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View Poll Results: Can we judge/grade art?

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  • Yes, I think there are objective principles we can use to evaluate art

    6 21.43%
  • No, the value of art is subjective and determined by the individual viewer

    6 21.43%
  • It's a combination.

    14 50.00%
  • I have some strong objections thread's premise/wording and I am going to write a long post about it.

    2 7.14%
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  1. #11
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Of course the suspension is disbelief is somewhat contentious because religion also suspends our disbelief or doesn't suspend our disbelief.

    For instance, Zeus and Poseidon don't suspend our disbelief, while Jesus and Mohammed do suspend our disbelief.

    So we can judge not only art by the suspension of disbelief, but also religion.

    But religions hate to be judged by this criteria for there are so many whose disbelief is not suspended by this religion or that, but only by their own religion.

    They hate to be judged so much that will tell you, "Don't be judgemental".

  2. #12
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    I had pre-modern sculpture in mind while typing the post, but really, I find just about any type of realistic sculpture more technically impressive than most forms of art, and realism in general more technically impressive than most abstract pieces. I don't know a lot about art, so I could be ass-wrong, but sculpting realistic images from a block of marble or granite just seems like something that's more difficult for most people to learn than painting circles and triangles.
    Well there are design techniques in abstracted or non-objective art that are shared with realism. Balance, proportion, rhythm, color ect. So more than just drawing shape what makes an non-objective peice "good" might me the arrangement of the visuals more than the skill it takes to draw them.

    I think it depends on the artist as to what is harder to learn. Another thing to think about is the difference between real space (that a sculptor works in) and the creation of space (that goes on in some 2d work).


    Basically, not tryin to change your opinion by I think it takes skill to do either well.

  3. #13
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Nah. To me art is any form of expression. Good and bad comes when you judge by criteria. You can judge anything arbitrarily by any set of criteria. For instance, you can judge an orange by its color (good for a painting, bad to eat?), or its taste (good to taste, not photogenic), or maybe as a paperweight (better than a feather, worse than a rock). When I 'judge' art, it's whether it speaks to me, but that's an interaction between me and it, and isn't a judgement on its worthiness of existence.

    I'm completely ignoring academia, fuck them.

  4. #14
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    You can judge art, but I don't think there are real objective criteria for most works. 'Complex' doesn't equal 'aesthetic'.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    Art includes (but perhaps is not limited to) sights, sounds or conditions created by humans for sensory experience.

    Judging means evaluating a piece of art as either good/bad or evaluating it in comparison to other works of art as better or worse.



    Do are there objective, universal criteria or is beauty in the eye of the beholder?
    I think absolutely certainly there are objective universal criteria for judging art and those are determined by the genre and other specifics.

    It would be a little like saying that it is not possible to make judgements about books and literature when obviously, with no exceptions that I know about, if a book has no sentence structure, is mispelt, has no grammer etc. can you call it a book at all?

    Now, I would say that it is unfair to judge all art in exactly the same way, there are different genres, styles and determinants. Still further there can be and is disagreement about what qualifies as art per se and what is good and bad art once it is accepted as qualifying as art.

    Some modern art grates me seriously and makes me totally angry at its stupidity and the supporting context which permits it aswell, now, there are some people who would suggest that it is art and also great art because it evokes feeling like that, I wouldnt agree, if that is the case then atrocity is also art and a lot of other things follow and are permitted. This was a brief and often unconsidered part of the Tim Burton/Jack Nicholson's Joker in the first non-Pop Batman movie, the scene in which he trashes a museam of art works and flicks through a magazine to pictures from war reportage, its just one example, overlooked, of how Nicholson's Joker is as mad and should be considered as scary as the latest one.

    Of art I've heard praised and seen lately there was one in which someone had spent months or years burning individual sun flower seeds and mounted them all in frames around a totally unfurnished concrete room with a bit of wood with a wire and a seed attached in the middle, I thought without the context this was crap, I thought which the context it was still crap and felt sorry that they'd wasted their time in this way and nothing of any worth could be derived from it.

  6. #16
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    I think it depends on the artist as to what is harder to learn. Another thing to think about is the difference between real space (that a sculptor works in) and the creation of space (that goes on in some 2d work).


    Basically, not tryin to change your opinion by I think it takes skill to do either well.
    Fair enough, and I wasn't trying to say that its easy to paint well, simply that its my (totally uninformed) impression that more people are capable of learning how to paint or draw well than are capable of becoming proficient sculpture artists.

    Of course, my idea of appealing artwork tends toward 'realistic' depictions of women in chainmail bikinis fighting dragons in fantasy locales, so....yeah.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I agree that Warhol did something different and that he had something meaningful to say, but IMO most is just interesting commentary, not art. That's just my perspective, though.

    I will say, I have much greater respect for his work than I do for most Conceptual Art - I feel like it's on the very border and it gives me the most inner conflict over the definition.
    @matmotini

    How does art differ from commentary?

    Or a better question would be "how do you see the role of art?" Or "why do people make art"

    The idea behind some conceptual art is that the only thing that designates a "work of art" is how we approach it. The intentionality. So whereas a toilet in its proper place is nothing significant and toilet in the specialized place we call a "gallery" suddenly becomes something to evaluate. And so while that toilet isn't touching you aesthetically it is making you think about something: what do I accept as art.

    Then there is conceptual work like baldessarri's type paintings. Done by a sign painter, black text on canvas. One that says " everything has been purged from this painting but art, no ideas have entered this work". That work also confronts the idea of what makes art by stripping away everything but thought or intentionality behind it. Which I think speaks to the idea is art as a universal human action that becomes sort of standardized by various cultures based on various thing like media available, cultural attitudes ect.

    I think that work would define art as "intentional aesthetic creation". Which you could still judge as good or bad or somewhere in between. (I.e a child art or a Picasso would still be art ven if you thought it wasn't good, because it was an intentional aesthetic creation.


    And then performance art could be argued to move to a point where an artist is designing an "experience". Art beyond the physical to an aesthetic that is very connected to time and changes ever occasion it's presented. And the action might not be difficult to replicate but it's doesn't take away the intentionality of the action. Marina abromovic I think has some of the most powerful performances I've seen. Specifically one where she put different objects in a room and passively let people do whatever they wanted to her. (Roses,feathers,a gun, paper, scissors). People at first were timid but some eventually pricked her and cut off her clothing, pointed the gun at her took it away. Which is a really interesting result of goin people power. But the whole thin stems from her design the experience, the space the limits, the included objects and her personal endurance.

    I would argue that those works are important because they confront our consciousness more than playing on our emotions, and that is where art can be very powerful, in the transmission of ideas.


    But basically easing the question is art a series of objects or is art an action or is art an intention ect.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Pseudo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Fair enough, and I wasn't trying to say that its easy to paint well, simply that its my (totally uninformed) impression that more people are capable of learning how to paint or draw well than are capable of becoming proficient sculpture artists.

    Of course, my idea of appealing artwork tends toward 'realistic' depictions of women in chainmail bikinis fighting dragons in fantasy locales, so....yeah.
    ::

  9. #19
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    How does art differ from commentary?

    Or a better question would be "how do you see the role of art?" Or "why do people make art"

    The idea behind some conceptual art is that the only thing that designates a "work of art" is how we approach it. The intentionality. So whereas a toilet in its proper place is nothing significant and toilet in the specialized place we call a "gallery" suddenly becomes something to evaluate. And so while that toilet isn't touching you aesthetically it is making you think about something: what do I accept as art.

    Then there is conceptual work like baldessarri's type paintings. Done by a sign painter, black text on canvas. One that says " everything has been purged from this painting but art, no ideas have entered this work". That work also confronts the idea of what makes art by stripping away everything but thought or intentionality behind it. Which I think speaks to the idea is art as a universal human action that becomes sort of standardized by various cultures based on various thing like media available, cultural attitudes ect.

    I think that work would define art as "intentional aesthetic creation". Which you could still judge as good or bad or somewhere in between. (I.e a child art or a Picasso would still be art ven if you thought it wasn't good, because it was an intentional aesthetic creation.


    And then performance art could be argued to move to a point where an artist is designing an "experience". Art beyond the physical to an aesthetic that is very connected to time and changes ever occasion it's presented. And the action might not be difficult to replicate but it's doesn't take away the intentionality of the action. Marina abromovic I think has some of the most powerful performances I've seen. Specifically one where she put different objects in a room and passively let people do whatever they wanted to her. (Roses,feathers,a gun, paper, scissors). People at first were timid but some eventually pricked her and cut off her clothing, pointed the gun at her took it away. Which is a really interesting result of goin people power. But the whole thin stems from her design the experience, the space the limits, the included objects and her personal endurance.

    I would argue that those works are important because they confront our consciousness more than playing on our emotions, and that is where art can be very powerful, in the transmission of ideas.


    But basically easing the question is art a series of objects or is art an action or is art an intention ect.
    You make a lot of good points here and I don't entirely disagree with what you're getting at. I just approach the issue from the Fi perspective, which is to look at what 'doesn't feel like art' and work backwards from there. With this sort of topic, I'm more comfortable eliminating things that don't work (again, IMO), whereas you are looking for an argument to actively prove things.

    For me, an interesting idea in the form of visual commentary isn't enough to be considered art. I think art must appeal to the emotions because otherwise it creates a slippery slope where too many other forms of communication can be included. A news article may be written with beautiful and elegant prose; it might convince us to see the world differently and make us question what we think of ourselves those around us. But it's not art. It's primarily appealing to the intellect. It's informative and/or persuasive (although most journalists would disapprove of the use of persuasion, as they are expected to relate objective truth, free from partiality - problematic as that idea is).

    I see Conceptual Art as not remarkably different from an article or essay; like you said, "the transmission of ideas". Of course, great art often contains an element of that as well, but it takes a backseat to the immediate aesthetic response.

    As for intention, effort and skill, I remember an 'artwork' that won an award in NZ a few years back. Each year the winner of this award would then go on to represent NZ in an international art exhibition and every year something very controversial won. This one year, a pile of rubbish won - literally. Someone had taken a bin and turned it upside down and emptied out the contents. While the contents could potentially be of interest (they could reflect modern life and people's choices etc), it's still just a pile of upturned rubbish. The 'artist' made no effort to create it. It didn't require skill or intention. It had no aesthetic quality. It's only value was in what you choose to see in it. There was an outcry among the public and more significantly, by the art community. I remember one artist on the news basically saying, "if this is considered art, I don't know why I the hell I bother spending endless hours toiling away at my own work".

    The point is, if you make art appreciation too subjective (which as you say, is, in part, the goal of Conceptual Art) you risk undermining the value of art altogether. If it is acceptable for the idea to take precedence over the aesthetics, where does that leave artwork that requires real skill to accomplish? - something that has been rendered over time with love and attention. In doing so, you even undermine the value of Beauty itself.

    To me, idea based art is a cold, hard thing - like concrete and steel. It's like designing and constructing a building purely for practicality. It might achieve it's goal, but you can't delight in basic functionality. That would be like celebrating mediocrity. And you certainly can't hold that building in the same esteem as those that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing - buildings that inspire awe and wonder, intrigue and surprise, that move and impact you.

    Conceptual Art might tell me something, but generally my response is, "who cares?". The idea itself isn't sufficient; I need to care about it too. I need to feel something to appreciate it.
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  10. #20
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    The Artist and the Commentator

    Quote Originally Posted by Pseudo View Post
    How does art differ from commentary?
    When an artist fully imagines something, it is easy for us to fully imagine it too.

    In other words, when an artist fully suspends their disbelief, it is easy for us to suspend our disbelief too.

    On the other hand, a commentator thinks critically about a work of art, and so it is easy for us also to think critically about the work of art.

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