Skeptic Friends Network

Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your Password?
Home | Forums | Active Topics | Active Polls | Register | FAQ | Contact Us  
  Connect: Chat | SFN Messenger | Buddy List | Members
Personalize: Profile | My Page | Forum Bookmarks  
 All Forums
 Our Skeptic Forums
 Religion
 Art. How Wrong Am I?
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2008 :  15:50:53  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Following is a post I wrote for the RDFoundation forums recently.

Now, I'm no artist, as convention recognizes artists, so the following is pure conjecture.

It seems to me that the role of the artist is to expand the boundaries of human understanding, often by means of abstraction. The artist's role seems to me a delicate one. On the one hand, the artist needs to present new "alien and strange" visionary material in order to serve what I see as the purpose of art. On the other hand, the artist must do this in a way that is at least marginally recognizable to the rest of us (offering us a frame of reference) and is thereby limited by what can be referenced. The best artist, in my not so humble opinion, are able to find a compromise between the two that allows for further exploration and advancement while, at the same time, engaging the one who experiences the art.

In this sense I don't see art as being in any way comparable to religion, since religion is about limiting vantages into prescribed niches. I see them as opposed in a fundamental way. One (art) is about expanding horizons and understandings; the other (religion) is about constricting them. It is the difference between possibilities and eternal recapitulation to the same old same old. In this way, I see art as much, much, much more rational than religion. Art is one of the engines of growth and variety. Religion is a tool of stagnation..

YMMV.


So, my question is, and I would especially welcome Marf's input, in particular, on this, how incredibly wrong am I?

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2008 :  04:10:32   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just my layman's two bits:

I think art indeed needs to transport people where they would not otherwise go, by providing interesting and mind-challenging parallels between an imagined reality and the the real world.

There's a serious difficulty in doing this. The imagined reality should be vivid and startling, yet the artist should also provide a way for the observer to make the connection between that imagined reality and the mundane world.

Here's one example: Orwell's 1984 throws the reader into a world of refined oppression and mind control quite unfamiliar to most readers. But it does so by illustrating believable struggles in the daily life of Winston Smith, the main character. Through the mundane life of Smith, the reader is made to accept the larger arena of Orwell's dystopian world.

Here's another example from literature: In the Lord of the Rings saga, Tolkien begins with, and centers his story around, the Hobbits of the Shire. Hobbits are essentially Englishmen, the Shire is modeled upon England. The Rings is the story of conventional Hobbits as they slowly learn to deal with a strange world of magic, dragons, wizards, Elves, Dwarfs, and monsters. The reader learns and adapts along with the Hobbits. I think this was a brilliant way to handle the problem of connecting the reader with an unfamiliar world.

A major challenge of artist is to both create something wonderfully unfamiliar, and then to use the elements of the familiar to bring the observer into that strangeness, and to provide the observer with food for thinking about how the imagined world compares to and has lessons about the real world. The artist needs to create a "reality" that is sufficiently different from the real world that it has impact, yet the artist also will lose his audience if the transition to this creation does not take into account that the audience must make this transition along with the artist.

I'd be interested in a visual or performing artist's take on this.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 12/23/2008 05:03:15
Go to Top of Page

dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2008 :  01:27:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
HalfMooner, are you suggesting that my game mastering might be a kind of interactive art form? :)

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2008 :  04:35:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dglas

HalfMooner, are you suggesting that my game mastering might be a kind of interactive art form? :)
Certainly! As an Original D&D Thug, I think roleplaying games are the highest art.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Go to Top of Page

dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2008 :  07:33:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've now had people in two other places tell me that art:

(1) "..should elicit emotion - The end." and
(2) Is just about being aesthetically pleasing.

Counter examples:
(1) Blood spatter around roadkill. Elicits emotion, don't it? How about a smack upside the head?
(2) Hoar frost or a starscape. Very pretty... but art? Colourful sunsets? The northern lights? Art?

I have my own views on role-playing as interactive media. Like I said, though, "as convention recognizes artists." ;)

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
Go to Top of Page

Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2008 :  11:46:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Art should not necessarily be 'aesthetically pleasing', not even 'pretty'. Best example: a urinal.


Now, should art elicit emotion? I guess it should testify of the emotions felt by the author but I am not sure that these emotions have to be contagious for it to qualify as art.


But, I agree that Marf would be the best suited to answer, I remember she made several post on the subject of 'what is art' a while back...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
Go to Top of Page

Hittman
Skeptic Friend

134 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2008 :  08:57:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Hittman's Homepage Send Hittman a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Those are all great goals for art, but there is another aspect that's been ignored.

Art can simply be for entertainment, nothing more. And that can be a lofty goal as well.

I ran an improv troupe for five years. We were not out to change anyone's view of the world or educate anyone or provide great insights or confirm truths. Our goal was to pack a theater full of people and make them laugh. We created some great scenes, but for the most part we did it with carefully crafted silliness.

And we did, with an art that is as transitory as a mandala. We offered our audiences two hours of escape from the pressures of the real world, nothing more, nothing less. And it was art, a trivial art, to be sure, but art, none-the-less.

When a vampire Jehovah's Witness knocks on your door, don't invite him in. Blood Witness: http://bloodwitness.com

Get Smartenized® with the Quick Hitts blog: http://www.davehitt.com/blog2/index.phpBlog
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2008 :  09:30:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Hittman

Our goal was to pack a theater full of people and make them laugh.
Yup, you intended to evoke emotion.

dglas' counter-examples fail because they don't intend to evoke emotion. Actually, roadkill and sunsets don't intend to do anything, and a smack upside the head is intended to elicit pain. That emotions are stirred is incidental.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2008 :  16:24:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Actually, one could probably give you a slap upside the head as performance art...

I come to believe that, in art, attend is everything and, provided you intend to do art, you are doing art...

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
Go to Top of Page

moakley
SFN Regular

USA
1884 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2008 :  17:26:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send moakley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Right nature has no intent, but when captured at just the right moment, well I see art.
Jerry Gibson
Doug Sundling
and
my attempt

Life is good

Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned. -Anonymous
Edited by - moakley on 12/26/2008 18:23:00
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2008 :  17:58:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Marf! We need your input here.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 12/26/2008 17:58:39
Go to Top of Page

Dave W.
Info Junkie

USA
26006 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2008 :  19:39:57   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Dave W.'s Homepage Send Dave W. a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by moakley

Right nature has no intent, but when captured at just the right moment, well I see art.
One of the reasons people keep appealing to God to explain nature is that it is really easy for us humans to assign "intent" where none exists when we get emotional. When bad stuff happens, we want someone to blame. When we find what would be art if it came from a human hand, we look for a creator.

Of course, the photographs are definitely art, even if their subject matter is not.
...and
my attempt
Wow. Whole lotta Freudian imagery in there. The vagina-to-phallus ratio is pretty high.

- Dave W. (Private Msg, EMail)
Evidently, I rock!
Why not question something for a change?
Visit Dave's Psoriasis Info, too.
Go to Top of Page

dglas
Skeptic Friend

Canada
397 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2008 :  01:28:53   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send dglas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dave W.

Originally posted by Hittman

Our goal was to pack a theater full of people and make them laugh.
Yup, you intended to evoke emotion.

dglas' counter-examples fail because they don't intend to evoke emotion. Actually, roadkill and sunsets don't intend to do anything, and a smack upside the head is intended to elicit pain. That emotions are stirred is incidental.


No, Dave, my counter-examples succeed because that was the point I was making. merely eliciting emotion is not sufficient for art.

--------------------------------------------------
- dglas (In the hell of 1000 unresolved subplots...)
--------------------------------------------------
The Presupposition of Intrinsic Evil
+ A Self-Justificatory Framework
= The "Heart of Darkness"
--------------------------------------------------
Go to Top of Page

HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2008 :  07:08:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think it would be interesting to discuss the esthetics of evolution. Many animals and plants are almost universally considered beautiful. Why? I suspect that our esthetic sense somehow (perhaps instinctively) "appreciates" efficient forms or, at least the ones that aren't yucky. But after drinking two triple-shot rum-and-colas while watching "The Life Aquatic", I'm not prepared to make a cogent argument.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 12/27/2008 12:19:51
Go to Top of Page

Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13463 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2008 :  12:08:50   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
dglas:
(1) Blood spatter around roadkill. Elicits emotion, don't it? How about a smack upside the head?

There was a group of artists here that put party hats on the road kill they came across. Road kill isn't art, but road kill wearing party hats is. The medium can be anything but it has to be purposely and creatively manipulated in some way to make it art.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
Go to Top of Page

H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2008 :  12:40:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by dglas
No, Dave, my counter-examples succeed because that was the point I was making.
Yeah, I think he was saying your counter-examples fail at being art. They succeed at being counter-examples. In other words, I don't think he was disagreeing with you.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly Bookmark this Topic BookMark Topic
Jump To:

The mission of the Skeptic Friends Network is to promote skepticism, critical thinking, science and logic as the best methods for evaluating all claims of fact, and we invite active participation by our members to create a skeptical community with a wide variety of viewpoints and expertise.


Home | Skeptic Forums | Skeptic Summary | The Kil Report | Creation/Evolution | Rationally Speaking | Skeptillaneous | About Skepticism | Fan Mail | Claims List | Calendar & Events | Skeptic Links | Book Reviews | Gift Shop | SFN on Facebook | Staff | Contact Us

Skeptic Friends Network
© 2008 Skeptic Friends Network Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.44 seconds.
Powered by @tomic Studio
Snitz Forums 2000