The Significance of Art

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hue-man
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 09:21 pm
I'm sure that we all know that matters of beauty and enjoyment, unlike morality, can only be justified as relative values. My question is this: what is the significance or art as it pertains to the human animal? Why should we value notions of beauty and art, and what does art have to say about the human condition?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 09:26 pm
@hue-man,
Art says nothing about the human condition.

Humans relate the human condition via art.

To understand art, you first need to look at abstract forms, i.e. things that are completely nonrepresentational. Like instrumental music, like abstract painting, or perhaps even like architecture. The reason one should start here is that it helps you understand that our interface with art is one of feeling. We respond viscerally to it. Later on, when people add representation, then the visceral response to the aesthetic may augment (and be augmented by) the person in the painting, the words in the music, etc.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 09:51 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;70512 wrote:
Art says nothing about the human condition.

Humans relate the human condition via art.

To understand art, you first need to look at abstract forms, i.e. things that are completely nonrepresentational. Like instrumental music, like abstract painting, or perhaps even like architecture. The reason one should start here is that it helps you understand that our interface with art is one of feeling. We respond viscerally to it. Later on, when people add representation, then the visceral response to the aesthetic may augment (and be augmented by) the person in the painting, the words in the music, etc.


I disagree that art says nothing about the human condition. I believe that forms of art, like literature, music, and film, have a lot to say about human suffering, as well as joy. Are these not expressions of the human condition?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 09:53 pm
@hue-man,
Reread what I wrote.

They are expressions of the human condition only insofar as the artist-audience interaction makes it such a thing.



Are books expressions of the human condition? Some are.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Fri 19 Jun, 2009 09:56 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;70524 wrote:
Reread what I wrote.

They are expressions of the human condition only insofar as the artist-audience interaction makes it such a thing.



Are books expressions of the human condition? Some are.


So doesn't that contradict your first statement on the matter?
 
nameless
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 12:59 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;70511 wrote:
I'm sure that we all know that matters of beauty and enjoyment, unlike morality, can only be justified as relative values.

Seems to be a 'fly in the ointment'? Throwing in the unnecessary and biased comment on your feelings re: 'morality'? If we accept the ointment, the fly might go by unexamined? I, for one, am willing to accept the rest of your 'surety' sans the 'fly'.

Quote:
My question is this: what is the significance or art as it pertains to the human animal?

The significance of the 'art' that I produce, if you can call it 'significance', is that it is what I do. It is like giving birth to something. It spontaneously 'happens'. I don't 'plan it', generally (and most often when i do, the planned result is not what manifests), it grows and gets born and we have a short relationship and cut it loose to continue living it's own life.
On another tack, I do not divide the world in which I live into 'art' and 'not art'. I don't see 'art', I see beauty.
What is the 'significance' of beauty?
No significance to me other than the state of bliss attendent, it just is (and I do enjoy those moments when I am perceiving such..).

Quote:
Why should we value notions of beauty and art,

I don't believe in 'shoulds' (nor 'whys'). What is, is. There are those who see 'art' everywhere, and 'value' it as they do.
There are those who see no art anywhere, and the notion of 'value' is irrelevent. And a whole spectrum of Perspectives in the middle.
'Value' appears to be in the 'eye of the beholder'.

Quote:
and what does art have to say about the human condition?

Give me ten people who see 'art' (a feature of ego/thought/interpretation?) and think that art says something about 'the human condition' (whatever that is), and I'll show you ten different/unique Perspectives about said 'condition'.
'Interpretation' is, aparently, also 'in the eye of the beholder'.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 02:31 pm
@nameless,
This question is not for nihilists; so if you're a nihilist please don't comment?
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 02:47 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;70525 wrote:
So doesn't that contradict your first statement on the matter?
it's the humans who create art who speak to the human condition. art may or may not -- it depends what the artist intended. Nothing contradictory.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 03:06 pm
@Aedes,
Aedes;70694 wrote:
it's the humans who create art who speak to the human condition. art may or may not -- it depends what the artist intended. Nothing contradictory.


OK, so you're saying that some art speaks of the human condition, and some art doesn't. Well I agree with that, but you said "art says nothing about the human condition", and that was a pretty general statement.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 05:00 pm
@hue-man,
The art itself isn't saying anything. A work of art is a thing.

The artist may have plenty to say about the human condition, though. And if the artist didn't, the audience of the art may derive something of the sort (think of looking at a cave painting, or Stonehenge, or something like that where we don't know what was on the artists' minds).
 
nameless
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 05:31 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man;70690 wrote:
This question is not for nihilists; so if you're a nihilist please don't comment?

What a ridiculous comment.
I am not a 'nihilist', and even if I were, my comments are quite relevent and valid.
If you don't 'like' them, tough.
If you wish to practice philosophy (this is a philosophy site, no?) and agree with or ignore (that might be your best tack at this point) or refute them, if you can, fine, but the coward's way out is not philosophy. There is more honor in just ignoring my valid points than this!
What's your problem, anyway?
Whatever...
 
Poseidon
 
Reply Sat 20 Jun, 2009 07:15 pm
@hue-man,
The entire purpose of Shakespeare's 'art' was to comment on the human condition : morality or more specifically, the lack thereof (with a bit of humor to make it more pallatable).

When I found that science could not answer questions on the human condition : I first changed to Art, then philosophy, then psychology, and finally ethics - which led me back to art. Its a vicious circle I seem confined to.

But its much more interesting than adding up numbers all day like a human computer.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sun 21 Jun, 2009 09:10 am
@Poseidon,
Poseidon;70744 wrote:
The entire purpose of Shakespeare's 'art' was to comment on the human condition : morality or more specifically, the lack thereof (with a bit of humor to make it more pallatable).

When I found that science could not answer questions on the human condition : I first changed to Art, then philosophy, then psychology, and finally ethics - which led me back to art. Its a vicious circle I seem confined to.

But its much more interesting than adding up numbers all day like a human computer.


But isn't psychology a science?

---------- Post added at 11:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:10 AM ----------

Aedes;70719 wrote:
The art itself isn't saying anything. A work of art is a thing.

The artist may have plenty to say about the human condition, though. And if the artist didn't, the audience of the art may derive something of the sort (think of looking at a cave painting, or Stonehenge, or something like that where we don't know what was on the artists' minds).


I understand your point, but don't you think that we can learn about the human condition from art regardless of whether or not it is the intent on the artist; sort of how psychologists observe human behavior so as to learn about the human psyche?

P.S. I think that our original misunderstanding stemmed from the generality of your first statement, but we both seem to agree on the subject.
 
Dearhtead
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 08:53 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;70512 wrote:
Art says nothing about the human condition.

Humans relate the human condition via art.

To understand art, you first need to look at abstract forms, i.e. things that are completely nonrepresentational. Like instrumental music, like abstract painting, or perhaps even like architecture. The reason one should start here is that it helps you understand that our interface with art is one of feeling. We respond viscerally to it. Later on, when people add representation, then the visceral response to the aesthetic may augment (and be augmented by) the person in the painting, the words in the music, etc.


I think all the productions of art say something about the human condition, because the aim of art is to expose the truth, so art necessarily exposes something about the human condition, directly or indirectly.

Before all, art should stimulate the intellect -and a stimulation of the intellect causes a feeling- not the feelings without the intellect.

Concerning abstract art, the abstraction doesn't entail the nonrepresentation. The abstraction is an image of something the artist want to convey, an image of the truth -the essence. The essence can't be created by anybody, so the artist creates images of it.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 22 Jun, 2009 09:09 am
@hue-man,
hue-man;70824 wrote:
don't you think that we can learn about the human condition from art regardless of whether or not it is the intent on the artist?
Yes, but in that case it's a statement about us, i.e. our reaction, in response to the art. It's no different than studying the response of someone beholding the Grand Canyon. There is an impact upon the audience that is not limited to the content of ideas.
 
Dearhtead
 
Reply Tue 23 Jun, 2009 08:23 am
@Aedes,
Aedes;71065 wrote:
Yes, but in that case it's a statement about us, i.e. our reaction, in response to the art. It's no different than studying the response of someone beholding the Grand Canyon. There is an impact upon the audience that is not limited to the content of ideas.



Sure, besides I think that many artists don't understand the sense of what they do...
 
 

 
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