About
Content
Store
Forum

Rebirth of Reason
War
People
Archives
Objectivism

Post to this threadMark all messages in this thread as readMark all messages in this thread as unreadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Forward one pageLast Page


Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 20

Friday, April 18, 2008 - 6:28pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Maybe it would be better to classify this as more a psychology experiment than a work of art?



That would be far closer to the truth....


Is a vase fine art?


Do not confuse aesthetics, which deals with beauty, with contemplation - craft is utilitarian, and has aesthetics in it, just as does fine art.....

(Edited by robert malcom on 4/18, 6:31pm)




Post 21

Friday, April 18, 2008 - 6:38pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Yikes, what a thread!

Michael



Post 22

Friday, April 18, 2008 - 8:08pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
"Maybe it would be better to classify this as more a psychology experiment than a work of art?" -C. Jeffrey Small

"Is a vase fine art? In so far as it is not used only to hold flowers. In so far as its shape and color express beauty. " -Ted Keer

Classifying this as an experiment would clear the matter if it were intended primarily for scientific journals.  Also, it seems far too narrow a definition of art to exclusively express beauty or triumph.  From limited reading, I believe Rand argued that Romantic Realism was the superior form of art, not the only.

I'm really shocked at the accusation that this is a crime akin to aesthetic vandalism.  It is very likely that the city as well as the station was aware of this prior.  I too attended the No Pants Prank last January in Salt Lake City.  Great fun (though I wished they chose a warmer month), and it was met with warmth feelings as far as I could tell.  I'd learned about the prank from a local newspaper article.  At the event, press were interviewing, and Cops were there to make sure nothing got out of hand.

Ted,
Is it the public vs private matter that strikes a nerve?  Would it be in the clear with you if the prank were indeed sanctioned by the station?  I imagine you wouldn't complain if a statue or fountain were placed in the middle of a commuting area.

And Rodney Rawlings,
Thanks very much for that link.  Highly enjoyable.




Post 23

Friday, April 18, 2008 - 8:09pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Maybe it would be better to classify this as more a psychology experiment than a work of art?

Sanctioned that. 

I didn't want to call it "art" either, but I couldn't help but wonder what it was that I liked so much about it.   Maybe the frozen display just forced me not to take the actions of others (and my own) for granted so much.

Don't be such a crabby New Yawka, Ted.   




Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 10, No Sanction: 0
Post 24

Friday, April 18, 2008 - 8:10pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

207 People Freeze in Fumblebuck Minnesota?

Certainly there is room for delight - divine delight - in contemplation. Consider the joy of a child at play with legos, a research scientist with his specimens, a lone hiker watching a sunset, a numistatist with her stamp collection. One can take a certain quite limited joy in contemplating this "prank" as well. But none of this has anything to do with fine art as fine art. And the problem is that this "prank" stands up poorly under analysis for the many reasons stated above. It is of a kind with that charlatan Cristo wrapping things in sheets at public expense. Ever heard of gilding a lily? Neither the lily nor the station needs embellishment to enhance its beauty.

The bottom line is the essentially parasitic nature of this event as aesthetic experience, matter of publicity or expense. Have the same 207 people freeze in Michael Marotta's neighborhood as he's on his way to work and who's impressed? What is impressive here is Grand Central Station, not those who loiter in it.

The same confusion that makes people take this as some sort of "art" allows us not to rebuild the WTC but to pay millions for a "monument" called Reflecting Absence or to admire the "beauty" (in truth, shame) of spotlights illuminating the specter of the towers on the anniversary of their destruction. This is conceit and shoddy thought substituting itself for concept and subtle skill.

[Doug, if this were done with permission at a "private" venue it would lose its point and be dismissed as there mere publicity stunt that it was.]

(Edited by Ted Keer on 4/18, 8:18pm)




Post 25

Friday, April 18, 2008 - 8:17pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Fischer: "Cops were there to make sure nothing got out of hand."

Or were they there to make sure nothing was taken in hand? ;)





Post 26

Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 4:54amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

C. Jeffery Small wrote: As an observer, I find that peoples' responses to this act are what is interesting as they reveal tremendous insights into their inner selves, while the act itself really has very little to communicate, either emotionally or intellectually.

We had this discussion over The Thinker.
http://rebirthofreason.com/Spirit/Art/62.shtml

Actually, I originally wrote a somewhat different review for The Well (now a Salon.Com property).  Then, I discovered that the library at Michigan State University had a complete run of Objectivist Newsletters, etc., and was surprised by the negative review of the work.  You can see the intention of my response in the similar vocabulary.




Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 27

Saturday, April 19, 2008 - 7:10amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
I just don't understand why this is a controversial act at all. Ted's all upset that he would have been inconvenienced because of the urgency of his mission, but I don't know why. There weren't enough people to in any way impede his progress. I think most people encountering this "freezing" would initially just scratch their heads, smile or laugh, and pass on. And it would be something to talk about at the water cooler in the office "Hey, do you know what happened at GCS today?"

As an aside, in the '50s at the University of British Columbia, on the first day of a new term, the engineers drove up to some concrete monumental works of art at several locations on the campus and swiftly demolished them with sledgehammers and drove away. Of course, there was enormous outrage, particularly from the downtown daily newspapers until some time later it became known that the "works of art" were created and surreptitiously installed by the engineers during the summer months. Curiously, the administration either didn't know about the new art or didn't care who placed them or why.

Sam




Post 28

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 7:15amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Here in Santa Fe we have a fledgling club called "Friends of Capitalism." There are about 86 members and we meet once a month to primarily address local issues but we have a wider scope, as well. We are comprised of all sorts of bed-fellows Republicans, Libertarians, Objectivists, atheists, Christians, minarchists the whole gamut, but the one thing in common is respect for capitalism. At the next meeting I am going to present an emblem, or symbol in the form of a work of art that I have created which will, I hope, be adopted as representing our common conviction.

No, it's not a $ sign, which would be appropriate, but is a framed, blank painting entitled "The Invisible Hand." It is signed by me and dated.

Now, is this a work of art, a prank, a serious statement of ideology and philosophy, or what?

Sam 




Post 29

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 9:53amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

Sam: "Now, is this a work of art, a prank, a serious statement of ideology and philosophy, or what?"

Sam, I recall you posting some other logos, either that you liked or ones you had done yourself. They were magnificent, as a recall.

I seriously would like to know if you identify differences in execution, content, and purpose between the genre of logos and that of representational paintings. Or do you equate them as being the same?

Michael



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 30

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 11:41amSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
btw Sam,

Your last project, is clever, but with one small problem. A visual image of nothing, is exactly that. You might want to be careful--next, you might not sign it, or title it, and then you might disappear all together. ;)

Michael



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 31

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 12:02pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit

My Life on the D-List

Consider the "career" of Kathy Griffin. Her latest "hit" is My Life on the D-List. Her modus operandi is "stand-up" in which she rags on actual celebrities. Her celebrity is based upon her gossiping about other celebrities. Without the people she bad-mouths, where would she be?

A painting by Vermeer is just as good a work of art in whatever venue it is displayed. But this "Freeze" prank simply doesn't work unless it is done in a venue from which it can appropriate its value. One could have a "freeze" in GCS or a "wig-out" in GCS or a "nude-in" in GCS. But in each case it is Grand Central Station which lends its value to the event, not the wacky goings on. Those wacky goings on anywhere else would be ignored and utterly unremarkable.

Of course, it is also essential for this "freeze" that people respond. As I said myself above, at most I would have responded "you are in my way!" More likely I would have passed without audible comment. Most other New Yorkers would do the same. There are beggars, protestors, performance artists and nutjubs all over Manhattan. Grand Central happens to be full of out-of-towners, you know, the kind of people who stand on street corners, blocking traffic, while they look up at the sky-scrapers.

My objection to this "event" lies not in its annoyance to me, but in its inherently empty and parasitic nature.



Post 32

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 12:31pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Michael:

I'm not sure which personal logos you're referring to but here's a favorite site of mine:

http://logopond.com/all/

I seriously would like to know if you identify differences in execution, content, and purpose between the genre of logos and that of representational paintings. Or do you equate them as being the same?

No, I think they are different both because of the way the brain processes them and the skills involved in producing them. Logos can be executed by computer, whereas fine art requires manual dexterity and a totally different type of training. Logos elicit directed mental connections to commercial products. IMO, when this is of a sufficient degree of subtlety, the viewer has the immensely satisfying, "aha" reaction and it registers as a positive association. Fine art is different in that it can just be an aesthetic appreciation of beauty. I think that a lot of the discussion on this board is directed as to whether the appreciation of disgust is art.

My proposal of "The Invisible Hand" is the ultimate in minimalism, but is meaningless without the title. I suppose someone has already produced a blank painting and foisted it off as art.

Without writing an essay, those are my views.

Sam




Post 33

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 12:34pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Ted:

Responding to your post #31, I have a serious question. Are you saying that for something to be a work of art, one aspect is that it must be self-contained, in its execution/expression? I'm not disagreeing with you here, just curious as to whether this is the nature of the point you are making?

Regards,
--
Jeff



Post 34

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 12:46pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
No, Jeff. Drama, painting and literature have to be "about" something. But consider a painting which consisted merely of the text "This is not a painting." It would be a "prank" and not really fine art. I'm really not trying to make too deep or subtle a point here, and neither am I just unimpressed by this "freeze" because it might have been personally inconveniencing had I been in GCS at the time it occurred. People do laugh at Kathy Griffin, fart jokes, and this sort of "performance art." That is fine for them in small doses, I suppose. But this has been far too much attention paid to what amounts to far less than a fart joke.



Post 35

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 1:19pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Regarding Kathy Griffin, I find here generally funny. I understand Ted's comments about her being "parasitic" in basing her comedy upon the lives of other celebrities, but his comments raise a number of questions. There are many comics who's act consists of observational humor; for example, Jerry Seinfeld. Is there something wrong or "parasitic" about basing your observations on the actions of other people as opposed to animals or inanimate objects? Does a philosophical difference lie in humor that is directed at specific individuals (often a form of ridicule) as opposed to being more generic? Is humor an art form or a craft? Can a gifted comic transcend that boundary? What exactly is it that allows ballet to be classified as an art form while other types of human performance are not? Does the difference lie in the intent of the performer(s) or does it lie in the method in which the acts are consumed by specific audience members?

One thing I have become acutely aware of as I have seen debates rage over the proper definition of art and the application of those definitions to circumscribe the proper domain of art is that most of the debate occurs in what I classify as the "middle ground" or border cases. There are many great works of art of all types which are worthy of contemplation and there is much crap that is a total waste of time. In the middle is the majority of what is produced by humanity, some of it good, some bad and a lot that is neutral in its ability to impact. The middle ground is the "comfort zone' for the general public. It matters very little to me whether or not things in this region get classified as art. The entertainment I receive from some of this is enough. For true art and its meaningful impact on me, I prefer to spend my energy at the extreme end if the spectrum where issues of classification are not an issue.



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 36

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 1:40pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Seinfeld's humor deals in types (the soft-talker, the squeaky walker) and situations (forgetting a date's name, forgetting to buy a gift) that are common to many people and which do not depend upon the achievements of another talented person. Griffin's typical humor depends on specifically those she lambasts and would be content-free without those individuals. If you watch an episode of Seinfeld, you will see that Jerry mostly plays the part of passive observer to the wackiness of George, Elaine, Kramer and the weekly guests. He doesn't go for the jugular himself, he sits back and observes with us. This is not art, but it is damn smart humor.

Humor is humor and art is art but both are forms of entertainment. What is important is not saying that X is art per se, (borderline cases) but in being clear about what one says regarding X. One can certainly enjoy Kathy Griffin and the 207-person-freeze to a certain extent, but one should understand why. If someone told me that Kathy Griffin was her favorite comedian and Jerry Springer was her favorite TV show I would be quick to draw certain conclusions.



Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Sanction: 5, No Sanction: 0
Post 37

Sunday, April 20, 2008 - 3:13pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
deleted

 

(Edited by Sam Erica on 4/20, 3:14pm)




Post 38

Monday, April 21, 2008 - 3:49pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Sam,

Thanks for your frank reply.

"My proposal of "The Invisible Hand" is the ultimate in minimalism, but is meaningless without the title. I suppose someone has already produced a blank painting and foisted it off as art."

Glad you see it that way, and, yes, it as been done before as fine art, gosh, about 80 years ago.

Michael





Post 39

Monday, April 21, 2008 - 4:52pmSanction this postReply
Bookmark
Link
Edit
Yep - 1918..........  http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/art/malevich.html



Post to this threadBack one pagePage 0Page 1Page 2Forward one pageLast Page
User ID Password reminder or create a free account.