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Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

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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FerrumIntellectus
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Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by FerrumIntellectus » June 13th, 2013, 1:36 am

This was a topic inspired by me and Baileyboy in a thread in the Philosopher's Lounge: Males are the definition of art yes or no? I told Bailey that I felt like this discussion would be better if we encompassed human existence itself into the discussion. If we look at any Art whether it is music, or painting, or literature, there seems to exist growth and progression in all of these mediums. With painting it is a blank canvas and then with each brush stroke it eventually becomes a Mona Lisa. With music a single note soon progresses into an entire composition. Why is the human existence any different? It grows inside the womb then upon emancipation from it the fetus then becomes a baby. The baby ages into a young child the young child ages into a teen and so on and so forth until death. Perhaps where the controversy comes in about human existence being an Art is that it is dynamic. Normally when art has been created, it is immortalized in the physical world and has reached its peak. The only thing that could occur to the art at this point is a regression (Portraits burned, statues defiled, etc.) With human existence, the dynamism is constant and there is not ever truly a point until death where the human existence seems to really immerse with the reality it occupies. What do you guys think?
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by Baileyboy » June 13th, 2013, 3:27 am

Well said. To me, the human existence is captured/immortalized in other types of arts. To me, everything is beautiful. But art, is capturing what is beautiful ie in sculptures, paintings, pictures, music. Art, is just the immortalized version of beauty. If you look at a painting of a tree, it is still art. I think that instead of saying, "humans are art." It would be better to describe art as "the way humans immortalize beauty."

Side note: have you ever seen the movie "Bang Bang Club?" It's about photographers capturing the genocide in South Africa. It's pretty interesting. You should check it out.
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by FerrumIntellectus » June 13th, 2013, 3:34 am

Well said. To me, the human existence is captured/immortalized in other types of arts. To me, everything is beautiful. But art, is capturing what is beautiful ie in sculptures, paintings, pictures, music. Art, is just the immortalized version of beauty. If you look at a painting of a tree, it is still art. I think that instead of saying, "humans are art." It would be better to describe art as "the way humans immortalize beauty."
So if immortalizing beauty is how you personally define the existence of Art than the human existence in itself could never become art? For after all, the human existence ultimately ends at one stage or another. So the human existence by itself, can only hope to achieve explosions of beauty with their actions/progressions. These forms of beauty are ephemeral and thus the human existence seems dependent on these other mediums to truly achieve a more concrete form of beauty.
Side note: have you ever seen the movie "Bang Bang Club?" It's about photographers capturing the genocide in South Africa. It's pretty interesting. You should check it out.
No I have not. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by Harbal » June 13th, 2013, 4:34 am

FerrumIntellectus wrote:. Why is the human existence any different? It grows inside the womb then upon emancipation from it the fetus then becomes a baby. The baby ages into a young child the young child ages into a teen and so on and so forth until death.?
In principle, doesn't this apply to just about any living thing? Are insects and plants art, as well?

The next time I see a spider on my living room wall should I look at it as if it were an old master?

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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by FerrumIntellectus » June 13th, 2013, 9:36 am

In principle, doesn't this apply to just about any living thing? Are insects and plants art, as well?

The next time I see a spider on my living room wall should I look at it as if it were an old master?
Sound point Harbal. Yes I believe it would apply to all living things so as not to be hypocritical.
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by Harbal » June 13th, 2013, 9:56 am

FerrumIntellectus wrote:
Sound point Harbal. Yes I believe it would apply to all living things so as not to be hypocritical.
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by FerrumIntellectus » June 13th, 2013, 10:22 am

Well you do. You are a well spoken and insightful individual. One thing I should have brought up in the opening thread however that I should have is this: We have three ways of potentially viewing the human existence as Art.

1.) Biologically- The very design of human beings from eye color all the way to muscle mass. Our Biology though succumbs to dynamism which still would fall under a kind of breathing art.

2.) Our Actions- From the grandiose such as when the Joker blows up a hospital in The Dark Knight and Andrew Carnegie's Philanthropy and wealth to the more simple and subtle things like a Mother rocking her baby to sleep or a farmer cultivating his crops.

3.) BioloAction- A dualism of the other two singular vantage points. Think about a biologically "beautiful" person committing a heinous murder (Jodi Arias would fit this bill for some) Or a biologically "ugly" person committing beautiful acts. Personally, I believe this dualism is the closest we can get to viewing the human existence itself as Art
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by Baileyboy » June 13th, 2013, 10:49 am

FI,

Would it be possible that we are above art? If we look at the definition of art, 1. art - the creation of beautiful or significant things. 2.art - the products of human creativity. Since we create it, aren't we technically above it? Who was more powerful Charlemagne? Or the pope? The pope created the Holy Roman Empiror. Wouldn't that make the pope more powerful then him? If humans create art, aren't humans above art?
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by FerrumIntellectus » June 13th, 2013, 11:03 am

Would it be possible that we are above art? If we look at the definition of art, 1. art - the creation of beautiful or significant things. 2.art - the products of human creativity. Since we create it, aren't we technically above it? Who was more powerful Charlemagne? Or the pope? The pope created the Holy Roman Emperor. Wouldn't that make the pope more powerful then him? If humans create art, aren't humans above art?
Excellent observation Bailey! I am just beaming with pride! :D Being creators puts us in opposition with Art but still in relation to it in the form of being Artists. However this leads to an even far more profound question; If Art is the creation of beautiful or significant things, then who was our Artist? If you are an Atheist such as myself, Science was our artist and created a masterpiece without consciousness. If you are a Theologian you believe God created us and he possessed the consciousness to both intelligently and artistically design us. Which begs an even further question: If we accept the human existence itself as art does art then require consciousness? What must an artist possess to truly create Art?
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by Baileyboy » June 13th, 2013, 11:29 am

FerrumIntellectus wrote: Excellent observation Bailey! I am just beaming with pride! :D Being creators puts us in opposition with Art but still in relation to it in the form of being Artists. However this leads to an even far more profound question; If Art is the creation of beautiful or significant things, then who was our Artist? If you are an Atheist such as myself, Science was our artist and created a masterpiece without consciousness. If you are a Theologian you believe God created us and he possessed the consciousness to both intelligently and artistically design us. Which begs an even further question: If we accept the human existence itself as art does art then require consciousness? What must an artist possess to truly create Art?
That my friend, we could be talking about until the end in time and we would still be at the same place we are today. As Kierkegaard would say, "You either believe, or you don't." There's no point in pretending you do if you don't.

As for your questions, I don't know. I think the artist needs a consciousness, because with out a consciousness, you have no perception of beauty. I think the artist must possess his own point of viewing the world. I think they need to at least perceive reality.

Art is a way of declaring existence, as is photography. The nature of the photographer has changed, but we are still desperately trying to prove that our lives have meaning in a meaningless universe. We line our walls with family pictures to put an end to any belief that we inconsequential. We're constantly searching for the right words or the right images to clearly depict what it is to live. Technology and art project those stories into the world because there's nothing we love more than sharing our perceived notions- with hope that our observations are me with applause rather than an echo.
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by FerrumIntellectus » June 13th, 2013, 1:50 pm

Art is a way of declaring existence, as is photography. The nature of the photographer has changed, but we are still desperately trying to prove that our lives have meaning in a meaningless universe. We line our walls with family pictures to put an end to any belief that we are inconsequential. We're constantly searching for the right words or the right images to clearly depict what it is to live. Technology and art project those stories into the world because there's nothing we love more than sharing our perceived notions- with hope that our observations are met with applause rather than an echo.
This was brilliantly stated. Especially the final two statements which, the more I read them, the truer they become. We are constantly seeking that medium that can convey to perfection the nature of existence. Perhaps if people forced those energies inward they would discover the power they possessed as mediums in themselves and truly make worthwhile Art.
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by Baileyboy » June 13th, 2013, 3:56 pm

FerrumIntellectus wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


This was brilliantly stated. Especially the final two statements which, the more I read them, the truer they become. We are constantly seeking that medium that can convey to perfection the nature of existence. Perhaps if people forced those energies inward they would discover the power they possessed as mediums in themselves and truly make worthwhile Art.
Thank you, but I think that In the face of absurd nature, we create structured stories because it comforts us as human beings. I think this could be applied not only to art, but to religion too.
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by FerrumIntellectus » June 13th, 2013, 4:25 pm

Thank you, but I think that In the face of absurd nature, we create structured stories because it comforts us as human beings. I think this could be applied not only to art, but to religion too.
Solid point. Ever since I mentioned consciousness and its relationship to Art it has had me thinking more about Phenomenology and how it influences Aesthetics. Perhaps that will be my next essay after covering Physicalism. I have never truly given the relationship between consciousness and these mediums much thought before. One only need to look at a prodigy such as Mozart, or Beethoven being deaf as far as music is concerned to see the potential for such a relationship.
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Re: Is The Human Existence A Work Of Art?

Post by Hereandnow » June 27th, 2013, 8:52 am

Phenomenology and how it influences Aesthetics
I'd like to read that. Phenomenology and aesthetics: I wonder, what phenomenologist and what art do you have in mind for an essay?

And FerrumIntellectus: I notice your favorite philosopher is Kierkegaard. For him, absurdity was the very dynamics of redemption. He was no Camus and for him, the world was not "meaningless" as you seem to believe.

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