Announcement: Your votes are in! The January 2019 Philosophy Book of the Month is The Runaway Species: How Human Creativity Remakes the World by David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt.

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.
Post Reply
User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 933
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

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

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 29th, 2016, 8:15 am

Jklint wrote:I won't tire you for long except to say I agree IF you define art as ANYTHING created whether by human or other agencies regardless of whether it was ever meant to be art. That would include, for example, a spider's web whose tapestry I'm very much in awe of but means nothing to the spider in terms of beauty or design its sole purpose being a functional one. Then there are the truly magnificent Sistine structures of nature, the corral reefs built by organizations of tiny creatures who have no concept of how wonderfully abstract their creations are.
Funny, last weekend I was at an opening where there were sculptures made by bees. Jack Shainman Galleries, The School, Kinderhook NY. They were the best thing in the show.

I'd love to talk about art, it's the passion of my life. But the "what is art" conversation leaves me cold. Art is that stuff you hang on walls, put on pedestals, everyone knows what art is. Good art, bad art, indifferent art, I'd love to talk about art but it would be off topic here.

When I tell my friends about Garnett Puett's wax sculptures created by bees, no one has said "you call that art?" See how tiresome that would be?

-- Updated May 29th, 2016, 7:38 am to add the following --
Jklint wrote:By your and Greta's assertion anything and everything created by humans or close cousin is art and yet only humans invariably qualify everything according to their perception of value and in that respect it's the future that's in charge of that catalog much more so than any contemporary view.
In most definitions, "art" is not a value judgment -- it's a simple category of objects. That allows you to avoid the tiresome "what is art" conversation!
fair to say

User avatar
Greta
Site Admin
Posts: 7444
Joined: December 16th, 2013, 9:05 pm

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

Post by Greta » May 29th, 2016, 9:04 am

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:I'd love to talk about art, it's the passion of my life. But the "what is art" conversation leaves me cold. Art is that stuff you hang on walls, put on pedestals, everyone knows what art is. Good art, bad art, indifferent art, I'd love to talk about art but it would be off topic here.

When I tell my friends about Garnett Puett's wax sculptures created by bees, no one has said "you call that art?" See how tiresome that would be?
I feel similarly, all due respect to those interested in the topic. As a local area musician I've been privy to many "is it music?" conversations.

I remember hearing Stockhausen on the radio as a child and thinking "that's not music" but by my teens I was enthusiastic about all manner of noodling. Still, that tolerance was tested at an experimental music gig a beau dragged me along to. It started with a man overblowing an alto sax full of water while twiddling knobs on a box that made those typical Cage-style radio static and whistle noises that seem as cliched in the experimental genre as the Pachybel's Canon progression is in commercial pop.

Yet all these studious looking people were seemingly taking it all very seriously! I was itching to laugh but feared lynching had I done so :) I could easily have claimed it wasn't music - but what of those serious young things seemingly revelling in the subversiveness of it all? It was a performance that had the effect of music on a limited audience so it might as well be music. I gain no benefit from gatekeeping.

Why shouldn't animal patterns be art? Nature is bursting with beauty and poignancy - the ideal that art can only convey somewhat but never fully capture. Arguably, quality art is a phenomenon whose subject matter is noumena, an aspect of nature.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated—Gandhi.

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 933
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

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

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 29th, 2016, 9:59 am

In my language a word can have different meanings, so if you want to assign an alternate meaning for art, I like "the highest aspirations of humankind," that's fine. But for everyday ordinary use, you can't beat "art is art."
fair to say

User avatar
John Bruce Leonard
Posts: 140
Joined: February 10th, 2016, 5:01 am
Location: Sardinia, Italy
Contact:

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

Post by John Bruce Leonard » May 29th, 2016, 10:11 am

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:In most definitions, "art" is not a value judgment -- it's a simple category of objects. That allows you to avoid the tiresome "what is art" conversation!
I am afraid the tiresome conversation will find you in any case, 3u. For you still must define the limits of that category of objects. I should be most impressed, furthermore, if you could do so without reference sooner or later to "value judgements."

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 933
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

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

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 29th, 2016, 1:22 pm

John Bruce Leonard wrote:
3uGH7D4MLj wrote:In most definitions, "art" is not a value judgment -- it's a simple category of objects. That allows you to avoid the tiresome "what is art" conversation!
I am afraid the tiresome conversation will find you in any case, 3u. For you still must define the limits of that category of objects. I should be most impressed, furthermore, if you could do so without reference sooner or later to "value judgements."
Are you sure you want to derail this nice topic by talking about this silliness? I advise against, it sees to be unending, people who know very little about art having big sanctimonious ideas about what it is.

Art is art, it's so easy.
fair to say

Jklint
Posts: 1256
Joined: February 23rd, 2012, 3:06 am

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

Post by Jklint » May 29th, 2016, 3:30 pm

Well, I'm out of this tiresome conversation. To each his own is what it all defaults to.

User avatar
John Bruce Leonard
Posts: 140
Joined: February 10th, 2016, 5:01 am
Location: Sardinia, Italy
Contact:

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

Post by John Bruce Leonard » May 29th, 2016, 4:25 pm

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:Are you sure you want to derail this nice topic by talking about this silliness? I advise against, it sees to be unending, people who know very little about art having big sanctimonious ideas about what it is.

Art is art, it's so easy.
Were ease the measure of philosophical success, 3u, then I think there would be many more philosophers in this world. Aristocles has rightly warned us of the complexity that we must engage if we are to proceed along the path that he has indicated. Truly, we require a degree of courage. The question may well be, as you say, unending, or prove to be finally unresolvable. But as tempting as it is, I do not believe we may bury these difficulties under tautologies, which, as all gravestones, have the unfortunate quality of begging the very questions they would like to answer.

In short, I am quite ready to pursue “this silliness,” as you say; nor do I find it to be a derailment of the topic at hand. Quite the contrary – though as always, I leave it to Aristocles, who is the father of this thread, to set the course he deigns most suitable – methinks the tracks lead precisely this way. For if we are to speak intelligently of the possibility of unifying science and art, I do not see how we can avoid sooner or later confronting the question of the nature of these two fields of human endeavor.

Yet I perceive with you, 3u, the danger of frivolity and loose-speaking here – of ignorant or lethargic notions and the dogmatism that they nourish; and if anyone has intention of going forth with me in these investigations, then we must agree from the first to do all in our power to protect ourselves, and each other, from such corruptors of our thought and speech.

Now, we have so far devoted more time to considering art, than to considering science; this would seem to be only natural, insofar as science seems in certain ways the clearer of the two. Let us then carry on with our investigations into art. It seems to me that we would be served by a more concentrated question which might encourage us to enter into the details of this subject, without losing sight of the overarching question of the possible unification of science and art.

I propose the following. Given that science is generally viewed as a means of discovering the world, which discovery affords us the power of invention, what do we say that art is at root – discovery, or invention, or both together?

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 933
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

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

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 29th, 2016, 6:21 pm

About Garnett Puett's wax sculptures created by bees,
Greta wrote:Why shouldn't animal patterns be art? Nature is bursting with beauty and poignancy - the ideal that art can only convey somewhat but never fully capture. Arguably, quality art is a phenomenon whose subject matter is noumena, an aspect of nature.
It was instantly obvious that no human hand could ever have accomplished the work, neither the intricacy of detail or the effect of the overall shapes.

-- Updated May 29th, 2016, 5:44 pm to add the following --
John Bruce Leonard wrote:I propose the following. Given that science is generally viewed as a means of discovering the world, which discovery affords us the power of invention, what do we say that art is at root – discovery, or invention, or both together?
Your comment is maybe even more than usually, beautifully wrought.

Discovery and invention cover a lot of ground, but I resist saying that art IS anything, because that would be a limiting. You will sooner or later come upon some art which would be an exception to your rule. And at that point someone will rightly say "why do we have the rule anyway? Why are we standing around wondering if this art conforms? Why did we Brobdingnagians make the foolish rule in the first place? With art, no rules is the rule.

My face value, LCD definition solves a communication problem. One person wants to talk about art, another says, "you call that art?" or, "that's not art." That's just tiresome. My definition does not interfere with our inquiry here. In fact if we would agree to accept my simple definition we may save time.
fair to say

User avatar
Aristocles
Contributor
Posts: 478
Joined: April 20th, 2015, 8:15 am

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

Post by Aristocles » May 30th, 2016, 12:18 am

Art is everything.
Science is everything.
Art must equal science.

This argument is what I am still seeing.

YIOSTHEOY
Posts: 383
Joined: May 25th, 2016, 5:34 pm

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

Post by YIOSTHEOY » May 30th, 2016, 3:45 am

Aristocles wrote:In an attempt to stay with this thread longer than the "Not Art" original poster, I will aspire to be more focused upon alleged distinctions of art versus science. Seeing posters determine there is no art for art's sake and the good part of art is not so apparent (up to this point, at least, of "For Art's Sake" & "What is Good Art" threads), the distinction of art and science may lend itself to the distinction between "subjectivity/objectivity." From there I would too likely ask: What is the difference then between subjectivity and objectivity?

I am thinking conventional thinking may follow with all too much concentration upon clouded conventional definitions, semantic analysis, etc...

[With the philosophy of the arts having the fewest views on this forum, perhaps some controversy can help generate interest and clarity among > 30,000 members, with the more "artistic" members contributing here.]

My understanding is the earlier formal roots of western philosophy did not make the distinction of art and science, that the craft concept of tekne (techne) was as much scientific as artistic. Our conventions appeared to bastardize the concept (as we tend to do most with the most powerful ideas). In the conventional processing, we appear to have lost the forest through the trees. I understand the idea of that which is good is ultimately seemingly mind boggling. I do think the ancients simplified it with uncanny precision. I have failed to generate interest in eudaimonia study in another post. I have since tried to recruit interest in all other philosophy areas on this forum.

I am thinking the seeming dualism of art/science is reflected in much of what we do. Maybe this is related to the apparent right/left hemispheres of the human brain and how we best cope with understanding (e.g. life/death, mind/body, male/female, micro/macro, equal/unequal, black/white, symbolic logic/sock puppets, etc). Regardless, I argue the distinctions are less than typically appreciated, and although the distinctions are often academic, the reflection is important.

In the case of art, it appears it is only good in as much as it is a science. The concept of what is good appears entirely too grand to tackle without parsing. It seems we have tried to break what is good down into art and science. Art, in turn, is broken down into fine art, expressive, etc. Science is broken down into social, physical, etc. These are continually broken down into further "disciplines." I am arguing we lose something when we fractionate without reflection. Most notable is a loss in much appreciation of what is actually good, that which is scientific as much as it is artistic.
The earliest examples of "art" are the Caves Of Altamira.

My definition of an "artist" is someone who can make a living creating art works.

My definition of "art" is anything that evokes an emotional response.

-- Updated May 30th, 2016, 12:46 am to add the following --
Aristocles wrote:Art is everything.
Science is everything.
Art must equal science.

This argument is what I am still seeing.
Science, philosophy, religion, and art are separate from each other and completely independent.

Anyone who cannot tell them apart does not know what they each are.

User avatar
Aristocles
Contributor
Posts: 478
Joined: April 20th, 2015, 8:15 am

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

Post by Aristocles » May 30th, 2016, 4:31 am

From post # 58
Aristocles wrote:

I touched in the OP on my reduction of what we tend to call science seems to be that of reasoned conclusions about something, and art appears to be an emotional expression of something.
YIOSETHEOY:

Your apparent scientific declaration of the birth of art is interesting.

Your definition of art is 1/2 similar to the way I see it. The ability to make a living with art being the definition of an artist would likely degrade the more typical "starving artist," the ones I would think many agree are the backbone of genuine art.

Your declaration of "Science, philosophy, religion, and art are separate from each other and completely independent" is even more interesting and closer to the antithesis of the OP. Your elaboration could be helpful.

Jklint:

The discrepancy with "other" animals creating art brings up another interesting part of this thread. 3u may maintain bees could provide art. Greta may maintain art can be felt in a sunrise/sunset. I would tend to not only agree art is often best found in what we call "nature," but I would go further to say human creations of art can appear to lessen the grandeur of "nature." I would however agree that humans have the appearance of being separate from nature in our seemingly exclusive club of Brobdingnagians. Our more rational judgment of feelings would appear to hold greater weight scientifically.

I am suggesting humans should not be separated from nature, like reason is less distinct from emotion. Our connection with nature is artistic as much as scientific, not "completely independent" either.

Maybe a discussion regarding the art of biology, evolution, genetics, taxonomy, etc may help...

YIOSTHEOY
Posts: 383
Joined: May 25th, 2016, 5:34 pm

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

Post by YIOSTHEOY » May 30th, 2016, 4:37 am

Aristocles wrote:From post # 58
Aristocles wrote:

I touched in the OP on my reduction of what we tend to call science seems to be that of reasoned conclusions about something, and art appears to be an emotional expression of something.
YIOSETHEOY:

Your apparent scientific declaration of the birth of art is interesting.

Your definition of art is 1/2 similar to the way I see it. The ability to make a living with art being the definition of an artist would likely degrade the more typical "starving artist," the ones I would think many agree are the backbone of genuine art.

Your declaration of "Science, philosophy, religion, and art are separate from each other and completely independent" is even more interesting and closer to the antithesis of the OP. Your elaboration could be helpful.

Jklint:

The discrepancy with "other" animals creating art brings up another interesting part of this thread. 3u may maintain bees could provide art. Greta may maintain art can be felt in a sunrise/sunset. I would tend to not only agree art is often best found in what we call "nature," but I would go further to say human creations of art can appear to lessen the grandeur of "nature." I would however agree that humans have the appearance of being separate from nature in our seemingly exclusive club of Brobdingnagians. Our more rational judgment of feelings would appear to hold greater weight scientifically.

I am suggesting humans should not be separated from nature, like reason is less distinct from emotion. Our connection with nature is artistic as much as scientific, not "completely independent" either.

Maybe a discussion regarding the art of biology, evolution, genetics, taxonomy, etc may help...
Everyone wonders what was the purpose of the art in the caves of Altamira?

Was it a hunting ritual?

Was it religious?

I think that prehistorically before the advent of organized religion, it was all about getting meat from hunting.

So these hunters and their cave artists were hoping to lure the game towards them.

One thing I have learned from hunting big game however is that they do not care about art.

They only care about food, water, and mating.

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 933
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

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

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 30th, 2016, 9:06 am

Aristocles wrote:Art is everything.
Science is everything.
Art must equal science.

This argument is what I am still seeing.
You've given in to hyperbole but kept the impression of endearingly innocent farce.

-- Updated May 30th, 2016, 8:10 am to add the following --
Jklint wrote:Well, I'm out of this tiresome conversation. To each his own is what it all defaults to.
Well, nice chatting. Sorry if I was to abrupt.

-- Updated May 30th, 2016, 8:34 am to add the following --
YIOSTHEOY wrote:The earliest examples of "art" are the Caves Of Altamira.

My definition of an "artist" is someone who can make a living creating art works.
Was the cave painter an artist? I wonder if he/she made a living at it?

-- Updated May 30th, 2016, 8:48 am to add the following --
Aristocles wrote:I am suggesting humans should not be separated from nature, like reason is less distinct from emotion. Our connection with nature is artistic as much as scientific, not "completely independent" either.

Maybe a discussion regarding the art of biology, evolution, genetics, taxonomy, etc may help...
Gardening this morning. The Irises are profuse, flagrant. Forget-me-nots are on the way out as are the cranes bills, the spider plants are in full bloom. But the irises are a joy, purple and white, fabulous.
fair to say

YIOSTHEOY
Posts: 383
Joined: May 25th, 2016, 5:34 pm

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

Post by YIOSTHEOY » May 30th, 2016, 10:05 am

3uGH7D4MLj wrote: Was the cave painter an artist? I wonder if he/she made a living at it?.
Jean Auel has a great novel called "Clan Of The Cave Bear" which you would probably enjoy which contains a lot of prehistoric philosophy.

They also made a movie out of it.

It would answer your question about how prehistoric peoples lived and "made their livings".

User avatar
3uGH7D4MLj
Posts: 933
Joined: January 4th, 2013, 3:39 pm

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

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » May 30th, 2016, 10:39 am

Thanks, can you put it in a nutshell?

-- Updated May 30th, 2016, 9:42 am to add the following --
YIOSTHEOY wrote:Science, philosophy, religion, and art are separate from each other and completely independent.

Anyone who cannot tell them apart does not know what they each are.
Yes, that's a big part of the attractiveness of this topic.
fair to say

Post Reply