2. Making Sense of Art

 Hegel said that you must not think to understand what art means until you can first understand what philosophy says it means. That was like Hegel. It was, indeed, rather like philosophy.”

– Lascelles Abercrombie

From MWoof – Maggie:

I had the chapter about making sense of art. My thoughts are quite honestly that it was a tough read, not because I couldn’t understand what the words meant but because it really just went on an on about what art may or may not mean. I enjoyed the part about our brain being light years faster in our art making than our intelligence. I had a difficult time making much sense of anything else. I did however contemplate the meaning behind the statement that our brain knows whats it’s doing before we understand what we ourselves are doing. The part about “what is art?” and then beginning a long winded allusion to clouds was interesting, because it told us that the more we look for the “fuzzy” areas the more we can define art. It then goes on to ask you about what you personally associate with art and gives a list of examples of what art “feels” like to you. If you think that it does not look like art, than it is not art to you. THOUGH! that does not mean it is not art to someone else.

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14 Replies to “2. Making Sense of Art”

  1. Orland says “Artists often have good reason to aviod inquiring too closely into motive and purpose…” i have 2 thoughts on this… 1- why aviod it? isnt the motive and purpose the reason to make it? with out these two things, what motivation do they have to start or even finish what they are making? so that doesnt make sence to me but at the same time i think, well- there ARE times when i make a picture just cause i think it looks cool and when im done with it i suddenly notice an amazing in depth story about myself or anything.

  2. I do not agree that the human race can come up with a concrete definition for the meaning of art. Everyone has a different perception of art because of the way they have been exposed to it, as I heard in a 2D Foundations class. As I sat there in the chair in the back, I listened to Ms. Dukowitz ask her class to define “art” in their own words. There were mentions of creativity, skill level, publication of artwork, emotions, and even what the person used to produce the artwork. Everyone is going to have their own definition of art, it just depends on what angle of the canvas you look at it.
    I do argue with Carli a bit on the motive and purpose of finding the definition to art. If it I was to find it, it might change my perception on how I create my work and might erase all that I’ve liked about the works I create. The purpose and motive might not stay the same from day to day and it could hurt the art-making process.

  3. I really enjoyed this chapter. I liked how Ted used many analogies and connections about how we subconciously may not always know what we mean when we are making “art”; but, somewhere in the middle or at the end (of making art) we begin to realize what we really intended on this art piece to turn out. We may not know how it will look or how it may turn out, but we know it will make something we have been waiting for. We will never know what art can be/do until we unleash it and let it blossom into its full potential. We do many things subconciously, so why not art? Sometimes we go into a piece with full intentions of what it will be and what it will look like and then it turns out completly different. Art has been around longer than humans have been so, like Ted Orland said, why do we question what art is now? There is art everywhere you look (nature, people, architecture, ect.) so why must we try to get a text book definition of what art is? Art is what ever you make it out to be.

  4. I have a couple of thoughts here. I don’t think Mr. Orland ever said that humans could define art. Just the opposite as Cheyenne and Jenna state, there are so many options and ideas about what art is that it is impossible to put a solid definition to it.

    Has art been around longer than humans? I don’t think it has. Animals, sadly, don’t have the need for or the capacity for making art. Prior to “us” being on the planet, art wasn’t either. But it doesn’t matter… we weren’t there to need it. We, as humans, need art. We are in desperate need of decoration, pattern, beauty, ugliness, to help us get through the day, cope with life and the like.

    Good comments.

  5. Im going to be completely honest. I did read the chapter but i thought it was a hard read. and to fkorb post, i do think that art does come before humans. no matter how you look at it, or whether your religious or not. The life forms on earth have always evolved to live, or they just die off. just evolving is an art form of its own. it may not be the kind of art that everybody thinks of when some body says “art”, but its art none the less. and on the religious side. God creates each individual. and when i hear about that, i think of him sitting up where ever it is that he or she is making a sculpture of each individual person. so i do think art has been around since before humans.

  6. this chapter actually made me think of Bob Dylan. If you have never seen Bob Dylan in an interview, go ahead and jump on to youtube and watch one. all of these reporters have these obscure “statements” as to what THEY believe his songs to be about and they try and make him confirm their own personal beliefs in the meaning. truth is Mr. Dylan had as little an idea as they actually did as to what his songs meant. alot of times he didnt make the songs for any reason or to convey a message. he wrote the songs because he wanted to write songs. i dont ALWAYS have motive for my art. in fact 99% of the time the emotion and message of my art work comes to me when im making the final marks. there are also times when it comes to me right in the middle and as like cheyenne stated you feel as if you have to erase all the work you put in to it because it no longer feels right. as for “what is art?”…..well i personally believe anything that even a single person has passion for could be considered art. to me art IS passion. math could be an art form if someone was truely passionate about it. and i disagree with Mr. Korb. i personally believe art HAS been around longer than humans. it just took until humans came around for us to label it as art. if an artist is drawing a landscape and the drawing is considered art, why isnt the actual landscape isnt art? the art of nature….inspiring artists for ages and ages to come.

  7. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy reading your comments about the ideas appearing in “The View…”. In today’s world, artists are almost entirely disconnected from their audience, so it’s a wonderful breath of fresh air to get some real-time first-person-singular feedback. Moreover, you ARE the next generation of art, so don’t underestimate the potential effect of your ideas upon the future.
    When “The View” was still just an unpublished manuscript, one of the alternative titles for the book you’re now reading was, “Questions Worth Asking”. Answers are reassuring, but when you come upon something really interesting, it will probably hit you in the form of a question. Answers are just a delivery system for taking you to the next question. Humans are the only species that, when they find an answer, set it aside and look for a new question worth exploring.
    All that’s just to say that “The View from the Studio Door” offers you a perspective that you can compare with your own, and then (perhaps) ask what it is about your life that leads you to see the world differently from the way I see it.
    But all answers are not equal — ideas are the coin of the realm in your class, and you have to be prepared to defend them with both passion and logic. I don’t think Frank Korb will let you slide by with less.

  8. After reading this chapter I was pretty happy that there wasn’t a real definition to art. If there was people could tell you that you’re not an artist. What you’ve done, what you put your heart and soul into, is not art. Dustin is right with his statement about the lovely Bob Dylan. One reporter would ask if he preferred a subtle or obvious message in his songs. He was confused. She told him that the songs he wrote were supposed to have a subtle message. He was still confused and questioned, “Well, where’d you hear that?” It seems like it’s almost impossible to define art. To me, art is like beauty. It’s different for everyone.

  9. Is there really a way to define aspects of life that are constantly changing? I do not think that art can have a solid definition, as Orland and many of my fellow classmates argue. How can one compare the artistic components of, as Orland asks, an architectural beauty to a lovely painting? Are they not both art, but in their own forms?
    As for the question posed throughout this chapter, about why we need to have a formed definition of what art is, I personally think it has a simple answer, (forgive me if this was stated already). To me, the reason we desire a concrete definition is because, generally, the human race does not like loose ends. I state this not to start an argument about what loose ends are, or about how people may interpret this differently, but to offer my view on why we bother with definitions of the indefinable.

    Overall, this chapter really made me think about how I go about making art. I actually go into my art making process with a well-thought out idea about what I am going to do, how I am going to do it and what I am going to use, but I never realize the depth I have worked into it until I take those steps backwards and just look at what I have created. Though a solid, unquestionable definition cannot be placed on the word art, I believe that art is all about individual perception.

    I love the statement Ted Orland made in his comment on this page – “Answers are reassuring, but when you come upon something really interesting, it will probably hit you in the form of a question. Answers are just a delivery system for taking you to the next question.” It seems that we will always be stuck, trying to find answers to reassure ourselves, but ultimately end up with more questions to be pondered.

  10. Art shouldn’t be defined by the viewer but by the artist. If you intend to create a piece of art, and what it to be recognized to a certain degree, and someone looks at it and you get the opposite reaction you wanted. Then you the artist didn’t put enough defiance to your work. I make art, not for myself but for people to see it for what it is. I what the person looking at it, as though they where making it themselves.

  11. I agree art can not be defined. It is kind of similar to the thought of religion or the after life, where in any case it’s all mostly opinion rather than a solid fact. Whether the art piece was intended to be something specific it can always mean something else. This was a pretty hard reading but after reading the chapter three times I made sense out of it. The “hoopla” made me laugh. The Bob Dylan comment from Dustin was awesome and I agree with that, in the sense that when people can’t understand something they try to push for something they can relate to; which is disappointing but it’s most likely human.

  12. I really enjoy the part saying that even over these thousands of years art is a word that is really hatd to give a defintion to. I think that this is true since not everyone can percieve things in the same way as the person next toyou. I think it is beeter not to question your art just as Orland says because that will alter how the artist will see his next piece. But everyone does have their own art. I would say art is our own unque difference not just in pieces but in every day life as well.
    ~ Matthew Hansen

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