• Pop
    134
    I am attempting to get the below published. I would appreciate any comments.
    I suspect most people know art is something like this, but not having a definition creates a particular reality. Art about art trivializes art. I don't believe art is trivial - its the thing that keeps me going.It allows me the freedom to follow my interests - limited only by my consciousness.



    The definition of art:

    The following two sentences are a definition of art. This definition of art is also a work of art:

     
    “Art is an expression of human consciousness. Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness.”
     
    This is true for all of time.

    This is true across all cultures.

    This definition does not impinge upon the artist's freedom, but does predict the limits of art

     
    This definition can be negated by producing one work of art from all of history, including mental art work from the future, which it does not contain. I believe this is not logically possible.
     

    Proof of the definition:

    1.    Art is an ungrounded variable mental construct: Objects are arbitrarily deemed to be art. Art’s only necessary distinction from ordinary objects is the extra deemed art information. Art can be anything the artist thinks of, but this is limited by their consciousness.

    2.   Consciousness is not just awareness but all mind activity, interwoven with the subconscious. What art can be cannot exceed consciousness.

    3.   Everything is reducible to information, as it is only from information that we can create mental constructs. This is widely accepted in science, and a grounding for the definition. 

    4.   If everything is reducible to information, then so is art. It is true to say: art work is information.   

    5.   Art work information is imbued with the artist's consciousness:  it arises out of their consciousness, and reflects their consciousness, and is limited in scope by their consciousness, in the past, present, and the future.

    It follows:art work is information about the artist’s consciousness.

     
    We can elaborate further:“Art is an expression of human consciousness. Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness" (Consciousness, as experienced, presents itself as a united singular entity interwoven with the subconscious.)

     
    From the above, I believe, the definition is proven, however I add some thoughts below as explanation for my thinking for your consideration.

     
    What is art?  The word art derives from the Latin "ars" (stem art-), which, although literally defined means "skill method" or "technique", also conveys a connotation of beauty.

    It originally was a narrow range of things, but because the concept of art is not grounded in anything concrete, it’s repertoire over time could arbitrarily be broadened. Eventually art’s meaning extended to anything deemed art. Groundless constructs only require consensus to exist – to become reality, so right from the beginning there is ambiguity as to what art is.

     
    Then this indefinite notion of art is further imbued with the value and meaning system of the person, resulting in a slightly different interpretation for everybody. This interpretation becomes something close to our heart, and we are ready to stand to defend it as an important reflection of our personality and consciousness.The result is a vague heartfelt idea of art as something of value that has skill, meaning and aesthetic interest, etc - which we feel the need to defend.
    But this also varies between individuals.

     
    This is the central difficulty of all art discourse; essentially we are talking about different things. We vaguely agree on a central concept, but we experience it differently When we understand how the notion of art is related to personality and consciousness, we can predict that two very different personalities, or cultures, must as a result of this difference, construct different conceptions of art. So the resultant discourse about art is immediately disagreeable, and if any progress is to be made, an agreement about art must first be made. We have all experienced this, and it is illustrated in the difference in the art of native cultures, subcultures, the art of the mainstream, and the elite.

     
    Whilst the form of art diverges between individuals and cultures – what art conveys, in one important respect, does not. It always conveys the consciousness of the artist. At its simplest, consciousness is mind activity. Whatever form art work may take –it has always, and it will always reflect the mind activity of the artist. This makes a definition of art possible.

     
    It is not yet possible to absolutely define consciousness, but quite a lot is known about it:  mind activity is an element of it. Consciousness is the  driver of human activity. Things do not exist until we become conscious of them. The focus of our consciousness against the backdrop of what is happening in the world tells others a lot about us.

     
    Consciousness develops in a collective consciousness that we recognize as family, friends, and culture. We absorb the collective consciousness as well as contribute to it. The way we understand art is by querying the consciousness that led to the work in the context of the collective consciousness that exists at any given time. We ask what were the artist’s thoughts in making the work given the prevailing times. As Paul Gauguin famously put it; “Art is either plagiarism or revolution.” It either reinforces the collective consciousness or challenges it.

     
    Understanding art in this way is applicable for all of time, across all cultures, and for all forms of art. But this fact is not generally recognized, it is thought, in some circles, that art cannot be defined, so a misconceived reality for art persists.

     
    As an ungrounded variable mental construct art has developed through the ages and across cultures – growing broader and smarter, ever trying to outdo itself -reflecting humanities expanding and changing consciousness in its wake. So much so, that art has became something so varied and broad that it ultimately can only be described by the full possibility of human experience.

     
    Human experience is a function of consciousness. I experience therefore I am, and I think therefore I am, are fundamental tenets of western thought. Together they add up to – I am conscious therefore I am. This confidence in our consciousness forms the foundation of our notions of reality.

     
    Art needs to be free to explore our diverse and ever changing reality. But it needs to be recognized that reality is limited by consciousness, so art can never outstrip this – the best art can do to be progressive and relevant is to recognize how it is tethered to human consciousness.

     
    Consciousness can be studied in the information art provides. The diversity of human consciousness is well illustrated whilst walking through an art fair.  The intellectually disabled reveal a different consciousness in their art. If we follow an artist’s development from early child hood to adult maturity - it is the depth and breadth of their consciousness that we see changing, reflected in the form of their art. Like others, I used to think art’s major role is to reflect on reality and the meaning of life, but I now understand art reflects consciousness, whose role is to create reality in order to maintain life!

     
    Art always presents information in the format of information of the artist’s culture, through the prism of the artists mind. This has a slightly distortive affect on the cultural information presented, as it is an interpretation by the artist. The interpretation is tainted by their understanding, beliefs, prejudices, and skill, etc. This illustrates how art works are first and foremost information about the artist’s consciousness, and from this we infer the artist's world view, culture, and make inferences about them, and their work.

     
    Art work can be something simple, but is typically an example of the best one can do. We see this in all of recorded history, and there is no evidence that this would have been different in prehistory. This is invariable across cultures, though the form of what is valued does differ, its function as an exemplary item does not. If we accept that art is typically one’s best conscious effort we can infer  that Jackson Pollock’s  Blue Poles, the statue of David , the cave paintings in Lascaux, outsider art,  music, drama, as well as all art ever made , has a common denominator as information about the artist's consciousness – held up for the world to see.
     

     According to American philosopher John Searle: “Consciousness is that thing that presents itself as we wake up in the morning and lasts all day until we go back to sleep again at night.” It isn’t simply awareness or knowledge – I believe Carl Jung would agree that to every bit of consciousness is attached 100 bits of the subconscious, interwoven into a mental lattice presenting as a united front. It is fundamental to us. Consciousness is personality in action, yet we are hardly aware of it. Modern science has not been able to pin consciousness down, however panpsychism and eastern philosophy agree that consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe - from this perspective consciousness takes on a much deeper meaning

     
    The singular thing that life is concerned with is to maintain and continue itself, and consciousness facilitates this. It is the one thing we are always expressing. We express it when making art, and it seems art's function is to express our consciousness when we personally cannot - to express it at its best, express it to many, and into the future.

     This, I believe, would unify and integrate what art is, under this definition.

    Damir Ivancevic

    iamdamir.com
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    I didn't understand all of what you wrote. Could you give a more consise verison regarding the main points?
  • Pop
    134
    Brett put it well:

    Art is humanities expression of itself.

    Art gives us insight into the artist,



    Art is a concrete manifestation of human thought – a manifestation into concrete form, of something that is ( ungrounded / virtual / computed / experienced emotionally / believed / valued / perceived / subconscious ) - consciousness
  • IvoryBlackBishop
    290

    Fair enough, are you asserting that it's totally 'subjective', or that there aren't better or worse ways of making art, or that art relate to certain other axioms or principles, such as beauty, creativity and aesthetics?
  • Pop
    134
    I'm saying its all about consciousness. Principles, beauty, creativity, aesthetics being sub facets of consciousness.
    I'm not saying there are better or worse ways to make art - and maybe I'm saying all art is equal - just that whatever we make reflects our consciousness. Always has, always will. We cant escape it.

    Consciousness is a very broad term. The broadest there is- hence the only one that can define art.
    We don't understand fully what consciousness is, but there is much material in other parts of the forum.

    Panpsychism and Buddhism are the only complete theories of consciousness we have. They both suggest consciousness is a fundamental property of the universe. From this perspective consciousness takes on a much deeper meaning.
  • Amity
    1k
    I am attempting to get the below published. I would appreciate any comments.Pop

    Interesting. You have far more substantive feedback on your other thread (linked below) - 22 pages and counting

    The importance of a questioning title and an altruistic OP.
    I've just read some excellent responses:

    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/7492/what-is-art/p1

    How far on are you with publication?
    I was wondering whether you had considered writing an 'Article' for this forum.
    Given the contributions in the other thread, how would you acknowledge the posters - individually, collectively ?

    I found this essay on 'Definitions of Art':

    https://1000wordphilosophy.com/2014/05/05/definitions-of-art/
  • Pop
    134


    I've had a look at your website and i like it. The 1000 word format sounds good. Ill submit something in the near future.

    I originally tried to steer the thread in various ways, including the development of a definition, but these threads have a life of their own, so in the end I've stuck to my original definition.
    The forum and the contributors, have been a wonderful help, I've placed a link to the thread on my website.

    As an artist my main interest is to push the boundaries of art, and If the definition is true then this would set a boundary beyond which art could not push. Hopefully diverting it towards an exploration of consciousness.

    Academic acceptance / reinforcement would be helpful, but exposure is more important, as this definition will either sink or swim in the mind of an end user. So I thank you for the invite.
  • Amity
    1k
    I've had a look at your website and i like it. The 1000 word format sounds good. Ill submit something in the near future.Pop

    Hi and just to clarify: it's not my website and I have no authority to invite anyone to write for it. The general invitation on this forum TPF is from @jamalrob. See:
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/76/submit-an-article-for-publication

    these threads have a life of their ownPop
    Indeed they have with mixed results. Sometimes going with the flow can bring inspiration. It was this little 'divertimento' that caused me to search for a definition of art :
    https://thephilosophyforum.com/discussion/8264/divertimento-1-the-grammar-of-self

    The forum and the contributors, have been a wonderful help, I've placed a link to the thread on my website.Pop
    Yes, it sure has its marvellous moments; here's to more of the same. I was wondering more about how anyone would acknowledge any quotes made by participants in any writing project.

    As an artist my main interest is to push the boundaries of art,Pop
    Aside from the theory, how do you do this in practice ?
    What do you paint and how ?

    Hopefully diverting it towards an exploration of consciousness.Pop

    What kind of consciousness ? Edit: Strike that I've just reread your OP. Sorry to be so stoopid :yikes:
    I am curious because currently there are at least 2 television programmes which involve what might be termed a 'collective creativity'. Both are having to work round the constraints of the coronavirus crisis.

    1. https://www.channel4.com/press/news/graysons-art-club
    2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000j45r

    1. Is fantastic. Takes place at home. It explores and unleashes creative talent as isolated people come together to share experiences. Also celebs and a bit of teaching going on. I would say it is funny, serious and spiritual. Last night's theme was:
    ' View from my window'. So, a variety of perspectives and materials.
    Grayson spoke to an older viewer/ participant whose painting he chose. He was clearly moved when she said it was her first attempt since primary school. Like so many she had been put down and off art because of a teacher. Now she simply drew from the heart with no rules. She didn't know if she was doing things wrong and she didn't care. She was moved to express herself and her situation.

    2. A bit more of a professional masterclass setup:
    'Life Drawing Live: drawing the Nation Together'.
    Along with 6 amateurs in a vast studio, it includes viewers and celebrities. Last time I watched it was about painting nudes. Everyone is painting the same thing, the model.
    And given rules.

    I suppose this can be likened to the differences in writing format and criteria between Articles and Essays...or not.

    The Essay website I linked to is more constrained than the TPF. Both have their merits. I think we could have both here but that's for @jamalrob and co to decide !

    Academic acceptance / reinforcement would be helpful, but exposure is more important,Pop

    So, you could do both ! Follow the strict 1000 word academic format and/or create a more 'you' article with TPF whilst still being 'professional' of course.

    I think that so many helpful and experienced posters here would love to see their thoughts reproduced in a more permanent way, such as an Article. Even if they don't want to write one themselves. What would that be if not an Individual Collective Creative Consciousness ? :chin:
  • Outlander
    158
    Great video I enjoyed watching a while back. Entertaining, informative, and brings up a few points worthy of discussion.


    https://youtu.be/bHw4MMEnmpc
  • Pop
    134
    Ha Ha , my bad. Thanks for the link anyway - I think its a clever format so will look into it anyway.
    Yes, it sure has its marvellous moments; here's to more of the same. I was wondering more about how anyone would acknowledge any quotes made by participants in any writing project.Amity

    I suppose you would have to approach each person you quote? It could get very messy.

    What do you paint and how ?Amity
    http://iamdamir.com/

    What kind of consciousness ?Amity

    My preference would be the first kind that you mentioned. But I feel any efforts towards a better understanding of self would be beneficial. The second tv show is a start - at some point they will start questioning what they do and why.

    Consciousness is the foundation of all that we do, yet we hardly understand it - how it creates a self interested reality, and why, amongst a myriad of other things. It seems great constructions are created on non existent foundations, so an exploration of these issues would benefit everyone, I believe, particularly on a world leader level.

    I think that so many helpful and experienced posters here would love to see their thoughts reproduced in a more permanent way, such as an Article. Even if they don't want to write one themselves. What would that be if not an Individual Collective Creative Consciousness ? :chin:Amity

    It sounds like a good idea. Perhaps you could create an amalgam of favourite quotes article ?
  • Pop
    134
    I was just thinking about a thread on beauty / aesthetics - can we ground it in anything concrete? - I suspect not
  • Amity
    1k
    Perhaps you could create an amalgam of favourite quotes article ?Pop

    Hah. That would be fun. Taking all the favourite quotes as presented in posters' profiles could be a start...
    Seeing how they match up with their own behaviour and words.

    I've noticed how some keep the same ones forever, like their names and pics. Others seem to change with the wind...
    Perhaps for fun and need for change or not being able to make their mind up on self presentation...
    Who cares ?

    Unfortunately, I am all talk, encouraging others without taking action myself :sad:
  • Pop
    134
    Perhaps a thread where each member selects a favourite post ( not their own )?
  • Amity
    1k
    Perhaps a thread where each member selects a favourite post ( not their own )?Pop

    Go on then :cool:
    I'm all done for now...
    Hmmm.
    An Art Gallery of Posters' Posts.
    A Portrait of Philosophy.
    Pop Art.
  • unenlightened
    4.7k
    The definition of art:Pop

    Why?
    Define and control.

    Don't.
    Let.
    Anyone.

    Tell you what is art.

    Because...

    It' ain't philosophy. It's fucking the whole world.
  • Pop
    134


    Not define and control, but describe and understand.

    The status quo is what is fucking the world. It needs to be challenged - I'm doing what I can to that end.
  • EnPassant
    218
    There is a difference between art and art work. Art is a process whereby the artist evolves and develops in terms of consciousness. Art is an inner journey. A art work is a physical image of this inner process. This physical image can be shared with others but art as 'expression' is only incidental. One can go on this inner journey without expressing anything (ie without showing the art works to anybody). Art certainly is not about 'expression' let alone 'self expression' (what a silly notion). It is about an inner journey. That art works express something to other people is a secondary thing. It is about sharing the experience, through the image. As an artist I never think I need to express anything. But I do need to create things.
  • kudos
    100
    Thanks for posting this it is very interesting. I read something from the author St. Augustine about the word 'expression' that stuck with me and it is reminiscent of this,

    What a quantity of such items my memory is stocked with, things discovered and kept ready for use, the kind of things we say we have learned already and continue to know. Yet if I forgo their retrieval, even for brief intervals, they sink out of sight again, sliding deep into some inner windings, and they must be pressed up out of that place and pressed again into knowable form. We must, that is reconnect them after their dispersion. This is what we mean by 'expression,' which comes from pressing, as 'exaction' comes from acting or 'extension' comes from tending.

    In your view, does art include meaning, or is it separate from it? IE: are you only occupied with the meaning of art to the artist his or her self?
  • EnPassant
    218
    In your view, does art include meaning, or is it separate from it? IE: are you only occupied with the meaning of art to the artist his or her self?kudos

    Not sure if you are asking me or Pop. Anyhow, for me, art is about meaning. Truth = meaning = beauty.
    Beauty is truth. But a problem arises when people are asked what is beauty? The answer will be subjective. But for me, beauty is truth. But what is truth? and we are back to subjectivity.

    Beauty and meaning can be shared by sharing the external, physical, work of art. But, for the artist, meaning is in the experience of creating. Art as 'expression' or 'reflecting society' (duh) are secondary things.

    Art is creativity; for me the reason to create something is a conviction that it is worth creating. People say 'art is about reflecting society'. No, I don't think so, but when it does that is only incidental or secondary. Many artists create works that are different from the societies they live in. Michelangelo painted angels but in his time there were open sewers running through the streets.

    I basically agree with Pop's definitions. Art is an inner process that is shared by means of the image.
  • kudos
    100
    The idea that "Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness," is sort of difficult for me to accept without qualification. If this were true, how could there be such a thing as art work to begin with? Because there would be no necessity for the artist to share information about their consciousness beyond some type of perversion. In addition, without some contribution from outward there can be no 'cast' of art in which to apply it's form.

    We're on the same page that art (as it is commonly conceived) is something more introverted than extroverted. But the end result of it's form is in some part incidental, beyond being measurable from outside it is also a type of activity and not only a process of production. The 'work' part of artwork is not normally taken to refer to actual work or physical work, but seems to attribute a quantitative measure of it's end result thus allowing for the practical survival of the artist. It doesn't seem obvious to me that measuring the work itself could in any way derive the complete nature of art.
  • EnPassant
    218
    The idea that "Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness," is sort of difficult for me to accept without qualification. If this were true, how could there be such a thing as art work to begin with? Because there would be no necessity for the artist to share information about their consciousness beyond some type of perversion. In addition, without some contribution from outward there can be no 'cast' of art in which to apply it's form.kudos

    I don't think it is perverse to want to share something good. It is natural. Yes, there are all kinds of influences that determine 'fashion' in art: art history, other artists, the world at large etc. But the essential aesthetic is deeper than fleeting fashions. As the OP says, art is about the artist's consciousness but the form of the image (art work) is often influenced by fashion in art. Art is creativity. An Art work is a bit messier when it comes to definitions because it has so many cultural influences.

    When people say 'art' they are mostly talking about the image be it a painting or piece of music or sculpture. For me art is the inner process and the image/art work is a metaphor of that process.
  • kudos
    100
    If that's true then we should look to AI software, it would allow us to comprehend art better than our selves alone because it can better make use of information, data, and correlations to make inquiry into the nature of things. Nobody would take this claim seriously, because it misses the mark completely. It may perhaps not be what is meant, it would be clearer but less dramatic to say 'Artwork includes information about the artist's consciousness.' Information is power they say, and if this summarizes the concept of art then why would anyone just give power away to someone else for nothing? There must be more to it than that alone.
  • EnPassant
    218
    Information is power they say, and if this summarizes the concept of art then why would anyone just give power away to someone else for nothing? There must be more to it than that alone.kudos

    I suppose the artist reveals a lot by sharing his/her thoughts but we do that anyhow.
  • Pop
    134
    Art certainly is not about 'expression' let alone 'self expression' (what a silly notion).EnPassant

    That you feel the need to create something - what dose that express?

    What is the mind activity that leads you to create art? Is it not your consciousness?
  • EnPassant
    218
    That you feel the need to create something - what dose that express?

    What is the mind activity that leads you to create art? Is it not your consciousness?
    Pop

    Yes, you could say consciousness. But the primary motivation is not expression, it is simply to create. I suppose expression is inevitable on some level but 'create' is the motivation. "Reflecting society" is also something that creeps in but doing art 'to reflect society' is journalism
  • kudos
    100
    I think you’re onto something with this. What the artist creates is not art proper, but, to paraphrase Kant, the arts in traditional western thought draw from something ‘before experience.’ Expression is one of its subprocesses where it joins with the human will. But art seems to be a composite of experience, or consciousness (not sure what the difference is in this context) including a type of rational framework and isn’t really ‘owned’ by any one particular.
  • Pop
    134
    What is the mind activity that leads you to create art? Is it not your consciousness?
    — Pop
    Yes, you could say consciousnessEnPassant

    The philosophy that aligns with my definition is a combination of idealism, monism, and IIT theory
    ( Tononi ). Theory is different to fact, however the outcome in this case is very easily tested.
    To negate the definition, you need only to produce a work of art from the whole of time, from any culture, that is not information about the artists consciousness.

    As you have agreed with the above statement, this would be a logical impossibility for you.

    but 'create' is the motivationEnPassant

    If you familiarize yourself with IIT theory you will see how creativity is a function of consciousness. That is: consciousness unifies and integrates information, and I postulate - in a creative process. It seems consciousness is creativity.

    I do not understand creativity that is not an expression of consciousness - please enlighten me.
  • EnPassant
    218
    I do not understand creativity that is not an expression of consciousness - please enlighten me.Pop

    I'm talking about art in cultural terms. Generally speaking artists do not become seized with a desire to express something. It is more fundamental than that. It is a desire to create. It is a human need to feel that we create our own lives. Expression, in cultural terms, is just sharing the image (art work) with others. It is not the primary motivation. But it follows, naturally, because art inevitably expresses the contents of the artist's consciousness.

    What I don't like is teachers telling art students things like 'art is about self expression' or ' art is about reflecting society'. These are not the primary motivations. The primary motivation is an innate need to create.

    One of the great problems of modern capitalist society is that it does not cater for people's creative needs.
  • Pop
    134


    I do not think we disagree on that much. I used to understand things as you do - almost word for word.
    I see things through a slightly different paradigm now, and I think the view is clearer.

    I'm trying to impress on you, but without much success, that consciousness is the root of creativity.
    Consciousness unifies and integrates information.
    Creativity unifies and integrates information
    This bears thinking about.

    It is a desire to create. It is a human need to feel that we create our own lives.EnPassant

    Nobody can take this away from you. But as times change and new information comes to hand we have to adjust.We create a slightly different joyous reality. I'm reminded of a Yogic saying. it goes something like this: Sacrifice everything for awareness, but never sacrifice awareness for anything. As it is people of high awareness who live on in the minds of the collective consciousness forever. People like Plato, Aristotle, Kant, etc and this is true also in the arts. Perhaps it is closer to the truth to say we live on - in the creations of their minds?

    Thank you for your interest. I wish you all the best.
  • EnPassant
    218
    I'm trying to impress on you, but without much success, that consciousness is the root of creativity.
    Consciousness unifies and integrates information.
    Creativity unifies and integrates information
    Pop

    Yes, I agree entirely. This is what the word 'inspiration' means. Making art works is about making metaphors, symbols and images of spiritual reality. We are conscious of spiritual reality and we make physical images of it. I think we are saying much the same thing.
  • remoku
    29


    Isn't the general naming of art, taking a mertiable work and creating a group?

    What's the difference between creativity and art?

    The door of my wardrobe is unhinged and slanted from where I broke it - it looks like art(I say because I've seen a meritable work it relates to.)

    Someone may like that.

    It's not 'an expression' of myself.

    I define art as demi- imagination, or anything thought about imaginatively.

    But perhaps it's just a trend and there is no art. A painting is a painting, a skull - a skull.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment