Here is what happens some 35 years after I with friends' help planted 180 cabbage seedlings illegally as art in Downtown Wellington New Zealand... It gets to make history and now we find thousands of people doing intervention arts, guerrilla arts, social practice/community arts all over the Planet :-) http://blog.tepapa.govt.nz/2012/11/02/vacant-lot-of-cabbages-documentation-enters-te-papas-archives/
Some of the arguments mentioned that art and artists change our perceptions about the world. In the end, doesn't the world consist of our perceptions and how we see it? So, another argument is if politics can be perceived as art. Politicians have really mastered the art of speech and they change people's perceptions and sometimes manipulate them into thinking differently of an issue. THEY can change the world by using words and the words they use so intelligently enables them to effect the lives of many, positively and negatively.
But, it can be used to create the environment for the world to change itself. As a force to influence change yes, but an influence that forces change, no. Change cannot be forced but chosen.
We can and must always change ourselves both collectively as a world and as individual members of the world.
If one wishes to ask how art can change the world, one merely needs to look towards one particular book by Upton Sinclair called 'The Jungle'. Published in 1906, the book was a piece of journalism which detailed the how a meat-packing factory in Chicago was ran, listing such wonderful details such as how the tools and meat were not kept in sanitary conditions, particularly where rats had left their droppings. Said droppings would, much to many a reader's disgust, including one President Theodore Roosevelt, wind up in the same meat grinder as the pork used for the 'scrumptious sausage's' filling. In the summer of that same year, President Roosevelt put into action the 'Meat Inspection Act', one law which changed the paradigm of not only meat-packing factories, but many others to follow in suit afterwards.
Pieces of poetry, novels, and journal articles are a wonderful and artistic means of expressing one's thoughts or to criticize society. It is a means to incite change through a medium to which some will find more agreeable than others. Sinclair's story had two laws put into place. Photographs of the horrific battles in Vietnam were great tools used to display how terrible the war was and pushed many to protest against it.
Art has always been able to change the world, and as long as it serves a vehicle for thought to be expressed, it always will.
I believe that it does change things. Just slowly, for most. Some will turn the sharp "corner", that society suggests must be turned in order to identify change. But I feel its mostly about smoothing the corners so that people open their minds to change, and give the "corner" some thought, some vision of what is possible. To see a little further into the future and not be afraid of the unknown or the impossible. It is to use your imagination as a practical guide in everyday changes. A symbol of possibilities. Whether it can, or whether it can't, you are right.
“In some ways, art can change the world. Art is not suppose to change the world, to change practical things, but to change perceptions. Art can change the way we see the world. Art can create and analogy.” ~ JR
This quotes artist/photographer JR. He discusses how he has worked to change perceptions using art. He has done many world wide projects to bring awareness to national issues on personal levels to make us see how these issues have affected the people.
There are not only art works like paintings there are also other types of art, music, theater, etc.
That can help change the world because it opens some peoples mind, for example a song or a movie.
There is a movie (7th type of art) called "an inconvenient truth" about climate change and that movie is really taking part on changing peoples mind and that helps people to think on how to change climate change in the world.
Everyone in the world has emotions, and those emotions can be changed through art. If an artist makes a work of art so strong, so impacting, and so significant that he or she can change peoples emotions and opinions about the world , they can give people a visual representation of their own opinions or their own cause. In that way artist can change peoples emotions and therefore change the world
Art can change the world in that it can be used as a peaceful protest to raise social awareness. Paintings and sculptures can convey messages in addition to inspire a society. Just look at Leonardo Da Vinci's art--from the Mona Lisa to his drawings of a helicopter, Da Vinci's art is scientific in nature. His discoveries, well before their time, were revolutionary to science.
From my personal point of view, art has changed me a lot. My life is totally different after I have got the art classes. I think in different ways and my mind has developed into a totally different level. I am not that old superficial me. I am a person with powerful mind and strong creativity. I can discovered things that others can never discover. This is how life change me. I am quite sure art can change the world by changing every single person.
While there are some pieces of art so thought provoking they can get a global discussion going, almost all of them fade quickly and even those that are remembered don't really change anything. There's no piece of art that is going to make North Korea go "wow, we're being really stupid" and drop their isolationist garbage, there's no piece of art that is going to make Israelis and Palestinians decide they're buddies.
I believe that while art plays a very important role in our lives, it cannot necessarily change the world. Art can only open our eyes to see the message the artist is trying to convey and is up to us to accept the message or not. Marco Evaristti's artwork, "Helena" showed that there are three types of people in our society; sadists, voyeurs and moralists, and if we think about it, it cannot really change the "world", but it can change our perception of society. Same goes to other artworks as well, because if art did change the world, the world would be a much different place than it is today.
I think it's safe to say that if art hasn't changed the world yet, it never will. Theoretically, it should, but for whatever reason it hasn't. It's not that art can change the world. It's that the world would be worse off without art. In other words, art does change the world already, because without its present existence, I believe we would all be worse off, in every way possible. The beauty and catharsis of good art is necessary. Yet, I think it has been proven by time that art itself will not make the world any better than it is. So, is it healthy for artists to create art? Yes. Can/will art change the world into a glorious utopia? No.
After all, we've had art for thousands of years now, and how many wars have happened in the past 100 alone?