January 7, 2009

What is art?

This past semester Laura took an aesthetics class through the art history department. The cumulating question of the class was “What is Art?”, which is a pretty hard to nail down. So I offer some questions for my readers, answer any of them that you want.

1.Do you have any interest in art; if so in what category, time frame, or place?

2.Do you ever go to art museums (why or why not)?

3.What disciplines do you feel should fall under then category of art? (visual, music, literature, crafts, movies, etc.)

4.Does art need to be beautiful, can art be functional?

5.Should art be a high priority for every person?

6.What do you think art is?


Joshua Butcher said...

One of the perennial questions that are never adequately answered.

1. Yes, I am interested in art. I prefer visual, literature, and musical. I like a variety of time periods and places.

2. Yes, I do go to art museums. I like to look at older works of painting and sculpture as opposed to more modern works.

3. One of the original meanings of art was a craft or technique, so I think there isn't a true limited to what art may be, though there is a standard for what may be art in any category.

4. I don't oppose beauty and function. Some of the most beautiful things are apprehended as such because of how they function.

5. Art is, I think, like worship. It ought to be a priority because it is an inescapable manner of perceiving the world. To be deficient in thinking about art is to be deficient in bearing the image of God. It may not be the highest priority, but it should be a priority on some level.

6. I think art is the majesty (which I think includes the idea of beauty and genius) discovered in creative activity and its products.

Blake said...

I took a grad Aesthetics philosophy class at Tech a couple of semesters ago and actually hated it. Considering beauty was a main consideration in the class, the class was anything but...however I shall take a stab at these questions.

1. I do have an interest in art, however it tends to be more towards the area of music and film. However, the occasional art exhibit and architecture can titillate me.

2. Yes, but on rare occasions. Most art does not do it for me. There has to be a tie to one of my interests for art in art museums to be exciting (like art that deals with culture or Christianity hence why I like Norman Rockwell and Francis Bacon).

3. I think anything that relates to your theory of aesthetics can be considered art. Aesthetics is one of the few subcategories of philosophy that, I think, is largely relative (not to say that there isn't any universal beauty, but I think few things are).

4. Art can be functional and it can be beautiful and it can be both. Some of the great cathedrals in the world are both functional and beautiful. However, I think a balance needs to be reached between the two.

5. I think it should because there is something about art that speaks to humanity on another plane, a more spiritual plane, if you will allow me the terminology. Beauty speaks to our soul and not JUST the senses. Plus it is one of the few joys left in this fallen world.

6. Of all of the philosophers, I think I would agree with Tolstoy in that art is a communal and community thing. It should bring people together. However I would drop the nationalism stuff that was rife in Tolstoy's writing. Ultimately, with the exceptions of divine beauty (whatever makes that up, which is a whole other question), I find, personally, that art is relative to each person. Even if every person liked the same work of art, they liked it for different reasons. I think beauty and aesthetics is something that every person works out for themselves. Find your theory and run with it in other words.

corey said...

hey jacob, I got a blog so how do I connect with yours? sorry, this comment is about your thoughts.