Is this art.
Duchamps famous toilet started a dispute about the nature of art. What to you think?

Is this art.
invizzy
Professional Student
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Location: Australia

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 711
#61 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jan 21, 2013 - 10:07 PM:

HemlockHangover wrote:


Anyone trying to make a "delicious chocolate bar" (as opposed to an object that qualifies as merely a "chocolate bar") is designing it to please. That is their goal. This seems self-evident.



I think the whole point of adjectives is so describe accidental qualities of things. You can sit down as your job as a confectioner and try and make a delicious chocolate bar, but you can't insert the accidental quaity into the essence of thing you are perceiving. We don't perceive 'delicious choclate bars' as a concept, we perceive chocolate bars which, after we taste, may find them to be delicious. Delicious refers to how we think they taste, not an intention.

So no I don't think we can, in essential terms, design 'delicious' chocolate bars

HemlockHangover wrote:


I really don't understand why the eating part is so important here. For one thing, eating just seems like the thing you do to expose your taste buds to the substance in question. Even if swallowing it was somehow essential, I can imagine an art piece which involves eating food as part of the experience. In fact I know of at least one.

You make that claim as if we've already settled on a definition of art and that putting it in your mouth or it becoming food suddenly disqualifies it. The question I've been asking since J-rob brought it up is "Why?".



Things can't have two intentions. THis is the same reason why vaccum cleaners can't be knives. They are FOR different things, they contradict. Similarly art can't be a vaccum cleaner, knife or FOOD. Can you think of any other thing that has two 'intention/design' essences? When an object has two intentions, we need to come up for another word for it (smartphone or clock radio).

This seems to suggest that if both art and food has an intention (which it seems pretty clear they do) they are mutually exclusive. So even if art is edible, it is not FOR eating Of course the act of eating might be artistic and be part of art performances but the 'food' isn't.


HemlockHangover wrote:



As a contrasting example, if a skilled dancer performed a dance for me in the nude, and she performed it only once and only for me, would that be art? Let's assume, for the sake of the thought it experiment, that it's not a lap dance (which is what it sounds like), but the dance is something that you and I would both agree is beautiful and "artistic" (whatever that means).

How is that different from a massage, when we apply your proposed definition? In one case she's using her body to create a visual experience, in the other she's using he body to create a tactile experience. Both are temporary, intended for a single recipient, and involve no object other than a person's body.



Its not about audience numbers. A massage might be art in the sense that it is for the benefit of an audience ie. part of a performance. But the pleasure from having the actual massage is not art.

In your example, the dance would indeed be art, but the act of watching the dance is not. The pleasure you get from the dance is not the art in this case, it is an effect of the dance. Once again, you can have pleasure from a massage, but the pleasure is accidental. There is nothing about massages that are designed to be beautiful it is more to do with manipulating the body.

HemlockHangover wrote:



That being said, even if your definition got past the other problems we've been discussing (which I obviously don't believe it has), I still think that using the word pleasure misses the reason why I often seek out many kinds of artwork as opposed to an action movie, a juggler, a comedian, or an attractive woman's face enhanced with make-up - all which are designed to please, but none of which are things I would like to see classified as art (perhaps you disagree with me on that).


Action movies, juggler's performances, a comedy act are all designed to be pleasure objectified and are therefore art. A woman's face is not designed to be beautiful, and decoration (making something more beautiful) is different to creating beauty.
HemlockHangover
Gadfly

Usergroup: Moderators
Joined: Oct 16, 2012
Location: Seattle

Total Topics: 5
Total Posts: 318
#62 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jan 22, 2013 - 4:01 AM:

GilesField wrote:
Things can't have two intentions. THis is the same reason why vaccum cleaners can't be knives.


They can't have conflicting intentions, but they can have layered intentions. If I forge a knife so that it has backwards-facing hooks designed to tear flesh as it's pulled out, then I think it becomes a "weapon". It's essentially a weapon, but it happens to be a knife.

GilesField wrote:
This seems to suggest that if both art and food has an intention (which it seems pretty clear they do) they are mutually exclusive.


Why are they mutually exclusive? You keep saying that without fully justifying it. Just as the intention of a "knife" as an implement to cut can be layered under the intention of a "weapon" as something which causes damage to living flesh.

GilesField wrote:
They are FOR different things, they contradict. Similarly art can't be a vaccum cleaner, knife or FOOD.


You're only right in the same sense that art can't be a painted canvas, or a lump of fired clay, or a body in motion, or the sound made by a musical instrument. But all of these things can be art, right? Including vacuum cleaners, knives, and FOOD (which I guess we're capitalizing for some reason).

GilesField wrote:
So even if art is edible, it is not FOR eating Of course the act of eating might be artistic and be part of art performances but the 'food' isn't.


Why? You obviously agree that food can qualify as art, which means (by your definition) that it can cause pleasure, you're just disavowing the pleasure caused by it being eaten. If the shapes and colors of the food are intentionally arranged visually in a colorful way that pleases via the eyes, you accept that pleasure, but if its ingredients are intentionally arranged in a delicious way that pleases via the tongue, you cry foul?

GilesField wrote:
I think the whole point of adjectives is so describe accidental qualities of things.


"Beautiful" is an adjective. "Pleasure inducing" is adjectival. These are the concepts which (again by your definition) would, along with intention, transform a non-artistic paint-on-canvas object into "art". Technically speaking, any given painting that we consider art is, when more accurately stated, an "artistic arrangement of paint on canvas". The adjective is crucial. Take it away and it's just "an arrangement of paint on canvas". And the exact nature of that crucial adjective is what we've been debating.

GilesField wrote:
Delicious refers to how we think they taste, not an intention.


It refers directly to the intentions of the confectioner, if it was in fact the confectioner's intent. Your statement is as absurd as saying “Artistic refers to how we think a painted canvas looks, not an intention."

We may not tend to perceive "delicious chocolate bars" as a concept but the deliciousness can be intentional, and if it is I (still) don't see how your definition excludes them.

GilesField wrote:
A woman's face is not designed to be beautiful, and decoration (making something more beautiful) is different to creating beauty.


So if I take a beautiful tree branch and coat it with gold paint, that can't be art? The lines that you're drawing between "art" and "not art" are not yet justified by a solid definition.

All in all, I agree with you that a massage or chocolate bar don't need to be pleasure inducing in order to be what they are. But when it comes to determining whether they can be art, you seem to privileging certain kinds of pleasure or transmission points for pleasure (seeing and hearing for instance) over others (like taste and touch).

GilesField wrote:
Action movies, juggler's performances, a comedy act are all designed to be pleasure objectified and are therefore art.


And yet the "culinary arts" don't make the cut, even though they've tried to put "art" right in their name...

Bottom line is that I don't agree with your "pleasure objectified" criteria, and I don't agree that action movies should qualify as art. At this point I think I'm going to tap out. I really do believe it's possible to find a solid definition of art (and one that excludes delicious chocolate bars), but I feel like I've done the best I can to make the points I wanted to make when I was originally drawn back into the conversation.
invizzy
Professional Student
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Location: Australia

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 711
#63 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Jan 22, 2013 - 5:45 AM:

Well thanks for the debate anyway. I wish I was a bit better at explaining my position.

For reference, there is nothing in conflict with knife (intended for slicing by being held) and weapon (intended for harming). A knife can be a weapon as it can be cutlery.

Art (intended to be beautiful) however is in conflict with just about everything with an intention. Food (intended to be eaten), urinals (intended for pissing on) and vacuum cleaners (intended for cleaning with vacuum) can not be art. Neither can they be weapons.

Food, urinals and vaccum cleaners can BECOME art just as they can be used AS weapons but they are not by themselves s art or weapons.

So no, food can't be art.

In terms of adjectives, they become tautologies when they desribe essential qualities. (eg Weapon for harming.) So delicious chocolate bar is just describing an accidental quality of the chocolate bar.

The golden branch is all about intention. If it is intended fo be decoration it is not art, if the branch is designed a be a beautiful branch then it is art,

StaticAge
Fearless Vampire Killer
Avatar

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Feb 18, 2009

Total Topics: 9
Total Posts: 357
#64 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 3, 2013 - 6:02 PM:

It was established to be art a long time ago. The fact that the OP created a thread discussing the artistic value of the piece nearly a hundred years after galleries began showcasing it as art is testimony to its lasting power as a work of art.
hughsmith23
PF Addict

Usergroup: Members
Joined: Feb 03, 2013

Total Topics: 83
Total Posts: 1279
#65 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 4, 2013 - 5:40 AM:

GilesField wrote:
Well thanks for the debate anyway. I wish I was a bit better at explaining my position.

For reference, there is nothing in conflict with knife (intended for slicing by being held) and weapon (intended for harming). A knife can be a weapon as it can be cutlery.

Art (intended to be beautiful) however is in conflict with just about everything with an intention. Food (intended to be eaten), urinals (intended for pissing on) and vacuum cleaners (intended for cleaning with vacuum) can not be art. Neither can they be weapons.

Food, urinals and vaccum cleaners can BECOME art just as they can be used AS weapons but they are not by themselves s art or weapons.

So no, food can't be art.

In terms of adjectives, they become tautologies when they desribe essential qualities. (eg Weapon for harming.) So delicious chocolate bar is just describing an accidental quality of the chocolate bar.

The golden branch is all about intention. If it is intended fo be decoration it is not art, if the branch is designed a be a beautiful branch then it is art,


I am not sure I understand the 'intention' argument. Often we come across objects we do not know the intention of, but still have an aesthetic perspective on. If I come to a wood, and someone has painted a brand of a tree golden, I do not have to wait by the branch for someone to tell me why someone else's painted it before I know whether or not it is beautiful.

More radically; if I see the snow fall, and it is beautiful, I do not have to ask why it is snowing to find the snow beautiful. If anything, the asking why and the finding beautiful are separate activities; once I am bored of just looking at the snow (the aesthetic experience) perhaps I will phone my friend and ask him why it is snowing. If he tells me that its because its cold, I will not respond aesthetically to his statement in the same way I responded to the snow.

You say food can 'become art' but it isnt art. Isn't it the same for paint? A pot of paint isnt art, but it can become art. So, to cook food is like to paint with paint.

When people design chocolate bars, they go and give them to people to taste etc, and make sure people will enjoy the chocolate. So I don't see how the flavour is accidental.
invizzy
Professional Student
Avatar

Usergroup: Sponsors
Joined: Feb 20, 2011
Location: Australia

Total Topics: 22
Total Posts: 711
#66 - Quote - Permalink
Posted Feb 6, 2013 - 8:10 AM:

hughsmith23 wrote:


I am not sure I understand the 'intention' argument. Often we come across objects we do not know the intention of, but still have an aesthetic perspective on. If I come to a wood, and someone has painted a brand of a tree golden, I do not have to wait by the branch for someone to tell me why someone else's painted it before I know whether or not it is beautiful.

Absolutely it can be beautiful but you probably won't think of it as art until you know someone's painted it or why.

hughsmith23 wrote:


You say food can 'become art' but it isnt art. Isn't it the same for paint? A pot of paint isnt art, but it can become art. So, to cook food is like to paint with paint.

You can obviously make art out of both food and paint, but that's different from saying that they ARE art. This goes to intention again, food is cooked with the intention to eat thus making it food. Paint is painted with the intention to be beautiful thus making it art.

hughsmith23 wrote:


When people design chocolate bars, they go and give them to people to taste etc, and make sure people will enjoy the chocolate. So I don't see how the flavour is accidental.

The term 'accidental' when talking about essentialism does not refer to a quality that is accidental in the sense of a 'mistake' or 'unitended'. I am using accidental in the sense of what makes a chocolate bar a chocolate bar. A chocolate bar is unlikely to include 'delicious' or 'pleasure' by definition. To be a chocolate bar something may need to be a food that is cocoa, sugar, and fat based in a bar form perhaps, meaning everything that is so, is necessarily a chocolate bar. A 'chocolate bar' does not refer to how it tastes or how big it is though, as these, as accidental qualities can vary between chocolate bars.

locked
Download thread as
  • 96/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5


Recent Internal Replies
On Jan 19, 2013 - 7:48 AM, jamalrob replied internally to invizzy's I don't thi....
On Nov 22, 2012 - 12:28 AM, Know-Nothing replied internally to jamalrob's Why does it matter? ....
On Nov 15, 2012 - 1:09 PM, jamalrob replied internally to invizzy's Hey jamalrob, you ma....
On Oct 1, 2012 - 12:26 PM, ciceronianus replied internally to θωπεύονταςτοτίποτα's Would it still be ar....
On Sep 30, 2012 - 6:01 PM, mayor of simpleton replied internally to Mr. Gorbag's Absolutely! It....
On Sep 30, 2012 - 12:16 PM, mayor of simpleton replied internally to mayor of simpleton's "R. Mutt 1917"... ....
On Sep 30, 2012 - 8:14 AM, Bobard replied internally to mayor of simpleton's "R. Mutt 1917"... ....

This thread is closed, so you cannot post a reply.