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  1. #11
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    There's also a distinction between art and craft.

    Craft is less about personal expression, ideas, or philosophy. It is more pragmatic and functional. Commercialism is craft, rarely art. Art is something different, although not everyone has perceptions developed to tell the difference. People based their concept of all artistic expression on what they are able to perceive in a work. It's one reason arrogance is such a problem. A student only perceives a shallow level of a work. The same student produces work on the level they perceived the masterpiece. The student assumes they are a master. The best sign of an artist is someone who has the capacity to perceive beyond what they create. That is the only evidence the person has the capacity to grow.

    The two poles of philosophy regarding art are: 1. artistic expression reaches towards an ideal that exists outside of self, and 2. art reveals the nature of self and the perceptual experience of being a human being. I have never understood why some people think an idea is less of an expression of self than an emotion. I am far less defined by my emotions than by my ideas. It is my ideas that create the framework of my mind. Feelings only result from this and from my body chemistry. They are not an entity in and of themselves, but merely a reaction to the meat of who I am. I suspect this is true for all.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  2. #12
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    Well, wouldn't invention then be more a craft than an art since it emphasizes pragmatism and functionality?

    I always thought that craft was more like science.

  3. #13
    Junior Member Jezebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    By the way, what's your type? (I'm just curious, PM me if you want.)
    Either INTJ or INTP, I don't know where I belong

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    There's also a distinction between art and craft.
    I categorize craft as a form of art, rather than making them two separate entities. Even generic commercial art can be seen as a reflection of the ideas of the society it came from. In art history, I have found much of that just as fascinating as other forms of art.

  4. #14
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    Well, wouldn't invention then be more a craft than an art since it emphasizes pragmatism and functionality?

    I always thought that craft was more like science.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jezebel View Post
    I categorize craft as a form of art, rather than making them two separate entities. Even generic commercial art can be seen as a reflection of the ideas of the society it came from. In art history, I have found much of that just as fascinating as other forms of art.
    We will end up getting down to a debate over definitions at this point. Functionality isn't the key issue imo, but one of exploration vs. repetition. The 'craftsman' recreates the same object so to speak. The 'artist' is searching for something beyond what they have created. In 'craft' it is created to serve, to be used, understood. It is not intended to challenge perception, knowledge, or assumptions. Art, on the other hand, does all these things. It is a complicated discussion as there is no black-and-white. Easily an individual and created object can contain elements of both. It is useful to separate the two processes, rather than lumping everything into an absolute category of sameness.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    In 'craft' it is created to serve, to be used, understood. It is not intended to challenge perception, knowledge, or assumptions. Art, on the other hand, does all these things.
    Does an 'artist' have to challenge other people's perception, too, or just one's own?

    When an art critic asks "What are you trying to say with this piece?" would that be more of looking for 'craft?'

    Because when I draw, paint, or write, I'm not trying to tell people to act a certain way or communicate a definite message about life. I'm more in it for the creative expression and perhaps "shock value" or communicating thoughts that challenge what's socially appropriate.

  6. #16
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    Does an 'artist' have to challenge other people's perception, too, or just one's own?

    When an art critic asks "What are you trying to say with this piece?" would that be more of looking for 'craft?'

    Because when I draw, paint, or write, I'm not trying to tell people to act a certain way or communicate a definite message about life. I'm more in it for the creative expression and perhaps "shock value" or communicating thoughts that challenge what's socially appropriate.
    So much of artistic communication can happen subconsciously. New ideas expressed completely abstractly can challenge people without it having any type of identifiable message. Some artists do have a specific message, but when that message becomes really perfunctory, the art can suffer. Things that are overtly preachy aren't challenging in the way I am attempting to describe here.

    Beethoven can serve as a good example because his work is intensely abstract. Yet, his music is philosophy in sound. He even considered becoming a philosopher as his hearing declined. It's difficult to put into words, but his work explores the conflict between the individual and fate. It has to do with exerting individual will. This is not accomplished through text or any overt means. It is done with abstract patterns that go through a process of conflict and resolution. On listening to this work, experiencing the process that the sound goes through, we can understand some aspect of his ideas, his experience of the obstacles we face, their intensity and nature, and the method through which they are resolved and conquered.

    Asian classical music, and European music influenced by it, tends to lack that kind of closure. It is based on cyclic structures. It mirrors the ideas in Eastern philosophy on many levels. This is rarely done intentionally. The culture, philosophy, ways of resolving conflict, the myriads of assumption we hold, come through in our expression oftentimes without our conscious attempt.

    The Indian raga, its classical musical structure, contains four sections that parallel the stages in Hindu cosmology. Whether or not this is overtly intentional, i'm not certain. The process in the music goes from stability and clarity of the initial scale staying within a close range to its drone, to become progressively more active, more unstable, venturing further from its center, its pure ideal. That process is assumed to apply to everything, so it is no surprise it ended up in their musical structure.

    Dance movements tend to emphasize the direction which that culture understand as the ideal realm. Western European ballet focuses on upward movements towards the heavenly realms. Nature based cultures have movements that are earthward. Eastern dance forms have intricate movements pointing in towards the body reflecting a philosophy of inward focus and meditation. None of this is intentional, but is the natural evolution of the expression.

    Many pages could be written about this in more detail, but the principle holds for culture, society, and individual. That is what makes art so fascinating. It is humanity's looking glass. It allows us to see the face we look out from.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  7. #17
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    Beethoven can serve as a good example because his work is intensely abstract. ..

    Asian classical music, and European music influenced by it, tends to lack that kind of closure. ...

    The Indian raga, its classical musical structure, contains four sections that parallel the stages in Hindu cosmology....

    Dance movements tend to emphasize the direction which that culture understand as the ideal realm. ...

    Many pages could be written about this in more detail, but the principle holds for culture, society, and individual. That is what makes art so fascinating. It is humanity's looking glass. It allows us to see the face we look out from.
    This is fascinating, Toonia, and I so wish I had spent more time expanding my knowledge of music history so that I could grasp what you are saying in its totality. (I understand the principles but it would click so much better if I knew more details to plug into it.)

    It did raise an unsettling question for me, though: Looking at American pop music, what does that say about the values and complexity of our culture? (And I'm not talking about anything as banal as "bad lyrics" and the like, I'm looking at the actual structure of the songs and how they are put together.)

    I'm afraid to answer that question in the detail it deserves, because I fear we will be found very wanting...
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #18

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    I think that whoever is quoted in that statement fails to see that a part of ourselves is present in whatever we create, even if it is clearly craft and not art. If you ask 100 people to paint the same landscape, they will all look different. That is the self coming out whether the vanity inherent in self-expression is present or not.

    I've debated the definition of art with myself, and I've come up with this: "Art is a creative endeavor in which the artist attempts to reproduce in the audience feelings and emotions that he himself has felt. Art is an effort to convey a point of view emotionally rather than logically."

    This is why I think that art means only what the artist intends it to mean. I think that when people say, "well, it means what you want it to mean", that that is BS. It means only what the artist had in mind, because he is the one that created it. If you think you have discovered another meaning to the work, no matter how logical, it is invalid on its face. If the work is a painting of a clown holding balloons, and the artist says that it represents why he hates his mother, then that is what it means, period.

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