What Is Art?

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
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Michael Slowe

What Is Art?

Post by Michael Slowe » Sat May 10, 2003 11:47 am

Ned C is succeeding in being provocative! Still photography
has provided some wonderful examples of art over the years and I have been
enjoying a small book by a Hans-Michael Koetzle "Photo Icons - The Story
Behind the Pictures". Of course there are happy accidents in the production
of all art (including amateur films) . Is Ned saying that none of Jackson
Pollocks' paintings had an element of luck attached to their success?

By the way it is a pity that the Film Group of the RPS did not link up with
the IAC. We could do with a bit of professionalism in our film making. Surely
professionals per se are not banned, only the films (any films) that are
made with profit or financial reward in mind. Comments please.

Ned C

Re: What Is Art?

Post by Ned C » Sat May 10, 2003 8:35 pm

"Michael Slowe" <forums@theiac.org.uk> wrote:
Ned C is succeeding in being provocative! Of course there are happy accidents
in the production
of all art (including amateur films) . Is Ned saying that none of Jackson
Pollocks' paintings had an element of luck attached to their success?
The splatter and spray class of painters are defined as artists only because
some critics say they are and some collectors believe them. Would you like
me to run up a few Jackson Pollocks for you? I seem to remember Alfred Munnings
entering a painting created by a horses tail dipped in paint for the RA Annual
show and it was hung! (Or am I making this up as I go along as I tend to
these days?)I remember one painter who dragged naked ladies across paint
coated canvases, even he admitted it may not be art but it was certainly
fun!
By the way it is a pity that the Film Group of the RPS did not link up with
the IAC. We could do with a bit of professionalism in our film making. Surely
professionals per se are not banned, only the films (any films) that are
made with profit or financial reward in mind. Comments please.
This is a topic often discussed without a resolution in sight. In the IAC
annual contest there are two classes, Amateur and Open, the Open Class being
reserved for professionals and film school entries (if I remember correctly).
So the definition is not based on the films financial genesis but rather
who made it. On this basis I didn't enter a film, as a semi retired pro film
maker I don't really fit in. For the Cotswold Festival I wrote to Lee Prescott
who clearly defined the classification as being based on the film's financial
origins and objectives rather than who made it. With the enormous growth
of wedding and event videography one wonders how these people classify themselves?
That strange and very British class, semi-pros or when necessary, semi-amateurs
perhaps?

There is no doubt that the IAC has improved over recent years, the change
to F & V Institute helps although the word Institute has some unfortunate
connotations here in the USA.

I don't know if Gerald Mee is a member of the RPS F&V Group but he would
be a good person to see if the group is still alive and if so if it needs
a partner

Ned C

AN

Re: What Is Art?

Post by AN » Sun May 11, 2003 6:54 am

"Ned C" <goes@skywest.net> wrote:
The splatter and spray class of painters are defined as artists only because
some critics say they are and some collectors believe them.
D'you remember Ned, last year the Turner prize in London was won by a room
where the lights just went on and off.

Think I'll put my PC in this year, going on and off, and it will be called,
"Booting." Or maybe the mouse could be stuck onto the ceiling, "Rodent detached."
The possibilities to this art lark are endless. hee hee.

Still, the 'on and off' room was more thought provoking than most output
of TV these days, so maybe it was a work of art after all?

Albert....on or off.

Cinema For Thurso Group

Re: What Is Art?

Post by Cinema For Thurso Group » Sun May 11, 2003 7:09 pm

An interesting debate here. I am a Director for an arts company and my interest
in "art" as it's called covers a wide view.
When I'm in my local pub I tend to drink soft drinks from a can. The bar
staff understand that the can is not to be removed from me until it I have
crushed it.
This huge peculiarity in my behavior stems from my interest in how things
come together, in flow, form and connection or separation. Each crushed can
starts with 4 creases to the side giving it corners upon which it is more
easily crushed by hand.
The can is uniquely individual possessing it's own curves and lines. Examining
it by turning it in the hand allows one to see the interesting relationships
between each part of the can which now connect with each other in a different
way yet still being a whole can. Formation of shapes and folds exist that
can draw the eye in and this, believe it or not, is "art".
The reason is that the act of crushing the can is actually working it as
a sculpture. An intact can is the raw material which is worked by hand to
create a new form.
However in movies here it would seem that there is a question as to wheather
film for money, or film for the love of it, be art.
I have always found the failure of AMPAS to award an animated film with
the Best Picture Oscar to be unreasonable. Their viewpoint is that there
is some debate as to wheather animation constitutes "art" within motion pictures.
Did not some artist sketch an idea that became a painted image, of many
images that are brought collectively together to produce a moving image.
Is this not painted art at it's most advanced.
The work of the painter to bring vividley to life a scene in paint, then
the work of the animator to bring that painting to life by filming it and
it's many similars in succession.
From the commercial/ non-commercial viewpoint is it not the case that both
"amateur" (film for the love of it) and proffessional (film for the money)
would contain works, both photographic or painted, that constitute "art".
But mind you, would even we amateurs produce our works with some view to
make some coin for our next project after all nothing is free. Amateur films
cost proportionately as much as the pro ones do and the money has got to
come from somewhere.
In any case artists in paint or sculpture or whatever sell their works for
profit. What makes them artists as such is a college degree or the like but
you don't need that to draw a picture. Even Crayola Crayons (much melined
by halfwits on another website) are a step in arts' direction.
The view of our board of directors is that "art" is ANYTHING CREATIVE wheather
for profit or joy and after that it's only a question of taste.

F Art

Re: What Is Art?

Post by F Art » Sun May 11, 2003 7:25 pm

Wow! You are truly an artist.

"Cinema For Thurso Group" <canuimagine@btopenworld.com> wrote:
An interesting debate here. I am a Director for an arts company and my interest
in "art" as it's called covers a wide view.
When I'm in my local pub I tend to drink soft drinks from a can. The bar
staff understand that the can is not to be removed from me until it I have
crushed it.
This huge peculiarity in my behavior stems from my interest in how things
come together, in flow, form and connection or separation. Each crushed
can
starts with 4 creases to the side giving it corners upon which it is more
easily crushed by hand.
The can is uniquely individual possessing it's own curves and lines. Examining
it by turning it in the hand allows one to see the interesting relationships
between each part of the can which now connect with each other in a different
way yet still being a whole can. Formation of shapes and folds exist that
can draw the eye in and this, believe it or not, is "art".
The reason is that the act of crushing the can is actually working it as
a sculpture. An intact can is the raw material which is worked by hand to
create a new form.
However in movies here it would seem that there is a question as to wheather
film for money, or film for the love of it, be art.
I have always found the failure of AMPAS to award an animated film with
the Best Picture Oscar to be unreasonable. Their viewpoint is that there
is some debate as to wheather animation constitutes "art" within motion
pictures.
Did not some artist sketch an idea that became a painted image, of many
images that are brought collectively together to produce a moving image.
Is this not painted art at it's most advanced.
The work of the painter to bring vividley to life a scene in paint, then
the work of the animator to bring that painting to life by filming it and
it's many similars in succession.
From the commercial/ non-commercial viewpoint is it not the case that both
"amateur" (film for the love of it) and proffessional (film for the money)
would contain works, both photographic or painted, that constitute "art".
But mind you, would even we amateurs produce our works with some view to
make some coin for our next project after all nothing is free. Amateur films
cost proportionately as much as the pro ones do and the money has got to
come from somewhere.
In any case artists in paint or sculpture or whatever sell their works
for
profit. What makes them artists as such is a college degree or the like
but
you don't need that to draw a picture. Even Crayola Crayons (much melined
by halfwits on another website) are a step in arts' direction.
The view of our board of directors is that "art" is ANYTHING CREATIVE wheather
for profit or joy and after that it's only a question of taste.

AN

Re: What Is Art?

Post by AN » Mon May 12, 2003 7:15 am

"Cinema For Thurso Group" <canuimagine@btopenworld.com> wrote:
An interesting debate here. I am a Director for an arts company and my interest
in "art" as it's called covers a wide view.
When I'm in my local pub I tend to drink soft drinks from a can. The bar
staff understand that the can is not to be removed from me until it I have
crushed it.
I thought I was the only one who took an interest in crushing
coke cans! I was about to set out on an animated film using these cans.
Each crushed can is an individual. One has the lightly crushed can right
up to the utterly flattened can done in by a car's tyres! There seems some
primative delight of destruction in us that delights in crushing a can. Is
it that we would like to crush some people we know, and subdugate our desires
onto the poor ol can?
starts with 4 creases to the side giving it corners upon which it is more
easily crushed by hand.
You 'can can' crush with only two creases...depends what destructive mood
you are in!

way yet still being a whole can. Formation of shapes and folds exist that
can draw the eye in and this, believe it or not, is "art".
Can(!) that really be so?
The reason is that the act of crushing the can is actually working it as
a sculpture. An intact can is the raw material which is worked by hand to
create a new form.
Well ceratinly each new can crushed is different from any previous one..perhaps
we should start a gallery of crushed cans?

The view of our board of directors is that "art" is ANYTHING CREATIVE
But how to define 'creative'Maya ?
Albert...creating a mess.

Cinema For Thurso Group

Re: What Is Art?

Post by Cinema For Thurso Group » Mon May 12, 2003 1:33 pm

Thank you Fart, I'm sure we can all read what I wrote without the hefty full
on quote regime! But can we have a quote of your last fart!!!!!!???
Well Al, there is a primeval streak in us all that is wanting of destruction.
I once enjoyed mangling my dad's old toy cars in a vice in our shed- some
years on I now realise I was destroying valuable collectables and have been
most upset myself at the loss of my Dinky Starship Enterprise, Space 1999
Eagle Lander, Thunderbird 2 and a number of rare Star Wars figures (disposed
of by my dad).
Crushing cans could well be a subliminal to our inner feelings towards others.
I think we all know someone (or more) that we think the world would prosper
without! Shame that thing called 'law' gets in the way of common sense whilst
the inoccent are made victims.
The human eye is drawn to certain shapes, lines and so on so the formation
created in a crushed can does possess the asthetics to catch our attention
and that is an element of what makes art.
What is creative? Well one time in the bar I had two crushed cans before
me and a wrapper from something (can't remember what) but anyway I rolled
up the wrapper and stuck an end in each can 'creating' one object of artistic
expression. It seemed to express my working day whereby each can was different
but yet the same whilst the wrapper formed the strand of time linking each
day.
There's probly a lot more to what 'creative' is but maybe we should have
a wee read of Genisis which is of course about the creation of Earth. It's
not too distinct on what creative is either but I think what god and other
artists call creative is where you take separate things and make them into
one thus making something new????????????
We all do that in film where we are taking many individual elements to pull
together one vision.
I think we should get drunk now because this is not the kind of talk for
sobriety- to philasophical!

Ned C

Re: What Is Art?

Post by Ned C » Mon May 12, 2003 3:05 pm

"Cinema For Thurso Group" <canuimagine@btopenworld.com> wrote:
The human eye is drawn to certain shapes, lines and so on so the formation
created in a crushed can does possess the asthetics to catch our attention
and that is an element of what makes art.
For me "art' is that which has no practical use but elicits an emotional
response from me. Art has a personal element which is why it is so difficult
to agree on what is good art and the discussion often takes a tack to defining
good craftsmanship. "His brushwork is superb" "His cinematograhy captures
the scene beautifully" "His command of the language outstanding"

We all have different emotional triggers and so different responses. However,
I believe that there must be elements of craftsmanship in the creation of
art, the artists use of skills to attract my reaction. The combination of
craftsmanship and the artists vision are creativity. For me a crushed can
may be interesting but it cannot be art, it can be converted to art along
the lines described by AN because he has a vision.

Ned C

Michael Slowe

Re: What Is Art?

Post by Michael Slowe » Mon May 12, 2003 5:16 pm

"Ned C" <gloss@fred.com> wrote:
"Cinema For Thurso Group" <canuimagine@btopenworld.com> wrote:
The human eye is drawn to certain shapes, lines and so on so the formation
created in a crushed can does possess the asthetics to catch our attention
and that is an element of what makes art.

For me "art' is that which has no practical use but elicits an emotional
response from me. Art has a personal element which is why it is so difficult
to agree on what is good art and the discussion often takes a tack to defining
good craftsmanship. "His brushwork is superb" "His cinematograhy captures
the scene beautifully" "His command of the language outstanding"

We all have different emotional triggers and so different responses. However,
I believe that there must be elements of craftsmanship in the creation of
art, the artists use of skills to attract my reaction. The combination of
craftsmanship and the artists vision are creativity. For me a crushed can
may be interesting but it cannot be art, it can be converted to art along
the lines described by AN because he has a vision.

Ned C
Idon't think that we should get too worked up about defining art. We all
surely know it when we see it and it makes us feel good. Clearly it is represented
differently to each individual on this planet. Would that we could satisfy
ourselves that we have created a work of art each time we complete a film!

AN

Re: What Is Art?

Post by AN » Mon May 12, 2003 5:40 pm

"Cinema For Thurso Group" <canuimagine@btopenworld.com> wrote:
What is creative? Well one time in the bar I had two crushed cans before
me and a wrapper from something (can't remember what) but anyway I rolled
up the wrapper and stuck an end in each can 'creating' one object of artistic
expression. It seemed to express my working day whereby each can was different
but yet the same whilst the wrapper formed the strand of time linking each
day.
If you put the pulled tab into the can and rattle it, that represents what
you ate for dinner. The noise it makes if you shake the can, the indigestion
you suffered from afterwards.

The pulled tab also represents that which has been torn from the body after
an operation. If you shake cans before pulling the tab, the resultant squirt
of CO2 is the temper the can gets into by being disturbed in its slumbers.
Ah, the virgin, unopened can. Ah, the curving uncrushed lines of youth.
:-)

Albert...not canned, as I don't d-d-drink. Hic, hic!

Dave Watterson

Re: What Is Art?

Post by Dave Watterson » Thu May 15, 2003 12:40 pm

I have been enjoying this thread ... and find myself wondering if there is
an important distinction between art for the individual and art for the group.

For the creator of a piece almost anything may be embued with special meaning,
be it a crushed can, a poem, a painting, a tune ...

For an individual experiencing the can, poem, painting, tune it may have
resonance for all sorts of personal reasons. (If you have just fallen in
love any reference to romance makes a special impact ...)

But are we talking about something different when we talk about art forms
intended for group appreciation, especially film?

I have sat through a feature-length 35mm film which spent most of its time
craning very slowly up and down a large tree. The director's voice on the
soundtrack explained that his wife's ashes were buried under the tree so
that her essence could live on. For him it was obviously a very meaningful
experience. For most people it was tedious. That is not to disrespect the
importance it had as a piece of art for that widower.

It seems to me that most film ought to be aiming to include more than just
one or two people in its audience. And yes, I am still talking about film
which might be considered as having the quality of art.

It is not enough to say "for me this is art" whether you are the creator
or a consumer. Maybe we have to vote on it!

Or am I even more offbeam than usual on this?

Dave McDoubtful

Ned C

Re: What Is Art?

Post by Ned C » Thu May 15, 2003 2:49 pm

"Dave Watterson" <big.dave@art.net> wrote:
I have been enjoying this thread ... and find myself wondering if there
is
an important distinction between art for the individual and art for the
group.
I believe there is no distinction. A film watched by an audience of one has
the same artistic value as a film watched by 300. The director of a film
with artistic aims is making a film for himself. There is a high risk of
failure of course but this is what art is about, risks in pursuit of a vision.
It is not enough to say "for me this is art" whether you are the creator
or a consumer.
Yes, it is enough. This is the point of art, it is highly personal and your
opinion has the same value as the critic who who writes for the newspapers
because when you strip away all the words the critic says this effects me
emotionally so its art, this does not, so it is not art in my book. The problem
is that professional critics have taken on the mantle of infallibility and
dislike being challenged.

Maybe we have to vote on it!
Or am I even more offbeam than usual on this?

Dave McDoubtful
No, interesting points.

Ned C

AN

Re: What Is Art?

Post by AN » Thu May 15, 2003 5:34 pm

"Dave Watterson" <big.dave@art.net> wrote:
I have been enjoying this thread ... and find myself wondering if there
is
an important distinction between art for the individual and art for the
group.

For the creator of a piece almost anything may be embued with special meaning,
be it a crushed can, a poem, a painting, a tune ...

For an individual experiencing the can, poem, painting, tune it may have
resonance for all sorts of personal reasons. (If you have just fallen in
love any reference to romance makes a special impact ...)
If you are moved by an experience/emotion/shape/sound etc and you can successfully
convey this to others, singly or in groups, then that is art.
I have sat through a feature-length 35mm film which spent most of its time
craning very slowly up and down a large tree. The director's voice on the
soundtrack explained that his wife's ashes were buried under the tree so
that her essence could live on. For him it was obviously a very meaningful
experience. For most people it was tedious. That is not to disrespect
the
importance it had as a piece of art for that widower.
But it wasn't art for the widower as he failed to convey anything to his
audience, so that was not art, not even for him. It was just a failed attempt
at art. For art to be art it must succeed in its mission, else it is merely
a craft, albeit a skilled effort.

So for me, it is success in conveying, not in the actual doing,
that makes a film art.

Albert...arty crafty.

Atta Chui

Re: What Is Art?

Post by Atta Chui » Thu May 15, 2003 10:38 pm

Hey why would i care whether my film is being classified by others as Art
or not?

Why do you make films?

I am in the "making films for a group" camp. I like to have as many bums
on the seats as possible. I hope my film can engage the audience so that
I can share my view and/or experiences with the audience. The emphasis is
on communication, whereas in the other "making films for oneself" camp, the
emphasis is on expressing yourself.

So there is a difference in the approach, no?

Since you and I make films as a hobby, whatever you do is really up to you.
However, I have one more observation to make...

I am not a native English speaker. I read what I type many times, revise
them, and hopefully end up with some sentences that you understand. There
are some basic rules in the lanuage I try to follow. When I make a film,
the situation is similar. Each scene is there with some purposes: push the
story along, shock the audience, engage them, etc. I don't want to lose my
audience in the middle of the film. We often ask ourselves: "will the audience
understand this?", "is this shot too long?", "should I cut this out?" We
implicitly think about the audience all the time. So isn't this "making film
for a group"?

Atta

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