llamaenterhear
Username: Password:

Author Topic: Is it Art?  (Read 2163 times)

0 Members and 1 Lonely Barbarian are spying on this topic.

Offline manfred

  • His Manic Majesty, blesseth by Mathom
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 2462
  • Awards Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Lifeforms Guild Item Guild
    • Awards
Is it Art?
« on: October 13, 2003, 05:49:38 AM »
Recently I helped my cousin to translate some English text on Arts and Culture. As it often happens with these educational texts, they are not a serious treatise on the matter, but only a kind of simulation, a virtual debate, which only real purpose is to show phrases, teach the student a few new words, spiced with an idiom or two you might hear on the subject, or you may never. A fake.

Yet one of those boring sentences captured my attention. "There are many things, that can feed the body, several to feed the mind, but only the art can feed the imagination, blahblahblah... "

Which is of course, nonsense! For example, all those roleplaying ideas we create here, those definitively manage to feed our imagination, and are not Art, right?


Now, thinking got in a way uncomfortable. As another ingenious phrase announced, "From a strictly practical point of view, art is useless." How useful are our works, deep at the core? Sure, they can get useful to a few people, or to many people if the idea is right and you get it to the audience. Yet it does not feed them, nor clothe them. They either use it for a game in some imaginary world, or perhaps get inspired for some real-life need. It has little use in real life otherwise. Sure, if you are good, you can make a living out of it, but good artists can survive on their work, too (and many bad artists...).

Now, for something to be art, it not only has to be "useless" in a purely material way, it has to be aesthetically pleasing in some way. And let me tell you, I DO find many of those ideas pleasing. If I read a scientific treatise on magic (a strange combination of words, huh?), if I think about ecosystems that never existed, or if I see a beautifully created world, nicely balanced with all kind of surprising details, I take the time to study it, and immerse into the masterwork... I can't deny I feel impressed, like you should if it is art.


So? Are we artists? We could use our time better, concentrate on the school, our jobs, spend more time with our friends and families, and possibly make the world a nicer place. But instead, we hear to the RPG muse, and create. We already have some audience, mostly those, that use and interact with our art, but it exists.

Is it Art what we do?


Now, let's get to the fun. Things have a tendency to grow, and movements attract followers. What if the Art becomes popular, or (gasp), even mainstream? Will one day an expert examine an old article, and scratching his beard say, "Wow, this is indeed an early work of Strolen!" Or will a great scandal arise around a MoonHunter's impersonator, whose work was sold in a Sotheby's auction as original?


Let's see if this provokes some replies...
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline Ylorea

  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
    • http://www.home.zonnet.nl/ylorea
    • Awards
Is it Art?
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2003, 10:25:55 AM »
The problem is all in what you explained first, the article was a treatise for students, not some real life piece of work.

On the other hand, many a scientist is to narrow minded to see beyond what he looks at and therefore, I would not be surprised if a art scientist would come up with a piece like this.

He would probably deny that RPG's are a form of art, though he would have a very hard time to break your argumentation. He/She will probably come up with a ....s... argument like:"You interpret my meaning wrongfully" or state that RPG's do not realy fuel imagination. (As if that modern art stuff fuels my imagination. I think I lost track somewher between van Gogh and Dali. I must admit I like Escher)

In short, I would say you make a valid argumentation, but I doubt if these "so-called" scientists would agree with me.

Yours,

Ylorea
______________________________________
The answer is 42, but does anybody know the question?

Please feel free to visit Teolin. (Simply press the "www" button)

Offline Ria Hawk

  • Wacko Strolenite
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 2979
  • Demented Author Chick
  • Awards Lifeforms Guild Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Item Guild Elite NPC Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite
    • KnightHawk
    • Awards
Is it Art?
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2003, 10:37:58 AM »
They wouldn't agree just because we're wierd.  Although, in the future... who knows?
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline Strolen

  • Ignorance Incarnate
  • Guild Leader
  • Emperor
  • *
  • Posts: 8044
  • All your base are belong to us.
  • Awards Locations Guild Questor Locations Guild Elite Item Guild Plot Guild Hall of Heroes 10
    • Strolen's Citadel
    • Awards
Is it Art?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2003, 04:44:19 PM »
First you have to define art.
Quote from: "dictionary.com"

Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
-The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, -movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
-The study of these activities.
-The product of these activities; human works of beauty considered as a group.
High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty; aesthetic value.
A field or category of art, such as music, ballet, or literature.
A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.
-A system of principles and methods employed in the performance of a set of activities: the art of building.
-A trade or craft that applies such a system of principles and methods: the art of the lexicographer.
-Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation: the art of the baker; the blacksmith's art.
-Skill arising from the exercise of intuitive faculties: ?Self-criticism is an art not many are qualified to practice? (Joyce Carol Oates).
arts Artful devices, stratagems, and tricks.
-Artful contrivance; cunning.


And then you are no closer they you were before.

Is writing a book considered art? literary art? if it is then you can lump us in with that. But you talk generic art, I think Monet, not rolling dice.

And if roleplaying is useless, what is the purpose of anything? Sports especially, what purpose do they serve. So what if they win, what was accomplished but entertainment and fellowship? I guess you could argue the Olympics, but you see my point anyway I hope.

Life is full of meaningless occupations but what else are we going to do with our time? We must entertain ourselves somehow and to each person, what others do is going to seem useless and pointless. But art? I don't think we are artists in the purest forms but if you look up the synonyms

Quote
abstraction, carving, description, design, illustration, imitation, modeling, molding, painting, pictorialization, portrayal, representation, sculpting, shaping, simulation, sketching, symbolization


we probably fit somewhere in there.

Flying Squirrel – Strolenati Guild
Grothar Rockfury - Dwarvish Guild
Minor Minion - Cartographer's Guild
Level 3
STR: 5 | END: 2 | CON: 3 | DEX: 2 | CHA: 2 | INT: 6
Authentic Strolenite™©® | Llama is as Llama does.


Offline Ria Hawk

  • Wacko Strolenite
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 2979
  • Demented Author Chick
  • Awards Lifeforms Guild Item Guild NPC Guild Elite Item Guild Elite NPC Guild Lifeforms Guild Elite
    • KnightHawk
    • Awards
Is it Art?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2003, 12:16:36 AM »
A hobby is something that is too harmless to be an obsession.  Art is when other people are as fanatical about your hobby as you are.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

Regina Raptorum, Benevolent Mad Scientist, Writer of Psychos, Guild Mistress of Esoteric Lore, Losers' Club Alumna, and Authentic Wacko

Offline manfred

  • His Manic Majesty, blesseth by Mathom
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 2462
  • Awards Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Lifeforms Guild Item Guild
    • Awards
Is it Art?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2003, 02:14:45 AM »
A fine argument is brewing here.


Quote
-The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, -movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.

I think this is the breakpoint of my opinion and my confusion clears up somewhat. While I won't give up the idea of something artistic being in the mix, I can refine my private definition of art. The "affecting of the sense of beauty" is a definite ingredient, the most important for art as I imagine it (and thus the modern art looses its name for me...). Yet the roleplaying ideas and worlds we create, while often aesthetic, are not designed with beauty as the final criterium. Beauty may be there, and it may appeal to our senses, yet it is NOT what counts in the end, or why it was created.


Ergo, I think it's not Art afterall, even if it gets close.


As for the 'uselessness', it was only in the hard material sense. (Hmmm... now why did I make this 300 posts about a useless topic... ) Sure thing sports are useless from the same point of view. But RPing creates something new, new ideas that can fuel our imagination, new insights on old problems, open new ways... Yeah, RPGs simply rule. :cool:

That was my point of view, what's yours?
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline Ylorea

  • Knight
  • ***
  • Posts: 332
    • http://www.home.zonnet.nl/ylorea
    • Awards
Is it Art?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2003, 05:42:05 AM »
Ehhr if I follow your lead, many an artist is not creating art either.

Maybe I am too quick, but you seem to say that one of the founding principles in art is that you strive for beauty.

A while ago we had a violent row that made the press, about a large painting where you saw a boyscout being sexualy abused.... You can say a lot of things, but I do not think the artist intended to create beauty.
The comment of the artist actualy made this point very clearly. He said that the role of the artist is to show the society at large. Sexual abuse is part of society, so therefor it should be depicted in art as well.

(Now please do not shoot me, I am just "quoting" the artist.)

Yours, Ylorea
______________________________________
The answer is 42, but does anybody know the question?

Please feel free to visit Teolin. (Simply press the "www" button)

Offline manfred

  • His Manic Majesty, blesseth by Mathom
  • Emperor
  • ****
  • Posts: 2462
  • Awards Systems Guild Society Guild Locations Guild Questor Lifeforms Guild Item Guild
    • Awards
Is it Art?
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2004, 05:59:13 AM »
Now see what little debate started on Game Greene on a similar topic...

http://www.gamegrene.com/game_material/rpgs_sound_like_jazz.shtml
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.

Offline paulkdad

  • Nomad
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • Awards
Sure, I'll put in my two coppers...
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2004, 08:04:45 PM »
As a purely personal definition, I'd say: "ART is something that invites you to see its subject again for the very first time." Of course, it doesn't just apply to the visual arts, because Art can appeal to any of the senses. That's what makes Art so hard to define--it's entirely responsive. Visual Art is not in the painting, but it's something that happens in the act of viewing the painting. So in a sense, Art always exists as potential. It may or may not be realized, depending upon the viewer.

Now, let me dwell for a moment on the idea of FANTASY. Fantasy is usually thought of as "escape", but I don't think that's true. To abuse the English language a bit, it's more of an IN-scape. At its best, fantasy takes you inside yourself and uses the power of Art (the potential to see things in new ways) to open new paths and explore uncharted territories. There's nothing obsessive about it. In fact, obsessiveness denotes an unhealthy fantasy life. Fantasy isn't meant to be anxious; it's meant to be playful.

And now, let me throw out a perspective on experience. The only world we can ever truly experience is the one inside ourselves (i.e., whatever process is going on behind the veil of our senses). That isn't to say this is the only reality that exists, but that our EXPERIENCE of the world is purely personal. It is a process that is continually being created.

But the question... Is roleplaying an Art form? Yes and no. As an avid chess player, I love well-planned tactical combinations. But I wouldn't call tactical combinations Art... not at all. Tactics are more like lateral thinking puzzles. So I don't think there's Art in the mechanics of roleplaying. But there is Art in the drama of it. RPGs are not too far from improvisational theater, and who would argue that theater is not Art? Ultimately, the Art of RPGs (as the Art of anything else) is confusing, because it is tied to such "squishy" things as fantasy, process and experience.

I have experience Art through RPGs, but only rarely. That's my short answer.

Lastly, let me put up one of my favorite Art quotes (actually, a quote on creativity):
"I saw that creating and problem-solving were the antithesis of each other. Problem-solving is about making something go away. Creating is about causing what you love or what matters to come into being." --Ian Summers

Offline Michael Jotne Slayer

  • Strolenati
  • Grand Master
  • *
  • Posts: 609
  • Retreat now? In our moment of triumph?
  • Awards Item Guild Golden Creator Elite Item Guild Hall of Heroes 10 2011 Dungeon of the Year 2010 NPC of the Year
    • Awards
Is it Art?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2004, 06:08:00 AM »
The old sub-latin word for art means knowing your proffession.
Being skilled within what you do(your work).

The even older Latin word for art means; that which is.
Authentic Strolenite™©®

A skeleton walks into a bar and ask the Bartender: “Do you serve skeletons here?”

Times being what they are the wily Bartender replies: “sure, we serve anyone.”

The skeleton hands the man a silver and says: “Fine, I’ll have a pitcher of beer…and a mop”