What is art and do we even need it?

pgriz

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My wife told me the story of the time she was in art school and the teacher told the class that to pass, each student will have to produce something unexpected, that caused the teacher to have strong feelings and emotions. At the end of the session, each student was required to hand in their completed work. One student came up to the teacher and gave him a blank piece of paper, which he asked the teacher to hold in his hands, palms up. Then he threw up onto it.

He got an A.
 

weepete

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Here is my opinion;

Art is a very broad church. I appreciate how this creates difficulty, because it can not be defined as a single thing. As such there are different theories about what exactly art is, how it is to be defined and therefore what is and isn't art.

Unfortunatley it is also contextual. Remember the dude who played the violin on the subway? So we also rely on social context to define what art is. So we do not always know it when we experience it.

The beauty of art is that it is a broad church. It can be that thing you see in a gallery, or the thing you see in a workshop. It can be that functional piece of design or it can just be a pretty picture you hang on a wall. It can be a an emotional experience, lack thereof, it could even be a concept.

The everything can be art therefore nothing is art is a strawman argument. Everything is things, therefore nothing is a thing, therefore everything is nothing.

It's taken me a lot of time to get there. Years ago I would have argued with myself about it too (though dechamps urinal, which I argued with my art teacher was ******* is still one man's vanity that the artworld bought into (and still does) ). But yeah, the answer is there is room for it all. Except dechump. He is still an ass****
 

table1349

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Everything is things, therefore nothing is a thing, therefore everything is nothing.

That is where your argument falters. Everything in not always a thing. A rock is a thing, as is a tree, the sun, even humans are things. What kind of thing is a thought, a dream, a laugh or to cry?

Humans have a great need to prove to themselves that they are the superior being. To do so they like to invent ideas, notice I did not say things, that they perceive as elevating themselves to some higher plane. The concept of Art is one of those inventions.
 
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“All right," said Susan. "I'm not stupid. You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable."

REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.

"Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—"

YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.

"So we can believe the big ones?"

YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.

"They're not the same at all!"

YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME...SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.

"Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what's the point—"

MY POINT EXACTLY.”


Terry Pratchett, Hogfather
 

pixmedic

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I may not know art, but I know what I like

sent by synchronized cardioversion
 

table1349

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What is the point of a beautiful sunset, a bird in flight against a rich blue sky? What is the point of the near boundless gap of the grand canyon, the dizzying height of Victoria falls, the grand majesty we call Yosemite? Are they there just to give man a point to believe in himself, to give him purpose? If so it sounds like a lot of work from God, Mother Nature, the Flying Spaghetti Monster or what ever entity you believe created them just to provide man with some point of being. All of them and thousands and thousands upon thousands of other such things in this world have been reproduced by man and called ART. Is man so frail, so weak, so pitiful that all of this had to be created to sooth his tenuous psyche?

And what of that purpose, is it to start wars, exterminate races of people, to bar them from traveling this world freely as they choose. Perhaps that purpose is to cheat them in business, rob them or their place where the call home of their possessions. Maybe it is to build bigger, better stronger weapons of destruction so one group of men may dominate over another. Or perhaps it is simply to believe so fervently in some deity that those that believe in such a deity will throw words of distaste, of hatred, and even commit acts of violence and murder upon others for failing to have the same belief. Is the Mercy, the Justice, the Duty of which you speak. Is it mans purpose to foul the waters, stench up the atmosphere, cut down the trees, clear the land, level the hills and mountains and devoid the earth of other species of living things? Is that the purpose of this most noble creature we call Man?

Perhaps it is mans purpose, his being, to plagiarize that which he sees and calls beautiful by copying it in some form or another. For surely the painting of a sunset must be more beautiful that the sunset observed since it by the hand of man. Only the brush of man made the subject we call Mona Lisa beautiful, the chisel that gave dignity to "David" chipped from all that stone. With out the hand of man was not the subject we call Mona Lisa still beautiful, did David not have dignity, did the vibrant hues of a glorious sunset not exist, or the great mountains have majesty?

So tell me, which is more beautiful, which is the true "Art", the thing that is or the plagiarism of man when he copies those things for his own enjoyment by what ever means he has at hand at the time. If there is such a thing as "Art" then for me it is in the flight of the bird, the majesty of the great mountains, the beauty of a sunrise or sunset, the rainbow. That and all of nature that surround it, holds it in it's bosom and nurtures is Art. Man is the plagiarizer, the defiler, for man has in his quest for "purpose" for "meaning" to his own existence has done his best to destroy these other thing.

So stand proud upon the mountain man and proclaim your superiority to all that there is. Be proud of this great thing that you have called Art that only the superior man could produce. Be proud of your history of hate, destruction, violence, intolerance, and lack of caring for all but yourself for you have proven the point of your existence.
 

amayax

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Just stumbled on an article of Vice, about the writer's experiences at an "art" gallery.

"Look at these [...] guys! Just to be clear: They are in the process of spending three minutes looking at a photograph of a woman they don't know sitting on a chair. Can you imagine how quickly they'd be skipping over this photo if it was in their mum's holiday snaps?"
 

Peeb

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I'm sure that this has already been posted, but "art" is simply an anagram for 'rat'.

We need rats, as they are smart and empathetic and they make excellent pets. Link: 5 Reasons Why Rats Are Good Pets

Frankly, I'm unsure how they get along with ferrets.

So, there is your answer. Happy to help.

Next question?
 

Designer

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They are in the process of spending three minutes looking at a photograph of a woman they don't know sitting on a chair. Can you imagine how quickly they'd be skipping over this photo if it was in their mum's holiday snaps?"
It's not the same photo, though, is it?

My point.
 

Peeb

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I'm about as much a musician as I am a photographer, and I enjoyed a thread on my guitar discussion board between people alternately frustrated with one another as to whether or not they were 'artists'.

It was deathly important to some that this term apply to them, while it was mortally crucial to others that this term ONLY apply to players that they deemed 'special'.

Seems to be quite a bit of emotional baggage attached to this word: "art".

(Artfully posted by Peeb)
 

pixmedic

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"artist" and "professional" have always been controversial (and often self-imposed) titles.
 

Peeb

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"artist" and "professional" have always been controversial (and often self-imposed) titles.
So if I really want to step on toes- label oneself a "Professional Artist".

I like the sound of that....
 
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"artist" and "professional" have always been controversial (and often self-imposed) titles.
So if I really want to step on toes- label oneself a "Professional Artist".

I like the sound of that....

A professional amateur artist, who also does weddings
 

droaingsong

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Professional artist and artist are again different things. We are back to the start of controversy. :biggrin:
 

table1349

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Professional artist and artist are again different things. We are back to the start of controversy. :biggrin:
True. One is just imagining what they are, the other is a professional at imagining what they are.
 

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