Cultural relationships are those that generate and transmit a series of representations that
originate from legends, folklore, myths, and customs. paradigm. These innate schemata
They form part of our collective knowledge as they transmit a belief or a are often adopted
and transmuted into the arts.
This Enlightened Heritage is an epigenetic response that goes beyond flesh and bones. It is
a heritage that has no fundamental reason or need to be accepted by the people. These
innate schemata also influence art.
Carl C. Jung said that culture is formed in terms of a kind of reserve of symbols common to
people within the same culture, called "collective unconsciousness." People accept these
symbols as part of their being.
The genesis of heroes, for example, consists of an archetype that a certain group of people
will assume as a fact of nature.
One of the most recent paradigms or ideologies that clearly illustrates the emergence of an art form is the hippie
movement of the 1960s. Timothy Francis Leary was a psychologist, who had not been a particularly brilliant student
at university. He experimented with drugs and became one of the heroes of the movement. The word psychedelic,
however, was coined by the British psychiatrist Humphry Fortescue Osmond, who was also a hippie ideologue.
It came with a clear and precise ideology: the way that mankind should follow was in its contact with nature and
to "love thy neighbour". From the above it is clear that these young people were not expected to accept
the norms of their elders, as they were heading in the opposite direction.
Around this basic concept countless natural laws began to be spurned, for example, one could copulate without
prejudice ("free love"); there was no need to resist the urge to enjoy every moment of existence, and
this included the use of drugs as purveyers of pleasure. It was the age of Flower Power.
Art rapidly adapted to this movement, in what we might call Psychedelic Aesthetics. This art form had some specific
characteristics, such as art theory predicts, as it became an interest group identifier, the art united and bound
together the interest group. And the fine arts were ideally placed to promote the hippie movement. In many cases,
the same activists within the movement were the first producers of this art, as has happened in every civilisation.
The American Dream
In 1929 the United States was just one more country within the international community. That year, however, the
largest economic disaster of all modern times occurred, almost matched by the crisis that is arising whilst
writing this article. Charles Kindleberger of MIT explained the phenomenon, among other reasons, by stating that
there was no one country that would take the lead and take action at that specific moment to stem the downward
spiral of the economy. A few years later however, and especially with the entry of the United States in the
Second World War in 1941, the United States began to acquire a new personality.
Its first action was to commit the families working within its defense industry to its programme by issuing the
famous Treasury Bonds. American families chose to postpone the use of their savings for a lengthy period of
time and to pursue a more austere lifestyle.
But the wait and austerity finally had their reward. By the late 40s, the U.S. government returned the dollars
to these families, unleashing a wave of consumption and increasing optimism and the U.S. began to gain its
position as a world leader. War refugees, those seeking safety and opportunity, began to migrate to that country.
In this way the long-standing idea that this was the land of promise was strengthened.
The American Dream was beginning to solidly manifest itself.
In the 50s many Americans were convinced that there was no better lifestyle than that offered by American society.
This became the interest group of one of the best known paradigms, the American Dream.
With any paradigm there is an interest group and this interest group requires an atmosphere or aura that brings
them together and this is how an art form arises. In this case, perhaps one of the most notorious artists was
Andy Warhol, who had so internalised the ideology that he himself theorised about his own creations and about
life in this, the best of all societies.
"What's great about this country", said Warhol in one of his books, "is America started the
tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV
and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think,
you can drink Coke, too. ".
Warhol was one of the idols that permeated the art belonging to the interest group of the American dream.
The Far West is a geographical location where the discovery was made of large deposits of a metal highly
prized by humans. Curiously, though, this metal is of no use to produce tools and today, there are few
production-related uses, except for example, for sophisticated applications in scientific experiments, in
aerospace technology and the development of electronic circuits. In fact, its most prolific use over the
centuries has been for the production of ornaments.
Gold has been known about since antiquity. It is found in nature embedded in the rocks, forming veins, mixed
with sand and it is also found as "nuggets". However it was the metal, copper, which humans first
began to use on a large scale. Copper was processed in Egypt, about 3000 BC, for which they melted oxide
containing minerals. Silver has also been highly appreciated by the human race, although its extraction and
purification is more complex than copper. These three metals are very malleable and are the best conductors
of electricity. Since humans however attribute greater value to the beauty of gold and silver, only copper
is economically viable now to transport electricity.
In the early 19th century people around the world greatly coveted the possession of gold and silver. Many
facts and legends prevailed about the quantity of these precious metals that they had been found by the
Spanish in the Americas. It had also been well known about the exquisite works of art created in gold by
different dynasties of the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt. For these reasons and many more, when the call of
gold was rung in the Far West of the United States, there was a stampede of adventurers who invaded the
region. The possession of gold, a beautiful substance that is used to decorate objects, produced a huge
benefit to those who could get hold of it.
Hence, good strategical minds, with a cunning and cynical attitude were necessary qualities at that time
in order to succeed and to better adapt to that environment. All humans have a great ability to imagine
hypothetical future scenarios and to calculate what should be done today to achieve a significant
advantage in the future.
Many stories have been told about the Far West, some of them true, with tales about the most malicious
of ruffians even worse than the Comte de Lautréamont's evil Maldoror. One of these was the tale
of William H. Bonney (a.k.a. Billy the Kid). And as in all stories where evil arises, champions of good
also appear on the scene. In the Far West several celebrated characters emerged with commendable courage
and nobility such as the good guys Pat Garrett and Wyatt Earp. And there were epic characters, such as
Joaquin Murieta, a sort of Robin Hood in America.
The Knights of the Round Table
In another time and for very different reasons, a brotherhood of brave and gallant knights emerged in
ancient Britain, who, according to legend, met together at a round table, so that they became known as
the Knights of the Round Table. This table was round for a specific reason, as it prevented any one of
the knights to proclaim themselves more important than any of the others. The story of King Arthur is
fascinating and beautiful and brings together many interesting elements that are part of the symbolism
of modern humans, and which endure even up to the present day in various forms. One is the intervention
of the magician Merlin, intelligent and enigmatic; there is a sword that has a similar behaviour to a
god and has strange powers of it own; an intrigue of love affairs and the Holy Grail and the quests that
the knights embark on, brought about mostly by ambition, just like the gold seekers of the Far West. It
is assumed that King Arthur did not really exist, but was the invention of Geoffrey of Monmouth, a
twelfth century historian and other writers and poets, who later translated his writings and attempted
to romanticise the ideals of twelfth century Britain. Either way, the story has been written and
reinterpreted in the arts for centuries.