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What is the point of existence of Art?


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? I don't know about animals, but the point of art is that it brings pleasure. My own "art appreciation" runs more to music than to other things, but music can produce amazing and pleasant feelings.

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That is a very interesting question. If I can rephrase it for you, you mean "what is the evolutionary advantage of enjoying art?" Right?


I think lots of people could concoct something, but how accurate the concoctions would be I have no idea.

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I suspect it is a "spandrel" - a side-effect of our pattern recognition and abstract thought capabilities, perhaps. The latter (and maybe language and even consciousness) might also be side effects of ... something (brain complexity?)

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I think sense of art is a trait necessary for future evolution as it fuels creative problem solving. Also art might have involved in earlier phases of evolution too.


Majority of human painters are watching thing they want to paint, person, animal, scenery or nature, and then try to reproduce it as close as possible.

Yes. And I think it is not considered as Art either.

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I suspect it is a "spandrel" - a side-effect of our pattern recognition and abstract thought capabilities, perhaps. The latter (and maybe language and even consciousness) might also be side effects of ... something (brain complexity?)

I like to consider it as intentional side effect.

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I think art found its origin in communication and to impress people/animals.

I can't find anything to back this up.

All our properties are in a sense present in all animals but they look very different because we evolved differently.

 

This is a paper concerning the evolution of human artistic creativity:

The components of art include colour, pattern and the reproduction of visual likeness. The 2D and 3D art forms that were created by Upper Palaeolithic Europeans at least 30 000 years ago are conceptually equivalent to those created in recent centuries, indicating that human cognition and symbolling activity, as well as anatomy, were fully modern by that time.

 

The earliest known decorative patterns include the zig-zag patterns on a 77 000 BP ochre block from the Blombos caves, South Africa (Henshilwood et al. 2002) and the rainbow-like nested curves and parallel lines etched on a piece of flint from around 54 000 BP in the Levant (Marshack, 1996) (Fig. 2). Bednarik (2003b) and Soressi & dErrico (2007) document several other examples of parallel lines, nested curves and zig-zag patterns on bones and bone implements from the Lower and Middle Palaeolithic of Europe; these are associated with Neanderthal and older Homo remains.

 

The cognitive activity underlying pattern-making is complex, involving planning and intention.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2815939/

 

This is a Wikipedia about the purpose:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art#Purpose

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I suspect it is a "spandrel" - a side-effect of our pattern recognition and abstract thought capabilities, perhaps. The latter (and maybe language and even consciousness) might also be side effects of ... something (brain complexity?)

Vernacular cant take you further then images, for all images hold shape and content, and all content holds shape of an image, and words or vernacular are extensions of the symbols of those images which create the mind, but the minds eye is what then? more then a pregnant thought? more then a birthing into the most lucid understanding of what is all but mere simplicities flow. All we can say is isness or flow and that words are not fragmented in time and space but are a whole body in heaven on earth
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  • 7 months later...

The point of the existence of art: is to rebel against existence. Existence insures one will die and be forgotten. Art is a expression of the self attempting to create a meaningful record that lasts.

Quotes from The Rebel by Albert Camus:

"Art is the activity that exalts and denies simultaneously....No artist tolerates reality....Artistic creation is a demand for unity and a rejection of the world."

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The Almighty;

Interesting name that you have chosen for yourself. (chuckle chuckle) I am neither almighty nor all knowing, but think I might have an answer for your question.

There are lots of opinions regarding the whys and wherefores of art, and lots of studies of historical art, but none of these really answer the question that you posed. If you study the different ideas and histories, you will find that there is one commonality in all of the opinions and speculations. All art expresses some form of feeling or emotion. So the short answer to your question is that art is to feeling and emotion what language is to knowledge and thought. The point of art is to express feeling and emotion.

Whether it is music, painting,, dance, poetry, sculpture, architecture, or some other form, the art is an expression of your self, your hopes and dreams, your view on beauty and ugliness, or your feelings about something in your environment. It is all an interpretation of how you feel. 

I am a philosopher by nature and habit, not a scientist, and I study consciousness, which means that I also study emotion -- an aspect of consciousness. It surprised me to learn that almost no one actually studies emotion. We study emotion(s), how we feel and why we feel that way, and we study the body and brain and how emotion is regulated and caused, but no one, that I have found, studies what emotion actually is -- it's properties, abilities, and limits. A few years back, I discovered that we do not know feeling and emotion. This surprised me, but we do not actually know it,  we experience it. Yes, there is a difference.

When we know something, we can put what we know into words, pictures and thoughts, then we can share those words, pictures, and thoughts, and the person that we are sharing it with will know those words, pictures and thoughts. I can say 2+2=4, and you know exactly what I am talking about, but if I state that I am feeling rather depressed, you can only guess at my feeling if you have also been depressed -- you can not actually know the depth of my feeling. Am I feeling a little down, or ready to commit suicide? Who knows? On the other hand, if I could write and play a song that reflected my feelings, then you could experience what I am feeling. Or maybe I could write a poem or paint a picture that showed you the depth of my feeling. This is what art does for us, it allows us to know and share feeling and emotion, or you could say that it gives shape and substance to feeling and emotion so that it can be known.

 

On ‎6‎/‎13‎/‎2017 at 11:50 AM, The Almighty said:

And do other animals have sense of Art too?

This is a more complex idea that I may not be able to explain to your satisfaction. It depends upon how much you already understand about consciousness.

To start: All life is conscious down to each and every cell in our bodies. All life has survival instincts, which means that every cell in our bodies is constantly working to eat, reproduce and stay alive. All survival instincts work through, or are activated by, feeling or emotion. So it helps if you understand that all life feels. We can call it "perceives" or "senses", but the reality is that all life feels, is aware of some things, and has enough knowledge to maintain it's life.

Then you need to understand the main difference between the unconscious and conscious aspects of mind. If you understand Freud's divisions of mind, it would help. Freud's Superego and Id (the instinctive drives) are both part of the unconscious. The unconscious is reactive and works through feeling and emotion, which is why instincts are part of the unconscious. We don't regulate the unconscious, and it works pretty much on it's own, which is why we don't actually think about what we want to do when a car is about to run us over, we just move instinctively -- the unconscious is reactive. We call it unconscious because we don't really "know" what is going on it there until it happens. (chuckle) Just like we don't really "know" emotion and feeling.

The Ego, or the rational aspect of mind, is where we do our planning and thinking. This is the aspect of mind that we "know", where we make our decisions, think our thoughts, regulate our lives, and plan our days. 

At some point in evolution, I suspect that it was well after the evolution of the brain, we started to be consciously aware of the experience of feeling and emotion. (A cell may react from feeling and emotion, but it would have no ability to be consciously aware of that reaction and experience. It would not "know" that it had that experience.) At first it would be simple things, like touching a picker bush; we would attach the idea of a picker bush to pain. Maybe we would attach the idea of a certain food to pleasure. As we advanced, we would attach more ideas to feelings and emotions and these "ideas" would be what we remember consciously. This is an important point, as we still only experience and do not really know feeling and emotion, we can only know it by the ideas and thoughts that we attach to the feeling or emotion.

This "important point" is why emotional memory is so very unreliable, and why Science does not like it. Science has proven over and over that emotional memory can change. It can create memories of things that never happened, change things that did happen, or forget things that did happen. The reason that emotional memory is so unreliable is because we don't actually remember the experience of the feeling/emotion, what we remember and "know" is the ideas that we "attached" to the feeling and emotion. This is why we can think that someone is drop dead gorgeous, stop dating them, see them a year later, and wonder what the hell we were thinking! Or why we can think that labor is not really that bad, because we went through it before, but when that first really hard labor pain comes, it is more like, "Oh God. Now I remember." (chuckle)

As we advanced and became aware of more elusive emotions like love, hate, fear, jealousy, and greed, it became more and more difficult to attach thoughts and ideas that would express our feeling, so we turned to art.

So to answer your question regarding other species, I would say yes, many do have at least the beginnings of art. Art is feeling and emotion given form and substance. Many things that we attribute to "instinct" may also be a beginning form of art, like a mating dance or decorating a nest. Both of these things are a form of emotional expression and an invitation to share that emotion. Looks like art to me.

The next step after art is religion, as religion is also an interpretation of emotion and the unconscious aspect of mind. I am pretty sure that I have seen articles on elephants and some primates, who linger around an area where one of their own died, and even suggestions that they brought some small tokens to the site. This has been interpreted as the beginnings of religious thinking, so any specie that is involved in this activity would also be able to appreciate art, beauty, ugliness, and finer feelings.

Gee

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I think we learned to appreciate pretty things because we appreciate the human form for reproductive reasons. For example, we lie symmetrical faces better than others. There are many features of the human body, so symmetry must be only one of many features we appreciate. The sum effect on a person of all the little things we appreciate about a person determines whether we think they are good or bad looking. Those beauty judgments work looking at a mate, a dog or art.

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2 hours ago, Gees said:

This is what art does for us, it allows us to know and share feeling and emotion, or you could say that it gives shape and substance to feeling and emotion so that it can be known.

I think you're absolutely right about that. Words and abstract thoughts are mainly processed in the left hemisphere of our brain. Our right hemisphere is the artistic one (and is in fact mute in terms of language), and is more involved with feelings/emotions and imagination, so I guess that art is the way the non-abstract/non-linguistic part of our brain is communicating.

A must-see BBC documentary is this one: 'The high art in the low countries'. I've watched this some time ago, but I vaguely remember the mention of a Chinese emperor who, at one point, considered art even more important than politics and the economy. I can't remember which emperor it was, does anybody else perhaps know his name? 

Edited by MarkE
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