“ Power to the imagination.
Those who lack imagination cannot imagine what is lacking”
-Situationists inspired graffiti from May 968.
Consider this from The Pig that wants to be eaten book. Thought experiment No 86: Art for Art's sake: A valuable piece of art-Michaelangelo's David- has been found but to release it to the world will destroy it.It's underneath a newly built hospital. Should it be left alone or should it moved and destroyed? Is art valuable inherently or does it need a viewer? if art is inherently valuable doesn't that museums might as well always be shut?
what is 'art'.
I oppose attempts to be prescriptive about what should be considered art and attempts to be prescriptive about what arts purpose is i.e. I oppose essentialist theories of art .
Art should be thought of as culturally and historically defined . There is not a fixed definition of what art is, nor could there be. We call something art as a label to invite discussion and demand something be considered in a certain way. The differences between pieces of art are more like Wittgenstein's family resemblance than a prescriptive list of necessary and sufficient conditions.
Art has no absolute universal fixed platonic purpose which can be prescribed to it or imposed on it. Arts purpose comes from it's creators- the artist, the audience and the rest of humanity. Art can have an unlimited amount of purposes-that is assuming it has purpose at all.
Is the artist always in the work? bits of them more or less. Their 'ghost'. In selection of words etc.
Some say "I call something art if I couldn't do it myself". Well they can't know if they couldn't do it unless they tried. So it's not a very good argument. If it was modified to can't do it myself it's better.
From this they say graffiti and found art is not art.
I think John Dewey is right that art is about experience. I would add that the reason academic discussion of art sometimes fails is that it is separated from the experience of art.
What is it that I seek when I read a poem, when I write a poem? Above all, I desire an experience, a mode of experience available to me only through poetry. "The reading of a poem should be an experience [like experiencing an act]. Its writing must be all the more so," - Wallace Stevens.
affecting the audience is the purpose of poetry or art in general we do know that. It can't not. Even boredom is an affect on the audience.
more artistic poetry will create the intended affect in the audience but we can never be sure what reaction we will get. reactions will not be uniform.
art, politics and society .
“First, disobey; then write on the walls”
What's wrong with Art galleries? (may not apply to all art galleries and museums)
• Often present and represent art in a commodified often sanitized way which is not challenging for the establishment.
• They promote the institutional theory of art which says that what is in an art gallery must be art or 'good art' while whatever is not and is by implication not art or not good art. That ends up being elitist, selective, conservative and pretentious. What is then considered art ends up being defined by small elite group of likely wealthy white western men.
• Following on from that, art by the working class/women/people of colour/ political art tends to get ignored. There's a bias towards older white western middle class men.
• •Promotes a very limited set of styles and schools and excludes/neglects others(though sometimes I wonder if it's for the best)
• •Promotes the idea of a High vs. low art distinction which I don't like much. I don't much accept the distinction between 'high' and 'low' art. Seems politically motivated.
• The institutional theory of art doesn't make a lot of sense- http://www.stuckismwales.co.uk/theory/tblast/institutional.php
• The money which surrounds the art establishment is obscene. Paying to view art is bizarre. It should be open to all.
• Promotion of art which feels removed in relevance to most people's modern everyday life’s.
art belongs to it's creators I.e. to everyone, to all of humanity. I oppose copyright(while understanding it's a well intentioned attempt to prevent plagiarism) and prefer creative commons, open source or anti-copyright.
There's always more to be read :-
The Anarchist Aesthetic - http://www.waste.org/~roadrunner/ScarletLetterArchives/BlackRose/BR1/TheAnarchistAesthetic.htm
Social Anarchist Aesthetics