The physicist Arthur Zajonc says that our culture needs the artist’s cognitive capacities. But what ARE those cognitive capacities?
Perhaps those capacities include the artist’s willingness to be confused, welcoming any unlikely connection that shows up. Perhaps it’s his or her sensitivity to nuance and qualities of beauty that others miss. Perhaps artists are more flexible and disposed to “go with the flow.” Maybe they’re more comfortable with risk-taking and more inclined to let curiosity lead the way.
Perhaps artists have found a way, through their art, to go beyond ordinary capacities of human reasoning.