Saturday, January 21, 2006

"Art": Live Journal/Community/Philosophy

posted by fingersweep:

This is a general question about art. What makes art "good", or lasting, is probably a worn-out discussion, here (it's perhaps the first question that comes to mind, on the topic).

Art, as I've seen it, can be "good" so long as it to refers to something besides itself, something which gives it value, and which keeps from limiting it to subjective emotion, which could be relative, and which would destroy the meaning, and then the possibility, of anything that could be considered art, with meaning.

So art should not be viewed as subjectively relative, perhaps, in order to define its power, to give it power. For art to have lasting value, and to be good, its purpose shouldn't be solely dependent on an historical context, but should influence human emotion into its design, in order to escape its times.

If this explains nothing else, it explains why people might say, without thinking, "I like this because it makes me happy." Why? It reflects their happiness. As far as their happiness is relative, or confused, the art is relative, and meaningless, I believe. But if their happiness is defined, and given a cause through their interpretation of the work of art, then the work of art is definitely qualified, and distinct from the person interpreting their emotion through it, while still influencing that person, inasmuch as he understands the work of art as describing happiness.

But why should I believe that art is definitely qualified by the message I receive from it? Should a work of art ultimately be subjectively relative, even if people, whose intuitions we might, sometimes, distrust, agree with us? I'm inclined to say "fuck them, I see something in this," even if everyone is against me.

But I also believe one could bring others to agree with him, if he gives definite reasons for admiring a work of art.

But if you're clever, or creative, enough, you could probably convince someone an old popsticle stick on the ground, applied to art, becomes your invention. And then what would you do? Just give it "lasting meaning"? Art is art if the fool says it's art, not because it's art.

My question is, is there no line to draw? And if that's true, we shouldn't define meaning in art. We should interpret it. Art would be a play in context, rather than truth.

My reply:

I agree with this minimum definition "Art is defined as art as long as it brings emotions to at least 1 person."I disagree that art is necessarily about having EVERYONE feeling emotions about it.

There is nothing wrong with popularity but sometimes this popularity may come at the expense of "little emotions" shared by everyone.

A "masterpiece" is about "strong emotions" shared by a great diversity of people.

My only problem is... should something be considered "artistic" if the ARTIST is THE ONLY ONE to feel a (genuine) emotion? I would say yes. The artist may be "too advanced" for the public.


The thing you have to keep in mind, with this, so you don't get confused, or spout out some meaningless distinctions about "degrees of emotion," or whatever you're trying to express by calling emotion "little" or "strong," is that the artist can't control the responses of his public.

If he could, as you say, we could call something a masterpiece, claiming a great diversity of people feel "strong emotions" concerning it. Well, possibly. But the work of art could be shit, and the emotions could still be strong.

My reply:

That's the problem of "quality"!

I mean some "experts" would say that a masterpiece is a masterpiece because it is technically "well crafted".

I would still argue that emotion is the final basis for something being called artistic.

Emotion being subjective, art is subjective.


The response to art is subjective, you mean?

My reply:

Yes, I think the response to art is subjective.

What is good to me may not be good to you. And it doesn't matter that much.

By "Good", I still mean that it's about feeling a "genuine" emotion.

posted by sisyphus:

So, my wife cheating on me could be classified as performance art, since it would bring the emotion of murderous rage to at least one person? That's crazy. Equating art with emotion in this way is clearly not enough for a definition that works.

My reply:

There must be an intent (a will) to do some kind of artistic work.(This is the weak point of my proposition)

Your wife's behaviour is not intended to be artistic (no offense)

But there is an important point to be made though. Anything that brings you some strong emotion may bring you in a position to do something of real artistic value. There are numerous examples in painting, music, cinema etc.



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