Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What is art???

hey all, i was thinkin about this durring TOK today. i was thinkin about what art really is and concidering what adrean was saying about how one progresses through art and in doing this, becomes more aware of the different "correct" methods of creating art. in the most respectful way possible, i completely dissagree with the statement that there is a correct way of creating art for certain forms of art. i personaly think that art is completely what the creator makes of it. I think that a four year olds art is the most pure form of art ever concievable simply because it is un-tainted by the conformities of society. a four year old has no guidlines, and therefor can completely and totaly honestly express their emotions, which in my oppinion is what art's pourpose is. Can there be art without emotion? I personaly dont think there can be, because i think that art is emotion. i also believe in two forms of art: art that is there simply for the emotional dovelopment or satisfaction of the creator, and art that is created to actively draw out emotions in the audience. without emotion, art is not only not art, it is completely pointless. what do you guys think, now that i have stated my oppinion? do you agree?


Katherine said...

Hey good one.
So i definitely tend to agree with you that to be Art something has to have emotional value associated with it; you can't have true art without emotion. However, this emotion can come from anywhere; just because a work of art illicits absolutely no emotional response from the viewer (as has happened to me in the modern art musuem from time to time) that doesn't mean it's not art. If the creator is the only person in the world who connects with a certain work emotionally, that for me counts as a justification for making that work Art.
And of course i believe some artists work for the purpose of expressing their personal emotions, others to illicit a response from the viewer, and still others to make social/political commentary, etc. But all involve some sort of emotion.

As for creating certain forms of art "in a correct way"..... i do believe in established standards. I think that artists need them for motivation and goal setting. and these standards have to come from somewhere (usually are accepted by a large consensus over time) and should be logically formed.
I do not believe that any artist ever has to agree with the standards set, or conform to them. But there is something to be said for "knowing how to break the rules" which usually requires knowing the rules before breaking them in a successful way. but now that i think about this, maybe the only measure of "successfully" breaking the rules is how accepted your art is by society after you've done the rule-breaking. and i've just said that you can still create art (with emotion) even if no one else accepts it.
So that's cool, i've just totally contradicted myself.
Hmm. i think that's a sign i need to go to bed.

Jgreene101 said...

most definately. i do agree that if someone is trying to create art for the pupose of making it traditional, or making somthing look as realistic as possible, there are some ways that achieve those goals better then others, and ways that have been formed over time, but im simply saying that once you learn the rules, your art does not become better than another persons art who doesnt know the rules. i think that the greatness of art is measured by its ability to achieve its goal, whether that be purely for the creators sake, or for the sake of the audience. if art is able to do what it was intended to do, then it is truely great.

Merry_Dip_Salad_Bunny said...

Well yes, Josh, i can see where you're coming from. However, if that is the case, then what about extremely technical art (i.e. the pen and ink)?
Another point, what about art being to express really out-there ideas? Sometimes these are not necessarily linked to emotions but perhaps connected to previous ideas or random ideas coming from the mind of the creative genius.
And imitation art? What about drawing what is there or in general 'what is'?
Lets say you take an art class and you have to draw the famous symbol of midwestern expansion, American Gothic-- do you know how many creative variations there have been done on that particular painting by Grant Wood? You would be quite surprised. Yes art has an expressive form and an inventive form. I suppose you could somehow say that both are expression though.

Sara Chisesi said...

I think what Katherine said is important, about having to know the rules before you break them (I know you kinda went off of this point afterwards, but I still think it was a good one). I don't think that a six year old's art can be considered better than someone who has studied, practiced, and then if they broken or recreated the rules. Yes, art is emotional, but it is still an Area of Knowledge. When we look at any other area, history, math, literature, etc, an expert in that field has to have a lot of knowledge of the discipline. You can't do math without knowing the basic rules. You can't write without knowing the language and knowing grammar, etc. I think that art needs to be held to similar standards. The emotional aspect can be the driving force, but there needs to be some sort of established rules and conventions that are followed, or perhaps intentional broken, to make it great art.

Vvyynn said...

Oh boy, nothing I like better than talking about art. I'm going to branch out here so we don't all agree. Why? Because everyone agreeing is boring, that's why World Peace probably won't happen for a long, long time.

Anyhoo, I say that art is not created by the individual, but by critics. This is what the dadaists capitilized off of. They gave the world toilets and called them art, and the critics said "You're genius", and the dadaists laughed. Yes, one can make art for oneself, however this will not be art. What makes art, all forms of art wether it be Theatre or Dance or Music, is critics.

Well, this'll be fun. Post.

devin said...

Art cannot be defined, seeing as it is some sort of relative, vague ideal that is present in everything, so I think we should stop trying to define it and move on to bigger and better things, like the meaning of life, or why red was assigned the action of "stop", when in fact red is a very passionate, "go" sort of color.

Vvyynn said...

Well, maybe you're supposed to stop with passion.

Also, simply because this is what you associate with red, doesn't mean it is red. For me, red is associated with blood and heat.

But yes, Art is defined by critics and not by the individual.

Big E said...

Well, before I get off trying to actually answer the question, I feel like I need to justify my effort after reading Devins apparent contempt towards language.
Devin: the reason we define words is so we know what the hell we're talking about.


When one is trying to explain something, say the way art affects our perceptions, it's nice to know what art is. In this sort of case, it's not merely enough to "agree to disagree". One party must forfeit their definition in order to come to terms on some common, workable definition so that they can actually have a discussion about it. This all Jargon is, a group of words that have defined in a way other thna their generla meaning because that is how they need to defined in that certain context.
The question posed, however, is simply "What is Art?".This means that instead of trying to define art in a way that will make the most sense for our present uses, we're trying to define art in a way that makes the most sense in general, in all situations. This is, of course, impossible. Thus, there is a major branch of philosophy about it.
Josh, the question you chose is so great that Plato wrote an entire series of books on it. In it he defines what art is and tells what it's place in society.
So there we have it, one of the most respected Philosophers of all times has told us what art is, case solved? Right?
Well, as it turns out, no.
Just about every western philosopher since Plato has come up with his own little definition of Art, including his buddy Aristotle.
This is because trying to come up with a defintion of art in general to fit all uses of the words relies on what you think it should be. That is to say, it depends on your veiw of society your veiw on the human mind, your veiw of how large a role art should play in society and how much talent it should take, your veiw of the universe in general. These things tend to vary between people.
I tend to gravitate towards the Romantics, such as Neitzsche, who once said
"Without music life would be a mistake."
If you really wanted to see what they thought it would be far easier for you to look them up instead of me trying to explain it.
For those of you in my class who remember how I said that I could still enjoy Wagners symphonies even though he was anti-semetical, I would just like to point out that Neitzsche wrote two entire books about how evil Wagner was.
Anyway, I have begun to ramble.

devin said...

Yes, Evan, you prove my point. Thank you.

devin said...

I should probably back that up...
You say we have to define words to know "what the hell we're talking about". Art, as we are talking about it, is not a word so much as an idea. What art is varies between every single person on the planet - no two people will entirely agree on its meaning. Therefore, isn't it more useful for us to define it for ourselves and work off that definition, rather than arguing pointlessly over an infinitely debatable topic? That's why you completely disagreed with me, not because I have a "contempt for language", but because at least I was not talking about defining a word, but a subjective idea.
And you proved my point because despite that long rant about old dead philosophers and their sayings and thoughts on "Art", you say yourself that no one has been able to come to a sufficient conclusion. If, over the course of the last 2000 years, we still haven't managed it, lets spend our time doing something else more worthwhile.

Vvyynn said...

So...are we not going to post on my claim that art is defined by critics? I thought that was rather bold of me. Please. You're all going to let me get away with that? I'm about to go Raskolnikov on all of you.

devin said...

okay vvvvyynnnnii - art isn't defined by critics, so much as it is popularized by critics. They define the place certain things that are artistic have in our mindsets, in our culture, but they don't define "Art" itself. The critics place labels on art, like "good", "great", and "wtf", that define that object socially, creating an image of it in the cultural mindset. Personally, since I know nothing about painting, I can get much more out of a landscape painting done by some random dude no one knows about (thanks to critics) than I can from the Mona Lisa. This, for me anyway, proves that what art critics have to say doesn't actually define art for me, just the object they're criticizing.

Sara Chisesi said...

This is Winston's but he can't post:

Oh, for the sake of nuclear war.
No, critics do not create art. They do not define art. They do nothing for art what-so-ever except to dilute and desecrate the thoughts of the viewer. Art is emotion, art is response, and art has no specific meaning that can be portrayed with words. This is the reason art exists, to be used in such a way that transcends words. But long meticulous hours to attempt to portray an idea that goes much further than “I hate those damned Nazi’s who bombed this poor village” become reborn the moment a viewer sweeps a gaze across the vast mural. Hate. Isolation. Bleakness. Sadness. They flow across the viewer’s mind with such rapidity that the viewer himself cannot come to terms with the words. Weird shapes that are both recognizable and completely estranged force the viewer to create meaning where there was none before. Those eight strokes become a dieing child. Four circles define the dilated, fearful, eyes of a grieving mother. And that light – that triangular light – seemingly truthful, seemingly divine, stands in stark contrast to the writhing mass. What does it matter if that light is the murderous flight of a German bomber? It could be anything for all I care, the initial emotional effect is the same. ““““Abandonment.”””” That’s what the light means to me. What’s it mean to you?
In art, there is no secondary source.

-Winston Gao