Everything can be Construed as Art
First round is acceptance.
Second round is arguments.
Third round will be rebuttals.
Fourth round is for answering to rebuttals and conclusion.
Definition of Art will not be given, as the very definition is what is being debated. No usage of dictionary will be allowed as an argument to define art. Also merely pleading to authority will not count as an actual argument unless supplemented by the debater's own reasoning and thought.
Requirements and Rules
Refrain from forfeits, unless a personal situation arises, in which case Con may argue in the comment section for the round.
There are no other requirements.
I would first like to contend that art is a product of life. I say life and not humans, because I do not wish to exclude other animals the capacity for creating or experiencing art. I would like to note that there is a distinction between creation and experience, and that art is not exclusive to the former or the latter.
This distinction is important to note, as art in the case of the former is an artifact or craft that serves a purpose, be it aesthetic or practical, while in the case of the latter, art is not created by the agent experiencing it but still serves an artistic experience. An example would be a person deriving meaningful, aesthetic value from a painting or in nature itself. The question is then, what constitutes an artistic experience, and indeed, goes back to what art is in its essence.
What is essential for art to be art? I contend that it must have creative capacity for the agent to derive meaning. Art is an expression, it is a concept that lives within the mind. Science and mathematics are both arts in their own rights, but they have no objective existence outside the human conception and interpretation of the world. We cannot find numbers in physical form, numbers are just concepts and interpretations of what exists. I contend that art follows the same form. Without human beings, or living creatures with the capacity for art, art ceases to exist. The Mona Lisa cease to be a beautiful painting and becomes a piece of paper with paint on it. Thus, those with the capacity to experience art is essential for the existence of the art itself.
Herein lies my argument. I contend that art is subject to the mind's experience, not the hands that make it. To further illustrate this point, allow me to give a hypothetical example. Let us say that an artist crafts a statue, and people derive an artistic experience from it. Surely, we would qualify this statue as art? Let us then say that this same statue that people perceived was made by a man was in fact a product of nature. Would it at that moment cease to be art? Is then art maintained by the illusion that human beings crafted it?
To bring up an old cliche, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so I contend it is with art. At the heart of things, artifacts are merely manipulations of already existing, natural elements. What makes these elements suddenly becoming art is not that human beings have touched it but that human beings have the capacity to experience it as art. If there was a block of marble untouched by man, does it become art the moment man marks it with a chisel? Does the mere dent suddenly become art?
Art has no limits, and that is because the creative activity of making meaning or finding it is limitless as our imagination. Thus, anything/everything can be construed as art. Art is applied by the creative mind, and not the hands that sometimes does its bidding.
I look forward to my opponent's arguments.
Thanks for posting your views, I do agree with much you have said, e.g. art must mean something or give rise to feelings to be considered art, and I think it has to be interpreted by a living thing with a creative mind - the Mona Lisa would like you say just be a piece of paper with paint on if there were no life with the capacity for art.
If you look at the below picture, if this were a painting or drawing it would be considered art. However, the same image isn't art when it is a photograph.
An artist can paint absolutely anything on a piece of paper that we can see or imagine and it will be considered art even if it is a painting of vandalism. But once s/she starts to paint on something that doesn't belong or appear to belong to him or her e.g. a house or car, it will not be construed as art, instead it will be interpreted as vandalism.
People who vandalise property express themselves, but it doesn't matter how clever, beautiful or romantic their grafitti is, it is always a selfish act. Art isn't selfish. Photographs like the one below can't be construed as art.
To accept the above image as being art or the picture below as art...
is to accept the following image below as art
because frankly there is no difference
Only a person's (or an animal's) expressions can be thought of as art, so you can't simply look up at the moon and correctly claim that it is art. Art requires an artist. Sculptures are art because an artist made them; they give an insight to a person's mind. If a river sculpts the land it won't be art, it can inspire someone to paint though.
That concludes my view on art, I look forward to rebutting your arguments
Con agrees that the Mona Lisa would not be art without those with the capacity for art. Let us observe what this entails. Art does not exist through physical craft alone, it lives within us, with our ability to project creative values upon objects. This is the artist's relation to art. Art is not exclusive to physical artifacts. The construct of the mind is the origin of art.
Con posts various photos including vandalism to site that they are not art. But his arguments are mere biases. It is just as conceivable that a man may look at the Mona Lisa and see nothing but a mundane woman without any artistic appreciation or feeling. My argument is not that all art is good, though what is artistically good is largely subjective to begin with. Con concedes that "An artist can paint absolutely anything on a piece of paper that we can see or imagine and it will be considered art even if it is a painting of vandalism" and then makes the odd argument that it is no longer art the moment it is interpreted as vandalism. I do not see why art must be exclusive from vandalism and pro has not demonstrated why this is the case.
Then Con goes on to argue that "art isn't selfish". I also do not understand with what logical basis he makes this claim, and how it is supported.
In regards to his picture of a penis, it is indeed, art, albeit, not a good one.
In regards to Con's final argument, the moon itself is not art by ontology, art itself is a subjective concept of living beings. Thus, art lives within people's minds, their creative projection of values, their imagination. The resolution is not that the moon is art, it is that the moon can be construed to be art.
Artists use skill and express creativity or feelings by drawing, or painting. If they selfishly keep their thoughts and feelings to themself, or they write them down or only tell people about them then no-one else can visualise them.
Sure there are things which inspire us to paint or draw but we must project our creative thoughts upon objects before we can then call it art. I wouldn't say I lack an artistic appreciation due to viewing vandalism as vandalism instead of art.
If you slowly scroll down while looking at the picture below, you may be surprised to find it isn't actually grafitti.
I pesonally would not want the mural above, but I know it is art because this is not painted in a public place. If this same painting was found on a bus stop for example it would no longer be interpreted as art.
There are people who will disagree with me of course, the guy who painted the below message certainly does!
Some people ask 'When does grafitti become art?' but these people fail to realise that art and grafitti are two completely different things. Grafitti is always vandalism, and is carried out without permission on somone else's property while art is often legal and always carried out on someone's own property. A lot of people will call or think the mural I showed is grafitti, because that is what grafitti typically looks like. What makes something art is not it's appearance though, the photograph of the house (or the house itself) I showed in round 2 isn't art, but had the exact image been painted it would be art. This is because art is an expression of human or animal creativity. To create art an artist must first be inspired, s/he might be inspired by nature, by urban landscapes, or by people.
The picture of the penis (or woman with a long neck) in round 2 did require some creativity, but the fact this picture is on a bin tells me it isn't art. Therefore not everything can be construed as art.
Also photography is a valued form of art, it takes skill to capture a certain feeling, a certain angle, a certain expression. A photography can inspire as much feeling as a painting. I do not understand this discrimination, and Con does not explain it either.
It almost feels as if Con mistakes art for something objectively good and tasteful, but that simply is not the case. Art can be bad. It has no limits towards either extreme.
To conclude, art is not object oriented. Objects are not art by their nature. Their value as art are projected upon them by the agents with the ability to give creative values to them. And thus, everything can be construed as art.
Thanks to mostlogical for this debate. And I look forward to his conclusion.
What is art?
My opponent adds:
"Also photography is a valued form of art, it takes skill to capture a certain feeling, a certain angle, a certain expression. A photography can inspire as much feeling as a painting."