General Inquiry Regarding Art

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Aesthetics
  3. » General Inquiry Regarding Art

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Sun 2 Dec, 2007 03:37 pm
As an artist (musician, drums and percussion), this subject is one that is almost always being tossed about. Given my personal relationship with the subject, one would expect me to have rather certain opinions on the matter, but instead I have almost none. Looking at the music I play, most of it is certainly art - you will have a hard time convincing me that the extended Muddy Waters jam I played on last week was anything other than art. But some of it, I do not look at in the same way - that 80's cover band I was in still gives me nightmares. In both cases, the music was good for what it was, the blues was dirty and soulful, the 80's metal loud, and all for show, but the former I considered to be art, the later entertainment.

Similar differences appear in other arts, it seems. Surely there is a difference apart from technique between the paintings of Picaso, and the fingerpaintings of a child.

Someone help me out. How do we discern art from what is not art. How should we define art? Is there ever something that is necessarily art and something which is necessarily not art? Or, is art just a cultural signification. I look forward to any thoughts on the subject.
 
nameless
 
Reply Fri 7 Dec, 2007 05:27 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
How about, that which is done well is art?
'Art' does come from 'artifice', the produce of the hands of man...
 
Fido
 
Reply Sun 9 Dec, 2007 06:34 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
As an artist (musician, drums and percussion), this subject is one that is almost always being tossed about. Given my personal relationship with the subject, one would expect me to have rather certain opinions on the matter, but instead I have almost none. Looking at the music I play, most of it is certainly art - you will have a hard time convincing me that the extended Muddy Waters jam I played on last week was anything other than art. But some of it, I do not look at in the same way - that 80's cover band I was in still gives me nightmares. In both cases, the music was good for what it was, the blues was dirty and soulful, the 80's metal loud, and all for show, but the former I considered to be art, the later entertainment.

Similar differences appear in other arts, it seems. Surely there is a difference apart from technique between the paintings of Picaso, and the fingerpaintings of a child.

Someone help me out. How do we discern art from what is not art. How should we define art? Is there ever something that is necessarily art and something which is necessarily not art? Or, is art just a cultural signification. I look forward to any thoughts on the subject.

weeel, son; art is both country and western.
 
Verlorener Geist
 
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 09:11 am
@Didymos Thomas,
I believe everything created as art is art. From the Rennaisance masterpeices to ,"Look mommy I painted a pony," to Dual of the Banjos. I belive there is no good or bad art, art is art. Even to manipulate a, shall we say "non-art" object and call it art is an acceptable work in my opinion look at Marcel Duchamp's Urinal http://www.beatmuseum.org/duchamp/images/fountain.jpghe took a ordinary object and made it his own, he made it art, by changing the normal perspective. So I guess what im trying to say is if something is created, manipulated, or changed in the name of art then I believe it becomes art.
 
Peter phil
 
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 10:03 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
In both cases, the music was good for what it was, the blues was dirty and soulful, the 80's metal loud, and all for show, but the former I considered to be art, the later entertainment


How about this as a difference: The art(the blues) is engaged in for its own sake - as an end in itelf. The entertainment (80s metal) is played for a reason other than the music itself - eg to earn cash from records and gigs.

Of course you could say that pop music has to be enjoyable in some way, otherwise it would not entertain. But the attraction of pop music is pretty superficial. The music community would soon tire of it if it were not for the pull of the cash reward.

Peter
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 11:40 am
@Peter phil,
I am willing to concede that all that people do, and every change they make is art. Certainly every art done as art, that is: to edufy, enlighten, entertain, illuminate, or imitate is art. But that is hardly the end, for even garbage art qualifies as art. Rather, what is good art is how art is measured against all art; and since all art has failed us, then how can art properly condemn all art without standing condemned?

There are two good methods of many to measure art. One is how well it works as a form, and in this it is compared to all methods similar. The other as purely relationship. Where the art is the subject, I think it fails. Where the artist is the subject it does better; and where the subject is Olympian, or perhaps cosmic is what I like best. No one can portray the hopefulness in the hopeless condition of men with a single work. No man can be faithfully rendered standing firm against an army of fates, furies, and fairies as mankind itself has so often done in the struggle for human progress. Who can deny that we need art, or that the artist needs art, and that art is the point where many meet?

But the artist, like everyone else can only share what he has to give, and for those artists whose path is clear and trimmed it is certain only the garden variety, and not the untamed wild will find the light. Is it any wonder I like Vandal Art? Do they not proclaim their being in letters ten feet tall? Here I stand, and I'll be back, to defend the limits of my existence. It is what all artist do to some extent, and what all doing is saying to a large extent. Here I stand. See that I yet exist. See that I still resist.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 05:27 pm
@Fido,
Quote:
How about, that which is done well is art?
'Art' does come from 'artifice', the produce of the hands of man...


But what would we mean by "done well"?

Quote:
How about this as a difference: The art(the blues) is engaged in for its own sake - as an end in itelf. The entertainment (80s metal) is played for a reason other than the music itself - eg to earn cash from records and gigs.


Your own criticism seems to be accurate, though, I think you at the very least, have given us another difference to consider. But my problem here is: what of art that was produced for the "cash reward"? To continue with my musical theme (but, again, not to limit the subject) let us look at early delta blues. It was not uncommon for artists to roam from studio to studio, playing basically the same song, with slight differences at each for the money (artist were paid a sum for the recording). Clearly, much of this music was made for the money, but seems to still be art.
Similarly with renaissance painters. Surely, they worked for the commisions, but is the wotk of these men any less considerable?

Quote:
Rather, what is good art is how art is measured against all art; and since all art has failed us, then how can art properly condemn all art without standing condemned?


To say any art, much less all art, has failed, we must have as art some goal. Has all art failed to "edufy, enlighten, entertain, illuminate, or imitate"? Concerns with these as the goals of art aside, certainly not all art has failed to do these things.

Quote:
There are two good methods of many to measure art. One is how well it works as a form, and in this it is compared to all methods similar. The other as purely relationship.


What is the diffences between these two methods? If the first uses a comparison between "all methods similar" and the second is "relationship", then both seem to be relationships. Some help?

Quote:
No one can portray the hopefulness in the hopeless condition of men with a single work. No man can be faithfully rendered standing firm against an army of fates, furies, and fairies as mankind itself has so often done in the struggle for human progress.


Why not? And what is it to be "faithfully" rendered?
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 13 Dec, 2007 10:56 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas; To say any art, much less all art, has failed, we must have as art some goal. Has all art failed to "edufy, enlighten, entertain, illuminate, or imitate"? Concerns with these as the goals of art aside, certainly not all art has failed to do these things. [/quote wrote:
That is kind of a bold stroke is it not, to say all art has failed? Perhaps if this is true then it is because I believe Beauty and truth are both forms of the good, and while execution is very often wonderful in art, the problem is one Aristotle pointed out in poetics, that we find the lives of the powerful fascinating. Some times wealthy and powerful people do live dramatic lives. They can afford to. It is the courage of subject that is missing, and because art is a commodity we do not know for the most part- what want, misery, desperation, and death may have paid for the drama that so often pissed away the lives of the lower classes like so many beers. The rich will not by choice pay twice for the lives of the poor. Would you hang your guilt on the wall for the world to see? No wonder they want to look at anything other as long as it is pretty.

Quote:



What is the diffences between these two methods? If the first uses a comparison between "all methods similar" and the second is "relationship", then both seem to be relationships. Some help?
Art is a form of relationship. Every form of relationship is made of two parts. One is the form, which is the structure of the art, what it is like, Genre, style, or the fact that it is deliberate art. Then there is the relationship, and this is feeling. So art is form and feeling. How do we feel, and is the way we feel as the artist intended? So, you are right that every form is a form of relationship with other forms. Yet, it is also a form for personal relationships. I have something in common with everyone who likes Van Gough. Instant relationship. But in seeing a Van Gough I also get a feeling as well as a perception of his subject. I feel like I know him and can hear his message, personally.
Quote:




Why not? And what is it to be "faithfully" rendered?

Faith is truth. If a person wishes to portray a body, then I would prefer realistic to fantastic. We have to understand that ultimately it is the artist, and, if not the artist, then the audience, and if not the audience or artist, then, humanity that is the subject of the art. If it will communicate as the artist intends then it must be truth, because if it is not truth it is not communication. Truth is a single thing. Not truth is anything else, and so everything else. I try to think now of the sailors story from Moby Dick read so long ago, where the sailor on the slave ship tosses the ball of knots at one of the visiters, and says something to the effect of: You figure it out! This is like the Ghordian Knot with every end tucked neatly into place. And with art, the artist gives the audience the sword to cut this knot of mystery to have understanding.

Reality can be seen outside every window and inside every heart. We do not need artists only to share their angst with us. It is a particular vision of truth we seek that only seekers find. And artists are people of vision. And he does not just give reality, but truth as he sees it, as a special gift for those with the insight to appreciate it.

The reason no man can address the whole condition of humanity is that is is both massive and changing as we speak. I trust those words will give you a clue. What are the fates, the furies, and the fairys? They are the same thing, and the same word morphed by time and distance. There is nothing tiny about a fairy, and nothing friendly about an elf. The Elf king is death, and they serve their master. So, we live in a different world, but more often than you think people feel guided inexorably by fate; and from that feeling they should rebel. Art beyond all things when well done is an act of rebellion.
 
nameless
 
Reply Wed 19 Dec, 2007 07:02 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;6816 wrote:
nameless wrote:
How about, that which is done well is art?
'Art' does come from 'artifice', the produce of the hands of man...

But what would we mean by "done well"?

Simple common definitions, do you really need me to list them? How about, not done poorly?
I know when I do something well. I know when something is well done... don't you? Have you never done something 'well'?
With what are you contending?
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Wed 19 Dec, 2007 01:10 pm
@nameless,
"Done well" with refernece to what? Simple common definitions, as you say, are broad. Done well, with respect to turning a handsome profit? Done well, with respect to the craft (the physical skills)? Done well, with respect to the message of the art?

I was only asking a question, I had nothing to contend.
 
nameless
 
Reply Wed 19 Dec, 2007 09:08 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas;7035 wrote:
"Done well" with refernece to what? Simple common definitions, as you say, are broad. Done well, with respect to turning a handsome profit? Done well, with respect to the craft (the physical skills)? Done well, with respect to the message of the art?

I was only asking a question, I had nothing to contend.

As a self proclaimed artist, it seems odd that you would not understand the meaning of something being 'well done/done well'...
A 'well made' item fills it's function well. It doesn't fall apart due to shoddy and cheap craftsmanship and materials.
It functions, well, as long and longer than expected.
Is graceful in it's simplicity and simple in it's grace.
I am feeling foolish stating what aught to be so obvious, especially to an artist..
Messege of the art? The 'messege' is the function. The 'messege' of a Ferrari is its simple function. The messege of a dictionary is definition, well stated, easy to read, harmonious and pleasing calligraphy and illustrations... The messege of a well handcrafted spoon is the function, a delight to the senses; well designed, properly finished materials, produced and imbued with the appropriate 'spirit'.
Do you understand my intended meaning? I hope so because I'm done with this 'definition'. I don't play word games, and continuing with this, would appear to be doing so. Should you honestly need to continue this, please PM me and we can continue there. Peace.
 
ogden
 
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2007 07:45 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Art is a human form of expression (artistic expression). Artistic expression must be a manipulation of media, regardless of the media or the motive.

The affect art has on the observer has nothing to do with it being art. It is art if you say it is, and is manipulation of a media.

The affect art has on the observer may or may not be what the artist intended, nor must art be appreciated in order to be art, it is merely an expression. Good art is artistic expression that is appreciated or that has fullfiled the artist desire to express himself.

The art I like is anything that conveyes something to me, either esthetically, emotionally or mentally, it just has to be implicit in some way, on some level.
 
Fido
 
Reply Thu 20 Dec, 2007 09:45 pm
@ogden,
ogden wrote:
Art is a human form of expression (artistic expression). Artistic expression must be a manipulation of media, regardless of the media or the motive.

The affect art has on the observer has nothing to do with it being art. It is art if you say it is, and is manipulation of a media.

The affect art has on the observer may or may not be what the artist intended, nor must art be appreciated in order to be art, it is merely an expression. Good art is artistic expression that is appreciated or that has fullfiled the artist desire to express himself.

The art I like is anything that conveyes something to me, either esthetically, emotionally or mentally, it just has to be implicit in some way, on some level.

Does that mean there is nothing of self realization or communication in art?
From my perspective people always try to share their art, so I think recogniton and self realization are a part of it. And communication, which is to say, the reproduction of reality in truth. But sadly, as in your opinion, most art is Detroit art. People in Detroit are forever exhibiting their master pieces. Every where else people flush after, but in Detroit you have to flush first, cause they're proud of their art.
 
ogden
 
Reply Sun 23 Dec, 2007 04:43 pm
@Fido,
Fido wrote:
Does that mean there is nothing of self realization or communication in art?

Hey Fido thanks or your post.

I was attempting to seperate the observation/appreciation of art as a requisit of art. If I paint a cow on the cave wall and I am the sole observer, it is still art, and it may be an expression that adds to my self realization but not in communication. When I do show it to others (communication), thier appriciation of it does not qualify it or disqualify it as art.

I agree though that art as a shared expression makes more sense, but that doesn't stop me from singing in the shower. ha ha ha.

I would ask however; must art allways represent something in nature? Can art represent ideas found only in thought? Posibly you would argue that thoughts are nature. What do you think?

Perhapse art is striving to represent some ideal (an eidolon)? When we do something very well, we say "the art of" the art of bed making for example. while bed making is not the art it is the idealistic principles of it that we say is the art.

Oh yea I gotta go make my bed:D .
 
Nick A
 
Reply Sun 17 Feb, 2008 11:11 pm
@ogden,
I believe that the highest form of art is the emotional equivalent of intellectualy using a text book to understand chemistry for example. A student of chemistry if he is at a certain level is able to draw the same information out of the text that the author put into it.

I believe that art is capable of the same with a person's emotions and able to produce a quality of emotion the person rarely feels. The artist in this case would know how to produce the intended emotional quality in the person absorbing this art.

Naturally this is very rare so the great majority of what we call art is really expression we accept as art simply because art was intended. There wasn't the conscious attempt to have the work of art produce this precise emotion.

Much of this quality of art is religious art like the Cathedral of Notre Dame. No one really knows who built it but those that did had access to knowledge of producing deep emotions.
 
Doobah47
 
Reply Tue 19 Feb, 2008 10:34 pm
@Verlorener Geist,
Verlorener Geist wrote:
I believe everything created as art is art. From the Rennaisance masterpeices to ,"Look mommy I painted a pony," to Dual of the Banjos.


I'd go as far as stealing the History of Art term 'fine' and applying it to works that stand out. I had the discussion elsewhere about what constitutes a 'fine' work - at least according to my definition, my definition being alien to the History of Art definition of 'fine art'. What came out of it was that it is up to the individual to decide what exactly is 'fine' - of course I also believe that works tend not to be rationally conceived as fine in a comparative sense, I think that each work has the potential to be 'fine' if it is basically inspiring enough.

As for the entirity of existence being a work of art, I concur. I find it interesting that the art-work that is existence depends on a creative force and a totally destructive, consumptive force. The dichotomy in my mind is not balanced in favour of the creative, so I believe therefore it is up to humans to rectify this imbalance and cause the universe to become a more lively place.

I'm new here, I hope this outburst of fervour isn't offensive.

Quote:
I believe that art is capable of the same with a person's emotions and able to produce a quality of emotion the person rarely feels. The artist in this case would know how to produce the intended emotional quality in the person absorbing this art.


I doubt the artist knows what they are doing when they produce inspirational works, as an artist myself I feel that intuition takes over when one is making something interesting/emotive. I would direct people toward abstract expressionist art in order to conceive what I am trying to say; I think that the intuitive and the emotional reveal themselves in such art, perhaps some Kandinsky works depict an emotive concentration. I also believe that more realist art, for example Renaissance art reveal some qualities of intuition in their design - perhaps the ability to express potentially perfect forms is an aspect of the intuitive genius of some realist/humanist artists.
[/SIZE]
Quote:

Naturally this is very rare so the great majority of what we call art is really expression we accept as art simply because art was intended. There wasn't the conscious attempt to have the work of art produce this precise emotion.


I agree here, alot of art is produced in order to fund lifestyles of the arts scene. I deplore art that is made in order to gain money (for example the multitude of bullshit abstract pieces, or the dull photography, or the 19th century landscapes), yet I believe that artists should be rewarded financially (the lifestyle of fame is a by-point, something that I do not agree with). I think that when a work is made in an intense emotive/intuition/concentrated session then the emotions it relates are of great magnitude; it is often easy to decipher and choose which works were made in conjunction with a formula, and which were made through sheer insane inspiration.
[/SIZE]
Quote:

Much of this quality of art is religious art like the Cathedral of Notre Dame. No one really knows who built it but those that did had access to knowledge of producing deep emotions.


Architecture is in my mind incomparable to painting or sculpture. The exactitude and perfection of architecture belongs with design, and not neccessarily with inspirational force - yet this does not negate architecture's inspirational qualities - I simply believe that architecture is made with a more refined and precise inspirational force.


[/SIZE]
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 20 Feb, 2008 12:34 pm
@Doobah47,
A good piece of art is like a true concept. in that it exactly reflects reality. whatever that reality might be. so that art to be different only as a conception or execution, but rather in the choice of subject. A beautiful person badly drawn is no less beautiful. It is greatness of subject that make great art, as it is tragic man that makes great poetry. Natural meaning is a universal language, and a meaningful subject speaks for itself.
 
Robert Drane
 
Reply Wed 8 Oct, 2008 06:16 am
@Didymos Thomas,
I know one thing: art at least has to be the product of VOLITION on the part of the artist. Opinions vary on, say, Jackson Pollock, but at least he created a technique, and according to its criteria and its parameters, he was an artist.

On the other hand, some wanker who throws buckets of paint onto a canvas while standing in front of a jet engine so that the paint is sprayed randomly, is no more an artist then any one of ten thousand monkeys churning out letters on word processors. The creator had no volition, no control over the end product. The fact that he thought about doing it, when no-one else did, does not make him an artist. All he achieved was was a colourful mess.

The parameters of art have been widened only by cynics who saw money-making possibilities, by no-talents who saw romance in being called an artist, and by dilettantes who are willing to be fooled by a piece of cow dung spray-painted silver and mounted (I know a bloke who did this - a smart farmer who wanted to hear his pretentious guests give their critical evaluations of something that was - literally - bull****! A classic!).

I loved Manzoni's ideas: he had a vacant pedestal on display and declared that anything placed on that pedestal was "art" - and though the quotation marks are mine, he did it with quotation marks in mind. But the more irony diminishes, the more wankers will be included in the realms of art. Thank heaven the art world still has Robert Hughes to keep it on track!
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Aesthetics
  3. » General Inquiry Regarding Art
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 12/03/2020 at 01:07:13