Anonymous asked: Telling people that they shouldn't choose art as a career path is ridiculous. You're reblogging art on your blog, what a hypocrite you are
Yes, I am reblogging art. I like art. In many forms. If I or someone else decides to pay for art that someone made, that is fine. I like what they are expressing and their ideas. But, to expect someone to gain an income off of expressing their ideas of liking for example DNA, science, knitting, is ridiculous.
How would you even pay artists? What kind of paying system would you apply? How would you determine that one piece of art has more value than another piece of art, and therefore that artist should be paid more? You can’t because art is self-expression and the government or anyone shouldn’t be placing monetary value to anyone’s self-expression.
If I may interject. It isn’t quite so simple as to say that “art is self-expression.” Plato was not a dull man. He did not invent the thought-experiment of the cave for no good reason (for the ill-informed: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/platoscave.html). Aesthetic value is held independent of the observer. (I think you’re an aesthetic subjectivist! Here’s a decent write-up on that: http://publicphilosopher.wordpress.com/2006/07/12/subjectivism-in-aesthetics/ ) This seems like a trivial example, but if you ask anyone which is more appealing: a lorry or a Ferrari, they’ll always agree on the Ferrari. There must be something to that! Similarly, you wouldn’t rush to listen to a group of Middle schooler’s practice in their garage on a drum kit. Things do have a universal appeal or lack thereof. It is troubling that, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” is such a common colloquialism. People can say different things about a piece of art, but that doesn’t mean they are correct. Even if everyone disagreed as to the Sun’s existence, it would not suddenly be snuffed out.
I’ll continue my entry into this debate with a reply to you. I do not know Tucker quite as well and he already seems upset (with good reason, Tumblr can be vicious). You guys held up the tenet that art has no intrinsic functional value to the species as a collective. This simply does not hold up to examination. The arts and humanities are what civilize us. They temper us. They uplift us! We do not solely judge a culture based on their technological advances, but the richness of their artistic tradition. A civilization is bound by a culture. Culture is the bonding agent that makes all the tiny little subsets of a society cohesive. Culture is built by the sweat of the artist’s brow. True, technology is what advances us as a people, but culture (and, for emphasis, the art of a society) is what makes it all stick together. Without cultural cohesion, science suffers. This cohesion makes communication infinitely easier. If you’ve ever tried to research with a foreign (and not yet assimilated) peer, you would have likely encountered this barrier. I hear students complain about their “ethnic” professors and the communication barrier that lies between them all the time (as a STEM student, you especially should be aware of this concern). Without the cohesion of a cultural bond, communication between members of a society would begin to approach this barrier (sure it would be asymptotic, we still have commonalities like language, similarities in genetic make-up, et. cetera). Art is functional as it promotes cultural cohesion, thus improving the communication of the members of a society.
So it is not fair to say that artists do not contribute to society. It IS fair to say that horrid artists do not contribute to society. However, it can also be said that horrid engineers serve about as much purpose. Perhaps a horrid engineer is even worse; after all, when an artist is bad, the only agent affected is the artist themself (barring my Middle school band scenario), but when an engineer is bad, bridges collapse, engines explode, and people die. It is very unlikely that anything as long lasting as professional artistry is useless to society. Civilization evolves with us and is pretty good and organically eliminating the rejects (over hundreds of years, granted).
I’ve also seen the claim that art should be seen as a hobby. I doubt that you would find very many masterpieces of art if it were simply a hobby. It is not something one can become excellent (or even proficient) in when they just treat it as a hobby. Cross-stitching is a hobby. Go ask an artist that is successful; art is work. It is extremely hard work. Go ask an architecture student how many hours they spend in studio outside of class (no cheating, ask a Senior with a comparably decent GPA). Yes, the dreadful artists of Tumblr do not deserve pay. The dreadful artists of Tumblr are not actually artists. Only bad artists whine about their pay on a consistent basis. True artists that are devoted to their craft will have become callous to this cold fact by the time they’ve reached proficiency. You can’t get good at art and whine. You can’t feel sorry for yourself. There simply isn’t enough energy or motivation in someone who is always whining and trying to throw themselves a pity party to become an artist.
My hypothesis is that you are battling the strawmen artists of Tumblr.