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Heroes Community > Other Side of the Monitor > Thread: What is art?
Thread: What is art? This thread is 11 pages long: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 · «PREV / NEXT»
mvassilev
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posted May 10, 2013 04:25 AM

Quote:
"how much can the majority understand a revolutionary approach? Who would pay for cubism in the beginning of 20th century, not many. What would happen to Renaissance art without the patronage of families like the Medicis and so on...
If nobody wants it, why should anybody bother creating it?
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DagothGares
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posted May 10, 2013 04:34 AM

Patronage ain't public funding.
Also:
Quote:
The bag filled with discarded paper and cardboard was part of a work by Gustav Metzger, said to demonstrate the "finite existence" of art.

It was thrown away by a cleaner at the London gallery, which subsequently retrieved the damaged bag.

I think Gustav totally shouldn't have replaced the bag, if he was actually serious about the finite existence of his art. Or at the very least, we can all agree that he expressed his idea so well, that it fulfilled its own ideals.
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artu
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posted May 10, 2013 04:46 AM
Edited by artu at 05:24, 10 May 2013.

Quote:
Quote:
"how much can the majority understand a revolutionary approach? Who would pay for cubism in the beginning of 20th century, not many. What would happen to Renaissance art without the patronage of families like the Medicis and so on...
If nobody wants it, why should anybody bother creating it?


First, we have Umberto Eco's concept of "ideal reader" to answer to that. According to Eco, writers indeed write to be read by someone else, but for the true writer (as in James Joyce opposed to Mickey Spillane) the reader is not the typical one that the market demands, but his alter-ego, his imagined perfect reader. Of course, writers are born and raised in the real world too, so you can expect any writers "ideal reader" to be simply someone who cares about his artistic integrity and intentions. Shakespeare couldn't have imagined YOU as a reader.  

Secondly, majority not wanting it doesn't mean "nobody wants it at all". He can create for an elite minority or some hoped future generation, a very risky gamble of course because nobody can calculate the expectations of future generations.

But the thing is, I think the whole problematique goes back to the Romantic Era, when it was first emphasized that the artist is not like the regular man, he is more sensitive, more perceptive, he is not like the carpenter or the gardener, he is, even if we can't define how exactly, someone else. That was indeed a valid point. But has that detection turned into a fetish? Because now we realize that when the artist thought of himself as the carpenter, he turned into Bach, Shakespeare, Leonardo. Yet when he thinks of himself as Bach, Shakespeare or Leonardo, the results are generally not that impressive. You can suggest we wont be able to evaluate that, because it demands the test of time and that's why I ask, do you guys think conceptual art will produce classics that will be spotted in the future.

Quote:
Patronage ain't public funding


I never said it was, but there are times they function similarly.


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mvassilev
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posted May 10, 2013 05:52 AM

Sorry, I was unclear. I understand why the artist wants to create it, but not why it should be publicly funded if no one besides the artist wants it after it has been created. If an elite minority wants it, that's more reason to not have it publicly funded - the benefits accrue to a small proportion of the population, but everyone would pay for it. And if future generations want art, they can pay to have it produced when they're alive.
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Salamandre
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posted May 10, 2013 06:00 AM

Modern art (music, painting, sculpture) throws often same argument as the religion: you can't understand, you are not ready for this journey. The fact that a cleaner confused an "artwork" with a bag of trash will be used by them to enforce this fallacy, while in reality it shows the fate they will all face. The art is a paradox in the sense that it has to express beauty even in the violence or pain. Too much people today aim to redefine words which were the roots of humanity expressing its hopes and dreams, only because they don't have the time and will to study and learn.
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artu
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posted May 10, 2013 06:02 AM

Quote:
Sorry, I was unclear. I understand why the artist wants to create it, but not why it should be publicly funded if no one besides the artist wants it after it has been created. If an elite minority wants it, that's more reason to not have it publicly funded - the benefits accrue to a small proportion of the population, but everyone would pay for it. And if future generations want art, they can pay to have it produced when they're alive.


Oh, so you're totally focused on the "why should public pay" part of it. Well, if it's a democracy we're talking about, the public voted for the people who makes decisions for them on any subject. Experts decide what the syllabus should be in elementary school, which bridges should be built etc etc... They didn't take matters into their own hands in every single detail which is practically impossible anyway. If people feel the decisions are overall stupid in general, they can vote for someone else next time.

But if you mean there shouldn't be public funding for art at all. I disagree. To any civilized society, art should be as important as bridges, schools, fire department.

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artu
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posted May 10, 2013 06:08 AM

Quote:
Modern art (music, painting, sculpture) throws often same argument as the religion: you can't understand, you are not ready for this journey. The fact that a cleaner confused an "artwork" with a bag of trash will be used by them to enforce this fallacy, while in reality it shows the fate they will all face. The art is a paradox in the sense that it has to express beauty even in the violence or pain. Too much people today aim to redefine words which were the roots of humanity expressing its hopes and dreams, only because they don't have the time and will to study and learn.


But usually the people who defend the experimental stuff are not people who didn't spend the time to learn and study, on the contrary, they spent their whole life around it. I love jazz, I don't like Free Jazz, but it's mothersnowing John Coltrane who comes up with it, not some wannabe.

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Salamandre
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posted May 10, 2013 06:12 AM

There are fortunate exceptions of course, I was speaking about a large percentage. Generalizing is always wrong but had to make my point.
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artu
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posted May 10, 2013 06:26 AM

Btw, Sal, I'm not going to make a point out of this, I'm just curious about your opinion since you're a pianist and all. What do you think of atonal music? Do you think it's pushing the boundaries between music and design or do you think one can enjoy it just like Chopin if the ear is trained?

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mvassilev
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posted May 10, 2013 06:49 AM

artu:
Quote:
To any civilized society, art should be as important as bridges, schools, fire department.
Everyone benefits from having bridges, schools, and a fire department. Not everyone benefits from having publicly funded art.
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Salamandre
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posted May 10, 2013 06:51 AM

This I think.
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artu
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posted May 10, 2013 07:00 AM

Quote:
artu:
Quote:
To any civilized society, art should be as important as bridges, schools, fire department.
Everyone benefits from having bridges, schools, and a fire department. Not everyone benefits from having publicly funded art.


Not as bluntly/obviously, but they do.

@Sal

This one's funny too:


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Salamandre
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posted May 10, 2013 07:57 AM

I listened to your Coltrane's free jazz, is not so bad like it says. After a few minutes of wanderings, they get bored and get back to good ole old jazz, and from then it rocks. The hint is to get real about when it starts to be boring and alternate. Experiments are ok, what is less ok is fanaticism about.
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friendofgunnar
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posted May 10, 2013 08:27 AM

I think DagothGares hit it here:

Quote:
Real artists don't do it for the money


which is to say:

"Art is anything that people would still be willing to create even if they weren't getting paid."

which means that I seriously doubt the trash exhibit is art, even though there's no actual way to be sure.  Only the artist, creator, assembler could answer that honestly.

Sooo, back to the elephant.  I think the elephant was getting paid in peanuts but I'm willing to bet that the elephant would still paint for fun even if he wasn't getting 'paid'.  Apes paint and do other self-indulgent creative activities all the time.  

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artu
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posted May 10, 2013 08:30 AM

Wrong. Real artists are real artists even when they do it for the money.

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Salamandre
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posted May 10, 2013 08:35 AM

Dagoth hit nothing, this is commonly mistake to think an artist will keep working insanely if his artworks are not bought or appreciated. Read some biographies and you will be fixed. Everyone needs food to survive, so do artists as well.
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artu
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posted May 10, 2013 08:38 AM
Edited by artu at 08:42, 10 May 2013.

Quote:
Dagoth hit nothing, this is commonly mistake to think an artist will keep working insanely if his artworks are not bought or appreciated. Read some biographies and you will be fixed. Everyone needs food to survive, so do artists as well.


Skip the food/rent part. It doesn't necessarily have to be about survival. Some artists want to be rich and famous. So what?

Actually, it's a common pattern for an artist to think he/she deserves everything because artists are often egocentric.

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mvassilev
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posted May 10, 2013 08:41 AM

As long as there is an idea/opinion/feeling that's conveyed in an "indirect" way and skill/effort in the process of production, it's art, regardless of whether it was produced for money. Are composers not artists because they work for money? Is someone who produces amateur-sounding music in his basement more of an artist than the classical composers who had patrons, or modern musicians who want to sell albums?

Quote:
Not as bluntly/obviously, but they do.
How do I benefit from publicly funded art if I don't consume it at all, or if I would be indifferent if it disappeared?
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artu
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posted May 10, 2013 08:47 AM
Edited by artu at 08:50, 10 May 2013.

Quote:
How do I benefit from publicly funded art if I don't consume it at all, or if I would be indifferent if it disappeared?


Don't get me wrong please, but to me that question is like a kid in a biology class just about to cut up a frog and asking when are we going to be using this in real life?

You won't be.

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mvassilev
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posted May 10, 2013 09:04 AM

It's different because in the biology case, while most people don't get much out of it, no one knows how valuable it is before they do it. Afterwards, some people may become interested in biology and go into it, so retrospectively the value to them is high, even if it remains at zero for everybody else. (Even so, it could be said that your example is a case against teaching high school biology to everyone, at least on the level of dissections.)

However, this is not the case for funding art, because very few people look at publicly subsidized art and think, "Hmm... I like art, I'm going to become an artist!" And many of the few who succeed in becoming artists just produce more government-subsidized art - unlike the biologists, many of whom go into industry and produce things that are useful not just for getting people into biology.
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