Serra Glia

This conversation is closed.

Art and Context: Can art be found everywhere?

What Aristotle and Joshua Bell can teach us about persuasion - Conor Neill

Please look at the TED lesson before.

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other beautiful things are we missing everyday?

Are museums the only place to experience art, creative works, beautiful artifacts or interesting objects?

If most of us, are expecting to find aesthetically interesting objects only in museums or art galleries, what other beautiful things do we miss in the everyday life?

Closing Statement from Serra Glia

The word art is not definable: the meaning changes with age.

Art itself has gone through centuries of transformation and must be looked at it as a process rather than an object ( the result of the process).

Art is not an object but a process. Like being a tourist in Venice for the first time, in love, after you had a double espresso: you might discover something beautiful.

A longer statement can be found:

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts!


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    Feb 25 2014: Yes, art can be found everywhere, depending on your state of being. Take time to look, listen, touch, taste, and feel. Be ready to experience life the moment you wake up. Open yourself to new experiences. Explore. Art is not just about beautiful things. Art is where you feel it's there.

    When you have time, try this: Take an apple. Spend a few minutes just looking at it. What do you see? Then spend a few minutes just touching and feeling it. What do you feel? Then spend a few minutes just smelling it. What do you smell? And finally, spend thirty or more minutes eating it. Enjoy every moment.

    Contemplate your experience with the apple. Draw the apple from memory and write a poem about it. Try adding melody to your poem. After this exercise, do you think you will see apples the same way again?

    You can even go further. Do an in-depth research about apples. After this exercise, what do you think you have just become? A scientist, a painter, a poet, a musician, artist?
    • Feb 25 2014: I love your altitude Rodrigo.
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      Feb 25 2014: I like this experiment. Thank you.

      So, is Art a (mental) process rather than a (beautiful) object?
    • Mar 2 2014: I think what you are describing is a process of creating art, it is a description of the artist. I think what the question is referring to is the visual aspect of art, of being the spectator instead of the creator.
      In this respect, it is a subjective matter because art itself has gone through centuries of transformation and must be looked at as anchored to socio-cultural perspectives or free from such influences.
      Personally, art and beauty/goodness are not the same thing. They are different concepts that need to be looked at separately in order to understand them together.
      I say that there is beauty in the sublime, in the deadness of things and the "insignificant." Simultaneously, there are times when I really don't know if what I am looking at is art exactly, even if it inspires strong emotions (positive or negative).
      Perhaps it is best if we merely feel and disconnect from rational thought when it comes to should be a transcendent experience, not a calculated measure of brushstrokes and lines.
      But that is my opinion :)
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        Mar 3 2014: Hello Stephanie,

        You raised some excellent and thought-provoking ideas. What do you think if you ended some of your thoughts with a question mark?
        • Mar 3 2014: Well, they aren't supposed to be questions.
          This is a personal answer to the question.
          But, sure...I'll give you one.
  • Feb 25 2014: As the other replies have mentioned, art is about perceiving, successful artifacts are characterized by their ability to convey the perception and communicate the ideas behind it. The problem is that art is only associated with a particular kind of artifacts such as paintings, poems, music...etc while understanding what art really is enables us to find beauty in thoughts and in what is considered "cold" logic. Science is about finding patterns, consistencies, relations and explanations of different phenomena. Perceiving these patterns allows us to understand and see the world differently which is what art is all about. Mathematics is about modelling, reductions, deductions and describing problems in symbols and manipulating them to solve the problems. It is not surprising to find the terms "beautiful" proofs and solutions attributed to mathematical products. Languages including natural languages and programming languages give rise to deep and interesting concepts about thinking such as variables, conditionals, functions, classes... etc which reduce to concepts such as abstraction, analogies, logic, deduction, induction and reduction.

    “There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” - Leonardo da Vinci
    “Principles for the Development of a Complete Mind: Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses- especially learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” - Leonardo da Vinci
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      Feb 25 2014: Thank you Amir, very interesting view.

      How important is to understand what we are seeing?

      Science, Mathematics, Philosophy are all about "understanding" things and showing the world differently, but in order to find the beauty in things, do we always need to "understand" what we are seeing?
      • Feb 25 2014: I think what we see is what we understand, the more we see the more we understand and what we can not understand is what we can not see.
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          Feb 25 2014: I don't know bird language, but I find some birds singing beautiful.
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          Feb 27 2014: I believe that we see only when we keep comparing our sensations, feelings, colors, shapes, textures, sounds or smell etc - COMPARISON is the very motor of our Perceptions.

          We would never know how valuable or beautiful the object we are looking at is. If we have seen only ugly paintings, we might say these is beautiful art, because we have never seen a graceful painting, and see the real difference.

          Yes. I'll continue your thought - The more we see (and Sense in every way, using no language) the greater we may compare our experiences. Then it comes the most Beautiful part of Perceiving - we are able to select what appears as the most inspirational event for us.
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          Mar 3 2014: Amir,

          Sometimes people with the deepest understanding of the Arts and ... life are people who cannot see with their eyes. They see and feel with their hearts.
      • Feb 25 2014: What you found beautiful is what you understood, the fact that birds are singing and the sounds of their singing do not require understanding their language, and finding that beautiful does not require the understanding of their language, but requires understanding the sound. In other words, in order to find the content of what the birds are singing beautiful, that requires understanding the "language" and in order to find the singing itself beautiful, that requires understanding that they are singing. Understanding does not mean knowing some information or language, it just means recognizing some order or structure or meaning in something that is perceived. At least that how I understand "understanding"
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      Mar 3 2014: The process of creating art leads to discovery and deeper understanding of art. It is no wonder that artists themselves are, at least to me, the most receptive to the Arts - those who see, according to Leonardo da Vinci.

      It may be that Leonardo doesn't just mean seeing with the eyes. He may be suggesing that we should experience Art not only with our senses of seeing and hearing but also with our sense of feeling at the deepest level, with our heart.
  • Feb 25 2014: As you can see from the Joshua experiment most people go about their busy little lives missing a lot of the beauty in the world. Even though that pointed out an obvious problem a bigger problem is that we ignore the genius "inside" who day after day, just like Joshua, gives special performances and unfortunately again, no one is listening to the music.
    "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it"- Confucius
    "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see"- Henry David Thoreau
    "We are so blessed, look within instead of without"- Keith W Henline
    "Look close and you will see love everywhere"- Keith W Henline
    • Feb 25 2014: Exactly! It's not what you see but how you see it...I am always trippin on how things look everyday but I know and understand not every body sees it this way even though we are looking at the exact same object...perception...
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      Feb 25 2014: Thank you a lot for the quotes.

      "Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it" So, how can we stop ignoring "everyday beauty"?

      How can we help people to perceive beauty in everyday life if, as we have saw above, one of the best musician has "failed"?
      • Feb 25 2014: I do not think he failed, do you realize how many people have watched that video and are now keeping their eyes more open to beauty, more people are talking about it and making changes in their lives just because he took the time to try something. Not to mention the good advertising he got, before he did this I had not ever heard of him before. If you call that a failure, you may want to slow down and look again.
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          Feb 25 2014: Yes, you are right. "Failed" was the wrong word. But what if there had been no video?

          What I was trying to say is if the is any other media/conditions to help people to perceive beauty in everyday life. Like free-time, slowness... and?
      • Feb 25 2014: Serra, you are doing fine. Your conversation is working and generating interest and good ideas are coming from many such as Rodrigo who I thought nailed it pretty good. The whole idea is awareness using all your senses.
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    Feb 26 2014: Art is in nature, the earth is a work of art, art is in the heart.
    Blue skies, blooming flowers, green fields, wooly clouds, the blue is in the vastness of nature.
    Art is in expression, words, music, sculpture, paintings. Art is like beauty; some are more beautiful than others, some are more appealing than others.

    We take so many things for granted because of familiarity; but if we really want to see, we shall see.
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    Mar 3 2014: The Leonardo museum is founded upon this principle. Art, science, and technology are not segregated, thrown into distinct camps, and left isolated here. Our mission is founded upon merging all facets of human creativity into meaningful experiences that can inspire. Whether that be on a canvas, in a workshop, in a test tube, or in your kitchen, art can be found.

    Maybe art is simply in the attitude you take? If perhaps you were forced to drag your paintbrush achingly across a canvas, complicated patterns emerging painfully in a maelstrom of dozens of complicated painted colors, you would see no 'art' in it, no matter how striking or meaningful the result. Contrast that with the inspiration of taking joy in that act, of your own attitude in creating a painting that has meaning and significance, and 'art' could be found there, no matter how dismal the outcome.

    "It is The Leonardo's mission to fuse science, technology and art in experiences that inspire creativity and innovation in people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Mar 1 2014: The difference is the expectations of the audience and the task at hand. In a subway tunnel people have an agenda to go somewhere and do things other than what was presented by the performer. The agenda of the audience takes priority over the performance. When the performance is done in an environment in which the audience has committed their time, their participation is higher. On the other hand, how can the performer truly say that the music was totally unappreciated just because people had other priorities and could not remain to see all the performance.

    Also, the music hall performance is a segmented group of people who are responsive to that style of music, while a performance in a subway tunnel involves a mixed audience, some of whom have no appreciation for the style of music performed.
  • Feb 27 2014: Yes, Art is found everywhere not just in artificial museums but in the universe which is itself a big museum. Art is not just drawing and painting.

    Everything begins with Art and Science manifests the art into visible and tangible form.

    Art is love and love is Art, and when love happens then science comes into play and then art becomes fart.

    Art is everywhere , here , there...

    Art lies in Singing.
    Art lies in Fighting.
    Art lies in dealing with people.
    Art lies in Love.
    Art lies in Sex.
    Art lies in Planning.
    Art lies in Managing.
    Art lies in Trouble Shooting.
    Art lies in Designing.
    Art lies in Listening.
    Art lies in Speaking.
    Art lies in Sleeping.
    Art lies in Dreaming.
    Art lies in connecting with some one without mobile phone or any communication medium.
    Art lies in Joking.
    Art lies in Laughing.
    Art lies in Farting.
    Art lies in being Selfish
    Art lies in being Greedy
    Art lies in being Angry.
    Art lies in thinking.
    Art lies in Stealing.
    Art lies in Copying.
    Art lies in Dying.
    Art lies in eating.
    Art lies in Drinking.
    Art lies in Sniffing.
    Art lies in Music.
    Art lies in Debating.

    Unlimited list of Art...Everything is Art.
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    Feb 27 2014: I believe that our artistic and aesthetic abilities are given to us by nature, and for a much greater reason than to simply create art.

    However, to create for the sake of enjoying that creating process is a uniquely human desire. Naturally, I am an artist because I am human.

    All people have naturally basic artistic talents and these are roughly divided into two categories:

    "Performing Talent" is the ability which gives us skills for adaption, communication and basic survival in our social environment and life. The skills are acquired through imitation and mimicking, and begin to develop the moment we are born. Using them, we repeat, recreate and correct old ideas over and over again;

    "Creative Talent" is ability to break existing rules and create new combinations of existing ideas and conditions producing new, often unpredictable, experiences. Major breakthroughs, inventions, discoveries are made using this ability and only due to Creative Talent are we able to advance and evolve. This talent, found in all of us in varying levels, is primarily subconscious and instinctive.

    Our subconsciousness is the major receiver of uncomprehended knowledge of a universal nature. The mind filters this incoming knowledge and accepts only information that is familiar, which it then formulates into thoughts of everyday life events. Great portions of this incoming information are discarded due to our Mind's inability to process and accept previously uncomprehended and unformulated situations.

    P.S. Above - a couple of thoughts "stolen" from my research on human perception, Epistomology and the natural laws of Perception.
  • Feb 26 2014: You must always take art in its context. For example, Guernica by Picasso - I did not like it until I saw it in person - seeing a picture did not do it justice. Seeing the art where it was meant to be I believe is key. Now there is a 2ndary question of beautiful things. There are beautiful things everywhere, just have to eyes, ears, and touch to find them. The sound and vibration of crashing waves on the rocks, the mist of a soft rain on your skin, the smell of rain on a hot pavement, all have beauty - even the smell of mud.
  • Feb 25 2014: The effects that art can have upon a person can be found anywhere--that would be a more accurate statement. Art, strictly speaking, is artificial, not natural. Indeed, "art" is a shortening of the same root as that for "artificial".
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    Feb 25 2014: In my opinion, Art is everywhere. It depends on individual's point of view, but for me, art has only two categories which are man-made or by nature. Art become beautiful because it communicates the intention and motivation of its creators, but nature cannot speak verbally, so aesthetically beautiful objects which people have encountered in lives might be unnoticed or profoundly conceptualised.

    Art is art because art is made, refine to finesse, but it is not necessarily created by something people know. Just take your time and enjoy everything you perceive. :)

    Anyhow, I apologise for not using any quote. XD
  • Feb 25 2014: If that's what your looking for...
  • Feb 25 2014: Beauty is everywhere. Art is beautiful. Art is a symptom of boredom. It is boring at the top of the food chain.
  • Feb 25 2014: Seems to me that art is an expression of love.

    As is said elsewhere, we cannot love what we don't know or don't understand. We can however appreciate to the point of love that which we see as awesome.

    This can be paintings, music or even buildings. We could be experiencing someone else's expressions of love, through their talents. Does art for the sake of making money do just as well?

    I also think there is a spiritual use of art. As expressed in this article, see what you think.
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    Feb 25 2014: When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. John F. Kennedy


    Let us try to paraphrase late President Kennedy's quote:
    When power leads us toward arrogance, Art reminds us of our limitations. When power narrows the area of our concern, Art reminds us of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, Art cleanses.

    Sharing our common humanity is the highest form of Art. It's a privilege to share thoughts and ideas with a special group of people. Thank you, folks. Thank you TED!

    I don't know if it's allowed at TED to recommend a film. I'll do it anyway ... recommend you see "Monuments Men"
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    Feb 25 2014: To warm up an old cliche: "Art is in the eye of the beholder". Art can be entirely within the mind. I walk around and look at the waste and when the atmosphere heats up and the sun manages to pierce a few holes through the thick smog and it rays transform a reel of uselessly wasted cable or a dead fish... I see all this as art. When I walk into an art gallery or a museum or listen to a performance but my mind isn't tuned in... Once a fellow collected the rather substantial elephant droppings from a circus and after allowing them to dry varnished them... this was not just bullshit art ... btw ... this is a real story.
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    Feb 24 2014: This may vary depending on where you live, but in many places very much most of artistic and cultural expression is not in museums. A typical walk through any urban neighborhood offers more evidence of creative work of a variety of kinds, architecture, landscape art, posters, street art, people's choices of clothing for the day, floral arrangements, installations...than one can possibly take in. Separate from this are performances in public places as well as theaters, displays of work and artifact in cafes and bakeries, crafts fairs, cultural events at culture centers and places of worship...

    What do you notice in Helsinki?