You Might Not Believe It, But This All Came from a Spongebob Episode.

January 17, 2008 at 8:30 pm (1, Book Books, Comic Books, Movies, Music, Psychopomp Babble, Video Games)

I was canoodling, fiddling, or finoodling with my pen, and the topic of what is art (I love to pick scabs located on my body, too) needed to be itched.

-Art is what happens when man begins to dream.

But so is saliva. A definitive definition (some would accuse that sentence of redundancy. Some haven’t really read a dictionary) cannot lie in a duplicitous sentence like that, conflating daydreams with night dreams- one very consciously plays off of internal desires, and the other is defined by unconsciousness.

-I think, therefore I am.

This could be where the whole train wreck of modern art came from. After the fall of Rome, no one really thought of themselves as an individual until Descartes proudly proclaimed a differing perception of reality than his countrymen. Then, suddenly, empathy was invented (invented in the modern Western tradition, of course, because those are the only people that really matter. If only the Atlanteans were better archivists…), and differing viewpoints were explored.

Reality is an experience of stimuli, and any brain separated from its vessel could, given a determined enough artist, experience the richest, most rewarding life ever given to a man. Objects only exist when perceived, and no single perspective can view the entirety of an object if it exists in three dimensions. Simply put, bias is a prerequisite for living.

Empathy is the appropriation of other eyes with which to view an object more completely. It’s a means of heightening one’s perception of reality. Even if sympathy doesn’t follow, an adept usage of empathy will always lead to a more likely reason as to why things have occurred.

So, then, what is art? Perhaps it would be best to focus on how people react to it (objects only exist when perceived. A tree falling in an empty forest does make a sound, but only because you told me that it fell and I filled in the rest). I got nothing else when grappling with ungraspable objects.

Art is a wondrous, exhilarating experience for some, and a bore for most. Someone(s) somewhere made something, and here is a chance to read, study, or enjoy that something. It exists, when approached, as a completely solipsistic creation, made entirely from another entity. Further inquiry into an object which someone, somewhere, felt the need to make (which may be a society needing entertainment- I draw a line between cultural object and art somewhere, and I think the line involves a conscious manipulation of the creation’s worldview, although consciousness is only needed to sustain art, so even that’s a slippery definition) reveals its worldview, its purpose.

Sometimes, often, purpose is difficult to articulate. It can change between conceptualization and reification, or snippets can veer off into different directions. I also do not intend to lump off art stricken with rigor mortis/meaning with less persuasive art. I enjoy music. It often feels like a pillow in a way difficult for words.

The only thing unifying art is that it has been created, and there exists a period in between inception and birth, during which things happen. The consequences are never, can never be completely intended, and a piece of art maintains its evolution after it goes from the private, guarding hands of the artist to the capricious fingers of the public.

-Art is a conscious arrangement of elements composed to appeal to a sense of beauty.

Laughing to myself, I humbly realized that America was the biggest, most important work of art* yet produced by man, and that anything I could write would pale in comparison. The rest of my day passed without incident.

*And I am very open to debate on that issue. I have absolutely no jingoism and just a smidgen of patriotism.


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