My unrelated question: In class on Wednesday, we talked about how humans are inclined to look for representation in things (clouds, a Pollack painting, etc.), even when there is no intended representation. Why would an artist want not to represent something, and do you think an artist would intentionally not represent something, knowing/hoping that the observers would make their own representations?
I believe that an artist wouldn't want to exactly represent something so that the viewer has something to look at and something to think about. If your painting of a river looks like any old river, how does that evoke thought or emotion beyond the norm? How does that make you special or unique as an artist? Of course, you might be the best river painter ever, but if it's boring, not many people will enjoy it very much or will remember it beyond the gallery.
It would make sense that some artists would intentionally not create anything of complete and sure substance. With artists like Pollack, it must be entertaining to know that no one actually knows what you painted, but it sparks hours of conversation and enjoyment in wondering what you, the artist, actually meant. Also, this allows for the viewer to see what they want in art. Just like with lyrics, you can shape the meaning to represent you, even if it is the exact opposite of what the original lyricist meant. Representation allows for people to make art their own, regardless of its actual meaning.