Friday, December 18, 2009

What is art?

Amanda Palmer, siren extrodinaire, put this up on her blog today. 

Here's my response:
Great song!

But I think you're wrong. Well... maybe not entirely. We can't say that everything is art, otherwise the term becomes meaningless. Words get their meaning from the fact that they differentiate things. I don't think you're saying anything can be music here... the issue is pop music. Is it art? Sure, since its not just a random assortment of sounds.

But typically when people say something is art, more is conveyed. We elevate something to a higher level of admiration when we say something is art. For example some people might say that Michael Jordan play basketball is art. That says something beyond that he's just good at playing basketball.

So when we say things like Lady GaGa is creating art, which I think is true, some people think that we're saying its good, because its art.

You're an artist Amanda... So lets try this out.... If you write a song, and you think it sucks, would you say that you created art? Are all products of creativity art? I'm hesitant to say that EVERYTHING you produce is art, (although I'm a big fan).

So lets make a distinction... "art" for all the products of creativity, and Art for particularly meritable products of creativity (this doesn't mean that all works of Art will make us feel happy or are beautiful).

***I should really point out that I'm not sure if AP is really saying that everything is art, but its a common enough statement that I felt like it should have been addressed first.  I said she wasn't in my comment, but I just want to re-emphasize for clairty's sake.

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