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Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

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Supine
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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Supine » September 23rd, 2015, 1:35 pm

Belinda wrote:Supine wrote:
Although, I won't say that viewing porn can't teach a person one or two or more things specifically related to sexual acts and certain sexual erotics.
Certainly! However the differential definition of pornography which I have suggested includes mainly that while pornography is erotica, all erotica is not pornography. My intention is that it's good to qualify content as pornographic if it lies about the human condition, often for commercial gain. Erotica is often true of the human condition.

The conditions for separating pornography from erotica then are like the conditions for separating the good from the bad in any other literary genre or artistic idiom. The need to evaluate erotica in this way is more urgent than most lit crit because of the natural fascination with erotica among children.
The US Supreme Court would agree with you that not all art pertaining to nudity is pornographic. If that's what you mean by erotica that is not pornographic. I'm not sure the US Supreme Court Justices would use the term "erotica" for what they regard as non-pornographic nudity depicted or captured in "art."

Regardless I can accept your term of "lie" about pornography if by what we mean to "lie" to its audience or viewer is "deception."

But then... maybe even the concept of "deception" opens up a can of worms, I don't know. Can't games of flirtation, persuasion, "putting on one's best" or projected image between two people utilize "deception"? I think the Brazilian's have some phrase about a man courting a woman and how the woman prefers the man project a fantasy rather than reality to her--as this makes the romantic and sensual life more "fun" or entertaining. I can't remember the exact phrase though.

I do recall a personal experience with a very attractive woman. Above average in looks. And a former stripper. She actually pursued me even though I tried to dissuade or not encourage her. And yet I yielded. And I came to like her a lot. So, one night she called me over. The long story short is I could have had sex with her that night, and she attempted to get intimate with me. But because I liked her I wanted her to have fuller knowledge of me and not simply the image she had of me produced in her mind. I wanted to give her a "choice" with that knowledge. So, I told her I was a drug addict. You could see the disappointment fall over her face. And I did not get any sex that night. LOL. My visit was in fact cut short.

But who was she attracted to all a long? Me? Or some image she had produced of me in her head? If I kept my personal info to myself all the while knowing she thought the opposite of me... would that be deception and if deception is that deception bad?

This digresses some.

But the lie or deception inherent in pornography is something many of us like. We don't like the truth or full truth or we like being deceived--at least if we are active participants in creating that deception in our own minds.

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Hereandnow
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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Hereandnow » December 2nd, 2015, 11:20 am

the better question is, is anything NOT art. Take the pragmatic point of view: If I look at X as art, that is, I take X up as something in the art world, I give X a special context that is away from sex as, well, sex. ANYTHING is art if one makes this move. If I take a pornographic scene and blackmail a person with it, it takes on a legal and moral aspect it never had. If I put it in an exhibition hall it's art. See Robert Mapplethorpe's "obscene" sadomasochistic exhibition. (I won't include a link because it's kind of weird. But you can Google him easily). Again, all things art art if they are taken into the context of being so. That what it means to be art, which is an evolving concept as we evolve and make/discover new meanings.

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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Belinda » December 2nd, 2015, 12:32 pm

Here and Now, if we take 'art' to mean a praiseworthy work of art, and not simply any old symbolic form, we need to take into account the maker's intention. There is no point in praising a found object or an implement except with regard to its human application. Other animals and inanimate stuff don't praise.

Supine wrote:

But the lie or deception inherent in pornography is something many of us like. We don't like the truth or full truth or we like being deceived--at least if we are active participants in creating that deception in our own minds.
If we read the whole of Supine's anecdote from which the above is an extract, we can see that Supine's intention was to reveal truth to the best of his ability. If what he did were embodied in some form that had a presence of its own, then that would be a work of art. Truth is the criterion for art and not-art, pornographic erotica and non-pornographic erotica.
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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Hereandnow » December 2nd, 2015, 1:36 pm

Belinda: if we take 'art' to mean a praiseworthy work of art, and not simply any old symbolic form, we need to take into account the maker's intention. There is no point in praising a found object or an implement except with regard to its human application.
Praiseworthiness and artist's intentions. I wonder if 'praiseworthiness' is another word for 'good' given that we praise exclusively what is good and what is good is exclusively praiseworthy. This seems to me an tautology. So you want to say good art is about good artists, and i would agree. It's hard to even imagine a bad artist doing good art unless in this case it is good art, thereby making the bad artist a good artist in this case. ''

But meaning plays out differently, doesn't it? I mean Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea has been interpreted to death, most of which bears no resemblance at all to what Hemingway intended. Literary critics don't care, saying the proof is in the pudding, not int he artist's intentions.

-- Updated December 2nd, 2015, 1:52 pm to add the following --
Supine: But who was she attracted to all a long? Me? Or some image she had produced of me in her head?
This kind of thing can drive one a little mad. The spoken words are part of an intersubjective consensus, complex, filled with all the communicative nuances. These are freighted out with the language through idiomatic usage, body language, suggestive metaphor and irony, and so forth. All public personalities are, if you will, already out there and we should have a lot of respect for the interpersonal games we play which can be so subtle. But the hidden self, the individual experience of the world, that rich textured qualia of the conscious mind as it makes a fabric of experienced reality---that is never out there. One can never really know the, if you will, transcendental Other self sitting across the table. This body of textured communication is all we can ever come to know. It gets interesting with questions like, this public self, is it really at all different from the inner? Is there a private self? After all, the language in my interior stream of consciousness runs the same as the public stream.

This all goes the issue of whether there are things language cannot do to present a self intersubjectively.

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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Belinda » December 3rd, 2015, 3:58 pm

Here and Now wrote:
Praiseworthiness and artist's intentions. I wonder if 'praiseworthiness' is another word for 'good' given that we praise exclusively what is good and what is good is exclusively praiseworthy. This seems to me an tautology. So you want to say good art is about good artists, and i would agree. It's hard to even imagine a bad artist doing good art unless in this case it is good art, thereby making the bad artist a good artist in this case. ''

But meaning plays out differently, doesn't it? I mean Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea has been interpreted to death, most of which bears no resemblance at all to what Hemingway intended. Literary critics don't care, saying the proof is in the pudding, not int he artist's intentions.
Yes, to your first paragraph.

I did not know that literary critics said "the proof is in the pudding, not in the artist's intentions." I prefer to think that man is on a quest for the good, and art is one way to pursue that quest. The quest for the good is not to be interpreted as aligning the good with some religious belief about god. The good and the quest for it are the same. However the artist has a special skill in interpreting matters on behalf of other people. If some alleged artist lacks the will to interpret the good but is a facile decorator like Jack Vetriano, or those pretty watercolourists four of whose paintings I inherited from my mother, then he is not the sort of 'artist' we are talking about, is he?

Vetriano , and late Victorian watercolourists aren't going to lead anybody into sexual trouble, but porn can and does.
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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by LuckyR » December 3rd, 2015, 5:01 pm

Supine brings up a very important point on this topic, namely that sexuality and thus pornography's role, is all in the head, not the genitals. Porn's purpose is to take someone to a particular state of mind. Thus why there are so many different categories, corresponding with different folks' different turn ons. Much has been made of the intent of the producer and the plight of the actors, but lets face it, a drawing can be porn, actors are not required. I am sure that a computer program could be written that can produce adequate porn, with no intent whatsoever. Ultimately it isn't about the product or the production, it is about the consumer. This is proven by the fact that the changing role of porn over the years has not been because of a difference in the intent of the producers but in the attitude change in the consumers (and observers, ie society at large).
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Hereandnow » December 3rd, 2015, 8:00 pm

LuckyR: This is proven by the fact that the changing role of porn over the years has not been because of a difference in the intent of the producers but in the attitude change in the consumers (and observers, ie society at large).
And what, i wonder, will happen when in the future all or most of our sense of taboo is removed from our collective sexual mentality. I wonder, if it is, as you say, in the mind of the, errrrr, consumer, can liberation from sexual fear, secrecy and illicitness, which seems to be the direction of our emerging society lead to a "normalized" regard for sex? is such a settled state even possible? Desirable? (What about all those lovely fetishes?)

-- Updated December 3rd, 2015, 8:49 pm to add the following --
Belinda: I did not know that literary critics said "the proof is in the pudding, not in the artist's intentions." I prefer to think that man is on a quest for the good, and art is one way to pursue that quest. The quest for the good is not to be interpreted as aligning the good with some religious belief about god. The good and the quest for it are the same. However the artist has a special skill in interpreting matters on behalf of other people. If some alleged artist lacks the will to interpret the good but is a facile decorator like Jack Vetriano, or those pretty watercolourists four of whose paintings I inherited from my mother, then he is not the sort of 'artist' we are talking about, is he?

Vetriano , and late Victorian watercolourists aren't going to lead anybody into sexual trouble, but porn can and does.
i think the question is, what do you do if you have a text lends itself to divergent interpretations? Was Gatsby defensible in his illegal affairs, driven as he was by something beautiful, even profound (Fitzgerald does use the biblical Jacob's Latter and Plato's forms to make his point)? Does Fitzgerald's taking sides on this really matter much once we've pored through the text and produced a reasonable, evidence-based thesis? Author's intention can count, but it is not a necessary condition for a legitimate interpretation.

Porn can lead to trouble. Interesting: Does this make it more or less for art?

I am surprised to hear you say you think art is a pursuit of the good. "The Good" is not a far cry from God.

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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by LuckyR » December 4th, 2015, 3:00 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
LuckyR: This is proven by the fact that the changing role of porn over the years has not been because of a difference in the intent of the producers but in the attitude change in the consumers (and observers, ie society at large).
And what, i wonder, will happen when in the future all or most of our sense of taboo is removed from our collective sexual mentality. I wonder, if it is, as you say, in the mind of the, errrrr, consumer, can liberation from sexual fear, secrecy and illicitness, which seems to be the direction of our emerging society lead to a "normalized" regard for sex? is such a settled state even possible? Desirable? (What about all those lovely fetishes?)
Yes it will be a mixed bad, though it would not suprise me if we never get there (especially in the US, where tradition is king) fully. Opportunities for banishing negatives and opening up some positives (though those are actually avoidance of negatives) though you are right to not underestimate the value of the forbiddenness of forbidden fruit.
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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Belinda » December 4th, 2015, 7:07 pm

Here and Now wrote:
I am surprised to hear you say you think art is a pursuit of the good. "The Good" is not a far cry from God.
I know it is. I am using 'art' as a mark of respect. I think it's a useful activity to distinguish between what is good and what is bad, in any human quest including science, politics, morals, religions, doing the laundry, washing the dog, anything.

I know that good intentions are not always fulfilled . For instance with their best of intentions whatever anybody does to try to stop Daesh and the civil war in Syria nobody can predict what is the best means to accomplish the good result. The good intention is paramount, as without it knowledge lacks the application of judgement. I am against religions insofar as they lack the humility to say "nobody knows".
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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Hereandnow » December 4th, 2015, 9:54 pm

Belinda: I am against religions insofar as they lack the humility to say "nobody knows".
I like the end of Camus' Stranger on that.

As for me, I don't like religions because they're stark raving mad. On the other hand, I am by no means a nihilist.

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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Belinda » December 8th, 2015, 7:57 am

Hereandnow wrote:
Belinda: I am against religions insofar as they lack the humility to say "nobody knows".
I like the end of Camus' Stranger on that.

As for me, I don't like religions because they're stark raving mad. On the other hand, I am by no means a nihilist.

I don't know Camus' Stranger. Would you tell me please?
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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Hereandnow » December 8th, 2015, 10:52 am

Belinda:
I don't know Camus' Stranger. Would you tell me please?
As i recall (I used to teach this novel) Meursault is in jail waiting to be guillotined and the priest walks in trying to encourage acceptance of Jesus, god's grace, remission of sins and so forth. The affair turns nasty and Meursault is outraged by the priest's confidence in something he knows absolutely nothing about. For me, this is one of the truly galling things about dogmatic belief: The ridiculous, infuriating confidence in something that should be a struggle. People should be in awe. Facile medieval dogma belies the human condition.

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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Belinda » December 8th, 2015, 2:18 pm

Gosh! Mersault was some authentic existentialist. I'd have recanted so not to be guillotined. I'd say mass or whatever in return for getting shelter for refugees.

I bet the Free French Maquis during the war pretended to obey the Nazi forces of occupation when it was expedient to do so.
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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Hereandnow » December 8th, 2015, 8:08 pm

Belinda:
Gosh! Mersault was some authentic existentialist. I'd have recanted so not to be guillotined. I'd say mass or whatever in return for getting shelter for refugees.

I bet the Free French Maquis during the war pretended to obey the Nazi forces of occupation when it was expedient to do so.
Alas, it had already been made clear that he had no feelings for anyone, especially is deceased mother. He was convicted of a lack of filial devotion.
Good thing he didn't care, which was pretty much Camus' point. Interesting point about doing what was expedient. Why didn't he? It was because he had no emotional investment in the world and therefore
no guilt or regret. A true absurd hero pushing the Sisyphean rock up the mountain, smiling.

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Re: Does Pornography Qualify as Art?

Post by Belinda » December 10th, 2015, 7:50 am

Here and Now wrote about Camus' Mersault character:
Interesting point about doing what was expedient. Why didn't he? It was because he had no emotional investment in the world and therefore
no guilt or regret. A true absurd hero pushing the Sisyphean rock up the mountain, smiling.
"no emotional investment in the world".If one chooses life it follows that you push the rock in the perhaps absurd faith that you can build a cairn at the top, thus one has an investment in the world. Does Mersault consider that other people are fictions of his own imagination? This is what religious dictators do and thereby mentally imprisons the individuals over whom he rules, usually by means of terror police.
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