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Author Topic: "Art"  (Read 4393 times)

The Architect

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"Art"
« on: May 17, 2010, 05:46:43 am »

Allllrighty then.

A general discussion thread in the Creative Projects forum. Because I want to talk about "Art", and its meaning. The interested people will mostly be in here.

Art, basically, is an expression of the human soul. That's the only universal definition.

It used to be that in order to be called "art", it also had to have some sort of appeal. At one point this was defined as "universal appeal", but that's silly. Even if something is truly beautiful, some people won't be able to see that it is so. I would argue that this is due to both man's inherent imperfection and resultant inability to perfectly create nor perfectly observe. But that's beside the point, as long as we can all agree that there can never be anything with "universal appeal".

And, thus, came the broadening of the definition of art. If I were to symbolically express this, it would be in the form of a container of liquid developing a rapid leak. Art's meaning and purpose has diluted and spread in such a way that it will never be gathered again as it was. Not that it's a bad thing, but one must wonder what the value is of viewing everything artistic subjectively.

So, you have my definition of art: An expression of the soul. I don't believe anyone would dispute that definition, but some would wish to define art itself (not the word, the thing) by the viewer's imposed perceptions. I think that's pointless, and thus ridiculous. I also think art must have intent behind it. I don't think someone toasting bread and accidentally getting an image on it, or someone slinging paint as randomly as possible at a canvass, or giving a monkey a paintbrush, or insert generic example of randomized "modern art" here can be considered art. Art must have intent.

Thoughts? Your expression and point of view won't be suppressed by me, so feel free to write what you wish. It may be disputed. Try to actually say something, as the less wishy-washy you are on subjects like this, the more meaningful your statements.
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cerapa

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 08:37:48 am »

What is an expression of the soul?

If a soul is just the mind, then speaking, nodding, and everything else is art, as they are expressions. So I think I understand the definition wrong.
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Siquo

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 10:27:57 am »

Personal definition:
There's art, Art, and then there's artful, and even arty.

Artful stuff are things that make you go "wow, that's nice", this sometimes includes stuff that's not meant as art, such as fractals or mathematical stuff.
Art makes you go "...", and renders you speechless, while art is something that moves you, but in a lesser amount.
Arty is stuff that's obviously supposed to be Art, but is neither artful nor moves you in any way. That's about 95% of all "art".

And now the word art sounds weird. art, art art, fart, wart, part go-cart.

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Soadreqm

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 10:30:29 am »

"Soul" is presumably that certain je ne sais quoi that makes us human, rather than mindless automations made of flesh. That stuff robots and lesser animals lack.

I don't bother having a consistent definition for "art" myself. I know it when I see it. Something that was made intentionally, to evoke some kind of emotion in the audience, possibly. I don't think it matters that much. Technically qualifying as "art" won't make hideous artworks any less hideous, and not being art won't make beautiful natural rock formations any less beautiful.

Siquo: Ah, but perhaps not being moved by the artwork in question is a flaw in YOU rather than the work. :D
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Askot Bokbondeler

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2010, 10:40:20 am »

somebody trying to be witty writes on a wall:

 what is
    art?


the next day one can read

what is
a fart?


First, i disagree that art is an expression af a human soul, it is a response and a contribution to the artist's culture.
also, art is something ocidental culture invented, and the currently ocidentalized world practices. it is nothing mistical, magical, or that comes from the depts of our soul, it is a sophisticated practice that an advanced culture developed, that has only the intention of expressing sophistication and culture itself. in the past, the term art was synonymous with craft, in the renaissance art became somewhat noble and admired, and later the romantics started to attribute magical meaning to the word. The modern world striped it of it's mysticism and imbued it with philosophy. In my opinion, art is a form of thinking and exploring culture itself.

Askot Bokbondeler

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010, 10:52:00 am »

or someone slinging paint as randomly as possible at a canvass, or giving a monkey a paintbrush, or insert generic example of randomized "modern art" here can be considered art. Art must have intent.

and i disagree with this. slinging paint as randomly as possible at a canvas is an interesting art exercise, and could produce a very interesting discussion. in Art, or Fine Art, the discussion is what matters the most.

giving a monkey a paintbrush could also be considered art, and has an intent, what couldn't be considered art is the painting that may result, but the act of giving a monkey a paintbrush is an act full of intent! if your intent is artistic, then you're creating art.



EDIT:sorry for double  post, i meant to edit the previous one

Soadreqm

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2010, 10:57:04 am »

or someone slinging paint as randomly as possible at a canvass, or giving a monkey a paintbrush, or insert generic example of randomized "modern art" here can be considered art. Art must have intent.

and i disagree with this. slinging paint as randomly as possible at a canvas is an interesting art exercise, and could produce a very interesting discussion. in Art, or Fine Art, the discussion is what matters the most.

giving a monkey a paintbrush could also be considered art, and has an intent, what couldn't be considered art is the painting that may result, but the act of giving a monkey a paintbrush is an act full of intent! if your intent is artistic, then you're creating art.
He's right about the INTENT, though, if not the specific examples. If you find something rather than make it, it's not really art. like natural landscapes, molded by Geology. Or fractals, which inadvertently follow from the axiomatic bases of mathematics.

Also, what is "ocidental"?
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Askot Bokbondeler

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2010, 11:01:25 am »

sory, i meant western, english is not my first language

i agree about intent also, i think that part is trully the universal part of art, art requires artistic intent. but finding something and placing it on a pedestal on a museum has enough intent to be artistic

Siquo

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2010, 12:39:36 pm »

Siquo: Ah, but perhaps not being moved by the artwork in question is a flaw in YOU rather than the work. :D
Hence the subjective nature of art.

As my great-grandmother once said, as she returned from a concert: "It didn't move me."
For her, that meant as much as: "That was total crap."

I don't know about the intention. Intention makes it art, but is never enough to make it Art.
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Outcast Orange

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2010, 12:55:08 pm »

It would give me peace of mind if you didn't use the addition of a capital letter as a way to distinguish a term.
Also, I think you meant "artsy".

Art is anything that stimulates emotions in an unusual way.
A lot of people (including myself) drop the 'unusual' part from that definition,
 which allows us to extend the art term to all things that provoke emotion,
 including natural things, and human interactions.

Art doesn't have to be intentional, and the thoughts of the artist aren't usually important,
 but If there are prerequisites to enjoying an art piece, then that is part of the art too.

For instance if you saw a sculpture of a cow, that wouldn't do much emotion wise.
If you knew that the artist had been tasked with sculpting a human though,
 it could potentially provoke all sorts of unusual reactions.

If your brain reacts in an emotional way, then you are dealing with something artistic,
 and the knowledge required to enjoy it is part of the art piece.

If the knowledge was lost, it would go back to just being a cow.
Still artistic maybe, but not as artistic as the cow that was supposed to represent a man.

Ooh, I just learned something by accident:
Shift + Insert = Ctrl + V
Does that count as art?
To a very small degree, I might agree.
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Dave Mongoose

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2010, 01:35:41 pm »

I generally like art which is thought-provoking, and makes a comment or a statement. Aesthetic art has its merits as well, but I prefer 'clever' art to 'beautiful' art.


I think the discussion of 'intent' is an important one, but if you can find meaning or emotional significance in something then I would also call it art.

If someone accidentally spilt red wine on a treasured photograph of an ex-girlfriend and ruined it, the act itself had no intent but the result has a lot of emotional significance and poignancy: you can see it as a metaphor for the fragility of relationships, for how damaging a single mistake can be, or for the permanence of actions - how we can't change the past.

That's a contrived example, but I think it illustrates the argument that some 'accidental' or 'found' art does have merits, even if the artist did not create them with intent.
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piecewise

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2010, 01:58:59 pm »

In the words of Justice Potter Steward: " I'll know it when I see it"

The Architect

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2010, 03:30:28 pm »

Well, I've seen several people say something along the lines of the idea (popular with academics in school studies, but otherwise nonsense I'm afraid) that something is art based on the discussion around it or that it provokes.

That's illogical, and I don't believe it is hard to explain what I mean. I think you'll all agree. Regardless of how artistic a discussion can be, that no more changes the nature of the thing discussed than imposing your own emotions on a pet gives that pet the capability for higher thought. It's a subjective way of viewing, and anyone can see after contemplation that the thing observed is not changed by being observed. Only your perception of it changes.

And, after all, how we look at a thing doesn't change its actual nature. It just changes our perception of its nature. And if we're simply imposing an incorrect meaning or purpose on something, we're the ones wrong. The thing has not become what we imagine it to be. Whatever significance it may have in our minds does not change its actual nature or purpose; that's backwards.

I would ask all persons having received a higher education to consider this. It's done in literature classes, in art classes, and many other instances. It is an academic exercise, and as an academic exercise then yes, what is important really is what you see in it and not its actual meaning. But that doesn't change the fact that literature and art can and always do have intent, purpose, and thought processes behind them, whether they are products of the author's conscious impulses or not. Whatever point of view you may impose on something never changes its actual nature.

For a final, compelling example in case this is too difficult for people who have incorrectly absorbed the opposite point of view from improperly explained and regulated education or simply ignorant teachers (excuse the run-on): Becoming infatuated with someone may cause you to see them as the perfect epitome of everything good in mankind, but it doesn't change what they actually are. As you will soon learn if you're infatuated with someone.
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alway

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2010, 03:36:20 pm »

That stuff robots and lesser animals lack.
So... You would say neither robots nor animals can create art?
I strongly disagree.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEjdiE0AoCU
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=elephant+painting&aq=f

Also, considering probably half the human race doesn't even believe in a soul, saying "'art is the expression of the soul' is a universal definition" is false.
"Art is whatever object you can get a rich person to pay you lots of money for" would probably be closer to the truth. :P
« Last Edit: May 17, 2010, 03:39:32 pm by alway »
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The Architect

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Re: "Art"
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2010, 03:41:32 pm »

Training an animal to mimic something or programming a robot to play a piece composed by a human being (or simply to play notes selected by mathematical algorithm) are not examples of art, nor do they really have any reflection on it. I think you should understand this without an explanation, but if you need one then read my last post.
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