18 November 2009


The “distinguished members of the art world” seems a little elitist of Danto, but it makes sense. Such people have earned their elitism and are deserving of the title.

Is elitism a bad thing, or does it just have a bad connotation? I feel as if the honor society is a elite group full of students who strive to do their best for four years here at the College. Of course, my non-honor student friends think it's a little elite that we get our own study house, and special tassles and ribbons for graduation, but don't we deserve it? They could've joined this elite group too if they wanted.

I believe that being "elite" is just striving to be the best, and achieving it, whether in sports, school, or the "art world". Being elite isn't a bad thing, as long as snobbishness or an air of distasteful arrogance doesn't follow.

Why does being "elite" have negative connotations? Is believing you are "elite" snobby and rude? or is it deserving?

the "is" of artistic identification

Danto introduces a third “is”, the “is” of artistic identification. This is serves as a judgment of distinguishable properties of artwork. This is doesn’t describe the piece, it serves as an evaluation and interpretation.
This “is” of artistic identification is also different in that Danto claims it can only be used by distinguished members of the art world. Distinguished members are those who know not only the history of art, but have also studied art theory. Supposedly, knowledge of art history and theories allow for a more educated judgment of the piece in question. Such judgment can only be passed with proper studying, therefore only by a member of the “art world”.

I have mentioned all along that I don’t feel entitled to pass judgment on art, so maybe Danto has a point with this "art world" business. The only problem I have is how to judge when someone belongs in the “art world” club. Can they be included by only studying art history and theory and be totally inept at creating art themselves? Or vice versa, can they be naturally skilled at art and able to create beautiful art, but have no interest in studying art history and theory?

15 November 2009

Resonse to Fay's blog: solipsism 10.29

Do we all experience art uniquely from one another?

Fay’s blog entry on solipsism is an interesting concept. Of course we all have the idea of what certain feelings are but I strongly believe that no one experiences them all the same. The same goes for art. Everyone can appreciate something, but aside from appreciation, everyone feels differently about it. Love it, hate it, or have no opinion at all, I don’t think it’s possible for everyone to feel the exact same way.I think solipsism is also a good reason of why some things upset others more than someone else, since we all feel differently, and we all have experienced life differently up to that point. Maybe no one really does know how you're feeling when they say they do!

goodman's When Is Art?

Is Goodman’s question of “when is art?” an adequate replacement for “what is art?” I do agree with Goodman that the latter is a frustrating and confusing question, but I still believe it is an important main focus.
However, Goodman’s question answers some questions that we had been struggling with, such as when to consider normal objects art. Asking the wrong question leads down the path of failing to distinguish objects that function as a work of art at some times, but not as others, following the importance of the question “when is art?”. A leftover brick from the Berlin Wall had a function, but now, sitting in a museum covered in symbolic graffiti, it can be considered art.
Since it is difficult to nail down specific characteristics of art, or define it, Goodman seems to enjoy only classifying it when it is clearly being seen, portrayed, and functioning as art. It makes sense, but is it enough? Should we switch our focus to “when is art?” or does that exclude necessary things that we need to discuss?

the meaning of life essay from professor's blog: 10/4

The essay on the meaning of life is definitely complicated, however I feel as if delves pretty deep into things I have never considered. Like the essay originally states, I also considered ‘the meaning of life’ just living your life doing things that are positive for yourself, as well as others, in search of the ultimate goal, or the religious ‘eternal life’ after life. Of course, one can wonder if it is different than that, or if there is a specific reason we’re all here.

The essay continued to discuss how that it is possible for one person’s life to be more meaningful than that of their neighbors. However, the latter neighbor might feel as if they did nothing to deserve having a life that is less meaningful.

Also, having a meaningful life does not necessarily mean it was blessed in other ways, such as happiness, money, or health.

I believe that there are so many things that go into leading a meaningful life that it is hard to judge someone else’s life. Sure, someone might lead a meaningful life by curing cancer, but if someone else changed the life of just one person for the better, shouldn’t they both be credited with leading a meaningful life?

One sentence that I liked in the essay was “Although relatively few have addressed the question of whether there exists a single, primary sense of “life's meaning,” the inability to find one so far might suggest that none exists.” Therefore my question is: is the ‘meaning of life’ to each his own? If you lead a life that you believe is morally satisfying and meaningful based on your religion, or what not, is that enough? What is your definition of a meaningful life?

08 November 2009

questions of taste

Taste is personal to each person. There are multiple factors that affect each person’s personal taste, such as moral standards, concepts of beauty, as well as prejudices. Therefore, how is the Mona Lisa universally admired and recognized as a masterpiece then? Since taste is individual, how did we come to agreement? That is where judgment comes in. Something I’m skeptical, or confused about is the ability to separate judgment from personal taste. I feel as if all judgments are bound to be somewhat influenced by taste. Also, who is entitled to make such judgments? Personally, I would judge that the Sunday Evening Post covers by Rockwell were more interesting, and more aesthetically pleasing than the Mona Lisa. I’ve never understood why everyone likes the Mona Lisa, which obviously doesn’t discredit it in the least. Therefore, are there people that are entitled to make judgments on art, and therefore bring it up to masterpiece standards? It seems as if people capable of creating art would be more capable and better equipped to make such judgments. Also, we would assume that those people need to be also capable of separating taste from judgment.

So this blog has turned into a bunch of questions, which makes sense since I’m always confused on these concepts. I guess my main question is: Is there any masterpiece that is universally admired? Is it therefore only admired based on unbiased judgments since not everyone has the same taste?

01 November 2009

response to fay's blog: 10-29-09

When I see movies like Pleasantville or read the book The Giver I feel that that doesn't even come close to where we would be without art. Obviously it would be a less interesting world without art but the way in which our mind works, how much more advanced would we be to monkeys?
Is art the all defining aspect that truely sets us apart from all other species.

I agree that art is one aspect that sets us apart as a species, if not the aspect. I think that we would still be advanced, but we’d be boring.
When you think about it, a day without art is definitely bleak, if not depressing. Words that come to mind are mundane, humdrum, boring.
If you really think about how an artless life would be, it’s surprising to realize how much art affects your daily life.
You use the alarm on your cell phone to wake up, but it’s not your favorite song awakening you, it’s a dull tone, since music doesn’t exist.
Your clothes would be boring and unoriginal. Your favorite heels don’t exist, and that shirt that you love wouldn’t exist either, since there aren’t any fashion designers to help you dress uniquely. You’d probably be better off dressing like a monk.
If you turn on the TV to maybe watch a show before class, it won’t be funny, dramatic, or anything remotely entertaining since acting and comedy don’t exist. It’d probably be talk, which without the added music and entertaining features of news, it too would be dull.
Even food would be boring without the culinary arts to influence taste and presentation. (yes, even worse than aramark.)
I think the objects around us would be boring as well. Your house wouldn’t be unique, your car would be stock and boring, your furniture dull and uninteresting, and probably uncomfortable.
This also leads me to believe that color wouldn’t exist, or if it did, it might not mean the same thing. Art electrifies color and makes it special, therefore I feel like grey would be the norm.
This artless life seems a lot worse than Pleasantville was. I feel like Pleasantville was a lot more forgiving than an artless world.
Each little aspect of your day is affected by the arts. It would be impossible to live without it without developing mental disorders.
One question I have off of this question is one that I couldn’t answer myself. Would language exist? Some people think of language as an art we humans formed. With a life devoid of art, would language have developed?