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Rev Raz

The Spirit Of Art

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Do you think there is a difference between the source of art which expresses and the source of art which decorates? Is one more inspired than the other?

Is the source of inspiration the subconscious or a spiritual source or something else? If different sources are possible, would you consider some to produce invention and others art?

What about the source of art appreciation? Is there a spiritual influence?

If the source of a religion is inspired writings, would you consider that religion to be a work of or collection of art?

Is art a universal capability of humans, or are some people unable to produce or appreciate it?

Can only artists be human? Or do you recognize non-human art, such as something expressed within a wilderness scene, or by an animal or flock, or even an entire ecosystem? Would such art be accidental or channeled somehow from a spiritual source?

Does the sky make art, either by cloud or stars?

Can a computer be programmed to express original art?

Can a computer be programmed to appreciate art?

Edited by Rev Raz

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Before I begin, I would like to say that the more you try to define or explain art, the further you get from what it is about art that makes it art. I'm going to give this a shot anyway.

Do you think there is a difference between the source of art which expresses and the source of art which decorates? No. In either case, the source is a person or a group of people. Frankly, I'd be hesitant to label someone's art as being either art that expresses or art that decorates. Art is always an expression, but not all art is suitable as decoration. A lot of art isn't in a medium that can be used as decoration (music, poetry, dance, etc)

Is one more inspired than the other? Without being the person who created it, I couldn't say.

Is the source of inspiration the subconscious or a spiritual source or something else? I would say primarily the conscious mind. But I can't speak for anyone other than myself. I wouldn't dream of disputing whatever an artist says about his or her own source of inspiration.

If different sources are possible, would you consider some to produce invention and others art? Almost all art IS invention. Invention can certainly be art.

What about the source of art appreciation? Is there a spiritual influence? Do you mean always, or sometimes? Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is obviously appreciated by many people for spiritual reasons, but I wouldn't say that all art appreciation is a spiritual thing.

If the source of a religion is inspired writings, would you consider that religion to be a work of or collection of art? Writing is a form of art. When writing anything, some kind of inspiration is necessary. That said, I do not consider religion to be art - religion is something else entirely.

Is art a universal capability of humans, or are some people unable to produce or appreciate it? I think everyone has the ability to produce and enjoy art. Some people don't enjoy art as much as others. Some people don't enjoy as much variety of art as others. The art produced by some people is more appealing to greater numbers of people than the art produced by others. Some people produce art that appeals to themselves only, but that doesn't make it not art.

Can only artists be human? Or do you recognize non-human art, such as something expressed within a wilderness scene, or by an animal or flock, or even an entire ecosystem? There is much beauty in nature but that falls outside any definition of art with which I'm familiar. That's rather like calling Mt. Fuji architecture. The definition that I commonly apply to the word "art" is twofold; 1) a picture, 2) a form of creative human expression, often with the goal of entertaining or/and stimulating thought. If someone wants to define it differently, that's cool by me. It's not worth arguing over.

Would such art be accidental or channeled somehow from a spiritual source? No, see above

Does the sky make art, either by cloud or stars? No, see above.

Can a computer be programmed to express original art? Computers are often programmed to produce original art in the form of pictures. But, that's "producing" original pictures, computers don't actually "express" anything, computers simply run programs.

Can a computer be programmed to appreciate art? No, a computer doesn't have the emotional makeup necessary to appreciate anything. A computer could be programmed to rate art according to a particular criteria, but that's not the same thing as appreciation.

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Before I begin, I would like to say that the more you try to define or explain art, the further you get from what it is about art that makes it art. I'm going to give this a shot anyway.

I remember an interview with Clive Barker who said "The word 'why' is the enemy of art". I agree, but what I am pondering in this thread isn't really explaining art but rather the source of it.

Do you think there is a difference between the source of art which expresses and the source of art which decorates? No. In either case, the source is a person or a group of people. Frankly, I'd be hesitant to label someone's art as being either art that expresses or art that decorates. Art is always an expression, but not all art is suitable as decoration. A lot of art isn't in a medium that can be used as decoration (music, poetry, dance, etc)

Is one more inspired than the other? Without being the person who created it, I couldn't say.

You make good points, and yet I think the source is sometimes beyond the person. For example, when I feel the urge to wrote a poem or compose a song, the process feels like I am more instrument than artist. It is as if I am allowing a spirit to possess me and move me. The driving purpose is expression although the product could be made to decorate, after the fact. But if someone asked me to write some background movie for a video, the experience is very different. Instead of openning up and letting some force move through me, it is more about taking things I am already familiar with, mix and match, and see what I can fit to the target. It's as if all of the elements come from myself, not some unseen spirit. So in this case, the purpose is decoration, even though the product could very well express something too. Of course, it isn't as black and white as I'm making it. When the driving force is expression, I can filter the channel. When the driving force is decoration, I can allow the channel to work with me. This then seems like a collaboration between muse and artist.

Is the source of inspiration the subconscious or a spiritual source or something else? I would say primarily the conscious mind. But I can't speak for anyone other than myself. I wouldn't dream of disputing whatever an artist says about his or her own source of inspiration.

If different sources are possible, would you consider some to produce invention and others art? Almost all art IS invention. Invention can certainly be art.

Right, I can't speak for someone else, but I can say that in my own experience the conscious mind plays an administrative role, or in other words I can allow or refuse it from happening. But whether it is available to happen is beyond my control. For example, I want to work on my novel but find myself at a blank page just waiting and can't think of anything. Other times something might spring into my mind and it would be easy to grab something and write it out but I'm not really in the mood. It's like I'm the manager of the company who can post a job opening but has to wait for someone to fill it. I can decide when the store is open but can only hope someone won't call in sick that day.

What about the source of art appreciation? Is there a spiritual influence? Do you mean always, or sometimes? Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is obviously appreciated by many people for spiritual reasons, but I wouldn't say that all art appreciation is a spiritual thing.

Yeah, I think it's often a kind of resonance between the art and something within the audience. For example, the following two works of art resonate very differently with me, one to my spirituality and the other to my ego:

NewSalvia.jpg

future-car-1.jpg

If the source of a religion is inspired writings, would you consider that religion to be a work of or collection of art? Writing is a form of art. When writing anything, some kind of inspiration is necessary. That said, I do not consider religion to be art - religion is something else entirely.

Yeah me too. I can't think of a doctrine that is 100% art. Psalms are only a part of the body of scripture. Maybe religion needs a practical side in order to be successful in gaining followers.

Is art a universal capability of humans, or are some people unable to produce or appreciate it? I think everyone has the ability to produce and enjoy art. Some people don't enjoy art as much as others. Some people don't enjoy as much variety of art as others. The art produced by some people is more appealing to greater numbers of people than the art produced by others. Some people produce art that appeals to themselves only, but that doesn't make it not art.

Yeah, I agree. I've known some people who speak of art as uselessly frivolous, but when you get to know them more intimately there is still some appreciation.

Can only artists be human? Or do you recognize non-human art, such as something expressed within a wilderness scene, or by an animal or flock, or even an entire ecosystem? There is much beauty in nature but that falls outside any definition of art with which I'm familiar. That's rather like calling Mt. Fuji architecture. The definition that I commonly apply to the word "art" is twofold; 1) a picture, 2) a form of creative human expression, often with the goal of entertaining or/and stimulating thought. If someone wants to define it differently, that's cool by me. It's not worth arguing over.

I don't know. Sometimes I feel a kind of "scene empathy" and it feels like the surroundings are trying to say something. Is this the result of a spirit acting on the scene or an illusion of it? I don't know.

Can a computer be programmed to express original art? Computers are often programmed to produce original art in the form of pictures. But, that's "producing" original pictures, computers don't actually "express" anything, computers simply run programs.

I know what you mean. But still, an interesting thing about programming languages is that they call the commands "statements" and functions "expressions". But even then, the computer doesn't write it's own program, but instead computes what the programmer states and expresses to it. So when a computer produces something that evokes and artlike response in viewers, the role is medium, not artist. Seems that way to me. But what if there was nothing about art in a robot's computer program, but after running about in the world for some years it started to express something that seemed like art? No such robot exists, AFAIK, but if someday it did, it would make me wonder.

Can a computer be programmed to appreciate art? No, a computer doesn't have the emotional makeup necessary to appreciate anything. A computer could be programmed to rate art according to a particular criteria, but that's not the same thing as appreciation.

Yeah, I don't think computers are advanced enough for that. I don't know what the future will bring. If a computer somehow/someday appreciated something, would I recognize that it did? Probably not :bag:

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