligence or psychology using this type of approach or
> concept? Keep in mind that there are also other potential motivators other
> than hunger.
> Mark Nuzzolilo

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:01:05 MDT