Is art important?

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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Hereandnow
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Re: Is art important?

Post by Hereandnow » May 18th, 2015, 11:28 am

LuckyR:
Well, it's simple, really. Most if not all artists hope to influence many, many patrons/art aficianados with whatever they want their art to accomplish. No one wants to be relegated to the discount bin of Art History. Thus the wider the audience, the smaller (percentage-wise) of that audience are professional art critics. Wouldn't you want thousands to see your piece for every art critic who needed to see it to fulfill their workplace obligation?

It seems your puzzlement at my use of the word "some" was shortlived as you appear to have figured it out in your next sentence.
Well, is it the number that makes the difference here? It looked to me that you wanted to underplay the significance of the theorist and critic. Sure, artists want to maximize popularity, but what makes an artwork an art work? The theorist creates the climate of meaning; the artworld is largely invisible.

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Re: Is art important?

Post by AnnaCatalina » February 25th, 2016, 4:51 pm

Art to me is the whole focus of life. Everything around us is some form of art. It allows an individual to express him or herself and to reveal their perception of life. Art can be seen through everyday things. Imagine if we didn't have art, how would our society look today? Art allows people to see a variety of lifestyles and perceptions of life itself. Could be a darker side of life or a brighter side or an intermediate. A form of art tells the truth. We're all artists, whether you like it or not. We all express ourselves in some sort of way and that just shows of who we are. If we had a loss of art in this lifetime would we even know who we are or what we stand for? If art didn't exist our world would be dull, lack ideas, creativity and inspiration. In conclusion artwork is something soo incredibly important in todays world. It speaks through other people and can be interpreted many different ways. Its a form that can really reach into another persons mindset. Art is a powerful form and to be truthful if art didn't exist how would the world be carried today? So yes. To me art is important.

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Re: Is art important?

Post by Gamnot » October 21st, 2016, 2:36 pm

Art is a way of communicating meaning that cannot be articulated well. It has been said that some things are "beyond words" that is the purpose of art. Symbolic transformation in reason, rite, and art serves the same purpose; to output meaning. The philosopher Sussane Langer in her book; "New Key Philosophy" made this point quite well.

-- Updated October 21st, 2016, 3:23 pm to add the following --

Meaning is the common denominator in the three things; reason, rite, and art. Merleau Ponty said that "Man is condemned to meaning" and these are the three ways that it is communicated. The two rational human functions; thinking and feeling are both equally important. Thinking is associated with reason and feeling with art. To obsess toward one at the expense of the other is to become unbalanced.

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Voidance
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Re: Is art important?

Post by Voidance » October 26th, 2016, 3:27 pm

I don't think art was meant to impress others as it is a singular expression of who we are, a window into our own imagination and thoughts...our mind.

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Re: Is art important?

Post by Hereandnow » October 27th, 2016, 7:45 am

"To obsess toward one at the expense of the other is to become unbalanced"

Unbalanced? Who says art has to be balanced? Review the history of modern art and ask how much balance you see in it. Sure, you will find balance, even of the kind you find in David and neoclassical and others produced in art cultures set on producing it; but what of all the rest? Balance is pertinent to art only when the art uses balance to make its point. I mean, is expressionism always balanced? How about Dada? How about....so many others? what if the artist wants to do something that defies balance altogether?

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Carol
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Re: Is art important?

Post by Carol » October 31st, 2016, 10:50 am

Uncertainty and pain wrote:Is art vital to society?
In terms of society as the collective people, I'm not sure that art is required to hold people together or to help express values since alternative methods exist. A simple example would be a doctrine of duty to bind them together in a sort of unity without the need for creative expression.
Historically art has been extremely important to human consciousness and group cohesion. Think of the cave art and its importance to rituals that psychologically impacted people whose lives were at risk every day. Their reality would require strong virtues and courage, loyalty, cooperation, and their art and rituals "worked magic". At least on a psychological level it did.

The song and dance were perhaps the first art forms conveying essential information that could be transmitted from generation to generation, much as our books do today because the message in expressed in movements that could be learned as a youth in Hawaii might learn a dance from an elder, and someday be the elder to teaches the dance to the youth.

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Re: Is art important?

Post by Gertie » November 1st, 2016, 9:11 am

Carol wrote:
Uncertainty and pain wrote:Is art vital to society?
In terms of society as the collective people, I'm not sure that art is required to hold people together or to help express values since alternative methods exist. A simple example would be a doctrine of duty to bind them together in a sort of unity without the need for creative expression.
Historically art has been extremely important to human consciousness and group cohesion. Think of the cave art and its importance to rituals that psychologically impacted people whose lives were at risk every day. Their reality would require strong virtues and courage, loyalty, cooperation, and their art and rituals "worked magic". At least on a psychological level it did.

The song and dance were perhaps the first art forms conveying essential information that could be transmitted from generation to generation, much as our books do today because the message in expressed in movements that could be learned as a youth in Hawaii might learn a dance from an elder, and someday be the elder to teaches the dance to the youth.
That's an interesting angle, I think you're right. And art can resonate on different levels, making it not only more memorable, but feel meaningful in ways which aren't perhaps so easy to articulate.

And not being easy to articulate, not so available to question in your own mind, nevermind in the group - you 'feel the power of its truth'.

I think religion, which can also be a powerful method of social cohesion, uses rite, ritual and art this way too. Just think of the mass recited in a language the commoners didn't understand, surrounded by the candles and incense, the singing, chanting, ritualised amenning/assenting, the evocative art on the walls, the amazing architecture reaching to the heavens, it's sensory meaning-laden overload, and the stand-up, sit down, now on your knees... all in unison. It all puts you into something of an altered state of mind, receptive, resonant, spiritual and unified.

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Re: Is art important?

Post by Carol » November 2nd, 2016, 11:52 am

:idea: Just remembered, we might not have industrial societies without art. That is because without art that advanced enough to express dimension, and the printing press for making books, the world would not have a vitally important way to share information. The industrial age spread rapidly because the artist could draw pictures of machines that appeared 3 dimensional and the next person could look at that picture and read the explanation, and then build the machine. Also, medical information is transmitted through art. :?: Would we want doctors who never saw inside a body and not even pictures of what is inside the body?

It was also determined children learn better when their text books have illustrations. And art is a vitally important way to communicate with illiterate people. The stop sign and the smilies are important communications. :D We may not automatically think of those smilies as art but they are, and they communicate very important information.

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Re: Is art important?

Post by Carol » November 2nd, 2016, 12:10 pm

Gertie wrote:
Historically art has been extremely important to human consciousness and group cohesion. Think of the cave art and its importance to rituals that psychologically impacted people whose lives were at risk every day. Their reality would require strong virtues and courage, loyalty, cooperation, and their art and rituals "worked magic". At least on a psychological level it did.

The song and dance were perhaps the first art forms conveying essential information that could be transmitted from generation to generation, much as our books do today because the message in expressed in movements that could be learned as a youth in Hawaii might learn a dance from an elder, and someday be the elder to teaches the dance to the youth.
That's an interesting angle, I think you're right. And art can resonate on different levels, making it not only more memorable, but feel meaningful in ways which aren't perhaps so easy to articulate.

And not being easy to articulate, not so available to question in your own mind, nevermind in the group - you 'feel the power of its truth'.

I think religion, which can also be a powerful method of social cohesion, uses rite, ritual and art this way too. Just think of the mass recited in a language the commoners didn't understand, surrounded by the candles and incense, the singing, chanting, ritualised amenning/assenting, the evocative art on the walls, the amazing architecture reaching to the heavens, it's sensory meaning-laden overload, and the stand-up, sit down, now on your knees... all in unison. It all puts you into something of an altered state of mind, receptive, resonant, spiritual and unified.[/quote]

That was beautifully said. I think of writing as pictures in words. Reading of the past experience of church services almost transported me to the time, and that cathedral is so different from the simple hut I live in. Surely the church has much more power than I will ever have, and instead of thinking anyone of us could be president, obviously the king connected with the church, also has the power of God. :idea: Obviously, I am only a worm compared to the power of God. Do we even know the names of the architects and the skilled craftsmen who built these marvels? Today we focus on what man achieves, but was the cathedral more like the power of God instead of the power of man?

Later art is to depict man with dignity and liberated from authority, and this art promoted radical social and political change. Who is not moved by the Statue of Liberty, the Lady of Justice and Spirit of America? Has anyone used this quote yet, "a picture is worth a thousand words". Art has always been used to motivate men to feel and act in desired ways.

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Re: Is art important?

Post by Gertie » November 3rd, 2016, 7:12 pm

Cheers :). It is easy to imagine, isn't it, us worms didn't stand a chance!
Later art is to depict man with dignity and liberated from authority, and this art promoted radical social and political change. Who is not moved by the Statue of Liberty, the Lady of Justice and Spirit of America? Has anyone used this quote yet, "a picture is worth a thousand words". Art has always been used to motivate men to feel and act in desired ways.
Yeah, those are iconic works, their symbolism is powerful and easy to grasp. How about Abstract Art? Would you say that was trying to find new, less concrete ways to communicate, in a world where cameras were becoming commonplace?

Newspapers were on the street corners, illustrated magazines. Mass production was taking hold, and the masses were more educated, urban, seeking opportunities to become socially mobile. Perhaps it was a reaction against that, keeping art special, for the intellectual elite, those in the know?

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Re: Is art important?

Post by Renee » November 3rd, 2016, 10:57 pm

Carol wrote: Who is not moved by the Statue of Liberty, the Lady of Justice and Spirit of America?
Me. I usually hire somebody like "Two Men With A Truck" from Kijiji. And you're partially right, their breath always smells of the spirit of America: Dry Whisky.

---------

Sorry, Carol... couldn't resist.
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Re: Is art important?

Post by Carol » November 6th, 2016, 10:16 am

:lol: You are the first post I read while my coffee was brewing and it took me awhile to figure out what you said. Once I got it I appreciated what you said.

At first, I was thinking you are not moved by the icons because you live in a country that has negative thoughts of the US and doesn't feel kindly towards the icons that we think represent the US. Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D. is a Jungian analyst and she has written excellent books about Greek archetypes (gods and goddesses) and how we all fit into these different archetypes. She made a point of the Statue of Liberty, Lady of Justice, and Spirit of America being the three aspects of Athena, Athens patron goddess of Liberty, Justice and the Defense of those who stand for liberty and Justice.

Does not Jung speak of the importance of art? Symbolism speaks to us on a deeper level. Deeper than culture and our place in time.

"Two Men With A Truck" smelling of the spirits of whiskey, is not exactly the same as the icons representing Athena. I am not sure they would have a place in Jung's symbolism? That would be more like a Norman Rockwell painting. Hum, exactly what is it that makes the difference between an icon and a piece of art of depicted peasant life?

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Re: Is art important?

Post by Renee » November 8th, 2016, 5:50 pm

Carol wrote::lol: {etc.}
Haha, Carol, I made a joke and you turned it into a dissertation. Much like "when life hands you lemons, build a Cadillac out of them." Because my joke wasn't even that, but a lower-form of life-form of jokes, a pun.

In fact, man can't get out of the spiritual and psychological boundaries that have been established for his (her?) psyche back in the African Savannah 100,000 years ago (plus or minus seventeen years). Jung, Freud, Young, Fraud, all existed back then. The newest and first wholly different thought from those established, or being groundwork for later, thoughts, is QM.

In fact, some philosopher (modern day) and I don't know his or her name, shame shame, theorized that there is more logic out there than what our intuitions tell us; our intuition and logic has been based on and developed around survival tactics, it has served and has been restricted to serve our survival and as such, we missed out on a whole bunch of other logical truths, which we only discovered via exploring the nature of the sub-atomic world. Such as events happening AFTER the events they caused happen; that smaller and smaller volumes of space contain more and more, even if inside larger volumes; (Non-additive value of energy); that things move in space without traversing the space in-between their two points of source and destination; etc. etc. These are all humanly counter-intuitive, but it's only so humanly, because our logic has been focussing on the useful, and the useful never had a use for these truths.

When I first heard this at a casual speech given by professor, I said, maybe the basic doctrine of the holy trinity is covered by the truth or possibility of reality by this type of logic, which they call now in philosophical circles "thinking 2", as opposed to "thinking 1", which encompasses our humanly intuitive world and view of it.

To answer your question: I know the Statue of Liberty, and the Lady of Justice (a cop-off of Roman or Greek symbolism), but I don't know the statue of the Spirit of America. It IS hard to sculpt a formless, bodiless, non-liquid-solid-or-gaseous, entity. Leave it to the American know-how, innovation and striving for cost-effectiveness to successfully create one.

-- Updated November 8th, 2016, 6:02 pm to add the following --

Gertie, I think we must differentiate between "cultural art" and "creative art". As well as between "creative art" and "emotional/therapeutic art", as well as between "emotional/therapeutic art" and "industrial art".

I think Cultural Art is a form of "industrial art", or the other way around. By this I mean that they have been commissioned, or else culturally carried, not as an expression of an individual effort.

In fact, I have been musing to myself, for quite a long time now, that music is religion, religion is poetry, and poetry is music. Meaning that music brings you to a level of consciousness which you can't understand; religion (when done right) heals your soul and creates moods; and poetry distills things (when done right) and shines the most essential brilliance of kernels of things.

There should be a branch of philosophy that treats human endeavours from two points of view, each, and without exception: from the individual's point of view, and from society's point of view. One shall be forced to realize that there are two religions, two moralities, two emotions, two laws, two educational systems, two institutions of each kind, two of everything, as the needs and understandings of individuals are incredibly (but not wholly) different from those of society.
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Re: Is art important?

Post by Gertie » November 9th, 2016, 2:26 pm

renee
Meaning that music brings you to a level of consciousness which you can't understand; religion (when done right) heals your soul and creates moods; and poetry distills things (when done right) and shines the most essential brilliance of kernels of things.
nice :)


I'm not sure about your distinctions here, tho I see what you're getting at -
Gertie, I think we must differentiate between "cultural art" and "creative art". As well as between "creative art" and "emotional/therapeutic art", as well as between "emotional/therapeutic art" and "industrial art".

I think Cultural Art is a form of "industrial art", or the other way around. By this I mean that they have been commissioned, or else culturally carried, not as an expression of an individual effort.
For sure art is used in ways you can roughly categorise, but there's something about Art As Symbol for conveying things which is innately creative. I think. By definition even?

How about Andy 'I Am A Camera' Warhol? He's toying with that, tries to strip all the personal, emotional, creative aspects from a piece, but I still look at a Warhol can of soup differently to one in my cupboard. 'Read it' differently, get something else from the creative idea behind it. (Or maybe I'm just a toyed with sucker). And now his soup cans are icons!

Art about art is disappearing up its own bumhole, much more thinky and intellectualised. It keeps trying to find new ways to establish itself as of the elite, for our modern patrons, corporations, to pay zillions for. While the statue of liberty is nice and accessible for the masses.

When books became available to the masses, the likes of Joyce and Woolf set about creating new vanguards making themselves accessible only to the highly educated elite. Writing about writing. Music became valued for being difficult, messing with its own conventions. Easy, accessible, popular are for the masses with mass appeal. Serving our new god commerce (art as part of the entertainment industry, or cultural decor), or cultural solidarity, religion or whatever. But those old portraits of kings and nobles are now Hirsts hung in corporate boardrooms, still signifying power and status.

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Re: Is art important?

Post by Renee » November 10th, 2016, 3:44 pm

Gertie,

I simply wanted to make a distinction of "tribal art" as in cave paintings and in dance-and-songs that preserved the history by and for a tribe. They are called "folklore art" in my language. There are two very strong elements to them: 1. they must be appealing to the artistic senses (whatever those are), and 2. they must uphold the tradition by not changing the piece. This second part is the one thing that I wanted to so desperately point out separates cultural / commissioned / industrial art from creative arts.

In the folklore tradition, in the deep past, the stories were told unchanged. The songs were sung the same way, and there were no variations in the dance steps from an original.

That said, this preservation was more an effort than an all-out success. Some generations did change the content, even if ever so slightly.

So even though the songs, lyrics and dances lifted the spirit of the tribal members, they were emotive and mood-generating, they were not the brain children of the creative efforts of the performers.

Whereas today more and more never-before-heard, catchy, beautiful, spirit-lifting poetry and songs are made by artists, and the public values these individual creative efforts. In the song-and-dance you talked about before, there were no ongoing creative efforts.

So I am trying to say that many people in this thread put down that to them art comes from within, it is a giving out of the self, writing a poem, story, song, takes them down to depths they can't fathom, etc. etc. etc., but the other kind, which you surprised our readership here with, the traditional carrying on of old tales, can't be reconciled with the process when this incredible need to put out what's inside a person makes peole poe, sing, or dance.

I either over-explained my point, or under-explained it. Or maybe just right-sized explained it. I don't know.
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