Why do people make art? Why do people look at art?
 
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    Why do people make art? Why do people look at art?

    What is it that drives humanity to make art? What drives humanity to look at, listen to, participate in art? I'm curious to hear your ideas.

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    I forget where I've heard this. But I believe humans are the only known species that appreciate art. We don't just ask, is it edible, can it provide shelter, can I gain something from it, can I fuck it? We also ask, is it pretty?

    I believe it's just human nature. If things were different, and we were the only ones that appreciated smell. I can guarantee we'd all be trying to create appealing smells instead of drawing.

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    Art is really narcissistic. That's an observation, not a criticism. I don't think it can really be avoided since self centeredness is vital for a species to survive.
    As beings who are self aware enough to question our existence I believe art is just another way of confirming it.

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    Why do people look at porn?

    Because they don't have enough sex.

    Why do people make art? Why do people look at art?

    Because there isn't enough art to go around.



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    Jealousy and intrigue for me, I was jealous that someone, sitting on a little chair with a little charcoal stumb, could make something so beautiful and all I could do was draw a stick figure. So I learned to draw.

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    It's probably the easiest way to produce new ideas and concepts, which people can work from and use for furthering our own curiosity with life and exploring. Human minds are object oriented, and self aware, so we need something to figure out, fix, use, play with. Or, we would just go insane and put fate into our own hands in an unproductive manner. Besides, we are getting bored (since the things for basic survival are easier to come by) so we are looking for more complexity to understand our world and make it more enjoyable, to live longer, and find a sense of purpose or fulfillment before we kick the bucket... I think.

    One thing I wish I was better at though is being able to explain my opinions, or tell a story with some intrigue and interest, instead of just stating things plainly. I'll work on it.

    Ok, I'm bored. Back to work for me...

    Last edited by Costau; October 8th, 2009 at 08:16 PM.
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    Art is an advanced form of communication and humans are highly intelligent social creatures who require more advanced communication techniques than that of other species. At one point it was probably necessary for survival to be able to interpret and create art (danger warnings, fertility art, cave paintings), but now we satisfy the craving that evolved in our brains in order to achieve life enrichment.

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    Art is made to enduce creative thinking with the world around you. This allows you to produce images, carve stone, invision monuments, and with His grace, transform the world around you.

    Gazing at works of art allows a person to loose themself for a moment. Plus, Art is creation. Out of Nothing the artist creates a world for everyone to see. And those who take the time to visit just might want to come back.

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    slothboy3000: Can you give some examples of what you mean when you say "narcisistic" and "self-interest"? How does this narcisistic art help us survive? When you say "As beings who are self aware enough to question our existence I believe art is just another way of confirming it." do you mean that art gives our life meaning?

    So the reasons I'm seeing here are:

    *For the enjoyment of making and having beautiful things.

    *To give our lives meaning.

    *Communication

    So I ask:

    How does it give our lives meaning?

    Why should we need art to communicate? Don't words, numbers, traffic signals, shop signs, sign language, and whatever else do the job?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Goyim View Post
    Out of Nothing the artist creates a world for everyone to see.
    Artists don't create out of nothing. If an artist were to make a totally new world(which is impossible) it would make no sense to any viewer without experience in that world.

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    Giving tangible information, and theoretical subjective information are two different things. The thing with symbols and signs for use in communication is that they themselves could be changed to seem more creative but still provide the fundamental information.

    Art (encompassing all aspects of exploration through any medium or discipline) seems to be the creation of something new that works better and holds interest for whatever reason. The problem with all this though is that everything is subjective, and requires information in order to understand it or find it intriguing. Which is mostly the reason why a lot of people abhor modern art, cause it doesn't make direct sense without education in that field.

    Maybe it's a question of what is aesthetically appealing, what is communication, what is intellectually appealing, and what is useful. But, I think the answer is pretty simple as to why we are interested in all this, and I think it mainly has to do with our survival and comfort.

    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    Artists don't create out of nothing. If an artist were to make a totally new world(which is impossible) it would make no sense to any viewer without experience in that world.
    There's irony in that though. True an artist can only create based on what he already has observed, but also not every artist sees things the same way. When they create something it may vaguely seem similar, but it's still different. What's new, and what's from scratch is completely subjective, but there is still that pattern of reality. It could be that we just need to explore more in order to really find out that there truely is no such thing as uniqueness cause all it is is a collection of information in the universe perceived and analyzed from every angle and put into something new. So we are unique and we are not... it's all relative.

    The only thing i'm truly concentrating on is understanding how to get the right people interested in my art so i can make money doing it, but also i need to find a way to still express myself without the care of what other people think. Our only limitation is our brains, and we have to pick and choose what to be interested in that influences us, based on social acceptance and personal interest. Oh what a mind job.

    Last edited by Costau; October 8th, 2009 at 09:54 PM.
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    Thumbs up

    There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual.
    Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.
    If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign.

    It was in this hope that the arts were invented.
    Sign-posts on the way to what might be.
    Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.
    Bob Henri- "The Art Spirit"

    I think he's not far off the mark.

    Alternatively "artists liked to paint shit that looked totally sweet".

    Edit: and for me, the reasoning behind "make something" was rarely any more complicated than "That looks beautiful to me, someone should paint or photograph that. History won't care but I do.

    I have a semi- reasonable understanding of painting, so it may as well be me..See how it goes I suppose...

    Final thought is that I see all these pictures that should be painted but nobody else is going to do them for me, I may as well get to work.

    Last edited by Flake; October 8th, 2009 at 11:00 PM.
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    cole.ossus: "Art (encompassing all aspects of exploration through any medium or discipline) seems to be the creation of something new that works better and holds interest for whatever reason..." Can this be rephrased as: Art is the creation of newer and more obscure ways of communication, in order to hide meanings from uninformed people?
    Art is a constructive activity, built from the experiences and objects found in the environment. I define "out of nothin" to mean: to make something that doesn't refer to any prior experience in reality.

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    Well, it's just a difference of how we define "out of nothing". I just think of it as the only thing the artist has to go on is his own thoughts out of thin air. Something that is not solid yet until he is met with the limitations of the tools on how to communicate what he is thinking and put his ideas into a logical representative manner in order for it to make more sense to him and to others. And, I'm not just meaning the creation of a painting or movie trying to get an emotional response out of people (which in itself is another survival reason for art, emotional challenge/comfort, and to get you to use your mind), but also the creation of objects and inventions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cole.ossus View Post
    There's irony in that though. True an artist can only create based on what he already has observed, but also not every artist sees things the same way. When they create something it may vaguely seem similar, but it's still different. What's new, and what's from scratch is completely subjective, but there is still that pattern of reality. It could be that we just need to explore more in order to really find out that there truely is no such thing as uniqueness cause all it is is a collection of information in the universe perceived and analyzed from every angle and put into something new. So we are unique and we are not... it's all relative.
    I've thought about this long before this disussion when people mention inspiration. What I think about that in short:

    Step 1: -If you create random stuff, it has no meaning, it will be abstract and everyone will go "wtf", so you you need to start from basic earthly observation (or digital observation). There's a limit to crazyness and once you go over it, emotional detachment takes place and your work won't be any good anymore. From this knowledge you go to step 2.

    Step 2: -People either copy from that "inspiration" and others are able to randomize the previous knowledge and create uniqueness while still maintaining emotional earthly attachment (aka it's recognisable and triggers emotions).

    You need both steps, people who skip Step 1 and don't include "what we know", will only be able to create abstract art.

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    Well one of the key principles to making something attractive yet different to people is to set what you are creating based on something they can relate too, but changing it completely. That's why when learning fundamentals, learning how to recognize the shapes of what you are observing and drawing is very important. Cole Eastburn gave me some good, common sense, advice pertaining to design and art. You take an object, he gave me the example of a bird, and you look at what makes it up. So you have feathers, scales, the shape of the beak, the color of the bird itself, then you use those elements to represent that same inspiration in something such as clothing design. It's logic based on chaos. I mean really these answers are so simple, but when you dive into why it can become very complex. Best not to get caught up in that too much or else you risk paralysis by analysis. Which in a small way is happening right now, and also why i liked flakes post lol. Don't get caught up in why, just do!

    Last edited by Costau; October 8th, 2009 at 11:25 PM.
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    Yes, well up to a point I think. That point where recognisable art turns into weirdness and then into abstract is pretty important I think. I know when you're able to float between recognisable and weirdness you get scary, thrillers exploit this emotion. I wonder if anyone ever made a scale about that.

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    I think "survival" is too general of an idea to be a reason for the existence of art. People need food, water, and shelter to survive. Without those people will die, no one dies from lack of art. People can get physical and emotional comfort, and intellectual stimulation from other sources.

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    no one dies from lack of art.
    True, but there does seem to be this need for decoration, beauty, storytellling, murals, sculpture, whatever.

    This can be observed across all continents, it's not a passing fad.

    They've been doing it since they had to scratch it on cave walls that were potentially occupied by big mad scary bears...

    Humans dig art, it's hardwired.

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    I specifically said noone dies from lack of art. People make things, glamorize things, not all of it's art. Some of it serves a specific survival purpose, like tools, some doesn't.

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    Indeed, art serves no real survival purpose.

    But they keep doing it. This should tell you something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    Indeed, art serves no real survival purpose.

    But they keep doing it.
    I know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    Indeed, art serves no real survival purpose.
    Hm, but if art is just a form of communication, then so are diagrams and text and every form of communication. Battle plans -> survival, maps -> survival, medical diagrams -> survival, architecture -> survival.

    All of that makes us inique, isn't that one of our features that distinguished us from animals and makes us ruler of the Earth, the way we manage to communicate through speach, writing, drawing.

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    I like where this is going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    I know.
    Yet we keep doing it.

    Across all continents we feel the need to fancy stuff up, decorate it and put party hats on it.

    My point is that humans decorate stuff, even purely functional stuff. An average suit of 16th century armour is a practical item but it may still have more needless decoration than most Baroque paintings.

    There's almost nothing we won't get all "arty" on. Celtic broadswords are pretty elaborate and we didn't do the Renaissance yet.

    Hence my theory that "art" is an inbuilt hardwired thing that you won't breed out of humans. If we can have "product x" or "product really nicely designed decorative version of the first one" we will always choose the stylish one.

    Edit: I do kinda like this chat, it's much less spazz than "what is art..?"

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    actually what about the people who dont enjoy that though flake? Such as the more engineer minded types who like function over form, and would take a clean designed well running machine over one that looks pretty. Such as the guy who enjoys a certain car for what it is and it's functionality rather than it having hydraulics, spinners, foils, and decals?

    Edit: actually maybe that in itself is just taste and still is a type of artistic appreciation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by armando View Post
    I think "survival" is too general of an idea to be a reason for the existence of art. People need food, water, and shelter to survive. Without those people will die, no one dies from lack of art. People can get physical and emotional comfort, and intellectual stimulation from other sources.
    I'm willing to bet that rudimentary sculpture predates any recognizable spoken language. The oldest found sculpture is 77,000 years old, and the oldest figurative sculpture is 36,000 years old. That predates even cave paintings.

    There are some uses of sculpture that would promote bloodline survival. Fertility sculpture that caused increased reproduction would favor the tribes making the sculptures. You don't have to die, you just have to not reproduce to not pass on your genes.

    Art creation was obviously an important biological function of the brain which somehow promoted survival and reproduction, otherwise it wouldn't be there. The very nature of art suggests an alternative use of resources beyond securing food/shelter, and the artists would have certainly died off if they were wasting resources on something which did nothing beneficial.


    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post
    Indeed, art serves no real survival purpose.

    But they keep doing it. This should tell you something.
    It doesn't need to serve any survival purpose now. It only needed to serve a survival purpose when our brains were developing and evolving.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cole.ossus View Post
    actually what about the people who dont enjoy that though flake? Such as the more engineer minded types who like function over form, and would take a clean designed well running machine over one that looks pretty. Such as the guy who enjoys a certain car for what it is and it's functionality rather than it having hydraulics, spinners, foils, and decals?
    Different times.

    At the time those details would have been a sign of prestige, privilege, Look at me, I'm loaded.

    In the same way a plain black top of the line Porsche might be now. "look at me, I'm subtle and have some taste.but I'm totally rich.."

    Back then, aesthetic choices would have been the privilege of the fabulously wealthy, everyone else grabs grandads armour
    and hopes they don't die.

    Edit: sorry, weeks late, but reading that back I totally missed your point. The sleek functionality you are talking about, I'd say that, yes, that is an artistic decision as well as an engineering one.

    See the comparative minimalism of Eastern art versus the flouncy ornamentation of the western equivalent at the same time..

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek the Usurper View Post
    It doesn't need to serve any survival purpose now. It only needed to serve a survival purpose when our brains were developing and evolving.
    Hopefully, they're still doing that..

    Last edited by Flake; November 18th, 2009 at 09:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flake View Post



    Hopefully, they're still doing that..
    I don't think they are in any real way. Because practically everyone on the planet survives to reproduction age now, there isn't really a system to kill off mutations which are harmful to survival. No beneficial strains can be isolated to breed with one another to promote significant change either.

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    Cool people get sex, everything will be fine.

    Fear not, the human race will live on, although it may be a shallower version.

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