Is "art" a subjective term? Can anything really be an art?
I'll take the debate.
I bealive that art isn't subjective and that not everything can become art. Due to the shortness of the debate I'm going to ask that the following round structure is followed:
r1: initiating the debate
r2: Opening statements
r3: Rebuttals and closing statement
r2: Opening statements (No rebuttals)
r3: Rebuttals and closing statements. No new information or evidence outside the rebuttals since Pro cannot refute them
you may make your opening case. Good luck and happy debating.
Introduction: what is art?
Art is wonderful; we see it wherever we look and it surely must be the pinnacle of human culture. It shows us the imagination and skill of the artist and allows us to vanish into the world created by the art all around us. But how do we define art? Is it defined from the perspective of the audience or the artist? To avoid any semantic debating I overkilled a bit and found as many definitions of art as I could and most agree on the following definition:
The expression of emotions, creativity, imaginations and thoughts; Often to make appealing or atheistically stimulating products.
Or if we're not going to be using the combine definition:
Now, the resolution is a dual resolution:
Now, the first part of the resolution is a semantic question and will never fully be proven or refuted. I'll touch on it later on but for a while I'll focus on the second part of the resolution: Anything can be art
A pile of laundry is not art
Now, under the conditions put forth by the “official” definitions we can see that there are several criteria that must be met before something can be considered art. Note that it does not have to follow all of the conditions, just that it follows some of them:
So, a painting of a person is art, because it shows the imagination of the artist and his skill in creating faces. A stunning house is art for it shows the creativity and skill of the architect. But what about a box? Let's say that I find a random box and place it on a pedestal. Is this art? It hasn't expressed any emotions, it isn't expressing my creativity, it isn't made from my imagination per say. It took no skill to create this piece. In what way is this art apart from me saying so? I don't think so. This is unconventional art, it doesn't fit into the usual definitions of art and I'm going to be hard pressed to findsomeone that will accept it as an art form. So this box isn't art, the second part of the resolution has fallen, or so to speak. I could find countless other examples, but they say a picture says more than a thousand words so fourteen should go well past my character limit: http://www.vocativ.com...
Now, I'd like to say that there are some clever things in there, but sadly I can't. One of the artworks is a rock in a courner, another is a ball and if I'll ever grow strapped for cash I'll find my belts and stick them on the wall. Don't get me wrong, I'm incredible impressed that the artists managed to find someone to pay thousand of dollars for a few painted mattresses, but the artworks themselves aren't art. They take no skill, they are something that can be thrown together in a matter of minutes by anyone and to be honest you'll need to be famous already or have pretty powerful contacts to be able to sell any of these. By definition none of those things are art and thus we can safely say that the second part of the resolution is false and cannot be defended by pro if the first part of the resolution proves to be false.
The real issue of the debate:
That however draws up an interesting point: If the first part of the resolution is correct, that art is in fact subjective, then the second part of the resolution, again, becomes completely irrelevant. So in order for either party to win that party must show that art is subjective.
Art can cause multiple feelings and ideas with the person that is observing the art and that feeling is subjective and changes from viewer to viewer. But art follows a set of rules on what humans and humankind finds beautiful, finds moving or finds to be skilfully done. Art in itself is objective, the methods we use to create it are passed down generation to generation, the tools remain the same and our ideas of beauty follow a flow of trends, and yet we can always predict what is art and what is not art before seeing it. We can learn to identify works of art that will last for generations and which will fade out once the craze of the money spending art lovers lowers. Art is objective, but the feeling isn't
Again I would like to thank my opponent for accepting my debate. I probably should have made it a longer debate but I had fun debating my opponent and watching how my opponent has left me dumbfounded and made me think really hard. I enjoyed this debate and I hope the people reading did as well.
My opponent raises a valid and rather good point, that anything that is creative is art, and to a certain extend I agree to that. He also concedes to my notion that a pile of laundry (or any other “lazy” art) isn't art and so he agrees that the second part of the resolution is incorrect. The subjectivity of beauty is correct, but even that is somewhat objective because human nature dictates what we find beautiful and what isn't. Most people will agree on the beauty of something if it appeals to it's culture and nature. We for example see that most art around the world is rather uniform, bound to a cultural perspective. You'll see that Greek and Roman sculptures all have a distinct style that was (and is) considered beautiful. We see that the frescos that marvel the renaissance chapels often have bright colours and a divine perspective that we find beautiful. The methods used to create the beauty is not subjective; and the beauty itself is only partly subjective for human nature is so predictable. I'd like to thank my opponent for the debate and wish him luck with whatever he will undertake in the future.
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