Diapason Consulting

Creative history

April 25, 2022

This fascinating article explains very well how pareidolia combined with the fire lit environment of a paleolithic dwelling could have given birth to different forms of pictorial art. The hypothesis is highly relevant and the story is easily envisioned ; the aura of a campfire and its impact on our mental state is undeniable.

I’m curious about the statement that (at that time) “huge amounts of time and effort would have gone into finding food, water and shelter, it’s fascinating to think that people still found the time and capacity to create art”. A lot of paleoromantic think otherwise. I need to dig a bit more into that (starting with this one). The statement comes from the Neuroscience News article, I could not find a similar sentence the paper itself.

The parallel with Plato’s Allegory of the Cave is interesting. Allegory
4edges - CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This reminded me also of the beginning of David Byrne’s How Music Works. The author explains there how music evolved in completely different directions depending on the characteristics of the physical environments in which it evolved, contrasting the west African drumming patterns with the harmonies of European monastic choirs.