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VectorVonDoom
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Ah, the good old discussion about what is art and what is not. A never ending story. Even because the term "art" is subjected by a sort of evolution. So it is permanently changing. For hundreds of years artists struggled to create as authentic reflections of what they saw with their eyes. Then photography was invented and artists like Braque and Picasso reacted with the invention of Cubism. - Who could beat the naturalism of a photography!

Someone once said that if you find enough people who pay applause to what you did - it's art. Today I would state it more precisely: If you find enough people who pay enough money for what you created - it's art. This is the definition of art in capitalism. And so the way the term "art" is handled today is a mirror to the reality of capitalism. And, damn(!), this is what art does: it is a mirror to the reality.

Some time ago someone told me that Yoko Ono once exhibited an ordinary apple on one of her vernissages. And while the audience was watching "her work", some waitresses distributed apples of exactly the same sort in the exhibition hall - for free. How can an apple be expensive art if absolutely similar apples at the same time are thrown around for free? I think the answer is that the apple in fact isn't the piece of art. But the whole action is. The message.

There are many people out there who can paint or can learn to paint like Rembrandt, Van Gogh or any other famous artist. But they will never be the originals. If they do it, it's only handicraft, not art. It is not relevant. About a year ago I saw a documentary on TV, about a painting international experts still struggle about if it is an original Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi). Very interesting, because the owner, a museum, of course is very interested in that it is an original. Financial interest and reputation. So the surveyors, after a lot of flip-flopping, finally came to the conclusion that it is an original. But it is still very doubtful. I personally don't think so.

We must not be lucky with all this, and in fact this variant of art is not what I want to do, but I think it somehow makes sense.

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@iconoclast

Have you seen this site?

http://museumofbadart.org/

Two things that occur to me.

The art has survived.

The names of the pictures might have been added by the gallery.

For example, there is one named

After the Apocalypse

Would it be different if the title were

Dawn redwoods in winter

?

I like the picture entitled

Two trees in love

----

Separately, there was the following.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/27/pair-of-glasses-left-on-us-gallery-floor-mistaken-for-art

William

 

Using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England

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2 hours ago, iconoclast said:

If you find enough people who pay enough money for what you created - it's art. This is the definition of art in capitalism.

Weird idea and hardly useful. The commercial procedure doesn't make or decide art – it just deals with it. Whereas "it" is the question.

left: 'art' (á la iconoclast)   |   right: non-commercial stuff

626863013_art_iconoclast.jpg.a46e14af1ddaa292480cc1f97c80c26d.jpg

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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8 hours ago, thomaso said:

Weird idea and hardly useful. The commercial procedure doesn't make or decide art – it just deals with it. Whereas "it" is the question.

left: 'art' (á la iconoclast)   |   right: non-commercial stuff

626863013_art_iconoclast.jpg.a46e14af1ddaa292480cc1f97c80c26d.jpg

That's an interesting comparison. In fact some people are talking about "the art of war". But I don't think that it is common sense.

It is a permanent discussion what art shall be allowed to do. Some say, everything. But in our laws, the freedom of art is only one of many laws. And it collides with some of them. For example, I think it is inacceptable if art harms human rights.

So the "art of war" can't really be art. In the best case, handicraft.

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9 hours ago, William Overington said:

@iconoclast

Have you seen this site?

http://museumofbadart.org/

Two things that occur to me.

The art has survived.

The names of the pictures might have been added by the gallery.

For example, there is one named

After the Apocalypse

Would it be different if the title were

Dawn redwoods in winter

?

I like the picture entitled

Two trees in love

----

Separately, there was the following.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/27/pair-of-glasses-left-on-us-gallery-floor-mistaken-for-art

William

 

I know many examples like that. For example about twenty years ago or so a cleaning woman cleaned a bucket, that was greased with fat. The problem was that the place she did that was a museum, and the one who had greased the bucket was Joseph Beuys. A very funny catastrophe, I think. My compassion belongs to the poor cleaning woman. But I think, what she did probably somehow was the completion of this piece of art.

The german Comedian Hape Kerkeling once had a genius performance as a classical reziter/singer, accompanied by a pianist on grand piano, in front of an audience of members of educated classes. His recital consisted of the dramatically intoned words "der Wolf, das Lamm... Hurz" ("the wolf, the lamb...hurz"). Even the main part of the audience wasn't very convinced to be witness of fine arts at the moment. In fact some got very angry. And that was really funny. I would say, this whole action was a piece of art - about art.

But there are also examples that are not so funny. For example the case of Leopold and Loeb, two young guys from the american east coast upper class that were inspired by Nietzsches "Übermensch" and killed the 14 year old Bobby Franks, as a piece of art and to demonstrate their superiority. A case that probably inspired Alfred Hitchcock for his movie "Rope" (1948), that was of course also meant as an allusion on and reflection about the sick Nazi-ideology.

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I like to produce, using Affinity Designer, images that I like to think are art.

I export a jpg file from Affinity Designer, upload the jpg file to the website of a company that supplies customized greetings cards, set up a design for a greetings card, the image on the front; inside the greetings card, where the text of the greeting card would go, I put a title, a description, my name and the month and year; choose to send the card to myself,; pay a fee, and, as long as the image is within legal constraints but not needimg to pass any assessment of artistic merit, I receive a printed custom greetings card.

I buy a frame, listed as a photo frame, the frame is delivered with my grocery order.

I frame the greetings card.

So I have a framed print of an image that I produced, using Affinity Designer, yet nobody other than me has assessed it for artistic merit.

So is it art? 

There is a saying in computing - rubbish in, rubbish out.

So what if someone, whilst tactfully not using the word 'rubbish' sees no artistic merit whatsoever in the image that I have produced.

Does that mean that the image is not art?

What if lots of people have the same view?

What if nobody says that the image has any artistic merit?

Is it still art?

Does the fact that I like to think that it is art, make it art?

William

 

Using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England

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2 hours ago, iconoclast said:

That's an interesting comparison. In fact some people are talking about "the art of war".

The term "the art of…" refers to a fundamentally different use of the word "art". There "art" points to an ability and expresses the need of knowledge, technique, strategy, as in "art of cooking" or "art of diplomacy". Like one can be a "master of arts" or a "master of science" there also exists an "art of politics" and even an "art of torture", while both literally include the option to harm human rights.

No, with the above pictures I rather referred to your "definition of art in capitalism", which would mean that a product (not its use) would be art as soon as it sells. In this way, not the war, but already the weapons would be art. Not only get weapons presented like paintings, while e.g. umbrellas don't, though they are tools of similar shapes like swords and rifles.

So "The Art of…" is rather an ancient understanding of art requiring a "Master", also expressed in the German idiom "Kunst kommt von Können" (~ "art needs ability") and means everything well done could be art – while "well done" is unspecified, too. This relativity also occurs in the idea "Everyone is an Artist" (e.g. Joseph Beuys).

"The Art of…" reminds to the ancient book "Ars Amandi" (Ovid) or the more modern "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" (Pirsig). The latter leads to "art" as kind of believes and religions. There is a detailed comparison in "Das Kunsturteil" (Claus Borgeest) (~'The art judgment'). It is an unemotional, almost mathematical view with legal logic and reasoning on various aspects of art & religion by their objects, habits, rites and eventual rules (e.g., museum > church; vernissage, exhibition > holy mass; the importance of a scientifically undefined basic 'what is…?', believers vs. non-believers, supernatural sensations, personal individual, global market with selectively enormous turnovers, etc.).

36 minutes ago, William Overington said:

Does the fact that I like to think that it is art, make it art?

Seems to be the only common rule among all meanings of "art", even if it becomes art only for oneself or only for a moment. – "Does the cake taste good if I think that it does? If I like it, should I doubt about my taste? Can it taste at all, if I am the only one liking it?"

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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As I was a student of arts about 20-30 years ago, I was mainly interested in comics and airbrush painting. I had problems with both at my art academy, because the most art professors (don't know the right term in english) didn't think that comics could be art and most of them didn't like airbrush painting. I think, of course comics can be art - they don't need to be, but they can - and the airbrush is nothing but a special sort of brush, so a tool you can create art with. Today, as far as I know, they also offer comic workshops at that academy. - Sometimes the early bird misses the worm, as it seems.

It is the same with computers and apps. They are tools. What you create with them can be art, but it is not necessarily art. At least not high art. In german law we have a term called "Schöpfungshöhe", that is important for copyrights. It means something like originality. I think that this is an important point. The great artists in history all had a grade of originality in some things that made their work unique and recognizable. That is it what makes them great art, I think.

To be honest, I don't make the rules. It is just my point of view. But it seems to make sense. If I watch the work that the most people create with digital apps, most of them seem to be interested in recreating analog art effects. That is very interesting to me, I'm often really impressed, and I often try to do it myself, but this alone is nothing that will save you a place in the history of arts. For that it needs some sort of relevant innovation in your work, I think. Think of Van Gogh's colors and wild strokes. Something like that was never seen before. Or think of Monet's handling of light and colors. Caravaggio's masterful Chiaroscuro. Goya's genius characterization of individuals. Picasso's deconstruction of natural shapes... All these are milestones in the evolution of art. Nonetheless of course many artists create art that has not this milestone character, but is really impressing anyway. Some of the things I love may be trash for many others. Doesn't matter to me.

By the way, there is an interesting progress going on in our times. As I said in an earlier post, Picasso, Braque and some others invented the cubism as photography was invented. At the moment we reached a point where photography turns more and more into abstraction. Not only in the choice of the subjects for photographs, that are often abstract shapes in nature. Even in the opportunities image editing offers. "Sharper than reality" is one of the catchphrases for what I mean. Opportunities that create mannerisms. One day, I'm sure, people will see this kind of photographs, and they will say: "Ah, looks like early 21 century". I sometimes don't like this too sharp images, because there is a point where they begin to look static and lifeless. But that might be a matter of taste.

In some german news forums, there are often discussions about if Photoshoping is legitimately. There are always many purists that say that it isn't and that it kills the art of photography. As often in social media, there is almost only black and white in the standpoints. I don't think so. I think it's a new form of art. But it depends on what kind of photography we are talking about. Wildlife photography f.e. shouldn't be sharper than reality, I think, because that is not natural, not "wildlife". And especially press photography has of course to be as unedited as possible, because it has to show reliable truth.

 

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6 minutes ago, thomaso said:

...So "The Art of…" is rather an ancient understanding of art requiring a "Master", also expressed in the German idiom "Kunst kommt von Können" (~ "art needs ability")...

Yes, absolutely. Even there may be a minority that thinks that it is art to make war - "state of the art". But you are right, the term "art" is diffuse. Art and handicraft were not as separated from each other in the past as they are today. Artists like Rembrandt had workshops with lots of students that were painting his works, and it is often not easy to say what the master created himself.

That is one of the reasons why the term "art" is not that serious and important to me.

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20 minutes ago, William Overington said:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aroma_compound

Perhaps a hatching system involving triangles and hexagons could be used.

Maybe in a speech bubble or similar.

William

 

 

That's an interesting problem. But I think it would lead to a very complex convention, only invited people would understand. As far as I know the heraldic hatching system only handles primary colors. So it only needs few different hatches. How many different smells do exist? And how to describe them?

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21 minutes ago, iconoclast said:

The great artists in history all had a grade of originality in some things that made their work unique and recognizable. That is it what makes them great art, I think.

You have forgotten the aspect of frequency (flow, diligence, "no flux, no prize" / "ohne Fleiß kein Preis"). It is obviously a condition of "great" art that it is not unique in the way that it frequently changes style to create different, new styles during an artist's lifetime. Instead, it requires excessive repetition of a particular style to become interesting to the art market. If an artist lacks continuity in style, the chances of being judged "great" shrink massively, while frequent repetition of a style increases the production of commercial objects of "consistent quality" in the eyes of the market.

Gerhard Richter is a good example of this. Although he initially painted in a variety of styles, he achieved his current role as the most expensive living artist with his continuously smudged paintings, created by smearing paint with a squeegee in the width of the canvas . Technically rather undemanding and by no means unique, it is rather the continuous persistence that accounts for success - which now also makes exceptions to the technique, such as the single, stained glass window of purely square pixels in rather random colors, seem particularly valuable.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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1 minute ago, thomaso said:

You have forgotten the aspect of frequency (flow, diligence, "no flux, no prize" / "ohne Fleiß kein Preis"). It is obviously a condition of "great" art that it is not unique in the way that it frequently changes style to create different, new styles during an artist's lifetime. Instead, it requires excessive repetition of a particular style to become interesting to the art market. If an artist lacks continuity in style, the chances of being judged "great" shrink massively, while frequent repetition of a style increases the production of commercial objects of "consistent quality" in the eyes of the market.

Gerhard Richter is a good example of this. Although he initially painted in a variety of styles, he achieved his current role as the most expensive living artist with his continuously smudged paintings, created by smearing paint with a squeegee in the width of the canvas . Technically rather undemanding and by no means unique, it is rather the continuous persistence that accounts for success - which now also makes exceptions to the technique, such as the single, stained glass window of purely square pixels in rather random colors, seem particularly valuable.

That's a very good point and has always been a problem for me, I must confess. I never really wanted to have a certain style, because I always conceived it as a limitation. But during the years it became clearer and clearer to me that people demand something of a reliable state - as I do too. Never found a solution for this problem.

Otherwise I find it very interesting to see how artists develop and improve their style. For example if I compare the early Asterix-Comics with the later ones. Or Tintin. Some of the Tintin-Comics became facelifted years later. It's really interesting to compare the drawings. And even the story telling became riper. The same of course f.e. with the early Rembrandt and his later work and other artists. Or someone like HR Giger. That is very interesting to see.

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28 minutes ago, iconoclast said:

That's an interesting problem. But I think it would lead to a very complex convention, only invited people would understand. As far as I know the heraldic hatching system only handles primary colors. So it only needs few different hatches. How many different smells do exist? And how to describe them?

I produced designs for fifteen colours. Where a heraldry hatching existed I usually applied that, for example, vertical lines for red, horizontal lines for blue. I did not copy the heraldic black design.

The designs are shown on page 4 of the following document. The colour indicating design is at the right hand side of the designs.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/localizable_sentences_the_novel_chapter_005.pdf

I have also added designs for a few other colours but not applied them yet.

William

 

Using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England

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12 minutes ago, William Overington said:

I produced designs for fifteen colours. Where a heraldry hatching existed I usually applied that, for example, vertical lines for red, horizontal lines for blue. I did not copy the heraldic black design.

The designs are shown on page 4 of the following document. The colour indicating design is at the right hand side of the designs.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/localizable_sentences_the_novel_chapter_005.pdf

I have also added designs for a few other colours but not applied them yet.

William

 

It's an interesting project. The problem I see is that the recipients will have to learn a lot to be able to read the coded colors. Vertical lines for red and horizontal lines for blue seem natural, but for other colors it is not that obvious what hatches could stand for it. So it will become a complex sort of language if you create hatches for more and more nuances, I'm afraid.

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3 hours ago, iconoclast said:

@William Overington

An idea. Are you familiar to alchemical symbols? Possibly they could help you to find a way to symbolize smells.

Thank you for that link, I was not aware of that.

I have not been on the computer for a couple of hours but I had been thinking of what symbols to use, and I had remembered that triangles were used for some alchemical symbols so I had decided to look them up so as to avoid using any symbols that might already be in use for alchemical symbols.

Where I was intending to look is the following.

https://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U1F700.pdf

and some are in this block

https://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U2600.pdf

There are some notes on PDF page 56 of the following document.

https://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode14.0.0/ch22.pdf 

The file is 657 kilobytes

I found that downloading to local storage and opening in Adobe Reader allows easier access to PDF page 56 rather than online using a web browser.

William

 

Using a Lenovo laptop running Windows 10 in England

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1 hour ago, William Overington said:

I found that downloading to local storage and opening in Adobe Reader allows easier access to PDF page 56 rather than online using a web browser.

For what little it’s worth, the following link takes me straight to page 56 in the Safari browser on my iPad:

https://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode14.0.0/ch22.pdf#page56

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12 hours ago, William Overington said:

Thank you for that link, I was not aware of that.

I have not been on the computer for a couple of hours but I had been thinking of what symbols to use, and I had remembered that triangles were used for some alchemical symbols so I had decided to look them up so as to avoid using any symbols that might already be in use for alchemical symbols.

Where I was intending to look is the following.

https://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U1F700.pdf

and some are in this block

https://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U2600.pdf

There are some notes on PDF page 56 of the following document.

https://www.unicode.org/versions/Unicode14.0.0/ch22.pdf 

The file is 657 kilobytes

I found that downloading to local storage and opening in Adobe Reader allows easier access to PDF page 56 rather than online using a web browser.

William

 

These old symbols from alchemie, astrology, metallurgy and so on play with analogies and suggested relationships. For example the metal iron (one of the seven metals in the perception of the ancients) is associated with the color red, because of the color of rust. And because of this it is associated with the antique god and its associated planet Mars and the element fire. It is an extensive system of interrelated beliefs. For example there is also a theory about 7 body fluids and related temperaments, that are likewise related to the 7 metals and planets and so on (the fluid related to iron is blood, and the temperament, the choleric). Even these weird ancient ideas once were the mother soil our modern sciences evolved from, they are of course funny bullshit from our today's point of view. Nonetheless they are a complex system of a sort of language that still has its impact in literature and arts. For example in fairy tales, fantasy, horror stories, even science fiction, and so on. For example "Lord of the Rings" is full of symbolic of that kind.

If you take a look at the symbols, you will notice that they are composed of certain shapes, like triangles, circles and semicircles, crosses, points... that appear in different compositions. I think also the usage of this shapes in different composings is meant to show relationships. But it is very complex and very difficult to understand it from our modern perspective.

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