• Cavacava
    2.4k
    Art is everywhere, even if it is not called art. The new 2018 summer clothing styles are a type of art. This is art you wear. Good art induces an emotional reaction. New clothes induce positive feelings. Designer clothes give the best buzz. The former is individual and the latter is collective.

    Clothing styles are ornamental, they are not fine art. The aesthetic effect of fine art arises from its being and not from any purpose or instrumentality or any other interest that cause "the best buzz".
  • Tomseltje
    151
    I think this is only possible if force of these works reaches certain objective truths about the world thatCavacava

    I don't think art is mainly about objective truths, I think it's more about transcendent subjective truths.
  • Tomseltje
    151
    So the butcher, the baker, the cobbler, the culter, the chef...don't have an aesthetic?Cavacava

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


    Here is the full quote from the OP

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

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

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


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

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

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

    Ar you entertained by your thoughts and feelings? If not, why not?
  • trixie
    3

    Art originally started as bored bourgeoisie who had nothing better to do all day than sit and stare. Filled with feminine energies they took their ideas to canvas, to express their feminine souls. Over time this became old hat, painting lost it's charm and novelty, and people were no longer amazed by the works. So it turned into a cash-grab contest to convince as many suckers as possible that their art was amazing, revolutionary, and profound. Cash in on other's narcissism, make them feel like they are special, unique, that only they are capable of such grandiose levels of pretentiousness, that is so elite they cannot put into words, only they can understand the divine, ethereal beauty of a Campbell's can of soup. and History will write you as one of the profound eccentrics, one of the greats.
  • rachMiel
    48
    I really like the notion that an artist is a collective-level dreamer who shares his/her dreams with the collective: world, culture, society, tribe, etc.
  • João Pedro
    3


    If a great work of art is a constant source of new, deeper meanings, aren't the love songs about how the singer loved a woman/man good art?

    The phenomena of discovering deeper meanings begins in the subject that's experiencing art. If one hasn't the interest to interpret a work of art, nothing new will come. And if the subject is willing to find new relations and interpretations in a work of art, he/she can decompose the chorus of "Gucci Gang" and have something frutiferous.

    For me, if the aesthetics study's goal is to find objective hints of the existence of a property called "beauty", I'd take as principle remainder the fact that each person reacts to something differently.
    It's then clear that aesthetical experience consists of a piece of work and a subject (a piece of work isn't art itself), and that is related to the subject's reaction.

    And, if each subject reacts to a work of art differently, the good art explores this concept (this is why Duchamp's "Fountain" is so powerful; it produced the most different reactions. And this is why the silly love songs of the 80's are also so powerful; and they were played, everyone was sure what to do: to dance together with a partner). It is important to remember that my interpretation of good art is directly connected to the social context in which the piece of art is being experienced. And this is another attribute which good art explores: good art can cause the most different reactions or the most certain reaction for a longer period of time.

    Maybe this is just another way of saying what you tried to say, but I'm using words less related to the piece and more related to the subject.

    Cheers

    (Very well formalized thesis, by the way)
  • gurugeorge
    517
    I think that a great work of art is basically a microcosm, a miniature universe, with its own internal logic, and its goal or function is, as Schopenhauer suggested, to induce an arrest in normal, everyday consciousness. It's basically the secular version of a kind of religious or mystical experience. Art galleries are the humanist temples secular people go to in order to get a religious jag without religion.

    An important side-effect is the cleansing of the doors of perception (you look at things afresh when "coming up for air" after being absorbed in a great work).

    I would say also that art shouldn't be too much divorced from craft, and that some 20th century art took a bit of a wrong turn when it tried to do that. Over-intellectualized art is another blind alley, as is pure conceptualism.

    Also, while art is in part a dialogue between artists down the generations, if it gets too introverted and self-referential and you need a secret decoder ring to "get" it, then again, it's drifted too far from the main point.

    The question of whether you need a "guidebook" and knowledge of context (personal and social) is variable - whether it'll be worthwhile making the effort to know the context around the art depends on the quality of the artist, whether you're rewarded by making that effort or not.
  • praxis
    880
    Art galleries are the humanist temples secular people go to in order to get a religious jag without religion.gurugeorge

    So what happens to a religious in-humanist when they visit a gallery?
  • Lucid
    16
    "The goal of art is not to create paraphraseable imagery, but to create something to which no paraphrase ever does justice."

    In my opinion, that sums it up rather well. What makes art, art, in my view, is the fact that it expresses something which otherwise would have been related to, or even outside of, personal experience. In other words, it defines the ineffable and ephemeral, encapsulates them such that it cannot be paraphrased, or broken down further. And allows this to be shared.

    Kinda like, how music is so inextricably tied to emotion, and how many people have songs that define them, or at least particular emotions they experience. Hence the fact that we have theme songs for characters, mood songs... How people have happy songs, sad songs... Etc.

    As to whether or not such is the Goal of art, or the result of it... Is the Goal of a hammer to pound in a nail? Or is that merely the result? I don't think there's a right or wrong answer here, as it primarily depends upon our experience, which is subject to change and variation. Though if you ask Hegel... :P
  • gurugeorge
    517
    So what happens to a religious in-humanist when they visit a gallery?praxis

    Their head explodes.
  • praxis
    880
    So what happens to a religious in-humanist when they visit a gallery?
    — praxis

    Their head explodes.
    gurugeorge

    Rather, in accordance with your claim that art provides an "religious jag," whatever art is congruent with their religious views would have the greatest potential to "induce an arrest in normal everyday consciousness" (what you claim is the goal or function of art) and whatever art was incongruent with their system of beliefs and meaning would likely fail to induce such an arrest in normal consciousness. Right?

    You're tangling this idea you have about the goal of art being an arrest in normal consciousness with a system of meaning (religion) and it doesn't make sense. Can you explain?
  • gurugeorge
    517
    Rather, in accordance with your claim that art provides an "religious jag," whatever art is congruent with their religious views would have the greatest potential to "induce an arrest in normal everyday consciousness" (what you claim is the goal or function of art) and whatever art was incongruent with their system of beliefs and meaning would likely fail to induce such an arrest in normal consciousness. Right?praxis

    I don't think it's that cut and dried. After all, secular humanists can enjoy the older, religious works of art, and religious people can enjoy some modernist art too. In that way, the function of art as providing an arrest in normal everyday consciousness transcends questions of meaning in that social sense (re. roles, etc.)

    But to be really clear, then perhaps i should stick to "mystical" instead of religious (taking "mysticism" in the sense of certain types of experiences that are common across most human beings, because of neurological similarities - deep or transcendent feelings of awe, wonder, ego-loss, etc.). I do believe that mysticism is more at the root of religion than the kind of "social glue" factors that rationalists usually canvass, though they are important too.
  • praxis
    880
    Rather, in accordance with your claim that art provides an "religious jag," whatever art is congruent with their religious views would have the greatest potential to "induce an arrest in normal everyday consciousness" (what you claim is the goal or function of art) and whatever art was incongruent with their system of beliefs and meaning would likely fail to induce such an arrest in normal consciousness. Right?
    — praxis

    I don't think it's that cut and dried.
    gurugeorge

    Of course it's not. I was attempting to illustrate the absurdity of your idea.

    secular humanists can enjoy the older, religious works of art, and religious people can enjoy some modernist art toogurugeorge

    How generously and open-minded of you to think so. :roll:

    the function of art as providing an arrest in normal everyday consciousness transcends questions of meaning in that social sensegurugeorge

    I suppose it hasn't occurred to you that you're simply wrong about the function of art and therefore don't need to try making a square fit a round hole by claiming it transcends shape.

    But to be really clear, then perhaps i should stick to "mystical" instead of religious.gurugeorge

    If you knew what you were talking about you wouldn't have mentioned religious to begin with.

    I do believe that mysticism is more at the root of religion than the kind of "social glue" factors that rationalists usually canvass, though they are important too.gurugeorge

    Even if this was saying much of anything, you haven't made a case for equating aesthetics and mysticism. They may be similar brain states but it's our cultural and individual conditioning that determines how we interpret these experiences. Atheists or "secular people" don't visit art galleries for spiritual awakening.

    You're a guru of ignorance, george. Crawl back to whatever hillbilly barstool you staggered away from. Maybe you'll find a disciple or two there.
  • Tim3003
    6
    "All art is quite useless," as Oscar Wilde said. So, 'art' must justify its existance despite this. A work of art shows us something exceptional of the mind of its creator, something fascinating about what it is to be human - something we could not see alone; and it is something which brings joy and awe to the act of seeing it. I do not do drugs, but I know well the mind-expansion I feel when contemplating great art..
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    What do you think the goal of a work is?Cavacava

    Seems glib, but it's the only correct answer in my view: depends on the artist. Different artists have different goals, sometimes different goals for each work, or even different multiple goals for each work.

    Any statement of the form "The goal of art is x," where x is some single or small list of things, is going to be way off-base re what's actually going on when people create artworks.
  • macrosoft
    381
    Great works of art exert power that is not diminished over time, power that goes beyond the normative bounds of any observer. I think this is only possible if force of these works reaches certain objective truths about the world that, if we have sufficient knowledge and emotion, can't be avoided because their power consists in their spontaneous ability to continue to generate new or deeper thoughts, newer more meaningful narratives in observers.Cavacava

    Nice post. I thought I'd point out that your definition of great art almost implies your conclusion. Or at least it's natural to me that if we think that great art exerts a power that is not diminished over time, then this timelessness must have some relation to what is timeless in the reality that we don't call art. For what it's worth, I think you are largely right.

    But must we reserve 'great' only for timeless works of art? What if a work of art is exceedingly potent in its moment and yet somehow fails to move others the same way a century later? If this sounds unlikely to us, then maybe we are assuming that the 'highest' aspects of human existence are independent of time. I personally find this more than plausible. But I thought it would be nice to bring this theme to the surface.
  • macrosoft
    381
    A work of art shows us something exceptional of the mind of its creator, something fascinating about what it is to be human - something we could not see alone; and it is something which brings joy and awe to the act of seeing it. I do not do drugs, but I know well the mind-expansion I feel when contemplating great art..Tim3003

    I like this. Along these lines, I think the great artist helps us 'tune in' to something that is already there in ourselves, though not lit up as brightly as it could be and as it was in the artist while creating the art.
  • macrosoft
    381
    I don't think art is mainly about objective truths, I think it's more about transcendent subjective truths.Tomseltje

    Well said, so maybe the best approach is to think in terms of shared potential for subjective (feeling-based) transcendence. It's conceivable that some varieties of 'personal' transcendence are less shared than others, and that art based on this might be less popular and yet no less effective for the smaller group sensitive to it. The art deemed central could then be something like a measure of what kind of 'subjective transcendence' was most common at a given time. We can even perhaps feel our way into the spirit of a time (or thinking we have) by responding to various art works passionately.

    For me it's especially about pictures of human beings (in the visual realm, anyway, which seems to be the focus here.) In this case, a picture can be worth ten thousand words, I think.
  • macrosoft
    381
    Seems glib, but it's the only correct answer in my view: depends on the artist. Different artists have different goals, sometimes different goals for each work, or even different multiple goals for each work.

    Any statement of the form "The goal of art is x," where x is some single or small list of things, is going to be way off-base re what's actually going on when people create artworks.
    Terrapin Station

    I agree, at least technically. But I think there is an implicit focus on what some might call the highest or deepest kind of art. Obviously what this is is up for debate, but I think what people have in mind is art that has a 'spiritual' resonance (is deeply moving.)
  • macrosoft
    381
    In other words, it defines the ineffable and ephemeral, encapsulates them such that it cannot be paraphrased, or broken down further. And allows this to be shared.Lucid

    Well said.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    But I think there is an implicit focus on what some might call the highest or deepest kind of art.macrosoft

    I don't at all agree with distinctions like that, though.
  • macrosoft
    381
    I don't at all agree with distinctions like that, thoughTerrapin Station

    I can respect that, but I'm surprised. Doesn't some some art stand out as not just clever, not just skillful, not just pleasant?
  • praxis
    880


    There are a few possibilities:

    Art for aesthetic pleasure.

    Art to communicate some idea or concept, enhanced aesthetically.

    Art to communicate a religious concept, enhanced aesthetically.

    Art to induce a ‘spiritual experience’.

    The thing is that, depending on the individual and their particular state of mind when experiencing an art form, a person may experience any, all, or none of the above. There isn’t really anything mysterious about it.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k


    That would just be about different individuals having different reactions to, different ideas about, both the same and different works. For any particular work, one person might say, "This is just pleasant" and another might say, "This is more than (or something else aesthetically worthwhile rather than) just being pleasant." These reactions tell us about the observer, how they think about the work in question.
  • macrosoft
    381
    These reactions tell us about the observer, how they think about the work in question.Terrapin Station

    Sure, or, in other words, how the work exists for them, because the response is surely not only or even primarily thought.
  • praxis
    880
    An aesthetic experience, like a ‘flow’ experiences or task positive activities, all have a common neural state which is understood to be a deactivation of the DMN (default mode network). Deactivation of the DMN is also evident in ‘spiritual experiences’.
  • Terrapin Station
    4.3k
    Sure, or, in other words, how the work exists for them, because the response is surely not only or even primarily thought.macrosoft

    The response is only thought insofar as we're talking about things like "this is pleasurable"/"this is more than pleasurable" etc.

    I suppose you're otherwise referring to non-mental physiological responses they might have, or actions they make take--like if it's a painting and they walk to view it at a different angle, etc.?
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