What Defines Art?

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Gracee
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 02:40 pm
@Fido,
Fido;134743 wrote:
I don't see where beauty has much to do with it...If one picks what is a noble, or perhaps, a worthy subject, and art is subject, and it is not beautiful, but terrible, then beauty would hardly be a part of the art...



I suppose it depends on your definition of what art is, what its purpose is...
With other subjects its usually easy to say, for example the maths and sciences have various practical purposes. With art, I would be inclined to say its purpose was to produce beauty.

But i suppose this is also flawed, because if a particular branch of maths isn't practically useful, that doesn't mean its not maths, so perhaps you could say that just because a work of art isn't beautiful that doesn't mean its not art.

This seems a contradiction though, because, for me, art and beauty are one and the same... Perhaps my definition of art does need some readjusting then.

However, I don't think I could ever consider anything ugly art. I suppose all it comes down to is your personal opinion of what art is... To me, it is something that is beautiful, i suppose this is very crude, but i can't imagine ever appreciating an ugly work of art!
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 02:43 pm
@Gracee,
Gracee;134671 wrote:
I've always thought that art is anything which inspires beauty...
Just anything you stop to look at and think, wow
That can be something natural, like a sunset, or the Mona Lisa, whatever, if it makes you stop and stare, and gives you those shivers down your spine, its art.

A little crude, but that's my personal opinion.

And then there's art as an institution. Here, its difficult to say. There's a very thin line which has become more and more blurred. To begin with, art was the only way of representing reality, it had a purpose. Then you get the camera and some big changes start to happen. Art doesn't need to represent reality anymore, you have pictures for that, it needs to serve some other purpose, maybe to make you think or feel, take Picasso and the cubists. Then you get Warhol et al, and art is suddenly about the celebrity - 'Everything the artist spits is art' - Duchamp.
And it just goes downhill from there...
In fact, as soon as art no longer had a purpose, it was a downhill slope to where we are today, nowadays who even knows what art is? We know only what we're told, and we're told it by people who accept anything they don't understand as art - both for fear of looking stupid and for the masses of money they're going to make.

You want to know what art is - well to be honest, its an institution, nothing more.


This is quite deep. Spengler looks at this. Art was once the representation of the sacred, of a culture's living myth. Eventually it became obsessed w/ method: impressionism to abstraction.. This isn't all bad. in fact it's brilliant in its own way.

Yes, it's mostly bluff and institution these days. Too often total vanity. There are a few great artists out there. Do you know Mark Ryden? John Currin? Trevor Brown? They still touch the myth, albeit in the twisted modern way. Great stuff. Worth a googling....

---------- Post added 03-02-2010 at 03:43 PM ----------

Gracee;134767 wrote:
With art, I would be inclined to say its purpose was to produce beauty.

Right on! And Beauty is the Splendor of Truth.

---------- Post added 03-02-2010 at 04:46 PM ----------

Fido;43792 wrote:
.Life is the prize that goes to those who see clearly...

And not only Life but Beauty
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 04:55 pm
@Gracee,
Gracee;134767 wrote:
I suppose it depends on your definition of what art is, what its purpose is...
With other subjects its usually easy to say, for example the maths and sciences have various practical purposes. With art, I would be inclined to say its purpose was to produce beauty.

But i suppose this is also flawed, because if a particular branch of maths isn't practically useful, that doesn't mean its not maths, so perhaps you could say that just because a work of art isn't beautiful that doesn't mean its not art.

This seems a contradiction though, because, for me, art and beauty are one and the same... Perhaps my definition of art does need some readjusting then.

However, I don't think I could ever consider anything ugly art. I suppose all it comes down to is your personal opinion of what art is... To me, it is something that is beautiful, i suppose this is very crude, but i can't imagine ever appreciating an ugly work of art!

Every art needs its purpose... People need a Purpose... They just can't say I am and so what...They have to have a purpose so they can get paid so they can buy more life to have a purpose in..But art does not need a purpose...Art is what it is.. It defines itself so we don't have to.. It is infinite.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 04:57 pm
@Fido,
Fido;134873 wrote:
Every art needs its purpose... People need a Purpose... They just can't say I am and so what...They have to have a purpose so they can get paid so they can buy more life to have a purpose in..But art does not need a purpose...Art is what it is.. It defines itself so we don't have to.. It is infinite.


Nice, Fido! But I would say that it defines us in defining itself, that art is one of the ways man defines himself.

All those paintings of Jesus are paintings of us at our best.
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 09:15 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;134875 wrote:
Nice, Fido! But I would say that it defines us in defining itself, that art is one of the ways man defines himself.

All those paintings of Jesus are paintings of us at our best.


Poor pitiful man... What did he do to deserve that... What did they all do???
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 09:21 pm
@Fido,
Fido;135087 wrote:
Poor pitiful man... What did he do to deserve that... What did they all do???


Born mortal! Just like us. Jesus is the myth of the God who dies. The only honest story of God. The rest is superstition. But of course this perfect myth was also turned to superstition. The whole point of it was simple, that god is just a man, and not only a man but a criminal, a reviled philosopher...

yes, it's mixed w/ a lot of crap, but that's what they do. They bury the diamonds in excrement. Lord knows they don't want the slaves to get wind that they are just as much God as their masters..

This is why Zizek, a political radical, recently published a book called "the Fragile Absolute" about the radical core of Christian myth. Zizek is also a Hegel man. I know you think about politics. Zizek wrote a great book called "The Ticklish Subject.' Check it!

The ticklish subject: the absent ... - Google Books
The fragile absolute: or, why is the ... - Google Books
 
Fido
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 09:35 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;135090 wrote:
Born mortal! Just like us. Jesus is the myth of the God who dies. The only honest story of God. The rest is superstition. But of course this perfect myth was also turned to superstition. The whole point of it was simple, that god is just a man, and not only a man but a criminal, a reviled philosopher...

yes, it's mixed w/ a lot of crap, but that's what they do. They bury the diamonds in excrement. Lord knows they don't want the slaves to get wind that they are just as much God as their masters..

This is why Zizek, a political radical, recently published a book called "the Fragile Absolute" about the radical core of Christian myth. Zizek is also a Hegel man. I know you think about politics. Zizek wrote a great book called "The Ticklish Subject.' Check it!

The ticklish subject: the absent ... - Google Books
The fragile absolute: or, why is the ... - Google Books

He was a philosopher and a humorist... The world will never have enough of those and it already has too many Gods.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 2 Mar, 2010 11:35 pm
@Fido,
Fido;135105 wrote:
He was a philosopher and a humorist... The world will never have enough of those and it already has too many Gods.


I don't know if he even existed. For me, he's a character in a book, and also a esoteric/gnostic myth. Think of the gospel of John: in the beginning was the logos, and the logos was god.
A greek word for speech is god/ But that's pure atheism! God is all talk! Human talk!
 
Fido
 
Reply Wed 3 Mar, 2010 05:11 am
@Lore,
There is too much evidence that he did exist... Besides, no one ever gets a joke without a joker, and he had a million of them, folks...The Greek influence through Macedonia, even after the Maccabees was extreme, and Paul, one of the most pivital people in history was rich with Greek influence...Nietzsche was right to key into him as he did, and Paul is like Plato to Socrates... What would we know about Socrates without Plato... That knowledge is virtue??? What would we have of Jesus if Spinmaster Paul had not got him first???
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 01:55 am
@Fido,
Fido;17759 wrote:
I think, if you agree with D.H. Lawrence; then American liturature is all about death. I think, as a people, we are fascinated with death. But; for the artist, death is a huge exclamation point that shines a great light at all one does and all of ones struggles. I don't think there is any beauty in death, though plenty of mystery. I have killed, animals, and perhaps some defensless fetus, but I have always went to one too many funerals; and now I can hardly kill a fly or a mouse without an apology to nature. If there were no one to make a big deal over death, who could see ones accomplishments in the short span of life we have; then death would be entirely without meaning. It is not a question of what is the sting of death, or how pretty is her face. Death is only a reminder to get up and keep moving, so that while we live we can improve, and soften, and medicate, and mend the human condition. While we live we can do good, and some times that good is art. In the broader sense, no art is as essential as living a good life, with few injuries to mankind or to nature; and that is the art of which we should become masters.


I like this. Yes, the center is a beautiful life, and life is the ornamentation of spirit, if you do not find yourself allergic to the word....(mind, blood, flesh...just don't seem as good in this case....)

---------- Post added 03-05-2010 at 02:57 AM ----------

Fido;135305 wrote:
There is too much evidence that he did exist... Besides, no one ever gets a joke without a joker, and he had a million of them, folks...The Greek influence through Macedonia, even after the Maccabees was extreme, and Paul, one of the most pivital people in history was rich with Greek influence...Nietzsche was right to key into him as he did, and Paul is like Plato to Socrates... What would we know about Socrates without Plato... That knowledge is virtue??? What would we have of Jesus if Spinmaster Paul had not got him first???


But Paul is sometimes sublime. Paul is a mixture of poison and honey. How much of Paul is in Nietzche, for Nietzsche accused the world of sin as well, the sin of cowardice....But Jesus was the man who walked into Death w/ a smile....Paul was more a theory man?
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 05:42 am
@Lore,
I would paint a picture of Paul as one of demonic forces...I would have him play a part in the running down of Jesus, make him play Judas, the Centurian st the cross, the killer of James, and his own self as Paul...What he did in real life he did after the fact, of killing Jesus, and making him after his own fashion, robbed of all his vitality and turned into some pitiful God... The trip begun with Paul of breaking Christianity off from Judaism was completed with Calvin, and Christianity, Protestant Christianity was made into an artifact of archaic Judaism once again..
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 08:50 am
@Lore,
Lore;9769 wrote:
Is art subjective? Are there boundaries? What makes "good" art and "bad" art?


Here are excerpts from the best essay I have read on the subject:

Quote:


Online Library of Liberty - ESSAY XXIII: OF THE STANDARD OF TASTE - Essays Moral, Political, Literary (LF ed.)
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 09:04 am
@Lore,
gobedlygook....The more words you use the less you have to say...
 
Arjuna
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 10:05 am
@Fido,
Pyrrho;136464 wrote:


Fido;136469 wrote:
gobedlygook....The more words you use the less you have to say...
It's a case for there being an objectiveness to artistic standards... the existence of a more correct assessment.

If you're cross-eyed, you're probably not going to be the best judge of visual art. The Don Quixote story says that the poorer judges were just going by what what was assumed to be true.

On the other hand, the cross-eyed judge isn't seeing the same work of art as the straight-eyed. A certain piece might actually look better cross-eyed.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 01:49 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;136488 wrote:
It's a case for there being an objectiveness to artistic standards... the existence of a more correct assessment.

If you're cross-eyed, you're probably not going to be the best judge of visual art. The Don Quixote story says that the poorer judges were just going by what what was assumed to be true.

On the other hand, the cross-eyed judge isn't seeing the same work of art as the straight-eyed. A certain piece might actually look better cross-eyed.


It is gratifying that someone has actually taken the trouble to read what I posted and understand it. Yes, Hume has an interesting take on it all, where it has a kind of subjectivity to it, but it is not the simple subjectivism that is popular in certain circles today. When we say, "x is beautiful", this is commonly different from merely saying "I like the way x looks", as there is often the expectation that others will agree with the former, though the latter does not entail any such expectation. That difference is key to understanding aesthetics, and wherein lies its objectivity, and is analogous to the way Hume analyses morality.
 
Fido
 
Reply Fri 5 Mar, 2010 02:12 pm
@Arjuna,
Arjuna;136488 wrote:
It's a case for there being an objectiveness to artistic standards... the existence of a more correct assessment.

If you're cross-eyed, you're probably not going to be the best judge of visual art. The Don Quixote story says that the poorer judges were just going by what what was assumed to be true.

On the other hand, the cross-eyed judge isn't seeing the same work of art as the straight-eyed. A certain piece might actually look better cross-eyed.

An artist has a subjective experience of reality that he recreates in his art, and we have a subjective experience of the art...Okay, maybe there is a place for objectivity, does the ox look like an ox, for example; or does the sky resemble a sky...Is the material durable, or is it made of snow... Since art is this quasi spiritual experience in many respects presenting an infinite as an infinite, what are objective standards worth...Objective standards only look art through the eyes of a certain form with a certain formula...And it is the form which judges
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 7 Mar, 2010 09:22 am
@Lore,
Here's the thing. I think that the universal is also numinous, so there's an element to taste that transcends idiosyncrasy. The best viewer of art is exposed to art in general & purged of as much prejudice as possible. The best artist aims at the best viewer, a projected version of himself. Whether it's philosophy, painting, or music, one must immerse oneself in the field as a whole to fully appreciate the interrelationships twixt works. It adds to their beauty.
 
HexHammer
 
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 08:13 pm
@Lore,
Lore;9769 wrote:
Is art subjective? Are there boundaries? What makes "good" art and "bad" art?
Imo it's 2 things.

For the elite:
- anything which you can convince them is great art (the are many extremely naive and group think people)
- that which is expensive
- that which the others wants
- individualistic
- functionallity is a very low priority, most times not even considerd

For the ignorent mob:
- usually that which looks good
- that which can stimulate your senses well
- functionallity may be a factor, but not a nessessty
 
Fido
 
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 08:39 pm
@HexHammer,
HexHammer;140097 wrote:
Imo it's 2 things.

For the elite:
- anything which you can convince them is great art (the are many extremely naive and group think people)
- that which is expensive
- that which the others wants
- individualistic
- functionallity is a very low priority, most times not even considerd

For the ignorent mob:
- usually that which looks good
- that which can stimulate your senses well
- functionallity may be a factor, but not a nessessty

Terms like ignorant mob are fairly useless as a definition... Some times intelligence is a function of quantity rather than quality...For example, there are few enough who remark on the intelligence of the police, and even examples of departments refusing to hire people who were too intelligent to be police... Regardless, even the most intelligent of criminals are often caught by rather dense minded police, and it is because of the fact that two, or more heads are better than one...Some times the mob figures things out just fine without the greatest of brains among them...
 
mister kitten
 
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 05:24 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;9786 wrote:


Does art have boundaries? Can something cease to be considered art? I think this is an excellent addition to whether or not art is subjective, Lore. Is it still art??????



Let's also lock away a rock in a room never to be seen again. Is it still a rock?
 
 

 
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