The Arts Are Undervalued in Our Culture.

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ElJay370, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Meister

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    Apparently this whole thread ended up being about something totally different than what the OP intended. Has that ever happened before? Just kidding. But seriously when those guys say what you do isn’t real work because you don't suffer as much as they do just laugh and say I’m laughing right now because I’m going to the bank. Don’t worry so much what other people think about you. They probably don’t know you anyway and don’t take life so seriously, you’ll never get out alive.
     
  2. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I am a scientist and very far from an artsy fartsy guy. However I am far from being deluded into believing that someone can achieve success without hard work and commitment.
    I have always strived for excellence throughout my carreer and that’s what made me successful. And I don’t see how it could be otherwise for anyone successful, regardless of the field.
     
  3. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Friend of Leo's

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    I know people like that. I guess it's different for each person, but I'd guess those "I am working physically way more than you" kind of comments are a combination of things like resentment and maybe a little jealousy. If they had to put in the same hours people in graphic design do (including sometimes taking work home to finish off the clock), try and read people's minds while coming up with a rational AND creative solution to a project, only to have the client say things like, "can you make the logo bigger?" "can you jazz it up some more?" "I don't know what I want, but I'll know it when I see it," they would beg to go crawling back to punching out other people's designs on a press brake or lathe or something.
     
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  4. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Meister

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    YES! Thank you!
     
  5. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Meister

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    In my mind, an artist is someone who creates something new... someone who has mastered his medium well enough to do something with it that has never been done before. That is an artist. Is a musician who performs a difficult piece, reading from pages of sheet music, an artist? I suppose it takes some creativity to bring out nuances to the music in a way no one else has done before, but is that performer as much of an artist as the guy who wrote the music? I think not. In that case, I would call that musician a craftsman... the same as I'd call a musician who plays cover songs. We should not confuse art with craft.

    How about the scientist who constructs molecules in such a way that he creates a new substance. Is he any less an artist? Suppose that scientist invents a chemical compound that makes the company he works for millions of dollars? Some would call that innovation, or creativity, or perhaps, artistry.

    Art is creation in whatever the chosen medium. What is valuable is creativity and original thinking. Innovation is evolution. Though it often is, that should never be undervalued. Creative people will almost always find a way to manifest that creativity. Creativity should never be stifled in schools. The smart employer will always be looking for creative people and give them the space (literally and figuratively) and the tools to allow them to thrive.

    I'm reminded of Skunk Baxter. If you don't know who he is, google him. Yes, he was the guitar player in the Doobie Brothers and on some Steely Dan tunes. Did you know that he is also a tactical and weapons technology consultant to the defense department?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2019
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  6. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    I actually told a designer to make the logo bigger once. In fairness, she was a print designer and wasn't used to creating content that was going to be seen on 30' projection screens in a football field sized venue. As soon as I said it, I broke out into a gale of laughter at having uttered the worst of all possible design clichés.
     
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  7. 1955

    1955 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was lucky to have two parents that encouraged my creativity. They knew I was not ever going to be normal.

    I knew it.

    I graduated college with a degree in fine art and at the same time toured and made fulfilling original music with my bandmates.

    I made a living playing music for over a decade. Not a lot of people can say they did that, but big whoop.

    I found the love of my life playing my guitar. Lotta struggle, sacrifice, heartache became worthwhile because of that.

    Being an artist or musician in the hard-headed/cursed way is not something I’d wish on anyone. Took most of my adult life to shake that stuff off.

    Today I put new transition ducts in, so I guess I’m coming around.
     
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  8. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I have to disagree a bit: art explores and investigates and questions, finds new ways of seeing and expressing things. Sports, not as much.
     
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  9. PlainAllman

    PlainAllman Tele-Meister

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    The question in this isn’t whether the goofballs out in the shop value your art or whether “our culture”, whatever that means, values art. The question is does your employer or supervisor value it? Obviously they do because they pay you for your work right? Is this all about you wanting a raise and your boss won’t give you one?
     
  10. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Well,they are different feel good activities, so yeah that’s going to happen.Sports records are always broken, so they also find new ways of doing what they are supposed to do.. if you ever watched Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby play hockey you would understand way peotry in motion is.
    I like a lot of arts, music and the written word being at the top,of my list.
    Visual arts, it depends a lot.
    When I look at something like this one, it makes me ponder, things such as, if I had a wood chipper, could I get 2 months of cat litter out of it?

     
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Lots of perspectives so far.
    I like your comment about art-life/ life-art.
    I tried to avoid my art tendencies most of my life, maybe because I didn't have the courage it takes to essentially set out to cross the ocean on a raft of reeds, which is sort of what an artist does if they are not in a field where artists get salaries to sit behind desks.
    For better or for worse, strangers have had to point out to me that I am an artist, even as I tried not to be.
    Building boats and restoring antique houses, my work was of a kind that people could see and feel as being different from just making utilitarian stuff, and I guess the content they sense is love.
    Also cooking, which I've done professionally at times but mostly at home.
    Creativity is a big part of art but I think love is to me even bigger.
    If art is art the person who experiences it will generally be able to feel it.
    OK that's not always true, but if art needs explaining or is inaccessible to the viewer it fails IMO.

    I agree that the entire flow of life can at any time be guided into art, and if we do so we are richer for it.

    I have some of your belief but at the same time I have to remember that "art" is a word, as well as a concept.
    A PCB design for a Tone Bender is called "artwork".
    Graphic arts and liberal arts, the art of war, even the artful dodger which may lead to avoiding getting tackled in a football game.
    I have felt some flow of art playing football, gliding through the air yet slamming through it at the same time.
    Imagining what is in the mind of the closest adversary and creating a trajectory that will subvert their concept.

    But within the arts we may also point to some individuals as true artists, great artists, unnerving artists, popular artists, graphic artists, shocking artists etc.
    Maybe the artist who works in molecules would be an artistic scientist, but to call someone specifically an Artist, we would not apply that title to a scientist or an engineer, because thay have a more specific title.
    The title of Artist might best be reserved for those who make their life purely in art.
    Not those who add some artistic spice to other disciplines.

    I suspect that many who only visit the arts in a casual manner can easily think art is decorative and pleasant.
    "Art galleries" overwhelmingly support this notion.
    Sickening and offensive to art in general, the promotion of decor as art.
    Probably because most don't want to be shocked or distressed by art, and maybe do want to be soothed and relaxed by stuff they take in for relaxation to relieve the stresses of workaday life.
    Going back to what @DekeDog wrote, I have my own set of dogmas by which I judge art, and then another set of dogmas by which I judge my judgement of art, because it is uncool to judge and corral art, calling some illegitimate for individual reasons.
    But here I stand, one who judges, falling short of my own standards with every breath.

    I agree that there are athletic movements far more artful than an awful lot of 'spensive monolithic paintings in pretentious galleries.
    Not familiar with the quoted work though...
     
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  12. Mase

    Mase Tele-Meister

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    Not a photographer myself , but I really like this kind of work .
    Any chance of you posting any more ? maybe a thread in the Bad Dog, others may contribute ?
     
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  13. Mase

    Mase Tele-Meister

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    Correct.
    Last Saturday I spent the afternoon with an experienced graphic artist who was helping me design a headstock logo.
    It was simple text in a simple font, based on something I had seen elsewhere, so we had a starting point.
    It took nearly four hours.......
     
  14. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I am a scientist who spent 35 years of his life creating molecules, and yes it is art ( I wanted to mention that earlier), well some of it is art some of it is repetitive (craft). But I don’t know , it’s not mainstream art.
    In general, when we talk about art we mean something the public can appreciate, not so much the work of the scientist.
     
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  15. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Part of it might be that it “seems” effortless to design a logo or play a song. What people don’t realize is the amount of time and effort required to obtain the proficiency where you make it look effortless. Why pay for something that is effortless.
    Funny, well,not really, but I find that in general the corporate world is much more willing to pay for what something is worth.
    But just look here on TDPRI , people buying those $29 dollar Chinese pedals which are copied from original work, when you could buy a Strymon for $300 ($400 here in Canada), the guy who wanted Gaga to lose the lawsuit just because he thought, actually I don’t know why, but she can afford to pay. Really, it’s her original work.
    Copying guitars, downloading bootlegged music, putting a Fender logo on a parts caster, copying other people’s original work, generic drugs, it’s s all the same as what you are saying. Why pay when you can get it cheaper, that’s what Joe Public wants, unfortunately, without recognizing the value of invention,creation, interpretation and artistry
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  16. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    Joe Public isn't wrong, necessarily, to want something cheaper. Joe Public has a lot of priorities and a cheaper guitar lets him make music with his buddies and still do all the other things he's called to do by, let's say, his family--kid's lessons, spouse's dreams, necessities of life. He could defer the guitar purchase for months or years, saving up for a finely crafted handmade guitar, and during that time he could NOT play music with his buddies. Or he could buy the cheap guitar AND save money for the expensive guitar. Or just play the hell out of the cheap guitar. I think it's good that Joe Public wants to play music: he has an impulse to try and make art rather than just passively consume it. If a cheap guitar is the instrument of music making, well, the history of great guitarists is full of examples of guys starting out on the cheapest possible guitar. How many people buy really expensive hand made guitars and never play them, or never learn to play them well? We don't need to beat up Joe Public for buying a squier, do we?

    At the same time, yes, the value and appeal of objects made with care by people who are skilled at their work is undeniable. I build my own guitars. I just paid a lot of money for a handmade "irish flute." It's just a frickin' tube with holes in it, but it's an amazing instrument and it's amazing what someone who knows what they're doing can make. So I feel good that I paid an artist for his work. I can see both sides of this.

    "Handmade" objects are most of the time very highly valued, e.g. expensive, which is why most people don't buy them.
     
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  17. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Yes, I do understand that Joe Public can not necessarily afford high end original work and all the priorities of life. That’s why he goes to his nephew for his logo.
    But logo guy wants his work recognized, he also has to pay rent food, etc
    One has to find the balance between all,of life’s necessities
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  18. beyer160

    beyer160 Friend of Leo's

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    When I was ejected from the chute of higher education, I managed to escape with a degree in Journalism. I've never worked in the field for a single minute, but the lessons they beat into my head remain- one of which is that words have meaning, and that those meanings matter. I worked for 20 years in a position that the production industry commonly calls "sound engineer," but I have never once used that term to describe myself because I don't have a degree in engineering and I don't drive a train.

    That brings us to "art". In my college days I had an art student girlfriend (everybody should at least once), and we had many discussions/friendly arguments about what art was and was not, and what differentiated "high" art from "low" art. At first, my position was that these definitions were totally arbitrary and thus pointless. Broadly defined, "art" is simply an expression of creativity- this means that each of us has to define the word for ourselves. Eventually I realized that the minutiae my girlfriend and her colleagues spent their time debating was worthless to me, but not to them... and that the reverse was true as well.

    In practical terms, this means that the midwestern retiree who has a Thomas Kinkade print over the couch in their living room and considers it the epitome of western culture isn't wrong, any more than I'm wrong for considering it crap- they just have a different definition of art than I do. An artist can't concern themself with that, though- you simply have to create your work and try to get it out to those who can appreciate it.
     
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  19. DekeDog

    DekeDog Tele-Meister

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    I took a philosophy of art course in college. There are parameters that can be used to determine what makes a work of art "good." Those parameters (or relevant interests) are not necessarily confining or limiting. For example, who the artist is is irrelevant to the goodness of a work of art. A work of art must stand on its own. Also, a work of art is relevant to the time it is created and how it influences, or is influenced, within a framework of historical reference. (This might imply that artists, themselves, have an influence on what good art is, not just critics or historians.) And, a work must display technical competence.

    Etc.

    Bottom line, philosophy aside, a work of art is worth what people will pay. None of that matters to most people if they don't like it. It's good if you like it.

    Great course.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This is a whole thread of its own and maybe one we really need to take on here at the TDPRI, since many who shop for gear end up here getting the scoop on what is worth buying and what isn't.

    While I certainly see and isolate your idea that buyers assume stuff is so easy to make that they shouldn't pay much for it, I think there was a past not that long ago when the consumer was not as obsessed with finding the cheapest widget, and many not wealthy valued buying well made stuff because in the long run it would last and they wouldn't have to buy another every few years.

    My feeling as a quack fool on the hill psychologist is that society has become deluded in a process where among other things we do less and less in the physical realm. Deluded to the point of grave illness, assuming there is a trajectory to mass human behavior and drawing a line forward leads to less and less pretty ends.
    Consumer manipulation professionals have done a great job of selling us gasoline powered leaf raking devices so that we don't have to work as hard, then selling us gym memberships so we can stay in shape, then selling us liposuction after we don't go to the gym because the 400 channel 96 inch TV and electric couch with built in snack and beer dispensers controlled by Alexa is just too wonderful in comparison to doing stuff.

    But the odd mass hate for things like boutique gear is even more curious than buying cheap and buying often.
    One possibility is that as we've become addicted to consuming in quantity, and bought into Alexa's free returns on all the Chinese disposable crap, as well as bought into the idea of leisure equating to a better life, as opposed to a fuller life being better, maybe there is a lingering instinct that tells us we should be doing stuff instead of watching simulated doings on the TV.

    Sports on TV with beer and nachos might also take away from our pickup football game time we might have done instead, which would have had far more benefits to our minds, bodies, and society.
    Even our hobbies that used to be more outdoor running around with model airplanes, working in the garage with the kid building go karts or souping up the old car etc, now much hobby time is spent online buying fun stuff instead of making it ourselves.

    So deep inside do we like fine quality hand made guitars and amps, but resent the makers of that stuff we feel we cannot afford because we know we could afford it if we cut recreational spending for a year? Or maybe because we are jealous of those who followed a dream of building high quality hand made stuff instead of taking that business job that was all set up for us like an online purchase?

    There has to be some cognitive dissonance going on in a mind that thinks a CS Fender is too easy to build to be worth $3500, yet we like it enough to look at and judge as being "something we could make if we had the time and the tools", but then don't buy the tools and find the time, because it would interfere with our complex system of running through life and social media, then hitting the leisure time or drinking time hard to unwind from all the conveniences of modern living.

    I'd guess that many who post here are not as stuck in this sort of cycle, and instead do build some partscasters or form an old guy band, keeping some real life in life, and not buying into the simulated life on TV as deeply.

    Many also escape the couch potato social media Alexa quagmire via fitness recreation like biking and kayaking etc.

    But "society" is indeed in a physical and even mental health crisis, largely related to how we consume, as directed by the artists in marketing. Marketing may prove to be higher art than the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

    We might also note that the Sistine Chapel painting masterpiece was funded by and designed by what amounted to Big Brother, not by the artist. Much of the great art in history was done as mouthpiece for whatever was Big Brother at the time.

    Why? Because art gets expensive to make, and big art that takes a year or two before the check gets written is simply not possible without an outside funding source.
    Like the National Endowment for the Arts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2019
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