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Hellbent

What is art?

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What is art?

What do you think is art?

My friend and I are currently arguing what is art, and he is treating me like an idiot because I don't agree with him that art has to be an expression of the psyche of the artist.

To me, the simplest way to define art would be to say art is creation in any form.

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Hellbent said:

What is art?

What do you think is art?

My friend and I are currently arguing what is art, and he is treating me like an idiot because I don't agree with him that art has to be an expression of the psyche of the artist.

To me, the simplest way to define art would be to say art is creation in any form.


A baby is art? Then why can any drunken teenager make one?

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Damn, what a question. Art is in the eyes of the beholder.

You can't define what art is.

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Art:
The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.

simply, art can be anything to anyone

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Yeah I'd have to say that art is some kind of artefact that conveys emotion or ideas. I do however draw the line at that new age bullshit where someone paints a canvas entirely blue or someone paints an iceburg red. Therefore, I suppose it also requires talent and a teeny bit of intelligence.

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Silverwyvern said:

A baby is art? Then why can any drunken teenager make one?

I would consider the fully formed adult to be the final piece. Any moron can make a blank canvas, it takes skill to make the mind beautiful.

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Aesthetic skill; the production of works with the alienating quality of generating value due to their production itself. It is defined by the ojects produced and our interaction with them (or "of" them.)

Art is not expression... expression is simply a means which is mutated or dispersed when artwork is achieved.

Note that limiting art to the sublime and the beautiful, even though these qualities play relevant roles, is erroneous, since the gotesque and the shocking share a good part of what we can define as art.

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Silverwyvern said:
Art = what artists make.

Perhaps, but that sounds a wee bit ouroboric.

And following your analogy above, keep in mind artists need to empty their bowels once in a while too, and some of them can even cook.

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myk said:

Perhaps, but that sounds a wee bit ouroboric.

And following your analogy above, keep in mind artists need to empty their bowels once in a while too, and some of them can even cook.


You mean I have to defecate once in a while? No wonder I'm so cranky... *grabs 16 newpapers and heads for the can*

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IMO, art is an expression of skill and emotions, in an audio or visual format, both to a strong or weak degree. For a rough example, if people wanted to be artists, they'd probably like the subject, ready to give the career a good commitment and are probably good at it, or if it's one of those weird\sick\shocking art pieces then the artist(s) will wish to achieve the effect he desires. Whilst on the other hand if the guy was to draw a stickman in 10 seconds or whatever, it can suggest that he isn't that good and\or hates the subject.

Of course art works on many levels these days so meh. :P

chilvence said:

Some of them even empty their bowels into tins!


And probably call it art at the same time.

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BlueSonnet said:
IMO, art is an expression of skill and emotions,

The expression is there, but that's not the art, but a part of the process in its production and perpetuation. The art is what you do, and is in itself separate from the artist once it exists as a work of art.

When contemplating a work of art as such you do not read or visualize the author in it, you read or visualize your relation to this piece and its relation to everything else, especially and most strongly what's art-related; similarities and differences, styles, and formal particularities.

Its similar to language or expression but instead of transmitting or being interpretable it is a game of relations, altered repetitions, and novelties within what already exists.

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Any jackass that cuts a cherry red toilet in half with a Buick hood enblem hot glued to it and bondos it to a canvas can call themself an artist, thanks a lot Mr.Picasso.

Then again, some Providence art student might see that as the next Mona Lisa..

Art is relative, you could call doom mapping an art-form. I do. I break it down to.. An artist is anyone that can take idea from their imagination/emotions and craft it in one way or another in the real world.

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Not sure about that; I wouldn't easily decide something that's presented as art isn't art unless I have an idea of its development and in what context it's done... I could be missing something that indeed does give it artistic value. Not that many thing presented as art aren't crap... some are crap art, some just carp, but I'd be specific and would inform myself about the piece.

The "yeah some asshole sprinkled elephant poo on an dodo bird feather and called it art" remark is pretty much a stereotypical thing to say and doesn't say much, if anything.

Just think of DOOM add-ons; at first glance a person unfamiliar with them would dismiss the activity as childish junk. Yet DOOM mapping and resource creating do have artistic qualities. Though I wouldn't go as far as calling the activity an art form... basically because it has another function that overrides it, which is playing the game. Although on some instances some designers make it more artsy by disregarding the question of playabilty to a degree... but just to a degree.

Art is really pretty useless... that's one of it's defining qualities (but naturally not the only one.) The uselessness of the activity, even as proper entertainment (unlike our DOOM activity, and a lot of music or mass media literature or movies), is backed by a self-contained (in the productive and contemplative activity itself) and gerne-forging or gerne-breaking display of aesthetic expertise that makes it art.

Note that things created as art in one context can lose that status in another, or things initially made for practical purpuses can become art as things change (they are often quite useless by then.)

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I always refer to the Devil's Dictionary (google the damn url yourself)

Art : this word has no definition.

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Art is anything created out of inpsiration from the artist. EXCEPT MODERN ART. Why? Sure it looks good, but why should I pay 2 fucking million dollars for a piece of canvas the "artiste" shitted on?

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What is art?
We can roughly divide art into three categories:

1. Impressionism. Artists like Rembrandt recreate what they see as perfect as possible. It is considered art since it takes a lot of skill to for instance paint a person so lifelike as Rembrandt can.

2. Expressionism. Artists like Van Gogh that claim that if the above is art you'd might as well take a photopraph, since this gives you an even better representation of what we see. According to these people the artist should express his/her emotions in the painting through for instance the use of vivid colours and strong, distorted lines.

3. Modern art. These artists claim the work itself is not important; it is the concept behind it that matters. Andy Warhol once placed some boxes of soap in a museum. The question he asked was whether or not the boxes were art. In the shop the boxes would just be boxes, but when placed in a museum the exact same boxes are suddenly called art. What Warhol showed was that anything becomes art when you place it in a museum.

The rules of art continue to change so there will never be a clear definition.

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Scientist said:

3. Modern art. These artists claim the work itself is not important; it is the concept behind it that matters. Andy Warhol once placed some boxes of soap in a museum. The question he asked was whether or not the boxes were art. In the shop the boxes would just be boxes, but when placed in a museum the exact same boxes are suddenly called art. What Warhol showed was that anything becomes art when you place it in a museum.

The only credit that I give Warhol in this regard is for the point you expressed in the last sentence. He probably set out to do that in the first place, trying to see what level of crap people will put on a pedestal. I'd bet he was trying to make a statement, a proclamation, if you will, to put the skill back into the art creation process... and the art world defeated him. How? By turning him into an "artist". Anyway-- as far as I'm concerned, he didn't have a single creative bone in his body-- and I'm sure he knew it.

Anyway, you're not asking what "art" is here. You're merely explaining the process and how it's changed. Or in the case of Warhol, how it pertains to sociology and the "who's-fooling-who" aspect of modern art. To ask what art is is to ask what beauty is... or ugliness. Or anything that evokes a response. You see, when the viewer feels an emotion, then art has served its purpose. It doesn't really matter what the emotion is: even if it's positive or negative. Perhaps the purpose of art is to create a memory that never happened. Or something pretentious like that.

For me, art is a few hours of work that tells a story about myself. And I don't really give a fuck about what anyone else thinks about my art, or art in general. I'm telling them how I interpret my art, so there really is no "eye of the beholder" crap going on. Purely subjective, straight from the horse's mouth.

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The definition varies from person to person. It's all about what you define as art and what you create yoruself and express as art. For example, a person off their fucking rocker might think a mutilated corpse is art, where as another might consider the puddle of urine he excreated in alley to be art. It's one of those trivial questions that while it has answer, it never truly has one. 'tis art.

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Scientist said:
1. Impressionism. Artists like Rembrandt recreate what they see as perfect as possible. It is considered art since it takes a lot of skill to for instance paint a person so lifelike as Rembrandt can.

2. Expressionism. Artists like Van Gogh that claim that if the above is art you'd might as well take a photopraph, since this gives you an even better representation of what we see. According to these people the artist should express his/her emotions in the painting through for instance the use of vivid colours and strong, distorted lines.

You chose to divide it between two schools, but really, you'll find many more dichotomies if you investigate. Albeit the expressive and mimetic indeed play important, often opposing, roles in artistic activity.

3. Modern art. These artists claim the work itself is not important; it is the concept behind it that matters. Andy Warhol once placed some boxes of soap in a museum. The question he asked was whether or not the boxes were art. In the shop the boxes would just be boxes, but when placed in a museum the exact same boxes are suddenly called art. What Warhol showed was that anything becomes art when you place it in a museum.

Don't you mean postmodern? Modernity starts after (or with) the renaissance. But Warhol's activity was pretty much a jaded afterthough of what others considered with a more critical eye; how arbitrary and context-based artistic activity is, and how broad the variety in the subtleties that define it can be. The question has been made many a time; often considering a compilation of an author's works ("complete works") you come upon pieces that are on the verge of being random rubbish, yet... Is this strange note Nietzsche left by a pile of laundry one day a philosophical insight and part of his work? What is the artistic value of that crumpled colorful pattern Van Gogh left in a notebook? How relevant are these pieces in respect to the understanding or appreciation of the productions of their makers?

In any case, Warhol and other similar characters have embraced the early 20th century vanguard's "breaking away from forms" motto to such a degree that the artistic activity itself is destroyed, leaving only randomly scattered scraps with an infinite amount of meanings. Such conceptions are surely in some way tied to the "dehumanized" mass-producing nature of our actual society, where meaning is lost in its alienating vastness.

The rules of art continue to change so there will never be a clear definition.

The artistic activity, the parallel conceptions that go with that activity, and the critical inquiry about the productions of art are the parts of the process that defines art; the definitions are tied to the nature of the artwork, and they come from any and all the time-space perspectives that relate to that artwork in some way.

Numbermind said:
You see, when the viewer feels an emotion, then art has served its purpose. It doesn't really matter what the emotion is: even if it's positive or negative.

That may play a role... but crappy sitcoms produce emotions and evoke reponses too. Artwork produces more of the same, and evokes responses on a certain level with the playful and elaborate (yet sometimes simple in principle) activity it is.

I'm telling them how I interpret my art, so there really is no "eye of the beholder" crap going on.

Fair enough, but if they can hear and they're listening, they tend to, by nature, interpret what you're saying.

Purely subjective, straight from the horse's mouth.

So are we all to ourselves, yet estranged objects to others.

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I define games as art - some of them stand out, while the rest of them generally try too hard to emulate the true "artists" and turn into unremarkable pieces of trash. The thing about art is you have to be yourself. If you try too hard to be like Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Picasso, or Rembrandt, then you'll be a nobody.

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Quast said:

Art:
The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.

Good definition. I'm still hesitant to call something like dancing or other kinds of performance art though

Quast said:

simply, art can be anything to anyone

I'm very opposed to this view, as it undermines any definition you could give to art. I believe you can't call something art unless it was specifically meant to be so.

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Lord FlatHead said:
I'm still hesitant to call something like dancing or other kinds of performance art though

What is it, then?

I believe you can't call something art unless it was specifically meant to be so.

Yet you'll find art amongst pulp fiction, scattered throughout popular music, and so on; intention is among the most ephemeral things you can find. Plus, many try to execute works of art and fail miserably, to be ridiculed and forgotten.

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