The Twilight Series vs. Kody Crowell
Stupid question, but what is art? I mean, okay, the Mona Lisa, we can agree that is art, yeah, cool. Art is also music and movies and stuff, so then it also includes The Weeknd, Zootopia, and Justin Bieber’s new hairstyle. Wait what, so Bieb’s dreads are art? Why not? Do you follow any hairdressers on Instagram and admire all of the excellent scalps they sculpt? So do you think of that as art? If we plastered a collection of Instas around an art gallery, would you consider them art then? But, nothing has really changed! Man, what is this shit.
So there is basically just a thing (whether it be a canvas meticulously treated with various substances, a complex arrangement of frequencies blaring out of ten dollar earbuds, or Ryan Reynold’s clenched buttocks) and an observer of the thing (that’s you). The thing can be interpreted by many different observers who have different opinions on said thing. Art to one person may not even be considered art by another (maybe Andy prefers Zayn’s butt). So then, the “art” of it all can’t be objectively within the thing, or else we’d all just agree, right?
So is the art in us? Fuck, what does that even mean? Well, we don’t just sit and think about nothing and say to ourselves, “What great art, woooooow.” So it isn’t within us exactly (although our imagination could be pretty cool yeah? But I guess that is just based on things we see so that doesn’t count as just us either). So it must be between us and the thing – the relationship between our brains and the stimulus we are letting stimulate us (consensually of course). When we interact with something, we are processing that information relative to everything we’ve experienced that day, and last week, and basically just our whole lives to an extent.
Memories and experience change how we feel about new things – like if you threw up that one time you had beet salad, you are gonna remember that when you see beet medley on the menu. Similarly, when you see a piece of art like The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali (the one with the melting clocks), that affects you the way it do ‘cuz u kno clocks man and they don’t do that in my house. This is why we are so integrated with what we consume – we gravitate towards things we can recognize and relate to, and we make a web of connections between those things and there that’s art. Woo. Pretty subjective though. Odds are I’m wrong. Who knows.
This is related to why we do have certain standards and objective measurements of artistic craft etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Certain complex relationships that some refined artist or author might build their work off of might only be caught by some higher-ups on the board of “cool good art council.” We can probably agree that yes, Hemingway is a better writer than Stephenie Meyer, but why? Ernest was a lot more earnest in fiddling with language and crafting particular relationships, and Steph was mainly thinking of how preteens like sparkly dudes. Hemingway got a Nobel Prize, Meyer got three movies and permeated all of North America with a Jacob vs. Edward debate. We think more highly of Hemingway, but talk more about Meyer. Is one more valuable than the other?
(b4 u ask y is dat art? answer me dis – y is not art?)