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  1. #31
    Mike Richards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    With nothing better to do they discovered by accident that things in the environment make marks on other things. Then they found that the things they made marks of looked like things in the environment.

    It took 30,000 years to get to the stuff that looks like things that make marks on things that don't look like things in the environment. We call that Art.
    First, a correction. The cave paintings are more like 10,000 years old. The 30,000 year old relic at Altamira was a man shaped void in a layer of earth that had been assumed as a tomb of some type. Memory gets a bit foggy at my age.

    Curt, Interesting definition well stated, although I had to read it several times to get it. I still wonder why they took the trouble to make the paintings.
    Mike Richards' Mobile Me gallery, including the Holocaust and Turkey Expo.

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Richards View Post
    .

    I still wonder why they took the trouble to make the paintings.
    Something to do with - for want of a better word - 'soul'?

  3. #33

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    On second thoughts I think 'soul' is a good word - but possibly one (like 'inspiration') we've become a little afraid of using. Not sure why this is - perhaps they've come to seem a little 'big' for us.

  4. #34

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    In a response to one of the images that I posted as examples of questionable images aligned with this thread. Several of the respondants questioned why I would ask the question that I did? In response to that enquiry, I wrote that which follows.

    I am raising this question because as a photographer striving toward artistic expresson I have questions about my own work and also the work of a lot of what I see being produced today. I observe that a great deal of what I hear or see labeled as photographic art has no universal connection to the human psyche...does the label "art" make it "art"? Does the individual photographer or artist have any basis from which to make this determination? Does the individual producing this self determined art have the objectivity to make this determination? We can take the tack that the marketplace will be the final determiner...and to a certain extent that may be true...but let us not be cheerleaders in a parade leading toward obscurity of this means of expression...and by that I mean artistic expression for those who are hopefully so engaged.

    Let us not become so blinded that we soon accept excrement as representative of artistic expression when it bears not even a parting resemblance to that.

    It appears the widely recognized art of numerous disciplines that has survived the test of time has a quality that is LACKING in much of what we like to label as photographic art...photography has the ability to transmit information...does that make it art? Is art about beauty alone? Does photographic art amount to nothing more than "pretty pictures"? I would sincerely hope that photography...by that I mean the participants, including myself, involved in artistic expression via the practice of photography have not sunk to that level.

    Let us not forget the great tulip hysteria that once infected the minds and greedy souls of that time. If that becomes the case in photography...we will someday see that the king goes riding nakedly down the street.
    Last edited by Donald Miller; 06-08-2007 at 11:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  5. #35
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    Anything that is produced, presented or otherwise conveyed for the purpose of eliciting an emotional and/or intellectual and/or aesthetic experience that either does not otherwise involve a utilitarian purpose or communicates these emotional/intellectual/aesthetic qualities distinct from it's utilitarian function, is art.

    That's my best effort at defining "art." There are limitless ways to do these things. A visual document is not art just because, any more than a written text is art just because. The state of being art has everything to do with why it exists and what it does.

    Intent...context...effect.

    This goes for every medium. There is nothing that makes this more or less complicated when the medium happens to be photography.

    What one person makes may be said to well and truly be art if it functions in this manner for even one perceiver...even when that sole perceiver is the person that made it.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    Anything that is produced, presented or otherwise conveyed for the purpose of eliciting an emotional and/or intellectual and/or aesthetic experience that either does not otherwise involve a utilitarian purpose or communicates these emotional/intellectual/aesthetic qualities distinct from it's utilitarian function, is art.

    I hope you would not exclude all the work of past centuries that was done 'to order' so to speak, but is irrevocably 'Art' with a capital A. Of course the most famous among such people...like Bach, or Leonardo etc....are obvious examples, but I think there were legions of quotidian artisans whose sincerity and skill raised their products to a level of profoundly genuine art. It's only relatively recently that self conscious makers of music, photography, painting etc started to wonder whether they'd measure up. Their ancestors were too busily engaged in their craft to worry about it. 'Artist' or 'artisan' is not for us to decide....that can be determined by others at another time.
    John Voss

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  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by jovo View Post
    'Artist' or 'artisan' is not for us to decide....that can be determined by others at another time.
    Absolutely, and it's a recent distinction anyway -- arguably only post-Romantic, which really began with Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werthers in 1774.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  8. #38
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    Hog wash
    An artisan is easy to define. An artisan is a craftsperson and it has a connotation of higher skill. Although it may be immodest and they may be called on to prove it, a craftsperson can refer to themselves as an artisan. It doesn't require the consul of learned old folk, or history to identify an artisan.

    An artist is someone who has the creativity and originality to produce work of aesthetic value or someone who creates work of aesthetic value with creativity and originality. Most thinking people should be able to pick out an artist and anyone smart enough to understand the meaning of the word and is capable of fulfilling the role can also call themselves an artist.

    Whether the word was coined in 1774 or yesterday has no bearing on when and who can use it.

    Although it may seem arrogant to refer to themselves as an artist it is equally as arrogant if not more so to say that time is the only arbiter of who is an artist.

    What about temporary art -- art that only lasts for a moment or relates only to the moment -- how will history know or be able to judge? What about art dedicated or specific to a small or closed group, a group to small to make it on to the pages of history? What about other ignorance’s of future generations.

    Frankly the thought that only time can determine what is art and who are the artists smacks of elitist bull shit -- no offence intended.

    *

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by jd callow View Post
    Frankly the thought that only time can determine what is art and who are the artists smacks of elitist bull shit -- no offence intended.
    Surely the opposite, if anything. Anyone can call himself an artist: THAT'S elitist bullshit. Whether this evaluation is supported by others must necessarily be a matter of time.

    An artisan may or may not be an artist, and an artist may or may not be an artisan. It is a false dichotomy -- which I (and others) believe to be of relatively recent origin, dating to the Romantic movement.

    No offence intended -- and at least we agree about how to spell offence.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  10. #40
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    It is romantic to think that only time will tell, but having only time be the decider of what is art or who is an artist fails far too many tests. To have a word which can be defined but not used, or to have others tell you that "although you understand the word you are not allowed its use," simply can't be defended.

    *

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