• jkop
    710
    So what makes it art? That it is a poem, or that it is merely labelled 'personal poem' and read at a poetry reading?
  • Moliere
    4.1k
    My initial guess has something to do with an audience and an artist. "artworld" can sound all-encompassing, but I prefer to think there are artworlds. Ones that dissipate and form and are momentary, but I think they count as art at least.

    So that's why I disagree it's an HR theory -- depends on what we mean by "institution" I think, though I'll give preference to institutions for paradigmatic examples, which are also important -- just not categorical.
  • Moliere
    4.1k
    I prefer Nelson Goodman's suggestion that instead of defining what is art we look at when something is art.jkop

    Re-reading this, I'm not so sure we're off there -- the debate gets shifted to "which institutions?", in a way, although I'm clear at this point, I think, that I'm open to many institutions (some of which I'd classify as "paradigmatic")
  • jkop
    710
    Ok, I'm thinking of 'institutional' as referring to recognized schools, museums, institutes, journalists, famous artists, gallerists, historians, theorists etc who through their status and activities turn art into an art scene, or an art world, where a relatively small clique is calling the shots, defining the meaning and value of their own investments.

    I like your description of many momentary art worlds, but even with many momentary, small, local, private worlds an institutional definition of art is not concerned with art per se but its context, what surrounds it, who's who and so on That's why I think the definition turns art into PR.
  • Moliere
    4.1k
    I think I'm fine with a "whose-who" -- cuz I think of art as a collaborative process between at a minimum an artist and an audience (at least 1 person in each category).

    I don't think it's Public Relations, though, because it's more like Peer Review -- at least as I imagine it, though of course you can't be held to the standards of my unexpressed imagination. While I know there are counter-examples to this categorical definition of art, I think the notion that there is a creator-audience manages to capture a lot of the examples we'd consider up front.

    I think the "institutional" theory serves more as a demarcation of examples than a description -- but I'm trying to extend it from the usual notion of "institutions" to something a bit more anarchic, but still reasonable. (at least I hope)
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    Whatever you take it to be.

    I know mathematicians who react the way I do to Allegri's choral pieces when they see/understand a 'beautiful' proof. I've known architects who see, literally, a specific angle and jizz themselves. I've seen astronomers see a new piece of equipment and be beside themselves. They all seem to be reacting to the 'closing in on perfect' - these are unique examples in disparate fields, but its only meant to support my opener.

    Attainment of some 'perfection' seems to be the aim of art, even if it's out of reach, or isn't explicit. The perfect expression of something(being entirely subjective, it's hard to know exactly how to frame this - but it seems clearly the intention from all cases I've ever surveyed).

    Other domains don't seem to include this particular aim. 'perfection' in other areas seems to relegate emotion to irrelevancy. Art seems to hold fast to emotional responses as if they are paramount to the success of the work/piece.

    And just for the record, if you take an institutional theory of Art seriously, I have to seriously question your framing of almost every item you interact with.
  • Noble Dust
    7.8k


    Right, art doesn’t want to explain anything. What I’m suggesting is it can sometimes be like an immediate immanent experience of the reality that philosophy seeks. Similar to someone having a spiritual breakthrough via a psychedelic experience that a meditation practitioner may spend their entire lives practicing to achieve.
  • jkop
    710
    I'm trying to extend it from the usual notion of "institutions" to something a bit more anarchic, but still reasonable. (at least I hope)Moliere

    Seems reasonable. What is also a bit anarchic and extends beyond institutions is Goodman's suggestion that art and science and philosophy are similar inquiries.

    The aesthetic attitude is restless, searching, testing - is less attitude than action: creation and re-creation.
    What, though, distinguishes such aesthetic activity from other intelligent behavior such as perception, ordinary conduct, and scientific inquiry? One instant answer is that the aesthetic is directed to no practical end, is unconcerned with self-defense or conquest, with acquisition or necessities or luxuries, with prediction and control of nature. But if the aesthetic attitude disowns practical aims, still aimlessness is hardly enough. The aesthetic attitude is inquisitive, as contrasted with the acquisitive and self-preservative, but not all nonpractical inquiry is aesthetic. To think of science as motivated ultimately by practical goals, as judged or justified by bridges and bombs and the control of nature, is to confuse science with technology. Science seeks knowledge without regard to practical consequences, and is concerned with prediction not as a guide for behavior but as a test for truth. Disinterested inquiry embraces both scientific and aesthetic experience.
    — N. Goodman, Languages of Art (1976), p. 242
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    And understanding Nietzsche's art, is an art, in and of itself. It's why so many "philosophers" here are stumped by Nietzsche.Vaskane

    Well, he's stumped me now and then. But while I've always thought him to be a outstanding art (and cultural) critic, I haven't considered him an artist. Even his Zarathustra seems to me more like one of the Old Testament books named after prophets, which I don't associate with art. But I'm obviously struggling with the definition of art.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    Right, art doesn’t want to explain anything.Noble Dust

    But philosophers do, or do nothing at all, I think. My feeling is that when someone tries to explain an experience of the kind you describe, they necessarily fail. A work of art, though, may impart it but not in a rational way.
  • Noble Dust
    7.8k


    I agree. The only differentiation I’m making is that I think the experience I’m describing in art is primary in the sense that it’s foundational metaphysically. So rather than inferior to or equal to the logical thought which philosophy uses to try to grasp it, it rather precedes it.
  • Janus
    15.7k
    Damnation. Sorry. Well, this way I can claim it as my own.Ciceronianus

    It is a good one and it is yours by default.
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    Ever been working on something passionately and experienced a time warp via tons of productivity? That is the artist's method.Vaskane

    This often happens. But equally, in the style of Radiohead, intense scrutiny and slow, slogging technical adjustment results in similar feelings of achievement toward the end product.
    Unsure what the implication for you might be, but I'm just saying that the method you outline seems to be one of, at least two, and possibly many.
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    Don't want to import my interpretation to you words - Are you insinuating Radiohead are not artists? :smirk:
  • Noble Dust
    7.8k
    Ever been working on something passionately and experienced a time warp via tons of productivity? That is the artist's method.Vaskane

    This often happens. But equally, in the style of Radiohead, intense scrutiny and slow, slogging technical adjustment results in similar feelings of achievement toward the end product.AmadeusD

    Yes, both are valid approaches and I think most artists probably engage in both to varying percentages. It's seems like a trite quote, but I've always loved this which is attributed to Picasso: "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." So, those flow states don't require discipline, and you can certainly find yourself in one and make something. But if you are disciplined in showing up to the drawing board, the flow states will come more often and you'll be more productive. Says the artist who hasn't shown up daily to do the work in years.

    I also think as I get older, I'm developing more respect for the slow methodical artists. I was never one myself, and the flow state, dramatic artists who have that flair are always more visible and attractive. I like the Debussy/Ravel dichotomy. Both pretty equally respected now, although I think Debussy is more well known, and he was the flashy flow state guy. He's easy to fall in love with right off the bat, but Ravel takes time to appreciate, and Ravel was the method man. As I get older I've shifted from preferring Debussy to now preferring Ravel. I liken it to a hot and heavy summer fling versus realizing twenty years later that you love your best friend from growing up and then get married to them.
  • Tom Storm
    8.5k
    I think Debussy is more well known, and he was the flashy flow state guy. He's easy to fall in love with right off the bat, but Ravel takes time to appreciate, and Ravel was the method man. As I get older I've shifted from preferring Debussy to now preferring Ravel.Noble Dust

    I found Ravel a lot more interesting when I was a kid. Debussy struck me as bland and equivocal. My favoured music as a kid - say 20 years old - were Wagner, Mahler, Shostakovich, R Strauss and Ravel. I disliked Chopin, Bach, Debussy, Mozart. Of course, now I often prefer this latter music and I think there is something about ageing which sets aside the 'heavy metal' classics in favour of more nuanced and sometimes mathematical composers. But everyone's different. I never listened to pop or rock - i found them impossible to relate to.
  • AmadeusD
    1.9k
    I hated Ravels Pictures at an Exhibition and just never went back, any recs?
    @Noble Dust


    Also super interesting you don’t relate to rock. Bob Dylan going electric feels the same as Beethovens choral or Paganini breaking strings. Absolutely singular and awe inspiring.
  • Tom Storm
    8.5k
    Ravel - Daphnis et Chloé, Pavane pour une infante défunte. I also really like his piano concerto for left hand - written for Wittgenstein's brother, Paul, who was a concert pianist and lost an arm.
  • Tom Storm
    8.5k
    Also super interesting you don’t relate to rock.AmadeusD

    After the age of 40 I started to enjoy small amounts of the Rolling Stones (earlier stuff) still dislike the Beatles. Enjoy later Leonard Cohen and some Bob Dylan. Tom Waits I have time for too. I also have had a soft spot for proper blues - John Lee Hooker, Little Walter, Muddy Waters. But I listen to very little music these days.
  • Abhiram
    60
    I have a difference in opinion. It is understanding the philosophy of art that matters. If you understand that ,the art is much more easier, you can tune into the core of the art . Be it a black belt or white belt one who understand why he or she is doing what he or she is doing things will be much easier and in flow. There is nothing artistic about muscle memory.
  • Noble Dust
    7.8k


    Yes, that's what I'm saying.
  • Noble Dust
    7.8k


    With classical in general I'm more focused on solo piano music, which a sizable portion of Ravel's small ouvre is made up of, so I'll recommend a few. @Tom Storm did you ever get into Ravel's solo piano stuff? It's his best work to me, although he was also known as a master orchestrator. His piano music sounds effortlessly pianistic, but is impossible and awkward to play. A sign that he's the master.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIBOwg8NGmA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnTmtjO6IKI

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvVSEoyoj9Q
  • Abhiram
    60
    Actually I could give you an example quoting your own example. I am a black belt in karate in real life I used to do karate as a physical exercise kind of stuff rather than an art. There are sort of choreographed movements called katta in karate. You could simply do it by memorizing it. But understanding why do you what you do makes a world of difference. For a person who understand it has an imaginary opponent in front of you there is a flow there. For a person who does it without that is simply acting. Every great artist is the one who understand the art .
  • Abhiram
    60
    If you are familiar with football I think I could explain it better. It is like messi and Ronaldo. Ronaldo is obviously the hard working one for him it's intuitive . But messi it's magic it's art. There is a difference between the two.
  • Abhiram
    60
    No . For messi there is creativity. Muscle memory is when you see a ball in front of you and you instinctively hit it towards goal. Finding space, opening spaces, drilling into those spaces, splitting defense it is creativity it is art not muscle memory
  • Abhiram
    60
    If you are actually familiar with philosophy , art and creativity goes hand in hand. Not art and muscle memory. Art is literally the expression of human creativity , skill and imagination. Not muscle memory. In my 5 yrs of academic study of philosophy I never heard any one talking about art and muscle memory.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    Ever been working on something passionately and experienced a time warp via tons of productivity? That is the artist's method.Vaskane

    Well I have, but as a lawyer. There have been cases where this has generated legal briefs and arguments which I think would quality as legal works of art, if my natural modesty didn't prevent me from saying so. That may be the method of an artist, but I would say it doesn't result in art, because the law isn't art and can never be art. In that the law's like philosophy.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k

    I don't think I understand what you mean by "foundational metaphysically." Do you mean that it involves the subject matter of metaphysics?
  • Abhiram
    60

    Funny how you are attacking me instead of the argument. That itself is a fallacy . You could refer I M Copi and Cohens introduction to logic for more details.
  • Abhiram
    60
    Ok then tell me about those philosophers. I will surely refer their works.
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