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What is Art?

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message 1: by Myke (last edited Nov 16, 2008 12:05PM) (new)

Myke (SarahPalin) | 183 comments New question (the group description says we can post new questions, haha):

What is art? What are its qualities? How do we judge it? Why are we drawn to it?

(I think that this could become a very cool discussion.)


message 2: by Jena (last edited Nov 16, 2008 12:11PM) (new)

Jena | 124 comments Thank you for posting a new question!

I believe art is anything that is created for a purpose. Art cannot be judged by any qualities besides the fact that it was created by man, or perhaps a higher power,im refering to creationism (if thats what you believe). However Myke, I dont think its correct to ask "why do we like it?" because I think that art is something that was created for a purpose, but does not have to be necessarily drawn too. In fact, a specific piece of art could even be hated by everyone and it would still be called art. But if people were captivated by a specific piece of art, then that would be the decision of the individual who finds interest in the artwork. :)

forgive me if i confuse anybody


message 3: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments and it makes me happy that i am the first to answere your question :D


message 4: by Myke (last edited Nov 16, 2008 12:08PM) (new)

Myke (SarahPalin) | 183 comments I will reword the question... "Like" was a poor word choice. Thanks for pointing that out ;).

Now, to my response to your post:
So, art is anything created for a purpose... I see where you're coming from. I do agree that all art is created for a purpose... but not all things created for a purpose are art. If art was everything created for a purpose, that would make the atomic bomb a piece art.

(This is a very hard question to answer because of technicalities like that, haha.)


message 5: by Jena (last edited Nov 16, 2008 12:21PM) (new)

Jena | 124 comments Not that 'like' was a poor word choice. I just think that not all art has to be 'liked' if that makes any since.

Actually i would have to disagree with that. As insane as this may sound i think the atomic bomb is a piece of art! Not necessarily a good piece of art but art nonetheless. Just how a computer or a painting is art. This is very difficult to explain though.

I will add to this post when i am able to put my thoughts into words ;)


message 6: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jennyryan) | 95 comments I'm really interested in Jena's thinking. Please post more! :)

So, what is art? This is a funny question to me, because my first assignment of Freshman year was to make a collage for Photography about what art is. Mine was covered with magazine clippings of a ballerina, couture hairstyles, paintings, cameras, sketches, musicians, etc. To me, art is anything that was made for the purpose of expression. Art has no set qualities other than to express something, whether it be values, ideas, emotions, or anything else. I think we are drawn to it because it is a way of expressing ourselves. We all want people to know who we are, on both superficial and deeper levels. By creating art or owning art, we are showing people a little bit of ourselves. What we make or like or support teaches people about who we are. About how to judge art, I don't think there is a way. Judging art is about opinions, and since everyone has different opinions, it is impossible to say that something is good or bad. I think that each person decides for themselves what their take on a piece of art is, and that is the judgement for them. I think individuals judge art based on superficial ideas (if it's "pretty") and deeper levels (how it makes them feel, reminds them of something, connects with them, or says something).


message 7: by Myke (new)

Myke (SarahPalin) | 183 comments Why do we say that something is "pretty," Jenny?

On a different note:
This is sort of similar to what I said to Jena, but Hitler was "expressing" himself during the Holocaust... Art? I don't know, what do you think?

Jena -
I love that you disagree with my post.




message 8: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jennyryan) | 95 comments I think that we say something is pretty because we find it visually pleasing based on what we have either been taught or influenced to believe is visually pleasing (check out Jena's thread about how we're influenced).

And maybe I should've been more specific, but I think that art is more of a piece. Either a musical piece, a physical piece, a dance piece, or anything. I don't think that an entire movement can really be considered art. This was a really good point to make, and I'm not really sure I can explain why what Hitler did wasn't art. Not because it was heinous and horrifying, but because it just does not fit what I think art is.


message 9: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments Jenny: thank you...I am adding on to my last post now on this post :) and i had that photography assignment as well.

What i was saying is that I believe art is something that is created for a purpose. any purpose! for Mykes example of the atomic bomb. I think the atomic bomb is still a work of art. I mean think about it, it takes allot of effort, detail, and skill to create an atomic bomb. Just how it takes allot of effort, detail, and skill to draw or paint a picture.

Myke: I dont know if you were being sarcastic or not but i must say i have a very argumentive spirit in these types of things :) and thats why i love these conversations. However i recall that i do not always dissagree with your posts. I ended up in agreement with you during our last conversation of weather books can be immoral or moral. In this conversation I can't really tell what you really think art is or not or have you even answered the questions? like i said, you confuse me sometimes Myke :) haha


message 10: by Myke (last edited Nov 16, 2008 07:14PM) (new)

Myke (SarahPalin) | 183 comments Oh no, I am not being sarcastic at all. I appreciate how radical (that's not a very good word to use here) your opinion of the atomic bomb is. I don't think very many people would think that the atomic bomb is art... so I support the fact that you think that (even though I don't, haha).

And, no, I haven't answered the question. It's a tough one... so my plan is to wait until more people respond. Then I will synthesize the parts I like and don't like, add new thoughts based on various influences throughout my life, then form a complete idea. (Sort of like the "How are we Influenced?" thread, huh? haha.)

EDIT:
Okay okay... I have been shut down with my atomic bomb example and my Hitler example... but I think I have a good one! Check it out:
Okay... art is designed for a purpose. What about the strings of code in a computer program? Those are most certainly purposeful, but they are absolutely robotic!


message 11: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments I like your strategie you have a very good idea to form a complete idea! and thank you :)


and i have a very good response to your question but i will be back on in an hour to respond to it :)


message 12: by Jena (last edited Nov 16, 2008 09:13PM) (new)

Jena | 124 comments ok now i am back! muhuhaha ;)

Responding to Myke:
So the strings of code in a computer program...Yes they are art! they were created by a human for a purpose, therefore, it is art. Honestly, just think how amazing it is that someone figured how the codes work and created them purposefully to work with whatever program. The question is, How is that not art? :D haha

what can I say... I see things in a different way. :)

Just a good point/question:
Reading all of the different responses to this question makes me wonder...Is art a manner of opinion? or can it be defined?






message 13: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jennyryan) | 95 comments Haha, Jena, I don't think you should post a new thread because we'll probably get to that in this thread, and we don't want to limit ourselves by having to skip around threads. I figure let's just let the conversations go where they do. :)
And also, I think your way of thinking is really cool. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it's really really interesting, no joke! I think you're the only person I've met who would define atomic bombs and strings of a computer program to be art, and I like how passionately you defend that.

Oh, and Mikey, I'm still waiting for you to bring up a new opposition to my argument :D


message 14: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments haha yes thank you Jenny :) I guess I think differently then most people. Yes I was expecting the conversation to go in that direction.


message 15: by Josh (new)

Josh | 164 comments @ message 7: Godwin's Law...


message 16: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jennyryan) | 95 comments Nice


message 17: by Josh (new)

Josh | 164 comments Art is indeed a matter of opinion (for instance, I think modern art is a scam). Art is expression in whichever form that takes. Perhaps the atomic bomb itself was not art, but the elements within it were. Such as the math and the engineering. Here is where I differ from others because I believe that math is indeed art. Think about it this way: a painting can show one person's interpretation of the world, but what does a mathematic equation do? Why, it interprets the world into another fashion.


message 18: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments Josh: I dont know who you are but I like your thinking :)

However, if you believe the elements within the atomic bomb is art, then how is the atomic bomb itself not art? Im interested :)


message 20: by Josh (new)

Josh | 164 comments No, fail.

Because of what the atomic bomb as a whole is destined to do it is not art. At that point, the elements ceased to be art and became a weapon.


message 21: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jennyryan) | 95 comments Yes. Disturbing and horrifying. But art.


message 22: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments Well I dont think all art has to be good or created for a good purpose. Which means I believe even a weapon can be a work of art. But I do believe this subject is a matter of opinion as well :)


message 23: by Myke (new)

Myke (SarahPalin) | 183 comments So basically everything is art? I don't know how I can disagree with that... but I do! I need to sleep on it, maybe.


message 24: by Josh (new)

Josh | 164 comments If you accept a weapon as art then you must accept everything the weapon stands for as art. This is includes, but is not limited to, violence and death.


message 25: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments JOSH: NO!!!! and that is a really, really big NO! i do not accept what a weapon stands for is art! gahhhh...

thats just sick!

and how are you assuming that? (yes that is a real question)

Myke: HAHA


message 26: by Myke (new)

Myke (SarahPalin) | 183 comments Well.. I guess if we use the transitive property, Josh is right.


message 27: by Josh (new)

Josh | 164 comments Actually there is art in death, but the death created by the atomic bomb was not an example of that.


message 28: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments I don't even know how to respond to this...gahhh. :(


message 29: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments How is it that because an atomic bomb is art, that the death that applies to the bomb must be art as well? curious


message 30: by Myke (new)

Myke (SarahPalin) | 183 comments Jena -

The transitive property:
If a is related to b, and b is related to c, then a is related to c.

By the same token, if art is related to the atomic bomb, and the atomic bomb is related to incredible death and destruction, then death and destruction is art.


message 31: by Josh (new)

Josh | 164 comments When I said that there is art in death, I was referring to Romeo Juliet where the deaths were symbolic and artistic.


message 32: by Jena (last edited Nov 17, 2008 03:37PM) (new)

Jena | 124 comments Myke: I dont agree!

Josh: Thats true. althought I'm pretty sure Romeo and Juliet was fictional. haha i like that story, but it also gets on my nerves a little


message 33: by Josh (new)

Josh | 164 comments It is death nonetheless.


message 34: by Jena (new)

Jena | 124 comments yes but it is a story, therefore the story of Romeo and Juliets death is art, not the death itself :) I have never heard of a story similar to Romeo and Juliets that was true, but if there was one then i would deffinately agree taht it was quite artistic.

Going back to my privious point: all of the technical issues dealing with the atomic bomb is, infact, artistic. I think thats the same as the bomb itself.


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