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April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake" 
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Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Francois Tremblay wrote:
Then what line do you draw, and how does it end up so high that NO video game ever made is included, but SOME movies are?


It "ends up" that way because I believe some movies are art and no game I have encountered is. It has nothing to do with any bias against games.

Francois Tremblay wrote:
I think your definition does not correspond to the general usage of the word, by a long shot. Pretty much all of what people call art is not art, and a lot of what people don't call art becomes art, if we accept your definition. It is a very strange definition. Would you qualify science as art as well? It certainly teaches us about ourselves, others, and the world. It has "great insights." Buddhism has "great insights" as well, but is it art?


Sorry, dude, but I'm not now nor have I ever been interested in corresponding to what others say about subjective things.

To me, art, especially good art, tells me something about life, myself, others, etc, in ways that numbers cannot. In ways that science cannot. I can learn about the components of a plant or the process of a scientific element, but that doesn't teach me anything other than facts. I'm interested in levels of perception that is beyond factual items. Science by its nature can only give us insight through facts. Art can operate on a more subtle, dynamic level.


Francois Tremblay wrote:
Could you tell us a movie which you consider art, and what you learned from it or what great insights you gained from it?



Sure. Junebug. The movie features real characters, real people -- it offers insight into human interaction. It offers insight into how pedople live. Unlike a Michael Bay movie, which teaces us how people and buildings blow up.


Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:00 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
ed_metal_head wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:
Funny you should take an uncalled for yet predictable dig at Michael Bay as he directed one of my favourite movies, in terms of it's cinematography.


What movie would this be? The Rock?


Certainly is. The movie is probably my favourite of Bay's efforts anyway, if I was forced to chose (not including Transformers which I like because it's Transformers). It was photographed exceptionally well and edited in such a way that you can see the nice shots rather than missing out on them.


Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:13 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Quote:
Sorry, dude, but I'm not now nor have I ever been interested in corresponding to what others say about subjective things.


That's fine, but no one else in the world thinks that science or Buddhism are art. Your definition is outlandish. Call that "subjective" if you want, but it's a fact.


Quote:
Sure. Junebug. The movie features real characters, real people -- it offers insight into human interaction. It offers insight into how pedople live. Unlike a Michael Bay movie, which teaces us how people and buildings blow up.


So you do think that a Michael Bay movie teaches people things, but it's not art anyway?

Also, what about art which presents insights in other areas? By your criterion, 2001:ASO is not art, since it is about mankind as a whole, not about individuals.


Tue Apr 27, 2010 10:45 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Francois Tremblay wrote:
That's fine, but no one else in the world thinks that science or Buddhism are art. Your definition is outlandish. Call that "subjective" if you want, but it's a fact.


Did you read what I said? I said, very precisely and specificly, that science is NOT art. You can call my definition "outlandish" as much as you want -- I promise, it doesn't bother me in the slightest that you think that, because I know that my definition is legitimate and well-founded. This matters less to me, but I also know that many, many intelligent people do agree with me.

But just to be clear, I stated that my definition of art is that art teaches us about why we're here. It teaches us about ourselves, it teaches us about each other. It reveals something that cannot be revealed via science or math.

You say that my definition is factually outlandish. I'd love to see you support that since you're throwing out words liked "fact." My guess is that no one else here would call my definition factually outlandish.

Francois Tremblay wrote:
So you do think that a Michael Bay movie teaches people things, but it's not art anyway?

Also, what about art which presents insights in other areas? By your criterion, 2001:ASO is not art, since it is about mankind as a whole, not about individuals.


Again, honest question: Are you reading what I'm saying?

I said that teaching us something does not equal art. Art needs to teach us something worthwhile that cannot be learned via empiracal study. Bay blowing shit up doesn't teach us anything other than that he hasn't had a worthwhile idea in the last 20 years.

Your 2001 statement also falls flat on its face in light of what I actually said. I made very clear, that I define art as something that teaches us about ourselves, people, or the world. Clearly, "mankind" falls within that. I never, ever said or came close to saying that art has to be about individuals. You asked for an example and I gave you one. It ahppened to be about individuals. I never said that it must always be about individuals.


Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:31 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
I don't know about anyone else, but this certainly fits my definition of art (and so does Grand Theft Auto IV, for that matter).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Omcz5E-GwTU


Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:26 am
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Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Patrick wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/v/9PnHzD1gPak

Now, no more talk of Ebert not playing a video game ever.


Enjoyed the link. So that was the Wii before there was a Wii. Notice how out of breath they both are at the end.


Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:32 pm
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Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Funny you should take an uncalled for yet predictable dig at Michael Bay as he directed one of my favourite movies, in terms of it's cinematography.


Uncalled for? Having sat through all of Bay's movies, I think I'm entitled to take a dig at him from time-to-time. Interesting how you used the "cinematography" qualifier in describing one of his movies as being a favorite.


Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:37 pm
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Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Shade wrote:
But just to be clear, I stated that my definition of art is that art teaches us about why we're here. It teaches us about ourselves, it teaches us about each other. It reveals something that cannot be revealed via science or math.

You say that my definition is factually outlandish. I'd love to see you support that since you're throwing out words liked "fact." My guess is that no one else here would call my definition factually outlandish.


Sounds pretty good to me. I may not be 100% in agreement, but it's close enough that I wouldn't feel uncomfortable using it in a pinch.


Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:41 pm
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Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
First of all does it really matter?... if I derive the same emotional response beating up prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto to your viewing of the Last Supper than hey whatever, I could not care less either way.

There was a time when film was considered to be low literature and now they're a fundamental part of the education curriculum. Ebert just wanted to start a flame war with the video game fanboys. Personally I don't think he knows a lot about video games and should probably in the future stick to doing movie reviews. No one likes it when you rubbish their favourite hobby / pass time and gamers are especially a sensitive bunch.

Gaming has come a long way though and some games like Uncharted 2 has insanely high production values that it's almost like sitting through a blockbuster motion picture. I think the stumbling block is often stereotype characters and bad dialogue - which is something films are equally guilty of.

People think that games are only for kids and thus dismiss it - this mentality needs changing. Whether games can be classified as art or not well frankly I'd rather spend my time beating up prostitutes.


Thu Apr 29, 2010 10:05 am
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Quote:
I said that teaching us something does not equal art. Art needs to teach us something worthwhile that cannot be learned via empiracal study.


On the one hand, I am tempted to point out that looking at art IS an empirical study of what humans produce. On the other hand, I am also tempted to point out that anything the artist depicts was intuited or made known to him through empirical study. Your arguments are so wrong that I don't even know which refutation to choose. Either way, your definition is elitist nonsense.


Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:22 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Shade wrote:
Art needs to teach us something worthwhile that cannot be learned via empiracal study.
Then you must necessarily include everything in the category of art, and nothing.


Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:36 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Francois Tremblay wrote:
On the one hand, I am tempted to point out that looking at art IS an empirical study of what humans produce. On the other hand, I am also tempted to point out that anything the artist depicts was intuited or made known to him through empirical study. Your arguments are so wrong that I don't even know which refutation to choose. Either way, your definition is elitist nonsense.


My arguments are "so wrong" that you don't know which refutation to choose...so you choose none and resort to name calling.

Let's continue the actual discussion for those that want to do so.

Ken wrote:
Then you must necessarily include everything in the category of art, and nothing.


Maybe so. But obviously not everything is good art. I don't think anything can't be art. But some things, such as video games, bolonga, etc...have yet to achieve that status.


Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:51 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Quote:
By taking such an uncompromising stance against the possibility that video games could ever be art, Roger is - intentionally or not - setting himself up as an elitist. Movies, his first love, can of course be art. But what about video games, something with which he has admittedly only a passing, second-hand knowledge? Of course not. It is, I believe, the perceived attitude more than the argument that antagonizes people.


Well said, James. And for my part, the moral choices presented to me in Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 stirred a deeper emotional response than any painting I can think of. I don't even know how many times I sat in front of the screen, hovering between conversation options. If that's not art, then I don't care about art.


Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:16 am
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Shade wrote:
Maybe so. But obviously not everything is good art. I don't think anything can't be art. But some things, such as video games, bolonga, etc...have yet to achieve that status.
But then you're conflating identity with value. You're mixing up what something is with what something's worth. Art doesn't have to be something that everybody likes, finds beautiful, finds resonance in, or whatever. Some people are going to look at a thing and find no merit in it whatsoever. But does that mean that it isn't art? Does that determine its fundamental nature--its identity as art or non-art? I don't think it does.

If someone listens to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and feels nothing and hears nothing but an ordinary assortment of notes, are his feelings wrong? Or is the Ninth Symphony not art?


Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:49 pm
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Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Ken wrote:
If someone listens to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and feels nothing and hears nothing but an ordinary assortment of notes, are his feelings wrong? Or is the Ninth Symphony not art?


Reminds me of this bit from FAWLTY TOWERS:

Sybil: You could have had them both done by now if you hadn't spent the whole morning skulking in there listening to that racket.
Basil: Racket? That's Brahms! Brahms' Third Racket!


Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:31 pm
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Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
James Berardinelli wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:
Funny you should take an uncalled for yet predictable dig at Michael Bay as he directed one of my favourite movies, in terms of it's cinematography.


Uncalled for? Having sat through all of Bay's movies, I think I'm entitled to take a dig at him from time-to-time. Interesting how you used the "cinematography" qualifier in describing one of his movies as being a favorite.


I suppose if you feel that he has 'stolen' your time from you then you're entitled to abuse him to no end.

Well The Rock has always been a movie that I've enjoyed watching once in a while and I honestly think that's one of the big causes. As a photographer who wishes to get more into film, it's something I look for in every movie I watch.

Also, to everyone: Notice the irony in discussing the right and wrong of subjectivity...


Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:16 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Ken wrote:
Shade wrote:
Maybe so. But obviously not everything is good art. I don't think anything can't be art. But some things, such as video games, bolonga, etc...have yet to achieve that status.
But then you're conflating identity with value. You're mixing up what something is with what something's worth. Art doesn't have to be something that everybody likes, finds beautiful, finds resonance in, or whatever. Some people are going to look at a thing and find no merit in it whatsoever. But does that mean that it isn't art? Does that determine its fundamental nature--its identity as art or non-art? I don't think it does.

If someone listens to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and feels nothing and hears nothing but an ordinary assortment of notes, are his feelings wrong? Or is the Ninth Symphony not art?


You make very good points, and I'll adjust my position a bit: yes, video games are art, just not good art. Very well said on the mixing up worth and classification stuff.

Dragonbeard wrote:
James Berardinelli wrote:
Dragonbeard wrote:
Funny you should take an uncalled for yet predictable dig at Michael Bay as he directed one of my favourite movies, in terms of it's cinematography.


Uncalled for? Having sat through all of Bay's movies, I think I'm entitled to take a dig at him from time-to-time. Interesting how you used the "cinematography" qualifier in describing one of his movies as being a favorite.


I suppose if you feel that he has 'stolen' your time from you then you're entitled to abuse him to no end.

Well The Rock has always been a movie that I've enjoyed watching once in a while and I honestly think that's one of the big causes. As a photographer who wishes to get more into film, it's something I look for in every movie I watch.


I don't want to speak for James, but I believe his point was that Bay is not responsible for the film's cinematography whether you like it or not -- so if that's what you like about the movie...that's not really a defense in favor of Bay.


Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:23 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Also, to everyone: Notice the irony in discussing the right and wrong of subjectivity...


Subjectivity has its limits. If you believe a McDouble is the pinnacle of culinary achievement, you're wrong. If you believe Nickelback makes good music, you're wrong. You have the right to those opinions, but those opinions remain wrong. Yes, subjectivity exists and should be respected. If you think The Godfather is better than Floating Weeds, and I think the opposite is true, that's fine. That's subjectivity. But if you think The Rock is better than either of those movies, you're wrong. Again, subjectivity has its limits. Can you like The Rock more? Sure. But it's not better.


Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:38 pm
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Shade got it close, but to put it in my own terms, subjectivity is not license to hold any ridiculous opinion with impunity, and it is not a guarantee that all opinions are created equal. As Harlan Ellison was fond of saying, "You're entitled to your INFORMED opinion."


Sat May 01, 2010 12:14 am
Post Re: April 25, 2010: "Art for Art's Sake"
Of course he wasn't, I'm just pointing out that it was a Michael Bay movie that contained such good photography, therefore his movies are not total dross.


Sat May 01, 2010 5:03 am
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