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.
Post Reply
User avatar
-1-
Posts: 834
Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by -1- » May 6th, 2017, 9:55 pm

Nick_A wrote:One thing for sure. The distinction between art and expression has been forgotten amongst the educated.
More obliterated than forgotten, I would say, but it's not the doing of the educated people entirely: it's partly the newly found importance of the copyright laws and their strict enforcement that is to blame for the obliteration.

Since you, Nick_A, haven't forgot this important distinction, would you call yourself uneducated? (-:
"You can always live without a lover, but you can't love without a liver."

Gertie
Posts: 534
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by Gertie » May 7th, 2017, 9:07 am

We tend to categorise things so they fall into neat boxes via certain properties, this is a vegetable and that is a fruit, and that can be a useful form of labelling and organising. So we can pick some properties that we say something we want to categorise as 'Art' must have, then put stuff into our designated boxes. But things in reality often aren't that cut n dried, often it's more accurate to see categories in terms of prototypes, with radial relations, so one thing is more prototypical Art than another.

And some more recent Art has consciously played with this idea - is a urinal Art because somebody calls it a 'Fountain' and signs it? Well why not? If I say 'No', that isn't similar enough to a Mona Lisa, you can't put it in the same box marked 'Art', then maybe you'll miss out on something interesting, rewarding, or beautiful to you by not seeing it in that context. I don't like missing out, so if the artist says I'm calling that Art, I want to give myself the option of looking at that something a different way, her way. Maybe I'll get something out of it, maybe I won't, or maybe I'll think it's ****, but there you go, that's all fine.

Spraticus
Posts: 129
Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by Spraticus » May 8th, 2017, 5:29 pm

Gertie wrote:We tend to categorise things so they fall into neat boxes via certain properties, this is a vegetable and that is a fruit, and that can be a useful form of labelling and organising. So we can pick some properties that we say something we want to categorise as 'Art' must have, then put stuff into our designated boxes. But things in reality often aren't that cut n dried, often it's more accurate to see categories in terms of prototypes, with radial relations, so one thing is more prototypical Art than another.

And some more recent Art has consciously played with this idea - is a urinal Art because somebody calls it a 'Fountain' and signs it? Well why not? If I say 'No', that isn't similar enough to a Mona Lisa, you can't put it in the same box marked 'Art', then maybe you'll miss out on something interesting, rewarding, or beautiful to you by not seeing it in that context. I don't like missing out, so if the artist says I'm calling that Art, I want to give myself the option of looking at that something a different way, her way. Maybe I'll get something out of it, maybe I won't, or maybe I'll think it's ****, but there you go, that's all fine.
There are ways of defining things that don't require neat boxes. If I can give a botanical example it might clarify what I mean. When you are diagnosing a plant species the normal process is a succession of binary choices; does it have feature A or not, or does it have A or B, but in some cases the situation is more complex. Within Erodium, for example, there is a group of species where the choice is made from half a dozen overlapping sets of features. Within the group there are, say, from two to six variations for each feature, such as type of hair on the base of the stigma, and each species has a different set of six of these features. Each member of the set is different but they all go into the same box. That box, of course goes into a larger box. There are sets, sub-sets and sub-sub-sets etc., and art can be seen in the same way. The definitions can be very broad and flexible but as long as the artifact has some of the whole range of possible features, it fits in the box.

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by Nick_A » May 8th, 2017, 10:30 pm

-1- wrote:
Nick_A wrote:One thing for sure. The distinction between art and expression has been forgotten amongst the educated.
More obliterated than forgotten, I would say, but it's not the doing of the educated people entirely: it's partly the newly found importance of the copyright laws and their strict enforcement that is to blame for the obliteration.

Since you, Nick_A, haven't forgot this important distinction, would you call yourself uneducated? (-:
The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
Albert Einstein
I have yet to become as uneducated as Einstein so that I can open to learning. It isn't easy
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. - Mark Twain -
This is a good beginning for making the transition from being educated into actually learning something.
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

Gertie
Posts: 534
Joined: January 7th, 2015, 7:09 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by Gertie » May 9th, 2017, 12:33 pm

Spraticus wrote:
Gertie wrote:We tend to categorise things so they fall into neat boxes via certain properties, this is a vegetable and that is a fruit, and that can be a useful form of labelling and organising. So we can pick some properties that we say something we want to categorise as 'Art' must have, then put stuff into our designated boxes. But things in reality often aren't that cut n dried, often it's more accurate to see categories in terms of prototypes, with radial relations, so one thing is more prototypical Art than another.

And some more recent Art has consciously played with this idea - is a urinal Art because somebody calls it a 'Fountain' and signs it? Well why not? If I say 'No', that isn't similar enough to a Mona Lisa, you can't put it in the same box marked 'Art', then maybe you'll miss out on something interesting, rewarding, or beautiful to you by not seeing it in that context. I don't like missing out, so if the artist says I'm calling that Art, I want to give myself the option of looking at that something a different way, her way. Maybe I'll get something out of it, maybe I won't, or maybe I'll think it's ****, but there you go, that's all fine.
There are ways of defining things that don't require neat boxes. If I can give a botanical example it might clarify what I mean. When you are diagnosing a plant species the normal process is a succession of binary choices; does it have feature A or not, or does it have A or B, but in some cases the situation is more complex. Within Erodium, for example, there is a group of species where the choice is made from half a dozen overlapping sets of features. Within the group there are, say, from two to six variations for each feature, such as type of hair on the base of the stigma, and each species has a different set of six of these features. Each member of the set is different but they all go into the same box. That box, of course goes into a larger box. There are sets, sub-sets and sub-sub-sets etc., and art can be seen in the same way. The definitions can be very broad and flexible but as long as the artifact has some of the whole range of possible features, it fits in the box.
Categorising is a tool then, a way of managing stuff?

So who cares if I call a urinal art and somebody else says it isn't? Gallery owners, marketers - aside from the artist and me it's the business side of art and the gate-keepers of our cultural heritage I suppose.

Spraticus
Posts: 129
Joined: January 29th, 2014, 6:43 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by Spraticus » May 9th, 2017, 3:23 pm

It would be very difficult to talk about anything if we didn't categorise.

Nick_A
Posts: 2391
Joined: April 19th, 2009, 11:45 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by Nick_A » May 9th, 2017, 4:03 pm

Spraticus wrote:It would be very difficult to talk about anything if we didn't categorise.
Very true. How could I talk about women if I didn't categorize?
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

User avatar
-1-
Posts: 834
Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by -1- » May 11th, 2017, 11:32 pm

Spraticus wrote:It would be very difficult to talk about anything if we didn't categorise.
True. Words of a symbolic language are a category by each.

Generalization is healthy. Overgeneralization is unhealthy. Nobody knows how to clearly and unambiguously separate the two. Either extremes are easy to spot. ("Food is edible" -- good generalization. "People of different races have different temperaments" -- not healthy generalization.) But gray areas are not easy to decide which of the two general generalizations to file them under. ("Greek food is greasy". "Everyone wants a blonde woman.")
"You can always live without a lover, but you can't love without a liver."

User avatar
Newkenan
New Trial Member
Posts: 1
Joined: June 28th, 2017, 2:16 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by Newkenan » June 28th, 2017, 2:46 pm

I'm that person passing through time, as big as Universe as small as a grain, while my memories kept me intact in an illusion that is being reflected by the social environment and reflecting onto the others under influence of free will as a whole existence in the paint of art, that come into play as God's observation powers the time and very existence of himself.
kanan alibayov

User avatar
-1-
Posts: 834
Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by -1- » July 6th, 2017, 3:16 pm

Newkenan wrote:I'm that person passing through time, as big as Universe as small as a grain, while my memories kept me intact in an illusion that is being reflected by the social environment and reflecting onto the others under influence of free will as a whole existence in the paint of art, that come into play as God's observation powers the time and very existence of himself.
kanan alibayov
That is an art in itself, to write something like this.
"You can always live without a lover, but you can't love without a liver."

User avatar
Sayso
New Trial Member
Posts: 9
Joined: July 13th, 2017, 3:46 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by Sayso » July 13th, 2017, 6:16 pm

I'd love to enter the discussion, but do I really need to read all 35 pages of previous posts?

User avatar
-1-
Posts: 834
Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by -1- » July 14th, 2017, 12:55 am

Sayso wrote:I'd love to enter the discussion, but do I really need to read all 35 pages of previous posts?
You know that that's an unanswerable question.

The rules say you must.

If anyone has not read all 35 pages and posts, is not going to admit he or she hadn't. It'd be like going to the cop shop immediately after a bank robbery and confessing there.

Although some Italian mafioso types have recordedly mixed up a Catholic church's confessional with a police station report desk.
"You can always live without a lover, but you can't love without a liver."

User avatar
Sayso
New Trial Member
Posts: 9
Joined: July 13th, 2017, 3:46 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by Sayso » July 14th, 2017, 12:02 pm

I wish it weren't off topic to say that that's institutionalizing hypocrisy and that hypocrisy is anathema to philosophy, if not life itself.

User avatar
-1-
Posts: 834
Joined: December 1st, 2016, 2:23 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by -1- » July 14th, 2017, 6:37 pm

Nothing in life is at it seems.

You can't step in the same cow pile twice.

Not everything that shines is gold.

We are all just cogs in a wheel.

Everybody lies, but it does not matter, since nobody listens.

Be quiet, clean. (Chinese proverb, meant for maidens.)
"You can always live without a lover, but you can't love without a liver."

User avatar
Sayso
New Trial Member
Posts: 9
Joined: July 13th, 2017, 3:46 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by Sayso » July 14th, 2017, 6:57 pm

Everything in life seems to be as it seems to be.

It is in the nature of rivers to flow, and also in the nature of cow piles to remain cow piles through endless trampling.

Gold shines, right out of the ground.

We are all effective.

It is the dishonest who believe in the universality of dishonesty.

Speak up and be prepared to listen to the response.

Post Reply