What is Art?

Use this forum to have philosophical discussions about aesthetics and art. What is art? What is beauty? What makes art good? You can also use this forum to discuss philosophy in the arts, namely to discuss the philosophical points in any particular movie, TV show, book or story.

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#496  Postby Spraticus » January 24th, 2017, 5:23 am

Lucimix wrote:Art is the passage of something from a natural state to a cultural state.




Sometimes. Much of art is comment on other art. Are we talking about the popular use of the word art to cover things like painting and sculpture, or is it the arts, which would include music, dance, theatre etc. Once again, while I agree that it involves making things in the cultural realm, I'm not sure that it necessarily involves the transition from natural to cultural.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: What is Art?



Become a member for less ads

Already a member? Login
 

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#497  Postby Fire_Monkey » March 31st, 2017, 8:01 pm

Art is a language.

It's a medium used by the Creator to express an idea or feeling or a representation of something.

If you look at art in this manner, you can never go wrong, nor be argued with! As you can when discussing the merits or shortcomings of a particular piece of art. Like......Ya call that art? LOL. With the language idea, all one has to concede is that the artist was attempting to communicate something.

Btw....I'd like to say I invented this idea...Art as a language. But actually my wife the MFA major told me it. It is the dominant definition if art in college grad level courses, I am told.
User avatar
Fire_Monkey
New Trial Member
 
Posts: 5 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: March 31st, 2017, 7:30 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#498  Postby LuckyR » April 12th, 2017, 7:35 pm

Fire_Monkey wrote:Art is a language.

It's a medium used by the Creator to express an idea or feeling or a representation of something.

If you look at art in this manner, you can never go wrong, nor be argued with! As you can when discussing the merits or shortcomings of a particular piece of art. Like......Ya call that art? LOL. With the language idea, all one has to concede is that the artist was attempting to communicate something.

Btw....I'd like to say I invented this idea...Art as a language. But actually my wife the MFA major told me it. It is the dominant definition if art in college grad level courses, I am told.


Not bad, but be aware that by your definition (which I agree with, BTW) the use of the word "art" is warranted by the state of mind of the creator of said art (as opposed to an intrinsic characteristic of the piece itself). What do grad schools say is the role (if any) of the audience?
"As usual... it depends."
User avatar
LuckyR
 
Posts: 2149 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 18th, 2015, 1:16 am

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#499  Postby -1- » April 22nd, 2017, 4:20 am

Art is the art of making the obvious obvious. -- unknown (to me) author.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
-1-
 
Posts: 584 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#500  Postby Spraticus » April 24th, 2017, 4:37 am

Fire_Monkey wrote:Art is a language.

It's a medium used by the Creator to express an idea or feeling or a representation of something.

If you look at art in this manner, you can never go wrong, nor be argued with! As you can when discussing the merits or shortcomings of a particular piece of art. Like......Ya call that art? LOL. With the language idea, all one has to concede is that the artist was attempting to communicate something.

Btw....I'd like to say I invented this idea...Art as a language. But actually my wife the MFA major told me it. It is the dominant definition if art in college grad level courses, I am told.


You might be surprised at what people can argue with. Art can be used as you propose, to describe a medium of expression but it is often used in the appallingly silly sense, "Art is what artist do or what they refer to to when they say, "I make art", or, "this is art", which leaves you in an infinite regress of dependent definitions.
Saying, " it's a medium used by the Creator to express an idea or feeling or a representation of something," is a bit broad and vague; when Donald Trump talks about his wall he is certainly expressing something but I don't feel it's art.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#501  Postby -1- » April 30th, 2017, 4:02 pm

Art is a language.

"You call that art???" The artist speaks a different language, that's all.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
-1-
 
Posts: 584 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#502  Postby Spraticus » May 1st, 2017, 5:29 am

-1- wrote:Art is a language.

"You call that art???" The artist speaks a different language, that's all.


Artists speak different languages.

"You call that art???" This usually said by people who know little about art and should really be saying, "That is bad art," or "I don't like that." These are examples of a common usage where people treat "art" as a signifier of approval for artifacts that meet their, usually very narrow, standards. There are also conflicts at definitional boundaries. One person will accept only drawing, painting and sculpture within their meaning of art, while the next will also accept performance and installation, but not looped film, and so on. I find Tracey Emmin very overrated and she derides anyone who still paints, as being stuck in the past. It's all a bit like saying, "I speak English, which is a proper language, not like those unacceptable Spanish or Arabs; these aren't really languages at all." When you see it from that angle it comes into perspective. There is always a temptation to put qualitative criteria into a definition of art, but if you do, the definition will fall apart because it becomes just a matter of personal taste and opinion, and not a matter of fact. When each person has their own definition the word becomes empty.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#503  Postby -1- » May 1st, 2017, 8:33 pm

Spraticus, I generally agree with your opinion here.

However,

<<"You call that art???" This usually said by people who know little about art>> rubs me the wrong way.

I consider the statement "beauty lies in the eye of the beholder" absolutely true. If you consider "art" to be beautiful, or consider that all beautiful things that man creates can be called art, then the quoted statement breaks down. The artist does not speak to the observer; but the observer has the ultimate judgement what he or she considers beautiful, and it's nobody else's business to agree or disagree with him or her to the tune of reforming his or her opinion, notwithstanding the amount (little or much) of knowledge he or she (the observer) has amassed about art.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
-1-
 
Posts: 584 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#504  Postby Spraticus » May 2nd, 2017, 3:25 pm

-1- wrote:Spraticus, I generally agree with your opinion here.

However,

<<"You call that art???" This usually said by people who know little about art>> rubs me the wrong way.

I consider the statement "beauty lies in the eye of the beholder" absolutely true. If you consider "art" to be beautiful, or consider that all beautiful things that man creates can be called art, then the quoted statement breaks down. The artist does not speak to the observer; but the observer has the ultimate judgement what he or she considers beautiful, and it's nobody else's business to agree or disagree with him or her to the tune of reforming his or her opinion, notwithstanding the amount (little or much) of knowledge he or she (the observer) has amassed about art.



I'm a seventy year old who has been involved in art all my life. I'm speaking from experience. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder because beauty is a response state in the brain of the experiencer. The statement, "beauty lies in the eye of the beholder," is effectively saying the same thing. That, however does not refute what I said. Denying that something is art is different from saying that it is bad art. Also, beauty is not the sole or main feature of art so rejecting an artifact's artness on grounds of personal aesthetic response alone, shows a shallow understanding of art.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#505  Postby -1- » May 3rd, 2017, 3:01 am

I hear you, Spraticus.

However: would you say the same thing if I said "the lack of beauty also lies in the eye of the beholder"?

Consider an artist who paints or produces work that no other person likes or appreciates or values or considers beautiful other than its creator. Is it still art, if the work's creator likes it?

How many people does the art have to speak to before it can be called art, and how many people must it leave cold, before it is called non-art?

Personally (strong emphasis is on "personally") I tend to be an absolutist, and I say art is art if it speaks to at least one person on the globe. Be the person its creator or not.

The funny thing happens often, that the creator says one thing, and the observer sees a completely different thing in the work. They both use language to communicate the art piece, or with the art piece, yet the conversation can be completely different. Ha-ha. It happens in a graduated scale so you can say that the originally intended meaning always gets distorted by the time it reaches its audience. Haha. That's why I am a philosopher, not an artist or -critic. I feel safer with convergent resultants than with divergent ones.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
-1-
 
Posts: 584 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#506  Postby Spraticus » May 3rd, 2017, 4:28 pm

-1- wrote:I hear you, Spraticus.

However: would you say the same thing if I said "the lack of beauty also lies in the eye of the beholder"?

Consider an artist who paints or produces work that no other person likes or appreciates or values or considers beautiful other than its creator. Is it still art, if the work's creator likes it?

How many people does the art have to speak to before it can be called art, and how many people must it leave cold, before it is called non-art?

Personally (strong emphasis is on "personally") I tend to be an absolutist, and I say art is art if it speaks to at least one person on the globe. Be the person its creator or not.

The funny thing happens often, that the creator says one thing, and the observer sees a completely different thing in the work. They both use language to communicate the art piece, or with the art piece, yet the conversation can be completely different. Ha-ha. It happens in a graduated scale so you can say that the originally intended meaning always gets distorted by the time it reaches its audience. Haha. That's why I am a philosopher, not an artist or -critic. I feel safer with convergent resultants than with divergent ones.


That, "The lack of beauty also lies in the eye of the beholder" is really implicit in what I said. Beauty is a brain state of the beholder and the response can go all the way from -100 to +100, or whatever scale you want. It isn't an absolute and it can take any value you like. That viewers see different things from those intended by the artist is totally true. Artifacts are often full of symbolisms and personal references that completely escape the public, resulting in the average response being far closer to the abstract than people realise. The mistaken response is often based on the notion that being able to recognise objects in the work means the work is understood.

I suppose that you could take either a nominalist or a realist position on this. For me, beauty has no existence outside of the experience of the beholder; it is the name of the experience; I'm very clearly a nominalist. I think of it's gradations as like a vector or a dimension with values going to infinity in either direction.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#507  Postby -1- » May 4th, 2017, 3:32 pm

Spraticus wrote:The mistaken response is often based on the notion that being able to recognise objects in the work means the work is understood.

With the added momentum-vector, that everyone recognizes what they can or are capable of at the time of viewing. I may see Agamemnon's struggle, others their own inner struggles, some a greedy-hungry snake around a bunch of males.

Spraticus wrote:For me, beauty has no existence outside of the experience of the beholder; it is the name of the experience; I'm very clearly a nominalist.

What you said here is so absolutely true. I think a realist would also agree with you (a materialist-evolutionarialist realist, that is.)

What does "nominative" mean? Ain't a rhetorical question; I truly don't have a clue what that means.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
-1-
 
Posts: 584 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#508  Postby Spraticus » May 4th, 2017, 4:08 pm

Roughly, a Realist holds that abstract concepts like beauty, or triangularity have a real existence somewhere, in some sense. Nominalists think that triangle is just the word that denotes a three sided figure and has no existence outside of our minds. (Or presumably the minds of aliens if they exist.) Realists are somewhat Platonic in their thinking.
Spraticus
 
Posts: 106 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#509  Postby -1- » May 5th, 2017, 4:00 pm

Thanks, spraticus. Honestly (no kidding) I have thought that a realist thinks real smart and right on, and a nominalist thinks in some other way.

Thanks for the explanation.

In other news: what does "nominative" mean?

I had a long and drawn out argument once with a scientist who thought that the number "two" is a real and naturally occurring thing. I said, no, she said, sure, there are two eyes, two nostrils, etc. I could not penetrate her thick but otherwise beautiful skull to make her change her awful way of thinking about nominations. Her abomination of philosophical nomination was something really basic, and something I could not argue against. What would you have said to her? I was at my wits end, I could not bring up even one argument to defend my point of view.
Sweat the small stuff... because then the big stuff will take care of itself.
User avatar
-1-
 
Posts: 584 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post Number:#510  Postby Nick_A » May 6th, 2017, 6:41 pm

One thing for sure. The distinction between art and expression has been forgotten amongst the educated.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
Nick_A
 
Posts: 2625 (View: All / In topic)

Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Philosophy of the Arts and Philosophy in the Arts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Philosophy Trophies

Most Active Members
by posts made in lasts 30 days

Avatar Member Name Recent Posts
Greta 162
Fooloso4 116
Renee 107
Ormond 97
Felix 90

Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST

Most Active Book of the Month Participants
by book of the month posts

Avatar Member Name BOTM Posts
Scott 147
Spectrum 23
Belinda 23
whitetrshsoldier 20
Josefina1110 19
Last updated January 6, 2017, 6:28 pm EST