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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2013, 07:23 
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I don't get the negative connotation you seem to attach to artificiality - as opposed to art, as far as I understand ?

What is true in art then ?


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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2013, 07:30 
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^right, what if lies are more fun than truth? i don't get all this artsy-talk, i guess.

Mail-Moth wrote:
What I mean with this exemple is that we promote art in fashion simply by discussing it. We are creating the context, and we are part of its evolution.

rilu wrote:
Yes, exactly, we can distinguish certain aesthetic aspects of clothing and name them "art". But the question is why, that is, according to which criteria and in view of which reasons we do so. And I agree with hlee's point that the shift from aesthetics of clothing towards art has to do with the shift in functionality or purpose. That something has a certain aesthetic appeal doesn't yet make it "artful", but this shift may very well be something gradual rather than discreet.

like moth says, we create the context. art, design, whatever reason you give, you're the one giving the reason. here's a question: if you're more inspired by design than art, does the distinction matter after all that work you've done defining it? i don't mind what you call my inspirations, won't change anything of what i think about 'em.

in ancient greece an amphora was used as storage (craft). fast forward and suddenly it's on display in museums and inspiring people (art). you make the distinction, not the artist, and whether you blame that on society-at-large or assume personal responsibility is up to you; whether the everyday interpretation of an amphora is as something simply pourable or as something simply art is irrelevant, however much the context informs our appreciation thereof.

useful, schmuseful =P

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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2013, 07:48 
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in ancient greece an amphora was used as storage (craft). fast forward and suddenly it's on display in museums and inspiring people (art).


Note that it is art after it is put in a museum and no longer used to store anything. It is equally as much a historical artefact as we could say Da Vinci's works are historical artefacts than an artwork with contemporary relevance. I don't think I'm putting a negative connotation to anything nor saying anything's better or worse than the other. Nor am I saying being inspired by design is lesser than being inspired by art. If it seems that way, let me clarify: I'm not! I'm only making observations.

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What is true in art then ?


Let me attempt to answer this question. If we understand and agree that art is a mode of expression within creation, and so is design, regardless of use or uselessness, then we assume there is a creator/artist/designer who has an audience/customer/receiver. If art and design is the bridge of communication between these two bodies, I propose that a truth in art is an understanding between artist and audience. What I attempted to explain before with my previous example is that there is a way of receiving art where there is an un-truth to the art. The audience is duped, or the artist is mis-understood. As I see it, a motivation for creating un-truths in art or design (intentionally or not) is a capitalistic one. Duping the audience with trickery and sensationalism without really communicating something is a nice way to make lots of money.


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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2013, 08:53 
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I disagree with your last point.

Understanding the intention of an artist sounds a bit delusional to me. What were the intentions of Rembrandt when he was painting his 1659 self-portrait ? Or of Fragonard painting La Liseuse ?

You are free to propose interpretations of those works : some will be bland, some will be daring, some will be utterly stupid, some will have the appearances of the most established truth, because they will show some coherence with factual realities. Some will leave aside the very same realities and present themselves as overtly subjective, but their appeal will be enough to legitimate the vision they propose.

I don't believe in such things as truth or un-truth in this field, even if the artist is still here to make statements about his/her intentions. Art is what you call so, as long as you manage to build a discourse about it that will be recognized as a proper discourse about art.

As for the audience duped by oversimplification and sensationalism, I don't agree either. It is a bit condescendant to think that people visiting those spectacular expositions, or seeing that powerpoint animation you were mentioning earlier, are merely tricked and ripped of their money. Of course there's a financial interest in that, but it doesn't mean that nothing happens beside that. Have they not learnt something ? Have they not seen something new ? Maybe this is just what they ask for in the first place. They took something from those artworks displayed in front of them : whether it was the truth or not sounds quite irrevelant to me.


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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2013, 10:55 
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Mail-Moth wrote:
You are free to propose interpretations of those works : some will be bland, some will be daring, some will be utterly stupid, some will have the appearances of the most established truth, because they will show some coherence with factual realities. Some will leave aside the very same realities and present themselves as overtly subjective, but their appeal will be enough to legitimate the vision they propose.


If I were to propose my interpretations, it would only be sharing what I gained from the work, or what I understood from it. It would be a matter of me expressing my own taste and opinion, and probably not much to do with whether this artist is a genius or not. There is the thing of pluralism, because realities and truths are so diverse and varied to each person and we can say that all these truths are valid, even if they contradict each other. And yes, this makes it profoundly vague and susceptible to a "its just my opinion, man!"-conclusion.

The point is that we look at works and understand something of them. What we understand of artworks may or may not be something we can put into words, and that could just depend on how good we are with language. It is not that we know the intention of the artist, nor that some are privileged to know while some are not. It is the sense that one can sympathise with the artist, whether it be a simple agreement that a nude is beautiful, or a terribly tortured sentiment of loneliness.

When I say "truth" or "un-truth", I understand that there is such a thing as many truths, and that there is not a single more correct truth. Artists who express nothing are thoroughly cynical producers of waste. Fortunately it is not necessarily up to them whether their artworks mean something for others. I can't say whether every audience member did or didn't take something from the public art project about Abramovic, and surely her work is rich enough so that there is much to take. Perhaps I myself am not very good with language, but I can only attempt to argue that there is a real difference between sincere and cynical beliefs.


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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2013, 14:51 
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I hope I'm not bothering you : do you really think that such a thing as artists who express nothing does exist ? How come they have an audience then ? How come people can relate to their work ?

Image


This is Georges Mathieu. Christian once called him France's worst painter, and I'll gladly share his point of view.
But this man designed a logo for a TV channel, another for a coin, painted countless canvas, was a respected member of the Académie des Beaux-arts... Looking at his works, I have to wonder why. I'd be all over simple explanations based on the secret laws of the art industry, which I completely ignore.

But I doubt it is that simple. That guy, at a given time, had to embody something strong - maybe just novelty for the sake of it. He probably had the right gesture at the right moment at the right place, and that gesture translated into something like :"From now on, this is what art looks like !" - and people (influent people in the field) agreed because at that very time they needed something simple and new.

Maybe Mathieu was some one-trick poney. Maybe he was a cheat. But despite that he touched people. He gave them a mental picture of what modernity could be : something easy, energetic, spectacularily fast. And in the end absolutely vapid, yes. But who cares ? It happened. People got their fix.
Did they understand him ? Even if his message was just about easy money and plain complexity, I guess they did, spot on. It was that time, after all.

I'm afraid we tend to call sincere artists whose work moves us. Just a matter of personal sensibility, far from being an absolute truth.


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PostPosted: 02 Jun 2013, 17:13 
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sort of where i was going with my initial bit, f - it seems to be defined through the personal relationship between a person an an object, or an idea behind an object/image/action that people have tended to consider elevated from the mundane and separate, with a clear line of demarcation. kant places that line with purity of intent, though its altogether more interesting to consider this need for 'purity' and its tendency to be defined as something less nuanced, less divisible and, ultimately, something cloistered off in its own irrelevance. today the term practically implies the effete gallery set, an industry playing by sets of rules where third-world oligarchs in pursuit of reconciling their newfound socio-economic status with themselves and their western peers are keeping the party afloat. there's a metric fuckton more to it of course, but it still bothers me somewhat because, according to these critical structures, it must be something separate from the everyday and may only interact with it as a matter of leisure. things which must be a part of the everyday narrow the disconnect, lessen that element of leisure.. i don't know if any of this makes sense as i'm gagging on my own words reading this back, so i better hit the submit button before it is erased.

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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2013, 06:31 
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I hope I'm not bothering you : do you really think that such a thing as artists who express nothing does exist ? How come they have an audience then ? How come people can relate to their work ?


I'm not bothered at all, I appreciate the responses, always! Anyway, do I think artists who express nothing exist? Well, coming from the perspective of somebody who recently spent two years at an art-school: yes. How come they have an audience? There is always an audience, and it looks at anything. Do people relate to their work in the first place? I have no idea. I wouldn't be one to say somebody can or cannot relate to anything, though I do believe there is a propensity of cynicism to encourage a lifeless passivity when it comes to consuming artworks.

I don't think to categorise artists as being either sincere or cynical, nor their artworks nor the galleries they are shown in. I guess I'm just trying to describe an attitude in reception and creation of art.


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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2013, 17:58 
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Stable States:


sincere artist, sincere audience
cynical artist, cynical audience


Unstable States:

cynical artist, sincere audience
sincere artist, cynical audience



:ugeek: :ugeek: :ugeek:


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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2013, 19:57 
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states neither stable nor un-:

artist and audience mutually uninterested in sincerity


;)

hlee, i think i understand where you're coming from a bit better, and i may've misread you at first. look forward to your elaborations on this theme.

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PostPosted: 03 Jun 2013, 23:32 
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Mail-Moth wrote:
I'm afraid we tend to call sincere artists whose work moves us. Just a matter of personal sensibility, far from being an absolute truth.

merz wrote:
kant places that line with purity of intent, though its altogether more interesting to consider this need for 'purity' and its tendency to be defined as something less nuanced, less divisible and, ultimately, something cloistered off in its own irrelevance.


I like these two thoughts because they are onto the idea that, first, interpretation is what ascribes the status of art (rather than the artist's intention), and second, even the ultimate criterion of what is too count as art (e.g. purposelessness) is a matter of interpretation and contextualization.
At the same time, we are here speaking in terms of categories, which are thus presupposed to a certain extent: we have some common paradigmatic idea of what counts as art, and what counts as, say, pure kitsch. So I think the only sensible way to understand in which sense clothing design enters the field of art is by having these two points in mind (including the tension that comes with the relativity of interpretation, on the one hand, and the pre-analytic notion of art we somewhat share, on the other hand). We'll all probably agree that a very usual button up shirt doesn't count as any kind of art, while those MMM designs already enter this category. And the question is: why? So I'd like to put the discussion back onto that question, and maybe approach the question of what art is, from that angle.


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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2013, 16:26 
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Ok, so : considering the fact that in 2013 a generic white shirt won't certainly be considered as a piece of art, at least outside of the context of an exhibition, would those three MMM 'blazers' still be considered as such outside the runway, or the showroom, or the fashion scene in general ? I don't think their intrinsic value would be enough for that.


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PostPosted: 04 Jun 2013, 17:40 
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definitely not, I agree. the context seems to play the key role here.


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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2013, 12:49 
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ah, I wish I replied this thread sooner, no less better late than never! I think Bjorn's stable/unstable states clarified a few things :)

Mail-Moth wrote:
Ok, so : considering the fact that in 2013 a generic white shirt won't certainly be considered as a piece of art, at least outside of the context of an exhibition, would those three MMM 'blazers' still be considered as such outside the runway, or the showroom, or the fashion scene in general ? I don't think their intrinsic value would be enough for that.


wait a second! in 2013, nothing is not art! Everything can be art! Post-Warhol, a Brillo box can be art, so in 2013 a generic white shirt certainly can be art too. Is the work of MMM considered art outside the runway/showroom/fashion scene? Yes! Of course it is! They've had a retrospective exhibit at the MOMU, the hype factor of the H&MxMMM collaboration depended on buzzwords like "avant-garde", "artistic", "conceptual" etc.etc.etc.

We can see that MMM is not necessarily art since it is based in a world of design, however we are dealing with a contemporary context where anything can be "art", but we also note that there is such a thing as an "artistic quality" and that some things contain it more than others.

so, what did you mean by "intrinsic value" and what part of it is "inartistic"?


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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2013, 04:55 
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Everything can be art as long as someone is here to say so, in an accurate way and in front of an appropriate audience. We all know that.

I don't see any intrisic value in those three examples. They perfectly illustrate conceptual art. It's witty, and once you got the trick it is expendable. You can write papers about it as some sort of sign of an evolution in the conception of art, but you probably can't come back to it, again and again, to feed your mind. At least I can't.

I have no general definition of art to propose, because I am not interested in such distinctions. Hence I wouldn't adventure in trying to explain what in this is 'unartistic'. I simply know that what keeps me close from a work, whatever the kind, is the clear signature of a personal skill, and the very subjective feeling that some inner necessity decided of its existence. I know how idealistic and naive it sounds, but to be honest I feel no obligations towards academic discourse when it comes to private tastes.


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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2013, 10:23 
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Mail-Moth wrote:
... the very subjective feeling that some inner necessity decided of its existence.


This is the the most resonant definition of 'art' that I've read so far.

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PostPosted: 15 Jul 2013, 13:27 
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word mail-moth.


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PostPosted: 15 Jul 2013, 14:50 
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^ but that subjective feeling doesn't help us at all when discussing an artistic value of something.
Mail-Moth wrote:
Everything can be art as long as someone is here to say so, in an accurate way and in front of an appropriate audience. We all know that.


The point is: precisely what here counts as an "accurate way"? And there we go back to the "objective standards". I don't think such standards can be given in one definition. I just think they are there for all of us, probably vague (but that doesn't mean they don't exist).


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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2013, 04:50 
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Color is something spiritual, something whose clarity is spiritual, so that when colors are mixed they produce nuances of color, not a blur. The rainbow is a pure childlike image. In it color is wholly contour; for the person who sees with a child's eyes, it marks boundaries, is not a layer of something superimposed on matter, as it is for adults. The latter abstract from color, regarding it as a deceptive cloak for individual objects existing in time and space. Where color provides the contours, objects are not reduced to things but are constituted by an order consisting of an infinite range of nuances. Color is single, not as a lifeless thing and a rigid individuality but as a winged creature that flits from one form to the next. Children make soap bubbles. Similarly, games with painted sticks, sewing kits, decals, parlor games, even pull-out picture books, and, to a lesser extent, making objects by folding paper—all involve this view of color.

Children like the way colors shimmer in subtle, shifting nuances (as in soap bubbles), or else make definite and explicit changes in intensity, as in oleographs, paintings, and the pictures produced by decals and magic lanterns. For them color is fluid, the medium of all changes, and not a symptom. Their eyes are not concerned with three-dimensionality; this they perceive through their sense of touch. The range of distinctions within each of the senses (sight, hearing, and so on) is presumably larger in children than in adults, whose ability to correlate the different senses is more developed. The child's view of color represents the highest artistic development of the sense of sight; it is sight at its purest, because it is isolated. But children also elevate it to the spiritual level because they perceive objects according to their color content and hence do not isolate them, instead using them as a basis from which to create the interrelated totality of the world of the imagination. The imagination can be developed only by contemplating colors and dealing with them in this fashion; only in this way can it be both satisfied and kept within bounds. Wherever it applies itself to the plastic arts, it becomes overly lush; the same applies to history, and in music it is sterile. For the fact is that the imagination never engages with form, which is the concern of the law, but can only contemplate the living world from a human point of view creatively in feeling. This takes place through color, which for that reason cannot be single and pure, for then it remains dull. Instead, wherever it is not confined to illustrating objects, it must be full of light and shade, full of movement, arbitrary and always beautiful. In this respect, coloring-in has a purer pedagogical function than painting, so long as it makes transparent and fresh surfaces, rather than rendering the blotchy skin of things. Productive adults derive no support from color; for them color can subsist only within law-given circumstances. Their task is to provide a world order, not to grasp innermost reasons and essences but to develop them. In a child's life, color is the pure expression of the child's pure receptivity, insofar as it is directed at the world. It contains an implicit instruction to a life of the spirit which is no more dependent on accidental circumstances for its creativity than color, for all its receptivity, is capable of communication about the existence of dead, causal reality.

Children's drawings take colorfulness as their point of departure. Their goal is color in its greatest possible transparency, and there is no reference to form, area, or concentration into a single space. For a pure vision is concerned not with space and objects but with color, which must indeed be concerned with objects but not with spatially organized objects. As an art, painting starts from nature and moves cumulatively toward form. The concern of color with objects is not based on their form; without even touching on them empirically, it goes right to the spiritual heart of the object by isolating the sense of sight. It cancels out the intellectual cross-references of the soul and creates a pure mood, without thereby sacrificing the world. Colorfulness does not stimulate the animal senses because the child's uncorrupted imaginative activity springs from the soul. But because children see with pure eyes, without allowing themselves to be emotionally disconcerted, it is something spiritual; the rainbow refers not to a chaste abstraction but to a life in art. The order of art is paradisiacal because there is no thought of the dissolution of boundaries—from excitement—in the object of experience. Instead the world is full of color in a state of identity, innocence, and harmony. Children are not ashamed, since they do not reflect but only see.

Walter Benjamin, 1915. Trans. Rodney Livingstone.

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PostPosted: 17 Aug 2013, 04:53 
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mark lovejoy, exemplar of color

yet another angle of approach, benjamin's color as metaphor for art. art inheres in the spiritual content of art-works and we concern ourselves with the law of art, but this very concern cuts us off from a childlike appreciation of art's color. the 'winged form' of art flits from one medium to the next, and like schulz's Book defies rigidity (because it's fluid!)

note that children do not isolate objects based on color. doing so would render color impotent. look at certain attempts to put a pin of meaning through art, like a butterfly collector classifying some exotic specimen... "the imagination never engages with form, which is the concern of the law, but can only contemplate the living world from a human point of view creatively in feeling." likewise, in developing "innermost reasons and essences" the opportunity is foregone to grasp them.

not that establishing a law related to art isn't a noble or fascinating endeavour. it's just not one that i can see especially nurtures the spirit.

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