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What is Art?

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Eric Moore

on 11 August 2013

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Transcript of What is Art?

What is Art?
What makes art "good"?
Can Anything be Art?
Simple Guiding Questions...
Lets pretend: Martians have arrived on Earth (they come in peace) and are interested in learning about our culture and civilzation - what have our "people" done in the last several thousands of years of populating this planet? Where would you take them, what would you show them?
You may have shown them our mathmatical discoveries and scientific accomplishments.
They are impressed.
Maybe some of our engineering and technical accomplishements... maybe even a Steve Jobs' Keynote.
They think our rockets are only "ok", but want iPhones.
You give them a brief account of Human History, they think it is fascinating!
Oooohh.... Tell us more about your defenses!
Then! You take them to....
an art museum.
They are baffled.
"What's this stuff for?" They ask. "You seriously pay money for this?"
You mumble something about art "illuminating the human condition..." (while thinking... "what was it my English teacher said...? I knew I should have stayed awake in class more...")
Strategizing, you take them to hear a brilliant celloist play Bach's
"Cello Song"
They cover their ears,
complaining about the noise.
Finally, you get them to read some of the great novels, stories, poetry, and plays of human literature. When they finish O'Brien's "The Things They Carried", they seem impressed, and ask:
You shyly inform them that its not really "history" perse... Literature is not concerned with fact as much as fiction... trailing off.

They thrown it down disgustedly, angry that they wasted time reading hundreds of pages of falsehood.
"so... why didn't you tell us about this when we talked about your history?"
"If you want to understand human beings," they say, "why not simply study history, psychology, and anthropology?"
You reply: "I want to introduce you to my parents."
The opening story and some content herein is based on
"Theory of Knowledge" by Richard van de Lagemaat
How would you convince them of the difference between art and non-art? How would you convince them of Art's value?
What would you say?
How do you know?
And, as always...
Art Show!
For class tomorrow, bring in a HARD COPY of a work that you consider to be art. It can be your own, or a colleagues, or a photograph or print off of a work you find special. You can also get creative, going beyond paintings, etc. to include any kind of showcasable art, so long as it doesn't require you to maintain it (e.g. you playing or singing, or a self-sculpture, etc).

We will "assess" each other's work to determine if we agree that it is, in fact, art.
A Mr. Moore Original Prezi


Iron and Teak

Donated from Private Collection By the Generosity of The Frederick Foundation

See Also:
Theory of Knowledge
Richard van de Lagemaat
Cambridge University Press, 2009
Full transcript