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
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 915
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » April 16th, 2018, 11:38 pm

Windrammer wrote:
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"
That last part, I agree with windrammer.

When I put that little tag on the end of my post about "highest aspirations," I didn't expect someone to come up with "money grubbing." But I think you're right, Jan Sand. It's not what I meant, but, yeah.

Anyway what about the rest of the post? That art is just art and there's no mystery or value judgement?
There's no hard problem in art, it's just a category of objects. Art is art.

I never did think much of the words create, creativity, sort of gives me the creeps. You're right, God creates.
fair to say

Jan Sand
Posts: 367
Joined: September 10th, 2017, 11:57 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » April 17th, 2018, 12:30 am

I cannot demean anything claimed as art since, as someone who might be classified as a professional artist, I have seen that more as a point of view rather than as an inherent quality of any object. I have seen visitors to a museum glance questionally at a ventilator plate on a wall displaying examples on a wall of the latest art. Art seems to become examination of anything in its relationship to ethical standards and any stroll along the average city street with an appreciative eye and a background in aesthetics can find multitudes of objects to judge appreciatively. Placing them in a museum for appreciation as art is not unusual but it can, much of the time, seem a waste of effort and is often a bore. This is not to indicate that these offerings have no aesthetic qualities but rather that museums for them becomes unnecessary. Beyond this, objects created by artists specifically designed and executed with great skill partaking of the inherent qualities of ordinary objects but capitalizing on and emphasizing normally ignored aspects can be startling and instructive and delightful and well worth observing. The price value of any art object is irrelevant as those are determined by market values which have little to do with intrinsic qualities.

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 915
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » April 25th, 2018, 2:39 pm

Jan Sand wrote:
April 17th, 2018, 12:30 am
I cannot demean anything claimed as art since, as someone who might be classified as a professional artist, I have seen that more as a point of view rather than as an inherent quality of any object. I have seen visitors to a museum glance questionally at a ventilator plate on a wall displaying examples on a wall of the latest art.
No intention to demean anything except the tiresome "what is art" question.

When I say "Art is just art and there's no mystery or value judgement. There's no hard problem in art, it's simply a category of objects. Art is art."

I mean no disrespect. I only present a straightforward definition of art that allows a discussion of art to go forward without the needless definition problem.
fair to say

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 6580
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by Greta » April 25th, 2018, 6:28 pm

I'll side with Jan, here. In more experimental moments I've produced music that some people would claim is "not music", yet if a few semitones were shifted here and there at least some would change their minds.

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 915
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » April 26th, 2018, 11:32 pm

We in the northern hemisphere are having spring, and it's the season to hear Stravinski's "Rite." It fits nicely into the category of "music that some people would claim is "not music."" Well, at least when it was premiered.

There are the people who say that this or that isn't proper music or art. They often don't know or care about art. Sometimes though... for instance Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase was derided as "An Explosion in a Shingle Factory" by a New York Times art critic.
fair to say

Jan Sand
Posts: 367
Joined: September 10th, 2017, 11:57 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » April 26th, 2018, 11:50 pm

The Duchamp painting was a depiction of someone descending a stairway over a period of time - in effect a depiction in four dimensions, not the usual three.

Basically this discussion is about the meaning of the word "art" and since it is used in many different ways, some which conflict with each other, there is bound to be a good deal of confusion. Dictionaries do not decide what a word means, they research as to how a word is used and that changes over time and culture and whomever decides how it should be used, Obviously the word is used differently depending upon several basic factors.

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 915
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » April 28th, 2018, 11:54 am

Jan Sand wrote:
April 26th, 2018, 11:50 pm
Basically this discussion is about the meaning of the word "art" and since it is used in many different ways, some which conflict with each other, there is bound to be a good deal of confusion. Dictionaries do not decide what a word means, they research as to how a word is used and that changes over time and culture and whomever decides how it should be used, Obviously the word is used differently depending upon several basic factors.
Maybe that's why this thread is 40 pages? That people are using the word art in different ways?

Seems to me that commenters are talking about what artists do, what gets shown in art galleries and museums. Also music and theater, dance, whatever, but mostly the gallery stuff, paintings and sculpture, no?

I agree that a word can have many meanings, but I wonder if that's the issue here.
fair to say

Jan Sand
Posts: 367
Joined: September 10th, 2017, 11:57 am

Re: What is Art?

Post by Jan Sand » April 28th, 2018, 2:21 pm

Although intrinsically, aside from its commercial aspects, art has many of the same interests as science in its fascination with the relationships of patterns of all kinds and how they can be manipulated, it differs distinctly from science in its involvement with culture and how that portrays emotions which can evoke emotional responses to understand personal and social relationships. No doubt there are emotional evocations that are deeply embedded in humans of all eras and and most cultures but there are myriads of emotional patterns tied so distinctly to times and places and cultures that the same object of art has quite different effects on people as time and culture varies, Although originality and novelty has high value in both science and art and cliche is disdained in general in art, at times it evolves into a style which makes it contemporary.

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 915
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

Re: What is Art?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 1st, 2018, 1:02 pm

Parsing your message, I get:

Art is like science, and also not like science for various reasons.
Art has different functions/effects depending on the era and the location, culture.

ok.
fair to say

Post Reply