September 05, 2006

Art V.S. Entertainment

So art, what really, is the technical definition for the term? I hesitate to even link to such a thing, and i didn't really want to look at it because i wanted to discuss art on my terms. In means of writing an education thought provoking blog, however, i looked at the definition...and i linked to it. The definition i found describes art in exactly the same way as i would have. I swear, art to me is creative expression, a meaning of presenting a segment of ones individuality to a variety of people. Uniqueness is another quality that i consider "art" to have. How fine are the lines that determine whether something can be considered art or not? Is that even a possible question to answer? Consider paintings, for example, they are based off of something real, anything made, painted, photographed, photo shopped, they are all based off of something that already exists in our society, the work is just usually a different take on one of these mediums. Taking that into consideration, is art really art? For example, Susie paints a tree, but it isn't just green and brown. It's rainbow and not proportionate to anything we would realistically see standing. Has Susie made art? Why yes, she has utilized the creative process, inviting all to enjoy her take on the specific tree...but wait, trees have existed for years, you can't go a day without seeing one; therefore Susie has simply revised and reproduced something that already exists. She is adapting, changing, if you will, but has yet to produce anything entirely new.

*If someone paints a paint-by-number using different colors than those specified, is it art?

*If someone reforms something that is already there, such as Susie, is it art?

Sometimes we also have to ask the question of "Who is the artist?"

Ballerina vs chereographer: Who is the artist?

Writer vs Reader(of a speech aloud): Who is the artist?

Movies vs Video games: Are they both art? Are they both entertainment? Perhaps neither of them have the specified qualities to be labled "art". A movie consists of a story, complete with a plot, characters interacting with each other, rising action, falling action and various other components. The audience is simply watching, able only to observe and speak of their interpretations of said movie. There is no interacting, no building on the creative process. Video games have some of the same criteria: story, plot, rising action, falling action, characters interacting with each other, except in this instance, the player gets to interact with the game, gets to be a part of the scenario instead of a witness. Gamers are building on the creative process of the game by developing their own techniques, and their own specifics. I think that video games are more likely to fit a description of "art" than movies. And as far as movies being purely entertainment, paintings entertain too, they cause people to discuss, to wonder, to think, thus playing a factor in the development of the creative process. Games more so than movies relate to the typical art that we think of. In my mind, games are art, any and all creative processes, whether or not they have been done before, are all an expression of art. They are all unique within themselves. Sometimes something is art to one person and not to another, it is all a matter of opinion, which i have pretty much decided is the way i feel about the question, "What is art?" Art, is a matter of opinion. One cannot be right, one cannot be wrong. Despite what the "technical" definition is, people still may not consider something art although it fits all of the specified criteria. Art is art, creative, unique and unexplainable.

Posted by Lori Rupert at September 5, 2006 07:39 PM

Today's discussion in class took me back to my Philosophy of Art class last spring. This discussion was somewhat of a daily rift, and (much like other philosophical questions like "What is the meaning of life?") cannot be given a conclusion.

It's easy to make our opinions on art, and what it is, how it's made, what is and is not art; but all I'll ask is that people (my classmates) remain open-minded about art's classification and definition. While I realize I was only exposed to a bit of the true philosophy of art in the class (and I am certainly not an authority on it!), I do know that I no longer feel comfortable making direct definitive remarks on the topic of art... because if you really think about it, really consider all of the angles, really take into consideration each possible situation (and not just ones that people may think up on-the-fly in class)--art is the great undefined.

The "everyone is an artist" and "everything can be art" arguments are fun, too. Those statements discount what art is and who artists are as creators. That root that Dr. Jerz brought up today in class--the Greek and Roman roots for "technology" and "art"--of creating is brilliant, but still limiting the practice, application, and definition of art and artistry.

Phew! Glad I got that out of my system. You make some good points, Lori. I'm glad that you posted on this! The idea of art fitting criteria is like that box we don't want to create... Ahh! The circular argument! ><

Posted by: Karissa at September 6, 2006 12:06 AM

The basic criteria for art is "manipulation by the human eye(not a literal eye)" a tree is not art until we personify it, shape it, take a picture of it, so that it becomes art.

After that, the art argument becomes relative to anyone wanting to have an opinion one way or the other. I think the hardest disinction at this point is whether a manufactured chair, mass produced Jesus on the cross, or a poster of art, can fit in the definition of art.

There should be a separate studied category for these that refers them back to the original art piece. Reproduction is a word used for them, and maybe that should be the studied category. We study them mainly for exact replication, but what about for the impact they have as secondary Art and the interrelation they have with the original art piece.

Though your analysis was good, "art is art, creative, unique, unexplainable" seemed like a broad way to end the post. Art doesn't have to be creative, just creatively perceived. So in defining Art we should strive to keep our own perception from assuming a stance.

If a man knocks over a can of paint is that art? Not until someone perceives it to be and frames it. So we will always struggle with definition, but we can put more consideration into the difference between "art and creativity" like "Games verse Play"

Posted by: Stephan Puff at October 19, 2006 10:33 AM
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