Nicholas Lukowiak

This conversation is closed.

What is art?

Pythagoreanism founder Pythagoras (ca. 570 – ca. 490 BCE) favored the idea of Quadrivium. "The quadrivium comprised the four subjects, or arts, taught in medieval universities after the trivium. The quadrivium consisted of arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. These followed the preparatory work of the trivium made up of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. In turn, the quadrivium was considered preparatory work for the serious study of philosophy and theology."

Pythagoreanism school of thought is exceptional and I feel it is of value when explaining how deep art goes into our history of thought on this earth (of course it goes even deeper!).

All art is of value when involving self expression, logic, and imagination.

I mean check these out! (I encourage search engine'ing always)

1 - 2 = pi into music
3 – 4 = motion of objects into art
5 = a song based on the formula of pythagora
6 = video is a instructional video on how Pythagorean theory works musically
7 – 8 = videos created by Symphony of Science
9 = personal favorite acoustic guitarist: Ewan Dobson

1.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhlMHoEx8c4
2.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdJhGtOhCkc&feature=related
3.) http://www.disinfo.com/2011/05/physics-is-beauty-video/
4.) http://ensign.editme.com/t43dances
5.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DXEsz7vnAM&feature=fvwrel
6.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NSZ7KkCP5Q&feature=related
7.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB7jSFeVz1U&feature=player_embedded
8.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGK84Poeynk&feature=relmfu
9.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXqPYte8tvc
Take this thread as openly as possible; consider self in reflection and/or separate from the world. Open-endedness is a want/need involving art in my opinion.
The human mind can understand universal concepts and store them into such a small package, art is only one way in which these concepts can be dictated, but this is the most entertaining form! (Opinion)
What is art?

  • Jul 4 2011: What is art? That’s a question rooted in the vagaries of logic. An artist circumvents logic, and connects with an intuitive source. I’m not suggesting an esoteric connection, but rather a connection that exists prior to the fragmenting lexicon of cognition (language, musical notation, symbols, etc.). A pragmatic example would be a writer’s search for a word. They have a clear understanding of what they are trying to express prior to finding the appropriate words. This is not an issue of memory, because they do not have a word they have forgotten, but rather do not have a word to express their intuition.

    Intuition is often relegated to the level of mysticism. An involuntary function of cognitive thinking that lacks the rigor or prerequisite degree of awareness associated with logic. But intuition is a universal awareness that precludes interconnectivity and senses the whole. It’s the seamless nature of intuition that eludes detection, classification or demarcation.

    Art is clarity of expression. Clarity is achieved by ignoring the fragmenting nature of intellect and sensing the seamless nature of the whole. Paint, pencil, notes, choreography, words, digital memes, are all tools of expression. But they will never be the thing being expressed. The degree of skill in the use of these tools brings the artist closer to expressing the universal truth felt by everyone. Creating a feeling of authenticity.
  • thumb
    Jun 22 2011: a lot of words don't say anything
    if you ask Zappa he answered :
    Art is making nothing of something (and upsite) and even try to sell it
    making something of nothing is just using your imagination
    imagination can be often artistic
    art is what you or them choose
    of those
    imaginations
  • thumb
    Jun 16 2011: Art is deformation. Art breaks down things and puts them back again. "God" is an artist because this universe is a "creation" or emanation. Something was put forth that wasn't there before. and every human artist partakes of "God"'s urge to create. It is this mystical commonality that gives art its aesthetic value.

    I know there are many atheists here. I'm not talking about the God of religion, but the God of mysticism. That universal consciousness that gives us all our core commonalities.
    • thumb
      Jun 16 2011: Well articulated. "Art is deformation" is a great statement. Easily defends "Life is art".

      Mysticism exist in religions.

      And there are a lot of atheist on here. But atheism does not mean they believe the word "God" is always tied to one meaning. I find existentialism and natural philosophy to be similar approaches to breaking down the universe.

      Do you feel "art" is a human skill, ability, and/or result?

      If so, tell me, what is the "art" of culture(s)?
      • thumb
        Jun 16 2011: Of course, atheism can mean different things. Let's just say most atheists deny the existence of the "God who demands and commands worship like a despotic ruler".

        I feel art is the result of overwhelming intuition. When intuition overtakes emotion, logic, science, skill, etc, then art is created. That's why art cannot be taught. In art classes, the instructor can only attempt to arouse or tickle the intuition of the students. Whoever is "gifted" that strong intuition, becomes renowned as a genius. When Einstein came up with the concept of relativity, he was creating art. It became science only when it was put into math equations. We appreciate relativity as if it were a beautiful painting or a piece of music.

        Skill does not help much, because "skill" is "what is" but "art" is "what could be". A genius painter is not restricted by the types of brushes he has, or the number of colors he has. His intuition will push forward and he will mix colors in different proportions or do something else with his brushes (e.g., Pointillism).

        In fact, I'll say that the art of one generation becomes the skill of the next generation. So that the new generation has to use the skill to create its own art. Mind you, that doesn't mean the previous art is thrown away, but it's incorporated in the skillset of the new gen.

        Of course, art is appreciated only in a context, and this is where culture come in. A specific culture provides the context in which others can appreciate a work of art. "Culture" as in "an individual's frame of interpretation of his world". Entire nations might share a common frame of interpreting their world, hence you have cultures of different nations. However, it could happen that one guy gets a piece of "postmodern art", and the guy next to him, his twin brother, doesn't get it. That's because they two have different "cultures".
        • thumb
          Jun 17 2011: Skills practiced with imagination can lead to the greatest of art. Intuition comes from some where, it is not a random mistake. Some people got it, and some people don't. Some people are artist in science, some are artist in entertaining, some in making money, anything can be approached artistically. Perhaps it would be better if everyone did such.

          When I used "skill" I was considering; logical reasoning, natural philosophy, science, and skepticism are skills, which are used in overall philosophical thinking.

          Science fiction is a fine example of art; consider all the predictions of today people had 100 years ago. They are outlandish. Flying cars, space exploration, one government, one system, etc. This is futuristic philosophy and it is presented as an art, for entertainment purposes. It is interesting because most people have poor critical thinking skills and cannot consider their entertainment to be a reality, or a future reality, because they are not trained to thinking "imaginatively" or "critically" or "artistically". To think that way is a different way of thinking, some are better than others at it, but everyone can learn and practice how to think artistically, as well all can learn academically.

          Transhumanism philosophies and ideologies are fine example of this discussion.

          Approaching reality artistically has a lot of diverse results.

          Culture is a tricky word, but for our conversation let's consider the term to be Wikipedia's definition. Not related to art, but related to humans as being a robot with instincts. We are patterned creatures as all animals are, but we have a high level of intelligence. Those diverse intelligences created cultures of all sorts. I agree all cultures have their own art, but are all the arts of equal value?

          I believe fully we are evolving into higher and higher intelligences.

          http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/03/26/12-year-old-genius-expands-einsteins-theory-of-relativity/
  • May 31 2011: Art is simply anything done with human intention behind it. I think that art CAN show human experience, emotion, ect. but it doesn't always do so. Look at renaissance paintings. Those paintings are gorgeous and astounding; however, can we learn too much about the artist from them? I would say that it's hard. They really don't show us how the artist was feeling--they're simply beautifully rendered pictures of people, landscapes, and objects. So, I think that anything with human intention behind it can be considered art. Take a large boulder, for example. It is not art in and of itself. However, if I paint "This is art" directly onto it, then I would argue that it is art.

    You might say that it isn't art because "It didn't take long to make" or "a six-year old could do that just as easily!" However, I don't think that there is any valid argument as to whether it is art. I think that the real question that one needs to answer is "what does this mean to me?" To me, that infinitely more important than trying to define something as art. While you may not be able to argue anything as art, you evaluate it as good or bad and meaningful or meaningless. In the end, it shouldn't matter whether Jackson Pollock or Mark Rothko are true artists, it should matter whether their work means something to your own human experience.
    • thumb
      Jun 1 2011: So you feel you need to understand the artist in order to understand the art?

      Good response, thank you.
      • Jun 1 2011: I don't think you necessarily need to understand the artist. For example, I'm don't suffer from depression, yet I can still find meaning in Van Gogh. I don't have schizophrenia, but I can relate to the music of Robert Schumann. What I think is that you find your own meaning in the art, even if it isn't the same meaning the artist had.
        • thumb
          Jun 1 2011: Does that dis-value the art if you are interpreting it in the wrong way then what the artist meant for?
      • Jun 1 2011: I don't think so, no. Because art is completely subjective, I don't think you can somehow "lose" value in the piece if your interpretation is not analogous to the artist's intent. The artist isn't saying "2+2=?" and is waiting for you to say "4." Often, it's personal for the artist, so they may say, "This is about how I felt when my mother died." Meanwhile, you may look at it and say, "This reminds me of my divorce." I don't think that the viewer would be missing or losing anything by having their own interpretation. Even if you COULD lose value for a wrong interpretation, how do you measure that? How can you objectively show subjective value?
  • May 31 2011: As cliché as this sound, art is life. It materializes through expression, visual arts, letters, words, gestures. . . I feel creativity is temporally relative and non-essential. Art can be important or unimportant, impressive or ugly.

    "what's the difference between the egg i draw on a paper and the egg Da Vinci draws?"

    The fundamental difference is that you are neither da Vinci nor may your egg have the same purpose. Toss in the lack of critics bolstering the celebrity of your 'egg piece' along with who you're specifically asking that question and you see where da Vinci's leverage comes from. Asking that to an architect, art historian, curator, botanist, or child will have varying answers, which I believe is best as "art" should be something variable.
  • thumb
    May 20 2011: One day I was asking this question to myself … what is an ART?
    I didn’t want to Google it or Wikipedia it ..So I was searching answers from within..
    In a few second a thought pop up “whatever you do with heart is an ART”
    I was so happy to realise it .. and then something interesting happen that evening …
    It’s a little story I’ll tell you if anyone interested to know 
    • thumb
      May 20 2011: “whatever you do with heart is an ART”

      Not only does it rhyme, it is true. Share your story if you want!
      • thumb
        May 26 2011: One of my best friend who is a Physics masters and an excellent poet and writer. The day I had this thought in mind , I ask her the same question because out thinking process is very similar . Anyway , I asked her ,what is an ART? to my surprise beyond limit she said “what every you do with heart is an ART” .I was like , how can two different people at different shore of the world can think exactly the same on sometime.
        I asked her, how did that thought came in her mind?? And she was asking me why I’m asking her that question.
        Then she told me she went to Uni admission interview ,and the interviewer asked her the same question ,and she answered it the first thing came in her mind , which was “whatever you do with heart is an ART” .The interviewer ,counter questioned her , So even terrorist do things with heart would you consider that as an ART as well “.
        And my friend cleverly answered YES, but that would be destructive ART.
        She didn’t got admission in that uni and she couldn’t careless about it , but she knew why she didn’t get admission . :) :) :)
        • thumb
          May 26 2011: It is very true what your friend said during the interview!

          I can also understand why she didn't get admitted! They would have to be crazy to accept a person being so brutally honest, completely honest people do not get far in leading industries. In my opinion. Your friend is an inspiration.

          Thanks for the story man.
      • thumb
        Jun 2 2011: She is indeed .. Im so proud of her :)
      • Jun 3 2011: That's like asking what is music? Intentional sound? What is math? Moving numbers around? There is no definitive answer, except, perhaps, that art is a form of communication. Feeling is highly overrated...thinking is at least as important.

        "What can I learn from a work of art ?" is as important a question as "what does this mean to me?"
        • thumb
          Jun 3 2011: I feel you are think when you are creating art.

          But, I do not understand, elaborate.
        • Jun 4 2011: I don't believe that everything we do that comes from the heart is art. Art is a conscious act. Even when the act of making or performing seems effortless, there is always something behind it. It could be years of effort to master skills, could be intense passion and the profound need to share it with others. The best in art usually has all three.

          Artists show us how they see the world, whether it's the physical world, the world inside us or the culture of the world the artist lives in. Art takes the temperature of the society within it is created.
  • thumb
    May 11 2011: Art appeals to some or all of the human senses. Art is produced and presented by people (artists). Art does not have to have mass appeal. The production of art requires skills, imagination and the ability to convey concepts through a variety of media.

    What may be art to one person is craft or illustration to another.

    I reviewed all of your search engineering and considered that mostly what I observed was craft ... repeating the original art of Pythagoras. The geometric pattern created by plotting planets is illustration, again in my opinion.
    • thumb
      May 20 2011: All the links aren't about Pythagoras, only some. But good opinions.

      Thanks for the add.
  • thumb
    May 11 2011: You say, "All art is of value when involving self expression, logic, and imagination". I would add to that, "if it is communicated."
    • thumb
      May 11 2011: I would! but the description is maxed out...

      but I agree. please expand.
      • thumb
        May 11 2011: If one's created heaven, then heaven it must be to others. If it's heaven only to oneself, then is self-expression. If it's heaven to others, one is a true artist.
        • thumb
          May 11 2011: I agree with that, but that would mean art can be of value with or without communication with others?
  • May 10 2011: Art can be emotional. It can be ambiguous and interpretive. Art can be educational. It can even be almost meaningless. Art can be written, drawn, composed, sung, designed, or sculpted (the list goes on). Art is the physical representation of an individual's creativity and imagination.
  • thumb
    Jun 28 2011: In my practice / approach, art is provocation, and design is intention / purposefulness. This often results in questioning conditions of necessity, and conditions of possibility.

    I'd suggest thinking along the lines of ontology, and epistemology, e.g. "art is...", "art as..."

    And I'd also like to recommend a few books:
    "The Principles of Art" by Robin George Collingwood (Oxford University Press, 1958)
    "But Is It Art?: An Introduction to Art Theory" by Cynthia A. Freeland (Oxford University Press, 2002)
    "Art as Experience" by John Dewey - originally a series of lectures on aesthetics, delivered as the first William James Lecturer at Harvard in 1932 (Perigee Trade, 2005)
  • thumb
    May 11 2011: in speaking of art , i think of a question i asked myself 10 years ago which came back lately

    what's the difference between the egg i draw on a paper and the egg Da Vinci draws?

    emm answers i came up with were experiences just as what Austin says and also intentions(what the artist intened in his/her work) and arrangements of meanings.
    • thumb
      May 20 2011: But why compare your emotions and level of artistic ability with someone that does not affect you Amily?

      I mean is it because you want to br like a Da Vinci in skill or fame?

      This still is only one or two interpretations of what art is and can get you. However these two ideas alone are not what art should be about in my opinion. Art is the way the soul can come out in visual or physical form.

      A child paints a picture of his/her family/house/friends/events because those are symbols of happiness to them. That is art; it is arguably not attractive art yes, but the feelings of happiness arise when that child will review his picture again. So what you may be weighing in talent and ability, I weigh in emotional expression.

      Most artist create art as a response to their emotions pertaining to the world in which they are in; also the "better" artist practice their art often and with enthusiasm. I will not say all artist are responding to happy emotions, but emotions none the less.
      • thumb
        May 23 2011: just to clarify ,the reason i asked that question is not because i want to be like DaVinci . He is a acknowleged artist and i was not .so i just wanted to explore the line between what is art and what is not. and just becuz he is talented dosent mean that i weigh in talent.
        if art is just a emotional expression then everyone is artist cuz everyone reponde to and express his/her emotion in a certain way.
        • thumb
          May 23 2011: Thanks for clarifying


          Would of made my last comment more fragmented!