What is Art?

  • ShanksE

    Posts: 263

    Nov 19, 2011 4:36 PM GMT
    I was thinking about this question earlier this morning. What exactly is Art? Is Art just any expression of human thought, desire and observation?

    If so can Art be judgmental? If Art is just any expression, can there be any good Art or bad Art? Shouldn't all forms of expression be categorized as Art?

    I agree that my amateur attempts at writing poetry or drawing a portrait may not be considered 'Art', but shouldn't my mode of expression, however flawed be it, also be considered Art, even though I lack the skills for it?

    Just thinking out aloud. I would appreciate your thoughts on this!
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    Nov 19, 2011 6:23 PM GMT
    I think you spelled fart wrong.
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    Nov 19, 2011 6:23 PM GMT
    anything creative is art.
  • He_Man

    Posts: 906

    Nov 19, 2011 7:11 PM GMT
    This is one of the major brances in philosophy - aesthetics. They have been debating this question for thousands of years, and no one has yet to answer the question. What is the sublime? What is beauty? What is art?

    Nowadays, postmodernist philosphers argue that pretty much anything is art because art is so subjective -- that is, art is in the eyes of the beholder. So, if you think something is artistic, then it is art, no matter if no one else agrees with you.

    Posmodern artists are really strange, by the way.

    Here's an example:



    My only question, though, is that if everything is art, then doesn't that make the term "art" meaningless?

  • Sk8Tex

    Posts: 738

    Nov 19, 2011 7:23 PM GMT
    This is probably going to sound corny but to me art is like trying to capture your emotions or desires in an image, object, or action and then portraying it to others and see how they perceive it. It contains bits and pieces of who you are as a person, your views, your cultural influences.

    Art is the expression of who and what you are.
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    Nov 19, 2011 7:33 PM GMT
    art is meaningless until humans give it significance.

    also i think it prudent to pt out that "art" is a cultural construct. many cultures do not have terms/words that 'mean' art. for example, ppl collect "primitive" art. yet in its cultural mileu it is not art, it is an utilitarian object made beautiful (and in some cultures, the items themselves have 'life'). humans, or so it seems, have a need to beautify even the most basic of survivalist physical cultural items.

    yes, today almost anything can be called "art." is the written word art? is "performance art" art? is music art? is film art? is a textile (or other object) made for utilitarian uses art?

    idk, but i think the producers'/artists' intent is as much part of the equation as the observer's.
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    Nov 19, 2011 7:43 PM GMT
    Art is subjective.
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    Nov 19, 2011 7:50 PM GMT
    "Art" is that arbitrary product of those deemed as "artists" by a society's cultural elite. The cultural elite, and then the middle-classes, use the appreciation of art (i.e., cultural capital) as a way of distinguishing themselves from others.

    -Pierre Bourdieu
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    Nov 19, 2011 8:00 PM GMT
    Don't know what do study in college?

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    PHILOSOPHY. Always the answer.
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    Nov 19, 2011 8:07 PM GMT
    i still prefer the traditional concept of " mastery of a skill " .

    the art of [insert verb] .

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    Nov 19, 2011 8:08 PM GMT
    MindAndMatter said"Art" is that arbitrary product of those deemed as "artists" by a society's cultural elite. The cultural elite, and then the middle-classes, use the appreciation of art (i.e., cultural capital) as a way of distinguishing themselves from others.

    -Pierre Bourdieu


    I think that's pretty accurate LOL,

    So there basically has to be a bunch of people to recognize a creation as art, before it becomes art.
  • FreakTheBeat

    Posts: 151

    Nov 19, 2011 8:11 PM GMT
    Art is feeling through expression.
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    Nov 19, 2011 8:15 PM GMT
    art is creative expression, that by which we can share our innermost thoughts and feelings, a way to connect to others on a much deeper level. Art can be...whatever you want it to be. Art is not about appealing to the masses. Its about expressing yourself.
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    Nov 19, 2011 9:06 PM GMT
    "If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him." JFK

    Not that the quote answers your question....but art is the vision of it's creator whatever it may be.
  • starboard5

    Posts: 969

    Nov 19, 2011 11:30 PM GMT
    To my mind there are two qualities that make me consider something art. (1.) Experience is chaotic while art is selective. Out of an avalanche of data/impressions/ stimuli, choices have been made, so to some extent, form is created. It may not be "formal," but patterns, structure are present. This is pleasing to us (why is another issue) though it doesn't have to be pleasant. 2.) Art often makes connections we might not ordinarily experience. It can widen our awareness.

    My two cents.
  • ShanksE

    Posts: 263

    Nov 20, 2011 2:08 AM GMT
    Thank you all for your responses. They provided some real food for thought! icon_smile.gif

    @cuddlebuddy - I agree, that is indeed a pressing question. If all forms of creativity can be called Art, does it make the term 'Art' meaningless? I guess a few of the other responses touched upon this issue when they mentioned that 'Art' is subjective, is a 'cultural capital' and is meaningless unless we grant it significance. While Art by itself might be all-encompassing, we choose to classify certain forms depending upon our aesthetic and (definitely) cultural sensibilities.

    Hence, I would consider the juggalos to be practising an art form which I am unable to appreciate, whereas they might find classical Indian music unpalatable.


    And OMG, the post-modern form of art was really.. something! I must confess, I have never had the chance of seeing something like it before!
  • ShanksE

    Posts: 263

    Nov 20, 2011 2:10 AM GMT
    Trollileo said
    Sk8Tex saidThis is probably going to sound corny but to me art is like trying to capture your emotions or desires in an image, object, or action and then portraying it to others and see how they perceive it. It contains bits and pieces of who you are as a person, your views, your cultural influences.

    Art is the expression of who and what you are.
    http://artoftrolling.memebase.com/

    I win.


    icon_smile.gif +1
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    Nov 20, 2011 2:45 AM GMT
    Art could be creative expression that is regarded to have beauty and significance to the beholder. Even works that aim to shock or disgust have an innate beauty in them, and could be considered art. People would say that art is subjective because the same creative work could be seen is beautiful/not beautiful or significant/insignificant.

    There are indeed some common perception of "xxx quality/characteristic/appearance displays artistic value," but it's subjective nature allows one to perceive anything as art, although that same sentiment may not be shared by the masses.
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    Nov 20, 2011 3:06 AM GMT
    Had to weigh into this conversation.

    I recently went to the National Gallery of Canada and was somewhat let down by the amount of space dedicated to contemporary art.

    Imagine walking through room after room of stunning Canadian landscapes, city scenes and portraits only to enter the next part and, I kid you not, it was two rocks on the ground and a pile of carpet strips in the corner.

    I can hear it already ---- " It's all art and it's a statement."

    Sorry if the building was on fire who would rush in through the flames past masterpieces to save a rock?

    That's all I am saying.

    Art is art - but not all art is the same..
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    Nov 20, 2011 3:47 AM GMT
    tanlejos saidHad to weigh into this conversation.

    I recently went to the National Gallery of Canada and was somewhat let down by the amount of space dedicated to contemporary art.

    Imagine walking through room after room of stunning Canadian landscapes, city scenes and portraits only to enter the next part and, I kid you not, it was two rocks on the ground and a pile of carpet strips in the corner.

    I can hear it already ---- " It's all art and it's a statement."

    Sorry if the building was on fire who would rush in through the flames past masterpieces to save a rock?

    That's all I am saying.

    Art is art - but not all art is the same..


    Yeah, I have a sneaking suspicion only the original artist would do that.
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    Nov 20, 2011 4:00 AM GMT
    For me there are two very clear definitions of art:

    1.) Art is to practice an inductive skill. E.g. the art of sculpting, pottery, dancing, writing, etc. (As opposed to deductive skills, namely, science.)

    2.) The purpose of art is to communicate. Whatever the media, this type of art should offer, or provoke, any sincere expressions of meaning. In this sense, art is capable of creating new ideas.

    Basically, art is the practice of inductive reasoning. By strict definition (here you go philosophers, lol) induction is the creation of new ideas, or the free dis-association of a new element regardless of any known set of truths.

    Deduction is the opposite. Deduction is the identification of a known element that already lies within a determined set of truths. In deduction, no new information is created. Information is simply identified, isolated, and extracted. This is the strict definition of logic.)

    To use some stereotypes, this is why artists are terrible with math, and also why engineers never write novels.

    Some of the most successful people in history were those who learned how to bridge this gap and master both skills. That is why philosophy is useful icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 20, 2011 4:03 AM GMT
    art is the bottomless voidicon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 20, 2011 6:57 AM GMT
    Trollileo said
    MindAndMatter said"Art" is that arbitrary product of those deemed as "artists" by a society's cultural elite. The cultural elite, and then the middle-classes, use the appreciation of art (i.e., cultural capital) as a way of distinguishing themselves from others.

    -Pierre Bourdieu
    The lower class partakes in just as much unessential cultural activities that the middle and upper class now, though. The analysis may be correct historically, but present and modern art is a method of expression (or exploitation of a patron's emotions).

    Half an hour later, I realized I had written a fucking essay for a response. I'm so glad I'm not a music major anymore, because this information is so useless.


    Bourdieu's point was that appreciation for fine art and for abstraction was cultivated in the middle-classes, in part as a way to distinguish themselves from their working-class and poor contemporaries. I don't know of any lower classes who invest in culture as a form of distinction from higher classes. However, there has been the reverse case of cultural elites and the middle-class now becoming "omnivorous" in their cultural consumption, meaning that they select from all different kinds, from "low brow" to fine art appreciation.
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    Nov 20, 2011 1:51 PM GMT
    westanimas saidFor me there are two very clear definitions of art:

    1.) Art is to practice an inductive skill. E.g. the art of sculpting, pottery, dancing, writing, etc. (As opposed to deductive skills, namely, science.)

    2.) The purpose of art is to communicate. Whatever the media, this type of art should offer, or provoke, any sincere expressions of meaning. In this sense, art is capable of creating new ideas.

    Basically, art is the practice of inductive reasoning. By strict definition (here you go philosophers, lol) induction is the creation of new ideas, or the free dis-association of a new element regardless of any known set of truths.

    Deduction is the opposite. Deduction is the identification of a known element that already lies within a determined set of truths. In deduction, no new information is created. Information is simply identified, isolated, and extracted. This is the strict definition of logic.)

    To use some stereotypes, this is why artists are terrible with math, and also why engineers never write novels.

    Some of the most successful people in history were those who learned how to bridge this gap and master both skills. That is why philosophy is useful icon_smile.gif


    That makes sense!
    But I also think that inductive reasoning, or the creation of novel forms of thought, also must be subjected to an individual's or the masses' valuation before they are accepted as artisically valuable. An idea that has been conveyed by one may not be understood or appreciated by another; thus the element of "art" is lost to the latter, as Tanjelos said.
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    Nov 20, 2011 2:00 PM GMT
    ThePenIsMyTier saidDon't know what do study in college?

    philosoraptor.gif
    PHILOSOPHY. Always the answer.



    Lol, this. Wish I actually had that t shirt in college.