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Keeping Art and Music Fresh



Can't we just spray it with preservatives? A fascinating look at how the brain erases a lasting enjoyment of all art forms.

The initial excitement of hearing a new song fades as it’s replayed to death. That’s because the brain naturally functions as a kind of ticking time bomb, obliterating the thrill of artistic sounds, images and words by making them familiar over time.

So the artist, musician or author’s challenge is to create a work that retains its freshness, according to Case Western Reserve University’s Michael Clune in his new book Writing Against Time (Stanford University Press). And, for the artist, musician or writer, creating this newness with each work is a race against “brain time.”

In his book, Clune explained how neurobiological forces designed for our survival naturally make interest in art fade. But the forces don’t stop artists from trying for timelessness.






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