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Old 05-27-2016, 08:44 PM View Post #11 (Link)
2sh4r (Offline)
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EDIT: read the whole thing before you respond, s'il vous plait. I know it's three posts, which is really long, but its necessary to prevent any misunderstandings. I don't want the debate to get bogged down by semantics.

I'm going to have to respond piece-by-piece because there's a lot to respond to.

that is one beautiful and amazing picture, now what?
"Now what" is you incorporate it into your psychology. You build a whole narrative around it, which shouldn't be hard because the artist has made it memorable and Beautiful. When you're walking down the street, and you encounter something, you remember that piece of Art, and in remembering it, you let it shape your behavior. You let it become a part of you.

The artist has Communicated, and really, that's at the center of art, isn't it? In some ways, art is just refined communication, yeah?

In contrast, symbol art is unrefined communication. It's pure communication. And in another sense, its just philosophical reflection and not even communication at all. Its more quiet.

Say you find a rock in the wild that makes you think. You bring it to your friend and say "let's think about this together." That's symbol art.

Say instead you try and capture the energy of the rock more directly - that is, you attempt to portray that thing that you felt when you saw the rock. You write a story or paint a picture. Essentially, you've internalized the rock, taken its most basic aesthetic form and processed it into something different, and then you've communicated. That's Art.

To me, at least, the latter is so much more complex, so much more deserving of our appreciation. But again, subjectivity (that's the best counter-argument to everything, it seems).
  
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:10 PM View Post #12 (Link)
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you're whining about art being nihilistic and lazy because Beauty isn't presented to you on a silver platter?
This rhetoric is a bit pointed, and I don't like it.

"Whining" and "presented... on a silver platter" both imply that somehow my inability to grasp the gallery's Beauty is due to laziness on my part when laziness has nothing to do with it. I'm willing to struggle with the art. I'm willing to do the intellectual legwork.

But there has to be an element of Communication to art; the lack of that is what I'm protesting against. You could say that the symbol artist is communicating.

And you would be right, but he/she is doing so without any refinement.

There are no aesthetic principles at play except for the ones you already see all around you in common life. And the artist's job is to somehow heighten those, to refine them as I've been saying all along. They can't just steal it directly. That feels like cheating to me.

You say "meet me halfway," but that's exactly what they've done: they found beautiful things and presented them to you in a way that allowed you to interact with them and see all the beauty that they saw. Whose fault is it that you didn't see beauty there? I saw it; the artist saw it; a hell of a lot of other people did, too.
I can see the beauty; that's not the issue. The issue is that the Beauty isn't enough.
  
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Old 05-27-2016, 09:29 PM View Post #13 (Link)
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But I think that the world benefits from the existence of multiple definitions of beauty.
Oh, certainly. Darwin and common sense have taught us that variation in a population is good for the health of that population. Same principle applies to art.

But total acceptance is frustrating. Just to be clear, I'm not advocating totalitarian annihilation. I think that maybe heated arguments (like this one) is enough.

If everybody thought that this world was as fucking beautiful and unimprovable as I do, we'd just get lots of pictures of butterflies and rather little Art In The Classical Sense.
Here, in the wording, I think, is the crux of your argument. Specifically, the "unimprovable".

The artist isn't re-inventing the world's natural beauty, nor is he really improving it. He's just playing with it a bit so that it will be understood in a specific way.

It all has to do with communication. On some level, its subjective (Whose to say that Chinese communication is better than English communication, for example?). But on another level, its quite objective. Grunts are less communicative than fully formed words, for example.

To go even further, putting a rock on a pedestal is communicative in a way, but if that's all you expect from your communication then you're missing a big part of it. A lot of the conscious and unconscious deliberation of communication is gone. That's what I mean by saying that symbol art is a purer communication; it isn't hindered by the thought that refined Communication requires.

But then the thought that goes into communication is vital in and of itself - that is, it lives. It pulses with the potential to birth something Beautiful.

Symbol art has no such potential.

So it doesn't do me any good to tell you that the phrase "let me show you true Beauty" makes you sound like a pompous narcissist (which it does). We're both better off if I just say, cool man, make art happen, and give me my rocks and old shoes.
If you really believed that, you wouldn't have responded so heatedly. I think (and I'm taking a wild guess here, so don't get offended) some part of you enjoys defending your views and saying that they are better than mine. I'm glad that that part of you isn't dead. That part of you is vital.

I'm glad that we're having this debate because the meek submission of "You're right, I'm right" is so damn boring.
  
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Old 05-28-2016, 12:53 AM View Post #14 (Link)
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There you go, you've gotten down to what you wanted to say in the first place. This is much more interesting to read than your initial assertion that modern art is lazy and boring. You probably should have started with this.

The everyday can be beautiful; I'm glad you agree with this, that's what I wanted to defend. (The amount of shits that I give about Art As Such is approximately zero, but I give a lot of shits about the everyday.)

Symbol art is less communicative than a Made Thing: Yes, agreed.

Communication is beautiful and to be treasured: Yes, agreed.

Say instead you try and capture the energy of the rock more directly - that is, you attempt to portray that thing that you felt when you saw the rock. You write a story or paint a picture. Essentially, you've internalized the rock, taken its most basic aesthetic form and processed it into something different, and then you've communicated. That's Art.
I can agree with this, sure.

To me, at least, the latter is so much more complex, so much more deserving of our appreciation. But again, subjectivity (that's the best counter-argument to everything, it seems).
And now that we've teased apart a difference between Art and Beauty, I'm pleased to say that I see where we differ. I only like art for its beauty, same as I like everything else around me. No art has ever moved me the way rocks have, or even old shoes. I've spent much of my life trying to stuff as much of the world around me into poetry as I can (that's my only art form), but my entire goal is to achieve the same kind of beauty in a poem that the rest of the world provides so easily. I'll take rocks over poetry and old shoes over paintings any day.

As for your last point, nah, I do really believe that we're better off if we agree to disagree. Sure, I wanted to call you a pompous narcissist, but that's because we're both low-grade assholes with unrefined debating style (your debating style finally got itself refined in these three posts, kudos). It's not because I'd like to say my views are better than yours, which they aren't. I really do hope that you go make art happen and give me some rocks, cause rocks are the shit, man.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:31 AM View Post #15 (Link)
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we're both low-grade assholes with unrefined debating style
I'd like to think I'm a high-grade asshole
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:42 AM View Post #16 (Link)
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Originally Posted by 2sh4r View Post
I'd like to think I'm a high-grade asshole
You've got to age into that.
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Old 05-28-2016, 01:47 AM View Post #17 (Link)
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My only issue with "high-art", or modern art, or whatever you want to call it is when artists are intentionally obtuse to the point of being completely inaccessible to an audience, and yet they're praised for their obtuseness by critics, who in turn help shape the landscape of contemporary art. This is applicable to pretty much any form of art. I honestly don't even take as much issue with the artists making the obtuse art so much as I take issue with the people who dominate and control the politics behind the art world.
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Old 05-28-2016, 04:55 AM View Post #18 (Link)
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Originally Posted by 2sh4r View Post
I'd like to think I'm a high-grade asshole

For those interested in high-grade assholes in USA, watch Republican debates. Unfortunately, where I live we have only one, and no debates at all.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:26 PM View Post #19 (Link)
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Oh, in my eyes I thought you said art was lazy. My apologizes. Of course, no one should feel that way, saying modern art is lazy. But I agree with your point, anyway. And I found the symbol art of the rock very funny, by the way. I guess some people think that bringing a rock in the middle of the path way up high is a beautiful sight. God, maybe it is.
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