What is art?

What is art? What is beauty?

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Conde Lucanor
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Re: What is art?

Post by Conde Lucanor » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:09 pm

I do think that those particular natural instincts which we see in the animal kingdom, specially in the more evolved species, are present as well in the human species and have everything to do with our human ability to create art. Just the same as there are natural features of our species that allowed the invention of scripture, the development of languages and the creation of tools. For their basic survival activities, primitive humans had to deal with shapes, colors, sounds, etc., and their senses were configured by nature so that they fitted those purposes or functions. We use symbols and build things, but the best of bees in no match to the worst of architects, and it is not a difference of degree or level, as the architect is able to create the structure in his/her imagination before building it.

Art involves a practice inserted in the domain of culture, and there isn't culture until humans arrived.

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Re: What is art?

Post by Belinda » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:33 am

Greta wrote:
Yes, humans tend to assume a universe of difference between themselves and other animals, yet not so long ago we and those other species were peers competing for resources. Also, of course, we are not talking about fine art here; it's entirely base.

Obviously humans have taken art to another level. However, I find our story more profound, interesting and comprehensible when pre-human behavioural roots are seriously considered in many more contexts than is usual. Others here seem to only find the human story interesting, believing humans to have moved so far beyond other species that any reference to non-human evolutionary history is considered irrelevant.
I think that nobody can predict the evolutionary end of history for humans. We seem to be permanently engaged in hubristic power struggle. Artists, that is those makers who deserve to be called "artists" , try to show us what we have been and predict what we perhaps can be. Leaving aside domesticated animals, wild animals are unlikely to have the sort of art that mirrors nature as does human art. The 'art' of wild animals does not mirror nature: it is nature.

The reason that wild animals' aesthetic behaviour is nature but does not mirror nature, is that wild animals are not evolving any more, that is, not unless and until their environments force them to evolve from their status quo. Bacteria and insects evolve fast which makes them useful for laboratory work. Mammals, birds, and fishes evolve more slowly . The human mammal is not a wild animal but an artificially cultured animal. The human mammal may not yet go in for genetically breeding our own species but we do selectively breed by way of market forces, colonisation of natural and weaker human environments, and class warfare. Artists are alone among professionals in showing the quality of what we are and what we should be.

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