The Nature of Art

I was hanging out, once again, around a bunch of atheist math students when I got into an argument that I did not hold well with in a verbal sense. This was because we were really arguing about Art, and because I associate Art with God and the spiritual world, I got confused. Since I was in all likelihood the only person who believed that a God existed and probably the only one who saw God to be the source of Art. I am also the only person to capitalize Art despite grammatical laws. Anyways, the conversation went something like this

This entire argument got me very upset so I went to talk with my Chaplain. I had had many good conversations with him about God, which for me translates as conversations about life. Before we go anywhere I’m going to give you a brief transcript of the conversation.

Atheist #1: Hey, what does everyone think of Avatar?

Me: Oh ugh, what a horrible movie.

Atheist #1: Well, technically speaking the visual affects where good, but the plot was terrible.

Me: Yeah, but it was a terrible, terrible movie.

Atheist #2: Well, it wasn’t that bad.

Me: Yes, yes it was. Now, if you have a director like Alejandro Jodorowsky, then you’d have something. Anybody here familiar with Jodorowsky? El Topo?

Atheist 3: Oh ugh, what a terrible movie.

Me: No, no. I think Jodorowsky’s El Topo is a better movie then Avatar.

Atheist #3: Nobody understands El Topo.

Me: So?

Atheist #3: So nobody will go and see it?

Me: Why does that matter?

Atheist #3: Because nobody will pay to see it?

Me: That doesn’t mean that it’s not a good movie. What does money have to do with anything?

Atheist #3: If 800 million people go to see it it’s not a good movie?

At this point I’ve come to a hault. I got into a very heated point were I tried to make this about God, which to me it was, but to which the athiests didn’t see that. Athiest 3 did say that he was an artist, but I don’t know if I believe him as of yet.

Now, to explain what it is I should have explained in the argument, Art is a process by which human beings communicate certain concepts to other human beings through methods of symbols. This is fundamentally a magical act, and even if you don’t believe in magic as such, you have to admit that by my definition it’s the closest anyone is ever going to get without sufficiently advanced technology. While I connect the idea of God with this, this is not proof of God’s existence. What Art is, is one of the most fundamental aspects of what makes us human. Which basically brings us to the crux of the argument.

My Position: Art is the most necessary aspect of human development. As such, there are certain responsibilities that make up being an Artist to the rest of humanity. This responsibility is that we must help our fellow human beings. To do this, our Art must not suck. To do that would be to commit a horrible transaction (I might say “crime against the Holy Spirit”).

Athiest #3’s position: Your concept of Art is unrealistic and overly mystified. Give the idiots what they want. If they want to see two and a half hours of “Dances with Mutant Smurfs,” then let them.

So basically, as I talked this all out with my Chaplain, I realized that I was not worried about God as I had previously been, but that I was frustrated on the theories of Art. The fact that in our original conversation I was discussing God only goes to show how seriously I take the idea of Art and the creation of it. As Alan Moore says in Mindscapes, “It is not the job of artists to give the audience what the audience want. If the audience knew what they needed they would be the artists and not the audience. It is the job of the artist to give the audience what they need.” Atheist #3’s comments were an insult to Art, and in my own overlapping social categories thought he was attacking God. Maybe he was attacking God, but he was doing this through his misguided ideas of the nature of Art.

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2 Comments

  1. January 25, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    […] have been working on this for to long, and like the thing on Jodorowsky’s Tarot, I will return to it soon. Probably more sooner then the Tarot […]

  2. Hungover Guy said,

    January 26, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    As much as I can understand right now, I think you’re right!


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