A BRIEF ARGUMENT AGAINST PORN AS FINE ART

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by timohicks, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. This all started as a response to Kevin Ferrell,

    KEVIN FARRELL, SEPTEMBER 20, 2006; 02:30 P.M. (DISAPPROVE)
    Well, you might regard me as a villain for commenting that I found you
    resurrection picture to be kitsch a la velvet Elvis. Nonetheless I posted a
    question in the Philo of Photo forum that might interest you. Not enough
    Christians viewpoints in the forums.

    MY RESPONSE: Actually, I did not; I felt at the time that you were still
    wrapped up with the comment I made among only a few others that spoke to one
    of manifold issues centered on free speech and pornography versus fine art and
    creativity --predisposed by cultural morality. I will attempt to follow one of
    my favorite quotes from seventeenth century philosopher, Emanuel Kant, who
    wrote, --That which the imagination can play in a purposive and unstudied
    manner will always be new to us.

    Trust me when I tell you the whole world is caught up with authorial intent as
    if a writer or painter or as with this site, a photographer can know the effect
    (s) and/or metaphoric implications of an image before professional or popular
    consensus leads to its designation as in Susanne Langers significant object.
    This type of cause and effect is not conventional or commonplace in the sense
    of --If I stepped on a bug, my intention was to smashed it, but a purposeless
    process spawned in a vacuum with only the artists negative energy and
    ambivalence in contention with his imagination and inspiration.

    For the artist, the urge to create fulfills a need not an intent. What
    constitutes creativity in the process of developing ideas should not be
    confused with the resulting performance or product; one does not necessarily
    lead to the other. Moreover there is a humongous gap here, I believe
    responsible for nudging pornography towards acceptance as an art form although
    it would be difficult to trudge through the muck and mire commensurate with
    the position I hold without writing a treatise. I would like to, however,
    make a brief argument against porn independent of the typical cultural and
    moral decay platforms; whether I do here, I leave for the experts to determine.

    The key to understanding Kants statement above is the word purposive (purpose
    without purpose, intent without purpose, or intent without intent etc. --
    tautologous, I know). The process, which is purposive, is a most potent
    component of the creative act yet creativity alone does not necessarily yield
    a significant object; an additional component is required; e. g., a consensus
    from contemporary and historic culture. And although the imagination can play
    with the pornographic image, such play is irrefutably carnal, lascivious, and
    a direct assault even on the flesh (soap box here, yea-- I know). Because
    they have First Amendment Rights, pornographers need no justification for the
    means they enlist to an end for their product: seduction to the level of
    preoccupation with a self-fulfilled gratification that merely excites the
    loins. It is nothing short of phenomenal that something so grossly lacking in
    originality and quality yields billions of dollars annually for the porn
    industry.


    What we under estimate is the addictive power of this self-deprecating
    thrill. Watching, being entertained by or even reading pornographic short
    stories affirms a cultural addiction animated vicariously by self-induced
    fantasy. But the attraction has absolutely nothing to do with the imagination
    nor should sexual stimulation or gratification be construed as having
    aesthetic value in any form or kind. The mud, however, thickens when one
    tries to justify how this position is not challenged by acting such as Halle
    Barrys nude sex scene in MONSTERS BALL for which she received an Oscar or more
    closer to home--nude photography--fine art or smut. (I am listening).

    Purposive is also commensurate with integrity; i. e., a referent to the
    challenge each artist must face whenever a performance or creative act
    commences. In conclusion, the aim of fine art has been to inspire world
    culture to value and develop a visual intimacy with vicissitudes of images
    augmenting aesthetic appreciation with our universe paradigmatically serving
    to refine our cultural aesthetic and facilitate our discernment of beauty and
    ugliness as contributory evidence to this fact. The intent of pornography is
    seduction not fine art; the two are incongruent and incompatible--fine art is
    purposive while pornography is purposeful; it is a difference between the
    unintentional discovery of an outcome and predicting it. Ironically,
    however, it is not pornographers who so often deem such images art but
    unfortunately a confused public --Sex would not sell if people did not buy it
    (oops!, soap box again, sorry, actually I am not)

    Your comments are welcomed;

    Tim

    (I will be glad when the straighten out the HTML formating on this site)


     
  2. "Not enough Christians viewpoints in the forums."

    That's because management only believes in secularism.
     
  3. "Not enough Christians viewpoints in the forums"

    Kevin-- That's because "Christianity" belongs in a Christianity forum.
    I notice you don't complain about a lack of a Catholic view, or Jewish view, or *gasp* a Budhist view. What is it with the "Christian" egocentricity?

    Church has nothing to do with photography as such. That discussion is for church, or your "book" club, not for a bunch of people who want to talk cameras, not philosophy.

    Why is it the ritcheous are so obsessed with vice and other peoples "exposure" (he he) to it? Why is it wrong to smile at a pair of boobs? Jeesh. With so much "evil" in the world... go feed a starving child or something and leave this petty crap alone.

    And Tim, seriously-- Kant in a photo.net forum, lol? The whole discussion is so beat to death it's insane it carries on here. Change the channel or don't, but nobodys changing their mind.
     
  4. Actually A. T., my comments are quite appropriate if you understand Kant as an objective resource and fine art (which includes photography) as a subjective cultural manifestation embellished with all the trappings and confused baggage
     
  5. Actually A. T., my comments are quite appropriate if you understand Kant as an objective resource and fine art (which includes photography) as a subjective cultural manifestation embellished with all the trappings and confused baggage.
     
  6. There aren't enough viewpoints from scientologists here! This site needs an audit. Who's paying attention to the operating thetan?
     
  7. Thanks, I had a rough day and I needed a good laugh. You've got some nice photos, I suggest you stick with that and don't worry about what gets people off.
     
  8. That was brief?
     
  9. There will always be a group of people that believe what you call pornography is not, and within that group a subgroup that don't think anything else besides that example is art. Let alone what a fundamentalist in a third world country might deem pornography. Relativism everywhere you look ;) In order to make anything stick you'll wind up qualifying it.

    Art is just too fluid a word to use as a lever for an attack on pornography. I think that trying to sublimate that line from aesthetic theory you'll wind up with an excercise in rhetoric that convinces few here. But I'd read what you write.
     
  10. Very wise words from Michael. I'd add that a slew of words doesn't alter the fundamental truth that there are no fundamental truths, except, perhaps, gravity and some physicists can't even agree about that. Pornography is in the eye of the beholder and, if I were daft enough to believe in a god, I'd thank him for that.
     
  11. There was a time (1930s) when Hollywood was ruled by the blue-nose Hays office, and a couple could only be shown in the same bed if each of them had one foot on the floor. Pornography is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder. I should point out that a lot more wars have been fought and people killed over religion than over pornography.
     
  12. Art? Politics? Porn?

    In this day and age of Secularism, it's become vogue to eliminate the inconvenience of a moral compass. That being written, sans a moral canon or compass, there's no right and wrong and sans a right or wrong, the intentionally restrictive inconvenience of morality, there's only: "What value do you align yourself with?" As in:

    "I have no problem with porn, it's you who has issues man."

    The question morphs into, "What have you done to be the power promoting your values, whether it be in art, politics or porn?"

    Welcome to Saddam's world of dictatorial culturalism where only the Secularist is allowed to run for office. So if you wish to understand where you have arrived as you ask questions about photographic pornography and philosophy, when it comes to porn and the statement:

    "Not enough Christians viewpoints in the forums."

    Welcome to Sodom and Gomorrah:)
     
  13. Fewer words would suffice. The OP seems to be saying that a photograph that serves only to titillate is not fine art. Correct?
     
  14. "In this day and age of Secularism,"

    Actually I would say that in this day and age overt religious doctrine is very much alive and probably stronger than it has been in the last 50 years.
     
  15. Welcome, Timothy.

    I do think your division between the aesthetic and the sensual is awfully
    strict. I would compare it to a high-contrast photograph. You might be pushing the levels
    so high as to miss some of the shades of gray. For instance, the nudes of Jock Sturgis or
    David Hamilton are both aesthetically beautiful and sensual. I think the same could be said
    of most of the nudes in the canon of Western art. Titian was a great painter who also
    produced sensuous nudes. Are we really to ban any work capable of arousal from being
    called art?


    You characterize pornography as
    appealing only to the sensual. My bet is that you do not look at a lot of porn (correct me if
    I am
    wrong) and lack familiarity with the material you are criticizing. Pornography is not always
    about stirring the loins. It is capable of iconoclastic humor and satire. The writings of the
    Marquis de Sade, while graphic, were principally a satire of Rousseau and his rosy picture
    of nature. They are for the most part not very arousing, even though they are as graphic as
    pornography can be. The mere representation of sex is not in and of itself arousing.
    Conversely, there are picture which do arouse and are not at all graphic. Men can become
    aroused looking at pictures of fully clothed women. This is not porn. To equate porn with
    arousal is a mistake, just as to equate all that is not porn with non-arousal is a mistake.
    The neat divisions you are making are not so easily born out through experience.

    An example of pornography closer to home with which you most certainly ARE familiar
    (since you
    commented on them) would be the photographs of our own Ms. Sylvie Lueders. Though
    they must be considered pornographic, I do not think the principle aim in most of the
    photographs of Ms. Lueders is to arouse the viewer. Usually, her pictures are wry political
    commentary, social satire, absurd humor or caricatures. She is essentially a cartoonist. The
    eroticism in her photographs is generally undercut by irony. She is making comments
    about life. The pictures are not meant nor presented in such a way as to be taken literallly.
    Are they pornographic? Most certainly. Are they intended to arouse? I do not think this
    their principle aim. Ms. Lueders does produce some photographs that are hot. However,
    today I want to limit myself to stressing that porn is not always about the hot. At another
    point I want to talk about whether hot is art.

    I am going to stop here and allow others to comment. This is a huge area. I am glad you
    have posted this thread, Timothy. Pornography should be discussed on pnet. I do not
    understand why my fellow liberals are so very loath to talk about it. The nudes category
    gets ten times the traffic any other category gets. It is a source of controversy. The only
    photographs that are censored here are the pornographic. Those here that ridicule your
    posting should do more than laugh. They should come up with arguments.
     
  16. Well, I guess I should have expected a morality versus anti-morality platform and that is OK but such positions are introverted, perverted, private, personal and at best, subjective --contributing little to the understanding; in fact, you already know the issues that restrict pornographic materials and their sale on legal grounds; and you have knowledge of extreme perversions from kitty porn to bestiality (and more that I would not even think about let alone write here) all couched under freedom of speech and sorry A. T., it all started with a smile at a pair of boobs.

    Understand this, to avoid circuitous arguments and useless bantering back and forth which you have the right to do and have begun to show here, you may try seeing the issues outside of your own closet perversions assuming you like porn; my statement does not enlist morality or the lack there of for a ground. Now, if we look at the origins of pornography as phenomena, we can then ask the question, which came first, art or pornography? Careful, the answer may not be as simple as it appears. ( and Kevin, your points are well received; I will attempt to address the issues you broached later. Today, however, is put my front porch back together day so that I may again enter my front door day.)

    Take care everyone,

    Tim
     
  17. That was an interesting post, Kevin. If Sylvie's work is intended as satire, then satire it must be. On the other hand, if the viewer sees it as pornography, then pornography it is. T'is a good example of the artist proposing but the viewer disposing.
     
  18. "Actually I would say that in this day and age overt religious doctrine is very much alive and probably stronger than it has been in the last 50 years."

    A valid point to consider indeed but to me, these words don't ring true around here being the point. And they surely don't ring true for the politics surrounding San Francisco, the local courts and the governing bodies of the South Bay Area.

    Mention God around these here parts of the hundred acre woods and the politicos will quite literally cut your mic and eject you from the meeting hall. Not trying to be argumentative but to me, that's neither being strong or alive.

    Being strong or alive to me, is being able to bring your faith where ever it is you choose to go, without fear of having your mic cut.

    My photographic efforts are guided or even dictated by my religious beliefs but one can't allow religious Canon to interfer with their understanding of the whole enchilada. To me, nobody can understand life's realities if interpreted by a hardline fanciful (idealogue) set of rules.
     
  19. "Being strong or alive to me, is being able to bring your faith where ever it is you choose to go, without fear of having your mic cut."

    Perhaps that's because bringing faith into the mix usually means passing moral judgement and often in a very aggressive and frightening way. Having a personal moral opinion is one thing but when it's done through the threats of an imaginary entity it gets kind of freaky.
     
  20. In this day and age of Secularism, it's become vogue to eliminate the inconvenience of a moral compass. That being written, sans a moral canon or compass, there's no right and wrong and sans a right or wrong, the intentionally restrictive inconvenience of morality, there's only: "What value do you align yourself with?"
    That's hardly a trait exclusive to secularism; if anything, it's even more profound among the religious. How many have been piously slaughtered by keepers and protectors of "the faith" (whichever one it might be)?
     
  21. "In this day and age of Secularism, it's become vogue to eliminate the inconvenience of a moral compass."

    I've always found the notion that morality is only acheived through the acceptance and writings of a 'god' to be utter nonsense with absolutely no basis in reality. Being in science many of the people I've come to know are aetheists yet they exhibit the very same morals that religious folk do. On the other hand, religious people don't appear to have a great track record of sticking to their morals. They kill, cheat, lie, molest, steal, and covet just much as anyone else in the world.
     
  22. "How many have been piously slaughtered by keepers and protectors of "the faith" (whichever one it might be)?"

    How many dictators can dance on the head of a pin? It's helpful to maintain historical context and one must eliminate the past in conversation (get over it for these are all transgressions of the distant past not recent past) and speak (write) in contemporary terms as nobody I know of encourages the atrocities or validates the Christian religious past in contemporary times as it was all a stupid egocentric power struggle on "everybody's" part; Assyrians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Spartans, Huns, Ancient Chinese Royalty at their death, Ottoman, Turks, Mayans, North American Aborigines, Hawaiian Islanders ect., ect., ect. No one group was innocent or peaceful as again, everybody was doing it. History is a terrible thing to waste .

    If you don't get over it or move forward into the present then this breaks down into a childish finger pointing game. Shall we make note of noted contemporary secularists in these here contemporary times? Let's see, who comes to mind, Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Idi Amin, Saddam, Kim ll-Sung and Kim Jong-il , Darfur, Somalia, Tusi's/Hitsu's, Gang of Four just for contemporary starters and the Pope, (whom I don't support), ain't doing or encouraging any of this sort of behavior.

    My point, I think "valid" references, so as to maintain historical context, needs to stay in the present, not dredging up the past from a millenium or two ago.
     
  23. "I've always found the notion that morality is only acheived through the acceptance and writings of a 'god' to be utter nonsense with absolutely no basis in reality. Being in science many of the people I've come to know are aetheists yet they exhibit the very same morals that religious folk do."

    That's like saying one doesn't need benfit of unions cause the unions values have been codified into law.

    Law; the codification of ethics and morality. If murder hadn't be codified, it'd be happening in mass qualities, much more so then it is now. Nobody has a lock of morals. And aetheists didn't come up with these can't we get along rules as they're a product of Judeo/Christian principals. Step outside of law and it's unarguably social anarchy. Which is fine as that's the way it is. I'm just making note of it's genesis. No condemnation, or value judgement.
     
  24. "...mass qualities,..."

    Aaaaah, that's "mass quanities" as opposed to qualities. Doh!
     
  25. "In this day and age of Secularism, it's become vogue to eliminate the inconvenience of a moral compass."

    You must live in a Blue state. My favorite example of moral compassing is the struggle over Route 666, which the religious lobbied to have changed because...you know...

    So, it is officially (IIRC) Route 491. But many locals objected to the change for several reasons (not the least being the absence of the tourists who used to wander down from the Interstate just to drive 666 therefore lowering the locals sales of this and that). Many handdrawn signs Route 666 appeared. Many Route 491 signs were stolen. All the old Route 666 signs were stolen as soon as the change was made known. Now alongside the 491s are official Old Route 666 signs.

    And to get closer to being on-topic, can anyone explain why on I70 crossing Missouri all the porno shops (as well as fireworks shops) are in the bible belt part of the route?

    Well, that's the fun side of religion.

    As for the serious side of moral compassing, don't you worry about that! It may take another generation or two to turn nice common everyday Americans into pig ignorant fanatics eager to sign on to a crusade against the infidels -- whoever they might be. As the recruiters will tell you, the process is not very advanced yet.

    --

    Don E
     
  26. "You must live in a Blue state."

    San Francisco is a "Blue state?" What are the chances? :)


    "My favorite example of moral compassing is the struggle over Route 666,..."

    I started chuckling the moment I read 666. LOL.

    "which the religious lobbied to have changed because...you know..."

    Yepper's, all happened because we named that road 666. They should have known and now look what's happened. Hell in a hand basket I tell ya. LOL

    -----------------------------

    So, it is officially (IIRC) Route 491. But many locals objected to the change for several reasons (not the least being the absence of the tourists who used to wander down from the Interstate just to drive 666 therefore lowering the locals sales of this and that). Many handdrawn signs Route 666 appeared. Many Route 491 signs were stolen. All the old Route 666 signs were stolen as soon as the change was made known. Now alongside the 491s are official Old Route 666 signs.

    -----------------------------

    That's too much. Hollyweird couldn't write a script to match that battle.

    -----------------------------

    "Well, that's the fun side of religion."

    Look at all I'm missing out by only seeing the "Blue" side of the coin:) Jesus would hide his head in shame..... but that's another story.

    ------------------------------

    "As for the serious side of moral compassing, don't you worry about that! It may take another generation or two to turn nice common everyday Americans into pig ignorant fanatics eager to sign on to a crusade against the infidels -- whoever they might be. As the recruiters will tell you, the process is not very advanced yet."

    Goes to show what-cha missin when you don't live in the Bible belt.

    Thanks for the insight:)
     
  27. To me the reason why religion muddies the waters of these sort of conversations is what is in reality discussed is traditions, or its effects. Its very rarely metaphysics, both because doctrine often prescribes rigid ideas about it, and because party politics (its leaders) have drawn imaginary lines in the sand that it is hard not to have strong feelings about a block of issues. It doesn't mean I don't enjoy the lessons of Christ, the Buddha, or the Bhagavad Gita (etc) - its just that I come here for all of your views, I can read theirs more directly. But thats a tangent maybe for another thead =)

    As for what came first, art or pornography, art did I believe. Per wikipedia (I know, not exactly a primary source), in the western world the idea and treatment of pornography came about in the Victorian era when the Roman art of Pompeii was excavated. I'm quite sure there were other spots in history many times over many hundreds of years before where leaders deemed this or that unacceptable, but surely the idea of art came first when using pornography applied to art. Someone had to see something inappropriate to deem it to be so would be my line of reasoning.

    Cheers.
     
  28. The current major religions are fairly recent, striding onto the world stage between, roughly 500BCE-600CE. An exception is the Hindu religion which is at least 1000 years older (interestingly, Hindu religious art tends to be far more sensual and rich than the newer religions'). The older and now vanished religions, such as those of ancient Middle East, art was often pornographic if current mores are applied to it. Prostitution was a religious institution, as well. There are carvings, bas relief I think, showing a city boss and a priestess copulating in a temple. These may have been public rites. I've seen photos of a sculpted piece, from I think 6000BCE or so, which is both male genitals and the female form at once. Sex was obviously a big positive deal for those ancients, just as it is a big negative deal in the religions that replaced them.

    The Roman examples mentioned, aren't they all associated with whorehouses? It is definitely secular stuff. An objection can be made against the Roman origin or source in that the Ancient Greeks had pornography, not unknown to European gentlemen. Maybe the Greek stuff is too humorous and amusing, unlike the forthright Roman kind, for it to be useful except aesthetically.

    --

    Don E
     
  29. Heather M:There aren't enough viewpoints from scientologists here! This site needs an audit. Who's paying attention to the operating thetan?
    And let's hear from some bi-coastal Thespian Wiccans!
     
  30. Well, sex IS a negative. It is a big problem for us. It is especially a problem for women. It can
    lead to unwanted pregnancy. Women get diseases more easily. Women can be raped if they
    are not cautious. If a woman got pregnant before one hundred years ago, there was a good
    chance she could either die in childbirth, or be permanently injured. And from a woman's
    point of view, men tend to be bad in bed.
     
  31. This is friggin' 21st century, people, and we are still talking religion, moral judgment, etc? What the F-up world...
    seduction to the level of preoccupation with a self-fulfilled gratification that merely excites the loins.
    If the original poster bothered to do some research, he would have discovered that sexuality is as Central-Nervous-System-based as anything else we perceive.
     
  32. "Well, sex IS a negative. It is a big problem for us."

    Mortality is a big problem for us. Thus: sex and religion, pornography and art.


    --

    Don E
     
  33. "This is friggin' 21st century, people, and we are still talking religion, moral judgment, etc? What the F-up world..."

    I know, it's astonishing that the 21st century is starting the same as the 11th with the GD Christians and the GD Muslims squaring off for the big one.
     
  34. "know, it's astonishing that the 21st century is starting the same as the 11th with the GD Christians and the GD Muslims squaring off for the big one."

    That may be, Andy, but we may be blindsided, instead, by an all out war between Hindus and Muslims, the oldest and the newest of the major religions. Christians, Jews, Muslims fight each other because they are so similar only different :cool:, but Hinduism and Islam might as well be from different galaxies. That might not be a problem if they were separated by the Pacific Ocean (or intergalactic space), but they are all together in a bunch, and both have large populations which have not quite made it to the 19th, much less the 21st century.


    --

    Don E
     
  35. Timothy ,

    You might want to read this --http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/o/orwell/george/
    o79e/
    part42.html -- it is George Orwell's essay "Politics and the English Language" -- before
    posting
    another philosophical tract. Particularly pay attention to the parts about "operators" and
    "pretentious diction".

    One last note: The last time I checked pornography usually had more to do with sexual
    arousal in the viewer or reader as a stimuli for masturbation than as a tool for seduction
    of
    a potential sexual partner.
     
  36. "I know, it's astonishing that the 21st century is starting the same as the 11th with the GD Christians and the GD Muslims squaring off for the big one."

    Yeah! But this time, they started it. (said in a childish whine) LOL

    "The Eastern world, it is exploding."

    "Violence flaring, bullets loadin..."

    "Eve of Distruction" Barry McGuire

    http://artists.letssingit.com/barry-mcguire-eve-of-destruction-s1m88lj

    Sadly, somethings never change.
     
  37. You know, there were divisions in the Muslim world during the Middle Ages, just as there
    were divisions in the Christian. It was not as simple as Muslims against Christians. There
    were alliances of Muslims and Christians against other similar alliances. The same is true
    today. Musharif and the Pakistani middle-class are Muslims and pro-American. So is the
    Saudi royal family and those that side with them. So are Mubarek and his friends. The young
    urbanites in Iran like the Americans to an extent, yet are Muslims. The French and the Soviets
    backed Saddam, the Americans and British are somewhat friendly with the Shiites in Iraq.
    There are divisions in both worlds which can and are exploited. It is not so simple as a
    religious war.
     
  38. As a simple Christian I would see the purpose of pornography as 1. to lower the common demominator 2. to weaken the spirit 3. to stop the thought process. Each piece stands on its own merit. We've all seen plenty of porn that had no nudity or sexuality at all. Even a mass murderer will kick a pedophile's butt just for thinking out loud. Many things have no value whatsoever until we decide they do, ie., money, nudes, sport, Paris Hilton.

    One of the great draws of sports, is that, in and of itself, sport is sinless. Regardless of any beliefs, or no beliefs of the viewer or participant.
     
  39. "Sex is a negative." !?!?!?!???? Are you kidding? That was the philosophy of the Shaker religion......yep, sure are a lot of Shakers around these days....

    Masturbation "weakens the spirit" and "stops the thought process." Trust me, the spirit and thought processes are working just fine...

    Religion and morality? A friend used to be in charge of stocking movie rentals in the local hotels. He used to double the porn offerings whenever there was a major religious conference because it was a big money maker.

    And porn is never made with the intention of being fine art, to answer the original question, it is made to entertain, stimulate, arouse...and I am just fine with that.....

    I forget who said it, but "with the guts of the last king, let's strangle the last priest..."
     
  40. Porn has no innocence. That is its inherent saddness. Without making a value judgement, only an observation, that perspective can be art.
     
  41. Oooooonward Christian soldiers...

    It's been bugging me so I'd like to pick a bone with Timothy Hicks, so to speak.

    He said:

    "and you have knowledge of extreme perversions from kitty porn to bestiality (and more that I would not even think about let alone write here) all couched under freedom of speech and sorry A. T., it all started with a smile at a pair of boobs."

    Am I correct in thinking that Timothy is saying, in the heat of of the moment, that smiling at boobs leads to kitty porn (?) and bestiality?

    If you use such watertight logic, Timothy, how can I argue back! Go find me a kitty! A Garfield look alike if you please.

    Or perhaps that kind of argument is similar to saying that being a Catholic priest leads to sex abuse? What do you reckon, Timothy?
     
  42. "Or perhaps that kind of argument is similar to saying that being a Catholic priest leads to sex abuse?"

    All and all considering, would you trust your young ten year old son with a Catholic priest? As a Christian, I know I wouldn't. But then again, as a Christian, I wouldn't encourage my son to go into "any" organized religious center. Does that help?
     
  43. Why? Cause they all goofy.
     
  44. One of the curiosities of contemporary christianity, at least in the US, is its atomization, where there is no church -- or at least no material church.

    --

    Don E
     
  45. Well, Tim B., I guess I was picking on A. T. a little but porn like any addiction raises its ugly face in the form of excessive perverted appetites. Notwithstanding, as if anyone noticed, my original argument is against porn as fine art; for example the published photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe that caused an uproar with clergy, government and public officials; The National Endowment for the Arts lost funding and had to lay off a number of its staff administrators; and along with The National Endowment for the Humanities under went stringent scrutiny due to the overt obscenity and perverted sex acts depicted in the photographic art of Robert Mapplethorpe (and I not talking about his floral photography). Objections to the sadomasochistic homoerotic acts prompted officials at the Corcoran Gallery to cancel the show two weeks before the scheduled opening (I could go on with the ramifications of this historic exhibition but it is not necessary, just go to Google and type in the words Robert Mapplethorpe).

    As ambiguous and ephemeral the word art continues to be, there exists clear cultural boundaries protesting what art is not, thanks albeit negatively somewhat to Robert Mapplethorpe. Public and government funding of the arts has returned but private galleries are free to feature shocking erotic and disturbingly offensive imagery. I know--no look, no see--but the boundaries continue to be pushed starting with the medium (dial-up, broadband etc.) the makes this forum is possible.
     
  46. Very funny Thomas, where we be without your humor;

    Tim
     
  47. I take it you don't like homersexuals, Timothy Hicks?

    So your argument, minus the clever words you read in some book, boils down to this:

    1. Porn cannot be fine art.
    2. Image X is porn therefore it's not fine art.

    Flawless!!!! You should be a judge.

    But getting back to another clever thing you said - you mentioned the addictive power of pornography.

    To put it bluntly, prove it, don't expect others to agree with assumptions you read in Watchtower. And I agree that some people are addicted to pornogaphy. But that's because it's logical to say that some people are addicted to [anything under the sun]. but because there are insane people out there who read Ecclesiastes over and over night after night, I do not claim that the Bible is dangerous and addictive.

    So, Timothy Hicks, kitty porn man, back up your assumptions.
     
  48. but porn like any addiction raises its ugly face in the form of excessive perverted appetites.
    It is not an addiction. Let's get it straight. Addiction entails physical consequences of withdrawl of the object/substance.
    What of the compulsion to object to so-called porno in a most vociferous manner? You know, fewer words would suffice. Embellishing an argument with so many words when few are adequate might indicate obfuscation, insincerity.
    If one couples religion with sex, then how does that reflect upon either? It is just humankinds way of making more humans. Advertising is just humankinds way of perpetuating an economy to support humans. Food is similarly essential. So is shelter. So, is advertising, food, shelter coupled with religion?
    Note again the ten commandments. They seem dominated by claims of the author's authority, then move on to property rights.
     
  49. The best argument against pornography I can think of -- meaning photographed porn -- is that it is rarely if ever funny. Why is that? Drawn porn can be funny, and text porn is perhaps the essence of funny. But not photos.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, a little recitation entitled 'she was only a gravediggers daughter but she loved lying under the sod'" -- Look Back in Anger.


    --

    Don E
     
  50. Timothy Hicks

    "As ambiguous and ephemeral the word art continues to be, there exists clear cultural boundaries protesting what art is not, thanks albeit negatively somewhat to Robert Mapplethorpe."

    A bit of artistic history below.

    To understand this acceptance of "porn as art" and the great divide that has developed, one has to go back to about 1824 (Moderns Vs Romaticism)(Delacroix/Ingles) in artistic political history and the overt split which developed. Secular Humanists (Progressives) rejected religion (Judeo/Christian ideals), and the supernatural emphasizing a person's capacity for self-realization (egocentricity) through reason, all being based upon pre-Christ's, classical ideals; the Ancients.

    This split was heightened or Canonized in the 1920's by the leadership of Andre Breton, founder of Surrealism. From this time point, the Secular Progressives (Humanists) have literally taken over the power structures of "the institutions" of higher learning (90%) and morally it's been downhill ever since as they push any Judeo/Christian moral value judgements as far out of their purvey as possible. "Don't fence me in." (History is a terrible thing to waste.)

    It's a battle of moral cultures, which has turned into a "game" of;

    "There is no right or wrong as there's only what works for you and me and if you don't like it, then it's you who has issues, not me and you need to get over it."

    No Canon, no values, no moral judgement. Only through laws passed by flawed thinking, administered to by Progressive judges, will there be a Canon of moral judgement. One only needs to look as far as the debate over teachers having sex with students and the sexual content of primetime television programming to see how far down the slippery public slope of immorality (acceptability) this battle for the hearts and minds of society at large has gone. Seems pretty self-serving and easy to understand:)

    That being said, since rewards are received in Heaven, it don't matter what Progressives (Secularists) think, say or do in their institutions of intolerance. If one wants a degree, get one, if not, don't and the same applies to art. If some "wack job" wants to pile crap in a bottle (hopefully with a cork) and call it art, cool; same for porn. And if some curator wants to hold this bottle of crap up (or porn) as a "fine" example of what free thinking thought is capable of producing then more power to the decadency of the community that supports this mentally desperate cry for help. And if some even crazier person wants to hand either the museum or the "artist" a million bucks for this mind freeing effort, cool as nobody cares if "you or I" go into the museum cause all's lost, so it don't matter:)

    Hope the above is found insightful.

    Peace out brother, see you in Heaven:)
     
  51. "...artistic political history and the overt split which developed"

    Iow, a few dozen people. I'm reminded of Sam Moskowitz's "The Immortal Storm", the history of sf fandom in its first decade. All the power struggles, stories, manifestos, feuds, publications...sometimes it is difficult to keep in mind it was about some teens in the Bronx.

    Like Maplethorpe, if news editors or politicians smell publicity, they'll go for it. Artists shock the bourgeois. So what else is new.
    That's been part of the job description for a century and a half.

    "Morally its been downhill ever since."

    Downhill from what? Just when and where was this moral culture and society we have declined from? What are you comparing us to, to our disadvantage?

    --

    Don E
     
  52. "Downhill from what? Just when and where was this moral culture and society we have declined from? What are you comparing us to, to our disadvantage?"

    When a person doesn't know they're lost, then it doesn't matter. I haven't a clue how to respond to rhetorical questions like your above as the questions imply there never was a moral history in which to compare today's morality. I won't try to help the blind see as I don't have the patience. I'll share the history and the names. See, or don't see, it's your free choice:)

    Here are some wonderful photographic examples of what's happening in musical art and morality today. No condemnation, let the viewer decide but the photography and the intensity "act" (entertainment) is great. Both links are provided so as to maintain context.

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1032&message=20170573

    http://www.musicpix.net/index.php?module=PostWrap&page=Dir_en_grey
     
  53. Timothy,

    I started this post as what I thought was a reasoned response to you. Then I realized I was
    starting to preach and lecture you. I have no right or place to do that and I suspect that
    you are not interested in engaging in any sort of dialog on this subject.

    I respect your right to believe what you believe and to express your thoughts. You see the
    world your way. others see things differently. I hope you have a happy and long life but
    God help all of us, including you, if you try to cram your views down our throats through
    politics, which cannot help but corrupt even the most morally sound of people.
     
  54. "I haven't a clue how to respond to rhetorical questions like your above..."

    It was not a rhetorical question. If society is going downhill, then I want to know where the top of the hill was. If you can't answer, then reconsider where the "rhetorical" might be.


    --

    Don E
     
  55. Here are some wonderful photographic examples of what's happening in musical art and morality today.
    Iggy Pop has been doing much "worse" than that since the 70s.
     
  56. "Here are some wonderful photographic examples of what's happening in musical art and morality today."

    Ah, stage folk. This observation was old in Plautus' day.

    And dancing and card playing and likker. So frivolous.

    Lost? By whom? I'm here to be Found by Whomever is looking. It is not for you to say anything about "lost" "found" or "whomever". Not my prerogative, either now, is it? And everything I know about it and you know about it is hearsay. It's a good idea, imho, to consider the source.

    --

    Don E
     
  57. "It was not a rhetorical question. If society is going downhill, then I want to know where the top of the hill was. If you can't answer, then reconsider where the "rhetorical" might be."

    To me, it was and still is a rhetorical question, despite your protests. If one doesn't have "any" sense of social/moral history, then there can't be any conversation as there's no base in which to build an intelligent conversation on.
     
  58. "It is not for you to say anything about "lost" "found" or "whomever". Not my prerogative, either now, is it?"

    Sure it is. We all make value judgements and it's okay to do so.
     
  59. I'm good with value judgement, it's your issue that your not:)
     
  60. Thomas G: It's a battle of moral cultures, which has turned into a "game" of;
    "There is no right or wrong as there's only what works for you and me and if you don't like it, then it's you who has issues, not me and you need to get over it."

    Perfect relativism. It's truly a strange philosophy and only works in an affluent culture full of bliss-ninnies and fools.
    What you speak of doesn't apply anywhere outside of this art and morality argument, else we wouldn't have war in every generation.
    But you are right, IMHO; there is a wrong and a right, and everything inbetween, and nothing outside of that range by definition.
    The fact is simple, clear and unambiguous but yields to unending arguments which are actually all about power, and seeking power for its own sake is vanity of the worst kind.
    Thanks for you post. I loved it.
     
  61. morally it's been downhill ever since
    Morally we've been going downhill ever since we came down out of the trees and brached off from our cousin apes.
    Seen from a certain point of view, the topic of public morality looks like one of M.C. Escher's endlessly recursive starcase etchings: Even while we climbing up, someone will wag their finger and say we are forever climbing down.
     
  62. "Even while we climbing up, someone will wag their finger and say we are forever climbing down."

    Interesting analogy. :)
     
  63. "Sure it is. We all make value judgements and it's okay to do so."

    My language was perhaps obscure. Let me try again: "Grace" is a one way street. The Godhead reveals itself to its creature or not as it pleases. Guides, since the first time the Book of the Dead was chiseled into a pyramid's wall, exist claiming to know the Godhead's email address or having directions to his abode. In this way, the circumstances are inverted. The Godhead doesn't find you and you are lost because you don't show for the appointment (see the address is right here in the Guide).

    It is not my perrogative to go calling on God, but his to find me.

    --

    Don E
     
  64. Interesting analogy. :)
    Only if it makes you think.
     
  65. To Thomas: You wrote a while ago "Shall we make note of noted contemporary secularists in these here contemporary times? Let's see, who comes to mind, Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Idi Amin, Saddam, Kim ll-Sung and Kim Jong-il , Darfur, Somalia, Tusi's/Hitsu's, Gang of Four just for contemporary starters and the POPE".
    Being a catholic (and practicing), I could follow your views up to a cerain degree, but after I got to that point I now see that you fall in the traps of the protestant hypocrisy. I'm afraid that your actions are much worse than your words, so please, don't talk anymore about pornography and quit being a moralist.
     
  66. "To me, it was and still is a rhetorical question, despite your protests. If one doesn't have "any" sense of social/moral history, then there can't be any conversation as there's no base in which to build an intelligent conversation on." Thomas


    What would such a "base" be? That I agree with you at the outset of a discussion? That would not be a conversation. It would be witnessing.

    If you can't debate the heathen, then all you can do is chide them, shake your head, and count them as Lost.

    --

    Don E
     
  67. "It is not my perrogative to go calling on God, but his to find me."

    It's like learning as it's a free choice thingy:) Learn, don't learn, your choice.

    As Ellis pointed out...

    "Interesting analogy. :)"

    "Only if it makes you think."

    Yes, the anology caused me think; in understanding:) One doesn't need to agree in order to understand but most, sadly, equate understanding with agreeing.

    "Oh my gosh!" "I can't understand cause then I'll agree." :O

    Can't have that now. LOL
     
  68. ""Oh my gosh!" "I can't understand cause then I'll agree." :O

    Can't have that now. LOL"

    It's' all been downhill since The Fall. It's human nature. "Nature, Mr Alnutt, is what we were put on this earth to rise above".

    Why not simply say you agree with the social and moral opinion prevalent in 19th century Western Europe and the US (if that is what you mean), and that that class and their standards have declined and become decadent? I would surely agree with you there. That's them.

    Just about everyone I've ever known have been moral and honest persons. Perhaps you hang with the wrong crowd.

    --

    Don E
     
  69. Religion is not the basis of morality, morality is the basis of religion. Therefore, morals can exist without religion which follows that one does not need religion to have morals and further, one cannot use the argument that any morals that exist today are a result of religion.

    Morality is a relative term defined by communities.
     
  70. >>And aetheists didn't come up with these can't we get along rules as they're a product of Judeo/Christian principals.<<

    What you've written is a distortion; much of what gets subsumed under 'Judea/Christian whatever' is actually neo platonism. And, in case you care, you have not made an argument but rather merely asserted your fear/s.

    Here is an example: "And although the imagination can play with the pornographic image, such play is irrefutably carnal, lascivious, and a direct assault even on the flesh."

    First, it's a well-known rhetorical tip-off that an author hasn't 'a pot to piss in when words like "irrefutable" are used without any support.

    Support? Yeah, I know. Why waste time supporting something so obviously irrefutable as what it is I contend?

    The Greeks? Yeah, I know. Why read (or consider, or believe) anything from those pederasts.

    >>I'm just making note of it's genesis. No condemnation, or value judgement.<<

    That you've misrepresented the facts suggests that condemnation informs your "argument" at several levels. If what you've written is a true record of your beliefs, then you are judging values by illustrating which ones you cultivate and which ones you ignore or walk right over. I have in mind such things as veracity, accountability, selfunderstanding, accuracy . . .

    Arguments have premises, supporting premises and conclusions. I'm afraid you've left out the middle. Someone else invoked the 'your view is a high contrast image' metaphor suggesting a range of (important) values absent from your rhetoric.

    Just a heads up.

    --tom
     
  71. "I could follow your views up to a cerain degree, but after I got to that point I now see that you fall in the traps of the protestant hypocrisy."

    No hypocrisy, just facts. You might wish to expand on your above.

    "I'm afraid that your actions are much worse than your words, so please, don't talk anymore about pornography and quit being a moralist."

    Sorry, I haven't a clue what actions you're on about but please, do expand on your above.
     
  72. Don E.

    I think you misunderstood my below as you cut out the relevant part.

    ""Oh my gosh!" "I can't understand cause then I'll agree." :O

    Can't have that now. LOL"

    "Why not simply say you agree with the social and moral opinion prevalent..."

    I'll quote the relevant part:

    "One doesn't need to agree in order to understand but most, sadly, equate understanding with agreeing."

    I was trying to make the point that part of getting along, is the need to understand the other party's position. One doesn't have to agree with their position but they can understand. Folks have a bad habit of juxtapositioning the two terms on top of each other as if they're synonymous when they're not. Their securities or defenses get messed up in that they feel if they have an understanding of another's position, that's the same as agreeing with their position so I was making light of this point in the part you quoted. It wasn't intended to be a comment on anything you wrote and my apologies if it came across in that manner.

    I hope that clarifies any misunderstanding I might have caused.
     
  73. "And, in case you care, you have not made an argument but rather merely asserted your fear/s."

    And what pray tell are these fears you write of? :)

    Let me give you an insightful clue, as to my fears..... None of what we write or do is important cause in the end, we all die and when we die, we'll all find out what the truth is and what you choose to do in the middle is none of mine..... unless you make it mine. :O

    You can run with the fear ball from there:)
     
  74. "Arguments have premises, supporting premises and conclusions."

    Only if you're taking a test. This is a forum of like minded individuals, here for entertainment purposes, not a philosophy course:)

    I posted names, years and movements, I'd say that's more than most.
     
  75. "Here is an example: "And although the imagination can play with the pornographic image, such play is irrefutably carnal, lascivious, and a direct assault even on the flesh."

    It would be most kind if you would point me in the direction where I wrote that as me thinks you're ascribing to me, something written by someone else.
     
  76. Thomas, here's what you wrote. Ironically, it's something you didn't address in your flash rebuttles.

    >>And aetheists didn't come up with these can't we get along rules as they're a product of Judeo/Christian principals.<<

    What you've written is a distortion; much of what gets subsumed under 'Judea/Christian whatever' is actually neo platonism. AND although the debate rages (did they or did they not really believe in gods or was it just an early folk psychology), they knew nothing of "The triple scoop" and of course, Jesus came later. I'm thinking that makes them athiests in your book regardless of the quality of their belief.

    I believe the other citations address Tim, the person who originated this thread. Sorry for including your idea with his.
     
  77. Tom Keys: "Arguments have premises, supporting premises and conclusions."

    Thomas Gardner: >>Only if you're taking a test. This is a forum of like minded individuals, here for entertainment purposes, not a philosophy course:) <<

    I was using the meaning that Tim had used in opening this thread. Argument in this sense does indeed have the essentials mentioned. They needn't be listed in logical order, we rarely talk that way, but we do imply our premises when they aren't made explicit. If not, we simply don't have an argument in this sense. This understanding of argument is found across all diciplines, in fact it lies at the source of any academic discipline. Even the Bible contains argument in this sense.


    >>I posted names, years and movements, I'd say that's more than most.<<

    Yes, I read that. Pretty funny stuff. Now had that reflected anything more than the debth of your scratching or your obliviousness to better (read: more rigerous) explanations, I'd have jumped right on it.

    By the way, this is the philosophy of photography forum. You're welcome.
     
  78. >>"And although the imagination can play with the pornographic image, such play is irrefutably carnal, lascivious, and a direct assault even on the flesh."<<

    This was a citation supporting my contention that the author was attempting to present an argument without supporting (giving sound reasons for) it. It's called assertion and as a way of arguing it is known as a logical fallacy (not that there's anything wrong with that).

    :)

    The idea here is to present ideas and to discuss them. That you didn't write this is a matter of record, but then so is your non response to it.

    :)
     
  79. "Morally its been downhill ever since."

    "Downhill from what? Just when and where was this moral culture and society we have declined from? What are you comparing us to, to our disadvantage?"

    You wrote my question was rhetorical and you couldn't answer it. Yet, you do have the answer and you wrote it right before the word "Morally..."

    You wrote: "To understand this acceptance of "porn as art" and the great divide that has developed, one has to go back to about 1824..."

    And: "This split was heightened or Canonized in the 1920's by the leadership of Andre Breton, founder of Surrealism. From this time point..."

    And I responded: "Iow, a few dozen people. I'm reminded of Sam Moskowitz's "The Immortal Storm", the history of sf fandom in its first decade. All the power struggles, stories, manifestos, feuds, publications...sometimes it is difficult to keep in mind it was about some teens in the Bronx."

    And from Delacroix to Breton, it was just about some artists in Paris.

    "Downhill from what? Just when and where was this moral culture and society we have declined from? What are you comparing us to, to our disadvantage?"

    There were any number of reasons for artists to assume the occupation of offending the bourgeois. I mentioned a major reason in the original response.

    You are claiming, it seems, that these artists overthrew western civilization. A lot of critics rather blame Marx and Freud, which is not true either, but for a moment, at least, it may seem plausible.

    What corresponds to your timeframe is the establishment of capitalism and republicanism on the European continent.

    Prior to that, the west was dominated by absolute monarchies and economies run by state monopolies. So were the arts. And this is the era you compare to ours to our disadvantage, morally, culturally and socially.

    Besides Opus Dei and whatever feudal relics might still be around, who could agree with this?

    --

    Don E
     
  80. "What you've written is a distortion;..."

    No distortion, but you're welcome to reflect upon what I wrote in any manner you wish. Calling something a distortion is an easy way to blow it off.
     
  81. "You are claiming, it seems, that these artists overthrew western civilization."

    Not overthrew (bloodless coup maybe) but had a huge, altering influence and this coup holds sway this very day and influence continues to get stronger.

    My references are to art, so my context is art, not Western civilization but you'd be surprised how much influence these people have had over Western civilization and how much their influence affects what's happening day-to-day. One needs look no further then the local university to see the "overwhelming" influence and this influence is felt daily through out Europe.

    People have so little understanding but it's okay as that's why I say it's not important to make anybody see as in the end, we all die and that's the ball we're supposed to have our eyes on. Fifty years from now, few who grace this forum, should it survive fifty more years (and I'm not suggeting it won't) will still be with us, it's called perspective.

    If it helps, I'm not going try to convince you of anything as I was trying to share with another poster to help him understand. I posted what I had to say, cited names, dates and movements. Take some time to Google what I wrote so as to better understand the brevity of what I shared. Open your eyes, don't open your eyes, it's your free choice. It's really so easy.

    Franz Marc, we miss you.

    http://www.artchive.com/artchive/M/marc.html

    His life was cut short, he had so little time, yet the impact of his efforts, unbeknownst to those today who without their knowledge are influenced by his cut short efforts.

    Allow me to suggest reading on Breton and how he impacted the art world as well as academia who affects directly, the whole of the world. The Berlin, Paris, NYC, Mexico City connection was incredible in how it sucessfully influenced (shaped) not only art philosophy but the entire Western political system in the process.

    It truly is amazing. When you take time to learn about "the politics" of art from the Renaissance to contemporary times I suspect that you'll be equally amazed. It's all in the politics.

    There's a culture war going on in the US and there has been a war going on back to Breton and to a lessor degree, back to the turn of the century and started, quite unintentionally by the Dadaists. The question isn't if this war is going on and the question isn't a case of right or wrong, good or bad but without knowing it, it does require one choosing sides and the deciding which group one wishes to align themselves with.

    Some know and understand and others don't have a clue but everybody is a participant and mostly in ignorance, has already chosen sides.

    Tain't no thang.

    Hope the above helps.
     
  82. Finally Kevin, I can get back to you; thanks for your patience.

    There is little evidence that Titian intended his paintings---allegorical, religious themes or otherwise---for sensual arousal. If one can not appreciate painterly craft, composition or the thematic nature of a time honored painters work purely for its contribution to painting as craft, then the question of maturation comes into play. Prerequisite to appreciating contributions by such painters as Titian, Da Vinci, and Diego Velằuez, it would help if viewers had a mature understanding of fifteenth century painting as craft first, and thematically perhaps second and so on (at the risk of sounding prescriptive). Suffice it to say, if you are in fact aroused by a Titian nude, you are not contemplating the paintings composition, theme and mode of expression.

    The division that you speak of is not necessarily between the aesthetic and the sensual but one that seeks to expose the difference between the SENSUOUS and the sensual; sensual may be defined as follows:

    1. [adj] sexually exciting or gratifying; "sensual excesses"; "a sultry look"; "a sultry dance"
    2. [adj] of the appetites and passions of the body; "animal instincts"; "carnal knowledge"; "fleshly desire"; "a sensual delight in eating"; "music is the only sensual pleasure without vice."

    Cultural or public toleration of sensual/sexual themes is nothing new. Evidence of explicit or graphic images existed in ancient cultures all over the world (most notably Pompeii and Herculaneum where excavations revealed erotic art and frescos with pornographic inscriptions, even household items with sexual themes. It is possible that the sexual mores of the ancient cultures in some ways exceeded todays liberal views and tolerance for erotic imagery).
    Chinese Pillow Books are explicitly illustrated guides carefully copied from original scrolls written and illustrated for the erotic education of Chinese nobles thousands of years ago. But the notion of the sensual carries much baggage and should in no way be construed to be connected with aesthetic contemplation, imagination and appreciation or artistic genius.

    If I understand you Kevin, it appears you are attempting to argue the merits of arousal on aesthetic grounds; you sight Marquis de Sade
    (a person so sadistic the term sadism was coined after him) and Ms. Sylvie Lueders who I commented wastes her photographic talents on cheap thrills; Sylvie presents a interesting perspective even in her erotic fantasies; just think of what she could do with varied contemplative themes about life and its manifold meanings.

    While it is clear that you have developed a grand fondness for porn, porn themes, explicit writings, and erotic imagery, I am baffled that you fail to see that one of the principle roles of pornography is sexual arousal.

    Try this on for size: if I take away all of your pornographic movies, magazines, erotic novels and so on, what would you do with your life?

    Or this, can you look at a Titian nude without lusting? (Sorry if I appear to be making an example here but you so vividly make my argument.)

    The intent of the artist has very, very little to do with your predisposition (sensual appetites and the like). It is your right to delight in the procurement of a taste for pornographic imagery but beware that the manifest baggage you carry with you to the Metropolitan, Modern and Guggenheim museums will cloud the existence of the merely sensuous nude---the sensuous joy of all things fair . . .
     
  83. TOM

    I love your landscapes; clean, clear, natural; unambiguous, almost spiritual even, refreshing, contemplative.

    Now for the charge of committing a logical fallacy: a flaw in the structure of a deductive argument. Is my argument flawed? I doubt it could be more comprehensive though (too much writing); have I been bad and committed a logical fallacy--- bad yes, fallacy no.

    That the imagination can play with pornographic images is a reference not only to Kants statement but to the possibility that while porn may in fact engage the imagination, it is purposeful engagement---intended explicitly for sexual arousal only (and I stated this); where as, a comedy or drama engages the imagination in a contrived, contemplative manner; i. e. with the intent of holding the viewers attention to the extent the viewer loses contact with reality at momentary intervals or even becomes totally immersed in the unreality of the entertainment.

    There are no plots, subplots or themes in pornography; erotic fantasies try but everyone knows the objective irony is an affair.

    It is interesting that you mentioned the logical fallacy because my argument exposes the notion of an the intentional fallacy (from a philosophical essay by W.K. Wimsette and Monroe C Beardsley)---The Intentional Fallacy" (1946 rev. 1954): The design or intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard for judging the success of a work of literary art (quoted). Although I did not mentioned the intentional fallacy, it is essential to understanding the value of authorial intention as the difference (or gap) between art and pornography; a difference relevant only to art and not pornography.

    So thanks Tom for arresting me.

    Tim
     
  84. "Allow me to suggest reading on Breton and how he impacted the art world as well as academia who affects directly, the whole of the world."
    ...

    "Some know and understand and others don't have a clue but everybody is a participant and mostly in ignorance, has already chosen sides."

    -- Thomas

    Well, shut my mouth and call me Andre! That's the finest summation of the ideology of goffy art students I have ever come across.

    Have to admit I never once in my life thought the art biz was the protagonist in world events.

    Well, I guess I don't have a clue, as you say. I know I'm not one of the Elect. Gno Gnosis for me.

    --

    Don E
     
  85. Have to admit I never once in my life thought the art biz was the protagonist in world events.
    What rock have you been living under? Everyone knows that the Post-Modernist Art Junta recently took over third spot in influence of world events from the Men in Black, and it lags behind only the Knights Templar and the Jewish Banking Conspiracy.
     
  86. As the paraphrased saying goes:

    Laugh if you will but the facts are there for everybody to ignore:)
     
  87. How can one insert porn into the category of fine art when the definition of fine art isn't even defined?

    Is industrial design art? How about Raymond Loewy?
    Is architecture art? How about Frank Lloyd Wright?
    Is landscaping art? How about Frederick Law Olmsted?

    Personally, I view porn as being created for consumption whereas art is created for aesthetics and, therefore, porn is just extreme pop-culture; consume it and forget about it. It's value is right up there with Britney Spears's music, Reality TV, and anything else designed to get you into buy-use-discard-buy cycle.
     
  88. Just to clarify any misconception that some might be developing; my "observations," as to the impact of art and acedemia on the general moral development of Western society at large, are just "
    factual" observations, not condemnations as in real terms, when the telly and computer are turned off at night, none of it impacts my sleep. The only time it impacts my life, if you can call it that, is when I, out of habit, turn the telly or computer back on in the morning.

    It's quite interesting when you think of it..... turn the telly on, impact, turn the telly off, no impact. Education, impact, no education, bliss. Hang out with the Mullahs and the Preachers, (influence) impact, stay away from nut cases of moral authority..... hmmmmmm:)

    The point of my above:

    If some dude wants to pretend (ignore facts that are in their face) as to what porn is about then that's their story and they're welcome to it. But if one, out of habit or otherwise, voluntarily turns the telly of porn on in the morning, they're also welcome to ignore the truths behind porn (denial) but one shouldn't get ticked (egocentric) if others don't see things in the same light and aren't willing to let their offspring fall into that same said egocentric driven trap.

    There's more to the porn industry than just some "dood" taking naked pics of some hot babe voluntarily flashing the camera. Do you want your son or daughter doing porn for general display and consumption?

    "Yes and here's my daughter doing so-and-so, I'm so proud of her." "Here's my daughter, ten years later after what the porn industry did to her." The stories are many. No judgement, no condemnation, just a question; Do you want your children (is this how you saw your children as they were growing up) making "art" in this manner?
     
  89. What does wanting or not wanting of your children have to do with categorizing porn and/or art?

    The fear of an industry is not a logical argument for its placement in the art world.

    Is the point being made that it isn't fine art becuase it lacks morals (as defined by Judeo/Christian ideals)? Or because it's a bad industry?
     
  90. "What does wanting or not wanting of your children have to do with categorizing porn and/or art?"

    Is that ment to be "categorizing porn as art" cause we're not trying to categorize art as art is the overarching aegis of the question, is porn art?

    And as to your question, my question doesn't have anything to do with it other than it's just an extension question as the OP's question has to do with art and my question begs the question of the legitimacy of an industry being called art and connecting the behavior to the moral debate that reasonably and expectedly has issued.

    Maybe someone who's associated with the industry, who might feel more comfortable with the question, will be willing to weigh in on the matter of children being raised to be a part of the "art creating" porn industry.
     
  91. In order for a society to continue on, the individuals who constitute is must have sex and reproduce; they are reproducing themselves and reproducing the society. It isn't necessary (usually) for every individual to have sex and reproduce, but a 'critical mass' of reproduction must occur. The core of a society's mores* is to optimize the process, while suppressing counter trends.

    Individuals have an absolute need for society, without which they cannot survive. This is especially true for the first 15 years of life. However, humans have subjectivity or consciousness, and create private world-stages made out of language and mental images in which they can imagine being free from the mores of the society and their real circumstances. Much ingenuity is employed to work out this urge to 'free will' within the necessity to conform to the society.

    Societies will define 'immorality' as that which is counter to its reproduction in the terms and by the means available to it. This is why sex outside of marriage, birth control, abortion, homosexuality, and masturbation (pornography) are often and usually considered immoral. This is why radical thinkers and revolutionaries who attempt to break the bond between society and its individuals are marginalized one way or another. It is also why, if they succeed in breaking a society, create one in the same image -- because, otherwise, the society cannot secure its survival.

    By this measure the morality of a particular society can be determined by its birthrate and native population growth. Sometimes the population exceeds the capacity of the society to control and employ it. Radicalization may occur then making what was once 'immoral' 'moral' for a time, or at least a turning away from strict enforcement and punishment of the norms.

    It seems to me pornography can be used to avoid reproduction but also to encourage it. Flooding the media with sexuality could be 'intended' to optimize reproduction; it could also be 'intended' to encourage any sexuality but reproduction. I don't think there is any way to determine which it might be except to look at birthrates and native population growth patterns. I think it is just Mother Nature's Streetsweeper approach to species adaptation.

    * 1 : the fixed morally binding customs of a particular group
    2 : moral attitudes
    3 : HABITS, MANNERS

    --

    Don E
     
  92. Kirk made an interesting statement that I'd like to revisit because while accurate I think it a bit incomplete.

    Kirk stated...Religion is not the basis of morality; morality is the basis of religion. Therefore, morals can exist without religion which follows that one does not need religion to have morals and further, one cannot use the argument that any morals that exist today are a result of religion. Morality is a relative term defined by communities.

    Though not stated, this is often part of the argument for why we don't need religion at all and would be better off without it. I agree that religion does not define our morals but that does not lead to the conclusion that we don't need religion. If communities define morals how does that definition get conveyed back to the individual members of the community. Historically it has been through religions and more recently augmented by written laws. Those who seek to stamp out religions do so either because 1) they believe laws are sufficient to define our communities' morals or 2) trust each individual to develop their own set of morals or 3) believe that religion has caused so many problems that we couldn't be any worse off so what the heck or 4) really haven't thought through the consequences of a world without any religion or 5) some combination of some or all of these. Unfortunately, I'd guess that most believe #1. I say "unfortunately" because the way they operate today laws tend to treat things as black or white while morals operate in a world of shades of gray. So laws are insufficient as the sole means of capturing the essence of a community?s morals. For example, outlawing racial prejudice will not by itself eliminate racial prejudice. So, for all their problems, until alternatives are identified I'm not quite ready to rid the world of all religions. And I'm an agnostic that hasn't visited a church in 35 years.

    And regarding Kirk's last statement that morality is a "relative" term defined by communities; that is actually an interesting and hotly contested subject in the scientific community. (If you don't believe in evolution then nothing that follows will matter to you.) Man evolved as a member of a small hunter-gather tribe. For whatever reason we find it relatively easy to accept that our physical characteristics were defined in that process but our mental processes/feelings were left untouched, a blank slate, different from all other animals. To me that's just not realistic. We just aren't that pliable that everything becomes relativistic. So, yes, communities define morals but only within the constraints imposed on us by our evolutionary history. We are not wandering aimlessly in a relativistic world. In other words, I do believe that we have an instinctual sense of right and wrong, i.e., a moral compass. And like any large population distribution, that compass will be stronger in some, weaker in others, and point in a variety of different directions. (One of our bigger problems is that the compass was put in place to help us survive in a world that no longer exists.) So the moral changes over history discussed in this thread then just represent the actions and reactions that keep us centered over our nature. We are neither heading up nor down the moral hill but simply wobbling on our axis. The discussion in this thread is excellent because it shows the opposing views are well in play that keep pulling us back to the middle. I would hate to think what would happen if one side or the other of this discussion was actually vanquished but I trust our human nature enough to believe that can't happen for anything but relatively brief times before the proverbial pendulum swings the other way.

    And the relevance to this thread? Porn will always exist regardless of how you want to define it. The line between acceptable and unacceptable will always exist even though that line may vary from individual to individual and time to time. Our public systems where we all come together to interact and exchange ideas needs to accomodate those different lines and PN does a poor job of it right now. That is something we could all work to fix rather than debating pornography vs censorship in a place we come primarily to sharpen our photographic skills.
     
  93. "However, humans have subjectivity or consciousness, and create private world-stages made out of language and mental images in which they can imagine being free from the mores of the society and their real circumstances. Much ingenuity is employed to work out this urge to 'free will' within the necessity to conform to the society."


    Art -- not the aesthetic judgement as to whether something is good or bad art, or "Art" and "not Art" capitalized -- the creative impulse originates in the stresses between the 'addictive' allures of 'free will' and absolute need for society for one's survival with all its 'morality' and restrictions that say "Your free will is imaginary and not important in the big scheme of things".

    Art is the reproduction of those private world-stages of our subjectivity manifested in the social world with due regard (or not) of the mores of the society. This is true for pornography. It is art.

    Art that merely affirms the mores of the society is commonly referred to as kitsch, propaganda, genre, banal. This is true as well of art that merely transgresses those mores, and much or most pornography can be so critiqued. There is no tension, no imagination, no evocation of our personal subjectivity. It is tedious. We are not perplexed. We are not challenged. We are not nailed to the contradiction between our 'free will' and our inevitable ties to our society's mores.

    Compare Titian's Venus of Urbino (linked to above) to Botticelli's Birth of Venus

    http://www.worth1000.com/web/media/102116/birth%20of%20venus.jpg

    Both are art. Only one, imo, is great art.

    --

    Don E
     
  94. Don E....I find your comments to be very insightful and thought provoking. I have to admit that when it comes to art and philosophy I'm all too often left with the feeling of "I don't get it." Maybe I'm fooling myself but I'm no longer in the "prime" of my life and I have yet to be seriously conflicted by the tension between the urge for "free will" and the ties to our societies mores. Perhaps that's why I knew long ago that I would never have the makings of an artist, great or otherwise. And yet I persist in taking pictures because it makes me happy.
     
  95. "We are not perplexed. We are not challenged. We are not nailed to the contradiction between our 'free will' and our inevitable ties to our society's mores."

    Sounds a bit Postmodern to me:)

    Disclosure: yes, unintentionally, there's a few mines in my below but rest assure, they're not of my making:)

    The way I read your above, forgive me if I'm wrong, if you don't find life challenging, you're not in conflict with your environment and you're at peace (as much as one reasonably can be, short of a lobotomy or heroin therapy) with all that's around you, you don't have an artist's soul?

    I came from a rebelious background, the 60's and fought tooth and nail the establishment. I'm older and wiser and understand the need for that which I rebelled. Up to today, I haven't joined any established organizations in which to commiserate, find seats of power to be centers of abuse for egocentric gain and find greed to be laughably disengenuous at best and abject poverty to be quite the norm. I suspect that one will even find themselves disenchanted with Nirvana should they ever arrive and ask to be sent back to the beginning just so as to have dynamics once again; the sign of an unsettled mind.

    My soul runs far deeper then the reflections you see on the top of the water it seems that to some, since I no longer see need/value to challenge, I'm not an artist?

    The mine that I write of, is the one called pushing back and it's the mine of challenging progressive humanists with the way I see things. Isn't that what you write of? Isn't challenging those who challenge you, part of the protest challenge of art? Or is challenging only a one way street -----> :O

    I'm just trying to understand your above comment as to what it takes to create and what it takes to be considered when in fact, there's no definition (standards) to art.

    P.S. My guess, you went with Titian's Venus of Urbino (lack of classicism) which, to me, is a precursor to "Olympia" by Manet.
     
  96. Some Tidbits on Erotic Art History

    Actually Thomas, Titians--Venus of Urbin--was painted long before Manets Olympia but I would not call it a precursor. In French Romantic painter, Eugene Delacroixs--Liberty Leading the People-- Liberty is depicted as a woman with exposed breast carrying a rifle. The French government bought the painting but deemed its glorification of liberty too inflammatory and removed it from public view. Spanish Romantic painter Francisco Goya was called before the Spanish Inquisition to explain the first of two portraits: The Naked Maja; the second painting was called, The Clothed Maja.

    Eugene Delacroixs--The Death of Sardanapalus 1827--- a passionate, emotional painting exhibiting strong elements of eroticism, and sadism depicts a besieged Assyrian King Sardanapalus watching impassively as guards carry out his orders to kill his servants, concubines and animals. Edouard Manets--The Luncheon on the Grass--was rejected by the Paris Solon of 1863; the paintings juxtaposition of dressed men with a nude woman was considered scandalous. In 1752, at barely fifteen years of age, Louise O Murphy posed nude for a provocative portrait by French Rococo artist, Fran篩s Boucher. Her beauty is said to have caught the eye of a royal valet who then introduced her to the king, Louis XV, who took her as one of his mistresses (see attached painting samples).
     
  97. Eugene Delacroix's "Liberty Leading the People," 1830
     
  98. Eugene Delacroix's "The Death of Sardanapalus," 1827
     
  99. Manet?s "The Luncheon on the Grass" 1863
     
  100. François Boucher's "Louise O Murphy" 1752
     
  101. Thomas: "The way I read your above, forgive me if I'm wrong, if you don't find life challenging, you're not in conflict with your environment and you're at peace (as much as one reasonably can be, short of a lobotomy or heroin therapy) with all that's around you, you don't have an artist's soul?"

    I think life is challenging for anyone. We are mortal, after all.

    Don't substitute 'conflict' for 'contradiction'. It doesn't seem quite right. We are introspective creatures -- we have language and visual imagination; and it is private as private can be. We also have an absolute need for society, which is public and accountable, limited and restricted. We desire both at once. The society is made up of individuals like ourselves, and so we know they introspect as well, have something altogether inaccessible to us, as we are to them. Yet we need each other absolutely for our survival.

    What does not perplex etc is art that is "kitsch, propaganda, genre, banal". Art is art, whether it is great or good or bad art is a matter of opinion, and in my opinion great art recognizes "the contradiction between our 'free will' and our inevitable ties to our society's mores". I don't mean it is about that, although it might be, but the artist recognizes our common conditon and it informs his or her art, whatever it may be "about". This is to say that great art is more than a surface.

    It is the Botticelli.

    --

    Don E
     
  102. As you might imagine, the above paintings were needless to say provocative in their day but by todays standards no match for the ubiquitous display of scantily clad ladies with or without g-String beach attire reinforced by commercial propagandizing of everything from womens shoes to their erotic underwear. Sexual appetites appear commensurate with cultural tolerance for the display of the nude female and have obviously grown in acceptance through the pushing, petting, and prodding of compelling sales executives who cleverly combine style in clothing with sex appeal.

    With the television portal to introduce new fashion ideas concomitant with that portion of the music industry aimed at a younger audience, there is little hope of slowing the industry to say little of altering the business ethics of designers; only contemporary culture can achieve this feat. While such provocative fashions may not be construed as precursors to pornography, the envelope is busting at the seams. I guess I hope we can maintain separation between the healthy commercialization of boy meets girl from that of--boy meets Girls Gone Wild, or worst--just as I have argued fine art distinguishes itself from erotic and pornographic materials.
     
  103. After 28 years of study, I concluded on April 18, 1983 that ``God`` was a condition:
    ``The condition upon which all other conditions depend,
    ..and without which, other conditions could not be``.
    Having isolated and thus put "God" behind me, things like ``pornography`` lost all meaning, as did ``sin``, ``immoral``, ``Satan`` and the entire plethora of religious and religion based codices.
    One day while fishing, I found ``The
    condition upon which all other conditions depend,
    ..and without which, other conditions could not be``.
    And I said: ...``whus up``?
    And condition said: ``...ain`t no thang; don`t mean nothing``.
    And me and condition laid back on the bank; chillin'.
    I wrote this in 1983: ``I will not plead fealty to a ``God``, who, while holding fatal mortgage on my body, makes me fear the death of my soul``.
    While this had been an informative thread, invoking this or that philosophical umbra, too many here and elsewhere in reality fear the death of their soul(s), thus never get to understand why they think and feel as they do.
    Society is the only real restraint I have, it?s morals and ethics mine by default, elsewise, I could easily enough turn back into the same killing machine I was ``back in the days``.
    As for my colleagues in imaging, ``porn`` (not child porn) is just another 4-letter word you can and should ignore; ``condition`` says it`s cool.
    The OP by Timothy notwithstanding, depicting sex, sexual organs, copulation-etc. is an integral part of the craft, no part of which should be excluded or abridged by any religion, person or government.
    As for ``porn as fine art``: I have yet to find any I would hang on my wall.
     
  104. Ed said...As for my colleagues in imaging, ``porn`` (not child porn) is just another 4-letter word you can and should ignore; ``condition`` says it`s cool.

    This statement is pretty humorous because it actually reveals the nature of the problem. Porn is "cool" but "not child porn". Let's play a little game....how do you know right now that there won't be a time in your future when you find yourself surrounded by people that have determined by some revelation in their life that child porn has now become "cool". Would you then alter your definition of "coolness" or would you rebel? Would you take a stand or would take the relativistic approach of "going with the flow"?
     
  105. "Titians--Venus of Urbin--was painted long before Manets Olympia but I would not call it a precursor..."

    Yes, thank you for pointing that out. It's called "influence."

    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/manet/olympia/olympia.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/manet/olympia/&h=749&w=1115&sz=131&tbnid=_de2tGD9ZQZNmM:&tbnh=101&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmanet%2Bolympia&start=1&sa=X&oi=images&ct=image&cd=1
     
  106. Gary Meyer:
    Ed said...As for my colleagues in imaging, ``porn`` (not child porn) is just another 4-letter word you can and should ignore; ``condition`` says it`s cool.
    This statement is pretty humorous because it actually reveals the nature of the problem. Porn is "cool" but "not child porn". Let's play a little game....how do you know right now that there won't be a time in your future when you find yourself surrounded by people that have determined by some revelation in their life that child porn has now become "cool".

    Gary, I steer by my own moral compass more than others. Without seeming to pontificate, my ``sins`` are many: I ended the lives of 18 humans, maybe more, but 18 for sure.
    I never kicked cats or pulled the wings off flies. But I do recall going into the ARMY at 17 and the ARMY teaching me how to kill: with bullets and bombs, grenade, garrote and booby trap.
    That said, I cannot even begin to understand how a full grown man can see a child as a sex partner/object. My wife and me raised five girls. Thus, every ``girl`` looks like them in my mind. And since none of my girls were or became sex objects to me as a Father, I fail to be able to objectify children that way. Children, puppies, kittens are for protecting, not hurting in any circumstances.
    Would you then alter your definition of "coolness" or would you rebel?
    ?Uh-oh?? My ``Cool`` reference was in relation to consenting adult pornography, gay or straight, none other.
    Would you take a stand or would take the relativistic approach of "going with the flow?
    Take a stand.
    Children are to be loved, not to be ``made love to``.
    The ``relativistic approach``: if by that you mean behavior or sexual practices that in the future could become or be thought as ``OK`` but today are thought of as aberrant or even abhorrent practices, I nonetheless acknowledge the possibility of child porn becoming ``acceptable`` in the US, as it is in parts of Asia.
     
  107. fine art is porn for those with good taste and money. think about it: appreciating it is a
    voyeuristic act, it thrills you to look at or listen to it, it excites the imagination, makes you
    contemplate things you'll never fully understand , and makes you want to spend money in
    irrational ways,
    distracts you from the grind of every day life & chores, and sometimes tempts you to do
    things common sense tells you not to.

    :)
     
  108. In response to Timothy Hicks' forum on whether pornography is fine art:

    I just discovered this thread today and found it quite entertaining. Interesting to me that the original query resulted in an apparently endless series of attacks and defenses of pornography and religion. I also want to note a surprising absence of female respondents on this thread (I have my own explanations for this).<P>
    I just thought I would add a simple suggestion as to the original query. Perhaps "pornography is in the eye of the beholder." Content is very important in art. I am of the school that art in which the offensive aspect is primary, is probably not art, e.g., "Piss Christ." But subject can be unappealingly mundane; I never could fully appreciate the fine paintings of Paul Potter (Dutch 1625-54) because he always painted pastoral images of cows. I just don't like paintings of cows. So that is a subjective bias of mine. Getting back to pornography, I'm not against pornography per se on moral grounds, but I think pornography cannot be classified as art. I will make the semantic argument that the mere labeling of something as pornography distinguishes it from art. I'll resort to the Supreme Court which defined "obscene" as lacking any "redeeming social value," even though the Justices acknowledged they could not set concrete standards. What they really wanted to say, in my opinion, was that pornography has as its sole purpose sexual arousal. I would argue that art aims at the arousal of non-sexual feelings and emotions. In my view, then, pornography and art are mutually exclusive, admittedly on semantic grounds, but nevertheless the semantics reflect real differences. By the way, I'm open to the Freudian notion that art is a sublimation of sex, and in that regard I'm all for art as a civilizing and ennobling effect on human beings. (I don't recall the words civilizing and ennobling applied to pornography, although I'm sure some the respondents on this thread would rationalize it as such)<P>
    Back to the "beholder" issue, we must acknowledge that what arouses me may not arouse you and vice versa. The Boucher nude does not arouse me but might arouse you. In its time, it might have been more titillating that it is today, but I doubt it, since the nude was at that time an accepted subject of art?as long as it was not pornographic. There is, of course a gray area and I think Robert Mapplethorpe's homoerotic photos fit in this category. I consider Mapplethorpe one of our finest photographers and his erotic photos are so good as to fall right on the borderline of art and pornography. They do not arouse me because I am a dedicated heterosexual. Do they offend me? Maybe? a little? but I'm inclined to cut this fellow some slack. In other words, I cannot make a definitive statement that they are pornography. I think some might consider them pornography and some art. For me that's OK. Unlike many in this thread, I'm a relativist (and I'm now calling myself a pantheist). I can live with ambiguity.
    <P>
    Let me close with a thought on sex versus art. I once had a good friend who had spent a couple of years as a phone sex girl. I once asked her if her customers talked after they had climaxed and she replied, "No, all I hear is 'click'." Well, that's how I view pornography, it is not something a man is interested in immediately after climax. (limited experience suggests to me that women may be different). That's my standard, maybe the Supreme Court could use that.
     
  109. I think you better careful what you say here ELLIS VENER, or TOM KEYS might arrest you for committing a "logical fallacy."
     
  110. Thomas, you are begining to look to me to be a man of bad faith (please note I say "look," I am fully aware that my "vision" is fallible).

    Why do I make this charge?

    Well, because . . .

    I cited what you wrote. I then referred to it as a distortion. Not because I wish to think of it that way, but because 'distortion' describes accurately what you were doing in trying to pass it off as factual. I didn't stop there. I then said why. You haven't refuted the neo-platonism charge, so it shall stand as a corrective to yours.

    Sorry, that's how things work with public records.

    Also, regarding all your charges of influence, are you aware of the fact that saying one thing has influenced another, if it is to be supported, requires that you make an attempt to connect them . . . in some way other than to say "they are connected."

    The scope of what you've written here indicates you have some major holes in this line of thought, and that, you don't mind falling in them.

    You appear curious about how some things are connected so I want to recommend a very good primer on the history of Western thought: Richard Tarnass: The PASSION of the WESTERN MIND. Quite accessible and well-written. There are many such texts, but this one is quite good, honest -- much intellectual bang for your time investment buck.
     
  111. Timothy, you said:

    >>I love your landscapes; clean, clear, natural; unambiguous, almost spiritual even, refreshing, contemplative.<<

    Well that only proves that you're a brilliant person with great insight into the visual aethetic.

    >>Now for the charge of committing a logical fallacy: a flaw in the structure of a deductive argument. Is my argument flawed? I doubt it could be more comprehensive though (too much writing); have I been bad and committed a logical fallacy--- bad yes, fallacy no<<

    It's much simpler, Tim. You assert your contention, you don't prove it, you don't even argue it. There is nothing in your paragraph that supports the claim that we can't view porn, we can't hold it imaginatively, without that play being carnal, etc. "And although the imagination can play with the pornographic image, such play is irrefutably carnal, lascivious, and a direct assault even on the flesh (soap box here, yea-- I know).<<

    There is no support because it is not the kind of thing you can support. You haven't access to the imaginations of anyone but your own. We only come to "know" other imaginations tenuously through our own imaginative powers.

    Also, your reading of Kant seems misplaced to me. Without returning to his text, it would seem his use of "purposive" (and unstudied) in your citation merely defines (for him) the charater of "novel" acts of the imagination as opposed to other types of "imaginative" acts. Dreaming, for instance, might be an example of imaginative processing but without the "purposive" component, on the other hand, reasoning employs our imaginative powers but without (in MOST cases) the "unstudied." Of course, this all assumes I know the context of the quote. I surely do not.

    Anyway....that's it for now. Perhaps I misunderstood the role for you of the Kant quote, it seemed you thought it crucial to your "argument." If so, there's a gaping hole you may want to fill in.

    Also, the context of the logical fallacy claim was discourse -- fallacies of discourse. I believe we are discoursing.

    And finally, don't blame me personally for anything I've shared here, I was trained to be this way. :)

    Oh I almost forgot . . . an example:

    A: Wow, look at that blue dress on that gal.

    B: Oh yes, indeed! Obviously the designer was influenced by the beautiful blues of the impressionists.

    A: Yeah? Well that ain't my impression.

    B: No? Well, have you read Kant?

    A: Well yeah, hasn't everyone?

    B: Not like me.

    A: Is that a good thing or a bad thing?


    Tim, the only reason I'd arrest you is if I knew you were the 3/3 guy . . . or if I caught you playin' bluegrass music with an electric bass.
     
  112. Just keep your hands off my camera. Go out and take some pictures, and stop this non-sense.

    The truth is real simple. This is taking way too long to read this entire thread. You're all full of it.

    Who cares?
     
  113. The enemies of Louis XVI of France published pornographic pictures of his wife Marie-
    Antoinette engaged in lewd acts with men other than her husband. Was this to arouse
    people? No. It was to suggest that Louis was incapable of governing his wife, therefore
    incapable of governing the country. Porn was an earthy way to get the point across. All
    people could understand the metaphor between sex and politics. The pornography was
    polical cartoon.

    Bill Clinton was attacked in a similar way over Monica Lewinski. Sex gets people's attention,
    but it is not always used to arouse.
     
  114. "Thomas, you are beginning to look to me to be a man of bad faith (please note I say "look," I am fully aware that my "vision" is fallible)."

    Why do I make this charge?

    Well, because . . .

    I cited what you wrote. I then referred to it as a distortion. Not because I wish to think of it that way, but because 'distortion' describes accurately what you were doing in trying to pass it off as factual."

    I've supported in the past, I've supported in this thread but it does become a bit time consuming to support over and over and over and over and over...... the same stuff; realizing that it's a new and different person and it's okay that one should take me to task but it does get old. My apologies.

    "I didn't stop there. I then said why. You haven't refuted the neo-platonism charge, so it shall stand as a corrective to yours."

    You'll have to forgive but considering I missed your above, I'll have to pass on the charge. What the hell is "Platonism," anyway? Getting the dictionary out.... back in a moment:)

    "Platonism"

    "The philosophy or doctrines of Plato or his followers."

    Okay? So what's this "neo" stuff all about?

    "Neo-platonism"

    A philosophical system developed at Alexandria in the third century A.D. by Plotinus and his successors. It is based on Platonism with elements of mysticism and some Judaic and Christian concepts and posits a single source from which all existence emanates and with which an individual soul can be mystically united.

    Okay, I'm back. I'll respond with a sort of rhetorical question so as to save time: So you want me to believe that existence just popped into being.... all by itself and nothing had to do with everything and everything has to do with nothing? Isn't that a bigger stretch than positing someone created existence?

    "Sorry, that's how things work with public records."

    Sure, if you're in a court of law or filing with the clerk. As a suggestion, please lighten your load a bit:) Maybe some 12yr The Glenlivet (which I prefer over the 18yr) or maybe a cold Fat Tire?

    "Also, regarding all your charges of influence, are you aware of the fact that saying one thing has influenced another, if it is to be supported, requires that you make an attempt to connect them . . . in some way other than to say "they are connected.""

    Which I'm happy to do and have done over and over and over and....... Art is a well documented chain of events. Again, I was responding, in the simple, to help another understand so it's not important that you be made happy with what I had to write. In the past, I posted links to all which I claimed. Now your welcome to post all the links you wish to discredit anything I write. Come on. You're up on your art history, you know the politics behind what I wrote is 4.0.

    "The scope of what you've written here indicates you have some major holes in this line of thought, and that, you don't mind falling in them."

    There are no holes, traps, mines or otherwise other then it was a simple abbreviated timeline reflecting on what went down over the course of some hundred and seventy-five years.

    "You appear curious about how some things are connected so I want to recommend a very good primer on the history of Western thought: Richard Tarnass: The PASSION of the WESTERN MIND. Quite accessible and well-written. There are many such texts, but this one is quite good, honest -- much intellectual bang for your time investment buck."

    Thanks for the suggested reading but if it helps, I lack curiosity as I've satisfied my need to understand and am not interested in looking under the covers anymore as for me, no disrespect intended to your suggestion, the effort wouldn't satisfy any need.

    I did my research to understand the disconnect between Cliche photographic art and Postmodern photographic art. I researched backwards through time and found, to my satisfaction, who "I" consider to be the first Postmodern photographic artist, Diane Arbus. From there I backed up through Stieglitz, Photographic Society, Link Ring, Photo-Secession.

    http://www.rleggat.com/photohistory/history/photo_se.htm

    And continuing back I ended up with Delecroix and Ingres, the Moderns Vs the Romantics. Now we fast forward to the Dadaists and then to Surealism and Breton. From there, it became a full fledge intellectual conspiratorial war of ideologues and who's side are you on. One side didn't even know an intellectual power struggle had ensued:) The Berlin, Paris, NYC, Mexico City, Communist, Progressive Humanist connection if you will. It's laughable if you think about it. We're talking "cheap-shot" chili here folks and the fundamentalists got laid away and for the most part, they haven't a clue what happened and they're still flopping around with that caught in the headlight stare:)

    Please forgive me for my "perceived" transgressions and if my ramblings seem self self-serving in that I had no idea any of this hooey was going on until I started looking under the bed sheets. My mistake. I wasn't looking for any of this. I hadn't any preconceived notions of what I was looking for. I had no ax to grind or ulterior motives as I just wanted to simply understand the disconnect between contemporary photographic art and past efforts which now was being refered to (photographically speaking) as Cliche, Calendar or Eye-candy photography. That'll teach me to go poking around as a huge can of worms opened up, right before my very eyes and I couldn't get the stupid lid to close:)

    Not expecting you to agree with my above but I hope the above is a bit more elucidating.

    P.S. My legs can no longer handle long drawn out explanations as, we'll just say, my leg circulation is less than ideal. Actually it's down right crappy but I like to delude myself by writing that it's not that bad so I can sit here longer than I should:)
     
  115. "And finally, don't blame me personally for anything I've shared here, I was trained to be this way. :)"

    You're forgiven. I figure you to be a Scotch kinda guy, here's The Glenlivet, (neat or with ice) we're all ears:) LOL!
     
  116. "Bill Clinton was attacked in a similar way over Monica Lewinski. Sex gets people's attention, but it is not always used to arouse.

    Forgive me.

    And Monica got Clinton's attention.... only because she brought cigars? :)

    Fox News Channel has their cameras at short skirt level..... because they want to keep your attention on..... the news? But you'd have to be sick in the mind to get "aroused."

    Sex gets peoples attention for a reason, it's genetic. And even if it's used just to get you to look at a car commercial or to watch the news, to say it's not to arouse, in a sense, to me, is plain disingenuous as in; sure it didn't "arouse" in the traditional sense of lets do the wild thing but if it didn't have "potential" to arouse, it wouldn't get you to look. A guy doesn't have to get a woody in order to be "aroused" mentally. A guy looks at some babe and "thinks" "nice" but that doesn't mean he's fully aroused and has to have sex with the next gal walking by.

    My understanding, it's called "degrees of seperation."
     
  117. THOMAS,
    for centuries artists worked as apprentices and were taught and studied under strict guidance of master painters and teachers. These environs likely forged relationships that resulted in the early development of style but because of the nature of creative thinking and imagination, mentoring and the idea <<I want to grow up to be like my mentor>> may be short-lived or never occur at all. For example, when he was nine, French neo classical painter, Jacques-Louis Davids, (1748-1825) father was killed in a duel. His guardian took him from school and installed him in the atelier of the Rococo painter, Fran篩s Boucher. Across the street, was the studio of Joseph Marie Vien, one of the founders of the Classical school. It was here young Jacques found his way. Aside from the fact Vien became director of the French Academy and took David with him, he is today at best, a footnote in textbooks--recalled as being Davids art teacher. David, on the other hand, became the foundation upon which nineteenth century French art soared to incredible heights. Influence does not automatically follow from chronological placement on a time line nor could it ever be the common denominator in such assumptions.
     
  118. Thomas,

    The charge still stands, although this shouldn't bother you.

    I can appreciate where you are or rather, where it seems you are based on your latest.

    I do like a wine (learned to appreciate it) and beer (many excellent micor-brews in the Oregon Territory) sometimes (rarely) I do the hard stuff, but generally only Tangy (it reminds me of the smell of Eastern Oregon with all the juniper). Many folks use alcohol as a kind of . . . social grease. I don't. So I just don't drink often. Maybe during a jam or something.

    I prefer the sober to the juiced, but I do get along well with drinkers (unless they're my ex-wife) as I have sympathy with people in pain (but not her, she's not a person). Kidding (sort of). It's the sober folks who only walk around in a stupor that I have issues with.

    Your claim to have found the first postmodern artist is funny.

    Thomas, let's be real. My claim of holes isn't so much for you but for anyone who happens by and might find your rhetoric compelling.

    The weight of your argument is it's weakness. Just because you "get aroused" by loooking at porn doesn't mean it's genetic. What an honest intellect says who feels as you do is "I believe, since I don't seem capable of controlling my response to pornographic images, that my response is wired in."

    What research seems to indicate about sex is that, all sorts of things can turn a person on, and all sorts of things can turn a person off, and all sorts of people can learn to be turned on by all sorts of things.

    While this doesn't fit your grand, porno thesis, it does comprise it, and it does seem to fit with, or do justice to, human experience.

    (tips cold Americano to Thomas's stiff one)
     
  119. "David, on the other hand, became the foundation upon which nineteenth century French art soared to incredible heights. Influence does not automatically follow from chronological placement on a time line nor could it ever be the common denominator in such assumptions." Timothy

    You know there is a political dimension to that period regarding subject, style and technique. There is a necessary chronology there.

    As an aside: is it irony that 'David' abandons 'Boucher' to give us
    Bouguereau?

    --

    Don E
     
  120. Tom Keyes

    "I prefer the sober to the juiced,..."

    In the spirit of accuracy, one can have a cocktail or two without being "juiced." Me wonders when one goes as such in regard to a simple friendly social invitation. Shows a certain.... shall we say, societal fear.

    "Your claim to have found the first postmodern artist is funny."

    And I commented about finding what I consider to be the first Postmodern "photographic" artist as there's a clear cut difference. But irrespective, how you find my findings, even if taken out of context, are inconsequential.

    "Just because you "get aroused" by loooking at porn doesn't mean it's genetic."

    Sure it does as it's all genetic. You looking at porn, causes basal reactions that you have no control over. Tain't no thang. That's why we're put together and respond the way we do, evolution and genetics. Siiigh! It really isn't rocket science.

    "What an honest intellect says who feels as you do is "I believe, since I don't seem capable of controlling my response to pornographic images, that my response is wired in."

    Ahhhh, the argument breaks down as context is now thrown to the wayside of inconvenience:) I commented and you seem to have missed it, we're all hard wired to a degree but it doesn't mean we lack personal self-control.

    Wishing you well also..... I think. (not quite sure of your last)
     
  121. "Influence does not automatically follow from chronological placement on a time line nor could it ever be the common denominator in such assumptions."

    Aaaaah, influence always happens after the fact and yes it can be a common assumption as we all have outside influences; unless cloistered. I posted a link to information as to my tie-in. Our influences and the impact they have on us is only as wide as our experiences as Mayan art is not even close to European and European isn't close to India's art of ancient times. In real terms, one can't be influenced by what hasn't yet happened?

    I'm not quite understanding your above point. Maybe you can clarify or expand. Thanks!
     
  122. >>"I prefer the sober to the juiced,..."

    In the spirit of accuracy, one can have a cocktail or two without being "juiced." Me wonders when one goes as such in regard to a simple friendly social invitation. Shows a certain.... shall we say, societal fear.<<

    Well, to be accurate then, and if what you say (just above) is true, then these folks who have a cocktail or two and aren't juiced are folks I would prefer. Is that difficult to parse?

    Sure you ain't juiced? I notice you just added an 'e' to Keys. Double vision can be a sign of alcohol impairment.

    And forgive me, I didn't read your offer of a (cyber) drink as anything but what someone who uses metaphors from the social drinking domain might say to a stranger.

    Was I out of line by sharing the extent to which alcohol informs my life in social contexts?

    You know, I don't consider philosophical talk to be what people in bars do over drinks. Really, I don't think it helps anything but to ease the momentary lonliness of the guy who appears to believe he has the answers.

    And to think, I thought we were bonding. :)
     
  123. >>It's much simpler, Tim. You assert your contention, you don't prove it, you don't even argue it.<<

    >>There is no support because it is not the kind of thing you can support. You haven't access to the imaginations of anyone but your own. We only come to "know" other imaginations tenuously through our own imaginative powers.<<

    Dear TOM, there is a hitch in your giddy-up; I am certain that I said and most understood that pornography is not fine art. Did I prove it? Not as I would have liked to explore the position, but this forum in limited to photography and it would be a little fruitless to flip the dialogue to nineteenth and twentith century aesthetics (followers of Kant); one or maybe two quotes is enough do not you think?
    Any way my contention is porn does not belong in the realm of the fine arts; notwithstanding that Robert Mapplethorpes historic exhibition was rejected, neither was it fine art on the grounds that the act of artistic creation is wittingly without purpose, purposive, undergoing, undulating, without guaranteed outcome, whimsical, without a correlation to an end and often confusedly so. Thanks to your Logical Fallacy, I was reminded of Wimsett and Beardsleys Intentional Fallacy which also holds that >>the design or intention of the author is neither available nor desirable as a standard for judging the success of a work of literary art<< which translates: even though porn evokes sexual arousal and can successfully replicate such results as intended, it fails as fine art because it, in fact, meets its intention. It is thoughtless and unimaginative resulting in the routine replication of the same disparaging acts; it is closed to interpretation. ART on the other hand is diametrically opposite; Art is life; porn is death--as fine art and as porn. I do not know what else to tell you except to read again my original statement.

    >>Perhaps I misunderstood the role for you of the Kant quote, it seemed you thought it crucial to your "argument." If so, there's a gaping hole you may want to fill in.<<

    I am not sure where that hole is Tom but suffice to say that this forum is not the place proper to enter more quotes from his Critique of Aesthetical Judgement. If you understand the nature of creative thought processes, purposive and unstudied should bring clarity. Kants statement represents the aesthetic experience for the artist and spectator as well as to the artist as spectator.

    >>Also, the context of the logical fallacy claim was discourse -- fallacies of discourse. I believe we are discoursing.<<

    The intentional fallacy features a prescriptive set of standards/rules other than the intention of the author/artist for judging a work of art. You know, to replace that cultural predisposition that the contemplative nature of the work of art has an implicit meaning; once discovered or unraveled, we know the intention of the artist or writer and so on (porn obviously instigates no such search for meaning). The fallacy, in the context of this dialogue, is that porn requires no such predisposition.

    >>Well that only proves that you're a brilliant person with great insight into the visual aethetic. <<

    Thanks
     
  124. "Sure you ain't juiced? I notice you just added an 'e' to Keys. Double vision can be a sign of alcohol impairment."

    Siiiigh! Yes, you have a dry sense of wit. Or it could be an old codger who missed a typo or doesn't wear his reading glasses when he should.

    "And forgive me, I didn't read your offer of a (cyber) drink as anything but what someone who uses metaphors from the social drinking domain might say to a stranger."

    Hate to break the news, but it's considered polite, to be polite:)

    "Was I out of line by sharing the extent to which alcohol informs my life in social contexts?"

    Not at all.

    "You know, I don't consider philosophical talk to be what people in bars do over drinks."

    Depends on who you hang with.

    "Really, I don't think it helps anything but to ease the momentary lonliness of the guy who appears to believe he has the answers."

    Hmmmmm! Siiiigh! Oh well. There's a difference between "believe" and "knowing." Does confidence bother you?

    Keeping it real..... Come on, this ain't rocket science (although some like to pretend it is) as it's all common sense stuff based upon verifiable historical documents and a decision as to who's oxen you're going shovel for. One only needs a genuine interest in order to Google this stuff up on the web. As an example: Wanna make violin bows? Takes a quick few seconds to dig this stuff up with a dozen references these days.

    Scholars (whice some here may rightfully be) take it to the next level quite literally (as I'm sure you know) but for the most part, at our level, we're all just a bunch of Bozo's having a good time online whiling away another sunrise as we await the loss of light so as to retire to the safety of the cave's bright protective glow.

    "And to think, I thought we were bonding. :)"

    LOL Aren't we? :)
     
  125. I do not follow your irony disposition DON, Adolphe-William Bouguereau (1825-1905) was a painters painter; his realistic genre painting with mythological themes were respected even by the Impressionists. Although it appears he worked from models as well as photographs, his representation of form through colour is stylistically excellent (See below).
     
  126. Timothy, Boucher, David, and Bouguereau were great draughtsmen, and Bourguereau might have been the superior technician of the three. Boucher's "Louise O Murphy" represents the frivolous stylings of the monarchy. It is, with the slightest change of viewpoint, soft porn. David brought gravitas, intellect and drama back to painting (that is one reason why I disagree with the notion that things have been going "downhill" ever since 1824 as expressed above), and also, I think, the male nude. Bouguereau inherited David's technique, defined by him (and Ingres) in contradistinction with that of the monarchy -- an expression of republican fervor to do away with the ancien regime and its works, which means 'Boucher'. For all his skills, Bouguereau produced cheesecake. I find irony in that. Not much but enough. -- Don E
    00IEub-32678384.jpg
     
  127. Fellatio Interruptus -- Don E
    00IEw5-32679084.jpg
     
  128. I hope I haven't offended anyone. I am backing out of this conversation for now.
    -----

    Tim, I couldn't make sense of your last response to me. By that I mean, I just fail to see how most of what you said was relevant to the objection I had raised to your project or why you were even writing what you did.

    I do not believe that EK is writing about creative thought processes in the passage you quote. He is speaking specifically of aesthetic objects--the character of our experience of them. I know that purposive and unstudied are hardly sufficient concepts for elucidating the workings of the minds of creative human beings. They are in themselves inadequate to the task. Clarity? It doesn't look good. I'm sure you know what you mean.

    My interest in these things is currently most informed by the recent work of Antonio Damasio:

    [Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain

    The Feeling of What Happens : Body and Emotion in the Making of Consciousness.

    Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow and the Feeling Brain]

    Give them a look if you are interested in such things. Damasio is a gifted writer and a brilliant human being. Go on, treat yourself.
    -------------

    Thomas? It really comes down to what we are each willing to settle for. It looks like you have some scotch you like. Things could be worse, eh?
     
  129. "As a simple Christian I would see the purpose of pornography as 1. to lower the common
    demominator 2. to weaken the spirit 3. to stop the thought process"

    As a simple pornographer, I would see the purpose of religion as 1. to lower the common
    denominator, 2. to weaken the spirit, 3. to stop the thought process, 4. and to cut off your
    manhood.

    sorry, i couldn't resist. and no, i'm not a pornographer, just wanted to show that the shoe
    fits both feet.
     
  130. "It really comes down to what we are each willing to settle for."

    For this we're in agreement.

    "...and a decision as to who's oxen you're going shovel for."

    Art, disappointingly (like this point or not), really is that pedestrian.
     
  131. I love the Google ads coming up at the bottom of this thread. I guess these folks have artistic issues they need to deal with. LOL Too much:)
     
  132. Couldn't resist adding this quote:<P>
    "An intellectual is a person who has discovered something
    more interesting than sex." - Aldous Huxley
    <P>
    Also couldn't resist the discussion of the evolution to Bouguereau and the comment that he painted "cheesecake." Without wanting to extend a thread already quite long, I wish mention had been made of Delacroix, one of my favorites, along with Daumier and few others who resisted the tyranny of the French Academy (Yes, I know Delacroix was admitted to the Academy late in life). I rather like Bouguereau and some of the academic painters (and pre-Raphaelites) whose sometimes silly historical and mythological paintings border on the trite, and cheesecake (when they do nudes). They were technically quite skilled without necessarily being innovative like Delacroix and Daumier, but that does not necessarily diminish their work as art. As for the cheesecake factor, I would pose the question whether someone cannot produce both art and pornography, even in the same medium, as I suggested above for Mapplethorpe. The Ukiyo-e artists, whom I esteem, often produced explicit sex woodcuts, which, interestingly, have been largely censored by art historians (not art? or just prudery?). Beardsley, if I am not mistaken, also did some explicit works. Most are unaware that a considerable amount of the pre-Columbian Peruvian pottery depicted sexual acts; and I was informed by collector specializing in these that he had yet to find a piece depicting the "normal" heterosexual act. Was that pornography? (rather boggles the mind, n'est-ce pas?).<P>
    Tim's "intentional fallacy" may solve this while confounding it at the same time, assuming I read this correctly. Thus when an 'artist' decides to produce a work for the purpose of sexual arousal, perhaps even mere titillation, he or she is creating pornography. Unfortunately this suggests that intention is not irrelevant because it would be the test of pornography, albeit subjective and difficult to establish, as with some of Bouguereau's nudes (And think Ingres' La Source, one of my favorite nudes, surely one of Bouguereau's influences). Having said all this, I am still of the opinion that subjective intention is irrelevant when it comes to fine art. I dislike art that must be explained to me (I'm very much with Tom Wolfe on this one..."Painted Word" and "From Bauhaus to Our House")<P>Already said much more than intended.
    <P>Actually, I would like to see the query changed to whether photos of flowers are fine art.
     
  133. Ransford Pyle, While pornography and art are useful terms describing two different ideas, the
    mistake comes in trying to establish them as mutually exclusive. Much great art is
    pornography, as much pornography is great art. The desire to separate the two would seem
    to be born of a desire to marginalize what the person attempting to do this finds offensive. In
    any event, the attempts at proving pornography is not art recede into obscurity and pedantry.
    Who could follow such arcane arguments?
     
  134. "Much great art is pornography, as much pornography is great art."

    Me thinks, if I'm understanding your above, you're confusing great artists who make pornography and trying to tie the two together as in; This great artist made this pornographic painting so therefore it concludes that the pornograpic painting must be great art.; when in fact it just happens to be another pornographic painting which just so happens to be made by a great artist. Who makes it, irrespective of their stature, doesn't detract away from it's original intent, giving someone something to do on those long, lonely nights:O

    Sometimes folks have trouble keeping it real:)
     
  135. Great artists make great art, Thomas.
     
  136. "Great artists make great art, Thomas."

    Which I'm in agreement with but all a great artist can do is make great porn. Their stature doesn't change water into wine. To try to blend the two is to deny the differences and to not make note of the purpose of porn is to deny reality.

    If a great artist wants to make great porn, hey, that's their business and I'm good:)
     
  137. Pointless to argue with you, Thomas. You obviously have your mind made up.
     
  138. "Pointless to argue with you, Thomas. You obviously have your mind made up."

    I have nothing to do with it. Porn's porn and Art's art and the two don't meet. A great artist is capable of making great porn. Where's the argument?

    I'll throw out my take that it's you who's made up their mind that Porn can be Art and that a great artist is "capable" of making great Art that just so happens to be Porn (no guarantees here folks). Do I have that correct? If I do, then I'm not the one with the made up mind.

    If you want Porn and Art to be synonomous, that's fine with me and I'm good but that doesn't mean I agree. Understanding, does not mean agreement and disagreement doesn't mean conflict, unless you're an old American football commercial. If you want to have surf and turf for dinner, cool. I'll keep my fish in the kitchen thank-you:D But that doesn't make my choice wrong or your choice right nor does it put either of us at odds at the dinner table. Would you like a beer or a cocktail to go with that surf and turf dinner..... or would you like wine, coffee, tea, soda,.... water..... what would you like and that's how we'll have it served. Same thing with Art and Porn.
     
  139. If I were the curator of a museum, this is how my world would be and if you're the curator, I'll be coming into your museum. Seems fair to me:)

    And when the little old lady comes up to me and asks where's the porn?... I'll tell her down the street, inside the corner liquor store, back of the store, on the sheet covered shelves.
     
  140. Tom, the questions you raised with my former and recent statements are compounded by the absence of specifically what it is that you either disagree with, see differently, don?t understand or follow. Your objections lack specificity.

    >>I do not believe that EK is writing about creative thought processes in the passage you quote. He is speaking specifically of aesthetic objects--the character of our experience of them.<<

    The nature of creativity in general and the act of creating are not mutual exclusive but neither are they always related. Contrary to your belief, the character of the aesthetic experience is not necessarily a direct correlation to an objective/subjective (objectified) experience-- if I understand your position. Character, however, is an inadequate denominator for explaining the aesthetic experience. One may in reflection characterize an experience but the enumerable qualities caught up in forming the experience far out number mere reflection. So much of the amalgam of sensations, varied perceptions, feelings and emotions are ineffable and defy characterization. You are certainly entitled to your beliefs but Kant could never be so narrow.

    >>I know that purposive and unstudied are hardly sufficient concepts for elucidating the workings of the minds of creative human beings. They are in themselves inadequate to the task.<<

    Purposive and unstudied will never be sufficient explanations of creative thought but they are important in removing the confusion that exist regarding meaning in works of art (see the intentional fallacy stated above). In fact, they are indispensable predispositions to creative acts for the artist who is both maker and spectator as well as the viewer.

    The clarity that I present is empirical; the clarity that you seek is dialogical. Perhaps our positions are mutually exclusive; perhaps not.
     
  141. Come on, Thomas, you want to marginalize pornography. Why? Because it depicts lust
    without the veneer of romantic love. Pornography breaks our illusions. It depicts people as
    creatures of naked self-interest. It is art with no message of redemption, loyalty, faith or
    love. Characters in pornographic fiction are incapable of keeping promises or of
    respecting laws and rules. People are depicted giving in to their appetites. The message of
    pornography subverts ideas of altruism and heroic sacrifice. Pornography shows good
    intentions falling away before desire. And pornography presents all of this subversion in a
    form with which no one can argue, fiction. Pornography shows the human being in an
    amoral light. And despite your claims not to take art seriously, you nonetheless take
    seriously the idea that art should affirm the values that pornography subverts.
    Pornography attacks cultural values by showing people giving in to nature's tyranny over
    us, rather than nobly standing up to nature. Is that not the real reason you do not want to
    call pornography art? You think art should affirm certain values, do you not?
     
  142. "Come on, Thomas, you want to marginalize pornography."

    Nope, pornography marginalizes itself. I'm just keeping it real.

    If you want to make porn... cool. If you want your mother to be a porn star and you'll be proud of this point, that's your business. If you want your sister, girlfriend or wife to be part of the industry, I'm good.
     
  143. "Why? Because it depicts lust without the veneer of romantic love. Pornography breaks our illusions."

    The pornography industry of today is AIDS and a variety of incurable sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, snuff flicks, drug addiction, sex slavery and child abuse all rolled into one. It's some romantic world that's I find offensive because of some misguided sex morals. If some dude want's to have poke a snake, I could care.

    "The message of pornography subverts ideas of altruism and heroic sacrifice. Pornography shows good intentions falling away before desire. And pornography presents all of this subversion in a form with which no one can argue, fiction."

    How can a rational person write so romantically as if this is some sort of victimless, zero sum behavior when it's common knowledge that women are in captivity, being killed in snuff flicks all the while children are enslaved and forced to have sex with this beast you wax so poetically about?

    I'd like you to justify the truth as that would be most kind of you. And I thought folks here were against the victimization of women.
     
  144. "It's some romantic world that's I find offensive because of some misguided sex morals."

    Suppose to be, "It's "not" some romantic world "that" I find offensive because of some misguided sex morals."

    I do try to edit this stuff before posting. My apologies.
     
  145. Kevin and Thomas: Your last few responses frame the two sides. Naturally, I side with Thomas against Kevin. Some comments...
    <P>"Ransford Pyle, While pornography and art are useful terms describing two different ideas, the mistake comes in trying to establish them as mutually exclusive. Much great art is pornography, as much pornography is great art." (Kevin)<P>
    While I think they are nearly exclusive for the reasons I gave earlier, I believe that ignoring their different intentions is like denying taste is relevant to art. It takes centuries to determine what is great art and who is a great artist. Please, an example of pornography that is great art, and not simply because it is a nude by a great artist. And I mean graphic art, not cinema or literature.
     
  146. Well, scroll up to Don E's posting from the Sistine Chapel ceiling. First image you will come
    across on your way up.
     
  147. A little context; Adam and Eve wore no cloths, per scripture. So to show them clothed as the serpent presented Eve with the apple (forbidden fruit) which made them self-aware of their nakedness, would be laughable.

    Hardly seems pornagraphic (purpose of arrousal) when the image cited is put back into context of scripture.
     
  148. Kevin, thanks for being a good sport---you have been attacked many times. I have followed your responses on this forum closely and your disposition more than anyone responding here appears overwhelmingly predisposed to pornographic images even where the history of the image denotes something else altogether; I know, we could say the same about people diametrically against porn, however, I assert the essential difference between you and your opposition is that those who are opposed to pornography do not exhibit compulsive behavior even given their distain for pornographic images-- dogmatic maybe. Certainly we have all seen nude males or nude females but everything nude or naked should not be construed as pornographic (which may be fodder for a follow up to this forum---got to run)
     
  149. So, what you are saying, Thomas, is that if it is a biblical story, it cannot be pornographic.
     
  150. It takes centuries to determine what is great art and who is a great artist.
    No it doesn't. Genius is usually identified nearly immediately and almost instinctually. Like porn, you know it when you see --if you know what you are looking at. Porn is fairly easy to identify once you know about sexuality and how your culture or subculture deals with sexuality. Recognizing artistic "genius" takes more specailized training.
    Yes this means making or appreciating art requires an elitist sensibility -- and making, recognizing and consuming pornography a more mundane proposition) but would you know why the Mona Lisa is considered a masterpiece if you didn't have some expert(s) telling you that it was?
     
  151. Michelangelo's intention should be pretty damn obvious. It is true that the fresco does not show The Act that would make it pornographic by our standards, and the "context" is a chapel. Biblical, especially Old Testament, material can be full of sex and violence. Michelangelo transgresses the normative depiction of Adam and Eve, usually standing on either side of The Tree, naked...the presence of a piece of fruit and a snake. One does not normally see Eve lounging between Adams loins. Bosch captures The Two before sexuality, much like Botticelli captured Venus before sexuality in the Birth of Venus (compare to the sexy Bourgereau rendering). Michelangelo does not attempt this level of spiritual insight -- or any afaict. -- Don E
    00IJD0-32777884.jpg
     
  152. Paintings on the subject of Lot and his daughters often have a smirking or leering daughter looking out at the spectator, somewhat reminiscent of Manet's Olympia. Here it is Lot who leers at his daughter Aqualungishly :cool: -- Don E
    00IJDH-32778184.jpg
     
  153. "So, what you are saying, Thomas, is that if it is a biblical story, it cannot be pornographic."

    It seems that you want to make it into what you want to make it into.

    Wishing you well.
     
  154. "Paintings on the subject of Lot and his daughters..."

    Do you even know the story behind Lot, his daughters and the why? If a painter takes something out of context, they can turn it into anything of their choosing, even if it intentionally lacks accurate context.

    Siiiigh!

    Punching out and going back through the looking glass to the land of the sane.
     
  155. Yes, Thomas I know the story of and the story "behind" Lot and his daughters. The subject is fine art and the presence or not of porn in it. The changes to the story is, in fact, the porn in the paintings.

    QED, so siiiigh to you, too.

    --

    Don E
     
  156. Sorry guys, I'm from Australia so I'm a bit slow on the uptake....
    Pornography by definition is- an attempt to sexually excite through art(pictures, words, music, sculpture etc.).
    If I am correct in my statement then just because someone has taken a nude photo it doesn't make it pornographic. We have to look at the artists intent rather than his or her end result.

    What is erotic to me isn't always erotic to you.

    To dumb this down even more....(just in case I want to re-read this later and understand it) If I take a photo for a foot fetishist in attempt to turn them on...the photo of a foot is porn.
    If I take a photo of a foot for a shoe commercial, it is not porn.

    Ultimately I think this argument is insane. These pics on this site are to inspire not to objectify. If a photo makes you feel warm and fuzzy...look at it. If it makes you moisten in your nether regions then you decide what you want to do.
     
  157. "The changes to the story is, in fact, the porn in the paintings."

    You seem, to me, to be confusing "the grotesque" with "pornography" as we seem to be in agreement that it's not "fine art." :)
     
  158. For me Fine Art is a category. You seem to take the 'fine' as a value judgement. All the images in this discussion are examples of Fine Art.

    Altdorfer's Lot and His Daughters is intended to excite prurient thoughts. By that definition it is pornography. The leering Lots, and his daughters' knowing smirks directed at the spectator (in other renditions), underscore the intent, and are not things that exist in the Genesis story (and a peculiar story it is).

    It is not unknown for pornography to be grotesque.

    --

    Don E
     
  159. "For me Fine Art is a category. You seem to take the 'fine' as a value judgement. All the images in this discussion are examples of Fine Art."

    I sure don't. Fine art actually carries a definition.

    From Dictionary.com; Fine Art:

    a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture.

    Fine art has a nobler purpose then you might agree upon.

    Grotesque:

    1. odd or unnatural in shape, appearance, or character; fantastically ugly or absurd; bizarre.

    And the painting you linked to failed as to the definition of "Fine Art" and definitely qualifies as "Grotesque." As it failed to be

    Pornography:

    obscene writings, drawings, photographs, or the like, esp. those having little or no artistic merit.

    because it wasn't

    Obscene

    1. offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved: obscene language.

    because it depicted an act within scripture. :)

    Language is used to communicate and we can't go around defining words to our liking and reasonably be expected to understand what each other is trying to communicate. The usage of language can be artful but definitions are not artful characters we can take license with.

    You may find this hard to believe but it is possible for folks to disagree and still be on the same side of an issue. Me thinks you're trying to find an ulterior motive, but the problem I see you as having and don't know it, there isn't any hidden agenda in my position for you to draw out hiding.

    Porn is porn, fine art is fine art and grotesque is exactly that, grotesque. I had nothing to do with the creation of these terms as I just use language for the purpose it was intended to be used; communication. If you can reasonable show that I've got the definitions/usage messed up, by definition, I'm happy to adjust accordingly.
     
  160. Just for purposes of clarity, both obscene and morality are subjective terms as what's offensive to one, is not necessarily offensive to another. Morality carries the same subjectivity.

    Morality:

    The quality of being in accord with standards of right or good conduct.

    What the dictionary fails to define; by who's standards of "right or good." So in essence, morality is a personal judgement. The decision to kill or not to kill a baby harp seal for it's fur, is a moral decision. Who ever's the ruling moral power, shall decide the baby seal's fate.
     
  161. "Altdorfer's Lot and His Daughters is intended to excite prurient thoughts."

    You'll have to forgive the simplicity of my response.....

    "No way!" :)

    "It is not unknown for pornography to be grotesque."

    Now you seem to be confusing grotesque with disgust. :)

    Disgust:

    1. to cause loathing or nausea in.
    2. to offend the good taste, moral sense, etc., of; cause extreme dislike or revulsion in: Your vulgar remarks disgust me.

    Please forgive all the definitions. It seems that you're trying to change language to suit yourself and you're taking what I write out of context so I'm just trying to add claity as to the meaning of the words I do choose to use. :)
     
  162. Thomas,

    Awfully informative that you disagree with me. I don't know why. You don't say.

    Interesting affect.

    --

    Don E
     
  163. Someone once asked Woody Allen if pornography was dirty.

    His reply: Only if it's done right!
     
  164. Someone once said; "The difference between Fine Art Nude Photography and Pornography is the lighting." ; ]
     

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