• Noble Dust
    3.2k
    "Experience was my only teacher; I knew little of the modern art movement. When I first saw the works of the Impressionists, van Gogh, van Dongen, and Fauves, I admired it. But I had to seek the true way alone." - Piet Mondrian

    Before the internet age, art was, in a sense, rare. It was rare in the sense that you had to travel to an art museum or a concert hall to experience it. It was possible to be a fan of music, or even a composer or performer yourself, and only get the chance to see your favorite orchestral pieces performed maybe a few times in your life. And to know that that piece was one of your favorites, you had to have gone to see it without knowing whether you'd like it, and you also had to be familiar with enough other material to compare and to understand what you liked.

    Artists, philosophers, and authors and the like would make pilgrimages of sorts, often to Italy and other destinations, to experience the art in the only way possible: in the flesh. These journeys were often transformational; Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikolai Berdyaev both recount their life-changing experiences making just such a pilgrimage.

    Today, we can google Beethoven's 9th, the Sistine Chapel, and the Mona lisa. We can illegally download movies and music (and even ebooks??) All art (along with the rest of the entire world) is at our fingertips; it's brought before us and laid at our feet, as if we were kings and queens.

    What does this do to our experience of art? Mondrian had nothing but his will, his drive to create, and his experience. Once he saw the masters, he was moved, but felt equally assured that he needed to "seek the true way alone". Today, the artist, of whatever medium, has a harder time not being over-inundated with the masters, as well as the mediocre dilettantes; to "seek the true way alone" becomes increasingly difficult, and demands more and more isolation from the artist, in order to achieve this singular, authentic path. What toll does this take on the artist, and how their art is perceived and collectively valued or de-valued? What relation does the ubiquity of art in the modern world have with it's perceived value? Does great art have a real value underneath the socially constructed one, or has "great" art literally become worthless in a globalized world?

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  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    It looks like you're missing the forest for the trees here, with regards to the questions I'm asking. I'm relating the state of the experience of art pre-modern/pre-internet age, with what the experience is like now. Care to comment on the questions I asked?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Sure, can you enumerate further? I gave a few specific examples from personal accounts of people from those times. Maybe you can offer counter examples?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Right, so that's the difference between "folk" art and "high" art. Maybe it's an unfortunate distinction, but my OP here is essentially about high art; all of the artworks and people I mentioned were not folk artists or artworks.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Socially, they exist in two different worlds. But they absolutely influence one another. I'm still not sure how this relates to the questions I'm asking in the OP.

    So, do you think the experience of art has changed in the modern age, or no?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    the biggest difference is, I guess, that there's no longer a distinction between high and folk art.Πετροκότσυφας

    I disagree; the lines are more blurred but only because there's so much more art that exists in the middle somewhere. But unapproachable contemporary classical music still exists, and so does Miley Cyrus. Maybe that's one of the hallmarks of our age, that we can have a band like Son Lux that appropriates the best of both worlds.

    There are of course other differences too, besides the blurring of this distinction.Πετροκότσυφας

    Right. I appreciate the additional differences you brought up here, but the main thrust of my thread is very different; I'm not too interested in the differences you brought up just now. I've spent plenty of time thinking about them, as I'm a musical artist who happens to straddle that line between "folk" and "art" music that you brought up. The idea of the OP started with the Mondrian quote; it made me remember that trips to museums and concert halls were much more special occasions than they are now, due to the ubiquity of art in the modern age. I was imagining what life must have been like without the internet or TV or records or whatever. It must have been a more visceral world, in which art was experienced more closely, and in which the overwhelming inundation of technology didn't mar our experience of art.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    In what way is it unapproachable? Certainly, socially they do not exist in different worlds.Πετροκότσυφας

    Can you back this up?

    If you want to define it musically, then you should be able to provide the distinct characteristics of each part of the dichotomy.Πετροκότσυφας

    Atonality, the evolution of the whole tone scale, on the one hand, and the focus of the tonic and using only chords that relate to the tonic key, on the other.

    I don't think that accurately describes all actual (and possible) experiences.Πετροκότσυφας

    It doesn't need to because it describes a general, traceable trend.

    Technology might have marred the experience for some, even the most, but there's nothing necessary in this.Πετροκότσυφας

    What does that mean? So, if technology mars the experience for most, then what exactly are you saying here?

    Nothing excludes the possibility that the majority of the rich and noble who had access to "high" art weren't attending simply because of the status it used to come with such attendance.Πετροκότσυφας

    That's certainly true. But I'm talking more about the actual experiences of the artists themselves, which was more or less implicit in the OP. Maybe that wasn't clear.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    If art is the act of creative self-expression, then globalization has no impact, it remains the same. What does change is curation. Whereas in the past, those with money decided what was art and what would be displayed in their museums (as a form of propaganda and marketing), now pretty much anyone can share their art and have it viewed. Personally, I love visiting sites and observing what art others have created, whether it be music, dance, painting/drawing, singing, etc.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    Yeah. "Underground" acts, be it black metal bands, music concrete composers, drone ambient artists or whatever, have fans from all social classes.Πετροκότσυφας

    How do you know that?

    Also, there are people, irrespective of social class, who like both "underground" ("unapproachable") music and popular ("easy") music or art in general. I happen to be one of them.Πετροκότσυφας

    How are you a person "irrespective of social class"?

    Atonality certainly is not a feature of all classical music (since all of it would count as high art), certainly not a feature of all high art. But even if it was, I doubt it would be sufficient or even necessary for the distinction.Πετροκότσυφας

    I didn't mean that; I was referring to "unapproachable contemporary classical", since that's what you asked about, and I assumed we both understood that to mean atonal music, as in the example I gave. Did you listen to the examples I posted? And why wouldn't atonality be necessary for the distinction?

    It means that technology does not inevitably dictates how closely you're going to experience art.Πετροκότσυφας

    So it doesn't mar the experience for most? I'm confused.

    I would guess that in pre-modern times, someone like Mondrian would still be the exception. I would also guess that most artists who used to produce high art back then, were schooled and exposed to other high art as well as patronaged to do it. Also, it's possible that avant-garde art was mostly viewed as low art or no art at all by the high art intelligentsia of those times. It seems to me that to be an avant-gardist and to be considered high-art at the same time, became far more possible during late modernity (or post-modernity, if you want).Πετροκότσυφας

    You're still not even addressing what I want to talk about in this thread. Consider this: arguably the genesis of post-modern art, the true artistic "renegade" was Duchamp. His "Ready-Made's" were postcards anyone could buy. All you needed to do to make the Mona Lisa was buy a Mona Lisa postcard, and draw the famous mustache on yourself. So, already, in the first half of the 20th century, the concept of mass duplication is being introduced.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    If art is the act of creative self-expression, then globalization has no impact, it remains the same.Rich

    But I'm arguing that the social and psychological pressures of a globalized world do affect our ability to be creative.

    Whereas in the past, those with money decided what was art and what would be displayed in their museums (as a form of propaganda and marketing), now pretty much anyone can share their art and have it viewed.Rich

    The art world is still run by old money. Everyone can share their art, but a lot of it sucks. Which is worse, a democratized internet of art, mired with a lot of mediocre art, or a gate-keeping artistic intelligensia?
  • Rich
    3.2k
    But I'm arguing that the social and psychological pressures of a globalized world do affect our ability to be creative.Noble Dust

    There are always pressures, no matter what. One can minimize pressures as best they can and get on with their art. Pressures to avoid may be to please, to make money, to emulate, to do better, etc.

    The art world is still run by old money. Everyone can share their art, but a lot of it sucks. Which is worse, a democratized internet of art, mired with a lot of mediocre art, or a gate-keeping artistic intelligensia?Noble Dust

    Art is not to please others but to express oneself. Express and if there is something interesting to share, then share. If one is able to create just one new thought through expression then that is quite a bit. Sometimes we ask too much of ourselves in one lifetime.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    There are always pressures, no matter what. One can minimize pressures as best they can and get on with their art. Pressures to avoid may be to please, to make money, to emulate, to do better, etc.Rich

    True; wise words.

    Art is not to please others but to express oneself.Rich

    I disagree; it's natural to want to share art. The audience is something like 50% of the work, in my estimation. Artists like myself who are or are pursuing art as a full-time vocation need the same sort of validation that their work is meaningful as anyone else in any other field.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    For example, when someone notices that he does not pay enough attention to the art he consumes, because he consumes vast amounts of it, he can make a decision to train himself to stop that, consume less art and pay more attention to it.Πετροκότσυφας

    So you don't think the ubiquity of art in the internet age changes anything about our consumption and experience of art?

    I addressed that quote in relation to high art, which you earlier said was the theme of your OP. How does the answer you quoted not address Mondrian's experience in the context of high art in pre-modern and modern times?Πετροκότσυφας

    Sorry, you're right, it does.
  • Mongrel
    3k
    So you don't think the ubiquity of art in the internet age changes anything about our consumption and experience of art?Noble Dust

    If you've only seen a Monet on the internet, you haven't experienced Monet. Doesn't matter how good your sound system is, if you've only heard jazz on youtube, you don't know what you're missing.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Did you read the OP?
  • Mongrel
    3k
    I did, yes. You have some misconceptions about life before the internet. I think that was pointed out to you. I won't be responding further. Thanks!
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    :s What is with this "I won't be responding" thing these days? Is Thanatos/Harris really having that negative of an effect here?
  • Mongrel
    3k
    I was just saying I won't be responding further. So.. don't pose any questions or what not.

    No need to talk smack about anybody.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    Before the internet age, art was, in a sense, rare. It was rare in the sense that you had to travel to an art museum or a concert hall to experience it. It was possible to be a fan of music, or even a composer or performer yourself, and only get the chance to see your favorite orchestral pieces performed maybe a few times in your life. And to know that that piece was one of your favorites, you had to have gone to see it without knowing whether you'd like it, and you also had to be familiar with enough other material to compare and to understand what you liked.

    Prior to the internet there were libraries and recorded music available in listening rooms. I remember sitting in a room filled with thousands of volumes of art books it was fantastic. I don't think the internet's rendition of fine art have reached the quality of a well printed art book.

    The internet has made seeing art and listening to great music vastly easier. It has given everyone the ability to view all kinds of art works, without spending a fortune, or leaving the house.

    All this is limited,and with the exception of the literary arts, art as represented in mass reproduction in books, on the TV or other medium is not the same as 'the real thing'. There is literally nothing like standing in front of Guernica's encompassing massiveness.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    I disagree; it's natural to want to share art.Noble Dust

    No problem sharing if one wishes (I don't feel the urge), but then do you try to please? If you need validation for your art, I am afraid all may be lost. It is no longer yours, it becomes theirs. Pressure?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    Prior to the internet there were libraries and recorded music available in listening rooms.Cavacava

    Right, I remember the one at the University that my dad worked at. It seemed awesome. Libraries for literature have been around forever, which is great, but I think my points about live music (in Beethoven's day, for instance), and fine arts still stand. Regardless of the specifics, which is what people seem to be critiquing here, the general sense I was getting at is that we couldn't google fine artworks and download every song ever registered with a recording rights company until very recently. This is actually a neutral development, I think; quantity of art does not equal quality. I guess no one else here finds that idea significant, or at least worth contemplating?...

    I wonder if it's a generational difference? Maybe older generations actually find the ease of access to be great (vs. the old limited access) and feel grateful, whereas the younger generation like myself feel overwhelmed because we were brought up in this world of instant access?

    There is literally nothing like standing in front of Guernica's encompassing massiveness.Cavacava

    I remember hating Pullock until I sat in front of Autumn Rhythm for half an hour.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k
    If you need validation for your art, I am afraid all may be lost.Rich

    Everyone needs to feel like their work matters in some way. Someone endeavoring to become a full time artist wants to feel like their work matters, and that manifests itself in an audience that thinks the work matters. But yes, it's a slippery slope and can be dangerous for your mental health as an artist.

    It is no longer yours, it becomes theirs.Rich

    But this is exactly what happens regardless of your mindset as an artist. Art exists in the relationship between the artist, the work, and the audience. Even if that audience is only you.
  • praxis
    1.4k
    ... trips to museums and concert halls were much more special occasions than they are now, due to the ubiquity of art in the modern age.Noble Dust

    Is this is your experience?
  • praxis
    1.4k
    I cannot agree or disagree with your experience. Especially if I don't know what it is.
  • TheWillowOfDarkness
    1.8k


    I don't think so, to me it seems more like you are attacking the ease with which people can view, listen or know about art-- that there is so little work, commitment or sacrifice needed to look or hear many works of art these days.

    As such, I don't think your argument has much to do with quality or "high vs low art," unless you are going to make some argument that only art people could rarely access on special trips to the museums or concert hall was of greater quality than anything someone might see or hear somewhere else.
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    Do you disagree with the statement you quoted?
  • Noble Dust
    3.2k


    What I'm trying to point out is the quality of the experience of art in the internet age, vs. past ages. That was pretty explicit in my OP.
  • praxis
    1.4k
    And you can't answer because you don't have pre-internet age experience?

    If you do feel that your experience is consistently lackluster it may be due to other causes. Have you considered this?
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