[PD] Am I alone?

ailo ailo.at at gmail.com
Mon Mar 21 08:25:00 CET 2011

On 03/20/2011 01:28 AM, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
>>> Words like beauty and ugliness are commonly used. When
>> > we say, I like ugly things, does that make these things
>> > wrong? [...]
> It can if that's part of your morality that you accept (tacitly or not).  
> If you also accept that the concept of music as art is not universal, this 
> is trivial.  If on the other hand you have some vague universal view of 
> art, you're probably going need to fill pages and pages of some vague 
> paper explaining how people you've never met who share none of your 
> aesthetic/cultural/social views are, on some vague abstract level, 
> actually adhering to the same vague artistic universal as you.

I think the reason for why I answered to this thread in the first place
was because the person who started it was making some generalizations on
music, which perhaps if we would make a statistical query, probably most
people would adhere to. And, I was like probably many others here,
reacting against those generalizations. Not that I meant to say, they
are wrong.

There is a fear against generalizations, because when they are used in
practice, in our every day life, even if they work for most people, they
may be restrictive and hurtful for others. Also, testing those for truth
can be a little difficult, as has been stated in some of the posts on
this thread.

Generalization and categorization are needed for most people in order to
process information. To evaluate information.
Not only for individuals, but communities, organizations.
That is why I said in an earlier reply, when they are needed for
practical purposes, we have no choice. Or, simply, economy will decide.

Perhaps Matju is correct when stating:
"By extension, the word « art » is often used to mean whatever skill is
considered unexplainable or mysterious. "

That wouldn't include interpreting any event as being art.
Isn't interpreting something as art what makes it art. Not what
"creates" it?

Probably many have problems relating to some terms and words. Art being
one of those. How many uses it to describe what they do?
Maybe it is because the word is too often used as a generalization that
doesn't suite everyone.
It's not like the technical difference between a childs palm imprints on
a white sheet of paper and "Mona Lisa" necessarily needs to be that big.

Wikipedia about art:

"Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often
with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or
more of the senses, emotions, and intellect."

Actually, there is quite a large part dealing with the definition of art
on that page, which would reveal that it is not so easy to define these
days, while:

"Aesthetics (also spelled æsthetics or esthetics) is a branch of
philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with
the creation and appreciation of beauty.[1] It is more scientifically
defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes
called judgments of sentiment and taste.[2] More broadly, scholars in
the field define aesthetics as "critical reflection on art, culture and


"It was derived from the Greek αἰσθητικός (aisthetikos, meaning
"esthetic, sensitive, sentient"), which in turn was derived from
αἰσθάνομαι (aisthanomai, meaning "I perceive, feel, sense""

At least for me, that makes some sense when making a broad
generalization about the process that goes on in the mind, while
experiencing something that the mind would interpret as art, or a work
of art.
Personally I wouldn't use words like beauty or taste, perhaps not even
art to describe how that happens.
Not being comfortable with making formulations using words, I would
rationalize it down to something like: an individual sense of morality,
or, making decisions based on "sensory-emotional values".
A least, that is the lowest level of generalization that I can make, and
the only one I really need.

Not often do people couple humor with art, which I think is another side
to that coin. The tickle in the mind, when confronting with surprising,
mystical, absurd things. Conflicts..

And yes, experiencing art is probably different depending on age,
cultural identity, a range of things. But, labeling something as art, is
probably that + something political, or ideology based, which is
probably why the term is so hard to digest.

> If you want a shortcut, take the Modernist approach--  you just
> completely disregard the aesthetic/cultural/social context in which the
> "art" is made, reimagine the "art" as a self-contained, closed "work",
> and just assume that every "artist" in the world is either another
> modernist or some primitive outgrowth of a particular process that can be
> data mined to add a new layer of complexity to a future modernist
> project.

I don't object, but for some people, this is exactly the type of thing
that could cause disillusion. Like, for the person who started this
thread, perhaps.
For me, that would just be one of many approaches. Not something as
fundamental as an ideology, not that we need to define one.


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