Is it possible to make objective judgements of art?

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xris
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 01:19 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;107822 wrote:
I am taking you at your word. If the emotion is so strong as to be crippling, is it a better picture than not? I'll change the example if you like. A painting of your mother in her deathbed. I said nothing about my requirements.
I made the comment that art does not necessarily need to be beautiful, other emotions can be stimulated. You in your need to be controversial take is as an excuse to be bleeding awkward. Anything personal would of course be more than just art and it would not be observed as work of art..would it...
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2009 01:43 pm
@xris,
xris;107864 wrote:
I made the comment that art does not necessarily need to be beautiful, other emotions can be stimulated. You in your need to be controversial take is as an excuse to be bleeding awkward. Anything personal would of course be more than just art and it would not be observed as work of art..would it...


No. There is very bad, even ugly art. But it is still art. Just lousy art. I don't think I have ever said anything else. You are the one who holds that art has to cause strong emotion, and that the worth of the art is directly proportional to the strength of the emotion it causes. That seems to me to be clearly false.
 
xris
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 06:04 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;107869 wrote:
No. There is very bad, even ugly art. But it is still art. Just lousy art. I don't think I have ever said anything else. You are the one who holds that art has to cause strong emotion, and that the worth of the art is directly proportional to the strength of the emotion it causes. That seems to me to be clearly false.
Who said you had? the debate was positioning itself on art being about beauty. I was merely pointing out that art is more than about beauty but if the hat fits dont wear it.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 07:31 am
@xris,
xris;108078 wrote:
Who said you had? the debate was positioning itself on art being about beauty. I was merely pointing out that art is more than about beauty but if the hat fits dont wear it.


If it fits, I'll wear it. But it has to be more than beautiful. It has to keep off the rain, too.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 4 Dec, 2009 06:29 pm
@hue-man,
Objectivity is not the sole measure of truth, and there is no such thing as complete objectivity, or an absolute object.

In the case of artworks, one thing that might be worth considering is the idea of 'classical beauty'. This is associated with various cultural traditions, with, I suppose, European high culture being a particular high point. When you consider the universal appeal and longevity of the works of art of the great European masters, the Mozarts and Handels and Bachs, or the Da Vincis or Raphaels, and also the great works of literature, I think you can see in many of these works some similar qualities. Firstly they are works of genius. Second, they often embody themes, ideas, or perhaps archetypes, which have spanned generations. So there is a reason why classics are classics.

Maybe those days are gone now. Certainly looking at modern art, music and literature, one might think so, although there are probably classics being made now which won't be fully appreciated for some time.

Anyway, I like Steely Dan. Nothing objective about it, they are just the best band ever.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 10:36 am
@jeeprs,
I cannot help but think that art appeals to the truth of subjective experience. All efforts to understand the aesthetic appeal of "great art" on purely objective grounds is doomed to ultimate failure and at best acheives a very limited and partial explanation.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 11:13 am
@jeeprs,
jeeprs;108216 wrote:
Objectivity is not the sole measure of truth, and there is no such thing as complete objectivity, or an absolute object.

.



But objectivity is the best way of getting to the truth. I use "objectivity" here as an antonym of "bias". Of course, there is no such thing as a completely tape measure, or absolute accuracy. But I think that it is better to use a tape measure to discover the length of a table, than just to guess by looking. Especially if you need accuracy. Don't you. I don't think the only choice is between absolute objectivity and just guessing. Do you? There are tape measures.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 01:44 pm
@kennethamy,
Objectivity is maintained by standards that we as a society contribute to. There is formula and artistry to be performed,anything more than that becomes subjective. The objective view is the common view and maintains certain criteria, standards.
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 02:31 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;108377 wrote:
But objectivity is the best way of getting to the truth. I use "objectivity" here as an antonym of "bias". Of course, there is no such thing as a completely tape measure, or absolute accuracy. But I think that it is better to use a tape measure to discover the length of a table, than just to guess by looking. Especially if you need accuracy. Don't you. I don't think the only choice is between absolute objectivity and just guessing. Do you? There are tape measures.
Do you need that kind of "accuracy" in "art". Is objective measurement the purpose of art at all? Does not art make a direct appeal to subjective experience instead of objective measurement?
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Sat 5 Dec, 2009 05:03 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;108377 wrote:
But objectivity is the best way of getting to the truth. I use "objectivity" here as an antonym of "bias". Of course, there is no such thing as a completely tape measure, or absolute accuracy. But I think that it is better to use a tape measure to discover the length of a table, than just to guess by looking. Especially if you need accuracy. Don't you. I don't think the only choice is between absolute objectivity and just guessing. Do you? There are tape measures.


There are tape measures, for measuring objects. And objectivity is pretty near 100% when it comes to the length of a table. It doesn't include an element of value judgement. When it comes to artworks, it is a completely different question. The question as to whether the works of Johann Sebastian Bach 'really are' great compositions is of a completely different type to whether that table really is a meter, isn't it? it involves aesthetic judgement, not just measurement. In these matters, you can use 'objective' in a colloquial sense - for example you wouldn't value the opinion of someone who declared that 'baroque music is the work of the Devil' because they would have a 'subjective bias'. But, leaving that aside, is there a reason why Bach's compositions have been regarded as great for 4 centuries? I would say there is, but I am still uncomfortable with the idea of 'objective' in relation to matters of art.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 01:32 am
@hue-man,
It's not possible to make "objective" judgments about anything. As far as I can tell, we are alone in our skulls, however connect by cultures in the broad sense. Objectivity is an impossible ideal that subjects can strive toward, as they have in science. In science the results have been particularly impressive. But human history can only be understood from the inside. Just as music must be understood in private and emotional way. Yes, there are no doubt mathematical patterns in music that pleases us. But it's the subjective appreciation of these patterns that matter. It's that special place where B.F. Skinner was terrified to look. Private human consciousness, that taboo beast and dreaded source of non-objective truth. The womb of new metaphors. The womb of new conceptions of light and spacetime.

Modern art at times seems to have become meta-art. It can only be appreciated, some of it, by understanding it as a metaphor and redefinition of art. For instance, that famous urinal.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 01:50 am
@prothero,
prothero;108412 wrote:
Do you need that kind of "accuracy" in "art". Is objective measurement the purpose of art at all? Does not art make a direct appeal to subjective experience instead of objective measurement?


Art may make an appeal to subjective experience, but the subjective experience of one person may be the result of better training and education, and more experience, than another. That is why we have art experts, or wine experts, or tea experts, or any other kind of expert.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 01:56 am
@hue-man,
True, but the experts are motivated to disagree. And Van Gogh who sells for millions was neglected in his time. Art is one of the cutting edges of the species. It's a language simultaneously sensual, metaphorical, symbolical, and contextual. That it is usually wordless is also significant. It's a quiet riddle. It waits for you with infinite patience -- except for those sculptures made of meat, or the ones that explode, or that starving dog.
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 01:57 am
@hue-man,
actually it has occured to me that in traditional cultures, and pre-modern times, although you couldn't be 'objective' then, either, there was a shared value system and common understanding. Now because it is the age of individualism, it is very difficult to distinguish ethical and aesthetic judgements from opinions. There can still be non-objective criteria of truth, but participants need to make a conscious effort to find out what they are and agree to observe them.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 01:59 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108715 wrote:
True, but the experts are motivated to disagree. And Van Gogh who sells for millions was neglected in his time. Art is one of the cutting edges of the species. It's a language simultaneously sensual, metaphorical, symbolical, and contextual. That it is usually wordless is also significant. It's a quiet riddle. It waits for you with infinite patience -- except for those sculptures made of meat, or the ones that explode, or that starving dog.


What is your point?

---------- Post added 12-07-2009 at 03:02 AM ----------

jeeprs;108717 wrote:
actually it has occured to me that in traditional cultures, and pre-modern times, although you couldn't be 'objective' then, either, there was a shared value system and common understanding. Now because it is the age of individualism, it is very difficult to distinguish ethical and aesthetic judgements from opinions. There can still be non-objective criteria of truth, but participants need to make a conscious effort to find out what they are and agree to observe them.


What are "non-objective criteria of truth"?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 02:03 am
@hue-man,
That art experts have no real authority, that their authority is a bluff. Independent minds pride themselves on judging an artwork themselves. And also there is a negative tendency in intellectual types. They enjoy being contrary.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 02:09 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108723 wrote:
That art experts have no real authority, that their authority is a bluff. Independent minds pride themselves on judging an artwork themselves. And also there is a negative tendency in intellectual types. They enjoy being contrary.


What does "authority" mean here? Do you not agree that art experts have more training and more experience, and more understanding or art than you or I do? And that what they say is worth listening to? I do. As I do wine experts, or legal experts. And you seem to enjoy ad hominems.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 02:14 am
@hue-man,
I myself enjoy being contrary. Of course you do too, but how can I blame you?

Legal advice is different than art. Art is one of my passions, and one of the reasons I love it is that it transcends the pragmatic. Just as I love the inventive metaphorical elements in philosophy. Life is short. I want this not-yet gray matter to shoot some sparks.

Art is not just training and experience. Don't you think these critics would often prefer to be artists and not just critics. Art is the realm of novelty, invention, inspiration. A fellow inventor is a more trustworthy interpreter than a envious mediator.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 03:07 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;108727 wrote:
I myself enjoy being contrary. Of course you do too, but how can I blame you?

Legal advice is different than art. Art is one of my passions, and one of the reasons I love it is that it transcends the pragmatic. Just as I love the inventive metaphorical elements in philosophy. Life is short. I want this not-yet gray matter to shoot some sparks.

Art is not just training and experience. Don't you think these critics would often prefer to be artists and not just critics. Art is the realm of novelty, invention, inspiration. A fellow inventor is a more trustworthy interpreter than a envious mediator.


I agree law is different from art. But both fields have experts. And we turn to experts for information and for help in making decisions.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 7 Dec, 2009 03:16 am
@hue-man,
Have you studied art much? This is not an insult. I just would like to evaluate your opinion in relation to your experience.
 
 

 
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