Photography: Is it Art?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by mike_stemberg, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. For 180-years, people have been asking the question: is photographyart? At an early meeting of the Photographic Society of London, established in 1853, one of the members complained that the new technique was "too literal to compete with works of art" because it was unable to "elevate the imagination". This conception of photography as a mechanical recording medium never fully died away......

    Great article in The Guardian with some impressive links ..... (read more..)
     
  2. Photography, like talking/writing, smearing coloured stuff on something, making a series of noises, gesturing, sticking bits on top of other bits, cutting bits off something, etc. is not art, no.<br>The question the article in the Guardian is confusing with the question whether photography is art is whether what (in this instance) Gursky produced is art.<br>An entirly different question. And since the article in the Guardian does not recognize that, it's not a great article.
     
  3. That's funny. I interpreted the Guardian article saying that photography is art, including Gursky (who I don;t like). I agree that photography is art. Anything that has little or no value or function other than aesthetic, is art. Art tickles our senses in some way - either performing arts the ear with music or visual arts our eyes with painting, sculpture or photography. Now we may not like certain types of art because it doesn't tickle our particular senses. But that still doesn't mean its not art.
     
  4. I agree with Alan on this . . . except . . .
    It's not that photography is art, it's that art is art. SOME photography is art. The snaps I take of family may, rarely, be art, under various circumstances but generally are, for the most part, not art. Forensic photographs taken to be used in court cases are not art. (They certainly can be in various contexts.) Just like drawings of suspects are not art and many paintings of portraits done at tourist sites in cities around the world are not art. (Again, some of these might be in various cricumstances.)
    There is art photography and there are other kinds of photography. Photography has shown itself to be a medium often used to make art. Probably more often, cameras are picked up and used with no artistic endeavor in mind and no artistic result ensuing.
    One of the unique aspects of photography is that it is so readily available, also that it is often seen as so literal (it captures the "real" world -- I'm not necessarily saying that but I think that's how many people see it). Artist photographers will sometimes recognize that and riff off it. The literal easily becomes the non-literal in the right hands and with the right set of eyes. And artists use photography in all sorts of ways, knowing all its uses and exploring how notions of art can be expanded. One thing I can say with assurance is that what we think of as art and how we think of art changes with the times. The most likely artists will figure out how to change the landscape (no pun intended) with their cameras, how to innovate, how to see things anew . . . even the same old things.
     
  5. Yes, Alan, the Guardian says photography is art. And that's why it is not a great article. It's not.
    It can be used to create art. It can also be used to creat stuff that noone would call art. That's the basic and important distinction the Guardian article does not make.
    Photography isn't art just because 'a Gursky' is a photograph, and that same 'Gursky' is art.

    I wholeheartedly disagree with your "Anything that has little or no value or function other than aesthetic, is art". But that's another discussion.
     
  6. Fred; I agree with you that family pictures wouldn't be considered art. I was thinking about why not? I suppose its because it really only has meaning to the family members looking at at to bring up feeling of love. But the picture has no meaning to anyone else. So does art have to have wider appeal to be art?
    I often take progress photos at during contruction at my job to record for payment purposes. Those photos are not art because they have its main purpose for business. However, if I was to hang a particularly interesting shot on the wall, it would become art if the general public find it aesthetically pleasing.
    QG: Don't stop here. Why do you disagree with "Anything that has little or no value or function other than aesthetic, is art". I'd like to hear your thoughts.
     
  7. No.
    Photography, painting, sculpture, etc. are all mediums which can be used to make art and can also be used to make utilitarian pieces.
    You can paint your front door or you can paint a portrait. You can sculpt stone into a lintel to put above your door or you can sculpt a statue from it.

    Likewise, you can use photography to make landscape or portrait pictures or illustrative images showing how to connect up a computer.
    Some of those things are art, the rest clearly are not. The choice of medium (or craft) does not make it art.
     
  8. Alan,<br><br>The short answer: things that only say "look at how pretty i am" are boring.<br>To be art, something has to do a lot more than just being pretty, much more than tickle our senses (there is a term describing those creations that only tickle our senses: "fine art". Though the word "art" is included in that, it's not. It, like the colour of your carpets and wall paper, is decoration.). Art has other functions to perform. It has to communicate, and communicate something relevant. It may have an aesthetic component. But that's not that important at all.
     
  9. I would agree with Q.C. - asking if photography is art is as vapid as asking "Is using a pencil art?" - it's a poorly phrased and nonsensical question. If the question is "Can photography be art" I would say it can be, but it's extremely rare.
    The idea that "Anything that has little or no value or function other than aesthetic, is art". is so broad that it essentially makes everything "art" including a four year olds stick figures and blurry snapshots of grandma eating dinner. If we define anything like that we degrade the term to the point of being meaningless.
    I believe that art has to have a purpose - all pretty pictures are not art (most are derivative, hackneyed and cliched). Art - for me - should be a combination of craft, technique, originality, purpose and passion. Just because a picture hangs on a wall and people like it, does not necessarily mean it's art - it's decoration and eye candy maybe, but not automatically "art".
    As a commercial photographer, what I do for a living is not "art" - it is a combination of craft and technique and I use the skills I have to make it aesthetically pleasing - lighting, color, composition, styling, timing, etc. but it's not art by a long shot. I try to produce artwork for myself with my own work, but I generally fall short of what I would define as art.
    It's a subjective and personal concept for sure, but I have met people who take awful, predictable snapshots with expensive equipment who define themselves as "artists" - putting themselves in the same category as Da Vinci, Monet, Rodin, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and, yes, Cartier Bresson seems a little presumptuous.
     
  10. >>> It's a subjective and personal concept for sure, but I have met people who take awful, predictable
    snapshots with expensive equipment who define themselves as "artists"

    I know a lot of local photographers, all of who would eschew (or have eschewed) that label being put upon
    them - even though a few have crossed the threshold and produce what I would call art.

    I'm also aware of
    a couple photographers who overtly take the label of artist and want to be known as one, yet produce work
    that's far from what I would characterize as art. Rather, in my eyes, their work speaks strongly to the idea of "trying really hard to
    produce art." It's interesting to me how that shows up so clearly in work.
     
  11. AK: "...I agree with you that family pictures wouldn't be considered art...."
    Maybe that money grubber, Van Eyck, was running a "couples" special one month, and accidentally dashed off: http://fineartamerica.com/images-medium/the-arnolfini-marriage-jan-van-eyck.jpg . ;-)
    Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
    Tom M
     
  12. Painting a house isn't art....painting a
    Picasso (or other) is art, it moves the
    soul of the viewer and the painter.
    Forensic photography isn't art, other
    photography, depending on if it moves
    the soul of the viewer or photog, is.

    All depends on the creation of emotion.
     
  13. Art can have utilitarian value as well. When an architect designs a building to meet his or hers aethic value, to the people who work in it it's use is for business. However, for people standing outside and admiring it, it is art as well. Same with porcelain drinking cups, and thousands of other objects that have a purpose other than aesthetic.
    But what makes it art, is its aesthetic value. I agree with others that aesthetic is limiting in that it could be compelling in others ways such as bringing out feelings. But these all have no real utilitarian purpose in themselves. If a painting of Madonna and child brings out feelings of faith, the artwork doesn't have to be aesthetically pleasing and it's still art. But again, it has no direct utilitarian value other than what it does to your feelings.
    Art is a head trip.
     
  14. <<<I'm also aware of a couple photographers who overtly take the label of artist and want to be known as one, yet produce work that's far from what I would characterize as art. Rather, in my eyes, their work speaks strongly to the idea of "trying really hard to produce art." It's interesting to me how that shows up so clearly in work.>>>
    Good point, Brad. Something else I've noticed in addition. Some photographers are trying so hard not to be artists that that becomes self conscious and also notable in their work. I think what you're rightly pointing out, or at least the way I come at it, is that it's best to go about one's task and do it with dedication and commitment and not worry too much about how it is or isn't labeled.
    _____________________________
    Alan, I don't think it has to be one or the other, all or nothing. The people looking at the building don't just have to be appreciating it without purpose in mind. They, too, can have a sense of its purpose. And its fulfilling its purpose can be part of the aesthetic experience. I don't have to extract Dorothea Lange's work from the realities it documents in order to appreciate it aesthetically. As a matter of fact, I think it would be aesthetic malpractice to just see her photos as shapes, forms, light and shadow, facial expressions, gestures, beautifully put together. I can go into that mode as a viewer . . . let's call it the more "abstract" mode of appreciation. But "aesthetic" and "art" go beyond the abstract. Content is important, and purpose is often very much part of content. Lange was shooting for a reason other than making beautiful photos to look at in galleries, museums, and books. Those reasons are part of the aesthetic and artistic experience.
     
  15. >>> Something else I've noticed in addition. Some photographers are trying so hard not to be artists that
    that becomes self conscious and also notable in their work.

    Perhaps it's odd, but of all the photographers I know, or are aware of, I have *never* encountered anyone
    that is trying hard to "not create art" or eschew the artist label; let alone that quest showing in their work. Sure,
    since anything is possible, no doubt there are some, somewhere...
     
  16. "... it's best to go about one's task and do it with dedication and commitment and not worry too much about how it is or isn't labeled."
    Agreed. It's about the work, not the label.
     
  17. It's about why (more than what, perhaps) the work should be, and how well it succeeded in being what it was supposed to become.
     
  18. Content is important, and purpose is often very much part of content. Lange was shooting for a reason other than making beautiful photos to look at in galleries, museums, and books. Those reasons are part of the aesthetic and artistic experience.​
    All very good points Fred. But I'm wondering, does art have any interactive relationship with the viewer other than sensual or mental feelings about one thing or another. For example, a person riding a merry-go-round has a delightful experience but we wouyldn't call what he is doing "art". After he steps off, however, and admires the wooden horses, it now becomes art. Does art have no physical experience, rather just sensual and mental?
     
  19. Art can be very physical, IMO. I have all kinds of physical reactions to art, from pangs of loneliness to nausea at some great films to tears from music. As far as art itself being physical, sure. Dance and theater might be the most obvious but there is physicality at play in most, if not all, the arts.
    It just seems to happen that the act of riding the carousel isn't art but that's not because it's a physical act, I think. It's because it just doesn't happen to be a physical act that's art or part of art. Many physical acts are acts of art.
     
  20. "This conception of photography as a mechanical recording medium never fully died away"
    Well of course it could still be used in that manner, but these days especially with Photoshop there is no denying that photography is an art.
     
  21. Harry, I don't quite see what Photoshop has to do with it. I mean, sure, Photoshop can be used as part of the process in creating art, but it doesn't (IMO) make photographs more or less likely to be art. I don't think there's been denying that photography is one of the arts (though, as stated, all photographs are certainly not art) since at least the time of Stieglitz . . . and from the present day we have the luxury to look back even to times when photographs weren't considered art and we can now consider some of them art. Which just shows to go you!
     
  22. Art can be very physical, IMO. I have all kinds of physical reactions to art, from pangs of loneliness to nausea at some great films to tears from music. As far as art itself being physical, sure. Dance and theater might be the most obvious but there is physicality at play in most, if not all, the arts.​
    But those reactions come from feelings not physical interaction with the art object. Even dancing is art to the viewer but not to the dancer. The painter painting is not art. Art occurs at the end with the object that is experienced by the viewer.
     
  23. <<<Even dancing is art to the viewer but not to the dancer. The painter painting is not art. Art occurs at the end with the object that is experienced by the viewer.>>>
    There, I'm afraid we disagree. Dancing is (IMO) art to the dancer. Photographing is art to the photographer (at least the one who is an artist). Why isn't the "painter painting" art? I don't think of art as only a product.
    And even if one were to limit art to the product experienced (as opposed to the making) . . . You talked about architecture before. A viewer may very well stand outside admiring the building as art. But the aesthetic experience will be much more complete when that person actually walks inside and through the building. That's a very physical interaction. We aren't commonly allowed to touch sculptures. But one can certainly get physical with a sculpture (outside of a museum unless the museum allows touching).
    Art, IMO, is not just about about the audience. It is about the maker and the making as well.
    I don't know what you mean by "those reactions come from feelings not physical interaction with the art object". Feelings are physical -- very physical. Otherwise I doubt we'd feel them. No? The reason you are feeling something (which is a process of your nervous system) is that you are physically reacting to something. You hear the music and you respond with feelings. You see the painting and respond. It seems to me very much about physical interaction (as well as emotional, which is physically based anyway).
     
  24. I don't disagree. I suppose it can be the total experience.
     
  25. The process of creating something is not that something itself, but the process of creating that something.<br>Sounds silly to put it in this overly obvious way, but it looks like it is necessary to do so.<br><br>Art is the intent, the reception of and reaction to that, the communication, the (dare i say it?) meaning. Not the craft that lead to turning the intent into something that changes other people's perception of the world they live in.<br><br>Physical vs intellectual/emotional?<br>Does not matter at all. That pertains to perception, not to what the (to put it in words from a communication context) sender intended, nor to what the receiver makes of it.<br>It matters not whether the sender moved his lips, changed the shape of his mouth and expelled air through a slit in his throat, or whether the receiver had a tiny skin set in motion by pressurized air, moving little bony structures that induce a sensor to send electrical signals to a mass of nerves.<br>What matter is what the one guy said and how the other guy understood what was said. What it was that made the one guy say that particular thing and how it changed the other guys take on things.
     
  26. <<<Sounds silly to put it in this overly obvious way, but it looks like it is necessary to do so.>>>
    It does sound silly . . . to me.
    Ideas about art are rarely obvious. I'm suspicious of people who think a definition or description of art is obvious. Great minds from Plato to Aristotle to Andy Warhol have had differing opinions about what art is. Few of them are obvious.
    As far as your clear distinction, when exactly does the process (of creating something) end and the "something itself" begin? Is it when the orchestra plays Brahms's symphony the 1st time or the 34th time? Or is it when another orchestra plays it? When the orchestra is playing, are they creating art? And where exactly is the something that IS art when they are performing? Is it not in their creation at the very moment of the creation? And is art not also happening when Brahms is in his studio writing the piece? Is the score the work of art or is each performance the work of art? I ask these either/or questions knowing they are too distinct. Process merges with product and is as much a byproduct of product as it is a producer of it.
    I think about taking a photo. I take it. I process it. I print it. I look at it. I change it to put it in a show. I light it. I size it. I hang it. People look at it. I learn from it. I put all that experience into my next shot. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. I'm not one to draw restrictive lines around where in that continuum art does or does not exist. Process and product are in a dialogue and all of it is art. Art is and art happens, IMO.
    In so many ways, art is lived. This is my opinion and there are many other valid opinions. It doesn't seem obvious and, to me, that's a good thing.
     
  27. "Ideas about art are rarely obvious"

    Be that as it may, Fred (we can discuss that later), i hope that you noticed that what was pointed out was that the process of creating something - art, if you wish - is not (!) that something. Making art, which was discussed too much, is not art. The result is.
    Art does not happen. It is produced.
    Making art is work. A job. Not a state of being. Not art.
     
  28. There will always be disagreements about these sorts of things. I appreciate hearing your opinions and it's been a good discussion. Nothing silly about it. Thanks.
     
  29. I agree with Fred: "It's not that photography is art, it's that art is art. SOME photography is art." Photos are also used to create art, and it is serious business for the major art museums. I just attended a lecture on trends in modern photography by David Little, photography curator of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. David is responsible for maintaining the collection of photography of the MIA (about 11,000 photographs) and deciding what to collect for the future. He gave us "a small sampling" of what is out there currently and what museums are buying. Overall, there is a lot of work that is created from multiple photographs put together in photoshop, work that is derivative from earlier photographic art, such as someone re-doing Cindy Sherman's work, work that is made with photographic materials but not photographs as such, and so on. My overall impression is that currently photographs are certainly used in the making of art, especially in collages and multiple image creations, and that most of the images the average photographer takes of pretty scenes, portraits, even abstracts, etc. are not what museums are looking for. David stated that he is looking for examples of photography that fill specific niches in the genre that they don't yet have, to better round out the MIA's collection. They already have all the main historical images of Adams, Weston and so on.
     
  30. Art is a relative and always moving target. It is conferred by culturally agreeable specialists, the ranks of whom open and close and wiggle around over time for each distinct culture.
    Not at all like Supreme Courts, declarations of art don't come written out in logical flows for all to examine. The art is always contentious and embattled. This is, that isn't. (How about fiction vs. literature?)
    The only ones I see slaving to this ambiguity are non-artists. I think artists self-declare and let the rest either catch up to them or pass over them - no difference to the artist. Well, unless it is someone trying to make a living who wants to fight the verdict.
    Photography is art when it is used by artists. It's not when it's not. That part of the question is elementary to answer. What is more publicly contentious are questions of quality or price. But, that's always contentious even with the most banal material objects.
    I think photography is the newest art. It is so young nothing much is known yet of its powers as art. Compared to painting it is nascent. What is growing in significance and relevance, and what is shrinking? Can anyone doubt the answer to that?
     
  31. What is growing in significance and relevance, and what is shrinking? Can anyone doubt the answer to that?​
    What is the answer in your opinion?
     
  32. Photography.
     
  33. Edit:
    Artists make art. There is never any need for any independent confirmation by the non-artist. The world of criticism may look essential to art, but not from the artist's point of view.
    Artists are always entitled to declare "this is it." That's the whole point and nothing else actually matters except to markets and academic interests. But all of that actually stands aside from the simple declaration of all artists since Lascaux or before: "This is it."
    If you don't know you're an artist, maybe you are not one yet. When you are, you will know it with absolute conviction and certainty. You would need no external approval. It is a misunderstanding to assume that one has to gain confirmation from the outside priesthood. That distortion arose when art became a commercial venture, like chopping wood or harvesting hay.
     
  34. I don't agree, m,<br>Being a self-declared artist may tell something about the intent of the would-be artist. The results however, not a declaration of intent, will show whether the person really is an artist.<br>Someone may want to bake cakes, declare to be a patissier, but not know anything about how to do it. That patissier can see himself a patissier "with absolute conviction and certainty", and may declare that his cakes "are it", sure. But the "whole point" is (so simple that, again, it sounds silly) that they indeed have to be or else they are not. The patissier's believe (or declaration) that they are means very little if apart from the patissier noone recognizes his cakes as cakes, let alone great cakes.<br><br>Art is no different. It does indeed need "external approval". Being a form of communication/interaction, it can't exist without it.<br><br>The fact that it is also something that is the subject of financial appraissal and dealings does not change that. Just as little as the fact that a truly great cake would be something many people could desire and therefor, if hard to get, be something that is traded in, invested in, changes anything in the nature of that cake. That great cake is what it is regardless of that, absolutely. But still not just because someone declared it to be a great cake. It has to be, and be recognized as, one. That people want to trade in it can be part of a craze that has divorced itself from the thing itself, but must begin as an affirmation that the thing they now value for its value alone had a value in and for itself.<br>It would be a "distortion" to say that because of the things people do with it, of which some aren't quite in harmony with a view of art as something of a higher order, above the 'dirty things of live' such as expressing its market value, it exists independent of what people (allowing just one exception: the artist) may think of it.
     
  35. Art is sensory virus. It constantly mutates to breach its host's (that would be you, dear friends) defenses. Yes, it "needs" external "approval"; either it succeeds and infects ... (note the irritation, the itchiness, the redness, the mental swelling ... ) ... or it doesn't (the artist is clearly infected -- he's lit up like a Christmas tree, but everybody else just goes on chewing their cud, oblivious to his plight).
    What's the most widely consumed current sensory vector? *Hint.* It's not painting any more. What's the best vector for a sensory virus to use gain access? *Hint* It's not sculpture any more.
    So, go ahead insisting that photography's not art. We like the defenseless; we like to eat your brain.
     
  36. Pity the poor artist who must first gain approval before expressing himself. But such is the state of the dominant culture imposing its need for total human control. "You are an artist, you are not!"
    That sense of control by the cultural cops is ever present in all places and times. They do form aristocratic schools, movements, markets and a self-serving fraternity of criticism. But in spite of this, or even because of it, art continues to erupt spontaneously. Always to be conveniently co-opted later, but that's another story.
    The camera is the new spray can. No waiting needed. The artists are hatching everywhere and self validating. Although we can write essays betting on whether or not it is art, the art will blossom and happen regardless. There is always time later for important retrospectives and discoveries. The important effect of art is of course on the artist. Art transforms from the inside, and is thus spiritual by effect. The audience is often following long after the spirit has lost its heat. It is a little late today to worry about the abuse of feudal lords, isn't it?
    The artist is one who intentionally manifests emotional reaction to culture through various media. The entitlement for expression is Universal. How do you set up an approval code for that? (The analogy in the political realm is the attempt to legislate morality.) The approval - if such was possible - would in and of itself represent the very repression that the artist seeks to be clear of.
    The art institution of course always believes it consists of subjects in obedience, much like the belief of bureaucrats everywhere. It's a powerful illusion yes, but only an illusion.
     
  37. m, I agree that art begins with personal expression. However, the art institutions have their own ideas about what they want to collect, and from what I can see currently they want a lot of weird s*** that doesn't say a lot to the average person! I think these institutions are very "inbred" and their ideas of art are self-defined and self limiting. However, I'm not going to stop being creative making the images that make me excited, but I don't expect to be invited to present in a major institution any day in my lifetime.
     
  38. Steve,
    Everything that might occur after the art is made is subject to chance and institutional procedure. That chance doesn't influence or change the effects that the art had on the artist. It is important to recognize that the joy of baseball exists independently of any Word Series rings, right? The baseball institutions don't control baseball, they control an artificial construct of baseball. But that isn't perceptually obvious to everyone at this exact moment.
    Artists of course know this (or feel it) just as the stickball player feels it in the little alley after school. I don't know about you, but I can after 50 years still feel that thrill of the first home run swing. I see exact images of photographs I took 40 years ago which transformed my understanding of my self - that's the process of art at work on the artist. The photographs never made it out of some shoebox, which itself now resides in some landfill. No matter, the process worked. Museum not required.
     
  39. <<<currently they want a lot of weird s*** that doesn't say a lot to the average person!>>>
    That's been at least partly the case throughout the history of art. Even Plato never got a lot of it. And many artists aren't speaking to average people. As M says, they are expressing themselves, even if they put that expression out to others. (They can sometimes be expressing much more than themselves, of course, as they express cultural viewpoints as well. No man is an island, sort of.) In many ways, appealing to an average person is a difference between "art" and "pop." Art often leads. It doesn't follow. So it can definitely feel like weird s***. On the other hand, and this is what Steve is also suggesting, there's a lot of bogus crap out there. There's the rub.
     
  40. Just read M's last post. I do think that artists can make art they don't share. But I also think a significant part of art can be its sharing and its public qualities, influences, and effects.
     
  41. Fred,
    (chuckle) I think we just have to tolerate the bogus crap the way we tolerated the weakest stickball player - the kid that couldn't swing a broomstick to save his life. In a larger sense, most of us are mediocre - we need a lot of tolerance in life.
    Too many people are afraid of art in this sense - if it isn't great, I better not do it. But this misses the whole point of the transformative nature of art. Even doing it badly has a lasting effect.
    Art is one of the many ways in which we examine ourselves. It is a meaningful tool of self development. I think it's ok to recognize that talent is relative just like all the other attributes of humanity.
    Art consumption - the viewer's side - can also be transformative but in a distinctly different kind of way. Where the first case has the artist understanding himself through art, the second has the viewer understanding others through art. Even when the viewer can't grasp the art (aka weird sh**t), they can recognize that there must be some handle there anyway. Even that has value. Just admitted that, "I don't really understand what that person is trying to say," has value. One of those values is, "maybe I need to learn something here."
     
  42. Pitty the world, m, that has to accept any old crap declared to be art by someone wanting to express himself, because he, after all, is an artist.<br>You expres yourself in your posts, m, but no matter how often or loud you would declare that what you wrote would be art, it isn't. Sure, you did not intend it to be. But what if you did, and the result was the same? Would we be forced to accept that you are an artist and that was your art? I think not. You, i'm sure, would not either.<br><br>Don't mistake your grudge against the "art institution". You may be right in holding what we see happen 'there' in contempt. That does not mean that whether something is art or not is above judgement. On the contrary: if it does not evoke a respons, if people couldn't or even shouldn't have their view on it, may make their minds up about what they think of it, it is nothing. 'Not even art.'<br><br>Those "institutions"? Art has to be relevant. Those institutions have made it their business to keep track of where the "conversation" is at. They do know when something is thrown onto the world, declared to be art, is something noteworthy (in which case it provbaly is art) or when it is someone expressing something completely irrelevant, boring, not worth attention, let alone be called art.<br>The break from pictorialism to f/64 happened, was at that time a relevant move. You can still be driven by the same motivation, believe that you must express the ideas behind that move in your work. Declare your work art. But it will not be, just because it would be irrelevant, a "been there, seen that, have the t-shirt" kind of thing. (Something the many epigones whose self-declared art fill many photography magazine's pages should try to understand. Just because photographer X produced something that attracted attention, a repeat is not called for.)
     
  43. M, yours seems an almost solipsistic notion of art. As I said, I think artists can make art on their own and only for themselves but I think that's the minority situation. More often, artists do think about viewers or an audience (an actor, for example, wants to make sure his gestures are big enough for those in the balcony, a photographer might modulate the tone of his photos depending on if he's creating for schoolchildren or adults, if that's even a consideration, which it is at times), they work alongside and bounce ideas off other contemporary artists, they pay homage to and learn from past artists, they even start some of these schools you seem a bit contemptuous(?) of.
    I agree with your point, especially, about greatness. It can put a stranglehold on people. I hear it expressed on PN a lot. You worry about greatness too much, you can lose the point.
    Here's the thing about the weak stickball player. In many cases, he was only playing in order to be one of the guys, 'cause all the other guys were doing it. In a lot of cases, he actually would have been more fulfilled playing soccer, or bowling, or singing on stage in the town musical. So, there are two approaches and a myriad of approaches in between. You play stickball weakly but enjoy it and enjoy the camaraderie as long as you don't get teased to where it really starts to hurt. Or, you find something you do better and feel better about and seems to better suit you. Or you do a little of both. Not everyone needs to, wants to, or should play stickball. It takes all kinds.
    Same with being an artist. IMO, not everyone who declares themselves an artist is one. On the other hand, many seem hesitant to do so for fear of being seen as pretentious, which is just as wrong. It's something to be embraced and no more pretentious than declaring oneself to be an accountant.
    One of the problems of art is that there is good art, bad art, and not art. Drawing those distinctions clearly is difficult if not impossible. That's why I always say it takes discussion, not definition.
    Not everything declared to be art is art and not everyone declaring themselves an artist is an artist.
    <<<sense of control by the cultural cops>>>
    This can be a problem sometimes, for sure. But discerning what's art and what's not, who's an artist and who's not can be different from this. It can be no different from our saying "he's not doctor, he's a fake" or "he calls himself a plumber but he doesn't know the first thing about plumbing."
     
  44. Q.G.,
    I believe I can summarize the error of your position as this: You believe that art is a transaction. One in which the viewer will establish the value of the exchange as he would buying so many bananas at the bazaar.
    Well yes, that is how art gets institutionalized isn't it? But, that's an artificial construct after the fact. It's the means of developing the rules of the road and the pyramid of authorities and absolute value. All of that happens well outside the realm of the experience of creating art.
    In short, and to be more blunt, you are just describing the filthy business of "Art" with a capital A. Good and well that it exists - by what other means would aristocrats judge their importance in the world if not the size of their uh, wallets? But art, like religion or mythology is not transactional, it is transformational. Only the inquiring self is required. Believe it or not!
     
  45. Fred,
    I think it's perfectly fine if the culture wants to police art like they police plumbers. In spite of Q.G.s assumptions, I have no grudge against the institutions. My point wasn't so much to deny the institutions as it was to properly describe them as irrelevant to the process of making art. They are an after-effect. A way of bringing utility (meaning here, value) to what is sacred by nature. Selling absolution comes to mind.
    Making art is an internal process in the realm of psychological behaviors. It's a tool of the consciousness to develop awareness of self and of the universe. In the family of behaviors, it might sit next to meditation or prayer, or other forms of introspection, like dreaming. That's why it isn't transactional, or subject to forms of external judgement. All of that comes well after the "art-gasm" has passed.
    I am probably making a distinction which is very unpopular. In my quest to differentiate "art - the personal path of development" from "Art - stuff you bid on at the auction house," I am representing an ancient and now obscure point of view. I know that.
     
  46. <<<it might sit next to meditation or prayer, or other forms of introspection, like dreaming>>>
    IMO, that captures a lot but misses one of the basics. It is not as solitary or as passive as any of these things. Art is much about making. It is meditation, prayer, introspection, feelings, emotions, dreams made tangible (though able to remain somewhat intangible). That manifestation, to me, is as significant a part of art as the path to the manifestation. In many ways, they are inseparable.
    _________________________________________
    I'm not sure which ancient point of view you're thinking of but, for example, Plato thought art was imitation (mere representation). It was because it wasn't true to the Forms, the Ideas, and because it was, for him, ONLY a manifestation of something else, that he rejected it as low down on his totem pole.
    Aristotle, more accepting of art than Plato, suggested art was an external form of a true idea.
    _______________________________
    I, too, think there's a distinction between the art of the auction house from other kinds of art. I'm surprised anything I said led you to think otherwise. That doesn't mean, though, that I think art that is not determined by auctioneers is only purely personal. As I said, art is often communal, shared, and public. And, even if sales aren't in mind, an audience may be. There can be empathy without economy.
     
  47. No, m. You keep going on about the fact that art is valued (also) in terms of dollars and dimes. It is.
    But what i keep telling you is not about that. It is about art, what it is and how it is created. The idea that you just have to say "i am an artist", "this is art" to make it so is preposterous. Artists are not god-like.
    Art is produced in a process that can go wrong at every single step. It begins with an idea that needs to be worthwile. Saying you are an artist doesn't turn your thoughts and ideas into something exalted.
    That idea eventually has to be turned into something in which it can be recognized. By people (including the artist), yes. Ideas, messages, are like that. And there the verdict is given: art has to be recognized as such. It is not something produced by putting the word "art" on a label.
    Saying that you are creating art is no guarantee that you indeed are. It does not automatically turn every fart you choose to release into art.

    You keep trying to break a lance for the misunderstood genius. And yes, some artists are undeservedly ignored.
    But that does not change the fact that art is - while perhaps also subject of a transaction - an interaction. Too many self-declared artist go off in a huff when being told that what they produce is rubbish. They are not right in their usual response; they are not misunderstood by the philistines that rule over "the institutions". They mostly are uninteresting, unimportant, not capable of producing art. But at least that all too often heard complaint recognizes that art is not just a matter of what the self-declared artists says it is.

    Trying to make art is not an endeavour guaranteed to end in success. Not even if you declare it a success yourself.


    "Sacred by nature"? Here our ways have parted completely. I prefer to stay here, in reality. ;-)
     
  48. "It is not as solitary or as passive as any of these things."
    =======
    Fred,
    That's why I said "it sits next to..." I meant it is of the type of internal processes, like dreaming. I did not mean to imply it was passive. It is in a family a tools used for self discovery. Each tool work differently - dreaming is unmanifested, art is manifested, and so on.
    I just wanted to clear that up.
     
  49. Q.G.,
    "Artists are not god-like." Well no, they are gods. They do in fact bring forth creation from no-thing. That's pretty much the whole point. In your reduction of all this, I believe you are describing the crafts and the "decorative arts." These exchangeable artifacts of commerce.
    Now actually, I said nothing at all about genius. I simply spoke of the individual desire to explore self through a personal and internal process of making art. In fact, I wasn't all that generous and readily made room for mediocrity aplenty. So genius was no part of my argument.
    It's clear to me at this point in the exchange that I have to go farther back in groundwork to explain why art needs no "verdict." You have to go back to the very freedom at the core of human consciousness. Now, not many people in modern culture know freedom, appreciate freedom, or advocate freedom. It wouldn't be far off to say freedom is forgotten in a rigid, conforming culture of Laws and Verdicts. But, that culture and civilization is layered over human freedom. Is it possible you have bound yourself to the world where you need special permissions to move about? The world where you must carry 3 forms of valid identification to prove your humanity? You get what I am saying here, right?
    You may need the TSA's permission and "verdict" to board an airplane, but we ought to firmly reject the idea we need permission to create art. I am taking it out of the hands of authorities, and putting it back where it belongs - with the artist. Are you having trouble understanding how the artist has knowledge of his art? How he can proceed without approval?
    You are making a good representation of the statist view of art. That it must proceed from applications, inspections, validations and verdicts of approval. I find that philosophy anti-human and mechanistic (in comparison to holistic.)
    But look, we'd probably discover that this schism between my human primacy view of art and your statist view of art, exists along all or many other lines of cultural operation. This is a question of the individual versus the conforming mass. We are forced to conform at so many other intersections it would be a shame to give up the last few privileges we have as humans. I am generally always going to favor the individual over the state cookie-cutter. I am not a bureaucrat at heart. I don't orient to mass control. I will think and dream and make art on my own terms.
    I am happy to just disagree about this. Your position is clear. I think I made mine as clear as I am capable of. Now, I have to go create some art!
     
  50. Thanks, got it.
    I think art is about self discovery . . . and much, much more, including -- but not limited to -- communication, sharing, empathy, intimacy, cultural reflection and movement forward, response, personal expression, audience.
    Art doesn't stop at the artist's door.
     
  51. "Art doesn't stop at the artist's door."
    ============================
    Yes, I completely agree Fred. I have only been noodling where it starts. If and when it can extend past the artist and reveal something to the viewer, then another threshold was crossed. This one for the viewer. And, maybe for the artist too.
     
  52. First, m: no, i am describing art and works of art. Those things that are also "exchangeable artifacts of commerce".
    You continue to treat art as if it is not of this world, not subject to everything all things of this world are. Why?
    What is clear is that my position is far from clear to you. What may be clear to you is what you think my position is.
    So let's tackle this once again.
    You may think, m, that people are gods, because they create something. Which is fine with me, as long as it's clear that what "god" means is up to us to decide, and you have decided to have it mean that.
    But we, artists and non-artists alike, do not create from nothing. (I don't know why you would believe that could be so. Romanticims, i suspect. Would fit your "sacred by nature" comment.) Certainly not - and that was the point - by simply saying we want it so.
    No, you did not use the word "genius". I did. But have you taken in what i was saying? Do you still think that people are artists when and because they say they are? Create art because they say it is? God-like... Genius. Do you see why the wod appeared?

    But o.k.: not genius, but god-like, and free.
    Let me first point out to you that your view appears to be hopelessly unfree, tied as it is to the belief that any other view is statism. Do you accept the fact that we humans are not free from anything that being human entails, and that being a humanlike human is not synonym to wanting "the institutions" to control everything?
    Are you free from having to go to the toilet? If not, does knowing and recognizing that mean you suscribe to a statist view of the world, in which the potty-trainers control all of us who do need to go to the toilet? Do you need food? If so, does that mean you want to see the "institutions" rule what we eat? See how silly it is to discount anything not agreeing to your romantic view of sacred freedom to being a fervent supporter of statism?
    And do you live in a society? Are you part of that? Are your ideas divinely inspired, or shaped by your experiences of being a dependent being in a social environment. Do your comments on society, such as your repeated complaint about "the institutions"/statism, just happen out of free will, or do they need that society, those institutions?
    You think you are free, and you are. We all are, within bounds of being what we are: an eating, then defaecating human being, needing other human beings for support, shaping our views and behaviour through interaction with those thingies we need, and are confronted with. Find an idea, m, that does not relate to that world we live in (that Big Bad World, if we are to believe you), and i will grant you your inner freedom.

    Art must not proceed from applications, inspections, validations and verdicts of approval. It is something we produce, and thus (as has been pointed out rather often now) something that can fail. As such it is indeed subject to approval. Failed attempts at making art should and indeed will be called what they are: not art.
    A statist view? Hardly. Simply not as optimistic as your view, that art can never fail to be art, needing no more than someone saying it is.
    Your view is not a "human primacy view". It's a view that denies what being human (among others fallible, dependent, communicative) entails. Sacred and god-like. Anti-human, indeed: your view is. Not mine. Solipsistic it has been called by Fred. And right he was.
    Why is it that you equate being human amongst fellow humans with being in battle with the "conforming mass"? Why do you hope for an inner freedom from having to deal with being human amongst humans? The "privilege" we have as humans is to interact with, not flee from, those fellow humans. That is how and where art can be. And the only way and place art can be. Not by declaration. Not in some private little inner world, not in some state of denial, in which there can only be a satisfaction that, away from those nasty people who might tell you you have failed, there are no nasty people to tell you you have failed. "Art" as a sacred inner refuge for the disappointed? Only in some fantasy, longing for a sacred inner refuge.
    Art is about self discovery, Fred says. True. Self doesn't stop at your 'door' either.

    Did this help you see my position?
     
  53. <<<I have only been noodling where it starts.>>>
    Ahh. That wasn't clear. Thanks.
    But it may also be that it starts before the individual artist. I see most artists as a link in the chain. They inherit and pay it forward. It may as much begin as a dialogue as with introspection. And not just dialogue with the audience. Dialogue with the past . . . and future. Among others, Tchaikovsky was speaking to, and about, Mozart and on a significant level he was also anticipating Prokofiev.
    What if there is no clear beginning or end?
     
  54. Are we moving on from 'it starts when the artists says it does' already, then?<br><br>Anyway, you are opposing dialogue and introspection. They are not opposites. Introspection is a dialogue. Between, if you wish (not wrong, that) the past. Our past. And our confusion, or expectations, hopes, fears, etc. about our present and, indeed, future.<br><br>Important bit, given the solipsist in our company, that 'intro' and 'extra' are not really two separate worlds.
     
  55. Q.G., I don't know of whom you're asking the question and exactly what you're asking.
     
  56. Fred, i'm asking you. And what i'm asking is whether you are accepting the 'art comes into being because the artists declares himself to be an artist' noodlings about where it starts?<br>From what you wrote upto now, i don't believe you do. So is it clear (as in "Ahh. That wasn't clear. Thanks")? M says that art can cross a threshold, from the inner space out. There is no art unless it it out there. Whatever crosses that threshold is not (yet) art.
     
  57. Q.G.,
    I think your previous arguments were more cogent (certainly more concise) than the last.
    I refer to your view as statist because your origin of art begins with a verdict of others. A bestowing. Here are your words from a previous post: "That idea eventually has to be turned into something in which it can be recognized. By people (including the artist), yes. Ideas, messages, are like that. And there the verdict is given: art has to be recognized as such. It is not something produced by putting the word "art" on a label." Now you used the word "recognized" twice. You used the phrase "verdict is given." That is your view of the establishment of art. Something bestowed by others. Once you insist on this committee of others to bestow the blessing of art, you are admitting to statism of some kind. That's your institutional process at work.
    Let's suppose a group of priests had to render a verdict on a person's epiphany, or panel of psychiatrists rule on the validity and worth of a person's dream. What kind of cultural condition would that represent if not statism?
    I simply reject that tyranny over such personal remnants of our free consciousness. That doesn't mean I reject all of society, or law and order, or toilets, or whatever else you posed. It just means I place art in a different value system from normal commerce, from normal cultural conventions where conformity leads to some convenience. In other words, "is there nothing sacred?"
    You make a lot of noise about pointing out failures of someone's art (e.g. "Art is something that can fail.") Yes, you can do that if you institutionalize every human desire and internal process. Can you say someone failed in their dreams though? I can't help but to interpret your view of art as just "so much paper and ink and wood and stone" to be stacked, measured, weighed, and judged by the bureaucrats. You've pulled all the personal discovery out of the art and left it for dead. Like turning trees into firewood by the cord.
    It's certainly true that some parties coming along after the artist may not understand the art. That can be called a failure if you like, but it is only a failure of the act of appreciation, it's not a failure on the creation, assuming the artist was satisfied originally.
    In your world an artist embarks on pleasing some authority. He works to a standard or a dream created by a committee. Success and failure are removed from the artist and placed into the hands of the authority. That's the way jobs work. It's the way politics work. It's the way a great deal of our lives are spent - pleasing the mean, the average, the accepted. Now, is that liberating to anyone's soul? Does that sound like anything other than simple crafting? Utilitarian labor?
    Art is a liberation tool. It is specifically the very means by which the soul can find transcendence (and blessed relief) from that "dull gray bureaucracy of the average enforced by the majority." If others come along after and get a glimpse into the artist's psyche or just his process, then they can have another personal human experience and surprisingly, they also do not need approval for this to happen.
     
  58. <<<what i'm asking is whether you are accepting the 'art comes into being because the artists declares himself to be an artist' noodlings about where it starts?>>>
    I accept that as M's formulation. It doesn't work for me, as you surmised.
    As I said, I don't necessarily think art starts and I don't necessarily think art starts with a particular artist. I think many artists do declare themselves to be so and they turn out to be right and the declaration can sometimes help the process along. But I don't think the declaration is determinative.
    Well-made point about intro- and extra-. There is no ghost in the machine.
    Though I think art is often a dialogue, I'm not sure about introspection being a dialogue. It certainly can be, but does it have to be? Please stop the voices!
    M is attributing to you some very strong views which you haven't come close to uttering. I'm not sure why. That you don't think a person becomes an artist by declaring it to be so doesn't lead to a belief that "artists embark on pleasing some authority."
     
  59. <<<That you don't think a person becomes an artist by declaring it to be so doesn't lead to a belief that "artists embark on pleasing some authority.">>>
    To elaborate on what I'm getting at. An artist may work in their studio and not be understood in their time. It happens. It has happened. Later, they will be recognized as artists. It's not because they set out to please some authority that they are later so recognized. And I won't speculate whether or not they were artists at the time they were working or whether they become artists retroactively . . . because I don't care and because that just becomes a word game.
    We communicate through mutual agreement. That art may be part of that and that art may be social does not have to lead to the notion that art is conferred and certainly not that it is conferred by authority.
    Having said that, I am mindful of the role of experts. (I am also mindful of the fact that not everyone who thinks of themselves or declares themselves to be an expert is one.)
     
  60. M, the fact that i weigh your words, try to make sense of what they are telling me, does turn me into something who would advocate the "institutions" take control over what you and i say?<br>That's really preposterous. It is no more than trying to understand each other.<br>Maybe you think that, because you subscribe to an über-liberitarian view, in which communication is one-sided, and you don't think about what people say, don't try to understand what they are telling you, don't care about how they understand you either, because you have declared yourself to be a free spirit, not bothered about other people, who are nothing but Bad Guys trying to control you, force you to conform anyway. (Certainly looks like it.)<br><br>I don't make a lot of noise, m, about failures. I do make a lot of noise (it apparently takes lots more of that still) about the notion that all is needed for you to be, say, a table, is me saying you are. How's that, m? Making the world conform, by the simple act of uttering a few words. God-like. It must be art.<br>Silly, isn't it. That is, however, what your position is, stated over and over again.
     
  61. "Maybe you think that, because you subscribe to an über-liberitarian view, in which communication is one-sided, and you don't think about what people say, don't try to understand what they are telling you, don't care about how they understand you either, because you have declared yourself to be a free spirit, not bothered about other people, who are nothing but Bad Guys trying to control you, force you to conform anyway. (Certainly looks like it.)"
    =========================
    You've taken an unfortunate low road there young man. I don't mud-wrestle.
     
  62. "... Today, we may say that experimental art is that act or thought whose identity as art must always remain in doubt. Not only does this hold for anyone who plays with the "artist"; it holds especially for the "artist"! The experiment is not to possess a secret artistry in deep disguise; it is not knowing what to call it at any time! As soon — and it is usually very soon — as such acts and thoughts are associated with art and its discourses, it is time to move on to other possibilities of experimentation."
    " ... If the analytically inclined still want to know why to play at everyday life, an answer might go like this: Experimental art is the only kind of art that Anglo-America can call its own. This American culture has long rejected the fine arts as irrelevant and devoid of honest labor. "Idle hands make devil's work." Experimental art, as described here, is the one kind of art that can affirm and deny art at the same time. It is the one kind of art that can claim as value no value! It is in agreement with American philistinism and its throwaway materialism — while it is free to enact a sort of "native" creativity in the play of ordinary life (cf. John Dewey). The one caveat is that it must not be called art." — Allan Kaprow (both paragraphs)
    "... Believing in one's own art becomes harder and harder when the public response grows fonder." — Cindy Sherman
     
  63. "Blah, blah-blah-blah-, bl-blah, bl-blah" --Anonymous
     
  64. I think Cindy Sherman recognized the ultimate danger of becoming a performing dog.
     
  65. I wouldn't want to assume anything for anyone, so who in this argument is an artist? I am. Who else?
    It's not intended as a trick question, just an honest part of the inquiry. The non-artist might understandably have different views on this from the artist. I am going to hazard a guess that the non-artist is going to more frequently suppose that some form of external agency must be invoked before their work is art compared to the artist.

     
  66. <<<external>>>
    I think when we start to move away from the dichotomy of internal/external there can be more understanding (not looking for agreement) with other points of view being expressed here. When it comes to my being an artist, I don't draw lines around myself, my viewer, a potential curator, a buyer, the "art world". It's all part of the gestalt. I tend to take a holistic approach to these things. I prefer not to separate myself off from supposed external agencies. Because I am part of those "external" agencies and they are part of me.
    Neither artists nor non-artists would think monolithically about these things. I love reading what artists have to say about art because they are often so purposefully vague, downright misleading, can be quite humorous, and many of their statements tell me they're better suited to painting, photographing, or whatever their chosen means than they are to talking about it. That may be one reason "art" is often discussed by and determined by critics, philosophers, curators. Those folks are more into and often better at verbalizing. Artists make art. Their declarations are usually secondary to that.
    I started out as a philosopher and, out of frustration, moved on first to music and now to photography. The answers that philosophy lacked are not even issues anymore. I find those answers, along with many questions that don't need definitive answers, in my photographing.
     
  67. Alain Briot has an interesting series of articles on the Luminous Landscape website. According to his online biography, he studied painting and drawing at the Academie des Beaux Arts as well as studying photography. He draws distinctions between being an artist, being an artist in business (art marketing) and being an art critic.
    Based on Briot's definitions, I would say that in this discussion m stephens has taken the viewpoint of an artist, and Q. G. de Bakker that of an art critic.
     
  68. The only (yet important) way a distinction between artist and art critic can make sense, is if it is one between one who (also!) produces, and one who only comsumes art. Both do need an understanding of what art is. An understanding that isn't, can't be different for either. And i, Jim, was talking about that.<br>The distinction is not a very good one anyway. Unless you assume artists to be pure automatons, that do not have to think about and work at their art, artists need to be art critic too.
     
  69. M,<br><br>To please ex-philospher Fred (who liked quoting Dead Philosophers, but dislikes when someone quotes thinkers who aren't Dead long enough): do you know about Hegel's "Tierreich"?<br>No "low road" or "mud wrestling" there, m (but thanks for the "young man"), but rather pertinent.
     
  70. M, some of my non-individual perspective likely comes from the fact that my photographs are, for the most part, portraits. They are not traditional portraits in that, for the most part, I am not being hired to do them. I ask people to be subjects and sometimes they ask me. In many cases, I think of them as collaborations . . . dialogues . . . a dance, if you will. I don't need all the credit! Some of my subjects are incredibly photogenic, or good at posing and gesturing, or have the most fascinating expressions. So where exactly is the art. It's not all in here and it all doesn't start in here.
    Also, while I do think I'm developing my own voice and know that other artists have done so as well, I'm aware of all the influences working on me (and us). I can't (and wouldn't want to) divorce myself from what I know of art history. I respond to it as an individual (though I recognize that I am part of a culture and a biology that may be at least in some sense pre-determined and/or be influenced to respond a certain way or within certain parameters). But it starts way before me.
    <<<If you don't know you're an artist, maybe you are not one yet. When you are, you will know it with absolute conviction and certainty.>>>
    That got Descartes (and much of Western Philosophy) into a big jam centuries ago. A healthy dose of skepticism is a nice complement to what you're talking about. I wouldn't attempt to speak for all artists and how they view themselves. Some artists would NEVER declare themselves to be, for a variety of reasons. That doesn't make them non-artists. And many artists have a whole lot of doubt about what or who they are. Certainty can be a trap, as can convictions. The flip side is that I understand where you're coming from, know that many artists would feel similarly to you, and respect the way you come at it for yourself. Others, I know, will differ, and they will be artists, too.
    <<<Pity the poor artist who must first gain approval before expressing himself.>>>
    No artist ever must gain approval before expressing himself. I'm not sure why you are thinking along these lines.
    <<<That sense of control by the cultural cops is ever present in all places and times. They do form aristocratic schools, movements, markets and a self-serving fraternity of criticism.>>>
    I think I said above that many artists, throughout history, have formed their own schools, been a conscious and participating member of a movement, helped determine markets (Stieglitz), and have even dared to be self serving (Warhol).
     
  71. <<<dislikes when someone quotes thinkers who aren't Dead long enough>>>
    False, or at least misleading. You get a bad boy buzzer on two counts. I will sometimes paraphrase dead Philosophers, rarely quote them. And I dislike when someone regularly ONLY offers a lengthy quote and nothing of their own point of view. It doesn't matter whether they are or how long they've been dead. That's a personal pet peeve. I admit it.
     
  72. I think a huge aspect of this kind of discussion is the fact that people have very different definitions of what exactly an "artist" is. With no clear consensus on this most critical point, this all becomes just so much pretentious blather.
    After four years of art school in London and a twenty five year career as a commercial photographer, I have my own definition of what makes an artist and what elements of his or her work serve to deserve that label. I don't think that merely calling yourself an artist necessarily makes you one (the eagerness and self congratulation of that alone, would serve to dismiss many), I hardly think artists are "Gods" - again the level of ego required for this claim is stunning! Look at nurses, doctors without borders, firemen risking their lives for strangers, etc. if you are looking for Gods among men. This is the pretentious twaddle that I heard discussed in art school many years ago by self obsessed, immature students - I'm amazed to see this stuff resurface and expect to be taken seriously.
    I'm don't consider myself an artist for what it's worth... I am a good painter, I have sold drawing skills and have a career as a professional photographer that takes me around the world for ad agencies. I know what I do and why I do it. Striving to always do my best, improve and being committed to continual learning is enough for me. I know art when I see it, it has purpose, passion, craft, technique and originality - it affects me emotionally and makes me think. If you define art as any endeavor that creates an image of some type then you can ignore all that's written above because the core definitions are so far apart that we are discussing entirely different concepts with no common ground.
    Finally - let's see some of this art work that makes you a "God", that makes you so keen to define yourself as an artist. A picture, after all, is worth a thousand words.
     
  73. Fred, I just realized the chronology of my post may appear that I was writing in response to your last two comments... I was actually responding to M Stephens who had made the God claim and introduced the idea that defining yourself as an artist is all it takes to become one.
    I have seen your work and actually would consider that many of your portraits to fall into the art category of photography. Apologies if the above post was unclear on that.
     
  74. Thanks, John. :)
    Your post was clear and I didn't think it was in response to me.
     
  75. Art doesn't happen by accident. It requires an artist.
    In order for m to make the art that you demand he present in order for you to allow him to call himself an artist, he must already *be* an artist. Or maybe you think a non-artist can make art; or a non-artist makes non-art that turns into art *pfft*! Whoopee!
    One thing's for sure; if he doesn't believe he's an artist, he's not going to create art. ("Oh, look! Some art! I had no idea where *that* came from!")
     
  76. In order for m to make the art that you demand he present in order for you to allow him to call himself an artist, he must already *be* an artist.​
    Yes.
    And to clarify. anyone can call themselves an artist, an astronaut or a sea turtle for all I care... it just doesn't automatically make it so. Non artists create total crap all the time that they consider art - we all know that. If someone creates art then they aren't a non-artist, clearly.
    I'm not sure what the confusion is here, it really couldn't be simpler.
     
  77. <<<Art doesn't happen by accident. It requires an artist.>>>
    I don't find this to be the case.
    I've seen a lot of art that wasn't intended to be art, from ancient pottery to coliseums. I think we think of a lot of things as art, and indeed find many of them in museums, that weren't created by someone who thought of themselves as an artist. Yes! Non-artists can make non-art that *pfft* turns into art. Yes! Yes! Yes! There is art in recognition, not just in making.
    The urinal might be a case, but we would say it was an artist who made it art by putting it in a museum. But it doesn't have to happen that way. It doesn't have to be an artist who recognizes it. The world might, a curator might.
    So for me, a very different point of view. One thing's NOT for sure; if he doesn't believe he's an artist, he's not going to create art. Not at all. Art can be made by those who don't believe they are artists.
     
  78. Steve J Murray : My overall impression is that currently photographs are certainly used in the making of art, especially in collages and multiple image creations, and that most of the images the average photographer takes of pretty scenes, portraits, even abstracts, etc. are not what museums are looking for.
    m stephens: You would need no external approval. It is a misunderstanding to assume that one has to gain confirmation from the outside priesthood.
    Q.G. de Bakker: Being a self-declared artist may tell something about the intent of the would-be artist. The results however, not a declaration of intent, will show whether the person really is an artist.
    Julie Heyward: What's the most widely consumed current sensory vector? *Hint.* It's not painting any more. What's the best vector for a sensory virus to use gain access? *Hint* It's not sculpture any more.

    So, go ahead insisting that photography's not art. We like the defenseless; we like to eat your brain.
    This thread is a nice microcosm of different cultural positions on photographic "art". The informed and the uninformed; the reactionary that thinks it is informed but actually is not; the avant garde that is not sure it is informed and may well be; the metaphysical and the zen like; the acceptance of the "priesthood", the rejection of the "priesthood”, the “artist”, the “art critic”, “the philosopher”, etc.
    So many of us approach a photograph with certain expectations. They may be of the most simplistic type (composition, sharpness, definable subject, etc.) or they may be more aesthetically refined. But they are still expectations and therefore become limits, lines of demarcation. There are no lines of demarcation in art. Only those we currently believe in and think we understand.
    "This photo is good because it has -- or meets the criteria of -- X, Y, and Z". "This photo fails because it lacks X, Y and Z". Some work has absolutely nothing to do with X, Y and Z and is actually predicated on an L, M, and P that the viewer may have no knowledge of. The viewer (lacking understanding, or consciously resistant to understanding) determines that the work is "pretentious" or "bogus" and moves on. This is why museum and gallery selections (and I am not talking about showings in a local coffee house because the photographer is friends with Joe the Barista) can befuddle and even outrage some viewers. People don't like to be told that the failure is in their vision, not in the work they are viewing. Some critical faculties have to be brought to bear or we’d be welcoming with open arms every photographic charlatan who waltzed down the pike. But that’s where an open mind, and the critical function of gatekeepers comes into play.
    Whether any of us like it or not, critics, galleries, collectors, publishers, museums, universities, and collectives of like-minded artists do function as gatekeepers. They’re neither a conspiratorial cabal nor a priesthood, and they can often be at odds with one another. They are not infallible, either. But acceptance by any, or some, or all of them does confer a type of artistic status. None of them lay their money or reputations on the line for the heck of it. You can believe that there is an underlying aesthetic supporting their decision to bring this or that body of work to public attention.
    But their recognition of certain photographers does not negate the ability of someone unknown (or ignored) by them from conferring the label of “artist” upon themselves. There has been an ongoing dialogue in this thread as if the two are mutually exclusive. I just don’t see it that way. Gatekeepers do confer legitimacy, but that does not mean that all who labor unrecognized are not artists. De Bakker and stephens are both correct.
    During the time that John Szarkowski championed work of photographers like Winogrand and Friedlander, Vivian Maier was actively working. Her work, at that time, was unknown. Today it is being offered for sale and appearing in some fairly prestigious galleries. We don’t know whether Vivian Maier considered herself to be an “artist”, but her work, today, is certainly being treated as if she was. Was she any less of an artist prior to the discovery of her work, simply because she was unknown? I would say, no. So “artists” can certainly be artists independent of recognition.
    Along these same lines, I came across a relevant passage in the book “American Photography: A Critical History 1945 to the Present”, by Jonathan Green (“Present” being 1984, the year of publication.)
    In a chapter on The New American Luminism (dealing with the rise of straight color photography in the 1970’s) Green talks about the FSA photographer Jack Delano. Apparently, Delano had taken a number of color slides which had languished for years in FSA archives. Green displays a Delano color photograph from 1940 alongside similar color work done in the 1970’s by Stephen Shore and Joel Meyerowitz. Why, Green asks, did Delano’s work (which compares favorably with Shore and Meyerowitz) go unrecognized? I found his answer very telling, and somewhat relevant to the turn this discussion has taken.
    The reasons for this neglect are many, but the most obvious is that there simply was no aesthetic that would legitimize these slides as art.” (pg 184, bold emphasis mine)​
    Who knows what “virus” (I happen to like Julie Heyward’s use of that term in regard to ‘art” that we do not yet recognize) exists today for which an aesthetic does not yet exist to legitimize it?
    As for the overall question as to whether photography is “art”, it strikes me as a bit silly to deny that it is, or that some of it is. If it is not, the world has certainly been treating it in books, collections, museums, and galleries as if it were.
     
  79. Steve,<br><br>You are mistaken if you think that my view is that there are no unrecognized artists.<br>And that's not what the entire exchange between M and me is about. It is not about the possibility of art existing where it has yet to be (if ever) recognized as such.<br>Gatekeepers and artists.. there is no one vs the other. Not in a here relevant sense. They all concern themselves with one and the same thing: art.<br><br>What all this is about is that artists are not artists just because they say they are. Art and just being called art can indeed be mutually exclusive, simply because if something is not X, it is 'excluded' from being X.<br>But not - and this is what this is all about - from being called X. Calling the Moon a giant cheese doesn't make it so. Art isn't different.<br>And it's not a matter of different aspects, of different views that will be reconciled in verbose musings that in the end, probably everyone will be right.<br><br>Photography (jumping way back to the beginning of this thread) is not (!) art. It is a medium, that can be used to create art.<br>What's silly about that?
     
  80. Photography (jumping way back to the beginning of this thread) is not (!) art. It is a medium, that can be used to create art.
    What's silly about that?​
    Absolutely nothing. " Photography is not art." Okay, my mistake for not being more precise. Photography as a medium is not inherently "art". Some photographs can be art. Better? I think we are in agreement.
    Sorry about misstating your position. Going back to Vivian Maier as an example -- Let us say she did, in fact, call herself an artist. Your position would be that her status as an artist lies in the evidence of what she actually produced, not in the mere act of her calling herself an artist. Would that be correct?
     
  81. It would, Steve.<br>With this understanding that i don't deny anyone the intent of being an artist (i.e. wanting and trying to produce art) just because the results of their trying can, in all fairness, not be called art. Nor would i deny anyone being an artist because they would not be the best artist (art, like anything, comes in a wide range of degrees of accomplishment, and it goes without saying that not just one end of that range would deserve to be called art. Saying "bad art" or "mediocre art" (or for completeness' sake "good art") does make sense).
     
  82. Quite a lot of discussion has been added here, but not too much persuasion. Some more posts have been made which reject the idea of an artist making his own declaration of his art.
    Some thoughts I have after reading all this:
    Q.G., I don't think you answered whether you are an artist or not. That's a crucial question here that will help me understand your position.
    To anyone who believes we are all not gods, I have some sympathy for you. Whether you accept your inferior position as a result of religion, or some internally generated view of the universe, it does short change your potential. And take note that by "gods" here, I am not referring to a cartoon "super-hero" with mythical powers. I am referring to the idea that we "are the universe looking back upon itself." That kind of god. For an artist, I can think of no greater source of truth, inspiration and justification.
    Here's where Q.G. and I are locked in chains. I say the "artist makes art." That means he is independent and free as a consciousness, and art is a direct result of his own vision and justifications. I offered a long list of reasons why this is both beneficial and true. Q.G., you say that's impossible, and that external agency is a requirement before art can be said to exist. In your words, it first must be "recognized." And since you say the artist has no power to do that alone, it must be coming from the external. But, you haven't in any way supported that argument, aside from stronger and stronger assertions that it must be. What I'd like to hear is the persuasive argument for why that benefits humanity, or artists. It would be most helpful if you'd begin with declaring your status as an artist.
     
  83. To anyone who believes we are all not gods, I have some sympathy for you. Whether you accept your inferior position as a result of religion, or some internally generated view of the universe, it does short change your potential. And take note that by "gods" here, I am not referring to a cartoon "super-hero" with mythical powers. I am referring to the idea that we "are the universe looking back upon itself." That kind of god. For an artist, I can think of no greater source of truth, inspiration and justification.​
    I rest my case.
     
  84. <<<I rest my case.>>>
    Mine, too.
    <<<. . . inferior . . .>?
    Hah!
    <<<persuade>>>>
    Why a matter of persuasion? How about an airing of different views . . . an exchange.
     
  85. Steve Gubin,
    I enjoyed the post just above. The following paragraph had special meaning to me.
    Whether any of us like it or not, critics, galleries, collectors, publishers, museums, universities, and collectives of like-minded artists do function as gatekeepers. They’re neither a conspiratorial cabal nor a priesthood, and they can often be at odds with one another. They are not infallible, either. But acceptance by any, or some, or all of them does confer a type of artistic status. None of them lay their money or reputations on the line for the heck of it. You can believe that there is an underlying aesthetic supporting their decision to bring this or that body of work to public attention.​
    That gave me a way to explain why I keep the artist's right of self-declaration apart from those external forces. As an artist, my art is a process that yields both a tangible result and an internal reward to my psyche. I can display the tangible part, but I can only cherish the internal reward. They may look separable, but they are not. When I art (verb) the rewards to my psyche are valuable in the same degree as the tangible artifact.
    So, if an external agent says about the tangible artifact, "That is not art," they have only addressed one of the two variables resulting from the creative process. The first person to be enriched by art, is the artist. How can that be denied? So, I make the assertion that without this first enrichment of the artist by the act of making art, what you are left with is the sterile act of manufacture. And we then are looking directly at the difference between craft and art.
    No spark to the psyche - no art.
    This external institution of critics, authorities, promoters, and marketeers is essential for only the tangible outcome of art - managing the artifacts. It's perfectly understandable that once you marketize any commodity, the very next step is efficiency of distribution. When you go to the grocery store, you will not see very many rotten apples. The marketization of fruits and produce knows how to weed out bad apples. But when an apple tree "apples" (verb) it doesn't feel inferior because the fruit didn't meet a human standard. The distribution and management of artifacts follows a similar pattern towards market efficiency, albeit with more grandiose algorithms. The making of art is a spiritual event, and only part of it can be commoditized.
    I have no objection of any kind that the commodities of art are judged, and ranked and sorted by myriad gatekeepers and price makers and promoters. That's a necessary part of materialism. It can sometime seems as though materialism is the only fabric of life, but of course it is not.
    If both Mary and Pete are artists in the sincerest sense I have described, but Mary's artifact brings $100,000 at auction for being real art with a known aesthetic which is popular today, and Pete's is cast off as an unpopular or unknown aesthetic, wouldn't we imagine they both had the same internal reward producing it? They each knew they were creating art. Did Mary experience something richer based on a future sale at a high price? Doesn't that seem absurd?
     
  86. Why a matter of persuasion? How about an airing of different views . . . an exchange.​
    Fred,
    I compare a persuasive argument to an ever persistent assertion. Adding exclamation points to the same assertion repeatedly gets old. Adding persuasive elements and reasoning is much more interesting to me.
     
  87. Yeah, whatever. Prolly time to move on.
     
  88. After four years of art school in London and a twenty five year career as a commercial photographer, I have my own definition of what makes an artist and what elements of his or her work serve to deserve that label. I don't think that merely calling yourself an artist necessarily makes you one (the eagerness and self congratulation of that alone, would serve to dismiss many), I hardly think artists are "Gods" - again the level of ego required for this claim is stunning! Look at nurses, doctors without borders, firemen risking their lives for strangers, etc. if you are looking for Gods among men. This is the pretentious twaddle that I heard discussed in art school many years ago by self obsessed, immature students - I'm amazed to see this stuff resurface and expect to be taken seriously.​
    John,
    The above represents the idea that artist is a title which must be earned and or conferred, after amassing enough credits, points, degrees, awards, and certificates of merit. But in fact, a man might first pick up a brush in his life at age 65, and with a few gifted, inspired swipes create a breathtaking artwork having never before practiced such a thing. This happens metaphorically every day. Being an artist is not akin to becoming a plumber or a doctor. This is why you very well can have a 5-year old artist, but not a 5-year old plumber.
    We love this idea of the meritocracy so much, we want to apply it to every phenomenon we see. People can be convinced that if they go to music lessons religiously, they too can play the "Star Spangled Banner" like Jimi at Woodstock. Yes, maybe.....but more likely not.
    Most people I know would be far more comfortable if artists, like plumbers, had rank and status markers like Apprentice, Journeyman and Master. The reason is the obvious trust they could apply to make up for their lack of knowledge. I do think this works nice for earthly commerce like carpentry, and brain surgery. I don't think it applies well to matters of the spirit, like art. Although any Master Artist can surely create fine artifacts too.
    Your view of gods is similarly tinged with a hierarchy of merit and virtue. That arises from the view of a single creator god setting some impossibly high standard for an inferior Man. It's just one possible cosmology. In others the creative force is simply is the universe itself, of which all humanity is connected as the fabric of that universe, and thus all qualify as god-creators.
     
  89. Couldn't stay away.
    What the . . . ?
    Why must you turn others' words into the most extreme position possible, and one never uttered by the person you're mischaracterizing. It's a bit like a politician who knows he has no good arguments on their own merits, so he just puts any old words he wants into the other guy's mouth. It's intellectually dishonest and makes it hard to have a reasonable conversation.
    <<<The above represents the idea that artist is a title which must be earned and or conferred, after amassing enough credits, points, degrees, awards, and certificates of merit.>>>
    It does not. Read what John said again. Carefully and without prejudice. And without looking to rebut it but instead trying to understand it. You might, dare I say, learn something. That something, at the very least, would be that people hold different views from yours that aren't akin to being artist-Nazis. [Uh Oh, I hope I haven't invoked Godwin's law.]
    And, oh, by the way, when you use the word God, you shouldn't be surprised that you get religiously tinged takes on the matter. If you don't mean God, use another word.
     
  90. Fred G. [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG], Oct 25, 2012; 05:50 p.m.
    Fred G.: Yeah, whatever. Prolly time to move on.
    Oh, very nice Fred! I just arrived and now the party's over? Thanks a lot! ;-)
    m stephens: I am referring to the idea that we "are the universe looking back upon itself." That kind of god. For an artist, I can think of no greater source of truth, inspiration and justification.
    Yes, this makes sense to me. (Whether or not I grasp or internalize it exactly in the same way as you do.) But I still struggle a bit with the idea that declaring oneself an artist makes one an artist. Doesn't that really come down to a matter of definition?
    "The first person to be enriched by art is the artist." Yes.
    "When I art (verb) the rewards to my psyche are valuable in the same degree as the tangible artifact." Hmm. I "art" (if what I sometimes do is, in fact, "arting") because I feel driven to do so. I did not wake up one day and say, "I want to be a photographer". I don't spend hours behind the camera or at the computer because I am reaping huge monetary rewards from doing so. It is enjoyable, but not in the sense that a bike ride, or a swim, or a good meal is enjoyable. It is also a need to create and to create in a particular way. But isn't that the same for all who have participated in this thread? I don't think of myself as unique in that regard.
    Sometimes it is something beyond words, something which perhaps approaches what you mean by "an internal reward to my psyche". I relate it also to your "god within", an apprehension of the Divine (or divine) that is both within and without. (Who is that in the back, making a face of disgust at all of this? I see you...) A driven act of embracing mystery and expressing it through the medium of photography. When it devolves to a state of simple manufacture it loses both its joy and its drive. Again, though, I doubt that this is unique. If any of that makes one an artist...well, then so be it. To me it just is. I don't like to put a label on it, particularly one which is so subject to misinterpretation and accusations of grandiosity and pretension.
    So, yes, that moment exists for itself and needs no external validation. External validation, and the needs that that fulfills (not simply material ones for most, I'd wager), well, that's a whole other thread.
    Maybe Fred is right, maybe it is time to move on.
     
  91. I'm sorry "m" - you have made a series of assumptions that are based on absolutely nothing I have said.
    I have stated that I went to art school for four years and that I do not consider myself an artist - did you miss that? Clearly I am unimpressed by mere schooling and degrees.
    I have stated NOTHING whatsoever about an artist needing "credits, points, degrees, awards, and certificates of merit". Where do you see that written or even implied? I believe that an artist needs talent and there is no age limit or education needed for that - of course a 5 year old or a 65 year old can have talent. I made no mention of believing in a hierarchy for either artists or Gods - I'm an atheist so that could hardly be the case! Basically your reading comprehension is appalling.
    Let me make myself perfectly clear, when I forum (verb) I like to avoid confusion. One thing I did learn from art school is to recognize pretentious, immature, self indulgent, pompous BS masquerading as intelligent discourse. I gracefully bow out of this "discussion" leaving it to others to have their thoughts twisted and misunderstood by you.
     
  92. It does not. Read what John said again. Carefully and without prejudice. And without looking to rebut it but instead trying to understand it.​
    Fred,
    I don't think his comment is hard to understand. He suggests that it is egoistic for an artist to claim to be a god, because people like nurses and firefighters who risk their lives are better candidates, and would be far higher up the stairway to heaven. He is saying directly that it is a measure of earned virtue. He even gives examples. My reading of it then was spot on.
    Now, as to being lectured about accepting the views of others. He contends my 'artist is god' view was "pretentious twaddle." Not particular accepting or tolerant (or adult.) When I rebutted that remark, I made plenty of room that the god-creator of the universe was "but one possible cosmology of many," and then offered the alternative explanation of godship that I had referenced earlier. I think you will find I was quite tolerant compared to "pretentious twaddle." I made my rebuttal with not an ounce of intolerance or disrespect for the views of others.
    "God" is one of the most universal ideas in art. It is nearly impossible to discuss art or artists and cleanse the discussion of "gods." Well, among artists anyway.
     
  93. If any of that makes one an artist...well, then so be it. To me it just is. I don't like to put a label on it, particularly one which is so subject to misinterpretation and accusations of grandiosity and pretension.​
    Steve,
    To which I say, no one ought to let their fear of this "pretension" stop them from saying what is obvious - - the act of creating art makes you an artist. If there is a feeling of pretense, it is one that is inherited from the art establishment's usurping of these rights of self-declaration.
    The level of introspection is different for all people - granted. I have no trouble at all getting up in the morning and making art as an artist. I am not burdened by guilt or shame or low self esteem, or who knows what other kinds of illnesses of the soul sometimes affect people. I know of some people who are self-conscious about saying they are artists. Usually because they think they can only say it if they are a great or recognized artist. I believe that is a misunderstanding on their part.
    I also don't think there is any real importance in the label. It came about here because it was a part of making my case that the artist declares art by his own justification with no externalities required. It's simply the noun that describes who made the art.
     
  94. Let me make myself perfectly clear, when I forum (verb) I like to avoid confusion. One thing I did learn from art school is to recognize pretentious, immature, self indulgent, pompous BS masquerading as intelligent discourse. I gracefully bow out of this "discussion" leaving it to others to have their thoughts twisted and misunderstood by you.​
    A kind of "hit and run," eh?
    People who can't make a rational argument generally load up on these insult laden ad hominems as they run for the exits. It always looks like it has such flair! (And, it takes you off the hook!)
    But, I don't mind. It's still worth a short rebuttal. Here's what you said first:
    After four years of art school in London and a twenty five year career as a commercial photographer, I have my own definition of what makes an artist and what elements of his or her work serve to deserve that label. I don't think that merely calling yourself an artist necessarily makes you one..​
    My interpretation was that you are saying the artist needs "something" before being "deserving" of the label artist. I used the phrase "credits, points, degrees, awards, and certificates of merit" to describe that something, because you didn't specify what it was they would need. I simply filled in the blanks you left.
    Obviously now if: A) the artist can't claim it on his own; B) and you say you have your own definition of what it takes; IT MUST THEN TAKE SOMETHING. Right? What is it then, if it is not credits, points, degrees, awards and merit? What can the word "deserving" possibly mean if "merit" is not on the other end? Well, you have left in a nice dramatic (and I bet well-practiced) huff, so of course you can't answer, but I think my logic was impeccable. If the artist can't do it on his own, he must need something that has to be supplied externally.
     
  95. From Briot's essay "The Many Faces of Criticism":
     
    Some people critical of artwork are disappointed with what life offered them and skeptical about other people’s endeavors. Skepticism and cynicism have nothing to do with us or our work. It has everything to do with the person who is commenting on our work. In fact, they are not really commenting on our work. They are commenting on themselves and of their view of the world.
    Skeptics and cynics often come with personal convictions about what you do even though you have never met them and they have not seen your work before....no amount of explanation will change their mind. Their mind is made up and they do not want to be bothered by the facts. At first I took these remarks personally, but I soon learned to not pay attention to them. These are opinions, not facts. Most importantly, these remarks are not generated by what I do. They are generated by skepticim (sic) and cynicism.​
     
  96. <<<They are generated by skepticim (sic) and cynicism.>>>
    Of course, some are. Most good critiques are not.
    Good critiques are generated by caring and understanding, empathy and a desire to be constructive. Often felllow artists can be each others' harshest -- and best -- critics. Have you ever sat in on an initial play reading? That is an open forum where the playwright is helped enormously by feedback from people hearing his play for the first time. It allows him perspective, objectivity, and an AUDIENCE who, after all he is often writing for. Yes, imagine that, writing for an audience. Heresy. Not!
    Ever gone to a writing group? Ever heard of the Algonquin Round Table? Imagine artists and critics collaborating and feeding off each other. How about
    Critique is best done in the name of making better artists. A good artist doesn't make himself immune to opinions and criticism. A good artist knows in his gut which to listen to and which not to, which strike him in a way as to make him a better artist, and which he doesn't do anything with. The artist who listens to no one, ever, is a mythological creature born of unrealistic and hyper-romanticized idealizations about artists.
    Much about art is taste, which you have referred to as opinion (a reasonable word to use). Of course they're not facts. So what? One doesn't dismiss what others say simply because they're not facts. Artists mostly aren't dealing with facts and critics know they're not either. If you're an artist and you've never had an epiphany because someone says something about your work, then you're missing out. Try listening better.
    Funny thing is, some of these notions of "artist" are as simple-minded as the simplistic notions of God M presumed others to have.
     
  97. m,<br><br>What i'm going to say is that it appears that the impossible thing here is to get through to you. Your god-like what-i-say-should-be-is nature gets in the way Big Time.<br>Your god-like nature even extends to determining what i said by your divine decree that it be so, whether i said it or not. Must be art, that.<br><br>Is the artist the one who decides what he or she does, the one who makes his or her own art? Why on earth do you believe that i think that to be impossible? (And that's a rethorical question, m. We, the "external fores", know the answer. So do you, but you dislike it too much.)<br>What is impossible, m, is both turning that earlier mentioned fart into art by the power of your god-like "it be so" alone, and have you understand that.<br>There is no "exteral agent" required, m, for your farts to be farts. Nor for your art to be art. But you don't transform one into he other by power of your divine will.<br>You can't will your rather intangible farts into something you can use to prop up a wobbly chair. Do you understand that? Do you understand that thngs don't change their nature just because you want them to and say they must? Or else offer an explanation of how you perform that feat?<br>I guess not. Your apparent, and great, fear for "external forces" gets in the way.<br><br>A self-fullfilling exercise you have going there. You don't find validation in the Big Bad World, so renounce that in favour of your inner world, declare that Master of the Universe, and find confirmation in the fact that that Big Bad World frowns over so much other-wordlyness. You can snap out of that circular prison, m, by taking a while to think about your farts, about the many ways in which even your godliness not just relates to or depends on, but is part of that Big Bad World outside.
     
  98. Good critiques are generated by caring and understanding, empathy and a desire to be constructive. Often felllow artists can be each others' harshest -- and best -- critics.​
    I don't think Briot would disagree with this position. Neither, for that matter, would I.
     
    One doesn't dismiss what others say simply because they're not facts.​
    What about someone (not you, Fred) who writes off an entire genre (fine arts) as "not art" because he believes it is "not relevant" (whatever that means)?
    Why not judge him as he has judged you (assuming you work in "fine art")?
    How can he possibly have anything caring, understanding, empathetic, constructive or even useful to say about your work?
     
  99. <<<Good critiques are generated by caring and understanding, empathy and a desire to be constructive. Often felllow artists can be each others' harshest -- and best -- critics.
    I don't think Briot would disagree with this position. Neither, for that matter, would I.
    >>>
    Glad to hear it. Then why -- in a thread where we are discussing what an artist is and where you have suggested that the difference between M and QG is the difference between an artist (LOL) and a critic -- emphasize only the negative aspects of criticism? Why post a quote that begins "Some people critical of artwork are disappointed with what life offered them and skeptical about other people’s endeavors" and that continues to talk about "keptics and cynics"? It suggested (at least to me) that because QG was being cast as the critic and then the one quote supplied about critics talked about them being "disappointed with what life had to offer them", well, . . .
    <<<One doesn't dismiss what others say simply because they're not facts.
    What about someone (not you, Fred) who writes off an entire genre (fine arts) as "not art" because he believes it is "not relevant" (whatever that means)?
    >>>
    I'd consider that person not much worse listening to, sure, a cynic. But again, I didn't think we were talking about what SOME critics do. I thought we were talking about the overall role of criticism in relationship to art. I mean, there are some ARTISTS who are absolute jerks. But that fact is not going to undermine M's argument any more than a jerky critic here and there is going to undermine QG's.
    My conclusion here would be that SOME opinions are ridiculous, like the one of the guy who said what he said about all fine arts. But Briot is suggesting something else, which I think is wrongheaded, when he says . . .
    <<<At first I took these remarks personally, but I soon learned to not pay attention to them. These are opinions, not facts.>>>
    He's suggesting not to pay attention to stupid critiques because they are opinions, not facts. That's wrong. You don't pay attention to stupid critiques because they are STUPID, not because they are opinions. As you yourself said, you wouldn't disagree with good critiques being about caring and understanding, etc. Well, those are also opinions. So it's obviously not the opinion part that is relevant and that's where I think Briot misses the point.
     
  100. Q.G.,
    Regarding your last post. You haven't answered the question - are you an artist? At this point after asking a few times I will assume "no" by virtue of the content of your posts.

    You have spent most of the post once more complaining about my character, and not my position. Simplistic assertions that it can't be that way don't add anything. Tackle the ball, not the man. You haven't done a thing to explain why your position is correct.

    But, the serious confusion is your use of the word "divinity" to describe any part of my position. Don't use divinity as a synonym for a non-supernatural god. The god I claimed identity with is the god of the fabric of the universe. There is no "supernatural powers." I believe I said directly not to confuse this idea of god with super heroes with super powers. It is not therefore, some supernatural power or "decree" I use to make my "fart into art" as you say, but simple identity - "I am." I was not claiming to be YAWEH, or Christ, or any other divine God of the popular religions, because that is not my view of god, and I did explain that rather clearly.
    What you'd like to describe is that artists make stuff, and some form of external agency (individual or collective) will decide if it is merely stuff, or if it should be magically transformed into art. The logic being, "critics transform stuff into art." All you have to do now is demonstrate what the transform entails. If a baker transforms grain into bread, and we ask him how, does he have an explanation? Can that explanation be used by anyone to do the same? Yes, and yes. Which means his transform is rational, objective and consistent. Grain can be made into bread by the following steps, A, B, C, etc. Put grain in, use the transform and voila! bread comes out.
    What is the transform for making stuff into art? That explanation is how you would advance your argument, not by repeatedly saying you can't get through to me with your unsupported assertions. You see how an argument should actually proceed without needing to attack my character?
    Now, this transform of stuff to art can be one of two things. First, it can be some objective and repeatable process like baking bread. Second, it will involve nothing but subjective, personal measurements (opinions), which are unavailable to others, or not agreed upon by all. That is actually referred to as a "blessing." If your answer is going to be that some agency blesses the stuff, and it becomes art, then you are describing a religion of artiness complete with supplicants and priests and rituals of blessing. YES! There is such a religion, and it is operating rather floridly all over the world. I am not a part of any religion, I do not believe in supernatural gods or blessings by priests either as a ticket to an after life, or as a transformation of my "fart stuff into art stuff" I am an atheist - I don't believe in deities. And therefore I don't believe in priests, and I don't validate or accept any of their blessings.
    What that leaves me is the universe as it is, in which I can say, I breathe, or I art, and it needs no permission, confirmation or validation from supernatural deities and their priests. I am free. It's amazing how people fight that idea, isn't it? Isn't this thread an incredible lesson in the hatred of freedom? Above all else, art is the freedom to express and create and as it turns out it is the one thing to be fought tooth and nail. If there is no freedom to art, just imagine how hard it is to be truly free?
     
  101. QG hasn't declared his credentials to speak and M hasn't shown any supposed art. Consider it even and continue discussing. Whether or not QG considers himself an artist is completely irrelevant to a discussion about whether or not photography is art and what we mean when we call someone an artist. You don't have to be a baseball player to know they run around the bases and adjust their crotches.
     
  102. A self-fullfilling exercise you have going there. You don't find validation in the Big Bad World, so renounce that in favour of your inner world, declare that Master of the Universe, and find confirmation in the fact that that Big Bad World frowns over so much other-wordlyness. You can snap out of that circular prison, m, by taking a while to think about your farts, about the many ways in which even your godliness not just relates to or depends on, but is part of that Big Bad World outside.​
    Q.C.,
    There is a useful aside represented by that paragraph which has nothing to do with art, and everything to do with philosophy. I know it is a diversion, but I think it is useful to reply.
    Your paragraph represents an almost perfect view of cosmology as created by Western Religion. It features a Master of the Universe deity, good and evil, and an inside and outside world of dimensions. This is the cosmology of the Bronze Age, in other words. So, I don't operate in superstitious beliefs of 6,000 years ago. Which means your analysis doesn't apply to me.
    Your attempted insult that I am "not finding validation in the Big Bad World" is another of those character assaults which are always applied when you can't think of any way to support your argument. Just make the other into a less virtuous person to reduce his argument.
    Frankly, if I turned the chessboard around, I could find dozens of ways to support your argument better than you are arguing it. And, none of them would involve criticizing your character, or lessening your humanity.
     
  103. QG hasn't declared his credentials to speak and M hasn't shown any supposed art. Consider it even and continue discussing. Whether or not QG considers himself an artist is completely irrelevant to a discussion about whether or not photography is art and what we mean when we call someone an artist. You don't have to be a baseball player to know they run around the bases and adjust their crotches.​
    Fred,
    The course went like this:
    Q: Is photography art?
    Answer from M: It is if the artist says it is.
    Rebuttal from Q.G.: The artist can't make that declaration, external agency determines if farts are art.
    From there, a rather long argument has ensued which is still about whether or not the artist can make that claim. That argument is obviously crucial to the first question.
    No, Q.G. doesn't have to declare if he is an artist. The question was asked by me so I could better understand his position. Suppose he is a professional member of the art establishment, but not an artist? That would rather obviously influence his position. It was a sincere inquiry, in other words.
    My presenting art? Now that has nothing whatever to do with the subject at hand. The subject here isn't "does m stephens make art?" So, lets not get that far off track, and way in to the weeds. Is photography art, depends entirely on the artists involved. THAT is relevant to the subject of the thread.
     
  104. Fred G: You don't have to be a baseball player to know they run around the bases and adjust their crotches.
    How about those Giants, eh!? 2 down, 2 to go.
     
  105. Steve, indeed. They are amazing! Now baseball, THERE'S an art! The only thing that worries me is that they've gotten us so used to their coming back from behind that a lead might be deadly. Nah. They've got it.
    ________________________
    M, your response to me reads like a rationalization. QG can't be trusted not to be part of the "art establishment" (or at least might be getting his point of view from being so) because he hasn't declared himself to be an artist or not (a blatant question-begging trap you're setting since the very topic is whether or not one can be an artist by declaring it to be so). But M has every right to declare himself an artist regardless of the work being produced since M has already accepted the answer to the question under discussion that declarations (and not art) makes one an artist. M, you're beggin your own question by not showing the art, therefore assuming the art is irrelevant to the question of whether the artist is an artist or not.
     
  106. Mind you, I'm not asking whether anyone here is an artist or to see M's work, but what's good for the goose is good for the gander, and you're being a goose about this.
     
  107. QG can't be trusted not to be part of the "art establishment"​
    Fred,
    I need go no further than that to see that you have not understood the reason for my question to Q.G.. I never used the word trust, nor did I imply any mistrust. My question was about relating to his position. There is enormous field of criticism with volumes of philosophical underpinnings. There is an enormous field about creativity and freedom of expression with its own underpinnings. Those ideas clash at many points. I was trying to get a look at what his foundation was for his argument. I don't think he presents it well. He mainly wants to write about my psychological failings, and assign many negative values to my character. Of course, that's not a legitimate argument. I was really in all honesty trying to help him from making any more of those foolish comments.
    There is no goose and gander aphorism applicable here, sorry.
     
  108. OK, if the goose and gander doesn't float your boat, try this. Look at your many statements to the rest of us and then look at QG's supposedly foolish statements to you. It's a case of . . . you can dish it out, but not take it.
     
  109. Q.G.,
    If you want to have this discussion with me, I'd like to ask you politely to refrain from making value judgments about my character. Some people are so unfamiliar with this idea, they don't recognize it after they write. Let me point it out for you. You said...
    You don't find validation in the Big Bad World,....​
    You don't know me, and you know even less about my validation in any world. To say someone finds no validation is a psychological assessment and it is a negation of my character. Its tantamount to saying, "you are unsuccessful." That's an ad hominem if you want to review that form of commentary.
    There's no call for it. It's rude and it devalues everything you might have to say after it. And, it has not a single bearing of any kind on my argument. It's not the first time you have resorted to those arguments. Your posts are full of direct and veiled examples of similar claims about my character. Please argue the position, and avoid making claims about my character. Thanks.
     
  110. <<<If you don't know you're an artist, maybe you are not one yet. When you are, you will know it with absolute conviction and certainty. You would need no external approval.>>>
    Here, you have told a roomful of people who are peers and photographers that if they don't consider themselves artists and, as you said in other posts, don't declare themselves to be artists, they are not. You have told them their identity. So not only do you get to declare yourself an artist. You seem to think you get to declare others to be non-artists. But this, I suppose, is not an ad hominem attack in the world of M. There are too many examples of this kind of condescending crap to enumerate. As I said, I suggest you re-read your own posts before casting stones.
     
  111. Fred,
    See if maybe this example and demonstration helps.
    Example of Universal "You" - which is a variation of the royal "we."
    The 'you' pertaining to everyone in general, usually paired with a suggestion.
    Such as, "You should always dress better than the rest."

    George: You should always have 3 helpings of vegetable a day
    Leonard: Me? why me?
    George: No Len, not you 'YOU', I was merely using the universal you.
    Does that help? My remarks about artists knowing they are artists were not confined in any way to these readers. It was a universal comment about all artists. And, it contained just a simple positive truth that one will know they are an artist when they are an artist. A basic rhetorical device.
    However, in deference to your extreme sensitivity at being insulted by a universal statement, I sincerely apologize for offending you Fred. And, if anyone else was offended by that statement, I apologize to you too.
     
  112. M, you are as snarky as I can be, and as snarky as many on the Internet. The tone of voice of your last post shows that. And you've used that tone of voice throughout the thread. We are not stupid enough to miss what's implicit in your posts when you use the "general" you and the royal "we". So, for instance, when you tell us that "we" are prone to some nonsense about meritocracy, which sounds like a naive poly sci student's thesis, we know you are excluding yourself, the holier-than-thou artist, from that "we." So, whether it's direct ad hominem hits or a more subtle but every bit as condescending an attitude to others, you really must take stock of some of the things you say and some of the ways you say it. I know I can be an a••hole. What confounds me are other similarly-endowed folks who have no clue how they are coming across.
     
  113. Fred,
    So, in other words, you don't have anything to say about the question that was under discussion - can artists declare their own work art?
    I enjoy an intense debate about an interesting issue. I never fail to learn something new. But, extended and elongated arguments over such subjective things as "tone of voice," bore me to death. I believe everyone knows where that argument ends up, don't they? I pass, Fred.
    The following comments are not directed to individuals, and shouldn't be taken as such.
    Now, back to the central argument. Art is a human process resulting from the profound development of consciousness, and it is different than craft and manufacture. The difference is fundamental, not subtle. Art is a tool of liberation. It frees the soul. Art is one of the means by which Man finds redemption, salvation and ultimately liberty. Craft and manufacture are outgrowths of economic behavior only. Other tools used for human redemption might be service to a supreme master, for example. Each is making a subjective claim to the rest of the world - "I am saved." Such claims can't be proved empirically, but are only felt in the soul of the person making the claim. Neither can have that taken away by external authorities. To deny one's art is on a par with denying one's faith. What agency has such rights? That's the counter-argument I'd like to hear about.
    At times, some of the ideas expressed here sound as though "art" is nothing more than the slice of bread from the baker. That the importance to humanity is the artifact, and not the process. I'd would say that an artifact with no meaningful process is just crafting and manufacture. If one can't find a "tickle" of some kind in the soul when doing this thing called making art, that person may want to wonder if they are really just crafting. Of course, it is always an internal decision and judgement - as per my argument. In my own case, I have certainly had long periods of crafting and then shorter punctuations of arting. After many years, I learned the difference, which was rather difficult at first. Now I know it as that internal sense of liberation. Thus, if I am engaged in arting, the product of that engagement is then art. The idea that some external agency could deny that for me is of course as absurd as someone telling another, "God doesn't believe you are faithful."
     
  114. M

    "But, extended and elongated arguments over such subjective things as "tone of voice", bore me to death."

    Not just you. So why did you try to turn it into such a thing?

    Your position does not make any sense. And yes, we have been 'attacking' - if you so wish - your position. Challenged you to explain it (more to yourself than to us). But to no avail.
    And how could it have had any effect, with you believing that everyone trying to talk to you is just another representative of that "external agency" trying to put you in chains (you apparently know nothing about me - and why should you? - yet i must have been a statist, an art-critic, a non-artist, philosopher, and what else that would disqualify me from knowing what i talk about and show me to be an "external agent"? As long as there was an excuse not to take my objections and explanations seriously)?
    And yes, finding out that some of our believes are questionable, perhaps even nonsensical, does take what away from you. It does rob you of your freedom to believe at least that. So what?

    "After many years [you] have learned" not to engage in anything that could make you doubt anything you believe, finding the perfect justification why it would be wrong to listen to what other people think, why it would be wrong to look at things from more than just your "position".

    You present art as a religious creed. You can indeed believe what you want.
    But do know that it is the same as willing something to be: that (still, after all these, wasted, words) doesn't make it so.

    Do you see that? And if you do, will you associate that (your) way of thinking with some outlandish, outdated and prepostorous cultural phenomenon, dismiss that as being outlandish, outdated and preposterous, hoping, no, believing that thus the way of thinking is rescued, save from the criticism?
     
  115. Q.G.,

    So why did you try to turn it into such a thing?​
    I didn't. It was Fred. Read back a post or two and you will see it was Fred who said, "M, you are as snarky as I can be, and as snarky as many on the Internet. The tone of voice of your last post shows that." All I said to you was please find a more legitimate argument than ad hominems. Objecting to ad hominems and objecting to someone's tone of voice are hardly equivalent complaints.
    And how could it have had any effect, with you believing that everyone trying to talk to you is just another representative of that "external agency" trying to put you in chains...​
    In my comments, "external agency" doesn't mean a person, such as you. Here is the meaning of agency as used:
    Agency: the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power : operation

    If art can't be declared art by the artist, than apparently there is some "external source of power to declare something art." Are you now saying that's not your argument? I call that external source agency - meaning some operative power. I say it that way, because you have yet to supply any details as to how the artists work gets declared "art." If you'd like to define that, I'll change "agency" to a more detailed description.

    You present art as a religious creed.​
    No, I do not. What religion do you claim I am using? Judaism? Christianity? Islam? Hinduism? I have never made any such claim. Quite to the contrary I have claimed art as a spiritual experience. No religion, and no creed involved. If you can find a place where I claimed a religious creed, please quote it. An example of a religious creed is the Nicene Creed.


    A spiritual experience (one which connects your spirit to the ground of the universe) is about the most distant thing from "religious creed" that I can envision. They are poles apart. Religion depends on authority whereas spirit depends on self. So, this tells me you don't have an understanding of my argument. And that's fine. Some people might understand it, others might not. But because you don't understand it, doesn't make it invalid.


    The rest of your argument is a kind of denial of mine. Fine. But, what you have still yet to accomplish is to make any support for your argument. You have not said a single word yet about why external agency must decide what is art. You have made not a single claim as to why that is right, why it is necessary, or why it is more beneficial than having the artist make his own declaration. In fact, the entirely of your rebuttal against my position has been: "You are wrong and you just won't listen." That's all you have said - not a single thing more.

    Do you see that? And if you do, will you associate that (your) way of thinking with some outlandish, outdated and prepostorous cultural phenomenon, dismiss that as being outlandish, outdated and preposterous, hoping, no, believing that thus the way of thinking is rescued, save from the criticism?​
    That paragraph is a generic denial of some position. It could be a denial of string theory, evolution, the Holy Trinity, the awarding of Oscars, libertarianism, Marxism, Occam's Razor, or really any idea that any person presented. It's an utterly empty denial. It is empty and without calories because it consists of nothing but negative words. There is NO CONTENT in that denial. There is no reasoning in that denial. There is no logic, there is no rational argument which refutes my position. Try it your self. Let's pretend my position was for "the Big Bang theory." Now, read your generic denial paragraph. Works perfectly. Let's try "evolution" as my position. Read your generic denial paragraph - again, it fits perfectly. Well, you get the point. A rebuttal of value needs more than a long laundry list of negative words strung together.


    If you want to refute a position you don't agree with, find the flaw in the argument, or present an argument that has superior merit, or benefit. You are doing neither. You first tried to impune my character with ad hominems for having this position. I wouldn't allow that, so now you are tossing up the generic, "Preposterous! Outmoded! Outlandish! Outdated!" kind of negation, which you think represents an effective rebuttal. It doesn't.


    I'll provide you some hints of how I would argue your point of view. First, show how your view is better for society as a whole, or better for artists as a whole. Contrast how my view will lead to something specifically terrible, and your view will lead to something specifically wonderful. Second, demonstrate some essential flaw in my position. A flaw would be an inconsistency, or contradiction, or impossibility (like dividing my zero). Neither of those suggestions needs the whole parade of Preposterous! Outmoded! Outlandish! Outdated! sorts of words. They need specific ideas.


    You will notice that I many times explained the benefits to humanity of my position. That benefit being that making art provides a means of liberating, redeeming and saving the soul. Imagine how much "wellness" that provides to Man. You will also notice how I have provided a rationale for why your position is bad. e.g. When external agency (that doesn't mean a person) is required to declare an artists work art, the artist is not free. To be "not free" is a negative position. e.g. slavery. Why should anyone, let alone artists, desire to be slaves to some external agency?


    I think it would be very interesting for someone to make the reasoned case why external agency (not meaning an individual person here) is better to decide what is art than the artist, but I can't see that you are making that case yet.
     
  116. I have said countless times that your dichotomy is false. It's not a matter of either the artist or some "external" agency, as if the artist is an "in" and everything else is an "out." I told you that sort of dichotomy dates back to the now very outmoded kind of thinking of Descartes (whose philosophy I happen to love even with its now widely accepted flaws). You haven't once responded to the idea that your dichotomy may be problematic, instead just repeating your assertions about the artist.
    I don't know if you've encountered this kind of thinking before. Perhaps not. If not, it can be difficult to accept when first exposed to it, as it was for me when I was first exposed to it a couple of decades ago, since Western thought is so steeped in these sorts of dichotomies. Perhaps reading some Wittgenstein, Rorty, and Dennett will at least allow you to consider a world that doesn't divide up into "in here" and "out there." Once we get to that point, we can move on to approaching art as a multi-faceted, and not a simplistic, phenomenon. It doesn't fit neatly into categories. Not all art and not all artists are determined to be so in the same way, especially over long periods of time in which cultural norms and ideas evolve and change.
    Some art is found, and so there is no artist involved. Just an audience who discovers it. I often find people, especially on PN, looking for forumulas. What makes a good photo? What makes this photo better than that? What makes an artist? As if, by discovering the secret sauce, they can do it or be it. It doesn't work that way. I find that calling any Tom, Dick, and Harry who says they're an artist is incredibly abusive of artists like Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh who studied, struggled, learned, sweated, and lived what they were doing. Sorry, I refuse to belittle art in this way, by saying it takes no work, no craft, no technique, no historical perspective, just the ability to say a couple of words . . . "Let there be light."
    It takes a whole lot of factors to be an artist and recognition as such does not necessarily apply in every single case but it certainly does in a lot of cases. Young children RARELY declare themselves to be artists, yet when people see their work and appreciate it in a certain way, their pictures are viewed as art. And yet, the child was just drawing, not consciously creating art and with no sense or even ability to declare anything of the sort you're alleging.
    Like most things, art is often context-driven, and different contexts will allow for different things to be art and different people to be considered artists. I don't think we can make up a set of rules for this and and I surely don't think ONE rule (like "if you declare yourself an artist, you are one") will apply for every instance. Art is not a "one size fits all" kind of game.
     
  117. Your paragraph represents an almost perfect view of cosmology as created by Western Religion. It features a Master of the Universe deity, good and evil, and an inside and outside world of dimensions.​
    Actually, the three great montheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) share a common Middle Eastern origin. Truly Western religions (ancient Greek, Roman, and pre-Christian European such as Druidism and Wicca) were very much polytheistic.
     
    Religion depends on authority whereas spirit depends on self.​
    I think many religious people, from many different traditions, would disagree with this as well.
     
    No one here is asking you to accept "Religion" or a particular faith, M; but that is not license to misrepresent them.
     
  118. I think many religious people, from many different traditions, would disagree with this as well.

    No one here is asking you to accept "Religion" or a particular faith, M; but that is not license to misrepresent them.​
    Jim,
    I would ask then, how does religion not depend on authority? I'll start with evidence of how it does depend on authority.
    The three religions you mentioned - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - feature a creator God which demands worship and obedience as a part of a covenant with the believers. The manner of obedience is the subject of much scripture, and much religious doctrine and practice. The believer submits to this authority including God and in some cases, the earthly representatives. I think that is a fair general statement of the principle of religious authority. Correct me where it is inaccurate in substance.
    By contrast a spiritual experience may be private, individual, and specifically outside the bounds of any authority. When one has such an experience with the universe, I think it is fair to say it is outside any authority. Again, correct what you think is inaccurate in substance.
     
  119. Fred,

    You have made these arguments:

    1) I am representing a false dichotomy (based on some philosophers you enjoy reading)

    2) You find it belittling to art for any Tom, Dick, and Harry to proclaim there work as art without due respect to Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh who studied, struggled, learned, sweated, and lived what they were doing.

    3) It takes a whole lot of factors to be an artist and recognition as such does not necessarily apply in every single case but it certainly does in a lot of cases.

    4)Like most things, art is often context-driven, and different contexts will allow for different things to be art and different people to be considered artists. I don't think we can make up a set of rules for this and and I surely don't think ONE rule (like "if you declare yourself an artist, you are one") will apply for every instance.
    I'll take them one at a time.
    1) Dichotomies
    A dichotomy defines mutually exclusive or contradictory phenomena. When two phenomena are compared, it is possible that they are part of a continuum of values, and it is also possible they are discreet and contradictory - a dichotomy. An example of a true dichotomy is the state of an on/off light switch. An example of a false dichotomy is the state of a human condition like happy or sad.
    My case is that the artist can declare his work art. The argument against has said that it can be declared non-art by some external agency. The phenomena being compared then is "art to non-art." That is a dichotomy. If not, what is the range of continuous values that fall between "art and non-art" which would make it a false dichotomy?
    2) The belittling effect of an artist's claim of art.
    The basis of your argument is that "Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh who studied, struggled, learned, sweated, and lived what they were doing." And that if Tom, Dick or Harry claim they made art, their claim is A) an insult to Monet, Picasso and van Gogh; and B) since their path may or may not have been different than Monet, Picasso and van Gogh, they have no right to make the claim.
    The first flaw is that you don't know the minds of Monet, Picasso and van Gogh at the point they made their art. You don't know, do you, if they were screaming inside, "I have created art!" (or equivalent words). You are simply assuming with many years of hindsight that it was some path (study, struggle, sweat) that accounts for the art. How do you know that same path isn't the path of Tom, Dick and Harry, whom you also know nothing about? Since you don't actually know the mind of Monet, Picasso, van Gogh, Tom, Dick, or Harry, this is a specious argument. I can just as easily say, "Monet, Picasso and van Gogh all declared unto themselves their art, just as Tom, Dick and Harry have done."
    The second flaw is the suggestion that new art belittles old. I don't even think the art establishment believes that one. If it were true, we simply wouldn't except art that doesn't conform to known territory.
    3) It takes a lot of factors to make an artist.
    Well, please list the ones you know about, and explain how an artist who self declares his art doesn't possess these factors.
    4) Like most things, art is often context-driven, and different contexts will allow for different things to be art and different people to be considered artists. I don't think we can make up a set of rules for this and and I surely don't think ONE rule (like "if you declare yourself an artist, you are one") will apply for every instance.
    This sounds like a circular argument. Art has different contexts meaning different things will be art (by rules?), and different people will be artists. You don't think there is one rule for all, and you don't think there are any rules that can be stated. But even though there are no rules, you are sure that Tom, Dick or Harry can't claim their work is art.
    In spite of that diffuse reasoning, and in spite of the many struggles of making art, I don't see how that impinges on the right of the artist - the freedom if you will - to make his declaration as he chooses. What is at stake here is the right and freedom of the artist to say he had that experience. I think what is confusing some here is the issue of quality. Bad art and mediocre art and great art, are all none the less art. I think what you were arguing above is that Monet was good art, and Dick was bad art that shouldn't be mentioned in the same breath. And you might be right, or you might be very wrong. But either way, Dick still retains the right to declare his art. The same right Monet had. No rules needed.
    Finally, let me be clear that I am not speaking for every individual artist. That would be n absurdity. When Lew Rockwell gives his views on libertarianism, or Chomsky on liberalism, they don't in their wildest dreams expect listeners to assume they're giving rules for every individual libertarian or liberal, right? Let's at least drop that incorrect notion that keeps rising here.
     
  120. M,

    "I didn't. It was Fred."

    No, it wasn't. It is part of your reasoning, ever since your first post's "The only ones I see slaving to this ambiguity" really (though not obvious yet), which is one long protestation that artists know, and non-artists, those "external" forces out to rob artists (you) from your freedom to create by decree are not just suspect, but "rude" because they persist in challenging that belief that you can create by decree as a somewhat untenable belief.
    You identified with your position, equate an analysis and critique of it with "a negation of your character". And so on.
    It is an inevitable part of any belief that the individual is autonomous and souvereign, the creator and master of The Truth.

    Which brings us to:

    "In my comments, "external agency" doesn't mean a person, such as you"

    Does it not... Thanks for the definition. I guess "a person such as" me needed that. You had no trouble naming the agents up to now. What's more, trying to present those "institutions" etc. as an impersonal force would make your position even stranger than it already is.

    "If art can't be declared art by the artist, than apparently there is some "external source of power to declare something art." Are you now saying that's not your argument"

    I never said that was my position. You still (again, after so many words. Wasted) haven't understood that it is not a matter of declaration. Things, art included, are not what they are by force of decree, no matter who it would be declaring it so. It has been pointed out to you several times that your position's major failing lies in its extreme individualistic nature, in which there only is a 'you' opposed to 'them'. But no 'us'. Only 'internal' vs 'external', but no 'common'.

    "What religion do you claim I am using"

    If only you would 'claim', it could then perhaps be expected that you would be aware of the nature of your position. No such awareness, instead again that deafening "tone" in your "an example of a creed is"
    What religion? Your religion, in which you, the Individual Master of the Universe, can make something be by mere power of You saying so. I can readily believe that thinking about such god-like powers would be a "spiritual experience" to you, yes.
    But once again (it is really getting tiresome having to point out the obvious to you): can you put one and one together, see what that makes? "Relegion depends on authority", the authority, perhaps (and again, the question is rethorical. Maybe it will help you understand) of the "self" that can make something be by power of it willing and saying it so?
    But you don't want to hear that, rather dismiss it all.

    "There is no content in that denial" and all that nonsense.

    Not, m, if you don't want it to be, right?
    Granted, that "will you associate that (your) way of thinking with some outlandish [etc.]" was rather vacuous. It was a direct account of your 'i am a believer. Other believers wore animal hides and used bronze tools. I don't wear animal hides and do not use bronze tools. So i am not a believer' fallacy. Glad to see you too find that rather empty.

    Etcetera, etcetera.
    What is quite remarkable is your extreme individualistic point of view, dissociating yourself (or your self) from anything the rest of the world might be and have to offer. We have proceeded not even a fraction of a millimeter since Fred's conclusion that you are a solipsist. Evey word since has been wasted. And not, m, because we did not win you over. But because it was not a discussion, or argument. We knew it wasn't ever since your "sacred by nature" declaration.
    Ah well. Hope, Pandora's most cruel gift, had us all. ;-)
     
  121. M, the statement I took issue with was:
     
    Religion depends on authority whereas spirit depends on self.​
    This appears to set up a dichotomy between religion and spirituality, between God and "spirit". It overlooks the fact that in the monotheistic understanding God IS Spirit. He is not some mean old man hiding in the clouds throwing lightning bolts; he is the life force that pervades the entire Universe, and created the Universe. I suppose one could have spiritual experiences without God (if one believes in other spirits) but one cannot conceive of God with no spirit. Likewise in polytheistic traditions the gods are understood to be spirits, beings not of the physical world.
    I do think this has digressed far enough from the subject of the thread that if you are genuinely interested in my views on this sidebar (which I respectfully doubt) we should continue this exchange in private.
     
  122. You identified with your position, equate an analysis and critique of it with "a negation of your character". And so on.​
    Q.G.,
    I'm disappointed that you don't recognize ad hominems when you use them.
    Other than that, I did read through your post above. I didn't see any explanation or support for your previous argument. I didn't see anything that would explain the proposed benefit to society or artists that would be a result of your position. I also didn't see anything that logically or rationally rebuts any part of my position, although there was plenty of complaints about me as a person. Therefore there's nothing for me to respond to.
     
  123. This appears to set up a dichotomy between religion and spirituality, between God and "spirit".....(etc)​
    Jim,
    Look at the context of my remark once more. The exchange began with Q.G. saying, "You present art as a religious creed. " My answer in that post was the next few paragraphs in which I explained some of the differences between a religious creed, and a human spiritual experience. The latter I emphasized needed no religion, or religious doctrines, or deities, or supernatural elements. As a part of the comparison, I said religion depends on authority, where spirit depends on self. I typed spirit, and maybe should have typed spirituality.
    It was not intended as a dichotomy. Just a part of a comparison. Q.G.'s assertion about religious creed was a major mis-reading of my position. I may have a strong connection to my spirit, but I have no religion of any kind. I feel it is important to clarify the difference because of my usage. When I say, arting as an artist can liberate and redeem the soul as a spiritual process, I am not in any conceivable way connecting art to religion, religious creeds and doctrines, religious faith and dogma, or supernatural deities. I am only referring to the individual human soul connecting to the nature of the universe.
     
  124. <<<I am representing a false dichotomy (based on some philosophers you enjoy reading)>>>
    I'm just going to tackle this one. I have similar things to say about the rest of your arguments, so I'll let you extrapolate and apply my current arguments to Numbers 2, 3, and 4.
    Bad start. I gave you the names of philosophers hoping you'd look into them so you could understand a position other than your own relative to dichotomies. You belittle that by saying I've based my theories on philosophers I "enjoy" reading. Snarky, not substantive. Read them, then get back to me. But you won't. No way in hell.
    <<<The argument against has said that it can be declared non-art by some external agency. The phenomena being compared then is "art to non-art." That is a dichotomy.>>>
    Except if you had bothered to read what I said, that's not the phenomenon I was talking about. What I said was: "It's not a matter of either the artist or some "external" agency, as if the artist is an "in" and everything else is an "out." So, clearly I was talking about your internal/external dichotomy, which is false, not your art-non/art dichotomy. I said similar things in previous posts which you also missed. I didn't say all dichotomies, such as light switches being on or off, were problematic. I said the internal/external dichotomy was problematic. That you see yourself as internal and not part of the external you seem to think is trying to force itself on the artist is problematic. Because you are part of the external you think you have excluded yourself from.
    <<<The argument against has said that it can be declared non-art by some external agency.>>>
    No. For the umteenth time, it hasn't said that. Your listening is as "diffuse" as you think my reasoning is, I suppose . . . ad what? hominem?
    The argument against has said that it can't simply be a matter of being declared art by someone. That doesn't imply or even suggest that it can be declared non-art as easily. What's at issue, for me, is the notion of an "external" agency which excludes the artist doing the so-called declaring, again the false dichotomy of the artist's supposed internal world with some external world that is opposed to that internal one. And, as QG has said more times than I'd care to count, the determinations of what is art are NOT about declarations. Or certainly these determinations are about much more than declarations.
    I don't have the energy or inclination right now to take on your misreading of many of my other points. But, as I said, you can apply much of what I said here to those other points, loosely.
    Deleted my few final thoughts, which were superfluous and snarky. I'm trying. Baby steps! :)
     
  125. Bad start. I gave you the names of philosophers hoping you'd look into them so you could understand a position other than your own relative to dichotomies. You belittle that by saying I've based my theories on philosophers I "enjoy" reading. Snarky, not substantive. Read them, then get back to me. But you won't. No way in hell.​
    Fred,
    Of course I am not going off to read several volumes at your request. That's an ancient debate dodge that wasn't even good 20 years ago.
    Here's my observation about people saying "go read this, this and this" as the central part of their argument. If a person understands the material they are citing they will simply use it in the discussion as it fits. It's a wonderful extension of their knowledge, and it has good leverage and utility in such a discussion. But if they don't understand it, and don't know how to explain it, they will tell others to go off and read it. It's one of the most pointless tactics in the realm of discussion. "I'm right, and these three volumes will prove it if you go read them!"
    No Fred. If you have some special knowledge about dichotomies that apply to this simple conversation, use it. I'm actually not that interested in the list of books you've read as an adjunct to a simple discussion. I am interested in what you know during the conversation, not what your favorite author knows. This reminds me of guys who quote massive sections out of the works of others as arguments in place of their own thoughts.
    Something I know from experience is that nothing much in the world is so complicated it can't be explained to a useable degree in a few hundred words. And if that can't be done, it's quite doubtful the person has mastered the material.
    The subject you are about challenging here isn't very complicated. "Art and non-art" is a simple enough proposition to evaluate whether or not it is a dichotomy. My support for calling it a dichotomy is that there is no set of states or values that lie between art and non-art. Thus, the two terms are conflicting and contradictory and mutually exclusive - a dichotomy. I don't need additional training to make that case. I think all you have to do for your case Fred is describe the states that do lie between art and non-art. If that requires three volumes, well, I guess you have your work cut out for you.
     
  126. M, your entire post is ad hominen, not addressing the substance of my last post, only embarking on a critique of my recommendations of some reading for you. I don't usually recommend reading to people. You, however, are an exception. You don't listen to anything anyone says. I have explained the dichotomy issue enough times and you continue to think the dichotomy is about art and non-art, WHICH IT IS NOT. The dichotomy is about internal and external. That's the last time I will say it. The only reason I suggested you read others is that I thought if what I was saying, and have explained quite explicitly, came from a few other people in different words, you might start to get it. As I said, I really had no hope you'd pursue anything beyond your own self-involved nose, and you've proven me dead right.
    Again, you condescendingly refer to my suggesting books as evidence that I can't possibly understand what I'm talking about. I've explained it ad nauseum here and you haven't once, NOT ONCE, addressed the substance of anything I've said about the false dichotomy between your supposed inner world and the supposed external world which is something different from this supposed inner world of yours. It's quite evident that you are stubbornly avoiding that issue by continually trying to make it as if I'm talking about the dichotomy between art and non-art, which I am not.
    <<<Something I know from experience is that nothing much in the world is so complicated it can't be explained to a useable degree in a few hundred words.>>>
    It has been explained. What you cannot grasp is that you completely lack the ability to actually pay attention to what someone else says, so what you think is not being explained is being explained over and over again, by at least two people here who you are simply ignoring when we do explain it.
     
  127. Ahh, I actually may just have had a breakthrough. I think this may all be a troll. I read about trolls recently and they talked about it in terms of the poster consistently ignoring what is said and just stating the same things over and over in an attempt to inflame. There can be no other explanation for why someone would be told over and over again that the false dichotomy is about inner and outer , internal and external, and that person would continually respond by characterizing the dichotomy you were talking about as being between art and non-art. A classic trolling device. Good excuse for me to sign off again. And say, never again. Over. Out. Some things are a complete waste of time and breath.
     
  128. Except if you had bothered to read what I said, that's not the phenomenon I was talking about. What I said was: "It's not a matter of either the artist or some "external" agency, as if the artist is an "in" and everything else is an "out." So, clearly I was talking about your internal/external dichotomy, which is false, not your art-non/art dichotomy. I said similar things in previous posts which you also missed. I didn't say all dichotomies, such as light switches being on or off, were problematic. I said the internal/external dichotomy was problematic. That you see yourself as internal and not part of the external you seem to think is trying to force itself on the artist is problematic. Because you are part of the external you think you have excluded yourself from.​
    Fred,
    The rest of your post is about creating a distinction that has no relevance. If we call them A and B, we have:
    ITEM A: Art and non-art
    ITEM B: Artist and external agency
    These might be different words, but they mean the same thing. Whatever difference you are creating doesn't have any significance or meaning that's relevant to my position. I'm just using two phrases to describe the same effect.
    A: "Art or non-art" is just short hand for the conflict between the artist's freedom to declare his work as art and some other power's right to say it is not art.
    B: "Artist and external agency" is just a description of the conflicting powers to declare something as art, or not.
    They are interchangeable with respect to my position about where the right and freedom lies to describe one's work. Why you conflate this with in and out is not clear to me. I suppose I can accept that it is "one and other." But, in and out has no significance that I can detect.
    Maybe I need to make the argument with really simple language. There is an artist named BOB, and a critic named Mary. Bob is not Mary. Mary is not Bob. Bob and Mary are not in and out, or internal and external. They are two people, who live in the same world, this one. Bob takes a photograph and says, "Here is my art." Mary says, "That's not what I call art Bob. It's just a fart Bob." Do, you see the conflict? There's no internal ins or external outs or special worlds. There's two human beings in conflict in this world.
    Bob explains: "I've put my soul into that photograph, and I have had a spiritual revelation of the most grand kind about my relation to the universe as a result of my creating that photograph. So, knowing the truth of my own experience, having the freedom to express that truth, and how this photograph is a representation of that truth, I say that this photograph is art. After all, I am an artist. Art is the process by which I discover my place in the universe."
    Mary replies: "Sorry Bob, it doesn't meet my/our criteria for art. It is not art."
    That's "art and non-art." That's "artist and external agency." There's no internal world and external world, just two people in conflict over who has the authority to describe the photograph as art. Bob asserts his authority to say "art." Mary asserts her authority to say "non-art."
    So, after dozens of posts saying Bob can't have that authority, I've yet to hear even one explanation of why Mary should have that authority.
     
  129. Again, you condescendingly refer to my suggesting books as evidence that I can't possibly understand what I'm talking about. I've explained it ad nauseum here and you haven't once, NOT ONCE, addressed the substance of anything I've said about the false dichotomy between your supposed inner world and the supposed external world which is something different from this supposed inner world of yours. It's quite evident that you are stubbornly avoiding that issue by continually trying to make it as if I'm talking about the dichotomy between art and non-art, which I am not.​
    I don't think it is condescension to point out what is just plain ridiculous. Telling someone to go read three books over some simple concept like "what is a dichotomy" is simply a silly tactic in a simple discussion.
     
  130. Ahh, I actually may just have had a breakthrough. I think this may all be a troll. I read about trolls recently and they talked about it in terms of the poster consistently ignoring what is said and just stating the same things over and over in an attempt to inflame. There can be no other explanation for why someone would be told over and over again that the false dichotomy is about inner and outer , internal and external, and that person would continually respond by characterizing the dichotomy you were talking about as being between art and non-art. A classic trolling device. Good excuse for me to sign off again. And say, never again. Over. Out. Some things are a complete waste of time and breath.​
    Fred,
    Your gross misunderstanding here doesn't fly. There is no inner and outer. That's a construct you made up on your own. But even if there were such a claim you seriously can't believe that simply saying something is a false dichotomy is the same as proving it is a false dichotomy. If you are attempting to show any proposed dichotomy as false, you have to demonstrate it. I showed you exactly how to do that, and you chose not to.
    I'll demonstrate it once more for you, only because you have called me a troll. If I propose happy and sad as a dichotomy, it means there are no states of being that lie between the state of happy and the state of sad. If you wanted to show this to be a false dichotomy, you would say, "melancholy lies between happy and sad," so it is a false dichotomy. It's really quite simple. Just standing there yelling "false dichotomy, false dichotomy!" doesn't get it done.
     
  131. I said "Goodnight, Gracie." Save your breath for someone who cares.
     
  132. Your goodnights only dismiss yourself. Just how many more dramatic exits do you plan on making?
     
  133. M,

    I'll explain one thing more to you: ad hominems are argumentations that do not adress the matter nor position someone takes but try to undermine the authority of the person holding that position instead.
    With your position being that what you say goes, a position that puts your authority center stage, it's not an ad hominem to 'attack' that position, even though it tackles the person's presumed authority.
    That is also evident (cannot not be) in the way you dismiss everything that is put up against your position: everytime you are asked to defend and explain your position, you do so by dismissing the authority of your opponents. It began with being told we are agents of the "institutions", it ends in this childish "Your goodnights [etc.]".
    If it has made you doubt and rethink your psoition for a single moment (but there is no reason to assume) it may have been worth our (i.e. including you) while. Even if it would not have resulted in a change in position.
    But have you? All you show is that ad hominem nonsense, never a dialogue.
     
  134. I am only referring to the individual human soul connecting to the nature of the universe.​
    Sorry, but without some religious assumptions, where does the "soul" come from? It cannot be proven objectively to exist, so its existence must be taken on faith - and faith is the essence of religion.
    Again, this is a digression better pursued in private.
     
  135. Jim Ruley, in the following quote from the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, whether or not you agree with what he says, can you see what he means by "soul"?
    "Modernism has no need of various masks or official titles, it is the primal creation of the awakened, its ultimate concern is with the meaning of existence and reality of situations. It is vigilance against social and human crises, it is not compromising, it does not cooperate.
    "Such awakening is reached through a process of self-recognition, a process teeming with a thirst for and pursuit of a spiritual world, with unending doubts and puzzlements.
    "The result of such fearless truth is that we may observe in modernist works an unadorned authenticity, panic, emptiness, and anomia. This is not some cultural choice, just as life is not a choice. It all stems from an interest in one's own existence, this interest is the cornerstone of all spiritual activities, and the goal of all knowledge."
    [... ]
    "Humans are destined to be narrow-minded empiricists. But only by venerating the mystical world can we rise above our petty quandaries. Humans are animals who have renounced nature, and from among every possible path, humans have chosen the longest and most remote path leading to the self.
    "Making choices is how the artist comes to understand himself. These choices are correlated to one's spiritual predicament, and the goal is a return to the self, the pursuit of spiritual values, and the summoning of spirits. These choices are inherently philosophical.
    "A painful truth of today is that even as we import technologies and lifestyles, there is no way to import spiritual awakening, justice, or strength. There is no way to import the soul." [/end quote]
    Whether or not you agree with Ai Wei Wei's quoted outlook on "humans," do you see how he is using the word "soul" in the context of his art?
     
  136. <<<Just how many more dramatic exits do you plan on making?>>>
    As many as I damn well please.
    LOL. You don't know much about art or philosophy and have now shown you have a real lack of understanding of theater. I've made more dramatic exits with my middle finger. Believe me, if I wanted to be dramatic, I have a lot better up my sleeve than simply dismissing your sorry self with a "Goodnight, Gracie." It's just that you're not worth my flare for dramatics.
     
  137. <<<the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei>>>
    Weiwei goes astray in so many ways that it's hard to know where to begin. And, yes, it does matter whether we agree or not. First is his assumption that "humans are narrow-minded empiricists." He states it as fact and then moves on from there, which is ridiculous. And, even if humans do have "petty quandaries" (like what, for instance?), why would the need a mystical world in order to rise above it?
    What informs the assumption that "making choices is how the artist comes to understand himself"? Can the artist not come to understand himself by noticing the accidents that happen to him. Who's goal is a return to self? Weiwei? Well, that's great, jolly for him. Don't saddle me with that nonsense. Please.
    And, oh, yes, I see how he is using "soul."
    Now, I know I, too, have used the word "soul." Sometimes it can be very descriptive and, when I've used it, it's heartfelt. But I'm honest enough to understand that embedded in my use of it is all the religious crap that goes with it, even if I am using it somewhat differently. Not to be aware of what words and symbols are already laden with is putting one's head right in the hot sand. You don't use "soul" in a way that's divorced from all the connotations it has for people. If you have half a brain (and a quarter of a soul) you recognize the fullness and power of the words you use . . . and go from there.
    In other words you don't get to "create" the meanings of words. You get to share those meanings. Like art. You don't get a tabula rasa from which to create (whether it's the meaning of a word or a work of art) despite the naive thinking that tells some people artists create from nothing, or the even more petulant "no-thing."
     
  138. M,

    I'll explain one thing more to you: ad hominems are argumentations that do not adress the matter nor position someone takes but try to undermine the authority of the person holding that position instead.
    With your position being that what you say goes, a position that puts your authority center stage, it's not an ad hominem to 'attack' that position, even though it tackles the person's presumed authority.

    That is also evident (cannot not be) in the way you dismiss everything that is put up against your position: everytime you are asked to defend and explain your position, you do so by dismissing the authority of your opponents. It began with being told we are agents of the "institutions", it ends in this childish "Your goodnights [etc.]".

    If it has made you doubt and rethink your psoition for a single moment (but there is no reason to assume) it may have been worth our (i.e. including you) while. Even if it would not have resulted in a change in position.
    But have you? All you show is that ad hominem nonsense, never a dialogue.
    Q.G.,​
    I think we've had plenty of dialog. I've discovered that if I speak much more simply, it is understood better. So, I don't think you are showing evidence that you know why you shouldn't attack another person's character in a simple conversation such as this. Let's review it. Here is what you said to me yesterday:
    You don't find validation in the Big Bad World, so renounce that in favour of your inner world, declare that Master of the Universe, and find confirmation in the fact that that Big Bad World frowns over so much other-wordlyness.​
    I am not going to use any fancy terms. I'll just be more clear and simple. That kind of statement is a personal attack. A personal insult you hurl on me, the person making the post. It's the equivalent of saying, "you, m stephens are unsuccessful in the world and renounce it." It's a type of psychological judgement, but you are not a psychiatrist and I am not your patient. You don't know me, and have no basis to make such judgements about my person.
    Do you understand that - yes or no?
     
  139. As many as I damn well please.
    LOL. You don't know much about art or philosophy and have now shown you have a real lack of understanding of theater. I've made more dramatic exits with my middle finger. Believe me, if I wanted to be dramatic, I have a lot better up my sleeve than simply dismissing your sorry self with a "Goodnight, Gracie." It's just that you're not worth my flare for dramatics.​
    Honestly? Your bluster and theatrics here impress me even less than the pretentious "go read these books and get back to me" style of argument. But, you know, do flap away!
     
  140. Sorry, but without some religious assumptions, where does the "soul" come from? It cannot be proven objectively to exist, so its existence must be taken on faith - and faith is the essence of religion.​
    And neither can gravity be so proven. Nor can the Big Bang theory. But that doesn't mean those ideas are in the realm of religion. Science is not in the business of proving things. It is in the business of explaining things.
    We're not having a specific discussion of religion, or science, or metaphysics. So, some latitude for usage of words commonly used in those fields might be useful. Yes, I said "soul," and many religions have extremely detailed doctrines about the soul. From the point of view of the holders of those doctrines, any use of the word soul may seem to be a reason to challenge the user to make it conform to those doctrines. I don't have a reason to want to do that for this discussion.
    Soul, as I used it means individual "consciousness" or personal awareness and subjectivity. It apparently exists in people who belong to religions and people who don't. If you'd like to declare that everyone with self awareness is religious, you are free to do so. I know that is a popular position these days, but I just disagree.
     
  141. <<<do flap away>>>
    Gladly. Your being stuck on the suggested reading thing makes you think you've found a good excuse not to address the substantive issues I've explained about your false "self" / "external agency" dichotomy. You have a notion of self that's a ghost in a machine. It's anachronistic thinking at best. Illiterate at worst. And it's been explained to you plenty and in detail. You just choose to ignore it or you can't comprehend it and think it's not been said.
    <<<I've discovered that if I speak much more simply, it is understood better. I am not going to use any fancy terms. I'll just be more clear and simple.>>>
    That you think you've veiled your ad hominem attack here by not uttering the exact words that call someone else simple shows your ignorance and lack of social skills. We all know what people can pull in Internet forums to appear not to be flouting rules or making ad hominem attacks. But rewording is just that. We see through you. You started the thread that way and continued throughout, defensively claiming you were being attacked when it was you who was attacking from the very beginning. And you've used that defense, as others have pointed out, to avoid the substance of any argument given to you. Most of us have addressed your points one by one. You, on the other hand, have avoided the substance of pretty much everything that's been said to you, preferring to play the eternal victim. It's tired.
     
  142. "Making choices is how the artist comes to understand himself. These choices are correlated to one's spiritual predicament, and the goal is a return to the self, the pursuit of spiritual values, and the summoning of spirits. These choices are inherently philosophical." - Ai Weiwei

    Julie,
    I think that's a good explanation of making art. I think you could replace the word spiritual with the word psychological and many people with bugaboos about seeing the word spiritual disconnected from a formal religion context might see the importance of it.
    For example, art often is a direct response to alienation. Is alienation a psychological condition or a spiritual condition? Well, it depends on who is talking about it. I earlier mentioned the quest for redemption and salvation. Are those spiritual needs or psychological needs? We do know that those words are used in religious doctrines, but they have no custody over those human conditions. The atheist has the same quest for salvation as the deist.
    If any of that is true about art, then one thing becomes obvious: Only the artist knows his condition (soul, consciousness, psychological profile). If that is true, I think it also follows then that autonomy and or sovereignty is the most essential ingredient for the artist's successful use of art as a tool to these discoveries. "This is my art!" is the natural result.
    No surprise that the culture as vast moving organism running on hundreds of algorithms like materialism, would attempt to blunt the artist, cut him off, redefine his purpose, and take over judgement of his work. Well yes, that is what culture does. The NYT Bestseller List, and all. Slavery, war, materialism, capitalism, celebrity and really a hoary long list of machines are often what is causing the artist's pain in the first place.
     
  143. <<<No surprise that the culture as vast moving organism running on hundreds of algorithms like materialism, would attempt to blunt the artist, cut him off, redefine his purpose, and take over judgement of his work. Well yes, that is what culture does. The NYT Bestseller List, and all. Slavery, war, materialism, capitalism, celebrity and really a hoary long list of machines are often what is causing the artist's pain in the first place.>>>
    More dorm-room level self-congratulatory afraid-of-the-mainstream-cultural-boogeyman psycho-babble. Throw materialism, slavery, capitalism, and celebrity into the same sentence and you've created your cause célèbre. Mazel Tov!
    Did you ever consider thinking of yourself as part of your audience, as part of your culture, empathizing with those viewing your work, not setting yourself off in some lonely corner because only you can know what you're going through? Give it a try sometime. You might make a friend.
     
  144. "That kind of statement is a personal attack. A personal insult you hurl on me, the person making the post."

    That kind of statement, m, is a statement directly adressing the position you put forward.
    Again: if your statement is that you are always right (which it is), any attempt to question that will give you fuel for such a 'red herring' defence.
    There is no dialogue with someone who says he's right, by decree, and by force of his own sacred nature.
    In answer to your "Do you understand that - yes or no?": i do. But you don't give any clue that you even begin to.
     
  145. P.S.<br>Read "if your position is that [etc.]" instead of "if your statement is that [etc.]".
     
  146. Fred,
    It looks like you are attempting to have some discussion with me. I have read the naughty little petulant rants above. I am sorry to say that level of exchange holds no interest for me. I will keep scanning your posts though, and If I see something of substance I'll be sure to reply.
     
  147. <<<If I see something of substance>>>
    Ok, then. As you say, let's start simply. Can a 5-year-old child who has created something that many people consider art and that a curator comes across and puts in a show of children's art be an artist if that child hasn't declared herself to be an artist? Now, the idea of the curator and the others may be troublesome here, because that gets into the "external agency" problem. So, lets forget those people for a minute and just ask, Can a 5-year-old child who expresses their alienation at the world (or maybe we don't even know what specifically the child is expressing) by painting be considered an artist if she hasn't declared herself to be one or may not yet even know what that word means?
     
  148. Next question . . .
    Can there be art without an artist? Can the world, or someone in the world, come across something that someone made with no knowledge that the maker ever considered themselves or declared themselves to be an artist and maybe even with the knowledge that the maker was making this thing for strictly practical purposes and can that discovered thing be art?
     
  149. "That kind of statement is a personal attack. A personal insult you hurl on me, the person making the post."

    That kind of statement, m, is a statement directly adressing the position you put forward.
    Again: if your statement is that you are always right (which it is), any attempt to question that will give you fuel for such a 'red herring' defence.
    There is no dialogue with someone who says he's right, by decree, and by force of his own sacred nature.
    In answer to your "Do you understand that - yes or no?": i do. But you don't give any clue that you even begin to.​
    Q.G.,
    Let me invoke for background, the concept of human rights. That specifically, some rights are inalienable. One of those is the right of speech. The essence of the right to speech is the right of self expression. Think carefully for a moment about all which that right entails. All the kinds of expression. The position I described as the artist's right to declare his work art, is a natural part of his right to self expression.
    The right to express oneself by making a photograph (any work of art) is of course within these inalienable rights. The right to speak the words, "This is my art!" about your work product is likewise within these in alienable rights. The free exercise of these well understood essential human rights is apparently what you find so repulsive, you refer to like this: "There is no dialogue with someone who says he's right, by decree, and by force of his own sacred nature." Yes, the inalienability of these human rights does make them look as though they are by force of sacred nature.
     
  150. Can a 5-year-old child who expresses their alienation at the world (or maybe we don't even know what specifically the child is expressing) by painting be considered an artist if she hasn't declared herself to be one or may not yet even know what that word means?​
    Children often have many innate abilities for which they don't have sufficient language skills to discuss in the way we do as adults. The map is not the territory. Words about expression are not the thing being expressed. The child when painting could be having the emotional and intellectual experience that is called "art making" by adults with language skills. Just as a child might be doing jazz improvisations before knowing those special words. Language may or may not proceed in sync with other skills and talents. It doesn't affect the doing, only the describing.
    So it is possible that they can be cognizant of having had the experience of making art - just like an older person - even if they haven't yet learned the meaning of the word 'artist'. As with other things, children don't always have the opportunity of the full experience an adult has. And with children there is the question of maturity and profundity. Adult motivations in art making may very well be from a deeper well of experience than a 5 year old, eh? But 5 years is old enough to have experienced disappointment, loss, bliss, love, anger, loneliness, togetherness and other common emotions involved in art making.
    What adults around them choose to say and do about the child's acts and artifacts is purely irrelevant. When you say, "can they be considered artists" if you mean by their parents, that's irrelevant to any point I have made.
     
  151. No, actually, it's not. Because the point I am making (there are others in the room besides you) is that people can consider something art or someone an artist without them doing so themselves. It's only irrelevant because it challenges your assumption, so you call it irrelevant. Of course it's irrelevant to YOUR point but YOUR point is not the only game in town. Get it? What it really is is an alternative way of considering the matter which you simply refuse to engage, so you call it irrelevant. I suppose that's another place where your decreeing something makes it so.
     
  152. Next question . . .
    Can there be art without an artist? Can the world, or someone in the world, come across something that someone made with no knowledge that the maker ever considered themselves or declared themselves to be an artist and maybe even with the knowledge that the maker was making this thing for strictly practical purposes and can that discovered thing be art?​
    It can be anything the finders claim it to be. The artist has been removed from the consideration by your hypothetical conditions. But this question reveals a profound misunderstanding of my proposition. The importance of the artist's right of personal declaration is to specifically deny others from saying his product "is not art" in spite of his declaration that it is. You might recall I described this as a conflict** to be resolved. If you remove the artist, you remove the conflict to which I gave preference to the artist. Dead people, missing people, people who are not present in a scene, can't be an active part of any conflict. Thomas Jefferson may have had free speech rights, but it is a moot point today if I call him a liar, right? If you pick up a painting and there is no maker to make claims about it, where's the conflict?
    Rights are interesting to those who are in position to exercise them.
    **Conflict. I do not mean violent battle or war. I mean contention. Mental struggle resulting from incompatible or opposing needs, drives, wishes, or external or internal demands
     
  153. If it is Art to you then it is.
    How simple is that to understand.
    Some folk just cannot have a conversation with anyone without " constantly verbally smacking " unless they are agreed with..
    Sort of sad really.
     
  154. Not referring to you m.
     
  155. No, actually, it's not. Because the point I am making (there are others in the room besides you) is that people can consider something art or someone an artist without them doing so themselves. It's only irrelevant because it challenges your assumption, so you call it irrelevant. Of course it's irrelevant to YOUR point but YOUR point is not the only game in town. Get it? What it really is is an alternative way of considering the matter which you simply refuse to engage, so you call it irrelevant. I suppose that's another place where your decreeing something makes it so.​
    I see. You are making a new point by asking me questions about mine, and then complaining when I answer without knowing you were actually making a new independent point, which is them subsequently explained as alternative way to consider my point. Uh, ok.
    So, here's your new point: People can consider something art or someone an artist without them doing so themselves.

    OK. Doesn't affect my position at all. But duly noted.
     
  156. Well, we kind of know nothing anyone says affects your position. That's sort of a given.
    Allen, nice to hear from you.
    <<<Sort of sad really.>>>
    Sounds like a smack to me. Look in the mirror, Allen. Who do you see?
     
  157. Not referring to you m.​
    Thanks Allen.
     
  158. "A painful truth of today is that even as we import technologies and lifestyles, there is no way to import spiritual awakening, justice, or strength. There is no way to import the soul."
    Whether or not you agree with Ai Wei Wei's quoted outlook on "humans," do you see how he is using the word "soul" in the context of his art?​
    No, I really have no idea. He lost me long before I reached that paragraph.
    Whether the "soul" is a separable spiritual entity or biologically derived "self-awareness" it is something that comes from within, so of course it can't be "imported". What that implies for Modernism or any other art movement is obscure to me.
     
    Soul, as I used it means individual "consciousness" or personal awareness and subjectivity.​
    M: That seems inconsistent with your previous statement, which was:
    I am only referring to the individual human soul connecting to the nature of the universe.​
    For "connection" there must be two parties involved, a transmitter and receiver so to speak. Otherwise the line is dead; you don't even get a busy signal. So for your self-awareness to "connect" with the Universe, the Universe must likewise be self-aware; and dead things have no self-awareness. Therefore, you evidently believe the Universe is alive.
    Relevance to art: If artists believe that art involves "getting in touch with the Universe" does that mean they must be, in some sense, religious? Is this theory of art in itself a religion? Of course if art is merely a form of communication among humans, and not a spiritual experience or exchange, no such assumption is required.
     
  159. <<<this question reveals a profound misunderstanding of my proposition>>>
    What's the difference between a misunderstanding and a profound misunderstanding? Rhetorical question. Please don't answer.
    ________________________________
    <<<The importance of the artist's right of personal declaration is to specifically deny others from saying his product "is not art" in spite of his declaration that it is.>>>
    Actually, the artist according to you doesn't need to have a product, or did I miss that qualification? She just needs to claim to be an artist, right?
    It seems to me that you've taken away the rights of the artist. That is, the right of an artist to be an artist. By saying anyone who declares themselves an artist is an artist, you've made the word "artist" an indexical and conflated it with the word "I." Though you mention stuff like alienation and spirituality (or psychology) that all becomes moot because anyone can make themselves an artist by saying it, regardless of whether they're joyous or alienated or making something or seeing something a certain way or whether their spiritual or earthy or mundane, etc. Now, that's good. Because I don't think any of those is a requirement for art, or the sole requirement for art. The thing that is determinative for you, however, is the declaration. So, just like I can refer to myself as "I" and I'm the only one who has that right (or privilege) to do so when referring to myself, I can refer to myself as an artist, and I'm the only one who has that right and that privilege regarding my own reference to myself. And that's it. That's all one needs to be an artist. So "artist" just becomes another word for "I". You've completely undermined the artist and art.
    ____________________________
    *An indexical is a word or expression dependent on context. For example, "I" refers to a different person when I utter it than when you utter it. Other examples are now, we, here, today . . .
     
  160. <<<So "artist" just becomes another word for "I".>>>
    There actually might be something quite poetic in that. It certainly does capture something about art but also leaves a lot out. Which is OK. Good poetry doesn't have to address everything.
     
  161. Dead people, missing people, people who are not present in a scene, can't be an active part of any conflict. Thomas Jefferson may have had free speech rights, but it is a moot point today if I call him a liar, right?​
    No, you would have the same burden of proof as if you called a living person a "liar". Of course Jefferson (or Beethoven, or Picasso) can't "lie" now that he's dead, so you would have to prove that he lied about something while he was alive. If you could not prove your statement you would lose credibility. The reflection would be on you, not on Jefferson.
    It is a moot point in that Jefferson couldn't sue you - but I wonder if his survivors could, for libel or defamation of character?
     
  162. No, you would have the same burden of proof as if you called a living person a "liar".​
    What is moot in my example, is Jefferson's right and ability to speak to this new charge because he is dead. I made up this analogy owing to the hypothetical that Fred made about finding an object with no apparent artist present, and wondering if he could call it art since the unknown artist had obviously no opportunity to make claims about the nature of the object - as though he was dead, in other words.
    Yes, as an aside, the burden of proof when calling someone a liar is on the accuser, but that isn't what my example was about.
     
  163. Let me invoke for background, the concept of human rights. That specifically, some rights are inalienable. One of those is the right of speech. The essence of the right to speech is the right of self expression. Think carefully for a moment about all which that right entails. All the kinds of expression. The position I described as the artist's right to declare his work art, is a natural part of his right to self expression.​
    Oh, we're gonna have fun with this one (opening my second bottle of beer)...
    The usual formulation of "inalienable rights" comes from the US Declaration of Independence: ...among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...Sorry, but "right of speech" or "free speech" is not mentioned there. Incidentally, these "inalienable rights" are declared to be "endowed by their Creator" so here comes that pesky religious angle again.
    The usual formulation of "free speech" comes from the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which reads:
     
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    This is merely a limitation on the power of the Federal Congress. It makes no claim of an "inalieable right" to speak, or speak freely, and leaves other levels of Government theoretically free to impose limitations.
    Being an engineer and not an international legal scholar, I'm not sure what other countries legal frameworks have to say about freedom of speech. I am sure that throughout history "speech" and "free speech" have certainly not been considered universal, inalieable or protected human rights in practice. Even today "free speech" means something quite different to a North Korean than it does to a Western European or American.
    Further, any Constitution, including the US one, is merely a compact between a people and its Government. The "Rights" guaranteed are requested (or demanded) by the people and granted (or respected) by the Sovereign authority (or elected government). It's a contract - and contracts are made to be broken. The "rights" last just as far and as long as they can be protected, either by legal force (the Court system), military force, or the people themselves (revolutionary force).
    So in fact, an artist, (like anyone else) has only the rights he can defend. He may feel an irresistible urge for self-expression, but that is not a "right". Nor does he have "right" to "declare" anything, nor are his declarations binding on anyone else.
     
  164. I made up this analogy owing to the hypothetical that Fred made about finding an object with no apparent artist present, and wondering if he could call it art since the unknown artist had obviously no opportunity to make claims about the nature of the object - as though he was dead, in other words.​
    But Fred's artist wasn't necessarily dead, he was merely absent. So let us bury Jefferson before his heirs have a chance to sue.
    In any case the question was apparently whether art is only art if the artist says so. I would say not - other people may find artistic value even if the "artist" (who may be a mere craftsman) did not intend any. Some people find machinery artistic, for example.
     
  165. I guess a question I have for M is this. When a person declares themselves to be an artist ("I am an artist") what does that entail which is more than either "I am I" or "I am fiddledeedee." Other than that person declaring something -- anything -- does the declaration tell me something. If so, what does it tell me?
     
  166. <<<The importance of the artist's right of personal declaration is to specifically deny others from saying his product "is not art" in spite of his declaration that it is.>>>
    Actually, the artist according to you doesn't need to have a product, or did I miss that qualification? She just needs to claim to be an artist, right?
    It seems to me that you've taken away the rights of the artist. That is, the right of an artist to be an artist. By saying anyone who declares themselves an artist is an artist, you've made the word "artist" an indexical and conflated it with the word "I." Though you mention stuff like alienation and spirituality (or psychology) that all becomes moot because anyone can make themselves an artist by saying it, regardless of whether they're joyous or alienated or making something or seeing something a certain way or whether their spiritual or earthy or mundane, etc. Now, that's good. Because I don't think any of those is a requirement for art, or the sole requirement for art. The thing that is determinative for you, however, is the declaration. So, just like I can refer to myself as "I" and I'm the only one who has that right (or privilege) to do so when referring to myself, I can refer to myself as an artist, and I'm the only one who has that right and that privilege regarding my own reference to myself. And that's it. That's all one needs to be an artist. So "artist" just becomes another word for "I". You've completely undermined the artist and art.​
    1. I did describe the difference between making art and dreaming as an example of similar personal process. And in that description, I made it clear that an artifact was created by the artist. So yes, you missed that, which doesn't bode well for the rest of your argument here.
    2. You say I took away artist rights by this linguistic mechanism: If one declares himself an artist, he makes the word artist into an indexical word that I then conflate with "I". Then artist becomes the same as "I", and the value is undermined for the artist and the art.
    The easy test to your argument is to try it on other declarations that people commonly make about their work and their talents. If they make them in the same way the artist does, that declaration must operate the same way in your argument - it will remove their rights and it will undermine the state they are claiming, and the product of that state. Let's see how it works for bakers, and pundits as well as artists. I will test drive it with your exact quote so that there is no mistake in my understanding. Note that you eliminated any associated requirements, and reduced it down to the declaration. So, we will begin there. Bakers first:
    QUOTE
    Now, that's good. Because I don't think any of those is a requirement for pastry, or the sole requirement for baking. The thing that is determinative for you, however, is the declaration. So, just like I can refer to myself as "I" and I'm the only one who has that right (or privilege) to do so when referring to myself, I can refer to myself as a baker, and I'm the only one who has that right and that privilege regarding my own reference to myself. And that's it. That's all one needs to be a baker. So "baker" just becomes another word for "I". You've completely undermined the baker and bread.
    END QUOTE
    So a guy who says, "I am a baker" has totally ruined the bread before he even begins baking! Baker is close procedurally to artist. Let's try something more value oriented. Let's see if it works for a pundit:
    QUOTE
    Now, that's good. Because I don't think any of those is a requirement for predictions, or the sole requirement for punditry. The thing that is determinative for you, however, is the declaration. So, just like I can refer to myself as "I" and I'm the only one who has that right (or privilege) to do so when referring to myself, I can refer to myself as an pundit, and I'm the only one who has that right and that privilege regarding my own reference to myself. And that's it. That's all one needs to be a pundit. So "pundit" just becomes another word for "I". You've completely undermined the pundit and the predictions.
    END QUOTE
    Same fate for the poor pundit. By saying he is a pundit, he has devalued his prognostications and eliminated his own rights. So, in fact, we can now generalize this hypothesis to say that: Declarations of talents and capabilities by anyone reduces their rights, undermines their talent and the value of their output.
    Well, of course that hypothesis is falsified by every talented person who has the self esteem and pride to declare their intentions and produce the fruits of that talent. It is a convoluted word game that is not in any way connected to people, their rights, their talents, their declarations or their output.
    The errors that led to this misfire are as follows:
    1) At the start you missed the ingredient that the artist produces a tangible product, as I described in the beginning.
    2) But the serious error is in this early sentence as you set this up: "By saying anyone who declares themselves an artist is an artist, you've made the word "artist" an indexical and conflated it with the word "I." No. Absolutely never did I conflate artist with I. You simply made that up, because it was needed for the linguistic knot you attempted to tie.
    An artist - - say the hypothetical one I have been referring to for days now - - can be a father, an archer, a brother, a communist, a guitarist, a gardener, a comedian and many, many more roles all together, all at once, along with being an artist, as pieces and parts of his whole. He can even make declarations to all of the above, but at no time does he (or anyone I know), by virtue of making any particular declaration of talent, become a single entity, or 1 for 1 identity with his "I". No one simply reduces down to an artist or baker. And once more, falsifying this hypothetical conflation requires absolutely nothing more than asking any artist if they happen to "be anything else too?"
    That was probably the single worst argument I have ever read regarding the limits on individual liberty. It does show however, the extraordinary, and remarkable efforts people will make to blunt personal freedom. Lose rights be declaring them! It's right up there in the doublespeak pantheon with "Peace through War."
     
  167. Your rights argument is bogus.
    I would defend anyone's right to call themselves an artist, unfettered by the government, the police, or the "art establishment." If a curator of a museum tried to physically stop a person from calling themselves an artist or if someone printed a magazine declaring themselves an artist and the government forbid it from being printed, I'd protest as loudly as anyone. I would do the same if the curator or government forcibly tried to prevent you or anyone else from calling themselves a chair.
    So now that we got rights out of the way, let's come back to the real world. In that real world, the guy who calls himself a chair is deluded and is not a chair. And, in the real world some people who call themselves artists, who make artifacts they think are art but are not, are also deluded and are not artists.
    You, yourself, have just taken away in a shameful show of oppression the god-given rights bestowed upon artists to declare themselves to be artists. Because, if a person who had not made an artifact said they were an artist because of the way they lived and behaved, because of how they looked at and met the world, maybe because of how they treated people and the environment, whatever, you would deny them artistic status since they had made an artifact. Well, shame on you, you member of the big bad mainstream cultural establishment who are out to get us all. How dare you tell someone they are a non-artist. How dare you come from your external agent's place on high and interfere with someone's individual right to call themselves an artist. Ya big bully.
     
  168. Oh, we're gonna have fun with this one (opening my second bottle of beer)...
    The usual formulation of "inalienable rights" comes from the US Declaration of Independence: ...among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...Sorry, but "right of speech" or "free speech" is not mentioned there. Incidentally, these "inalienable rights" are declared to be "endowed by their Creator" so here comes that pesky religious angle again.
    The usual formulation of "free speech" comes from the First Amendment to the US Constitution, which reads: (and so on)​
    I prefer more of a human rights construct, along the lines of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights." Sorry, no constitution, gods or creators needed. Also, no beer needed.
    I'll skip over your discussion of the constitution and get to your last sentence, which is more disconcerting.
    So in fact, an artist, (like anyone else) has only the rights he can defend. He may feel an irresistible urge for self-expression, but that is not a "right". Nor does he have "right" to "declare" anything, nor are his declarations binding on anyone else.​
    I find that idea to be depressing, dehumanizing and oppressive. I do however recognize the historical authoritarianism from which this kind of idea arises, and I reject that whole enterprise upon Man, and hope for it's destruction in the very near future. Disclaimer: I bolded the word idea, so that it is clear I am speaking against the ideas represented there, not the man presenting them - whom I know nothing about.
     
  169. Oh, and by the way, you forgot to answer this . . .
    <<<When a person declares themselves to be an artist ("I am an artist") what does that entail which is more than either "I am I" or "I am fiddledeedee." Other than that person declaring something -- anything -- does the declaration tell me something. If so, what does it tell me?>>>
     
  170. In any case the question was apparently whether art is only art if the artist says so.​
    No, that's an incorrect reading of anything I've said. Let's try it this way: The artist always has a right to declare his work "art." But it is non-exclusive. If he discards it as junk, others may pick it up and do with it what they like. Maybe they will call it art, he doesn't care.
    What Mary can't do is remove the artists claim that his piece IS art. The effect is that the artist is always in control of his expression to "say what it is."
    This isn't very complicated. It's like saying I have the right to declare I am sad. You can't come along as the sad arbiter and say, "no, you're not sad, you're happy." The art making process is a personal sensation. People aside from the artist don't have the right to that sensation.
     
  171. You can keep saying your view isn't complicated as if all the people in the room who don't agree with you are stupid. But, you're right. It really isn't complicated. It's just absurd and wrong.
    Sad is a feeling. I can't access your feelings.
    You've made an art object and it's in the world. I have access to it. And I can deny it's art and YOU cannot take my right to deny it's art away, you oppressive censor you.
     
  172. "This is my art!" is also a feeling. Every artist I know intimately experiences that feeling. Perhaps check with some
    artists you know? See what they say.

    To make art without feeling? I suppose some do.
     
  173. M,<br><br>How difficult is this...?<br><br>Your inalienable right to say that what you have produced is art does not infer the power to make something art by using your inalienable right to say anything you like, such as that what you have produced is art.<br>You have an inalienable right to declare Fred a table.<br><br>I have an inalienable right to call you a lost case, beyond any hope.
     
  174. If m *did* declare Fred to be a table, the reaction would probably be "AD HOMINEM!! How DARE you call Fred a table???"
    On the other hand, if one has an imaginative and creative mind, the idea of Fred as a table could be an interesting and mind-expanding exercise. There could be the "table" of all the chemical ingredients of which he consists. Or there could be a kind of Hanson-photo-realistic resin sculpture of Fred-as-a-table (*chuckling to myself* << I hope chuckling isn't too ad hominem). Or there are the metaphorical connotations of "table" that might be sensed in a poetic as well as formative way. I suppose if I didn't *say* any of this, kept my imaginative and creative thoughts stifled and to myself, it would be okay with Q.G. (still chuckling ...)
    Twas bryllyg, and ye slythy toves
    Did gyre and gymble in ye wabe:
    All mimsy were ye borogoves;
    And ye mome raths outgrabe.
    Oh dear. Mr. Carroll said "slythy." And "toves"! This is outrageous!! We couldn't possibly know what he's talking about!!
     
  175. Julie,<br><br>Saying that it would or would not be okay with me doesn't make it so.
     
  176. So in fact, an artist, (like anyone else) has only the rights he can defend. He may feel an irresistible urge for self-expression, but that is not a "right". Nor does he have "right" to "declare" anything, nor are his declarations binding on anyone else.
    I find that idea to be depressing, dehumanizing and oppressive. I do however recognize the historical authoritarianism from which this kind of idea arises, and I reject that whole enterprise upon Man, and hope for it's destruction in the very near future.​
    The idea is merely a reflection on reality. I don't like repression any better than anyone else here. However, this is the way the natural world works; one eats, or one is eaten. How much artistic freedom do you have while looking down the barrel of a loaded gun?
    Despite high-minded but unenforceable (and therefore useless) statements such as the UN Declaration, much of the world continues to be governed by repressive or totalitarian regimes. Their citizens (or subjects) have no rights, only priveleges. If art depended exclusively on "artistic freedom" these peoples could produce no art. Yet they do - for them "art" is a tool of the state, like everything else. Granted such art is often not very original and highly clicheed, but it's still art. Or if not, by what authority do you deny that it is?
     
  177. <<<
    This is my art!" is also a feeling. Every artist I know intimately experiences that feeling. Perhaps check with some artists you know? See what they say.
    To make art without feeling? I suppose some do.>>>
    What an insipid response. This is what you've done thhroughout the thread. Fabricate others' answers and congratulate yourself on being an artist while implying that others here aren't.
    Well, I know lots of artists and none of them do that. They are more secure and they are way more open than your sorry self. And they have produced art that they aren't ashamed to show, if they have it at all.
    When I say art is not the same thing as a feeling like sadness -- which you, yourself have already said since you wrongly said art needs an artifact and last I looked sadness and other feelings don't result in an artifact -- is not the same as saying I don't make art with feeling. See if you can wrap your thick self-important skull around that one.
     
  178. Julie, even I'm surprised at your totally off base response to QG.
    I shouldn't be.
     
  179. The idea is merely a reflection on reality. I don't like repression any better than anyone else here. However, this is the way the natural world works; one eats, or one is eaten. How much artistic freedom do you have while looking down the barrel of a loaded gun?
    Despite high-minded but unenforceable (and therefore useless) statements such as the UN Declaration, much of the world continues to be governed by repressive or totalitarian regimes. Their citizens (or subjects) have no rights, only priveleges. If art depended exclusively on "artistic freedom" these peoples could produce no art. Yet they do - for them "art" is a tool of the state, like everything else. Granted such art is often not very original and highly clicheed, but it's still art. Or if not, by what authority do you deny that it is?​
    Reality is always short of our dreams. It doesn't mean we should stop dreaming. We set markers, we move toward them, often in jerky awkward steps. Progress isn't measured in single lifetimes, so we make markers that will outlive our individual lives. Often one's art is just such a marker.
     
  180. Well, we kind of know nothing anyone says affects your position. That's sort of a given.Fred.
    'smack'
    Allen, nice to hear from you.
    You too. Hope you are well and life is treating you kindly
    <<<Sort of sad really.>>>
    Sounds like a smack to me.
    Just the reality, Fred
    Look in the mirror, Allen. Who do you see?
    My old Gran told me not to" look into the mirror too much as I might see the Devil".... I'm not too keen on looking at someone with horns and a red face, Fred.
    Who have you been seeing in the mirror,Fred ;))
    "what authority do you deny that it is?" Jim
    Fred has written "war and peace on the subject" so, perhaps that makes him an authority.
    Julie, even I'm surprised at your totally off base response to QG Fred.

    "Off with her head! then" said the Queen....Alice in Wonderland.
     
  181. How difficult is this...?

    Your inalienable right to say that what you have produced is art does not infer the power to make something art by using your inalienable right to say anything you like, such as that what you have produced is art.
    You have an inalienable right to declare Fred a table.

    I have an inalienable right to call you a lost case, beyond any hope.​
    Q.G.,
    Your first sentence contradicts itself. As to Fred and the Table - -I have no relation with Fred. Fred's existence wasn't by my hand, and Fred is not within my sovereignty. How does that compare to this paper I just drew on and called art? When I say "right" you keep hearing "magic supernatural power." You need to stop inserting your own consistently wrong understanding.
    Art is nothing but a description of intentions about the matter. When I draw on a piece of paper it sits there unnamed until what? Think this through - - until WHAT? Until I name it. If I choose to name it "napkin" that has one set of intentions, if I choose to name it "art" that has another. But notice that nothing magic occurred. There was no puff of smoke, no thunder and lightening. The paper did not change on iota, only the label changed. That label being supplied by my right to assign a label. My choice of label is based on my intentions, my feelings, my purposes and so on down the long list of phenomena which are part and parcel of my individual free humanity. No try substituting "Fred is a table" in that description.
     
  182. Wow! Might this awful, snarky, pretentious thread actually reach 200 posts?! I'm so glad I bowed out when I did - I've heard this all before many times.
    It would seem to me that this whole "discussion" could have been averted had people just been willing to accept that they might have different personal opinions, definitions and interpretations of the words Artist, Art and Soul.
    If m wants to believe that merely proclaiming yourself to be an artist makes you an artist, then that's fine for him - as long as he accepts that it's merely his personal interpretation and that others may have their own, distinctly different definitions. Stating personal interpretations as absolutes and then trying to twist everything others say to prove that, is the essence of arrogance. It's really not that hard - we all have different definitions of those words apparently and trying to bully others conform to your personal interpretation is hardly free thinking or liberated. It's anti artistic in MY opinion.
    Personally I believe an artist has to have talent, and that artwork needs to display a combination of passion, creativity, originality, craft and technique - I should be inspired by it and have it affect me emotionally - for me there is no age limit and no outside authority or accolades required. There's no point arguing with this - I don't care if you disagree - you have your interpretations and they are as valid to you as mine are to me... it's all OPINION and all the pretentious BS in the world isn't going to change that.
     
  183. <<<Art is nothing but a description of intentions about the matter.>>>
    M, you should try remembering what you've said in previous posts before so blatantly contradicting yourself because of an addiction to hyperbole.
    You've said adamantly that art needs and must produce an artifact (which happens to be wrong, but you've declared that's your view). Now you say it is nothing but a description of intentions. Screwy.
     
  184. "If m wants to believe that merely proclaiming yourself to be an artist makes you an artist, then that's fine for him - as long as he accepts that it's merely his personal interpretation and that others may have their own"
    Of course its all very personnel I would think most folk understand that.However, if someone feels they see something in their work that gives them the feeling they are a Artist (whatever a Artist is) well great! that actually might inspire their creativity.
    Why would that be a bother to anyone else.
     
  185. This is my art!" is also a feeling. Every artist I know intimately experiences that feeling. Perhaps check with some artists you know? See what they say.
    To make art without feeling? I suppose some do.>>>
    What an insipid response. This is what you've done thhroughout the thread. Fabricate others' answers and congratulate yourself on being an artist while implying that others here aren't.
    Well, I know lots of artists and none of them do that. They are more secure and they are way more open than your sorry self. And they have produced art that they aren't ashamed to show, if they have it at all.
    When I say art is not the same thing as a feeling like sadness -- which you, yourself have already said since you wrongly said art needs an artifact and last I looked sadness and other feelings don't result in an artifact -- is not the same as saying I don't make art with feeling. See if you can wrap your thick self-important skull around that one.​
    I've noticed you hate taking responsibility for your comments. You throw them out obviously without much thought, and then regret it when they turn out not to be to your advantage. Once you see that lack of advantage, your next predictable comment is some venomous retort laden with ridicule which you wrongly assume covers the stench of your original remark by creating an even greater smoke screen. I'll diagram it here, so that others may not think I am making this up. And there's always the odd chance you might see how ineffective it is and adopt a more mature strategy.
    How the Play Develops With Fred

    M: The right to claim art is similar to the right to declares one's feelings. I am sad. Others don't have the right to deny feelings of others.
    FRED: Sad is a feeling. I can't access your feelings.
    You've made an art object and it's in the world. I have access to it. And I can deny it's art and YOU cannot take my right to deny it's art away, you oppressive censor you.
    M: "This is my art!" is also a feeling. Every artist I know intimately experiences that feeling. Perhaps check with some artists you know? See what they say.
    To make art without feeling? I suppose some do.
    (and then watch out - here will come the venomous tantrum like clockwork)
    FRED: What an insipid response......Etc, Etc. into a long tirade of what a horrible person I must be.
    Fred has an almost sacred obligation to play the "terrible child" and martyr all at once, while making everyone else such a lesser being than himself. Predictable because it is one of the oldest internet archetypes in the short history of the internet. It was developed in those infamous AOL Chat Rooms circa 1992. My apologies for lapsing here into a moment of pure ad hominem argument, but there is only so much pretentious BS any human can put up with, and Fred, you really have made too much of a stink to ignore the crap in your pants. Keep going though - keep up the same predictable path. It's amusing, and so much easier to rebut than carefully reasoned arguments.
     
  186. <<<Art is nothing but a description of intentions about the matter.>>>
    M, you should try remembering what you've said in previous posts before so blatantly contradicting yourself because of an addiction to hyperbole.
    You've said adamantly that art needs and must produce an artifact (which happens to be wrong, but you've declared that's your view). Now you say it is nothing but a description of intentions. Screwy.​
    Read the whole post that includes your quote above. Pay attention to the example and how it develops. It began with a drawing on a paper, and a decision whether to label it a napkin or art, depending on my feelings of intention.
    I find that if you read the whole post, your odds of understanding the point being made rise dramatically. What's your experience?
    Hyperbole. I like it a lot, but I would not say I was addicted. Here's what I have found. When a discussion is dominated by immature hot-heads who focus every one of their posts on denigrating the personal character of the others, hyperbole can be a safe and effective rhetorical countermeasure, instead of diving into the sewer with them. I'd rather have clean hands and be accused of a few exaggerations than to smell like foul feces all day. Just a style thing, Fred.
     
  187. Personally I believe an artist has to have talent, and that artwork needs to display a combination of passion, creativity, originality, craft and technique - I should be inspired by it and have it affect me emotionally - for me there is no age limit and no outside authority or accolades required.​
    I am glad to see one person who largely agrees with me. The difference would only be that I would place no particular limits on the list of words of what a work of art "needs to display." To say it "needs to display technique or craft" requires that technique and craft be defined, for instance. And other words like humor, or compassion might be needed for some work of art and so on. A specific numbered list of ingredients is always going to impinge on creativity. I'd resist the idea.
    I think in reviewing the objections to my position that the artist knows when he has created art and can declare it so, the underlying concern of the protestors is that great fear that some person might create something to a standard that they don't like or approve of. This is the idea of "exclusivity" it is why we form clubs, associations, and societies - to keep the riff-raff OUT! It's as old as Man.
    Can't you just hear them all at the "Royal Society of the Arts" moaning and droning about the new wave of wannabees? Fortunately, there is a dynamic real world out here where those authorities have not one single thing to do with how art is actually progressing with artists, where not one single thing happens until that rising power of liberty and free self expression breaks out through some artist and art is birthed.
     
  188. Sure a lot of primping-n-preening going on. A shame since it's probably at the expense of some
    genuine art-making happening. Extremely fascinating, though, to everyone else here secure with the
    label photographer.

    As usual, wise words from Allen, cutting through the fog...
     
  189. Just what this thread needed. The cavalry arrives!
     
  190. I am glad to see one person who largely agrees with me. The difference would only be that I would place no particular limits on the list of words of what a work of art "needs to display." To say it "needs to display technique or craft" requires that technique and craft be defined, for instance. And other words like humor, or compassion might be needed for some work of art and so on. A specific numbered list of ingredients is always going to impinge on creativity. I'd resist the idea.​
    M - stop trying to seek some kind of consensus where people agree with YOU! You can resist any ideas you want and put forward any ideas you want. Have your own opinion and be comfortable with that - this is subjective stuff.
    We aren't going to agree, that's fine with me and should be fine with you. We define the essential terms differently - so what? If I produce something I term "Art" I couldn't care less if anyone else thinks it is or isn't - the same should be true for anyone else. Therefore, if I define their work as not art, that should be irrelevant to them, and to you. Only the truly insecure stamp their feet and declare to ANYONE ELSE "This is art and I'm an artist and I insist that you agree with me".
     
  191. >>> Just what this thread needed.

    Have a hunch many here might agree on that.
     
  192. <<<Have a hunch many here might agree.>>>
    Like M, another sad sack who needs backup for validation . . . and obviously thought Allen needed it as well.
     
  193. No validation for me Fred.

    I was suggesting that many here would agree with *your* comment - not mine. Nice try, but Allen doesn't
    need anything from me.
     
  194. "Like M, another sad sack ....Fred.
    Chill out Fred. No need to name call folk. It is just a chat no need for folks to get upset particulary when we are talking about such a subjective subject. If I have upset you in anyway then I'm sorry. But I admit to a bit of leg pulling.
     
  195. M - stop trying to seek some kind of consensus where people agree with YOU! You can resist any ideas you want and put forward any ideas you want. Have your own opinion and be comfortable with that - this is subjective stuff.​
    Why are you insisting to dominate what I write or how or to whom? Let me share with you your words of just a few hours ago. Here they are:
    If m wants to believe that merely proclaiming yourself to be an artist makes you an artist, then that's fine for him - as long as he accepts that it's merely his personal interpretation....etc. etc.​
    In that quote you are addressing me. You are imperiously demanding what I must accept as a condition of my opinion. Now, accepting that you have just demanded a set of conditions under which I can have a belief, do you not imagine that I might not have the right to rebuttal in these matters at least equal to your demands upon me? How so?
    You left once exclaiming you could not ever waste time on such twaddle (At least I think that was you. There have been so many people leaving in a huff, only to come back and huff some more, that it is hard to track the revolving door.) Now you are back with more imperious demands than even before! School teachers often have this kind of control over the conditions of discussion, or just classroom behavior. But this is not that model. (I assume that's why you left in the first instance)
    Not only do you have no authority over conditions of my chosen beliefs, but you also have no authority over my rebuttals - and that is especially true when you are arguing directly to my person. Now I have to ask - is that hard for you to understand? Do you need more in depth information about how these discussion work? Your agreement is not necessary for me to carry on as I normally would, but it might be of some benefit to you.
    Your authoritative, command like structure of posting - "he must accept thus!" is fun to read. Amusing would be a better word. But, don't believe your own press. It doesn't mean others accept your attempt at controlling their beliefs, their comments, their posts and their expressions. Post what you like of course, in a style you like, but really, don't expect you can demand anything of me.
    P.S. I don't care what Brad thinks - - the degree of laughter I am getting out of this thread is at least as valuable to my soul at this moment as creating art. A few minutes ago when reading that post I thought my wing was going to crack!
     
  196. m - read again the two quotes of mine that you you cited! I say that you can resist any ideas you want, put forward any ideas you want, have your own opinion and be comfortable with that, and if you want to say that declaring yourself an artist makes you an artist then that's fine - as long as you accept it's merely your personal interpretation!
    How you see this as making an 'imperious demand" I have no idea! I am giving you carte blanche to your opinions, ideas and criticisms - as we all have. Seriously, how thin skinned must you be to find anything objectionable in that at all!
    I did ask you stop saying that we in some sort of agreement because it's simply not true - we don't agree - at all, That too is fine though, this is - as I said - subjective stuff. If asking you to stop saying things that are untrue (we don't agree) upsets you, then there is no point discussing anything, because asking that is not imperious, it's just asking you to not misrepresent my position.
     
  197. Only the truly insecure stamp their feet and declare to ANYONE ELSE "This is art and I'm an artist and I insist that you agree with me".​
    Tsk, tsk. You really do have to read more carefully before attempting insults. This is Fred's fatal flaw in discussions - he is more concerned with forming an insult, than he is in forming an argument, so he reads too quickly, and writes logically flawed arguments. You'd think someone writing with so much authority would be more careful?
    Here's your flaw. Notice carefully what you put in quotes. That includes an extra clause which was never a part of my argument. My argument was that the artist has the right to say, "This is my art!" Notice where I have place my quotes? It ends with his simple, personal declaration. Now read yours. You have added the clause, "and I insist that you agree with me." Big error. I have no intention in my argument of having the artist demand anything of others. None. You have made a serious miscalculation here which demonstrates the principle of looking for the insult before the logic.
    There's no need to apologize for attempting to skew my argument in that superficially obvious way. I'm betting it often works for you when coupled with that authoritative style. I am seeing so many people who do this that I just generally excuse it as carelessness.
     
  198. m - seriously? Is this some puerile game of "gotcha" on semantics or minor points?
    If you don't insist that anyone agree with the guy who declares himself an artist then where's the problem? Of course he has the right to state that (personal interpretation, definitions and subjective - remember) - as he has the right to declare himself an astronaut or a tree frog. If that makes him happy and he believes it to be the case, who on earth cares? I have the right to think he's creating total crap and no-one but me should care about that either.
    You seem much more interested in trying to score points, looking for gotchas and finding ways to misinterpret what people are saying than reading what was actually said and thinking about it with an open mind.
     
  199. How you see this as making an 'imperious demand" I have no idea!​
    John,
    Ok, if you have no idea what an imperious demand is, I will help you.
    What's the meaning of imperious: Assuming authority without justification; arrogant; domineering.
    What's the demand being made? Here it is again: "If m wants to believe that merely proclaiming yourself to be an artist makes you an artist, then that's fine for him - as long as he accepts that it's merely his personal interpretation."
    Let me reduce it to its logic for you: If M wants to believe X, he must accept Y.
    Pretty straightforward there. It's a demand relating to my beliefs. You have made my belief in X conditional upon your demand that I "must accept" Y. It's an imperious demand because you have assumed an authority to place conditions on my beliefs that you don't have.
    In fact, I can possess my beliefs without any conditions from you or anyone else. For a more in depth understand I refer you to the concepts of free expression. Many people, especially those who embrace authoritarian perspectives, are confounded by the ideas of freedom and free expression. Their writings are always peppered with conditional terminology from end to end. Usually it is not so blatant (e.g. imperious) as the post above, but the demand for conditions is anathema to free expression.
     
  200. <<<My argument was that the artist has the right to say, "This is my art!">>>
    This is not an argument. It's self evident. And it's not at all what you've been saying. You've been saying not just that the artist has a right to say this (which we all agree on) but that saying it makes the person who says it an artist.
    If, as you now claim (changing your tune in the best Mitt Romney tradition), you are merely saying that "I am an artist" is covered under our notions of free speech, that would be so utterly pointless and banal that it would be mind boggling.
     
  201. m - seriously? Is this some puerile game of "gotcha" on semantics or minor points?​
    Ha ha. It's not a minor point John. It's a reversal of the entire argument. In the first case, my argument is for "sovereignty of self." Sovereignty. In your case, the artist is an authoritarian who demands control of the thoughts and opinions of others. I'd call that a "reversal" of my position. You call that a game of gotcha? Well, that's a defense mechanism isn't it? Semantics? That's not even remotely the meaning of semantics. Minor points? No, it's not a minor point, it's more or less the entire point! Switching the action of the character from "individualist" to "tyrant" is not a minor point.
    I have to make this observation. I have often said, "It isn't that hard to understand folks." And I was mocked by Fred for being condescending and suggesting people were "stupid" in Fred's words. And yet, here were are with the most authoritative voices completely unable to see the difference between sovereignty and tyranny. I'm flabbergasted. (I wondered for years if I would ever find a use for my grandfather's favorite expression of shock.)
     
  202. <<<My argument was that the artist has the right to say, "This is my art!">>>
    This is not an argument. It's self evident. And it's not at all what you've been saying. You've been saying not just that the artist has a right to say this (which we all agree on) but that saying it makes the person who says it an artist.
    If, as you now claim (changing your tune in the best Mitt Romney tradition), you are merely saying that "I am an artist" is covered under our notions of free speech, that would be so utterly pointless and banal that it would be mind boggling.​
    THAT was your argument now? LOL - there is not one person here who has said that someone has no right to say that! Say whatever you want, claim to be whatever you want (artist, astronaut, tree frog, remember?) - no-one has said that there is anything wrong with that!
    Just because someone states they're an artist I don't necessarily have to consider them to be one. Give me the same rights to my opinion as I give him and we're done. I demand nothing of anybody - claim what you want, believe what you want and if I think you're full of crap then who cares? You have totally misrepresented this whole discussion as you simply don't read what others write and are so intent on trying to score points that you can't see the forest for the trees. You need to sit back, take a deep breath, try to stop attacking every benign comment out of some knee jerk reaction and pull your head out of your ass... LOL that may have been an attack, but seriously, dude... get over yourself.
     
  203. <<<My argument was that the artist has the right to say, "This is my art!">>>
    This is not an argument. It's self evident. And it's not at all what you've been saying. You've been saying not just that the artist has a right to say this (which we all agree on) but that saying it makes the person who says it an artist.
    If, as you now claim (changing your tune in the best Mitt Romney tradition), you are merely saying that "I am an artist" is covered under our notions of free speech, that would be so utterly pointless and banal that it would be mind boggling.​
    Of course it makes him an artist. Just like "This is bread!" makes the maker a baker. The person who arts (verb) is an artist. The person who bakes is a baker and so on. I think last night you attempted an elaborate linguistic exercise to make all this go away into some loss of rights, and undermining of product and so on. That was knocked flat, and you are back with a new variation here?
    I will admit, I don't repeat my entire argument A to Z in every rebuttal to every post. I have made the assumption - obviously being overly optimistic - that people would retain the argument when Saturday turns to Sunday. Please advise - do I need to repeat the whole argument at the beginning or end of each post I make, Fred? Would that be helpful to you? I don't mind.
    Once more, you are following that unsuccessful path of looking first for the opportunity to insult, and in distant second is the logic of the argument.
     
  204. Of course it makes him an artist.​
    And there you go... this is the crux of it. You state your opinion as fact. I don't.
    I accept his right to state that, I accept your right to believe that he is an artist just because he declares it.
    I happen to have my own opinion about what an artist is and what constitutes art. Why is that a problem for you? As I said, there are different interpretations and definitions about this very subjective subject.
    Live and let live - I'm not forcing my opinion on you and am not stating my opinion as some universal truth. Why do you not just accept that it's your perfectly valid opinion that he's an artist but that others might disagree with you and that's their right?
     
  205. there is not one person here who has said that someone has no right to say that!​
    Careless again.
    "What all this is about is that artists are not artists just because they say they are." - Q.G. de Bakker - Oct 25, 2012; 03:48 p.m.
    No, I won't go back and get the many other examples. One is sufficient here to show you error.
     
  206. m - where does he say that they have no right to say that? He just disagrees (as I do) with the proposition.
     
  207. John: "there is not one person here who has said that someone has no right to say that!"
    M: quoting QG "What all this is about is that artists are not artists just because they say they are."
    M, you just lied, as you've done throughout the thread. Implying QG said someone didn't have a right to say they were an artist. That's a bald-faced lie (hyperbole intended). He did not say or imply that. He said that saying something doesn't make it so. He never questioned anyone's right to speak. Pants on fire!
     
  208. This is why I suspect trolling. First, after days of arguing one thing, a troll will often try to make it sound as if she's arguing something else, often to get confused about what exactly was being argued to begin with because the argument is secondary to inflaming the group. Second, a troll will continue trying to inflame, and blatantly lying about what someone in the room said, whose words can obviously be read for themselves to correct the lie, obviously accomplishes more inflammation. No knowledge. Just a guess. Freedom of speech.
     
  209. You need to sit back, take a deep breath, try to stop attacking every benign comment out of some knee jerk reaction and pull your head out of your ass... LOL that may have been an attack, but seriously, dude... get over yourself.​
    And to think, just a few minutes ago you were concerned that an exercise in reason was "puerile." What's next? Are you going to tell me to go f*ck myself, John? Where's your bottom line John? Are you going to tell me my mother must have been a whore? What part of the sewer line do you stop at? You've got the manhole cover off, you are half way down the ladder, you can see Fred down there swimming it it, why not just jump in with him and go for it all? I think that veneer of respectability is peeling here, isn't it? I am quite sure you've no interest in my advice, but it's a one way trip John. You don't regain your mature status as a credible witness on anything once you get in the sewer. That stench follows wherever you go. It's one thing to issue imperious dictates, it can even be humorous, but slinging feces with Fred? Your credibility falls to zero.
     
  210. Now, in terms of solipsism and lack of empathy, this is kind of funny.
    <<<You left once exclaiming you could not ever waste time on such twaddle (At least I think that was you. There have been so many people leaving in a huff, only to come back and huff some more, that it is hard to track the revolving door.)>>>
    All because of you, M!
    But the solipsism/lack of empathy/don't have a clue part is this. Not that long ago, M declared he would no longer respond to me and no longer respond to Jeff, and it didn't pertain just to that thread. You see how well he stuck to that, much like the rest of us. I don't have the inclination to go find the quote. So it turns out M is just one of the guys (and gals, or as Allen likes to jest, queens, sweetheart that he is). An autocratic solipsist's worst nightmare. There is an external agency out there and YOU are part of it. Key the Twilight Zone music.
     
  211. <<<Are you going to tell me to go f*ck myself, John?>>>
    LOL. Spoken like a true solipsist. :)
     
  212. You need to sit back, take a deep breath, try to stop attacking every benign comment out of some knee jerk reaction and pull your head out of your ass... LOL that may have been an attack, but seriously, dude... get over yourself.​
    Said with a smile m - I totally stand by it LOL. You're being ridiculous, you have changed your position endlessly, been proven wrong time and again, misrepresented everyone's positions and it's just silly at this point. Game, set and match.
    Just accept that everyone has the right to their opinion, that your opinion does not represent some universal truth and we're done!
     
  213. Said with a smile m - I totally stand by it LOL. You're being ridiculous, you have changed your position endlessly, been proven wrong time and again, misrepresented everyone's positions and it's just silly at this point. Game, set and match.
    Just accept that everyone has the right to their opinion, that your opinion does not represent some universal truth and we're done!​
    Progress. You've stepped back from the brink of jumping into the sewer with Fred, and I think that is a wise move. The rest of your post is a straw man. I've never argued that people can't have their own opinions, I have simply argued with those who argued with me. That's pretty much what these threads are. Post, counter-post, rinse, repeat. If you don't enjoy the process, stop doing it. I don't write the rebutting posts - - the other posters do. Maybe you are making the old argument that you have some special right to the last word? Is that what this new complaint is?
    Does my position represent a universal truth? Yes, of course I think it does. If I posit that something is a universal truth, it doesn't mean I am insisting others adopt it. I am expressing it, people can accept or reject it at their choice. What mostly is happening is that not only are they not accepting it, they want to argue with me about it. When they do, I have chosen to argue back. So what
    Here again, this is an old worn out dynamic. When a party can't come up with a reasonable argument in the case at hand, they shift gears up to a meta argument about the argument, and make the case that a poster had no right or no business making such an argument, that was after all, "only an opinion" (I also love that one.)
    If it's "only an opinion", and you don't like doing what you are doing, can't you just stop doing it?
    P.S. Either way, you really do look much better without all the raw sewage hanging off you.
     
  214. Misused Word of the Day: Solopsist
    Yesterdays Big Pretentious Failure: Indexical
    Big Failed Idea Before Yesterday: Go read all these philosophy books before talking to me about dichotomy!
    Go ahead Fred, explain how "solopsist" fits into the discussion here. Show your jazzy philosopher chops like you did with "indexical" and "dichotomy."
     
  215. "Progress"? Spare me the condescension. Where have I said I don't like what I'm doing? What on earth are you talking about?
    By the way, there is no "raw sewage" hanging off anyone here that I can see - not me, not Fred, no-one. You are the one who likes to decide what is and what is not acceptable, in forums as in art.... seriously, lighten up.
     
  216. But the solipsism/lack of empathy/don't have a clue part is this. Not that long ago, M declared he would no longer respond to me and no longer respond to Jeff, and it didn't pertain just to that thread. You see how well he stuck to that, much like the rest of us. I don't have the inclination to go find the quote. So it turns out M is just one of the guys (and gals, or as Allen likes to jest, queens, sweetheart that he is). An autocratic solipsist's worst nightmare. There is an external agency out there and YOU are part of it. Key the Twilight Zone music.​
    I want to thank you for this reminder. I think it was several months back - maybe in the spring? I found that you, and I guess it was "Jeff" (not sure) - maybe even a few others - were hostile unrepentant feces slingers, And I did in fact, refrain from paying any attention to you at all. I am afraid after being absent for a few months I did get suckered back in to answering you. I guess it was my passion for the subject that got the better of me. I really ought to stiffen my resolve, as it has only gotten worse since then.
     
  217. Folks,
    This is an interesting discussion spoiled by a bunch of personal attacks, insults and childish whining.
    I'm sure the topic will come up again, it's a pretty common one over the years. But for now, this one is done.
    Please, if you can't argue without resorting to personal attacks, then don't argue. Or don't argue here on photo.net. 4chan loves that sort of thing, head over there.
    Thread closed. I'm going fishing.
     

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