Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#41  Postby tuco » Apr 22, 2011 7:00 pm

Gallstones wrote:
tuco wrote:I was referring to debate about the so-called art, and art versus pseudo-art.

What is art? A product of creative work.

What is, usually, prised as fine art? A product of creative work which is rare, abnormal, where normal just means average via Gauss curve. I suspect Van Gogh was not normal, but I am almost certain his work is abnormal.

Out of curiosity, who is to tell is something is art, pseudo-art and no art? I hope not experts.



So when there is a leak in the plumbing that brings water to your house who's opinion of where it is, how to find it, if it matters and how to fix it do you heed--the plumber or your nosey neighbor?

When you have a pain in your chest, whose opinion about whether it is serious and you need to go to the hospital do you heed, the triage nurse or the postal clerk?

Are you saying there are no experts when it comes to art, or there shouldn't be? Why?
How about film, movies; are there experts in film? Should there be? Why?

Also, in regards to van Gogh being "abnormal", in what way? How is that significant to his work? Was he or was he not an artist? Why? What is abnormal about his work? Of what significance is that?



I guess we should define what we mean by an expert for the purpose of this discussion.

If we simply mean someone who is educated on the subject, than I have no problem with the term, however, if we mean an expert is someone who is to, objectively, tell what is art and whatnot, then I am left with nothing else but to ask for an objective methodology, and here I am afraid any expert will fail. Well, at least I have not seen one who would not.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#42  Postby Gallstones » Apr 22, 2011 7:00 pm

tuco wrote:I would not say such case is a matter of an opinion, but a matter of facts. A leak can be measured, objectively classified. Expert opinion in this case, based on facts, has indeed higher probability of being close to reality.

I do not claim to know whether art, or morals for example, is a subject to the same laws* as gravity or electromagnetism, but I have not enough reason to believe it is so.

edit:* Oops, What a mind fart! .. but I will leave it there, it makes a point regardless.


And good art is also a case of education and expertise and developed skill and informed judgment--like any other profession. Just because the average person--the general public--can form opinions about a thing does not mean there aren't also experts and expertise about the thing.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#43  Postby Gallstones » Apr 22, 2011 7:02 pm

tuco wrote:
Gallstones wrote:
tuco wrote:I was referring to debate about the so-called art, and art versus pseudo-art.

What is art? A product of creative work.

What is, usually, prised as fine art? A product of creative work which is rare, abnormal, where normal just means average via Gauss curve. I suspect Van Gogh was not normal, but I am almost certain his work is abnormal.

Out of curiosity, who is to tell is something is art, pseudo-art and no art? I hope not experts.



So when there is a leak in the plumbing that brings water to your house who's opinion of where it is, how to find it, if it matters and how to fix it do you heed--the plumber or your nosey neighbor?

When you have a pain in your chest, whose opinion about whether it is serious and you need to go to the hospital do you heed, the triage nurse or the postal clerk?

Are you saying there are no experts when it comes to art, or there shouldn't be? Why?
How about film, movies; are there experts in film? Should there be? Why?

Also, in regards to van Gogh being "abnormal", in what way? How is that significant to his work? Was he or was he not an artist? Why? What is abnormal about his work? Of what significance is that?



I guess we should define what we mean by an expert for the purpose of this discussion.

If we simply mean someone who is educated on the subject, than I have no problem with the term, however, if we mean an expert is someone who is to, objectively, tell what is art and whatnot, then I am left with nothing else but to ask for an objective methodology, and here I am afraid any expert will fail. Well, at least I have not seen one who would not.


An expert has been educated/trained, developed the skills, practices the art, has experience, and remains active and informed in his/her expertise. Such a person has paid his/her dues in the field and is judged an expert by his/her peers in the field.
Art, like all professions, has it's own terminology, it's own language. An expert can converse in that language.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#44  Postby tuco » Apr 22, 2011 7:04 pm

Maybe instead of educated I should say indoctrinated, but I do not really want to stir more controversy about the so-called art than there already is ;)
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#45  Postby Paul G » Apr 22, 2011 7:06 pm

I want to be educated to the point where I can appreciate a cow filled with piss.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#46  Postby Gallstones » Apr 22, 2011 7:09 pm

tuco wrote:Maybe instead of educated I should say indoctrinated, but I do not really want to stir more controversy about the so-called art than there already is ;)


So-called art?
Controversy?

It is not and never has been my position that being an expert in art comes by way of indoctrination.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#47  Postby Gallstones » Apr 22, 2011 7:10 pm

Paul G wrote:I want to be educated to the point where I can appreciate a cow filled with piss.



You will never appreciate it more, nor be better educated about it than by making one for yourself. Make yourself a cow filled with piss. It's your idea--you do it.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#48  Postby tuco » Apr 22, 2011 7:12 pm

How about this ..

We can imagine a distant planet, let's call this planet K-PAX. On this planet species exactly the same as Homo sapiens evolved, let's call them keypaxians. We, humans, will send them what we consider, or rather what the experts consider, as art. What will keypaxians think about it? Will they say .. WOW? or WTF?

Never mind the use(less)fulness of such thought experiment, but I am not sure at all such broad generalization can be even made. As it was pointed out already, art is not only something that is, it does, more or less, need a context, and context introduces subjectivity.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#49  Postby Gallstones » Apr 22, 2011 7:17 pm

tuco wrote:How about this ..

We can imagine a distant planet, let's call this planet K-PAX. On this planet species exactly the same as Homo sapiens evolved, let's call them Keypaxians. We, humans, will send them what we consider, or rather what the experts consider, as art. What will Keypaxians think about it? Will they say .. WOW? or WTF?

Never mind the use(less)fulness of such thought experiment, but I am not sure at all such broad generalization can be even made. As it was pointed out already, art is not only something that is, it does, more or less, need a context, and context introduces subjectivity.


Who gives a fuck what Keypaxians would think? They have an existence that is external to the concepts and context within which the art would be made. Pull back to this planet and the extant art making hominids we have here who do exist in intimacy with the concepts and context within which art is made here--they don't agree.

Are you wanting art to be universal on a galactic scale, absolute like a god would be?

The choice of what to wear to work in the morning is subjective, as is the choice whether to have breakfast or not and what to have if so. Subjective? So?
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#50  Postby tuco » Apr 22, 2011 7:20 pm

I am not wanting the so-called art to be anything I do not even recognize the concept in its traditional sense :) I am not even saying I am right, and to be honest am not sure what the argument is about.

edit: I've stated my position on the subject numerous times on this board, like here: http://www.rationalskepticism.org/post170789.html and have not enough reason to change it. Different people have different opinions, that is a fact.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#51  Postby Gallstones » Apr 22, 2011 7:23 pm

tuco wrote:I am not wanting the so-called art to be anything I do not even recognize the concept in its traditional sense :) I am not even saying I am right, and to be honest am not sure what the argument is about.


I'm wanting to now why you keep referring to it as so-called art?

Do you not realize that everything you have and use that is not a product of nature and natural forces, was invented and designed? That is most things, yes?
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#52  Postby Nicko » Apr 22, 2011 11:12 pm

MacIver wrote:
Tyrannical wrote:Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art :lol:


Why is a monkey painting not considered art?

For me art needs to be one of two things. It needs be aesthetically pleasing and/or intellectually challenging.

I wouldn't call the money paintings ugly so technically as far as I'm concerned it's art.


The thing is: the monkey is not an artist, yet the paintings can be considered art. Who is the artist? :whistle:
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#53  Postby Beatsong » Apr 22, 2011 11:30 pm

Most abstract expressionism and contemporary art is a complete con and stories like this provide an excellent example why governments should not spend large amounts of money it to put in public galleries. Why not just get the chimps to make it for free instead?

At the same time, it is the apotheosis of capitalism. Making something that requires no skill whatsoever; that defies any parameters of consistent judgment against rival examples (and thus any ability to be judged wanting); and then selling it for some astronomical sum bearing no relationship to the time or effort spent creating it, PURELY on the basis of marketing and persuasion: this is the ultimate capitalist dream. The artist has gone beyond being an entrepreneur, who stands between physical production and consumption, making money by adding value to the product. He is now creating value out of thin air, where in terms of the innate qualities of the product itself, there is none.

When Damien Hurst sticks a dead animal in a tank and sell it to Saatchi for millions, he is taking capitalism to a whole new level. It always surprises me that right wing conservative types are so often the ones to complain about this since, if you stand back and view it purely as economics rather than art, it typifies everything they stand for.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#54  Postby def » Apr 22, 2011 11:33 pm

tuco wrote:How about this ..

We can imagine a distant planet, let's call this planet K-PAX. On this planet species exactly the same as Homo sapiens evolved, let's call them keypaxians. We, humans, will send them what we consider, or rather what the experts consider, as art. What will keypaxians think about it? Will they say .. WOW? or WTF?

Never mind the use(less)fulness of such thought experiment, but I am not sure at all such broad generalization can be even made. As it was pointed out already, art is not only something that is, it does, more or less, need a context, and context introduces subjectivity.

It's funny, something similar happened when Westerners first approached Japanese culture. Japan had developed minimalist and abstract-ish art for centuries. Westerners had been developing photo-realistic art. It was seen as primitive (or as you say, WTF). Now it is seen as refined and developed (or WOW). Was it a scam? Are we being fooled by the traditional art of Japan, or does it take a developed sense of taste to appreciate?
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#55  Postby tuco » Apr 22, 2011 11:49 pm

Developed taste is hard to deny. It does not, however, imply that ability to appreciate something in multiple dimensions, various details or informed context grants a license to tell what 'feeling' of that something should be.

Art is a product of creative work. Great, we agree. Then someone posts a picture of pissoir and the controversy begins: I have a developed taste! It is possible, but your possoir still sucks.

Perhaps there is hope, and one day someone will constructs a device sophisticated enough to measure 'artiness' for us to end the debate.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#56  Postby def » Apr 22, 2011 11:54 pm

tuco wrote:Developed taste is hard to deny. It does not, however, imply that ability to appreciate something in multiple dimensions, various details or informed context grants a license to tell what 'feeling' of that something should be.

No, but you can say that people with no understanding of context have opinions with less weight.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#57  Postby tuco » Apr 23, 2011 12:01 am

Less weight in regards what? To: art is what developed taste recognizes as such definition? Of course, no argument from me here. Just, I could care less about the weight of developed taste since I do not recognize such definition as it is arbitrary and comes from those with developed taste.

Define art ..
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#58  Postby Nicko » Apr 23, 2011 12:34 am

tuco wrote:Less weight in regards what? To: art is what developed taste recognizes as such definition? Of course, no argument from me here. Just, I could care less about the weight of developed taste since I do not recognize such definition as it is arbitrary and comes from those with developed taste.

Define art ..


Straight from the fount of all knowledge:
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect.


This pretty much means that anything can be labeled "art" and there is no coherent argument that can refute that labelling. Duchamp's Fountain is art because Duchamp said it was. You can say you don't like it, you can present an argument that it sucks, but there is no way to remove it from the category "art".

"I don't like that artwork." is a statement of personal taste that requires no argument.

"That artwork sucks." is a value judgement that must be backed up with an argument to be taken seriously.

"That's not art." is just vacuous.

Now can you answer my question?
Nicko wrote: The thing is: the monkey is not an artist, yet the paintings can be considered art. Who is the artist? :whistle:
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#59  Postby tuco » Apr 23, 2011 12:45 am

I agree, anything, fitting that definition, can be art given the right conditions, which pretty much sums up what art is. Then asking : Is this art? and answering: Under the right conditions .. is like asking: What is the speed of light in vacuum? and answering: In vacuum ...

edit: Was not aware I was being asked.

Nicko wrote: The thing is: the monkey is not an artist, yet the paintings can be considered art. Who is the artist? :whistle:


The monkey, and deliberately in the definition gotta be questioned.
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Re: Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art

#60  Postby Tyrannical » Apr 23, 2011 1:17 am

Nicko wrote:
MacIver wrote:
Tyrannical wrote:Art Students can't tell a monkey's painting from art :lol:


Why is a monkey painting not considered art?

For me art needs to be one of two things. It needs be aesthetically pleasing and/or intellectually challenging.

I wouldn't call the money paintings ugly so technically as far as I'm concerned it's art.


The thing is: the monkey is not an artist, yet the paintings can be considered art. Who is the artist? :whistle:


Aha! Trick question :think:
Neither the monkey nor any one that considered it's work as art is the "artist"
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