Art - a word with no meaning

robbins.photo

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Somebody ought to get a few people together and demonstrate some initiative and contact all of the art museums on this list and tell them they need to shutter their doors and cease operation...

List of art museums - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bonus points for anybody willing to tackle the large list of art museums in Germany, Italy, and most especially, the huge,long list of United States art museums.

Can't we just burn them all to the ground? I mean how long has it been since we've been able to break out the torches and pitchforks for anything around here?
 

grafxman

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grafxman - interesting story though I suspect 1 years worth of study isn't enough for any proof for or against (though that does not diminish their manipulation of the results to say otherwise a bad move). I also suspect that the way a subject is taught is critical to if it causes an improvement or not and that after 1 year most students were only just getting a grounding (at best with good teachers). I suspect like many things it would take a few years for the effect to have a gain for students. Sadly many art teachers oft fawn over the best "natural talent" students and leave the rest to flounder (with the hope they never elect art for advanced studies in their last years of school).


Of course there we are shifting from art as a concept and into art as a technical exercise - or rather into sketching, painting, pottery, photography etc.. as technical methods and skills.


It's my own feeling that a solid foundation in technical method can help in other subjects - but that also art presents a subject that is not academic in its focus and thus whilst it may not make students get higher grades in maths or english it might well improve their chances because its broadened their horizons and gives more hands on creative students the option to develop a skill and take that into the working world

IIRC three years of grades were analyzed. I do remember going into the project with some high expectations. I, like many other folks, bought into the idea that art classes would probably increase learning and competence in other academic areas. The idea itself sort of seems probable however the cold reality I discovered proved otherwise. I suspect the other folks involved may well have had an agenda that was not necessarily in the kids best interests. Well, at least they knew enough to not use my name in the paper. There would have been hell to pay if they did that.
 

rexbobcat

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Somebody ought to get a few people together and demonstrate some initiative and contact all of the art museums on this list and tell them they need to shutter their doors and cease operation...

List of art museums - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bonus points for anybody willing to tackle the large list of art museums in Germany, Italy, and most especially, the huge,long list of United States art museums.

Can't we just burn them all to the ground? I mean how long has it been since we've been able to break out the torches and pitchforks for anything around here?

Seriously. We bounced back from the burning of the Library of Alexandria and that was like sooooooo totes long ago. I need to let out my pent up middle-American frustration with some good mob arson.
 

rexbobcat

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grafxman - interesting story though I suspect 1 years worth of study isn't enough for any proof for or against (though that does not diminish their manipulation of the results to say otherwise a bad move). I also suspect that the way a subject is taught is critical to if it causes an improvement or not and that after 1 year most students were only just getting a grounding (at best with good teachers). I suspect like many things it would take a few years for the effect to have a gain for students. Sadly many art teachers oft fawn over the best "natural talent" students and leave the rest to flounder (with the hope they never elect art for advanced studies in their last years of school).


Of course there we are shifting from art as a concept and into art as a technical exercise - or rather into sketching, painting, pottery, photography etc.. as technical methods and skills.


It's my own feeling that a solid foundation in technical method can help in other subjects - but that also art presents a subject that is not academic in its focus and thus whilst it may not make students get higher grades in maths or english it might well improve their chances because its broadened their horizons and gives more hands on creative students the option to develop a skill and take that into the working world

IIRC three years of grades were analyzed. I do remember going into the project with some high expectations. I, like many other folks, bought into the idea that art classes would probably increase learning and competence in other academic areas. The idea itself sort of seems probable however the cold reality I discovered proved otherwise. I suspect the other folks involved may well have had an agenda that was not necessarily in the kids best interests. Well, at least they knew enough to not use my name in the paper. There would have been hell to pay if they did that.

Grades ≠ Learning...But that's the only way the American education system operates apparently...And it's also beside the point.

You could put art classes in a failing school and it would still fail because the reason its failing is probably not because of the lack of art education. It probably has something to do with the structure of the school itself. There are too many variables that influence school performance than just the inclusion or lack of art education.

Plus, you would need a control to really get any meaningful figures. If you took several different schools, that just means there are even more variables to take into consideration that might affect performance between those different schools.

Taking a bunch of schools from different areas and analyzing the differences in performance based on the single criteria of art education would give you a very thin connection, I would think.
 

table1349

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That's very thoughtful Overread. I go by what a great American once said:

"As President Eisenhower supposedly once said, after visiting the Louvre, "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like."

I had a university art and photography professor who used the above quote, and a modification of it, to teach his 101,102,103 art history classes.

He said that basically the above quote means, "I have no training in the arts whatsoever, and I do not know much about art, but I like what I know, which is usually kitsch."

Here is the favorite painting of the typical, "I don't know much about art," type of person. dogs playing poker - Google Search

Art still exists. But the ignorant and unwashed masses...you know, the ones who call long comic books "graphic novels", typically have never studied art. Art has been cut from most schools, and is not valued in the USA. I mean, really...we have videogames to play, and graphic novels to study and appreciate, and series TV shows to watch, to get our entertainment, literature, and drama needs satisfied.

Sounds to me like a professor trying to make sure he had a job.

Art is and is not. It is what it is to each individual person.
 

table1349

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So I was thinking, Art. It's a rather small word, but that people seem to spend endless hours debating and arguing over. Constantly reclassifying and defining the concept of it whilst also coming up with new criteria and new meanings.

However its my view that all that is for naught in the modern world. In the past things like art and music were quite strictly controlled, if your concept didn't fit with the firmly defined definitions then it was cast out. Even many major works that we consider as great art today were, back in time, considered not art (or at least not "art enough" to be displayed in places of importance for art like galleries).

But its my view that in the race to broaden the acceptable formats for what counts as art we have in turn destroyed all meaning in the word itself. We have ground it down to a term that means something only in a very generalist sense and any attempt to impose a more strict definition simply meets with flack from other groups who suddenly find that their art isn't art under that definition.

There is the line that art is something that makes you think; that prompts some kind of emotional reaction. However in itself these are also extremely generalist definitions. A person with a naturally creative mind might well find that anything can set their mind to thinking - as a result the definition loses all structure because it almost means "anything."


And yet there are some boundaries; there are some rough boarders where the majority say "this, this isn't art". However those boundaries are always changing and shifting and indeed sometimes can be based upon the creator not the art itself (a mundane creation by a no-name person is a wonder by a master artist - because the mater artists is 'showing you something within the mundane').




Indeed many arguments I see over what is and isn't art often boil down to a desire for the individual to define what they like as art whilst at the same time removing forms that they don't consider art. Leading to long complex arguments where in they define a set of rules so contrived that it ends up falling over its own wording. OR they make big generalist sweeps that cut out whole swathes (often because its a method commonly used to create "bad art").



So there is my argument - Art in itself means nothing in the modern world. We've broadened the horizons so far that they are almost no longer bound. Only within context of a specific situation can art itself have a meaning and that meaning only works within that context. A gallery can define the art they wish to display; but their definition applies only as far as the walls of their building. Beyond that in the wide wild world Art is a term without bounds.

In some ways that is good; it leaves the door open to all to explore their own creativity in their own way; in others its bad as it means a lack of any respect for even minor formal structuring means many can aspire to a very low level of ambition and never truly seek out (nor easily find) the instruction and aid to progress further.

I must respectfully disagree with your assessment reference Art. When I got home from work I read your post and called my Uncle Art and read it to him. Uncle Art seemed a bit put out at the thought that he didn't mean anything. And the only real arguing about Art that I am aware of came from my Aunt Mert, Art's wife and her mother my Great Aunt Mable. Seems they used to argue a lot about Art in the old days cause he was a bit of a tippler if you know what I mean.

Uncle Art did ask me to mention to you that you seemed like a decent thoughtful sort of fellow so he's not mad at you for saying he doesn't have any real meaning.
 

jenko

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So I was thinking, Art. It's a rather small word, but that people seem to spend endless hours debating and arguing over. Constantly reclassifying and defining the concept of it whilst also coming up with new criteria and new meanings.

However its my view that all that is for naught in the modern world. In the past things like art and music were quite strictly controlled, if your concept didn't fit with the firmly defined definitions then it was cast out. Even many major works that we consider as great art today were, back in time, considered not art (or at least not "art enough" to be displayed in places of importance for art like galleries).

But its my view that in the race to broaden the acceptable formats for what counts as art we have in turn destroyed all meaning in the word itself. We have ground it down to a term that means something only in a very generalist sense and any attempt to impose a more strict definition simply meets with flack from other groups who suddenly find that their art isn't art under that definition.

There is the line that art is something that makes you think; that prompts some kind of emotional reaction. However in itself these are also extremely generalist definitions. A person with a naturally creative mind might well find that anything can set their mind to thinking - as a result the definition loses all structure because it almost means "anything."


And yet there are some boundaries; there are some rough boarders where the majority say "this, this isn't art". However those boundaries are always changing and shifting and indeed sometimes can be based upon the creator not the art itself (a mundane creation by a no-name person is a wonder by a master artist - because the mater artists is 'showing you something within the mundane').




Indeed many arguments I see over what is and isn't art often boil down to a desire for the individual to define what they like as art whilst at the same time removing forms that they don't consider art. Leading to long complex arguments where in they define a set of rules so contrived that it ends up falling over its own wording. OR they make big generalist sweeps that cut out whole swathes (often because its a method commonly used to create "bad art").



So there is my argument - Art in itself means nothing in the modern world. We've broadened the horizons so far that they are almost no longer bound. Only within context of a specific situation can art itself have a meaning and that meaning only works within that context. A gallery can define the art they wish to display; but their definition applies only as far as the walls of their building. Beyond that in the wide wild world Art is a term without bounds.

In some ways that is good; it leaves the door open to all to explore their own creativity in their own way; in others its bad as it means a lack of any respect for even minor formal structuring means many can aspire to a very low level of ambition and never truly seek out (nor easily find) the instruction and aid to progress further.

The thing to keep in mind is this: Most people, especially Americans and Europeans, define art by a very narrow conception: the Western Canon. The problem with this is that other cultures make art! And for very different reasons. Their art looks different from the Western canon. It does not follow the rules of the Western Canon. It has its own culturally specific iconography. The Western canon also has its own culturally specific iconography. The tendency is for one culture to think their "rules" are the only rules and the only way of making art and looking at art and developing criteria for understanding art.

Of course, there has been some diffusion of ideas from culture to culture via globalization. This is both good and bad. It is good because we are more open-minded to things that look different from what we are used to considering art. It is bad because some people are quickly losing their cultural identity as it converges with Western ideas.

For 100's of years, Europeans would go to other countries to colonize them and they would look at the indigenous art and say, "This is not art." They were looking with a Western eye. They were not understanding the iconography, the context, of the art. Then they would steal it and bring it back home. And eventually, some of the ideas in it would seep into the Western Canon. But more often, oppressed people would change their own art to please the Europeans who ruled over them.

So, I agree with you--art only has meaning within context. This is the way it has always been. Even paleolithic art was contextual. Art has always been defined within a framework, a context.
 

grafxman

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I once looked at a photo Salvador Dali's melted clock many years ago and thought it was somewhat intriguing. I then saw some of his other stuff and thought it was ridiculous, childlike and not art at all. When I mentioned this to an elderly lady friend of mine, who happened to be a professional artist, she politely informed me that I should go to the Salvador Dali museum in Tampa FL. One day months later I was in Tampa for some reason or other and I went to the Salvador Dali museum. It was terrific! That guy could really paint.

Many many years ago, while on multiple deployments to the Med aboard various aircraft carriers, I would always take leave whenever the ship went into port and fly or take the TGV from Marseilles to Paris. I calculated that I spent a total of about 2 months in Paris over the years. I hit about every museum in Paris including the Louvre, Rodin, Picasso, etc. I guess you could say I love looking at "art". Just don't ask me to define it! I think the closest I could come is this: Something non living which has been created artificially and is pleasing to the viewer's eye.
 

Jamesaz

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I believe Frank Zappa said "Art is anything you can get away with." It seems kind of a contemporary definition, or maybe just a toss off joke to an interviewer.


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