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20 July 2008 @ 08:57 pm
What I hate about art.  
Art is one of the defining characteristics of sentience, so far as I can tell. Art is thought and feeling made visual. (Music is the audio version of art, for the purposes of this rant.) Art is communication. This is something I truly love about art.

It is also something I utterly loathe about art. There's so much room for interpretation. Even when you have the artist there and can ask him what he meant to convey, you will find someone saying, "Well, that's what I took away from it, and that's as valid as what the artist meant to say, more since he failed to convey it," or worse, "That's what the artist should have been saying." Okay, if you think you know better than the artist whose work you're critiquing and criticizing what could have or should have been said in the work s/he/they sweated and burned to create?

Yeah, what have you created lately?

I'm waiting.

Didn't think so. Thank you so much. G'bye.

Tell me what you think, what the work raised in your mind's eye, certainly. Please do not attempt to tell me how the artist was wrong, or how it "ought" to have been done. Do not for a moment ask me to believe that your opinion is worth anything more than anyone else's. It isn't. Don't bother telling me how you'd have done it differently. Don't tell me; show me. Do it. Do the work, put in the effort to move more than your fingers on a keyboard or air past your lips. You make your statement, and then sit still while the world picks it apart, please.

Whatever you do, though? Don't take yourself so seriously.
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Current Mood: the opposite of "obessed"
 
 
 
Jon Reidcrossfire on July 21st, 2008 03:09 pm (UTC)
Art is one of the defining characteristics of sentience, so far as I can tell.

Definitely. Have you read Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics"?
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on July 21st, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
I haven't, though I've heard of it from so many sources, I'm starting to wonder who hasn't read it.
Jon Reidcrossfire on July 21st, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
I mention it because he makes a similar point about art.

Out of curiosity, what do you think about this statement: "The only practical meaning any communication has in reality is the meaning the audience perceives it to have."
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on July 21st, 2008 04:00 pm (UTC)
Everything exists in context, even practicality. Under most circumstances, what the listener perceives is practically more important than what the speaker intended to convey. Intent only becomes a practical issue when it becomes a practical question, such as in determining mens rea or, less formally, in figuring if someone meant to offend.

As I see it, if your communication hurt someone, it does matter that they're hurt, even if (especially if?) you didn't intend to be hurtful. If your intent was to insult, then there's no miscommunication. If you didn't intend the harm, then while there's still a hurt to perhaps apologize for, the slight was not offered and the harmed party will hopefully recognize that.
Benjamin Leelbuckley on July 21st, 2008 03:53 pm (UTC)
Personally, I think you're right about all points. But Socrates thought the artist, poet, and dancer, even those most talented at their art, were singularly incapable of explaining what their art *meant*. :)
Traveler Farlandertwfarlan on July 21st, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
I would agree with Socrates on that. The greater the talent, the less likely the artist would be to convey the meaning of the art through words, I would say, unless said artist is equally talented as a writer or orator. (I do consider literature and oration as arts, though each have differing obstacles to communication than do the visual media normally lumped into "art.") If the artist was going to or able to communicate the desired message through another medium, s/he would have in the first place. Art as a mode of communication is chosen by the artist, I suspect, because it is either the best or only way for that person to send that particular message.