Why Is Modern Art So Bad?

Discussion in 'Art, Media & Photography' started by bostjan, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    @Winspear I'm there with you. Just because one doesn't understand something as art, doesn't mean it isn't, only that that someone needs to change his/hers point of view on things... As I said in the beginning, many forms and expressions of visual art are not to be gazed upon, but rather laughed at. Other are just the "artist" personal expression of a visual "Fuck You", to the audience, obviously...

    The idea of posting what one eats every day in the social media isn't a novelty of the social media, it was already made at the art world, way back in the 50/60s. The Art object is no longer intended to outlive its author. Many are really limited to an instant (and I'm not only speaking of photography). This means that the idea of art is no longer attached to or about the object or its execution. Failing to understand this is not understanding art at all, in any of its expressions, music included.
     
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  2. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    I absolutely understand what you are saying but i can't entirely agree!
    I still think that it is indeed possible to define or "measure" art and this is by sticking to simple common sense.
    Following what you have described and leaving out some key criteria like technicality, execution, effort etc. would automatically render anything into art :)
     
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  3. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    If we're talking strictly about craftsmanship and technique, then practically anything CAN be done with a few mouse clicks though. There isn't much in music, cinema, painting or sculpting that between Adobe and CNC and 3D-printers etc. can't be perfected far beyond the skill of the artist, with little difficulty or effort. In other words, unless you're physically present while an artist is making something, you will never actually know for sure how difficult it was to make. The other thing is, according to Dunning and Kruger, to accurately evaluate difficulty you yourself have to be as capable or more so than the person you're judging. What you refer to as "common sense" doesn't cut it. Case in point: People who don't play guitar think tapping is the most impressive thing in the world. Their "common sense" is a useless way to measure difficulty or effort and by extension it's a useless way to define art.
     
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  4. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    That guy or gal painting the red blotch on a green background might be in possession of incredible technical painting skills, though. In that case, the blotchy painting is not because of a limit of available skills, but because of some statement the artist wishes to make.
    At the end of the day, it's still a blotch, though, so, it's up to the viewer to determine its value. I don't think skill level is a good gauge.
    When an artist outputs some art and simply says "here is some art," it seems that people generate their own interpretations and try to push those onto each other. Usually when an artist exhibits a piece with some forced explanation, I find myself disbelieving its honesty.
     
  5. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    This is incorrect and i can explain why. Art can not be done with a few mouse clicks!
    Do you know how much work it is to design something on the PC?
    No matter if it's music, illustaration or even a "code" for a CNC ma chine, this is extremely time consuming.

    Additional to this you need A LOT of skill and knowledge, so yeah, you can not simply put anyone in front of a pc and let
    "him" design something this is not how it works.

    This is actually how i "judge" almost anything in life, combine it with common sense and you'll have a pretty straight forward way to differentiate "art" from "crap" :)
     
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  6. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    I do understand your point but to be honest, this is a pretty blue-eyed view!

    It's like saying, yeah i can play the guitar perfectly, i have literally mastered the instrument like no other but,
    i'd rather play absolutely incoherent notes with no rythmical or tonal context and i only do it because i wish to make a statement...
     
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  7. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Originally, yes. But then that code can be copy/pasted (or stolen) by someone and only modified from there, or given a GUI that opens it up to the billions of people who can't write code, eventually made into an algorithm included as a keyboard shortcut in the next software update and finally neatly packaged in $5 iPhone apps. The complex stuff I can do with one key press in an Omnisphere preset would take EDM visionaries a day to program 10 years ago, and probably took whoever made the preset a good while too. But for me, "the artist", it was handed to me on a platter as part of a download. And you, the consumer, have no way of knowing any of this. I, the artist, can choose to do everything from scratch or I can speed up the process with presets, samples and templates and YOU probably couldn't tell the difference, that's my point. The effort I put in, or lack thereof, isn't something you get to see so how would you know? All you can do is guess.

    It kind of is. These examples are possibly on the more complex side but there are hundreds if not thousands of iPhone apps basically doing the same thing. Give it 2-3 years and your dog can make this on your phone:
    http://www.flow-machines.com/tag/listen-to-artificial-intelligence-music/
    https://news.artnet.com/art-world/rutgers-artificial-intelligence-art-1019066

    You judge "almost anything" by being better at it? Combined with "common sense", which is to knowledge what colloidal silver and magnet bracelets are to medicine. Don't get me wrong, you can view art anyway you like, I'm not judging, but your whole definition of art is full of logical holes to me, that's why I replied :yesway: If it makes sense to you then by all means keep at it.
     
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  8. FIXXXER

    FIXXXER ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    I absolutely understand, though the Omnisphere example is a bit far fetched as Sound design can be a more intuitive process where, writing a code
    can not be done with intuition only. It's also what you make out of the sound, playing a simple note or playing a complex melody with the exact same sound is
    two different things, this is where the common sense comes into play.


    Haha of course not, maybe i did not describe it properly!
    I'll try to explain,

    If i see somebody who plays guitar but not as good as i do, i am in some way eligible to criticise the guy be is positive or negative criticism.
    If i see someone who plays guitar much better than i do, i am still "allowed" for criticism as i can logically judge the playing.

    Now the thirr, if i do not know anything about guitar and see the first guy playing, i can think that he is a guitar god, which can be seen as my opinion but not
    as a solid statement and that's what i mean by using "comon sense".

    Another example:

    I do not know how to speak chinese!
    So, does that make people who can speak chinese all artists or let's say better than me? Definitively not!

    I also do not know how to paint!
    So, does this make the guy who can paint stuff so realistically that it looks like a photography!? Yes, absolutely!


    It's a matter of how you do something and what is required to do it and IMHO this can only be judged by common sense,
    everything else leaves too many loopholes open for "fake art". Taste is also often described as a main factor when it comes
    to jsuging art of any kind but that's also a even bigger loophole, as it basically allows anyone to do anything and get a reaction,
    be it positive or nagative.

    Basically i am trying to say that art should always be taken with a grain of salt! :)


    EDIT: about personal Taste:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Person A: well it's the Mona Lisa this is true art!

    Person B: yeah, well, OK but for my personal taste the smiley
    face is just as good if not better.

    This is where common sense SHOULD come into play, no matter how you twist this,
    person B can simply not be right, especially if the only "fact" is the person's own personal taste.

    Allowing personal taste in art is basically eliminating any kind of filter,
    everything goes through and using common sense is the only was to filter out
    the bullshit.

    People in general are mostly not able to differentiate these things as many other
    factors like, expectation, bias, group pressure, self-display etc. play a role.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    ...which is what I hear non-musicians say about John Petrucci or Misha Mansoor or even Alan Holdsworth all of the freaking time.

    I think it's more about context and audience reaction. If John Fogerty busted out a crazy sweep-picked diminished seventh arpeggio solo during "Bad Moon Rising," people would hate it, but we know that doing such a thing would require a level of technique mastery we had never seen from him before. Same reaction if Ron Jarzombek put together a Blotted Science show that surprised the audience with all CCR cover songs, just for the opposite reason.

    So, if I go to the museum of modern art and see the actual Mona Lisa on display, my thought is going to be too look as closely as possible to see what is "wrong with it," because the context isn't logical, whereas the smiley face would fit right in.

    Art isn't simply about making something that happens to be difficult to make, it's about cultural relevance.
     
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  10. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Omnisphere is 100% code though, and the DAW you use it in is code. The Midi keyboard you control it with is code. The "intuitive process of sound design" is only intuitive because someone, not the artist, took care of the code already. And I don't know if you've used Omnisphere, but a ton of the presets are made in such a way that they automatically play complex melodies and rhythms out of one key press. My point is I can create something that seems incredibly difficult and complex using tools that are designed to make it butt-simple. I can edit my guitar takes to sound like I have flawless rhythm. I can lift a sample and call it my own. It's incredibly easy in 2018 to seem more skilled than you are, which leads me to think skill is a so-so quantifier for artistic value.

    I don't know if you're familiar with Dunning and Kruger's research, but what you said about being able to "logically judge the playing" of a far more experienced guitar player, is basically what they found to be untrue and that's why their study became so famous. They also found the inverse, that someone who's incredibly skilled and experienced may underestimate how difficult something is. Steve Vai probably looks at John Petrucci and thinks: "that's just alternate picked 3-note per string sixtuples in E Phrygian, what's everyone getting so excited about?" Again, my point is that your individual evaluation of how difficult something is, is biased and possibly way off, so in the end what you think is a logical judgement is actually just your subjective taste. Like everyone else's.

    Given that you're German and I'm Swedish and we're talking english to each other, maybe what each of us mean by "common sense" is different. I think common sense is a placeholder argument when you can't explain something and don't want to learn more. The only difference between common sense and subjective taste is that subjective taste is honest about not being based on scientific evidence, whereas common sense isn't :) But again, maybe you and I are using the term differently.

    Does either of them have to be "right"? Both of them say what their opinion is, both of them are honest. If Person B genuinely doesn't think the Mona Lisa is more enjoyable than the smileyface, then the Mona Lisa doesn't do Person B any good. Even if the Mona Lisa is in the dictionary as THE definition of true art, it doesn't do Person B any good. Do you think Person B doesn't deserve art and entertainment they can enjoy simply because they don't like the Mona Lisa?
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  11. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    ... again, art is not about the object. It is not the MonaLisa versus the Smiley (or anything else). Not being about the object, it doesn't really matters how hard or well it is executed. So, what is art about? That's the question everyone should be asking.

    Here are some ideas:
    1. Art is about possibilities and mind expansion.
    2. Art is about feelings, which includes every single one, good or bad.
    3. Art is about sharing, meaning that social media could be understood as an art form.
    4. Art is about surprise and mystery (similar to the feelings thing).
    5. Art is about investigation and discovery... of the self, for example...
    So, with this in mind, we can say that Art is subjective, meaning that it is related to how the observer perceives it. What is art to some may not be to others... or can it be?

    I like to explore the idea that a painting only exists when there is light upon it. In the dark there is no painting. However, the painting image can still exist within a viewer's memory, either in the dark or miles away. When that happens, that painting can be called art... right? So art is what is left when everything else is gone... how about that?
     
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  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    The light part of this seems inconsequential. The only thing the light serves to do is enable to you to perceive something. If your eyes are closed or you face the other way, you are equally unable to perceive the piece at that time. Does then everything cease to exist while you don't perceive it? The next time you stub your toe in a dark room, I don't imagine you'd be doubting the existence of things you can't see.

    The best way that I can define art (and I'm sure it's not a good definition either, someone could probably poke holes in this easily) is that it's anything that serves as an expression, whether it's intentional or not. It's just the word we use to describe our valuation of something we think of as an expression. If we see a painting or hear a song or evaluate something that a person built, we see that as an expression of the artists talent or intention, so we evaluate it under that umbrella of art. The things we exclude from "art" are the things that we either don't think are trying to express anything, or that we're just excluding intentionally as an attempt to devalue the thing that we don't like very much. But that's all it is. Subjective evaluations of whatever we perceive to be an expression.
     
  13. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    errr... a painting is because of light. Without light the painting ceases to exist as a painting an only as an object, besides, it is an idea to explore, not the truth (whatever it may be). The suggestion of "someone facing away from it or closing eyes" is present in the following sentence of that paragraph, so your point was???. A painting not being lit is not a painting, it's only a 3 dimensional object. Color, which is THE OBJECT of a painting, is another dimension, didn't you know that? Its material existence (pigments and paint/inks) is only a vessel for the color it intents to transmit. In the absence of light, there is no MonaLisa.

    You're reading me too literally, expand your vision, express some poetry...
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I thought a painting was because of paint.

    I'm pretty sure that's not how color works. The properties that cause you to perceive those colors when light is present don't cease to exist along with the light.

    If you're going to use actual physical properties to define what art is, then I don't see any other way to read it than literally. Otherwise you're just diving deep into less-than-meaningful subjective interpretations of the world. The physical properties of the world are not made of poetry. Does a song stop existing when it's not playing? Does something make a sound if nobody is around to hear it?

    Don't get me wrong, I understand the separation between the sort of concept or intellectual value of something (the song vs. the tape it's recorded on vs the speaker transmitting it to you, the content or message of an image vs. the canvas you painted it on vs. the light hitting your eyes, etc). But that kind of breakdown, IMO, is meaningless without rooting it in some kind of reality.
     
  15. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    A painting is because of light, no light = no painting... or can you paint in the dark with the precision of Leonardo? You could get close if you knew where everything is and use your touch senses to do the painting, however, you'll only know what you'd do with some light on. That's what many street artist did back in the 80's on New York (and other places) subway trains. The paint material can be transported and applied in the dark, but one will only know the result when it is lit. Therefore the meaning of a painting is because of light and that color (which is light, btw and does not belong to physical objects) is it's OBJECT (meaning that color is the underlying theme of a painting).

    Yah, I know too many parentheses in that previous paragraph makes it hard to read, sorry about that...

    And I'm also pretty sure that you're either not following or doing this "witch hunt" on purpose... so be it your way if you will, you're right, take the bike.
     
  16. Hollowway

    Hollowway Extended Ranger

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    I find it interesting that many conservatives feel that we should “let the market work it out” when it comes to business and finance, but want all sorts of regulation and rules when it comes to social issues and art. Bottom line is that if loads of people prefer a smiley emoji to the Mona Lisa, why do you need to regulate it with your idea of common sense? I personally don’t find the Mona Lisa anything special. But I LOVE modern stuff, and will fight all day long that I like Damien Hirst’s stuff over Rembrandt.

    And it should be pointed out that conservatives, by definition, do not like the present as much as the past. So what a conservative finds artistic now wasn’t probably not in the past. Things like jazz, distorted guitar, flatted fifths, etc were all regarded as “unmusical” in the past. People found The Beatles inappropriate, for Pete’s sake. There is no measure to say that John Cage’s 4’33” is not art. Irrespective of whether he can play piano no not, whether the audience was pissed off or enjoyed it, or whether one person likes it or not, there are plenty of us who think it’s art. I, personally, think it’s one of the coolest pieces of music in history. I don’t care if other people like it or not. I happen to find classical art boring, and I artistic. Technically good, but my brain doesn’t start firing off alpha waves when I see it.
    So from my view, if someone doesn’t like the art I like, no worries. But I still like it.
     
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  17. JohnIce

    JohnIce Singlecoil Enthusiast

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    Top post :yesway: I prefer art that's "disposable" in a way, I'd rather go through life exploring a never-ending stream of new and thought-provoking art, rather than just enjoying my classics decade after decade. Art with some longevity is awesome, but not crucial for me. And "Timeless" art is to me not as interesting as urgent, surprising art, art that captures what is happening this week. I LOVE how social media makes it possible for us to experience art straight out of the oven like that. To me the Mona Lisa, or Zeppelin, is more anthropology at this time, still fascinating and enjoyable but it's a different experience.

    I'm confused by this too :lol: But I guess the inverse of that (unregulated art and social freedom, but hard regulations on everything else) is the left's bag. So even though what you point out about conservatives boggles my mind too, maybe it's one of those "we dislike the left so much we must disagree with them even when they agree with us" kinda things.
     
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  18. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    It's not a witch hunt, it's two posts in which I happen to disagree with your interpretation of things, don't take it personally. It's very possible that I just can't/don't follow your line of thinking. Although, I don't think I'm misunderstanding, just disagreeing. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I disagree with the idea that a painting is only a painting (or that it only contains any artistic value) because of light. Nothing says we have to agree on that.

    To be fair, how many people can do that in the light in the first place? :lol:
     
  19. lurè

    lurè SS.org Regular

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    This is true because you can, from an academic point of view, teach how to paint, draw and make a sculpture but none can teach you how to make a masterpiece.
    There is no scientific,logical or rational process which lead something to be considered art or a masterpiece.
    Forcing an explanation or a philosphycal meaning doesn't automatically make something art: some of the most famous mastepieces have been made with apparently no meaning and for quite futile reasons ( Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel because he signed a contract with the Pope).
    Someone could say that even a 10 years old kid could paint better than Picasso:
    b.jpg
    But Picasso at 16 yo made this:
    11.jpg

    Sum: skill + no meaning doesnt mean art
    no skill + meaning doesn't mean art
    no skill + no meaning doesn't mean art

    So what does "art" mean? I hoestly don't know and I think none knows. Probably the day we'll figure out what it means , art will stop to exist.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
  20. odibrom

    odibrom .

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    Feel free to disagree, but please explain where have I spoke about "artistic value" related to a lit painting? Please, also develop your idea of how you think/know colors work.

    There are far too many you know, the level of execution has exponentially grown since the 1500s... there are far better brushes, paints, pigments, solvents, canvas and other surfaces to pain over, as well as, who knew, far more forms of artificial light to lit the object during its execution, which did not exist in the 1500s (obviously), which means that there is far more time to dedicate to the execution than there was back then... and you know, artist are traditionally nocturnal persons... hey, no light at night!... and far too many comas in this sentence... shame on me.
     

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