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Extra Journal 3 - Well, Art

look back on our discussions from the last few


weeks and, citing specific pieces from class,
write your own definition of art. . . Ask
yourself, for example, what characteristics
define it? What is art for?
I'm not entirely certain what your aim is here in asking us this
question. There is technichally no answer - I would say by definition, art is
abstract in it's purpose, but I have no definition to go by. Perhaps you simply
want to know my opinion, though I don't know how that would benefit you or
what purpose that would serve. Most likely, you are trying to observe how my
analytical or skeptical skills have changed over this term, which is a bit silly. If
anything, you've seen how extreme the tide of my interest is - sometimes it's
pushing up against the boardwalk and I have so much to say and think.
Others times there's plenty of beach to play on, and general silence on my
part. I would be curious to know how you would speculate on the discipline of
my interest - can you tell that I've improved in pumping out quality work
regardless of how interested or apathetic I am on the subject? I can't. Also,
how much could these analytical skills really grow at a maintainable rate in
three months? Perhaps I did improve in the empirical sense - I can argue x
and notice y - but will I still have those skills a few moths, or even a few
weeks after this class is over?
Basically, you are looking for a subjective answer. I say this because
the objective purpose of art can be so varied. There are some pieces or styles
of art that do have an observable purpose - for example, you might argue
that Romantic paintings and poetry are meant to glorify nature and
innocence, and give the observer a sense of awe in respect to these things.
This is a generalization, but you understand the direction in which I'm going some art can be simplified in the academic sense. In fact, often times art is
defined only in the academic or intellectual sense. How often, outside of the
classroom or an intellectual environment, is art purposefully broken down or
objectively 'understood'? Perhaps the 'definitions' we already have of art are
colored by the environments they are created in. So, keeping this
environment in mind, here is my ambiguous definition of art.
Art can span many fields. Art is not purely visual - I believe it is through
filtered generalizations given to children who understand more than they are
given credit to, that we come the conclusion that art is painting and sculpting
and drawing. Music, writing, performance, even science and philosophy can
be art. I place emphasis on 'can be' because the thought that they simply are

art, is too wide a generalization in my opinion. For something to be art, there


has to be the right context, the right audience, some sort of intention. For
example, the nike ad in images I could be considered art because it evokes a
certain emotion, it's skillfully rendered, and it had a large audience. However,
Chris Burden's piece involving gasoline soaked beams in the desert could be
considered art because it would effect one person profoudly - it was intended
to have this effect. Both of these situatuions have certain characteristics that
would qualify them as art to certain people. Some may consider these things
to just be an ad and an eccentric bonfire, and their opinions are valid as well.