• Pop
    1.5k
    It is a definition of art. When defining something you don't get a choice as to how it exists! :lol:

    It is irreducibly defined. It may not be what you would like to hear. No doubt you would prefer to hear the typical irrelevant and subjective drivel, but such is the nature of the beast. The definition can not be reduced any further, and any expansion of it is not a constant characteristic of art. What is left, is what always exists.

    So you are left with the bare bones, so that you can know precisely what art provides – every time you interact with an art work. It brings to the fore the pertinent aspect of what art is. Which, of course, is an expression of consciousness. Of course the question is - “what is consciousness” ?

    Clearly a very dim and murky concept for some.

    As I said, your notion of what art is - information on the mind of artists - is old news in the art world.TheMadFool

    There must be hundreds of definitions of art that I have read, but none are like this one, and when people speak of art, it is often a shambles because they understand it differently.
  • Ambrosia
    68

    You are saying nothing new,and you original OP is overblown,flowery,dogmatic and verbose.

    As a very broad loose brush the core of what you say is good.
    You neglect the subconscious awareness and the primary fact that art is an expression of the artists desire,his politics,his vision,his intentions,his dreams,and most times his opium to cope with life.

    You also seem oblivious to the fact that art can also be dishonest propoganda,and that mainstream art is in the main bourgeois hegemony.

    Most art is opium. A coping mechanism for life,ditto metaphysics and theories.
    High art is instructive and didactic.
    Real art is extremely rare.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    And which of these eludes my definition ?
  • Ambrosia
    68

    Your definition has no nuance and little precision.

    It's like saying "all people eat food" ,what does my definition elude?

    Your not the first in anyway to have this view,and worst your view is pedestrian,egotistical and preachy.

    Try nuancing and applying your view with practical critiques of specific art pieces.

    And to address the points and objections I made would be nice.
  • TheMadFool
    13.9k
    It is a definition of art. When defining something you don't get a choice as to how it exists! :lol:Pop

    Yet, someone can present anything under the sun as art. What's the difference between letting anyone determine what art is and you defining art as anything you want?

    It is irreducibly defined. It may not be what you would like to hear. No doubt you would prefer to hear the typical irrelevant and subjective drivel, but such is the nature of the beast. The definition can not be reduced any further, and any expansion of it is not a constant characteristic of art. What is left, is what always exists.Pop

    I like your definition because it's, as a philosopher might say, broad - it must necessarily be so since it must cover all the bases and art is notorious for its complex diversity.

    However, in your attempt to ensure all art falls within your definition, you've sacrificed on detail, an important element in a definition. By your reasoning, everything humans do is art, all that we do being information on our consciousness. Are you willing to accept that letter written by an ordibary person is art and it is as artistic as an epistle penned by a great writer cum calligraphist? After all both are information on the artist's consciousness.

    Of course the question is - “what is consciousness” ?Pop

    Well, you have it as part of your definition of art. So, back to you, what is consciousness?

    There must be hundreds of definitions of art that I have read, but none are like this one, and when people speak of art, it is often a shambles because they understand it differently.Pop

    It, art as expression of consciousness, doesn't appear in the definition because experts deem it trivial and not because they didn't know.

    As I said, you making consciousness the cornerstone of art is novel.
  • RussellA
    660
    “Art is an expression of human consciousness. Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness.”Pop

    There are many different definitions of "Art", of which the above is more relevant to the Post-Modernism that arose in the 1960's.

    This definition doesn't relate to Modernism and Pre-Modernism

    For example, "Art is an expression of human consciousness" is not referring to Kirchner's Expressionism, where the artist expressed their inner feelings, not their consciousness.

    "I am however, saying that being beautiful or ugly are optional elements of art" is clearly not referring to the Modernism of Monet's Impressionism, which is about the aesthetic arrangement of representative forms.

    "Art work is information about the artist’s consciousness” surely does not apply when looking at the Mona Lisa , which seems more about Lisa Gheradini's self-conscious reflections within the Lombardy countryside than any reference to the artist.

    "Art is information about the artist's evolving process of self organization" certainly does not apply to a landscape by Thomas Cole, where no information is given about the process of the artist. It the landscape itself rather than the artist that is the subject of self-organization.

    This definition relates more to Post-Modernism

    If Art is about consciousness, then any conscious act can be art, such as the Post-Modernist Andy Warhol's Oxidation Series 1977, where he invited friends to urinate onto a canvas of metallic copper pigments, so that the uric acid would oxidize into abstract patterns.

    If Art is about consciousness regardless of quality, then this would fulfil the Conceptual Art of Tracey Emin, where the concept or idea involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic, technical, and material concerns.

    If Art was about expressing the consciousness of the artist, this would include Cut Piece 1964 by Yoko One, a performance in which people were invited to cut away portions of her clothing.

    If Art was about expressing the consciousness of the artist through the ideas and concepts of language, this would include the Language-based art of Joseph Kosuth, such as his 1997 work Titled Quotation (for L.C.) consisting solely of the text "SORRY, NO IMAGE AVAILABLE"


    IE, the above definition relates more to that of the Post-Modernism that arose in the 1960's, where the artist has become more important than the artwork, rather than any definition of art that preceded it.
  • T Clark
    10.7k
    Art is simply what people put on display and call art.Tom Storm

    In an earlier discussion of art a couple of years ago, we were thrashing around with what it meant. None of the responses really worked for me till Praxis wrote this:

    If art is anything an artist presents as art then anything can be art, and by extension, anyone can be an artist. This is true, in my opinion, but all it really means is that presenting something as art is essentially offering an invitation to view something aesthetically. We may or may not have the ability or choice to do so. In any case, claiming that something presented as art is not art is a refusal to view it aesthetically and does not mean that it's not art.praxis

    I found that really helpful and I think it matches your view and expands it a bit.

    I find this a really interesting subject and I've thought about it a lot. Once, while visiting a contemporary art museum with a visual artist friend, we got in a discussion with one of the museum guides about what art means. I took the position that art doesn't mean anything. My friend and the guide didn't buy that, but I've thought about it more since then and I think it works. Here's my formulation - art is something manmade which doesn't mean anything beyond the experience it gives you. Here's the example I generally give. It's about music, but I think the same thing applies to other arts. It's from "October Light" a book by John Gardner. It's long, so I've got it hidden.

    Reveal
    Then it had come to him as a startling revelation-though he couldn't explain even to his horn teacher Andre Speyer why it was that he found the discovery startling-that the music meant nothing at all but what it was: panting, puffing, comically hurrying French horns. That had been, ever since- until tonight- what he saw when he closed his eyes and listened: horns, sometimes horn players, but mainly horn sounds, the very nature of horn sounds, puffing, hurrying, . getting in each other's way yet in wonderful agreement finally, as if by accident. Sometimes, listening, he would smile, and his father would say quizzically, "What's with you?" It was the same when he listened to the other movements: What he saw was French horns,. that is, the music. The moods changed, things happened, but only to French horns, French horn sounds.

    There was a four -note theme in the second movement that sounded like ..Oh When the Saints," a theme that shifted from key to key, sung with great confidence by a solo horn, answered by a kind of scornful gibberish from the second, third, and fourth, as if the first horn's opinion was ridiculous and they knew what they knew. Or the slow movement: As if they'd finally stopped and thought it out, the horns played together, a three-note broken chord several times repeated, and then the first horn taking off as if at the suggestion of the broken chord and flying like a gull-except not like a gull, nothing like that, flying like only a solo French horn. Now the flying solo became the others' suggestion and the chord began to undulate, and all four horns together were saying something, almost words, first a mournful sound like Maybe and then later a desperate oh yes I think so, except to give it words was to change it utterly: it was exactly what it was, as clear as day-or a moonlit lake where strange creatures lurk- and nothing could describe it but itself. It wasn't sad,. the slow movement; only troubled, hesitant, exactly as he often felt himself. Then came- and he would sometimes laugh aloud- the final, fast movement.

    Though the slow movement's question had never quite been answered, all the threat was still there, the fast movement started with absurd self-confidence, with some huffings and puffings, and then the first horn set off wit h delightful bravado, like a fat man on skates who hadn't skated in years (but not like a fat man on skates, like nothing but itself), Woo-woo-woo-woops! and the spectator horns laughed tiggledy-tiggledy­ tiggledy!, or that was vaguely the idea- every slightly wrong chord, every swoop, every hand-stop changed everything completely ... It was impossible to say what , precisely, he meant.


    I don't think this contradicts Praxis' view. I like them both.
  • Thunderballs
    204
    Art and artificial are closeky related. An artificial material is one made by people. If future generations (or aliens) find plastic in the soils of the Earth, not knowing much about history, they will be able to infer it's artificialkity. But is plastic art? Is art imitating? What it imitates? 'Life", so the western spectator exclaims in an uncanny certainty. Now what is meant by that? Test-tube life? Ni, of course not. The exoression of our most intimate feelings? How then? By painting, by sculpting, by collage? No. By singing. Is singing art? Opera? Maybe. Two simple tines, their following uo, can akready cause a tear in me to well (theme frim "Interstellar", that so-called Kip-and-science-based based movie with one fatal flaw). Is that art? Is it a movie that is art? Depends on the movie. Tarkovski is nice. Two men filmed while shitting and eating each other's shit? Art? Can be. Art can be an expression of a worldview. That means science is art and physics the uktimate art. But so are the dit-pantings in down-under ("way down under Australia, very different from overhere, getting rid of Abo's one by one, buy cheap land for uranium, iit reminds me of Sweden, got the same sort of freeze on, all the animals look so strange, all victims of a testing range...").
  • Pop
    1.5k
    And to address the points and objections I made would be nice.Ambrosia

    I have addressed the relevant points. It may surprise you, but I am not interested in your opinion of what a definition of art should be. Nor am I interested in your opinion of how well I write. I am only interested in whether the definition prevails, and I’m glad you have acknowledged that it does.

    It's like saying "all people eat food" ,what does my definition elude?Ambrosia

    Aha, but it is not a definition of food is it? It is a definition of art, and it is absolutely nailed – definitive! It defines the boundary of art – all art, for all of time. And due to how we feel a sense of ownership about art, this presses peoples buttons. I do expand upon this in the definition body. This is a deliberate provocation on my part.

    Your not the first in anyway to have this view,and worst your view is pedestrian,egotistical and preachy.Ambrosia

    It is a scientific, irreducible, and falsifiable definition of art ( Popper ) And at the same time it is a work of conceptual art in the vein of Duchamp’s urinal. Had you bothered to read some of the previous posts you would be aware of this. And you would be aware of my attitude to post modernism, and why I do this.

    You are saying nothing new,and you original OP is overblown,flowery,dogmatic and verbose.Ambrosia

    Are you saying you have seen falsifiable definitions of art before? Show me?

    You also seem oblivious to the fact that art can also be dishonest propoganda,and that mainstream art is in the main bourgeois hegemony.Ambrosia

    Without a definition of art. We can not be certain we are talking about the same thing in a conversation about art. Even with a definition this is a difficulty. The definition is not groundbreaking art news, as I have stated several times previously. However if we had a definition of art, then our understanding of art would self organize around the definition. The definition of art would become the powerful player in the question of what is art, and what is good art, rather than the people who currently are.

    A definition of art, and I’m not saying my definition is necessarily it, has the potential to shift the power balance in the art world, back into the hands of the intellectuals and the artists. This is my primary goal. It is a long shot indeed! but what is there to loose? it is worth a try, imo.

    The definition is useful in these potential ways rather then as something providing clarity about art, or the art world today - whose clarity, and integrity, at present, as you may know, was recently well represented by a banana nailed to the wall.
  • Thunderballs
    204
    It is a definition of art, and it is absolutely nailed – definitive!Pop

    So you think. But the thoughts you see are not universal. You say they are. I say they're not.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Yet, someone can present anything under the sun as art. What's the difference between letting anyone determine what art is and you defining art as anything you want?TheMadFool

    Please read my reply to Ambrosia above.

    Are you willing to accept that letter written by an ordibary person is art and it is as artistic as an epistle penned by a great writer cum calligraphist? After all both are information on the artist's consciousness.TheMadFool

    The definition itself is intended as a work of art. The fact is : "art is an ungrounded variable mental construct" - Pop. Anything can be art - absolutely. But great art, whatever that may be, depends upon a great mind, whatever that may be.

    Well, you have it as part of your definition of art. So, back to you, what is consciousness?TheMadFool

    I am working on it. Thus far consciousness is self organization, but what is the source of self organization? Whatever that is is what is being expressed as art. And I doubt very much anybody has made this connection before. Whilst art representing mind, is not new, what is mind is as murky in art circles as it is anywhere.

    It, art as expression of consciousness, doesn't appear in the definition because experts deem it trivial and not because they didn't know.TheMadFool

    No, most definitions of art are rather shallow and trivial, and similar. I have read many of them. This one is different. This one defines art scientifically within a work of art. Nothing like it has been seen before.
  • Thunderballs
    204
    But great art, whatever that may be, depends upon a great mind, whatever that may be.Pop

    "Whatever that means". Indeed. What does it mean?

    No, most definitions of art are rather shallow and trivial, and similar. I have read many of them. This one is different. This one defines art scientifically within a work of art. Nothing like it has been seen before.Pop

    What's different? It doesn't address a single form if art. So not all forms (n)either.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    IE, the above definition relates more to that of the Post-Modernism that arose in the 1960's, where the artist has become more important than the artwork, rather than any definition of art that preceded it.RussellA

    In arriving at the definition, I looked for the things present in art always - for all time. This , of course is mind activity - art reflects mind activity. This allows art to be defined in terms of mind activity. It is the only constant about art. So the only way possible to define it. So, by defining art in terms of mind activity I was able to capture all art for all of time, as how can art not reflect the mind activity of the artist?

    That art reflects mind activity, is an idea about 100 years old in art. But no definition of art, that I am aware of, exists to express this. Not in this way.

    This definition doesn't relate to Modernism and Pre-ModernismRussellA

    It relates to all art ever. It is a scientific definition. It focuses on what is always present in art, stripped to the bare bones. Please read my posts above for more detail why.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    "Whatever that means". Indeed. What doescit mean?Thunderballs

    This is where the definition comes into its own. it tells us that the artist - audience relationship is a relationship of consciousness in relation to consciousness. Where what is great about any art is that another consciousness can relate to it, rather then any particular physical quality that the art can posses.
  • Thunderballs
    204
    audience relationship is a relationship of consciousness in relation to consciousness.Pop

    Ýou mean people showing art to other people?
  • Pop
    1.5k
    So you think. But the thoughts you see are not universal. You say they are. I say they're not.Thunderballs

    My thoughts are not universal, but the underlying process giving rise to them is - self organization.

    We are the same, just different in formation. Remember??
  • Wheatley
    2.3k
    I don't think Art (with a capital 'A') can be boiled down to a definition.

    Here's Britannica's page on art. Link
  • Thunderballs
    204
    We are the same, just different in formation.Pop

    But this doesn't address the different forms. It just says there are different forms. But that's a worldview too. It's universal for you. I believe in forms too. You would say it's no believe. But it is. That's universal. That people have different believes You would call them forms but that doesn't say anything about them, not about their shape, not about their relation to other forms (not their physical or neuronal-physical interaction), nor about their nature (sound, looks, is it face-like), nor their relation to Nature or God.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    I don't think Art (with a capital 'A') can be boiled down to a definition.Wheatley

    Art work is information about the artist's consciousness.

    This is a definition of art that is falsifiable by providing an art work that it does not contain?
  • Thunderballs
    204
    My thoughts are not universal, but the underlying process giving rise to them is - self organization.Pop

    But self organisation cannot stand on it's own. It needs to be immersed in the right habitat. So the habitat is even more universal. However that may be though, it diesn't say anything about art. Maybe expressing this view is a form of art (like you di in your paintings).
  • Pop
    1.5k
    But this doesn't address the different forms. It just says there are different formsThunderballs

    The forms are endlessly variable and open ended, and so can not be defined. Art can not be defined in terms of it's forms, which is the mistake most people make, including Wit, when trying to define art. So they think art can not be defined.
  • Thunderballs
    204
    The forms are endlessly variable and open ended, and so can not be definedPop

    Most forms can be expressed in art.
  • Pop
    1.5k
    But self organisation cannot stand on it's own. It needs to be immersed in the right habitat. So the habitat is even more universalThunderballs

    Self organization gives rise to order in the universe.

    Who self organized first - God or us? :chin:
  • Thunderballs
    204
    Self organization gives rise to order in the universe.

    Who self organized first - God or us? :chin:
    Pop

    Yes, that's true. I need a bit more self-organisation myself... :smile:

    Most structures in the universe are the result of an organization but not all are self-irganized. If I make a painting it doesn't self-organize. Nor do my photographs....
  • Thunderballs
    204
    Who self organized first - God or us? :chin:Pop

    God
  • Wheatley
    2.3k
    a definition of art that is falsifiablePop
    Who's going to gather all the data??
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Who's going to gather all the data??Wheatley

    Not sure what you mean. My point is that art must reflect mind activity - that is the constant in art - the only constant - everything else is variable and open ended, just like consciousness! How about that?

    Most structures in the universe are the result of an organization but not all are self-irganized. If I make a painting it doesn't self-organize. Nor do my photographs...Thunderballs

    These are expressions of your self organization, but you are a function of universal self organization. :smile:

    ** So ontologically what are your paintings an expression of?
  • Wheatley
    2.3k
    My point is that art must reflect mind activity - that is the constant in art - the only constant - everything else is variable and open ended, just like consciousness!Pop
    Yeah, im not following you... :confused:
  • Pop
    1.5k
    Yeah, im not following you. :confused:Wheatley

    You can not avoid expressing your consciousness in any activity that you partake in, so how can you avoid it when making art? You can not. So, what art expresses, is the artists consciousness.

    I have defined consciousness as "an evolving process of self organization".
    So, what art expresses is the artist's evolving process of self organization.

    This would seem to agree with observation, and it validates the logical coherence of the definition.
  • Wheatley
    2.3k
    Good luck! :sparkle:
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