Questions about the value of art in society
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27-11-2011, 04:03 PM
Questions about the value of art in society
Is art necessary to a society? I mean is it rock-bottom essential, or merely beneficial, somewhat useful, enhancing or therapeutic?
Or it nothing more than a luxury?

Do all kinds of art fit into your choice of evaluation?
Are there different kinds of art - some necessary, some good, some divisive and disruptive (and some crap)?

Does art have to be created by professionals - people with formal training, who devote their full working time to art? Or can the need (if any) be filled by enthusiastic amateurs?

Is there a way to ensure that art flourishes in a society?
Is it possible to support artists without forcing them to beg or to prostitute their talent to a self-interested patron?

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27-11-2011, 04:25 PM
 
RE: Questions about the value of art in society
Art is a powerful medium of non-verbal communication (even when it is verbal) and it is absolutely essential for society. Especially during repressive times, when powerful and revolutionary ideas can be communicated by subtle, artistic means.

As far as my choice is concerned, I do not consider something art that does not have a powerful emotional impact on me, communicating something deep and profound. But that is totally personal. I enjoy a lot of craft objects for pure esthetic value, and there is nothing wrong with depicting something pretty or even beautiful for its own sake. But, in my own personal world, whatever it is, it has to move me at some gut level, before I call it art. Of course it may be art, I just don’t see it yet.

I don’t care who created it if it has the effect on me as I described above.

'Ensure' is a very strong word. I assume you mean what conditions are favourable? Well, trying to remember art history, I think that times of great philosophical, social, political upheavals often produced great art. I don’t think real art is that much dependent on the looseness of the purse-strings. I think it is a lot more personal and emotional than that. If someone has a profound message to crystallize into art, he/she will do it even while starving.
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27-11-2011, 09:05 PM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2011 10:49 PM by defacto7.)
RE: Questions about the value of art in society
This is under Politics but when did I ever follow the direction of a thread... Peterkin, to answer your questions... no, yes, no, yes, no, and yes.

Music or art necessary? No, probably not, but in this lies a subject both profound and simple. Music in particular is a phenomenon that has aspects of physics and creativity that is as varied as any direct contact we have with our world and our own mind. Music can soothe you, or it can drive you mad. It has done both to me.

There is something about rhythm, vibration, tone and the combinations that cause overtones that most people do not hear, which affect our minds and create a pathway which seems to connect to memory, smells, color, all the senses. For most people, it's subliminal and goes unnoticed except for the effect, the emotion, the shadows that we do notice but don't know why. Music can cause deep introspect or it can cause an ecstatic utterance. It can pull us into the darkest parts of our soul or it can be so intense we can't stand the brightness of it, an explosion. Some of us hear it, some of us do not. If I were to use sight as an analogy, some people are blind, some can see only light and dark, some can't see color but can see in gray tones. Some people see some color, some of us see beautiful color in all it's aspects... But music can have an extra dimension that would be likened to seeing ultraviolet or infrared.

I guess what I am trying to get across is that music and art is purely in the ear and eye of the individual and their perceptions of it. It can affect each of us in very different ways. Certainly it is not a necessity for survival, but then who would want to survive without it. Music just is what it is. If you have that kind of appreciation that can take you to those places of peace and ecstatic enjoyment, your are very lucky... but pray to your gods you don't have that other kind that plays you instead of the other way around.

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27-11-2011, 09:35 PM
RE: Questions about the value of art in society
The reason i put this in politics is that i've been hearing a lot of complaints about the financial involvement of government in the arts - both that it should spend no money, and that it should spend more, also, many different suggestions of how it should do this.

I wondered whether people think that we need art to be a viable society. That is, how important is culture, and what does each generation add to culture, to make it worthwhile for everyone to contribute to its creation and preservation?

Art certainly means different things to each of us - some care more; some are more aware - and we each have different perceptions and preferences. But what is the role of art in the body politic?

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27-11-2011, 10:28 PM (This post was last modified: 27-11-2011 11:25 PM by defacto7.)
RE: Questions about the value of art in society
Down and dirty version.....

(27-11-2011 04:03 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  Is art necessary to a society?
no

Quote:I mean is it rock-bottom essential, or merely beneficial, somewhat useful, enhancing or therapeutic?
Or it nothing more than a luxury?

no, no, not necessarily, to some not to others, to some not to others
...my previous post has some details that may help with these.

Quote:Do all kinds of art fit into your choice of evaluation?

There is no answer to this, I don't believe. But for me , no.

Quote:Are there different kinds of art - some necessary, some good, some divisive and disruptive (and some crap)?

yes, no, not necessarily, yes, depends, (individual taste)

Quote:Does art have to be created by professionals - people with formal training, who devote their full working time to art?

I certainly hope not. That's not the historic perspective.

Quote:Or can the need (if any) be filled by enthusiastic amateurs?

Art has always been that way, even when paid for.

Quote:Is there a way to ensure that art flourishes in a society?

I think not.

Quote:Is it possible to support artists without forcing them to beg or to prostitute their talent to a self-interested patron?

An artist never does this or he wouldn't (historically speaking) be an artist. An artist uses his patron. It's always been this way.... Greeks, Romans, Christians, Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classic, etc... The patron would be totally unaware of what the artist is creating. He may want to be entertained, but the artist controls. Even in the early church when it ruled which notes were evil and which were not, musicians made slow and sometimes secret embellishments undetected to the clergy . There was only so much the church could control....

Quote:what is the role of art in the body politic?

None.

I think nothing has changed. You would have to look at things in detail and with personal perspective to be able to understand the complexities of the value of art which cannot possibly by definition be less than opinion. Outside of that, it's the same as getting federal money for sewer systems.


Peterkin, I don't mean to be rude. The arts is a loaded subject for me. It's just too complex to try to answer in a forum post, but I did walk into it.

Let me put it another way... Trying to put art into the context of politics is like putting shit in the refrigerator.

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28-11-2011, 11:53 AM
RE: Questions about the value of art in society
Thank you.
I was following along - though not entirely in agreement - right up to the last line.
Sewer system? But sewers are a necessity, are they not? Well, all right, they haven't been considered necessary by some societies, and perhaps in near-future America, they won't be considered a responsibility of government....
..... privatized sewage.... in a refrigerator.....
..... boggled mind....

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28-11-2011, 12:23 PM
RE: Questions about the value of art in society
Art ain't something you can get rid of; it's insanity, evolutionary advantage. Wink

Politics seems the same, an insanity we cannot rid ourselves from. I'm not seeing the issue here. The American government seems to do two things: recycle entitlement programs and start senseless wars. "Art" is way down on the list of concerns.

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28-11-2011, 01:04 PM
 
RE: Questions about the value of art in society
OK, let's approach it from another angle.

What is Art?

In music, paintings, sculpture, cinema, theater, poetry, anything else?

What is the minimum skill level you require in each to call it art (as opposed to craft or crap)?

What is your favourite one in each and why?

Is art completely subjective or you believe in objective criteria?

What has been your most inspiring artistic experience and why?

Come on, people, don't let me think that atheists are not interested in art?

(and if you think these questions are too hard to answer, wait till my next post on the thread! Tongue)
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28-11-2011, 01:25 PM
RE: Questions about the value of art in society
(28-11-2011 11:53 AM)Peterkin Wrote:  Thank you.
I was following along - though not entirely in agreement - right up to the last line.
Sewer system? But sewers are a necessity, are they not?
That's why they would be considered for governmental support before the arts.

Quote: ..... privatized sewage.... in a refrigerator.....
..... boggled mind....
Yes I do it all the time. Wink

Point... Does shit in a refrigerator make sense? no. Does politics mixed with art make sense? no. Unfortunately, it takes politics to allow art to continue in the educational system unless there is private support. But our times do not put much value on art compared to everything else that is supposed to be important to the world.

I think we need to ditch everything else and stick with art and natural subsistence but that is not in the cards.

I'll stick with shit in the refrigerator just out of a cantankerousness.

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28-11-2011, 01:28 PM
RE: Questions about the value of art in society
No needed in the slightest.

Art happens.
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