Prof Emmanuel Anati (2004) had noted a combination of innate compulsion, and communicative development in rock art, linked to economic complexity levels. However he also noted that some stylistic elements seemed cyclic.
Anati’s challenge to the World Archive of Rock Art (WARA) was ambitious;
“The study of patterns in the grammar and syntax of prehistoric art, in worldwide documentation… of complete assemblages. Single figures, like single words, do not allow interpretation of cognitive process.”
Anati had called for:
• Global rock art data;
• Separated into five economic phases;
• Distinction between figurative, symbolic, geometric, and psychogram figures;
• Identification of the grammar, syntax, or structure of composition;
• Identification of common environmental, historic, and cosmic components.
Stoneprint answers Anati’s call, and demonstrates that:
• Art and rock art share the same core content;
• Illiterate cultures and literate civilisations express the same core content in visual and other media, including myth, ritual, and buildings;
• Economic phases are irrelevant to the core content of culture;
• Figurative characters and abstract ‘signs’ are interchangeable (as Anati had also found);
• The syntax, grammar, and structure of composition is a complex universal standard, of five layers;
• Environmental and historic components in art are unreliable;
• Cosmic components in art are inevitable (as Gombrich had found), and innate, thus subconscious;
• Innate compulsion drives cultural expression of archetypal structure, irrespective of theme or culture;
• Communication by means of art is unreliable, even in the artist’s own culture;
• Visual communication in artistic format did not develop, but remains confined to subconscious ‘meanings’, as it was in the Ice Age;
• Styling is cyclic, and mutates by fashion or fads;
• Assemblages, panels, or groups of characters, contain five layers of visual, grammar, syntax, and compositional structure. Single characters or groups of less than eleven, express some archetypes, which are difficult to demonstrate without the context of the standard subconscious ‘composition’;
• Art and other media reveal subconscious cognition. Conscious processes are of minor importance to most cultural media, such as art, myth, ritual, and architecture, since artists could explain only their own conscious rationalisations, of visible themes, and of styling.
There is only one art, and one culture, and we did not invent, design, or develop it. Culture, its media, and its artefacts, are shaped by the natural order of things that precede things. We re-express that order in our works, and thus transform materials into artefacts, as well as into universal structure. Culture is a natural given, just as the periodic table, chemistry, DNA, technology, ecology, and economy manifest themselves, and mutate to their own dictates, and maturity cycles, and interactions with other, equally structured media (what Gunderson labels ‘panarchical discourse’). Conscious thought and free will are overrated, while our subconscious minds and behaviour are underrated in the cultural record………….[order the book Stoneprint at $30 plus postage from Four Equataors Media, via edmond at syrex dot co dot za using Paypal ]……….