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Scylla Rhiadra

A New LEA? How Can LL Best Support the Arts in Second Life?

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11 minutes ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

Its a bit off topic, but funny how you pick this example that actually for me proves the art and design world gone crazy.

lol. Well, it's not actually "funny" at all, because it was your post about Mondrian that first got me thinking about this, and the dress -- although, as you know, I've done a couple of pics around this, including one that sort of jokingly plays with both Yves Saint Laurent and Mondrian.

I like Mondrian (although I probably prefer Rothko), but I actually sort of half agree with your criticism. It is possible to like Mondrian on a sort of visceral level: to appreciate and enjoy the colours, lines, and geometric arrangements. But to really get his art, you have to understand his theoretical assumptions, as well as their historical and artistic context. Mondrian was trying to create a "pure" language of painting, one without reference to the meanings of external reality, and the evolution of his art is about the gradual shedding of representational elements and the simplification of his art so that it approached something very like the abstract purity of mathematics. So, simple geometrical patterns and primary colours.

And that's where I start having having problems with Mondrian. First, because it is elitist and rarefied to produce an art that requires that you read the artist's theoretical works to understand it. Secondly, because I've never been big on "art for art's sake": I think that the best art has a social function of some sort. And third because I'm always suspicious of any attempt to "purify" something. Purity is a sort of fascistic value. I want things, including art, that are messy, that are complicated because they aren't "pure," that are contaminated by other things, and mostly by the real world in which we all live.

So, while I do think that Mondrian is "real art" -- and there is simply no denying his influence, both in art and in popular culture -- it's not an art with which I feel a great deal of personal sympathy.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

But when does "just a bridge" become art? If someone designs it in a 3D program, put on textures and placing it in a wonderful designed sim is it still just a bridge? While when Monet paints just a bridge on canvas, its art? (Monet did not design the bridge either by the way, some Japanese craftsman build it in those gardens, he "just copied" it on canvas)

Well, Monet's bridge becomes something different: it's no longer "just" a bridge, and it produces meanings that have nothing to do with its functionality as a means of getting from Point A to Point B.

Whereas a 3D mesh reproduction of a bridge is functional: it's designed to convey you somewhere, however beautiful the design.

We're in to blurry line territory here, for certain, though. Most mesh creations are designed, as I said about SL fashion above, to look as "real" as possible. They are actually designed to make you forget that you are looking at something "digital." The intent is to be as much like "the real thing" as possible. And in that sense, anything that highlights its status as digital actually works against it's intention. We generally avoid buying things that "look" virtual or digital -- that "glitch," for instance, or that too obviously display their actual virtual nature.*

That said, it is possible to produce a functional bridge for SL that is "art," because it does something, or achieves a look, that is not possible in real life.

And it's certainly possible to produce a bridge that is beautiful, and pleasing, and evidence of real creativity on the part of the creator.

* ETA: Interestingly, a movement arose maybe a half dozen years ago in digital art called "The New Aesthetic": one of the things it often does is deliberately glitches or messes up the code in order to foreground that it is not "real," but rather virtual.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

is that art takes its materials and gives them new meanings. Design, on the other hand, is perhaps most accurate described as a way of integrating materials -- in this case, mesh objects such as bridges, or paintings, or other things that may or may not themselves actually be art -- and producing harmonious and aesthetically pleasing effects that, mostly, do not produce new meaning.

You could not be more wrong. Everything I do has meaning and produces meaning for others, new and old.

Edited by Selene Gregoire

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Ok I think I have a solution so everyone can be classified as an artist, because despite the truth in what Scylla explained (that artists are not better than designers), we all know artists in society have higher value (when we're not in the mood to rip them apart by calling them arteeests and ego-maniacs).

First visit the artists website here and note the top graphic, the  super-weird man with an electric cord attached to his back:
http://brynoh.com/

Now, using the bridge pictured earlier, for my project I would put the funny man in the water, part of the head barely above water so we can't see what this bad boy has done to ruin nature (all explained in the clickable man, of course).
Selene could put the clickable man with explanations on the bridge itself, with a short in the electric cord frying the guy.
Scylla could explain in a note card how she talks to the man each day to get new insights for writing.

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3 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

You could not be more wrong.

Well, ok. Possibly. I've been wrong before.

(Very rarely, of course.)

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2 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

Selene could put the clickable man with explanations on the bridge itself, with a short in the electric cord frying the guy.

This sounds more fun. Can I do that too?

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1 minute ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Well, ok. Possibly. I've been wrong before.

(Very rarely, of course.)

So it's not wrong to tell any artist or creator that their work has no meaning for anyone. Got it.

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Just now, Scylla Rhiadra said:
4 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

Selene could put the clickable man with explanations on the bridge itself, with a short in the electric cord frying the guy.

This sounds more fun. Can I do that too?

and I can't blame you...that weird-looking man kind of scares me...I wouldn't want to chat with him..

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5 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Everything I do has meaning and produces meaning for others, new and old.

Who has said that it didn't?

Just now, Selene Gregoire said:

So it's not wrong to tell any artist or creator that their work has no meaning for anyone. Got it.

Selene, please reread what I said. I didn't say it had "no meaning." I said it doesn't produce new meanings in the way that art does.

I have no idea whether what you produce is "art" or "design." I've never seen anything you made; I'm in no position to judge. And the line is often blurry: it's a lot easier to talk about what art is in the abstract than it is to determine whether any given work belongs to one category or another. And frequently, as in the Yves Saint Laurent, it might belong to both.

Frankly, Par's introduction of you into his example is entirely gratuitous, and seemingly almost designed to make it seem as though I was insulting you. Your work -- which again, I've never seen and am in no position to judge -- had zero bearing on my original comments. Pretending that it did, as Par is frankly insinuating, is not merely incorrect: it's also frankly disingenuous and more than a bit crappy.

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12 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Whereas a 3D mesh reproduction of a bridge is functional: it's designed to convey you somewhere, however beautiful the design.

I'll make a screenshot of the bridge on the sim, then its art ;)

 

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Posted (edited)

Honestly, this discussion of "what is art" is something I've tried to avoid this entire thread. It's a quagmire. I don't have a simple answer; humanity has been asking the question, without producing a satisfactory or lasting answer, for at least 2500 years.

My distinction between art and design was pretty much solely a response to Par's suggestion that I was dissing "design." I am not. I am suggesting that it is different. It works differently, it has different intentions, it serves a different function.

My discussion was actually about creativity. Is my creating an outfit from things I've bought creative? Sure it is! (Although less so in my case: I suck at it.)

But it is not the same thing as a work by AM Radio or Bryn Oh.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
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19 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:
33 minutes ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

But when does "just a bridge" become art? If someone designs it in a 3D program, put on textures and placing it in a wonderful designed sim is it still just a bridge? While when Monet paints just a bridge on canvas, its art? (Monet did not design the bridge either by the way, some Japanese craftsman build it in those gardens, he "just copied" it on canvas)

Well, Monet's bridge becomes something different: it's no longer "just" a bridge, and it produces meanings that have nothing to do with its functionality as a means of getting from Point A to Point B.

Whereas a 3D mesh reproduction of a bridge is functional: it's designed to convey you somewhere, however beautiful the design.

I think Monet has a unique style in the way he uses color and light.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Honestly, this discussion of "what is art" is something I've tried to avoid this entire thread. It's a quagmire. I don't have a simple answer; humanity has been asking the question, without producing a satisfactory or lasting answer, for at least 2500 years.

My distinction between art and design was pretty much solely a response to Par's suggestion that I was dissing "design." I am not. I am suggesting that it is different. It works differently, it has different intentions, it serves a different function.

My discussion was actually about creativity. Is my creating an outfit from things I've bought creative? Sure it is! (Although less so in my case: I suck at it.)

But it is not the same thing as a work by AM Radio or Bryn Oh.

But how the LEA classifies art will determine who gets the space for a project.  Chic has already said she isn't particularly fond of the assembled gardens, and has a definite fungi-fairy prejudice I noticed  lol    So would we not let 'designers' in?   Or did she mean they must have unique fairies and mushrooms, and created by themselves?

Edited by Luna Bliss
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9 minutes ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

I'll make a screenshot of the bridge on the sim, then its art ;)

 

Well, warmer! For the same reason that photography can be considered an art form.

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Just now, Luna Bliss said:

But how the LEA classifies art will determine who gets the space for a project.  Chic has already said she isn't particularly fond of the assembled gardens, and has a definite fungi-fairy prejudice I noticed  lol    So would we not let 'designers' in?

I am completely against any kind of hard and fast criteria that makes what can only be a really contentious if not actually subjective distinction between the two.

I think you "let in" the best and most interesting stuff. And let others sort out the labels.

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6 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Honestly, this discussion of "what is art" is something I've tried to avoid this entire thread. It's a quagmire

Very true, but that is exactly what we will ask the LEA to do. Decide what is art and what not :)

I just think they should take in account more than what is considered art in RL, and rotate "decision makers" frequently to prevent elitism and politics

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

Very true, but that is exactly what we will ask the LEA to do. Decide what is art and what not :)

I just think they should take in account more than what is considered art in RL, and rotate "decision makers" frequently to prevent elitism and politics

I agree entirely about rotating decision makers. And my outline for a possible committee deliberately limited the number of "artists" to two, or perhaps three, because theirs is not the only important perspective.

And I actually don't think that a new LEA needs to define art. I think its function should be to encourage creativity that betters and impacts upon cultural life in SL. Whatever form that takes.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
Evil non-artistic apostrophe removed.
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9 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I think Monet has a unique style in the way he uses color and light.

Oh yeah, I like him a lot.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not dissing the great masters here :) 

Whenever travel allows me I love visiting museums displaying painting (non modern art). Actually some of those museums themselves are a work of art (places like the Hermitage or Louvre are breath taking in just an architectural and decorative way). Now if you ask me personally if those paintings are worth millions of dollars each, I would say no, but they are most definitely beautiful, have historical value and very much worth of being preserved.

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2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Who has said that it didn't?

Selene, please reread what I said. I didn't say it had "no meaning." I said it doesn't produce new meanings in the way that art does.

I have no idea whether what you produce is "art" or "design." I've never seen anything you made; I'm in no position to judge. And the line is often blurry: it's a lot easier to talk about what art is in the abstract than it is to determine whether any given work belongs to one category or another. And frequently, as in the Yves Saint Laurent, it might belong to both.

Frankly, Par's introduction of you into his example is entirely gratuitous, and seemingly almost designed to make it seem as though I was insulting you. Your work -- which again, I've never seen and am in no position to judge -- had zero bearing on my original comments. Pretending that it did, as Par is frankly insinuating, is not merely incorrect: it's also frankly disingenuous and more than a bit crappy.

It's also crappy when you tell an artist her work will not produce any new meaning. So you are all invited to a bonfire this evening when I'll be burning all of my canvases, oil paints, sketch pads, acrylics, glazes etc. All of it. Every paint brush and scrap of paper.

Words have meanings. Your words have more meaning than you want people to realize. You hurt people with your words. You hurt artists with your words. But who cares who gets hurt along the way as long as LEA keeps hitting a brick wall.

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14 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

It's also crappy when you tell an artist her work will not produce any new meaning. So you are all invited to a bonfire this evening when I'll be burning all of my canvases, oil paints, sketch pads, acrylics, glazes etc. All of it. Every paint brush and scrap of paper.

Words have meanings. Your words have more meaning than you want people to realize. You hurt people with your words. You hurt artists with your words. But who cares who gets hurt along the way as long as LEA keeps hitting a brick wall.

Selene, I'm going to keep this short and to the point.

I've nowhere said that your art will not produce any new meaning.

I've nowhere even addressed your work at all. I've never seen it.

The whole point of my choosing to talk about "creativity" rather than "art" was to insist upon a more inclusive understanding of what is at stake here.

You of course have the choice of buying into Par's deliberate misapplication of the point I was making, and his completely unnecessary and frankly malicious reference to your work -- which, to repeat, I have never seen and was certainly not commenting upon.

Or, you can take a deep breath or two, and consider in the rational light of what I've actually said here, whether or not I have personally attacked you.

Your choice. For what it's worth, I hope you take the second.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

And I actually don't think that a new LEA needs to define art. I think its function should be to encourage creativity that betters and impacts upon cultural life in SL. Whatever form that takes.

agree

edit add:  And maybe that's it as well. Rename it to broaden its mission.  Linden Endowment of Creative Art

Edited by Mollymews
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5 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Selene, I'm going to keep this short and to the point.

I've nowhere said that your art will not produce any new meaning.

I've nowhere even addressed your work at all. I've never seen it.

The whole point of my choosing to talk about "creativity" rather than "art" was to insist upon a more inclusive understanding of what is at stake here.

You of course have the choice of buying into Par's deliberate misapplication of the point I was making, and his completely unnecessary and frankly malicious reference to your work -- which, to repeat, I have never seen and was certainly not commenting upon.

Or, you can take a deep breath or two, and consider in the rational light of what I've actually said here, whether or not I have personally attacked you.

Your choice. For what it's worth, I hope you take the second.

I never said you attacked me. You are completely missing what I am saying. My words have nothing to do with Par. They have everything to do with something you have been saying all through this thread but only a few have really caught on to. You may not realize how many doors you are slamming in many creators faces. Even so you are hurting people and you don't seem to know it or care.

If LEA is going to start excluding particular mediums then LEA is going to fail. Again. It must be all inclusive, or it is not an endowment for the arts. It becomes nothing more than the masturbatory exercise of a few. Something I will never support.

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Even though I do not always agree on each point Scylla made, I do not see her being restrictive, offending or not caring anywhere. More the opposite, she has been constructive, open and respectful all trough this topic. The whole idea of this topic is to discuss the form in which LEA should take place. That opinions may differ is the whole point of a discussion.

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5 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I think that, to a very great extent, Qie, Luna, and Zeta have already answered your criticism. With respect, you've pulled a particular word choice (probably an ill-advised one) out of its original context, and implied that I'm somehow dissing design. I'm not.

But I'll own up to the possibility that "plopped" was not a very wise word to use, because it does suggest a hierarchy of value that is not a very relevant component of my argument.

As both Qie and Luna are suggesting, "art" and "design" are unquestionably both creative endeavours, but they are not the same thing. What makes them different -- what Luna refers to as the "intellectual component," and what Qie is alluding to throughout his response, I think, is that art takes its materials and gives them new meanings. Design, on the other hand, is perhaps most accurate described as a way of integrating materials -- in this case, mesh objects such as bridges, or paintings, or other things that may or may not themselves actually be art -- and producing harmonious and aesthetically pleasing effects that, mostly, do not produce new meaning.

 

I don't possess your level of sophistication, LOL, so let me just take what I do in SL myself, as an example to support your argument here.

I primarily do interior design. I can mod a home, take out a wall or two, add a window here and there, and what not, but I primarily do interior design. Am I any good at it? Reasonably so, I'd say (but said a little less confidently now than before, since what I saw ppl do at Bellisseria). But would I call it art? When a build is truly done, I'm usually pretty happy with it; but, no, I wouldn't call it art. And for the exact same reason you mentioned: it doesn't really add new meaning to the stuff I plopped down: it's usually a pretty arrangement, for sure, but, as a whole, adds nothing new.

I'm not into false modesty, I've done interiors I'm very proud of. Things that, when seen by others, might prompt them to say "She probably has an artistic bone of some sort." But that's not the same as the interior itself being art per se. I have a good eye for composition, light, and colors. And it shows in my interiors. So, should I ever try my hand at something artistic, art might indeed come out... or not, is the point. But, like I said, the interior itself is just a fancy, maybe even talented, way arranging furniture. But no, I wouldn't call it art. Much like having a fashion sense is not really art. I mean, recognizing art, or a good design in clothes, does not make ME an artist.

Good interior design assuredly is a sign of talent. Being talented does not immediately make one an artist, though. It's different for things like architecture, I think: I've seen architects I would definitely call artists. But a pretty interior -- however well placed -- if one is to call that art, you'd have to ask yourself, Does it transcend meaning, beyond the lovely arrangement? If not, then I think the honest answer to oneself must invariably be: 'No.' Doesn't mean I made crap: it's just not art.

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5 hours ago, Zeta Vandyke said:

I'll make a screenshot of the bridge on the sim, then its art ;)

 

Around 450 BC, two ancient Greek painters, Zeuxis and Parrhasius staged a contest to determine the greater artist. When Zeuxis unveiled his painting of grapes, they appeared so real that birds flew down to peck at them. But when Parrhasius, whose painting was concealed behind a curtain, asked Zeuxis to pull aside that curtain, the curtain itself turned out to be a painted illusion. 

So, take a snapshot of a bridge on a sim, in such a way that I might bump into it, trying to cross it, and I'll call it art. :) 

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