to do like to make a record of people / places / things or do you prefer to make art ?

Started 4 weeks ago | Discussions thread
VadymA Senior Member • Posts: 1,492
Re: to do like to make a record of people / places / things or do you prefer to make art ?

Lee Jay wrote:

Very simple.

This list is from Wikipedia. I would argue that every one of them starts with a blank medium and then something is created by the artist from the mind of the artist - except Photography.

  • Visual arts
    • 3.1Architecture
    • 3.2Ceramics
    • 3.3Conceptual art
    • 3.4Drawing
    • 3.5Painting
    • 3.6Photography
    • 3.7Sculpture
  • Literary arts
  • Performing arts
    • 5.1Dance
    • 5.2Music
    • 5.3Theatre

Not every painting made in an art class becomes art. Not every clay mug is art, not every sculpture is art, not every music is art, not every building is art, the list goes on and on. And not every photograph is art. What makes everything art is artistic/creative talent of an artist expressed through simple media, such as paint, clay, brick, musical instrument, human body, etc. What makes one a talented artist? The answer is in our brain function.

Human brain is pre-wired to produce stronger emotional response to unusual and unique stimulation of body sensors, such as vision, hearing, touch, etc. The stronger our emotional response is, especially positive one when it comes to art, the more likely we will call the source of this response an Art. Therefore, the talent of an artist is to be able to produce extraordinary emotional response using rather ordinary objects (paint, clay, bricks, sounds, etc). From this stand point, anybody can be an artist, even a taxi driver if he/she can find a unique way to drive a taxi that produces extraordinary positive feelings of the riders. And of course a photographer can be an artist for exactly the same reason. Note that our emotional response could be not in the output itself, it could be in the story how it was created, or in the uniqueness of presentation. Why Gurski is an artist? He found a unique way to showcase his photographs, by printing them super large and by using photoshop when it was a taboo. The result - the audience loved it emotionally, not rationally.

Which brings me to one key thing about our emotional responses (feelings) - they are pre-wired In our subconscious part of the brain, which cannot always be explained by logic. This is why there is so much debate about art. People are trying to find logic definition where there is none. For example, one key element of our subconscious is called “herding”. It is a very strong instinct that literally forces us to “follow the crowd”. It was very important for self preservation in the early days. One of the side effects of this instinct is that we subconsciously tend to agree with the crowd. So if everybody around us is calling something an art, we subconsciously tend to agree with it even before we have time to think about it. Then later on we turn on our logical part of the brain and try to justify our decision with logic, where there is no one. Our brain already made a decision for us. And it will punish us with feelings of frustration and unhappiness if we try to fight this decision with logic. So we bounce back and forth between logical abstracts and subconscious “crowd” feelings and eventually just cave in to avoid emotional pressure sparked by the herding instinct, presumably for our own good, and just settle our logical part of the brain on a vague definition that Art is in the eye of the beholder.

Further, there's another activity that's very, very similar to photography that isn't generally considered an "art" (it's not on the list above) - sound engineering. A sound engineer uses technology to record sounds (usually music) using a substantial amount of technique and skill, and then post-processes those recordings to create the final product - just like photography. Yet, it's not considered an "art". Why is photography an art and sound engineering not an art?

This seems to me to be a simple problem of classification - photography and sound engineering are not the same as the other accepted arts since they use technology to record something created elsewhere (nature, composer, musician, whatever), and therefore should not be included in that class. One is already excluded, why not the other? It's inconsistent.

A sound engineer recording sounds of nature or even machines in a unique and creative way to produce strong positive emotional response of an audience would be definitely classified as an artist in my book, and in yours too I am sure.

If you have a logical argument that counters that argument, then I'd ask that you present it.

I think everything I said above becomes very logical once one understands how our brain functions. The bottom line - photography can be Art if it “feels” like Art, no matter what we “think” about it.

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