• praxis
    4.1k
    I'll go through it step by step.

    talk about complex transmissions of information may be true, as the actuarial tables are trueConstance

    You compare Pop's claim that "Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness" with actuarial tables.

    life and death qualitatively has nothing whatsoever to do with actuarial tablesConstance

    If the experience of life and death has nothing to do with actuarial tables, then the experience of art has nothing to do with Pop's claim.

    This is why your announcement that art in information offends others here.Constance

    An announcement that is compared to actuarial tables. If an actuarial table has nothing to do with the experience of life and death then it would not be offensive to that experience.

    They think art is profound, religious, or deeply meaningful.Constance

    These are experiential qualities, and whoever 'they' are, experience art as profound, religious, or deeply meaningful. This has "nothing whatsoever" to do with Pop's claim so it's strange that you say it's offensive.
  • Constance
    523
    These are experiential qualities, and whoever 'they' are, experience art as profound, religious, or deeply meaningful. This has "nothing whatsoever" to do with Pop's claim so it's strange that you say it's offensive.praxis

    What is art? Information.

    What is life and death? An actuary table.

    I thought this clear: The latter is meant to be analogous to the former in that it takes something qualitatively distinct and reduces it to terms quantitative. Read the part where I talk about this.
  • praxis
    4.1k


    If something has “nothing whatsoever” to do with qualitative distinctiveness then why should it offend?
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Such a concept even applies to the preservation of the self in time: how much is actually preserved of this constructed self in the transmission of self in time from past through to future? The self is in decay, or, each moment is an entropic loss of the previous, and perhaps a reconstruction: the self is thereby defined as a fluid reconstruction of information, what Husserl called predelineation: We live in an adumbration of the past that is presented in eidetically formed predicated affairs, to use his language. I find this interesting, and perhaps I will look into it.Constance

    The idea of the mass - energy - information equivalence principle is picking up steam, and understanding things as an evolving process is the obvious way forward. All of that philosophy you mentioned was conceived at a time before it was understood that information is fundamental, so there is an awful lot of philosophical meat on offer, in reinterpreting it via an information theoretic.

    My trouble, as I read through this, is that it is entirely a quantifiable analysis. Aesthetics is not quantifiable,Constance

    That particular theory uses Shannon information theory, but others, including myself, are looking toward a non quantifiable theory of information, where information is a fundamental non-quantifiable observable.

    This is why your announcement that art in information offends others here. They think art is profound, religious, or deeply meaningful. Others look to the meanings in play, how truth connects to images, how images are iconographic reflections of the self; and so on.Constance

    Many would not understand information or consciousness beyond their dictionary meanings. I think the one's that do have no problems with the definition. Academia is coming around to the understanding that information is fundamental - is equal to energy and matter. As this understanding grows so will understanding of my definition, I don't expect this any time soon of course. :lol:

    To me, it is a bit like looking at the human condition and its most meaningful dimension, and saying, well, what does the actuarial table say? You may be right, I mean, the table might be a true account. But how is this quantitative account even remotely adequate?Constance

    It needn't be about actuarial tables at all. Nothing changes for human Being, other than the understanding that everything is information, from every perspective. It is a little like Wit's word game, but a notch deeper to become the information game - both physical and mental.
  • Constance
    523
    If something has “nothing whatsoever” to do with qualitative distinctiveness why should it offend?praxis

    "But then, life and death qualitatively has nothing whatsoever to do with actuarial tables. This is why your announcement that art in information offends others here. They think art is profound, religious, or deeply meaningful. Others look to the meanings in play, how truth connects to images, how images are iconographic reflections of the self; and so on."

    Talk about actuary tables in matter of life and death is about an affect neutral response to something that carries great significance for people. The idea is, of course, intended to refer to occasions of life an death outside of contexts where actuary tables are relevant and expected. This much does rely on the reader's discernment.
    Anyway, since I hold that art is essentially about an aesthetic response, about affect, and affect is a qualitative distinction, then having the principle feature of the definition of art to be quantitative, and altogether excluding qualitative properties, is absurd.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Is Norbert Wiener's 1950 The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society relevant to your position - where art is just a part of patterns of information within the world ?RussellA

    Cybernetics is part of the enquiry, and is something I have only begun to research about a month ago.
    It seems about this time we lost the traditional definition of information - which is to inForm - literally change the shape of, including shape of mind. This definition of information is not present in any of the dictionaries or Wikipedia, which presses my paranoid buttons.

    Information and it's definition is an enormous topic. That it is something fundamental - equal to energy and matter, and challenges all understanding.
  • Constance
    523
    That particular theory uses Shannon information theory, but others, including myself, are looking toward a non quantifiable theory of information, where information is a fundamental non-quantifiable observable.Pop

    This is where you have to comes to terms with reality: The only non quantifiable theory of information there can be, is the art experience itself. You have, in my thoughts, arrived at the critical point: To the extent that a theory is non quantifiable, it is the very embodiment of the quality it is supposed represent. I wonder, what could this be? A poem? Or am I completely missing something?

    Qualities are demonstrable. Information that conveys, transmits, carries qualities, elicits aesthetic responses itself.

    Academia is coming around to the understanding that information is fundamental - is equal to energy and matterPop

    Energy and matter are just place holders for metaphysics, as I see it. Information presupposes these, just as it presupposes metaphysics.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Dissecting landscape art history with information theory 2020RussellA

    Thanks for the link, I wasn't aware of it. Shannon information theory can quantify information ( produce a number ), but it is not meaningful in any ordinary sense. I am looking for a theory of meaningful information, of which Pierce's theory of pragmatic information would be close, but also Integrated information theory as a definition of consciousness is good. I believe, there is opportunity to create a theory of information, since no single satisfyingly theory currently exists.

    This emergent understanding of information was critical to this definition of art. Wit could not find something singular that all art is, and in his time information was something one exchanged with the neighbors over the back fence. We now know definitively that all art is information - since information is fundamental. The only question that then remains for art is - information about what? And the obvious answer is consciousness. The term consciousness captures the mind activity that leads to the creation of art, and how the art is limited only by the consciousness that creates it - which when we look at art across cultures, and through the ages, seems so obvious. To me at least - :lol: - but it has the consequence of ruffling feathers, since we all know exactly what art is! - right?

    The artist interacts with the medium such that he inForms it. The medium in turn informs the viewer. the viewer in turn informs somebody or something else, etc. This is roughly the information flow, and the end result is a change in form of somebody or something - don't ask me more - still trying to work it out myself. :smile:
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Energy and matter are just place holders for metaphysics, as I see it. Information presupposes these, just as it presupposes metaphysics.Constance

    :up:
  • Pop
    1.5k
    This is where you have to comes to terms with reality: The only non quantifiable theory of information there can be, is the art experience itself. You have, in my thoughts, arrived at the critical point: To the extent that a theory is non quantifiable, it is the very embodiment of the quality it is supposed represent. I wonder, what could this be? A poem? Or am I completely missing something?Constance

    There is truth in this, but it is really the wrong thread for it. Note my definition does not define the form of art, experience, or consciousness - these are left open ended. It defines art in terms of what leads to it, and how this is what it expresses - namely integrated information.

    Regarding the broader implications of your statement: Stuart Kauffman: "In POE we argued that Shannon’s [2] classical definition of information as the measure of the decrease of uncertainty was not valid for a biotic system that propagates its organization. The core argument of POE was that Shannon information “does not apply to the evolution of the biosphere” because Darwinian preadaptations cannot be predicted and as a consequence “the ensemble of
    possibilities and their entropy cannot be calculated [1].” Therefore a definition of information as
    reducing uncertainty does not make sense since no matter how much one learns from the information
    in a biotic system the uncertainty remains infinite because the number of possibilities of what can
    evolve is infinitely non-denumerable. I remind the reader that in making his definition that Shannon
    specified that the number of possible messages was finite."

    Shannon information does not apply to biotic or natural systems, since they are endlessly variable and open ended. Biotic systems are more like evolving bodies of information, where consciousness is the latest state of integrated information, and this would always be experiential.
  • praxis
    4.1k
    This emergent understanding of information was critical to this definition of art. Wit could not find something singular that all art is, and in his time information was something one exchanged with the neighbors over the back fence. We now know definitively that all art is information - since information is fundamental. The only question that then remains for art is - information about what? And the obvious answer is consciousness. The term consciousness captures the mind activity that leads to the creation of art, and how the art is limited only by the consciousness that creates it - which when we look at art across cultures, and through the ages, seems so obvious. To me at least - :lol: - but it has the consequence of ruffling feathers, since we all know exactly what art is! - right?Pop

    No. For example, an artist pins a banana to a wall and says that it’s art. Many people agree that it’s art, but many others disagree that it’s art. How does your definition help in this situation?
  • RussellA
    199
    We now know definitively that all art is information - since information is fundamental. The only question that then remains for art is - information about what? And the obvious answer is consciousness.Pop

    (y) I can see that Integrated Information Theory and Peirce's Theory of Pragmatic Information would be relevant to the meaning of art, and should therefore be considered.

    I walk along a path and see a few blown pieces of coloured paper on the ground, making a shape that appeals to me. I pick them up, put them in a frame and hang it on my wall. One year later, happening to visit MoMA, I notice exactly the same image as on my wall, but titled Matisse CutOut. As the two artworks are identical, the artistic quality of the artwork must be independent of whatever created it. I don't care whether the artwork was created by a 20 year old or a 80 year old, was French or Peruvian, had a headache or was worried about paying the rent, in that whatever created the artwork is irrelevant in the recognition of the object as an artwork.

    It is true that i) to be conscious is to be conscious of something, ie, intentionality ii) consciousness creatively organises information iii) the observer of the artwork is conscious of receiving information from the artwork, shapes, colours, relationships, etc.

    @Pop - i) "art work is information about the artist's consciousness" ii) "art conveys.........the consciousness of the artist" iii) "art's function is to express our consciousness". Summarising, the artwork expresses the consciousness of the artist.

    But an actuary table is not art, and a Matisse CutOut is art. Therefore there must be a conscious act of determining what is art and what isn't. If whatever created the object is irrelevant in the recognition of the object as an artwork, and the object itself cannot determine that is an artwork, then the conscious act of determining the object as an artwork must be in the observer.

    But the observer only knows that the object is an artwork by recognizing it as an artwork, regardless of the intentions of whatever made the object.

    IE, looking at the object as an artwork is an expression of the ability of the observer to recognize an object as an artwork, rather than any expression of the observer's ability to look into the mind of whatever made it.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    But an actuary table is not art, and a Matisse CutOut is art. Therefore there must be a conscious act of determining what is art and what isn't. If whatever created the object is irrelevant in the recognition of the object as an artwork, and the object itself cannot determine that is an artwork, then the conscious act of determining the object as an artwork must be in the observer.

    But the observer only knows that the object is an artwork by recognizing it as an artwork, regardless of the intentions of whatever made the object.

    IE, looking at the object as an artwork is an expression of the ability of the observer to recognize an object as an artwork, rather than any expression of the observer's ability to look into the mind of whatever made it.
    RussellA


    An actuary table can be deemed to be art, since Duchamp's urinal, but not before, and this reflects how our collective consciousness has evolved. Before it is art, it has to be deemed to be art. The person deeming it to be art is the artist. If you find something on the ground and pick it up and put it on your wall as an art work, thus deeming it to be art, then you are the artist. Your mind set sets you apart from all those others who walked passed the object not noticing it or thinking it rubbish. So it is still the same situation - You made the choice that this is art, and the artwork in some sense represents your mindset - your consciousness.

    This would not have been possible in Jane Austin's England. If you hung a piece of rubbish on your wall - you would be carted off to the nut house. You could only hang ideal landscapes, or if you could afford it portraits. And Sir please refrain from hanging any radical romanticism - what on earth are you thinking of, do you wish to bring down the social order? :lol:

    My point is that consciousness evolves both collectively and individually and art reflects this. Consciousness has infinite potential, and although at any time we think we are well on top of it, we are always only scratching the surface. Currently there is potential for a major shift in paradigm through the realization that information is fundamental. This will eventually lead to panpsychic paradigm, not any time soon of course, but the smart cookies can see it coming, so are positioning themselves, imo. There is enormous potential for new art through this understanding, and, If this is somthing that interests you, then it is something I would encourage you to consider.
  • praxis
    4.1k
    This would not have been possible in Jane Austin's England. If you hung a piece of rubbish on your wall - you would be carted off to the nut house. You could only hang ideal landscapes, or if you could afford it portraits.



    My point is that consciousness evolves both collectively and individually and art reflects this.
    Pop

    It’s not news that culture and art develop. The issue highlighted in the example is that hanging a piece of rubbish on the wall could be seen as a reflection of the mind that put it there, or information about someone’s consciousness, at any point in history or in any culture. It may or may not be seen as art, therefore your definition doesn’t define art. Don’t you see?

    If you wanted to explain it to Georgian era gentry how the rubbish is art you would need to include the concept of aesthetic experience in order to reference and try to shift their aesthetic appreciation.
  • RussellA
    199
    Before it is art, it has to be deemed to be art.Pop

    Suppose a person is conscious of the information arriving through their senses from two objects in the world.

    For what reasons would that person deem one object to be art and the other object not art ?
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Before it is art, it has to be deemed to be art.
    — Pop

    Suppose a person is conscious of the information arriving through their senses from two objects in the world.

    For what reasons would that person deem one object to be art and the other object not art ?
    RussellA

    Ha, ha. This is something you would have to ask the person deeming one object art, and the other one not. But there would be reasons, or in other words something about their state of mind or thinking ( consciousness ) would result in such an action. Because consciousness is "integrated information", the choices people make are congruous with their general state of mind, so when they make the choice that something is art this is an aspect of their general mind activity, and in an ideal setting we should be able to infer a lot of their mind activity from the clues provided in what they choose as their art. This of course is an ideal situation I'm describing, that cannot be achieved completely, but this is exactly what happens in that Van Gogh clip provided earlier. Even to the extent that Van Gogh is judged to be one of the best people to have ever walked the earth.

    I should do some art criticism threads, to explore what can be inferred about the mind activity that made the work, from the work alone. Do you think something of the sort would be of interest?
  • RussellA
    199
    what can be inferred about the mind activity that made the work, from the work alonePop

    (y) Anything about art is interesting.

    (y) As regards, Integrated Information Theory, I tend to panprotopsychism as an explanation rather than panpsychism.

    There is a flow of information - but in what direction ?

    I agree that art, especially the aesthetic in art, is a fundamental expression of human consciousness, and art is information, but the question is, in what direction is this information flowing ?

    The answer is different for Modernism and Postmodernism

    In Modernism, which uses aesthetic form of pictographic representation, as soon as the artist has completed the artwork, the artwork takes on a meaning independent of the artist.

    In Postmodernism, which uses symbolic representation, the meaning of the artwork remains tied the artist.

    There is a difference between the "maker artist" and the "observer artist"

    You write (quote 1) "to explore what can be inferred about the mind activity that made the work" and (quote 2) "you would have to ask the person deeming one object art, and the other one not.....................in an ideal setting we should be able to infer a lot of their mind activity from the clues provided in what they choose as their art".

    Quote 1) is about the maker of the artwork as artist. Quote 2) is about the observer of the artwork as artist. Generally writings about art don't make the critical distinction between the person who made the artwork and the person who recognises an object is an artwork. My position is that there is no fundamental, philosophical, metaphysical difference between the "observer artist" and the "maker artist". The person who sees an object and recognises it as an artwork is as much an "artist" as the person who made the artwork. The only differences are practical, in that the "maker artist" has certain skills that the "observer artist" doesn't.

    This skill that has taken many years to learn separates the "maker artist" from the "observer artist". The person who appreciates the artistic quality of a Van Gogh has the same artistic appreciation as Van Gogh himself, the difference being that Van Gogh had a profound skill and technical ability in the making of an artwork, whether conscious or instinctual, that most people can never approach.

    IE, the difference between an admirer of a Van Gogh and Van Gogh himself is not of artistic sensibilities but of technical skill.

    Postmodernism

    In Postmodernism, information must flow from the artist that made the artwork to the observer of the artwork, and such information must flow separate to the artwork.

    For example, Carl Andre's Bricks, where the meaning of the brick as a symbol cannot be discovered in the symbol itself, but only in the mind of the maker of the artwork.

    Modernism

    You write "to explore what can be inferred about the mind activity that made the work". I would argue that it is impossible to discover from a Modernist artwork anything about the mind of the maker of the artwork for the following reasons:

    1) Some artworks have two or more makers, such as the collaborative work of Ruth Lozner and Kenzie Raulin. To which mind does the artwork have insight into ?
    2) Some artworks are ambiguous, such as Monet's St Lazare Station. Is Monet referring to progress in the 20th C or the interplay of light onto physical objects ?
    3) Some artworks have no artist makers, only observer artists, for example Warhol's Brillo Box
    4) The same artist may paint in completely different styles, such as Van Gogh's early and late period.
    5) Different artists may have painted in the same style, such as the Fauves. Vlaminck having a reputation as a loudmouth, troublemaker, and womanizer, whilst Matisse had a conservative appearance and strict bourgeois work habits.
    6) The same artist, such as Briton Riviere, may paint a scene of despair Fidelity or of joyful humour Geese
    7) Picasso painted Guernica at his home in Paris away from the bombings in Spain, whilst Monet painted Water lilies to the sounds of war.
    8) An atheist may paint a religious scene, as Francis Bacon's Crucifixion and the Pope, whilst a religious person may paint a secular scene, such as Caravaggio
    9) Interpretation of an artwork is open to debate. Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken is popularly generally taken as a poem about hope, success, and defying the odds, whereas it is in fact the opposite.
    10) A contemporary performance of a Mozart piano sonata uses a different type of piano to that used by Mozart, meaning that the modern concert goer is hearing a different sound to that intended by the composer, meaning that a modern performance cannot be expressing what was in the composer's mind.

    IE, there is a practical impossibility for the observer to discover links from the artwork into the mind of the artist.

    Summary - information cannot flow from the maker of the artwork to the observer via the artwork.

    The direction of flow of information is a crucial consideration in art.

    In Modernism, which uses aesthetic form of pictographic representation, as soon as the artist has completed the artwork, the artwork takes on a meaning independent of the artist. Information flows between the maker of the artwork and the artwork, between the artwork and the observer of the artwork, but cannot flow from the maker of the artwork to the observer via the artwork.

    In Postmodernism, which uses symbolic representation, the meaning of the artwork remains tied to the artist. Information flows between the maker of the artwork and the artwork, and from the maker of the artwork to the observer of the artwork by-passing the artwork entirely, but cannot flow from the maker of the artwork to the observer via the artwork.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    There is a flow of information - but in what direction ?RussellA

    This is not the ideal thread for this, but since you asked, the nature of information is something I am still trying to understand. However thus far I understand it to be something that is accumulative and irreversible - It's direction of momentum can be altered but not be reversed, thus everything evolves as an accumulative informational body.

    Just roughly, the artist is informed by experience, and in interacting with the art work inForms it, likewise the medium informs the artist - that there is a limit to their ability and skill :smile: Something is created , and then this something is interpreted by the viewer. Suppose this something is an archeological artefact, a figurine, quite a lot can be inferred about the thinking of the person that made it, depending on what is depicted and how and from what materials, within the historical context that it was made in. If this figurine is not information about the mind activity that created it - what then is it information about? We know it is information, since everything is fundamentally information.

    This same situation applies to all art ever made, and all things ever made. However as you point out, context makes a difference, but once we account for this, the art is still information about the artist's consciousness, just in a different context, no?

    Information flows between the maker of the artwork and the artwork, and from the maker of the artwork to the observer of the artwork by-passing the artwork entirely, but cannot flow from the maker of the artwork to the observer via the artwork.RussellA

    No, this does not make sense in my mind. The information flows much the same as this message. I inform the message, and then you interpret the message. In the process you receive a sense of how my mind works, and visa versa.

    1) Some artworks have two or more makers, such as the collaborative work of Ruth Lozner and Kenzie Raulin. To which mind does the artwork have insight into ?RussellA

    In reality, mostly to the dominant one. But for political correctness lets say their combined thinking.
    All of your point form arguments relate to the difficulty of discerning the mind activity of the artist from the art work alone - yes it is very difficult, and often requires some historical knowledge of the artist and the context that the work is created in, but this does not negate the definition. The artist, or a non artist person, can express nothing other than their consciousness. Consciousness is used as a blanket term for mind activity, but if we look into it more deeply, consciousness is an evolving process of "self organization" of an individual. In science "self organization" led to life. In Systems theory, the universe is bottom up "self organizing". So art expresses the same "self organization" that ordered form in the universe expresses - that life expresses, this is a big deal, imo, and this is not going to change anytime soon. :smile:
  • RussellA
    199
    So art expresses the same "self organization" that ordered form in the universe expressesPop

    The figurine is an object that can be described as art, was made by a consciousness, where consciousness is a result of some kind of self-organisation, can be described as information and expresses something to the observer.

    When someone observes information, the information can only express something to the observer if the observer can make sense of the information, can see patterns in the information, in that the information is not chaotic. IE, information by itself cannot express anything to the observer until the observer is able to see patterns in the information.

    The patterns the observer is able to see is a function of the observer's mind, the observer's consciousness, and is not a function of whatever caused the figurine to come into existence.

    IE, seeing art in the figurine is an expression of the observer's consciousness rather than any history prior to the creation of the figurine.

    (y) This doesn't affect the idea that art is information about the conscious self-organising mind, it just moves the mind from the maker of the object to the observer of the object.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    When someone observes information, the information can only express something to the observer if the observer can make sense of the information, can see patterns in the information, in that the information is not chaotic. IE, information by itself cannot express anything to the observer until the observer is able to see patterns in the information.

    The patterns the observer is able to see is a function of the observer's mind, the observer's consciousness, and is not a function of whatever caused the figurine to come into existence.

    IE, seeing art in the figurine is an expression of the observer's consciousness rather than any history prior to the creation of the figurine.
    RussellA

    Oh, I see now. You are highlighting that the observer interprets the artwork entirely in terms of their own consciousness, and If they had no prior knowledge of art history, they would hardly be in a position to interpret anything. Similarly, If this sentence was written in Swahili, you would not be in a position to understand it. Yes, I agree entirely with this.

    In my understanding, information has a chronological progression. It is causal, and I was trying to illustrate this. How the artist informs the work, and the work informs the viewer, and so on. But certainly if the viewer can not understand anything of the work then they are likely to dismiss it as something irrelevant to their understanding, and purpose. :up: ** Likewise what they understand, they understand in terms of established knowledge, or understanding.
  • RussellA
    199
    You are highlighting that the observer interprets the artwork entirely in terms of their own consciousnessPop

    (y) Yes, "art work is information about............consciousness".

    But the only consciousness I have ever known is my own. I assume there are other consciousnesses out there in the world, but I may be wrong, I will never know. Even if there are consciousnesses out there other than my own, I will never have any consciousness of a consciousness that is not my own.

    IE, as art is information about consciousness, and the only consciousness that I know exists is my own, art can only be information about my own consciousness.

    information has a chronological progression. It is causal,Pop

    (y) Yes, information flow is chronological.

    As regards Postmodernism, there is no information within a brick that gives the viewer information about the state of mind of Carl Andre. As regards Modernism, there is no information within a painting of a sombre scene whether the artist was in a sombre or happy mood when they painted it.
  • praxis
    4.1k
    For what reasons would that person deem one object to be art and the other object not art ?
    — RussellA

    Ha, ha. This is something you would have to ask the person deeming one object art, and the other one not. But there would be reasons, or in other words something about their state of mind or thinking ( consciousness ) would result in such an action. Because consciousness is "integrated information", the choices people make are congruous with their general state of mind, so when they make the choice that something is art this is an aspect of their general mind activity, and in an ideal setting we should be able to infer a lot of their mind activity from the clues provided in what they choose as their art.
    Pop

    A few basic reasons are that either the object wasn’t framed as art, or that the observer didn’t recognize it as art, or that the observer recognizes that it’s framed as art but, evaluated by their own criteria, judges it to not be art.

    Significant to your claims, the recognition or evaluation of art has nothing to do with your definition of art that “Art is an expression of human consciousness. Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness.” In order to define something you need to specify it’s unique attributes. Your definition only identifies information and human consciousness, nothing specific to art. It is not a definition of art and has no explanatory power in regards to art.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    IE, as art is information about consciousness, and the only consciousness that I know exists is my own, art can only be information about my own consciousness.RussellA

    I'm glad we agree that art is information about the artist's consciousness. And when we view art, we do so in terms of our own consciousness. And so when we view an artwork it is an interaction of one consciousness and another, and when these two click, it is one of the best experiences life has to offer.
    When they do not click however, then it is another story altogether.

    This is what I hoped the definition would highlight, not that one consciousness is better than another, but that a similar consciousness will agree on the form of an artwork, whilst a dissimilar will disagree.

    Yes, as your own consciousness grows, as you learn more about any particular artist, or movement, your ability to appreciate them improves. Your ability to asses whether they achieve their aims, and whether their aims have merit, improves.

    Most of the time the artist and the viewer draw their information ( which when integrated makes up their consciousness ) from the same collective consciousness ( culture ) so they will understand each other to some extent. But when knowledge of any particular area evolves beyond normal understanding, then a discord occurs. This occurs in all areas, not just art. At some stage the specialist's understanding becomes incomprehensible to normal understanding. Andre would seem to be such a specialist - in an extremely obscure and abstract area of sculpture. Clearly these forms mean something to him, but I don't know anything about him or his thinking so would not like to say more.

    Many artist's reach a stage of development where they can no longer be understood by the norm, so they give up totally on that aim. They would still be understood by a handful of people with similar interest and understanding, so they speak to them. To me, this is nothing but a story of how different their consciousness is to the norm. How different is the information that they present compared to the norm. How they don't care about this, or how they do this on purpose in order to differentiate themselves from the norm. And this speaks of little other than how they understand themselves and the world that they live in, and how this is a part of their personality and larger purpose in life.

    The information is not so much in the brick, but in the fact that a person who has total freedom to do as they like, chooses to put a brick on a pedestal. This speaks heaps, imo.

    David Shrigley, Nobody 2007
    https://cdn.artimage.org.uk/production/19/8/19800-842.jpg
  • Tom Storm
    2.2k
    “Art is an expression of human consciousness. Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness.” In order to define something you need to specify it’s unique attributes. Your definition only identifies information and human consciousness, nothing specific to art. It is not a definition of art and has no explanatory power in regards to art.praxis

    That's for sure, several pages of no particular insight into what art is, as opposed to, say, the act of nose picking - which may also hold information about a person's consciousness.
  • praxis
    4.1k


    Completely in character, @Pop completely ignores the fact.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Completely in character, Pop completely ignores the fact.praxis

    :roll: For the tenth time, and it is the first paragraph of the definition.

    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.
    Pop
  • RussellA
    199
    The information is not so much in the brick, but in the fact that a person who has total freedom to do as they like, chooses to put a brick on a pedestal.Pop

    Perhaps this remains the sticking point, in that I tend to Modernism whilst you may be leaning towards Postmodernism. Both valid as definitions of art, but different.

    Within Postmodernism, an artist has total freedom to create whatever object, concept, performance they want for it to be called art.

    Whereas in Modernism, regardless of the definition of art, some objects have artistic value and some don't, where someone who makes an object with artistic value is an artist and someone who makes an object lacking artistic value isn't an artist.

    IE, personally, I don't agree with the Postmodernist definition of art, because the words art and artist lose all meaning, as everything can be art and everyone can be an artist.
  • Tom Storm
    2.2k
    Are you going by an account of aesthetics rooted in modernist theory, or are you just using the terms as you see them apply?
  • RussellA
    199
    Are you going by an account of aesthetics rooted in modernist theory, or are you just using the terms as you see them apply?Tom Storm

    I am distinguishing between modernism and Modernism, whilst defining modernism as art that includes aesthetic quality.

    Some reference material includes aesthetics as part of the definition of Modern Art and some don't. Generally they don't. For example, the Tate UK description of Modernism doesn't mention the aesthetic. The V&A article on "What was Modernism" mentions beauty. The Wikipedia article on Modernism has a small reference to aesthetics.

    And yet there is The British Journal of Aesthetics which promotes debate in philosophical aesthetics and the philosophy of art.

    However, it seems to me that the aesthetic is the primary dividing line within art as discussed today.

    Even though not central to contemporary articles on Modern Art, I would argue that every important artwork pre-1960 had aesthetic quality, from the Lascaux cave paintings, through Egyptian, Greek and Roman art, from medieval religious art to Impressionism.

    Whereas, I would also argue that no important Postmodern art since the 1960's has had aesthetic quality, partly due to Postmodernism's deliberate exclusion of any aesthetic.

    IE, within modernism are many different approaches, as with postmodernism, but for me the primary dividing line within art is the presence or absence of the aesthetic.
  • Varde
    34
    Art is a species bound occurrence.

    Like martial arts, special arts exist.

    I suppose having human hands and human minds restricts our art.
bold
italic
underline
strike
code
quote
ulist
image
url
mention
reveal
youtube
tweet
Add a Comment

Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.