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.
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Greta
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Re: What is Art?

Post by Greta » November 20th, 2017, 12:09 am

It looks like a fair few of us agree that, as you'd expect, art is subjective.

The line between nature and is blurred to some extent with photo art:
Image

The visual is inherently artistic, with its subtle shading and beautiful folds, but Jupiter isn't making art, it's just gaseous material. Yet the photograph, with consideration to framing and light, capturing a particular moment, becomes a digital object of art.

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3uGH7D4MLj
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Re: What is Art?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » December 11th, 2017, 5:44 pm

I think the best definition is simply what everyone usually takes as meaning art. The common, ordinary sense of the word. An object made by an artist, presented on the wall or on a pedestal, in art galleries and museums, etc. Good, bad, indifferent, art is simply art. Everything else is everything else.

"Art" is not a value judgement, it's a category of objects. Suit yourself, but this works for me and I recommend it.

You could say that there's a second definition: the highest aspiration of humankind. But the first description works great for most purposes.
fair to say

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Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » December 12th, 2017, 12:00 am

To generalize, it's quite obvious that the highest aspiration of humanity today is money. To consider the value of a piece of art it is most indicated in its sale price,whatever its other qualities may be. Quite a few people find money of huge aesthetic value, above love, beauty, compassion, and even life itself. And that latter seems to be destroying the planet.

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SimpleGuy
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Re: What is Art?

Post by SimpleGuy » December 12th, 2017, 4:53 am

Good art is not only a superb expression of ones own feelings, its a good way to earn a mediocre existence.

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chala
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Re: What is Art?

Post by chala » December 20th, 2017, 5:22 pm

I would define art as a process that occurs when a quality of emotion not experienced in our normal life is intentionally communicated to another through the medium of a work of art.

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Re: What is Art?

Post by jerlands » February 12th, 2018, 4:13 pm

The definition of art... am I supposed to follow laws? The word is derived from its root (ar) "to fit together" and (rtih) "manner and mode" to be thought of as the "manner in which something is put together" and evolved into the "embellishment of a skill." Maybe however art is simply pronunciation?
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

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Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » February 13th, 2018, 1:15 am

As an artist who has worked in a variety of mediums I have understood that art is closely related to science where both investigate the potentials of multitudes of techniques to explore the world and manipulate the abstract effects of sense and emotions to see what they might do and how they might relate.

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Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » March 13th, 2018, 3:22 am

As somebody who experiments with various art forms, graphics, sculpture, poetry, it seems to me that art as an activity is quite like science in its exploratory form. It's a matter of investigation of possibilities, some of which are the interaction of materials and techniques and how these explorations reveal the qualities of existence and, most important, how the human mind reacts to the results to these investigations. Some of the results can be beautiful, some frightening, some quite grotesque and some revealing of unexpected aspects of being alive and aware. Naturally, many of these attempts are frustrating and unsuccessful but with the immersions in various explorations, unique skills can be developed and invite other attempts that are so radically unusual that the multitudes of failures are well worthwhile to gain something unique.

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Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » March 13th, 2018, 3:50 am

One thing that might be mentioned is that the activities involved in are are today available to anyone at any time. No doubt working in an area develops special skills but even an amateur or a child can find delight in the practice in an era when the materials are not only inexpensive but readily available. Only a century ago paper and canvas surfaces and the large range of tools and colors required expertise and availability that were rare and out of the range of people who had not much money but today that has changed totally. The ancient drawings on cave walls present examples of artistic skills that easily rival some of the best efforts today so it seems that there is something deeply inherent in all humanity that can emerge in surprising accomplishments in art in all of humanity.

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Greta
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Re: What is Art?

Post by Greta » March 14th, 2018, 8:05 pm

Jan, art certainly can be exploratory and analytical like science. There is a strong expectation to regurgitate established ideas just as there is in science. The idea is often to regurgitate accurately and perhaps extend a little on the old form.

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Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » March 14th, 2018, 10:42 pm

Any learning process begins with copying what has been done before to gain skills in understanding the nature of a field but if it stops with just becoming adept at making a good copy it is craft, not art. Art emerges when the gained skills are examined and changed in ways to create original ways to express relationships with the universe and the way that a skilled observer incorporates internal understandings with external perceptions to produce new and perhaps even revolutionary patterns from things most people have experienced but never realized were there. We each create the universe in a personal way as we mature but only exceptional individuals create exceptional universes to radically change all of society. Each version of society creates a small very successful personal version of social life and those very good at that version reject novelty as it makes older versions obsolete. This is why radical geniuses are rejected and persecuted since those successful on older ways of life are damaged and destroyed by new concepts. This is true in science, art, business, government, and every aspect of civilization. But if good and useful change is not permitted to change society, the older ways can totally destroy all of civilization. This is a continuous struggle and sometimes it becomes so violent all of society is destroyed. This is in clear evidence today throughout the world.

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Re: What is Art?

Post by SimpleGuy » March 15th, 2018, 3:29 pm

We should recall here the work of Joseph Beusys , who said that every human is an artist. His works still have an impact on modern art understanding.
http://www.dw.com/en/joseph-beuys-artis ... /a-1866423

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Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » March 15th, 2018, 3:55 pm

Quite a few years ago I remember seeing an exhibition an in NY City at the Guggenheim Museum, part of which were huge blocks of fat which puzzled me deeply. Reading your link it seems Beusys was rescued by enclosing him in fat when he was wounded in war so that explains the exhibit to an extent. Nevertheless it communicated nothing to me at the time. One cannot deny any effort at art, but, since it is conceived as communicating something to the average viewer I cannot see it as particularly successful with me at that view in the Guggenheim. Other items mentioned in the link had somewhat the same effect. It's not that I condemn it as an effort, merely that it was not successful with me.

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Re: What is Art?

Post by Windrammer » April 14th, 2018, 11:57 pm

Jan Sand wrote:
December 12th, 2017, 12:00 am
To generalize, it's quite obvious that the highest aspiration of humanity today is money. To consider the value of a piece of art it is most indicated in its sale price,whatever its other qualities may be. Quite a few people find money of huge aesthetic value, above love, beauty, compassion, and even life itself. And that latter seems to be destroying the planet.
"Highest" does not mean "largest" or "most predominant", if that were the case the highest aspiration of humanity is sex. For the less cynical - emotional connection.

But "highest" in this sense ought to mean something closer to "transcendent". Art, if we're to call it creativity for creativity's sake, is an endeavor of just that - creation. The attempt to defy God and nature and create something entirely new. Which we will never truly be able to do, or we will have captured divinity for ourselves.
Quite a few people find money of huge aesthetic value
Frankly, I don't think that's in line with the definition of "aesthetic"

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Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » April 15th, 2018, 3:54 am

I agree that "high" and "low"can be looked at from various perspectives, but to deny that money is the mover of much of the dynamics in current civilization including art is merely a desperate desire to not accept what is going on in the world. As someone who has, in one way or another, participated in the disciplines of art for a rather long life I am neither fascinated in the monetary values involved nor find any more value in that than a delightful day in the woods amongst the bugs and the trees and an occasional rabbit or fox but my standards are not the standards of much of civilization and I understand that.

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