• Noble Dust
    3.1k
    does the whole exist for the benefit of the parts or do the parts exist for the benefit of the whole,Cavacava

    I don't have an answer, necessarily, in regards to the artisan. I suppose the "whole" of a loaf of ["whole-wheat"] bread is the nutrition and sustenance. Some parts of that are the flavor and texture, and the aesthetic of what the loaf looks like. Is it a cheap mass-produced loaf from the supermarket? Is it a fancy, expensive artisan loaf with perfect little crevices and colors? Was it an imperfectly shaped loaf made at home by someone who loves you? These are all aesthetic considerations of the loaf. Is that what you're getting at? If so, I'd say the parts serve the whole, when it comes to the utilitarian artisan. The parts still have value in themselves, though.

    But it's not clear to me when it comes to a painting, or a piece of music. What is the "whole" here? I don't know. The artwork doesn't have a clear utility (nutrition). Nutrition of the spirit, maybe? An attempt to create "actual being" that fails?

    By the way, I don't think I responded to your response to me, sorry. I'm too lazy to drag up the Berdyaev quote, but my understanding is that by actual being (that was a paraphrase), he meant Being, capital B, in a philosophical sense. I interpret it as the creative urge as a literal urge to create Being in the way the divine ("God") created being (thats the worldview Berdyaev is working from). And that urge is always a failure. I should drag up the quote because it's hard to wrangle with.

    Edit: I'm currently searching through my unorganized stacks of books which are in front of my organized bookshelf for the Berdyaev text...
  • TheMadFool
    2.3k
    The word ''art'' is very vague but I think art is a medium of expression. The message may be everything under the sun and the medium too has a similar range.

    What you want to say and how you want to say it.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    These are all aesthetic considerations of the loaf. Is that what you're getting at? If so, I'd say the parts serve the whole, when it comes to the utilitarian artisan. The parts still have value in themselves, though.

    But it's not clear to me when it comes to a painting, or a piece of music. What is the "whole" here? I don't know. The artwork doesn't have a clear utility (nutrition). Nutrition of the spirit, maybe? An attempt to create "actual being" that fails?

    I agree that "the parts serve the whole", that the parts are the means to an end, that their utility is only realized by the whole or end. In a similar way, water, yeast and flour are essential parts for making a loaf of bread. These parts at the immanent level of composition are purposeful. These parts, again similar to a loaf of bread, are transformed in the process of composition into a whole which is categorically different from the parts.

    But it's not clear to me when it comes to a painting, or a piece of music. What is the "whole" here? I don't know. The artwork doesn't have a clear utility (nutrition). Nutrition of the spirit, maybe? An attempt to create "actual being" that fails?

    At the level of the whole, a loaf of bread sustains life, utility at this level is different from the composition utility that made it, yet it retains some of the essential characteristics of what and how it was made (almost like a dialectic). A work of art does not have the same kind of utility as a loaf of bread. We can compare loaves of bread for texture, moistness, aroma, flavor and so on, as well as how or if it sustains our body. A work of art also can be described in the terms of color, hue, saturation, or cadence, pitch, meter...but in the case of art what is sustained, broadened, or enhanced is our spirit..."Nutrition of the spirit"
  • Cavacava
    2.4k


    The word ''art'' is very vague but I think art is a medium of expression. The message may be everything under the sun and the medium too has a similar range.

    What you want to say and how you want to say it.

    The oldest works of art are estimated at around 40000 years old preserved in caves in various parts of the world. The most famous are at Lascaux in France, but they are also in Indonesia. Many of these paintings are fabulously stylized. I especially like the hand stencils that appear in these caves.

    elcastillo.jpg

    It is almost like they are waving at us, 'we were here'.

    So, yes art is a medium of expression and expression is an essential characteristic of man from the get go. Understanding this "vague" term is the challenge. That challenge goes beyond, painting, music, sculpture...into our virtual world, where new concepts (or transformation of existing concepts) of what comprise art art are emerging.
  • praxis
    663
    So the butcher, the baker, the cobbler, the culter, the chef...don't have an aesthetic?Cavacava

    They may or may not. Art is just a concept, and as such it can be applied to practically anything. Framing something as art is like an invitation to view a subject in a new or aesthetic way, where we might appreciate what has been previously taken for granted, see new or renewed meaning, or perhaps generally expand our conception of a subject (as I think you mentioned).

    I'd say it's going beyond the rational but practical rationality is actually rather irrational, I'm beginning to understand.
  • VagabondSpectre
    1.1k
    I encountered a new set of notions out of the post-modern camp a few days ago (i guess it's not all bad!) which describes the essence of art almost exactly as you've formulated it.

    Russian "Defamiliarization" (ostranenie), German "Distancing Effect" (Verfremdungseffekt), and Derrida's "Difference" (Différance).

    It takes what is real by virtue of familiarity and presents it in an unfamiliar, magnified, or distorted way, thereby causing new perceptions and perspectives to emerge in the consumer.

    This may not be the precise definition covering all "art", but it's a good start toward defining "good art".
  • wellwisher
    156
    A good work of art is designed to induce a reaction within the individuals who observe it. You can love or hate the work art. The induced reaction is important. Art is a way to trigger the unconscious mind of the audience.

    The creative energy for the art, comes from the unconscious mind of the artist. The good artist builds a bridge between his unconscious mind, and the unconscious minds of his audience. The unconscious minds of the great artists, anticipate the future, and can convey this vision to others though the art; unconscious bridge to the future.

    For example, art during the industrial revolution, changed from photographic clarity, to the fuzziness of impressionist art. This change paralleled the shift in culture away from the historical farm life, based on centuries of pastoral repetition, to unprecedented factory life. The industrial revolution had an impact on human nature, making things fuzzy. The art movement anticipated this change.

    Abstract art, which came next, anticipated other changes in culture, made by theory like relativity and uncertainty, where cause and affect became distorted; determinate versus indeterminate. The artists unconsciously sensed and/or anticipated the change, and helped make it conscious.

    Idol worship has a connection to the unconscious art affect. The golden calf was a good work of art, that had power over some people, due to its unconscious induction affect. The ancients would project the induced feelings, as coming from the work of art; god in the art. The induced affect was inside them all the time. The art made it conscious. A new car has an art affect, in the sense it induces a feeling of importance.

    One modern artist from the 1950's. who was prophetic of now was Escher. He has a work of art called Relativity. In this work of art, there are people climbing staircases at all angles. If you look at any particular staircase, the reference appears fine, by itself. However, if you look at the bigger picture, all the references cannot exist at the same time.

    The trick behinds this affect is connected to creating an illusion of 3-D, using 2-D; flat paper. A 3-D illusion can exist in 2-D, but it will not exist in actual 3-D. I can draw a ball on a flat piece of paper to look 3-D. But it you touch it with your finger you can feel it is flat. It can fool the eye but not touch.

    Logic is based on cause and affect, which is 2-D (x,y). Logic can create spatial illusions which look 3-D to the eye, but which do not exist in 3-D. One such affect is connected to special relativity. Einstein defined three parameters in special relativity; relativistic distance, time and mass. However, most of physics only uses space-time and ignores relativistic mass. This downgrade from 3-D to 2-D, allows 3-D illusions in 2-D. If you include mass; energy balance, the illusions are easier to see.
  • BlueBanana
    861
    Art is simply a social trait that enables one to acquire resources, mates and friends - which is why we do most of the weird social things we do.Harry Hindu

    If it is so, why does art play that role? Why is art the way it is?
  • Harry Hindu
    1.2k
    The same way and role that the peacock's feather plays. It encourages mates to choose them because it shows fitness.
  • wellwisher
    156
    Art is everywhere, even if it is not called art. The new 2018 summer clothing styles are a type of art. This is art you wear. Good art induces an emotional reaction. New clothes induce positive feelings. Designer clothes give the best buzz. The former is individual and the latter is collective.

    The golden calf affect; god in the art, can induce unconscious projection, so one feels better if surrounded by the god in the clothes. The tribal hunter will wear the skin of his prey, to acquire the spirit of the animal; golden calf affect. The skin is not a god, but a trigger to what is inside of us.

    The reason this affects works is the unconscious mind is the original instinctive mind. Modern humans have become unnatural due to willpower and choice. There is a sense or need to return to its roots. Art brings us there, while culture swings the pendulum the other way. Fashion needs to reboot constantly to trigger the feelings since they are temporary.

    Some art brings the individual back to their roots for a short time, while other art brings the herd back, or warns the herd that there are hazards to instinct, ahead.

    Shoes are a common female art induction. Shoes fit on the feet, which touch the earth. Shoes are connected to natural instinct; of the earth. The problem is the golden calf induction is not permanent, but needs to be rebooted constantly; new shoes, since culture pulls women the other way, away from natural instinct. The shoe girl is often the cultural girl, not the natural girl. She has more unconscious potential for the trigger.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k
    Art is everywhere, even if it is not called art. The new 2018 summer clothing styles are a type of art. This is art you wear. Good art induces an emotional reaction. New clothes induce positive feelings. Designer clothes give the best buzz. The former is individual and the latter is collective.

    Clothing styles are ornamental, they are not fine art. The aesthetic effect of fine art arises from its being and not from any purpose or instrumentality or any other interest that cause "the best buzz".
  • Tomseltje
    140
    I think this is only possible if force of these works reaches certain objective truths about the world thatCavacava

    I don't think art is mainly about objective truths, I think it's more about transcendent subjective truths.
  • Tomseltje
    140
    So the butcher, the baker, the cobbler, the culter, the chef...don't have an aesthetic?Cavacava

    Ask the question in french and it's obvious they are more alike than different from each other.
    artiste ou artisan? (artist or craftsman?)
  • Cavacava
    2.4k


    Here is the full quote from the OP

    Great works of art exert power that is not diminished over time, power that goes beyond the normative bounds of any observer. I think this is only possible if force of these works reaches certain objective truths about the world that, if we have sufficient knowledge and emotion, can't be avoided because their power consists in their spontaneous ability to continue to generate new or deeper thoughts, newer more meaningful narratives in observers.

    I don't think art is mainly about objective truths, I think it's more about transcendent subjective truths.

    If by transcendent subject truths you mean " Truth that is, ultimately, beyond human comprehension and before all concepts. It is beyond reality, and is the Creator of realities, existence, time and all there is, was and is yet to be." Wikipedia, The only sort of experience that approaches this conception is that of the Sublime, as that which is beyond comprehension and I doubt such experience can be classified as true or false, it can be experienced but it can't be conceptualized.
  • Cavacava
    2.4k


    So the butcher, the baker, the cobbler, the culter, the chef...don't have an aesthetic?
    — Cavacava

    Ask the question in french and it's obvious they are more alike than different from each other.
    artiste ou artisan? (artist or craftsman?)

    This is also taken out of context. I am not sure what your point is? Yes, they are similar that is what I stated, but fine art is not instrumental based on utility like the crafts.
  • Dalai Dahmer
    73
    The role of art is to have our brains entertained. It may invoke thoughts and/or feelings which then entertain us.

    Ar you entertained by your thoughts and feelings? If not, why not?
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