defining art, the role of art

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the boss
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defining art, the role of art

Post by the boss » Sat Jul 02, 2011 11:26 am

How would you define art?
Do you think that art is important in this world?
Do you think that artists have a responsiblity?

My answer to all three of those questions would be yes.

I was talking the other day to someone who said that we're all doomed IN THIRTY YEAR!!! unless technology can safe us. Ignoring the faults of his analysis that lead to this conclusion I interjected that the problems we are having today are not merely technological, but also human, and to work on those we need more than scientists, we need artists. He did not not agree.

What I see in the world is an endlessly repeating cycle of fear. But, art has power to move a whole people into a new direction. Ask yourself if you think these are words have changed the course of history or not. Nothing else, just the words, through time. Think about all the people who read them, took them in, held on to them, and acted on them, believed in them, or used them for their own purposes.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

I think the metaphorical pen is going to play a crucial role for the future of us all. You need to inspire people, to touch then, to make them think and make them reflect. That is what art does, from my point of view. If that doesn't happen no technology will save us from the next fall and dark age, and that saving the world is basically the responsibility of the artist :)

No pressure ;)

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hopelenska
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Re: defining art, the role of art

Post by hopelenska » Wed Jul 20, 2011 10:38 pm

While browsing through random topics on here, I saw someone's signature (I don't remember who; sorry if you are reading this!) and in a part of it, it read "Life is tragedy to those who feel"...and I couldn't agree more. But tragedy can and should give birth to lovely and good things. I really think we humans are privileged beings who, as much as our souls may be weary and fatigued from this material world, are able to use our bodies and minds as outlets, bridges over which our thoughts and feelings are carried to ultimately result in creative works that have the chance to influence people and make the world a better place; to me, that's the essence of art...and I think this ability should be utilised to its fullest.

Regarding the artist's responsibility...given that I do believe art can change the world, I think artists have a equally important role than that of scientists. Though, I also think artists shouldn't create art just for the sake of art, having an end in itself; if they do so, in my opinion art will only reach a specific and small circle - that of people who become "specialists" and over-analise art, turning it into something extremely rational and technical. I for one need art primarily to make me feel emotions, instead of make me think. And I believe one's feelings is what direct their intellect...with indifference and apathy, nobody can change even their immediate surroundings. To me, when art inspires people to do something good, in any possible way, it is when it carries out its whole potential.

bluehairednemo
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Re: defining art, the role of art

Post by bluehairednemo » Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:44 am

I have a broader definition of art than many people. I get annoyed when people say that things like abstract paintings and conceptual art are not art; they can be much better at expressing emotion and concepts than realistic pantings. For me, art is about the intent combined with the skill - and, if you look at some conceptual art, it's really skillful + purposeful.

And, yes, I think that art is very important.

As for the responsibility of the artist... I think that, if the artist really wants to create something that progresses society, creating art that contains, say, stereotypical representations does not achieve that goal because the artist is relying on a regressive part of society. But the artist shouldn't let social responsibility get in the way of self-expression; if nothing else, a socially non-responsible piece of art is a good opportunity for critique.

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Chowdah
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Re: defining art, the role of art

Post by Chowdah » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:37 am

I think Arts role is to re-present something either True, Beautiful, or Good. I know there is a lot of room for subjectivity here, but I also think that there is a responsibility to do a universal service if they wnat to be called an artist. Not all drawings or paintings, scultures, songs, etc.. are in my opinion Art. They may be creative, or ingenious, but they must also seek to enrich the lives of those appreciating the art...it should in a sense inspire us to live a richer fuller life, perhaps teach us something we had not thought of, sparking an interest per se. Art should not detract from the things that make this a beautiful world but add to it, revealing the true the good and the beautiful. Art is very powerful and oft mishandled.

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Re: defining art, the role of art

Post by babage » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:31 am

I think Arts role is to re-present something either True, Beautiful, or Good. I know there is a lot of room for subjectivity here, but I also think that there is a responsibility to do a universal service if they wnat to be called an artist. Not all drawings or paintings, scultures, songs, etc.. are in my opinion Art. They may be creative, or ingenious, but they must also seek to enrich the lives of those appreciating the art...it should in a sense inspire us to live a richer fuller life, perhaps teach us something we had not thought of, sparking an interest per se. Art should not detract from the things that make this a beautiful world but add to it, revealing the true the good and the beautiful. Art is very powerful and oft mishandled.
zahid

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Kevs
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Re: defining art, the role of art

Post by Kevs » Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:29 pm

I took a philosophy of art class in college and I loved it. It inspires so many avenues of thought. I was most intrigued by Marcel Duchamp and his piece "Fountain." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fountain_(Duchamp)

The discussion about what constitutes art was enjoyable in class, and has been long debated. For me the ability to make my thoughts take physical form is most helpful.
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Littlecats Dad
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Re: defining art, the role of art

Post by Littlecats Dad » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:12 pm

Here's my tuppence worth
The role of art...hmm!..it's actually quite complex to discover the role of Art in western societies. Firstly, are we talking about Fine Art (Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture etc) or applied art (Photography, Illustration, Design), because they all fulfil multiple functions. I have to declare and interest here and say that I am an artist, and I'm fascinated by it's function. I'll confine my opinion to the "Fine Arts". From my perspective, one of its functions is as a vehicle for externalising complex internal dialogues whether they be intellectual, emotional, sexual, spiritual, political ...it becomes a method/process to examine them, and discover the meaning(s) contained in them, but the problem is that such analysis is by definition, subjective i.e you may be confirming already held beliefs and using art to provide "proofs" as to your intuitions. To arrive at an objective position is deeply problematic: cultural biases often skew the reading, for example, the fashion for “primitive” African art that was popular at the beginning of the 20th century in Europe..an inspiration for Picasso and others...but their reading of it and the meanings contained were essentially racist, seeing this not as the work of a sophisticated, complex, mature culture, but as the work of the romantic idea of the “noble savage”...so to see it as something that is simply beautiful/decorative, whilst that is “true” and valid, belies that Art functions or has a role on a deeper political/social level. It can also function as a means to exclude based on class and can actively promote the ideologies of the ruling/dominant class. The supreme achievements of the Renaissance actively promoted the world view of the Vatican and/or the rich patrons that commissioned these works and any dissent was ruthlessly stamped upon..and on through the centuries..when you go to a gallery in a large city, ask yourself the following questions 1) what is this Artwork telling me about the society that created it and 2) how did this Art collection come into existence...i.e The Beckford Collection in the National Gallery in London was amassed on the profits from sugar plantations/slavery..the point being that this collection gives an insight into the deeper motives of the English ruling class of the 1800's. Remember Art is only art if the social context allows it to be classed as being part of the canon of its age ..imagine a Pollock in the 19th Century! And Kevs example of Duchamp is an excellent case in point ..a deliberately provocative act intended to directly challenge the notion of what is and isn't “art”..so it's difficult and you have to try to get beneath the surface...as for my own art (when I was active, it always had a political edge to it...from the socialist left!..)

cheers

Willie

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Littlecats Dad
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Re: defining art, the role of art

Post by Littlecats Dad » Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:17 pm

Err for 1800's read 18th Century oops....I is idiot!! :o)

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