How broad is your definition of art?

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jrjones9933
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17 May 2017, 6:48 pm

I once saw a perfect white marble sculpture of a full plastic trash bag, now that you mention it. I liked it, but where would I display it?


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ThisAdamGuy
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17 May 2017, 7:23 pm

Do you people not hear yourselves? You literally just said that trash can be art if someone tells you it's art. That is complete and total bull crap. Some guy in the 70s told you that everyone's an artist, so of course it must be true, or else all these pretentious little hipsters will get their feelings hurt when they crap on a canvas and someone with more than two brain cells tells them to put it in the trash where it belongs. Just because someone "makes" it doesn't mean it's art, and you know, I think the fact that people are actually making excuses for these pathetic brainless morons is a great example of the degradation of modern society. Crap like Fifty Shades of Gray makes people millionaires, and worthless trash like what you people have been presenting to me actually gets passed off as art. Why? Because people will get their feelings hurt if they're (truthfully) told that they have no talent. Effort and education have been thrown out the window because they're just too darn hard. It's so much easier to just throw something together with no thought put into it and get lauded as some amazingly creative genius. It also comes with the benefit of pretentiously ignoring the opinions of intelligent people because "they just don't get me."

Seriously, people. You make me ashamed to be part of the human race.


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jrjones9933
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17 May 2017, 7:26 pm

Hahaha. Hell hath no fury like an artist scorned.


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ThisAdamGuy
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17 May 2017, 7:29 pm

I'm not an artist. I'm an author. The only person my rant above applies to is you, and any other idiots who think the crap you've been talking about can actually be called art.


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ltcvnzl
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17 May 2017, 9:04 pm

this argument about everything can be art in determined context is an old thing, and yes it's controversial and the term become a bit empty so different people put different value on it.


I feel like a lot of common sense - ie. people outside the art market - put art as some positive value. it can be a valid point, but it's limited when you deal with contemporary production because this positive value will only be given by the future. (if you are interest, i would recommend gombrich's "history of art")

there is many other definitions – they can be combined or they can be contrary, which one can value your context and set of beliefs, but you shouldn't think that just because you disagree or think it's bad it isn't complex.

there is a lot of overpriced s**t art, but this isn't just drawing some randomness on paint and fixing a value, there's a complete structure validating it. it's crap? maybe, but that isn't the point at all.



jrjones9933
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17 May 2017, 10:02 pm

I relish the idea of collecting modern art even more, knowing that people get so worked up over it.


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17 May 2017, 10:05 pm

ThisAdamGuy wrote:
I'm not an artist. I'm an author. The only person my rant above applies to is you, and any other idiots who think the crap you've been talking about can actually be called art.


I'm a writer as well, and I consider literature to be a branch of the arts. I write fiction, therefore I am an artist.


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jrjones9933
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17 May 2017, 10:07 pm

Is Ulysses literature? Finnegan's Wake?


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Kraichgauer
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17 May 2017, 10:20 pm

jrjones9933 wrote:
Is Ulysses literature? Finnegan's Wake?


Yes, and literature is art.


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seaweed
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18 May 2017, 1:25 am

don't ruin the best part about art.
oh wait, you can't do that.

i am a sculptor and recently found out that a surprising amount of people in the "lower to mid-level" (not really famous but at least somewhat recognized for what they're doing, locally to nationally) art community are shy about calling themselves artists. what the f**k are we doing then if it isn't art?!
"what is art" and "who is an artist" is apparently something a lot of people worry about. and that sucks.

truth is, i have a very judgmental and cynical view about art. even artists who i consider to be my friends and/or intellectual equals make a lot of art that i think is problematic or stupid. it's still art though. and i personally am glad i'm allowed to think so much art is stupid. since when is having opinions and critiquing aesthetic/concept/motivation/implication a bad thing? art isn't holy. it's often a reflection of society, and the business of art is definitely thriving too.

i say leave the judgments about what is good enough to be art out of it and make better use of your subjectivity.



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18 May 2017, 4:25 am

ThisAdamGuy wrote:
Do you people not hear yourselves? You literally just said that trash can be art if someone tells you it's art. That is complete and total bull crap. Some guy in the 70s told you that everyone's an artist, so of course it must be true, or else all these pretentious little hipsters will get their feelings hurt when they crap on a canvas and someone with more than two brain cells tells them to put it in the trash where it belongs. Just because someone "makes" it doesn't mean it's art, and you know, I think the fact that people are actually making excuses for these pathetic brainless morons is a great example of the degradation of modern society. Crap like Fifty Shades of Gray makes people millionaires, and worthless trash like what you people have been presenting to me actually gets passed off as art. Why? Because people will get their feelings hurt if they're (truthfully) told that they have no talent. Effort and education have been thrown out the window because they're just too darn hard. It's so much easier to just throw something together with no thought put into it and get lauded as some amazingly creative genius. It also comes with the benefit of pretentiously ignoring the opinions of intelligent people because "they just don't get me."

Seriously, people. You make me ashamed to be part of the human race.


no one said that trash was good art.
degradation of modern society? do I hear some fascism in there? well- postwar culture developed to be an answer to fascism, - basically people actively decided to prefer trash in a gallery over being called degraded.
so. that's postmodernism for you.
the people thinking and writing about, like some guy in the 70ies, have been doing so calmly and intelligently. I found it interesting to read how they'd come to the conclusion that trash could and should be considered art.
you know. education. - and on that note: how dare you uneducated peasant accuse the academic understanding of art? it's the equivalent of a religious (i.e. stubbornly adhering to one world view) person not educated in science, accusing the government of wasting money on particle accelerators, because, really, where's the practical purpose of that, as we all know that at the center of the atom is where god lives.
you know, you call yourself intelligent, and that may well be, but thinking and learning are skills, not something that happens automatically as a byproduct of intelligence.
So. read some. think some. when you have read the philosophy and theory behind what is considered Art today, and disagree, I'm happy to resume the conversation.
Else: if you want to insist the earth is flat (or any other statement based on your personal observations, free of any of that BS that our degraded civilization has come up with so far) - feel free.

In the meantime may I suggest a more palpable definition? Art is what has been made with exceptionally great artifice, with knowledge of material and complexity in arrangement. like my laptop. or the LHC in Cern.
better?

regarding fifty shades of grey: people liked it, it made millions, so it is easily accessible, - art that anyone can understand, without education- so it must be good, right?


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Last edited by shlaifu on 18 May 2017, 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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18 May 2017, 4:46 am

shlaifu wrote:
ThisAdamGuy wrote:
Do you people not hear yourselves? You literally just said that trash can be art if someone tells you it's art. That is complete and total bull crap. Some guy in the 70s told you that everyone's an artist, so of course it must be true, or else all these pretentious little hipsters will get their feelings hurt when they crap on a canvas and someone with more than two brain cells tells them to put it in the trash where it belongs. Just because someone "makes" it doesn't mean it's art, and you know, I think the fact that people are actually making excuses for these pathetic brainless morons is a great example of the degradation of modern society. Crap like Fifty Shades of Gray makes people millionaires, and worthless trash like what you people have been presenting to me actually gets passed off as art. Why? Because people will get their feelings hurt if they're (truthfully) told that they have no talent. Effort and education have been thrown out the window because they're just too darn hard. It's so much easier to just throw something together with no thought put into it and get lauded as some amazingly creative genius. It also comes with the benefit of pretentiously ignoring the opinions of intelligent people because "they just don't get me."

Seriously, people. You make me ashamed to be part of the human race.


no one said that trash was good art.
degradation of modern society? do I hear some fascism in there? well- postwar culture developed to be an answer to fascism, - basically people actively decided to prefer trash in a gallery over being called degraded.
so. that's postmodernism for you.
the people thinking and writing about, like some guy in the 70ies, have been doing so calmly and intelligently. I found it interesting to read how they'd come to the conclusion that trash could and should be considered art.
you know. education.

may I suggest a more palpable definition? Art is what has been made with exceptionally great artifice, with knowledge of material and complexity in arrangement. like my laptop. or the LHC in Cern.
better?
or would you like a more narrow old-school art definition: art should depict reality, and have a positive effect on the community? - I was at the national gallery in Beijing once. I imagine you would have liked it. People and landscapes, on every painting. And lots of pictures of Chairman Mao.

regarding fifty shades of grey: it made millions so it must be good, right?


Well... there was a market for Fifty Shades Of Gray, just like there was for the Twilight series, and Bridges Of Madison County, despite the fact that many would call the writing in all these books bad. Art doesn't have to be good to be popular.


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ThisAdamGuy
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18 May 2017, 10:47 am

Okay, let me put it a different way for you people...

Let's say I go to a restaurant. I order a meal. The waiter, instead, bring me out a shoe on a nice silver platter.
"That's not food," I say.
"Yes it is," says the waiter.
"No, it's a shoe," I insist.
"The chef says it's food," the waiter tells me.
"But I can't eat it," I tell him.
"That's not the defining feature of food," the waiter corrects me.
"Then what is?" I ask.
"That the chef gets to make a statement," says the waiter. "He's exercising his creativity and creating food like nobody else ever has. This food is deep, personal, and filled with meaning for the chef."
"That's ridiculous," I say. "This is a restaurant. You're supposed to give me something I can eat."
"I'm afraid you're just too small minded to understand," says the waiter.
Then they charge me $300 for the shoe I didn't eat and eject me from the restaurant.

Not good enough?

After that, I decide to go to a concert. I buy my ticket, sit down in my seat, and the curtain goes up. But instead of playing music, the musician is only smacking a horse with a flyswatter. I get up and leave.
"That's not music," I tell the ticket man.
"Yes it is," he says.
"How is that music?" I ask.
"Because the musician says it is."
"But it sounds horrible! There's not even a rhythm!"
"The musician is making a statement. His music is personal, so it doesn't matter if you understand it or not."
"But I paid money to listen to it."
"Yes you did."
"So the fact that it's not actually music means I should get a refund."
"No it doesn't, sir."
Then I am ejected from the theater.

You see what I'm getting at? Food, music, film, literature, whatever it is you want to call art, none of them expect the patron to put up with this crap. If you're serving food, it has to taste good. If you're playing music, it has to sound good. Only with the visual art, the kind you'll find hanging in a museum, are you expected to throw away your standards and expectations and shell out cash to support what an artist has to tell you is art for it to have any artistic value. There are ways for art to be personal and meaningful, and even weird, while still actually being art.

For example, in my local art museum there's a giant sculpture of a nose. Just the nose, no face. It's weird, but I'll call it art because it's a good sculpture of a nose. The artist obviously put a ton of time and effort into sculpting it, therefore it's art.

On the other hand, that same museum has a canvas painted entirely gray. That's not art. Beside it is a long, long plaque with the artist's explanation of why it is art. It's wrong. Why? Because give me a canvas, some gray paint, and a paint roller, and I can give you a hundred of those in a day. No effort was put into it. Take away the plaque, and nobody would appreciate it. If it stops being art because the artist isn't there to explain it, it's not freaking art.

Likewise, in the outdoor section of that museum, they have a rock in a hole. That's it, just a rock in a hole. The rock hasn't even been sculpted, the "artist" just dug a hole and put a big rock inside it. Had they not put up a sign crediting the "artist" to his "art" everyone would have just assumed it to be a freaking rock in a freaking hole. And, really, that's all it is. A rock in a hole. Not art. Why? Because I, a guy with no artistic ability whatsoever, could do the same thing with a shovel and a friend to help me move the rock.

Do you people get my point now? This is no different than going to a used car lot and being scammed out of a crap ton of money for a broken down car because the salesman used a lot of pretty words to sell it to you. These aren't artists, they're salesmen. Scam artists, if you have to use the word "artist" somewhere. They create worthless, ugly junk, and then sell it to you for a ton of money because they can spin a good enough yarn to make shallow minded idiots think that it's something it isn't.

They think, "Ooh, it's different!" and they equate "different" with "skill" and "quality." Those words should go together, but they are not synonymous. A true artist will create something that is new and unique, but also of good quality. A salesman will throw something together and insist that because nobody has done it before, it must be amazing. And the masses will eat this drivel up, because they're not educated enough to know the difference. Heck, I've got people actually telling me to go read what some art professor says. If a culinary professor told me that a shoe on a plate was good food, would that make it good food? No! So why should I care if some hack in a school tells me that nailing a box of q-tips to a wall is art? I don't. I shouldn't. And the fact that people do listen to them is the problem here.


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jrjones9933
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18 May 2017, 10:59 am

No. The problem is that people like art which you dislike. Also, I suspect, that people don't appreciate the art you make as much as you want.


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18 May 2017, 11:19 am

jrjones9933 wrote:
No. The problem is that people like art which you dislike. Also, I suspect, that people don't appreciate the art you make as much as you want.


Heh heh, way to avoid actually addressing any of my arguments. "You just don't like that people disagree with you, so I win!" And how many times do I have to tell you, I'm not a freaking artist! Whether or not you enjoy looking at garbage has no impact on how people enjoy my books. I mean, it doesn't say anything good about you, but whatever.


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