So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

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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John Bruce Leonard
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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by John Bruce Leonard » June 6th, 2016, 1:45 am

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
Mark1955 wrote: (Nested quote removed.)

I would argue it has to be art as it is creative, even if of death and destruction, poverty etc.
If politics/war is art, and also parenting, education, peace corps, living/dying, why not science?

It seems that the topic has been decided.
Indeed. And I think it fair to ask, pursuant to 3u's very legitimate point here - if we say that art is everything, and therefore that science is also art, have we said in the end anything at all?

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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by Burning ghost » June 6th, 2016, 1:56 am

We can view war with an artistic eye just as much as with a scientific eye. We can see forms of beauty and ugliness and we can quantify and weigh the number of each opposing force in action.

The same goes for politics or any other topic. Dont really understand the point of the question 3u?
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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by John Bruce Leonard » June 6th, 2016, 2:04 am

Burning ghost wrote:We can view war with an artistic eye just as much as with a scientific eye. We can see forms of beauty and ugliness and we can quantify and weigh the number of each opposing force in action.

The same goes for politics or any other topic. Dont really understand the point of the question 3u?
Do you think there is a difference, Boots, between seeing a thing with an artistic eye, and calling a thing art?

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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by Burning ghost » June 6th, 2016, 2:27 am

I am not Boots but I can easily answer that.

If I name something I name it so. If I choose to view something so I choose to view something so.

An object does not have to be made by an artist to be art. I can pick a rock off the floor and put it on a table and say it is art and that it has metaphorical meaning. You may not agree but that does not mean it is not art only that it has little to no value as art to you.
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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by Greta » June 6th, 2016, 2:48 am

The act of perceiving beauty is a creative act. Change our perception, change the art.

A beautiful example of this is the artistic images produced by scanning electron microscopes: https://www.google.com.au/search?q=art+ ... microscope

While the art was always there in the nature, it took a particular perspective and means to bring the images to light. That's art - the means to bring another's perspective to us. Ultimately that's the basis of all communication, trying to overcome the problem of other minds to gain a greater shared perspective. Art, science, creeds, politics, even sport and relationships, aim to at least somewhat bridge the gaps between us.
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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by John Bruce Leonard » June 6th, 2016, 8:16 am

Burning ghost wrote:I am not Boots but I can easily answer that.

If I name something I name it so. If I choose to view something so I choose to view something so.

An object does not have to be made by an artist to be art. I can pick a rock off the floor and put it on a table and say it is art and that it has metaphorical meaning. You may not agree but that does not mean it is not art only that it has little to no value as art to you.
Burning ghost, accept my apologies for mistaking your name. It is one of the hazards of carrying on too many conversations at once. Yet it is an error amusingly apropos our conversation, and perhaps we can profit of it.

It is indubitable that we can call things by any name we please. But is our ability to do so, equivalent to justification of our doing so? If I call you Boots, when in fact you go by the name Burning ghost, would it make sense if I then justified myself to you, saying, "Boots, I can call you whatever I please. You may not agree with what I call you, but that does not mean you are not Boots; only that you have arbitrarily adopted a name with which I, for one, do not at all agree"?

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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by Burning ghost » June 6th, 2016, 10:15 am

That would be an apropriate analogy if art was sentient and able to voice its dislike of how and what you call it.

I think you may be clutching at straws now?
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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by Aristocles » June 6th, 2016, 11:11 am

Greta wrote:

While the art was always there in the nature, it took a particular perspective and means to bring the images to light. That's art - the means to bring another's perspective to us. Ultimately that's the basis of all communication, trying to overcome the problem of other minds to gain a greater shared perspective. Art, science, creeds, politics, even sport and relationships, aim to at least somewhat bridge the gaps between us.
(Could not get the electron images to view)

The change in perspectives and the variety of ways to communicate brings about great creativity. These efforts may bring about a betterment of ourselves, even if just a more distinct or connected self. There are seeming inevitable disagreements along the way, but that appears to just be confounding clarity as part of the process.

This may beg questions as to why creativity betters us, & I do not know that anything other than philosophy helps to best approach such answers.

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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by John Bruce Leonard » June 6th, 2016, 3:44 pm

Burning ghost wrote:That would be an apropriate analogy if art was sentient and able to voice its dislike of how and what you call it.

I think you may be clutching at straws now?
The which implies a degree of desperation I do not feel. I am merely attempting to understand your position. You seem to be claiming that anything any person calls art is perforce art. Tell me, Burning ghost, does this verbal liberty apply to all words, or only to the word "art"? I mean to say, if I call your computer a sunset, am I legitimated in doing so by my mere ability to do so, such that you must grant me that your computer really is a sunset (if perhaps a very poor one)?

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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by Burning ghost » June 7th, 2016, 1:19 am

Refer to post 109

It was aimed towards 3u.

I don't think I am in the mood to bother a prolonged back and foth with you about basic linguistics.
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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by John Bruce Leonard » June 7th, 2016, 12:22 pm

Then with all due solicitude for your mood, Burning ghost, I most regretfully forfeit the continuation of our argument.

As regards the wider question to which Aristocles, 3u, and Greta are devoting themselves, I confess to some reticence in the face of what has been said so far. If I am to follow the the general trend of this thread, I perceive a tendency to ascribe to the word “art” a marvelously general and inclusive, not to say universal, scope, and to apply the word “creativity” to at least the better part of human activities. (I believe so far the only kinds of activities that have not be called creative, are the instinctual, and the thoughtlessly repetitive activities that are involved in certain jobs like collating documents or digging holes). As I have indicated before, I do not believe that these uses of these words are particularly exceptional; on the contrary, it seems to me that the contributors to this thread are all quite dutifully pressing in the direction that is being taken even now by our modern conception of art. If nothing else, then, our words here are useful in making the consequences of that conception evident. It would seem from what has been stated thus far, that at least those boundaries excluding science from the realm of art, are not as clear as one might have thought.

Yet I think that only half of the modern tendency has been explored so far. I would like to revive a problem that 3u spoke of in his initial words in this thread; and though I then argued then against the terms he selected, I think I did so at the cost of his much more important point. This thread takes as its question the relation between art and science, and the possible uniting of the two; then we must confront the fact that, in common parlance, these two terms are not identified, and are in fact used to express a certain tension. For although our common parlance may simply indicate an error of communal judgement, or an inadequate depth of communal thought, nonetheless we cannot understand that error or that inadequacy without facing it head on. The tension of which I speak is manifested most apparently when debates arise as to whether a certain human activity is more an “art” or more a “science.” What is meant when we speak of this way? What is the difference that we seem to perceive, and what do we here think of it?

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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by Burning ghost » June 7th, 2016, 1:07 pm

If we say something is "more of an art than a science" it is a colloquialism not a direct investigation of the differences between art and science.

You may find use in asking if there is pseudoscience is there pseudoart. If so can we as easily distinguish art from pseudoart as we can science from pseudoscience?
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Re: So, you are an artist... What is the difference?

Post by Greta » June 8th, 2016, 12:20 am

Burning ghost wrote:You may find use in asking if there is pseudoscience is there pseudoart. If so can we as easily distinguish art from pseudoart as we can science from pseudoscience?
Interesting question! It brings us to the aims of the fields - one aims for objectivity, the other seeks subjective responses. Just about anything that elicit a subjective response, be it the wild, aspect of human society or creative works intended to be art*.

Your question calls to mind a wonderful rant by a world class percussionist on a music forum a few years ago, describing Muzak as "artificial musiclike product". In fact, some of the more cynical pop releases could be described similarly - pesudo-art - but really I just consider such music to be the passionless products of economic rationalists. It's music, but amongst the last that I'd recommend.

Gatekeeping need not be done at such a broad level (art/non art) because, by definition, it precludes new innovations capable of broadening the definition. I prefer gatekeeping being done as regards quality. Does the work move you? Does it convey an artist's love of their work or a message being conveyed? Is it interesting, unusual, charming, challenging, amusing, stimulating, etc? That, for me, is the final arbiter. Labels are a step removed from the experience.



* Art need not necessarily be done by an artist, as such. Sometimes non artists have flashes of creative inspiration that they need to express but their track record and self claims are not that of an artist - yet they have created art.
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