Tuesday, June 9, 2015

What is Art? What is Art's Purpose? Why?

Why would someone record a scene of simply eating? Why would anyone want to watch it?

What is art? What is its purpose?

Those are questions I've attempted to answer for years.

Is a Lamborghini or Apple Watch art?

It's easier to answer the second question, first: Art’s purpose is to express consciousness. That's it.

Which leads us back to the first question, "What is art?" It's been said, "Art is what you can get away with" but that's a bit nebulous.

Simply put, art is anything we create for others that can standalone. Art does not need to serve any purpose, other than existing, like a sunset.

Is a diary or personal journal art? I'd say no, since it's private. Rather, art is that poem we wrote which we shared with others, but never intended to sell. It's a photo, prose, performance, or painting that captures the moment.

What about the iPhone? Is that art?
Again, I'd say, no, it's not pure art. Art, with function, isn't so much art as it is design.
Design is art with function. It's how things work from the outside in.
Engineering is technology with function. It's how things work from the inside out.

There's nothing wrong with asking why. But, anyone who asks, "Why?" without the true intent of understanding more, doesn't get it. And that's okay. Not everybody understands everything, but at least have an open mind.

Art is so unique that it would not be missed if it were never created; yet its existence expands our experience with creative beauty. Words, paint, or notes of music, all created from nothing, for nothing, other than to exist, makes art. But that, alone, does not make great art which depends on both content and context, as the above video clip demonstrates. I reproduced the context of eating, but I can't reproduce the content of being Andy Warhol.

And who could forget when violinist Joshua Bell played at the Union Station train station in DC? Without the context of a symphony hall, no one appreciated his music.

Epilogue: Jørgen Leth speaks about his experience filming and directing Andy Warhol.

Credit: Big thank you to M. Thorsen for recording and editing this video.

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