Do you need imagination to make art?

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Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Philosophy Explorer » October 3rd, 2014, 6:17 pm

Note: this thread was inspired by a discussion at a different thread.

It would seem one needs imagination to do art. Whether to paint/draw a picture or compose music or write a book e.g. Can anybody pick up a paintbrush and paint a picture right off the bat? Or would forethought and imagination be required, roadmap to know where you want to get to?

What say you to this?

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Lost
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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Lost » October 3rd, 2014, 8:00 pm

About as much as required for dreaming, so some. A doodle requires no forethought or ambition. A mural for a public place will benefit from a plan.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Spectrum » October 4th, 2014, 6:42 am

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/imagination?s=t
1. the faculty of imagining, or of forming mental images or concepts of what is not actually present to the senses.
2. the action or process of forming such images or concepts.
3. the faculty of producing ideal creations consistent with reality, as in literature, as distinct from the power of creating illustrative or decorative imagery. Compare fancy (def 2).
4. the product of imagining; a conception or mental creation, often a baseless or fanciful one.
5. ability to face and resolve difficulties; resourcefulness: "a job that requires imagination."
6. Psychology. the power of reproducing images stored in the memory under the suggestion of associated images (reproductive imagination) or of recombining former experiences in the creation of new images directed at a specific goal or aiding in the solution of problems (creative imagination)
7. (in Kantian epistemology) synthesis of data from the sensory manifold into objects by means of the categories.

If we refer 'imagination' as in 3, creative imagination in 6 and 7, then one need imagination to create 'art,' especially fine arts (art comes in degree from basic to fine/sublime) and the creative products of geniuses.
What is significant here is the combining, synthesis, organizing, and creative, power inherent in the genius and artists that enable them to produce their aesthetical works. The big question is how can the ordinary person enable such productive (not reproductive) imaginative powers? Based on the current trend of the exponential expansion of knowledge in the relevant fields, I am optimistic, in the future, humanity will have the technology to facilitate the average person to increase and unleash their productive and creative imaginative powers.
Not-a-theist. Religion is a critical necessity for humanity now, but not the FUTURE.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Hereandnow » October 4th, 2014, 10:30 am

One could argue along the lines of Clive Bell (and his famous little book "Art"). Imagination is in itself not intrinsically aesthetic. (To hold this you would be in the vicinity of John Dewey. See his "Art as Experience": a very good read on the nature of aesthetics. He held that the aesthetic is part of the structure of experience itself and since all of our ideas are grounded in the material conditions around us, the pragmatic interface with the world,art is intrinsic to experience, all experience,cognitive, artistic, you name it.). Art is essentially significant form that elicits aesthetic rapture. Form is the essence of an art work. The better the joy of beholding it, the more significant the work (Dewey woldn't disagree, only he grounds the aesthetic in the problem solving nature of experience.) Imagination creates novel, significant forms, though one could argue that art is always among us, there in the trees, in the piece of driftwood i brought home and put on my shelf. Yesterday, nature's thing, now art. Brings Danto to mind, You should read his "Art World". Here the artwork is bound to the interpretative possibilities possessed by the observer. Art is made in the interpretative act of, say, seeing a cloud as a camel. That is a creative act, but it occurs within. I make art as i walk down the street and brings different interpretative acts into the world.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Skillz » October 9th, 2014, 11:13 am

I would say you need imagination to create new concepts, but if you're dealing with old concepts in non-new ways then no imagination is required (or activated). I don't think mystery is necessary to make art either. A creator does only what she has to do.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Sol Invictus » October 9th, 2014, 6:11 pm

In certain forms, it could be required a necessity. But my view of it is that real, highly praised art is composed of two halves:

1. The ability to draw upon the imagination and the images, sounds or words found from it, and express it into the material world in some tangible form.

but also

2. The mathematical and methodical practice of creating a structured plan to form it around. An example, to have a imaginative idea first, and then create a detailed, stepped plan from which you can practically and logically build the idea around. Like a skeleton, and once built you can start to apply the "flesh" on it section by section.

Another way to explain, is a controlled environment, in which you can allow moments of large spontaneity to burst within.

I believe imagination is very much needed to make sure your art is original, and not a copy of someone else's. Like to days major motion pictures are so redundant and similar, with no substance, that it shows they are only created to sell for money, not made to actually last and be remember through the ages with its message.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Theophane » October 10th, 2014, 9:07 am

A professional artist doesn't need imagination or even skill if he can make other people believe what he does is art.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Baumgartenman » October 10th, 2014, 9:13 am

In considering imagination are we considering an attribute of the subject or a combustible transaction between a subject and environment (idea). John Dewey's construct of the transacting subject is relevant here. Imagination is then considered to be part of the total engagement of the artist in her work. Within this stillness past, present and future are woven into a meaningful work of art. Imagination is that aspect of the environment that the artist "latches onto". Dewey argues that the aesthetic is an ever present aspect of our engagement with the world - it just represents in the artistic domain in a purer form. Imagination is then considered to be what we use to reconstruct past experience to deal with a present situation. Against this understanding of imagination it is an essential component of the creative process.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Hereandnow » October 10th, 2014, 12:29 pm

Theophane: A professional artist doesn't need imagination or even skill if he can make other people believe what he does is art.
I would agree. This leaves the art work itself in need of a definition, or reconstrual. If it is just a matter of "belief" then what follows is that art is not about the object out there, but the disposition that observes it. we sit and look at clouds go by. At first they are clouds, then the interpretative or creative faculties kick in: It's a boat, a profile of Washington, etc. The clouds then become art works. driftwood is driftwood, but on my mantel it is art. What is out there is in play, not just artistically, but pragmatically. This book is now a door stop, now a weapon, all to fit the occasion. It fits into a comprehensive theory of meaning and aesthetics. Pragmatics.

-- Updated October 10th, 2014, 12:30 pm to add the following --

I would add that pragmatists don't hold this particular thesis, though they could. Dewey didn't.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Jklint » October 10th, 2014, 4:31 pm

Theophane wrote:A professional artist doesn't need imagination or even skill if he can make other people believe what he does is art.
The obverse side of that coin would be that it also calls into question those who would acknowledge the output of these quasi artists as art in the first place.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Logic_ill » October 10th, 2014, 4:49 pm

Maybe not all arts require imagination but it helps...

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Theophane » October 10th, 2014, 6:10 pm

Jklint wrote:
Theophane wrote:A professional artist doesn't need imagination or even skill if he can make other people believe what he does is art.
The obverse side of that coin would be that it also calls into question those who would acknowledge the output of these quasi artists as art in the first place.
"The Emperor Has No Clothes" is a trope that can manifest just about anywhere in our lives. Art, politics, literature, religion, etc.

-- Updated October 11th, 2014, 8:21 pm to add the following --
Logic_ill wrote:Maybe not all arts require imagination but it helps...
Art would not exist in any form if it weren't for imagination, although that word has been stretched too far IMO.

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Re: Do you need imagination to make art?

Post by Stephen C Pedersen » May 15th, 2016, 8:48 pm

Well, would art exist without consciousness? Furthermore, would beauty, which is one of the faces of art, exist without a perceiver? I really don't know these answers. I know that the world would be more preferable than if ugliness existed without us, even though i think it is better we exist to view it. I don't know though. These are all conjectures.

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