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Understanding Art for Geeks

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago

It's funny.  Laugh. 213

HeadMounted found a great little flickr collection of art for geeks where helpful designers have provided you with useful hints to help you better comprehend the confusing art world. Or not. Some of them are very clever.

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213 comments

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artistic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22154562)

geeks love art that inspires thought and feelings.... [blogger.com]

Re:artistic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22154854)

That's great! Not only did you get the girl but she also eats your cake too!

Lame (0, Flamebait)

eharvill (991859) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154564)

need I say more?

Re:Lame (1)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155004)

Buried for being submitted to the wrong site.

Re:Lame (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155894)

"need I say more? "

No, you need say less.

Who let this crap in? (3, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154566)

This is lame. It's neither insightful nor funny.

Re:Who let this crap in? (3, Funny)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154640)

Apparently "lolcats" are now high art...

We're doomed.
=Smidge=

Re:Who let this crap in? (2, Funny)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154674)

LOLcats, no, not especially--but the Mona LOLsa is.

Re:Who let this crap in? (1)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154780)

Re:Who let this crap in? (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154938)

And you missed this one:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulthewineguy/2162533383/in/set-72157603619920398/
;-p

OMG! LOLCATS IZ WERKS OF DEVILLY PERSON (0)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155118)

Oh, we were doomed long before lolcats.

Re:Who let this crap in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22154644)

i'm with you on this... funny:0

Re:Who let this crap in? (1)

Freeside1 (1140901) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154814)

Are you describing the article, or your comment?

Re:Who let this crap in? (-1, Troll)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155058)

This is lame. It's neither insightful nor funny.

Then it worked; it IS art. Oh, what? Oops, sorry. You're as unlearned in the art world as as Van Gogh was unlearned in string theory, relativity, or black holes.

Just go to Steve's School of Fine Art! [mcgrew.info] You'll be hopelessly stupid in no time. Or if you're looking for a little something that's not quite so last century (that articls is as old as slashtot) you might peruse my slashdot journal, but it's offtopic, having to do with a crazy woman, an absent alien, marijuana, and my hot roomie and not a word about art.

Re:Who let this crap in? (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155748)

Dude, we know about your journal already, and it's getting fucking tiresome watching you spam Slashdot to get everyone to read it. I hate to say this because your journal actually is interesting, but it's true.

Re:Who let this crap in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22155890)

Been there, done that, still waiting for the promised second part on "Perspective, color, and a bunch of other junk nobody will read" that you promised at the end. Get cracking, dude!

Or maybe you don't get the joke. (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155086)

It's usually not like me to help with the punchline, but read this [findarticles.com] and you'll understand.

How long before ... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22154584)

... someone posts a goatse link? :)

peanut butter jelly time (3, Interesting)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154598)

A tremendous amount of work clearly went into it, so credit must be given to the creator for the effort. However, for me it's reminiscent of PBJT, in that for me it's kinda funny for 2-3 times, and then I'm all, "eh, cool i guess" and on to the next site.

Re:peanut butter jelly time (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155082)

All that work, and not a single Banksy [wikipedia.org] ? What a shame.

NSFW. (4, Informative)

RandoX (828285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154604)

Unless looking at breasts is ok where you work, that is.

Re:NSFW. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22154646)

can't look at breasts... you fag! Peter gazing homo.

Re:NSFW. (2, Funny)

PinkyDead (862370) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154692)

I'll just use my usual excuse: It's not porn, it's art.

Re:NSFW. (2, Funny)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154914)

But they are *artistic* breasts.

Plus a vagina being covered up by a Power button. I wonder what *that* is trying to imply.

Re:NSFW. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155072)

It's either push it to turn it on...or women have pussy power.

Re:NSFW. (2, Funny)

RobBebop (947356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155152)

Thanks for clarifying that for everybody reading this who didn't understand the initial but of sarcasm for the Power Button Art. :)

Re:NSFW. (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155724)

Look at the title of the original painting. That should clear up things.

Re:NSFW. (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155804)

It's officially an artistic vagina, too; the work is in the Musee d'Orsay, a perfectly legitimate museum. Though I admit it's more than a bit jarring walking through the museum and suddenly coming upon _L'Origine du Monde_.

Re:NSFW. (5, Funny)

ContractualObligatio (850987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155078)

If you're working somewhere where a collection of art paintings like this is NSFW (and you're not paranoid), quit as soon as possible...

Re:NSFW. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22155398)

Please don't. I've already successfully won one sexual harassment lawsuit over nude "art." Please continue.

Re:NSFW. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22155880)

You're either an opportunistic scumbag or a hypersensitive crybaby. Please die.

Gots to use the physical logisticals (2, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155090)

You're supposed to have the monitor facing *away* from the doorway.

Re:NSFW. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22155416)

I've never worked anywhere where it *wasn't*. (I feel sorry for you, comrade.) Half the people here *have* breasts -- are we supposed to make a policy that forbids us from looking at ourselves? And have you learned nothing [flickr.com] from art? These [flickr.com] are not breasts.

In case you mean "images of breasts", then I'm kind of curious why you're upset about the half-naked women, but not the fully-naked man [flickr.com] . Hello, sexism!

Art is subjective (2, Interesting)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154632)

Even if it's segregated "art for geeks" it may not really be art. Of course, some critics may say that it was never art to begin with. Art is not simply something that someone made that you like to look at/listen to/read/etc. Part of it is the creative process that made the art that makes that art worth taking in and thinking about.
To someone in the art world, Giger [giger.com] may be seen as a genius but to someone like your average slashdot reader a mother board or the latest Linix kernel may be more of a piece of art than something Giger could ever produce.

Then again, IANAA and M.C. Escher is my favorite M.C...

Re:Art is subjective (2, Interesting)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154894)

Some of the images draw delightfully crass connections.
The instantly recongnizable image of "The Thinker", with an annoying, screw-you, bugs-in-my-code hourglass icon in the upper-left corner is quite well done.

Re:Art is subjective (2, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155020)

Further, understanding art for geeks isn't necessarily going to help a geek understand art in general. I happen to hate fiction. It just seems to be an utter waste of time, and I'm especially confused by those who spend time arguing about the meaning of a work of literature. It's all made up anyway! If the author really wanted to communicate a point he'd write an essay.

Yet I love Lewis Carrol. The Alice stories are wonderful examples of art for geeks. Perhaps what I like is that everything can be taken at face value. The geeky jokes and math allusions are right there to be appreciated, no deep digging is needed. It's just a lot more fun than any work of great literature I've read.

In the same way, appreciating art for geeks, say Escher or Magritte isn't really going to help someone appreciate the Mona Lisa. An Escher or Magritte usually has a fairly obvious gag. The Mona Lisa is just a painting of some chick, I just don't see the big deal.

Re:Art is subjective (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155120)

The Mona Lisa is just a painting of some chick, I just don't see the big deal.
Leonardo did some stunning works and his notebooks are far more interesting than the Mona Lisa IMHO. The thing I hate is that his works that really where are art at the time (at least to him (I hope)) are being lost to time and fading in memory and what we're left with are his commissioned works of a portrait of some woman and a mural of John 13:21...

Re:Art is subjective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22155242)

funny thing about leonardo is that he was a scientist first, and became an artist to make money and to be able to draw the stuff he designed. Like a helicopter

Re:Art is subjective (1)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155628)

I happen to hate fiction. It just seems to be an utter waste of time, and I'm especially confused by those who spend time arguing about the meaning of a work of literature. It's all made up anyway! If the author really wanted to communicate a point he'd write an essay.
I'm curious as to your thoughts on South Park, Schindler's list, anything John Lennon and just about every other form of "made up" stuff that was a vehicle for political and social commentary.

To quote John Lennon, time you enjoy wasting is not wasted.

Re:Art is subjective (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155932)

If the argument is made in a clear straight-forward way, merely using fictional settings to illustrate a point, that's fine. If the author hides their point behind multiple levels of symbolism such that it's impossible to tell what the author really meant, and people can spend entire careers arguing over what the work really means, then that's not ok.

As far as I can tell with most great literature, the whole point is to argue about what the point in fact is, which is nothing more than pointless intellectual masturbation. Further, lot of authors hide their point behind so much symbolism that they may not even have a point at all. I mean if they actually had something to say, and came out and said it, the PhDs wouldn't have anything to argue about, and it wouldn't be a great work of literature. It's very much like an Emperor's New Clothes situation.

I tried really hard during HS and college to understand the method behind the madness of literature interpretation. My only conclusion is that there is no method. It's 100% pure unadulterated bullshit.

Re:Art is subjective (4, Insightful)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155460)

"Art is not simply something that someone made that you like to look at/listen to/read/etc."

Yeah, actually it is. That is exactly why so many people that are into "Art" sound like such pompous asses. It is also why people have such a hard time defining what is "Art". They are obsessed with trying to make it more than it is. They want the stuff THEY like to look at to be art, and the stuff that they don't like to look at to not be art.

They only thing I would add to your definition is that it is something that someone intentionally made.

Re:Art is subjective (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155852)

"Art is not simply something that someone made that you like to look at/listen to/read/etc."
Yeah, actually it is.
I find it hard to believe that people like Britney Spears are truly artists in anything but the loosest use of the word and not just media pawns or Marla Olmstead [cbsnews.com] is an actual "artist" as we like to think of them and not just a child who like to paint whose parents are trying to score some coin from said snobs and media buzz.

It's not the product that is art, it's the process and the producer that makes it art. You can say ANYTHING is art, but is it really an artistic expression or an excuse for money and/or nudity and/or fame?

Re:Art is subjective (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155658)

art of it is the creative process that made the art that makes that art worth taking in and thinking about.
This one phrase gave us Artist's shit [wikipedia.org]

Re:Art is subjective (1)

inviolet (797804) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155738)

Even if it's segregated "art for geeks" it may not really be art. Of course, some critics may say that it was never art to begin with. Art is not simply something that someone made that you like to look at/listen to/read/etc. Part of it is the creative process that made the art that makes that art worth taking in and thinking about.

art: n. something made by an artist.

artist: n. someone who makes art.

I'm only half joking.

You're definitely on the right track when you say that art is neither "out there" (a thing we view to achieve a desirable mental state) nor "in here" (a thing we made to be viewed). It must be both. The same also true generally, for all concepts: 'tableness' is neither "out there" (inherent in the table ala Plato's forms) nor "in here" (self-referential mental constructs ala the Skeptics). To be true, meaningful, and useful, they must be both.

Re:Art is subjective (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155764)

I think the most important point to realize about art is that art isn't a property of the object itself. A picture of the sunset is only a picture, if you say that picture is a symbol of the great cycle of life and death, the beauty of nature, a coming darkness or whatever then it is a piece of art. The same goes for a lot of modern art and photography, it's not the content but the reason you chose to frame it. To take a geekier example, if you look at code it's just code. If you single it out as an symbol of elegance and simplicity and that code can be beautiful, then it's art. Whoever wrote it can have as little perception of it as art as the sun in the sunset. That's at least the traditional form of art, and you can get fairly abstract if you're expressing abstract concepts. I think you can express something most people would connect with "love" by having a few swirls entangling each other and the proper use of reds and pinks.

Then you have really abstract art, where the point isn't to understand something the artist conveyed but simply to let your imagination loose and imagine what it could mean, and the quality of art is in how many synapses it sets off. Geeks just can't do that, it's like seeing a problem with four unknowns and three equations where they simply conclude the problem domain is unsolvable. I must admit I'm pretty much that way myself. On the other hand, there seems to be people with an irrational need to project meaning into everything, even when there is none. Don't worry so much about "getting" art, the best kind is the one that you sort of but not quite understand.

(a me too! comment) (1)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154636)

Oh, that's awesome! I love the map best, I think.. though Napoleon is definately up there. Thanks for finding me something to look at while scanning papers for work.

Disappointed (4, Interesting)

foo fighter (151863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154710)

I'm a little disappointed. Yeah, I got a few chuckles out of it.

But I was hoping for more of something like "This work is important because it was the first use of x" where x is a technique that is then explained in mathematical detail. Or "this looks good because of the use of negative space which happens to be expressable as the function y".

Re:Disappointed (4, Insightful)

beadfulthings (975812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155556)

Ah. That's because you were looking for some actual art appreciation rather than this lame bigotry. (Or I found it to be lame bigotry. The message seems to be that geeks are buffoons and clods who can't appreciate anything past the next release of Software X or Hardware Y. It's OK for me to make fun of them.) Head out to your nearest art museum some free afternoon, pick up a couple of brochures, maybe follow a tour around. You'll begin to find works that appeal to you, and you'll certainly be able to explore why that might be so. You'll probably also find that everybody is welcomed and treated with respect. The idea of a survey that looks at particular works of art in light of math or color theory or proportion or other geekly perspectives is a surprisingly good one. Too bad the site's creator took the low road instead.

Re:Disappointed (2, Interesting)

raisin (30710) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156012)

For that sort of thing, try the book "Visualizations: The Nature Book of Art and Science" by Martin Kemp. It's a collection of short articles by Kemp written for the journal Nature, discussing art and how it relates to science.

Some say 'lame', but as a former Studio Art major- (4, Interesting)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154716)

I think that the creator of this series has done an *excellent* job, in a very funny and original way, of explaining why these particular works are regarded so highly in the art community (not by everyone, of course, but in general).

Kudos to the author of the series!

Why *some* of them are, at least... (1)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154850)

Having seen more, some of them are just silly, but even so, still clever.

Re:Some say 'lame', but as a former Studio Art maj (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22155472)

I don't know, I didn't look far, but I wouldn't say he explained much of everything. Escher's waterfall really needed no explanation. Any geek should agree that that's cool. For the second picture, the Picasso, apparently you just have to understand "green".

I appreciate that artists do what they do to make a particular impression or have a certain message, but I'm content with just looking at what I enjoy looking at, without going any deeper.

More like (4, Insightful)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154718)

More like art for people who waste enough time on the internet to know the current memes and cliches.

Umm, wouldn't those people be known as... (1)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154754)

..."geeks"? :)

Re:Umm, wouldn't those people be known as... (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155036)

No, geeks are people who waste time coding, writing proofs, or working on similar projects.

Re:Umm, wouldn't those people be known as... (1)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155518)

The more correct version is "Geeks are people who convert coffee into code, hardware, and proofs."

Re:Umm, wouldn't those people be known as... (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155526)

No, the word for that is "teen".

Re:More like (4, Funny)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155778)

More like art for people who waste enough time on the internet to know the current memes and cliches.
...says the guy posting on Slashdot.

Re:More like (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155796)

The Meme is what gives a Internets its power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.

Who would have thought! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22154778)

That my self created wallpapers were Slashdot content!

Art for geeks? I can think of one... (5, Insightful)

Nemilar (173603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154788)

xkcd [xkcd.com] is true art for geeks. And yes, comics are an art. There's drawing involved.

Re:Art for geeks? I can think of one... (5, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155166)


Fan: So do you like draw this or something?
Banky: I ink it and I'm also the colorist. The guy next to me draws it, but we both came up with the characters. Next...
Fan: (snidely) What does that mean, you ink it?
Banky: Well, it means that Holden draws the pictures in pencil, and he gives it to me to go over in ink. Next...
Fan: So basically you just trace.
Banky: It's eh...it's not tracing, alright? I add depth and shading to give the image more definition. Only then does the drawing truely take shape.
Fan: No-no-no-no, you go over what he draws with a pen. That's tracing.
Banky: Not really. Next...
Fan: (To next guy in the line) Hey man, let me ask you something. If somebody draws something, and you draw the exact same thing like, right on top of it, without going outside the original designated art, what do you call it?
Other Fan: I dunno man, tracing?
Fan: (Laughing, to Banky) See?!
Banky: (Losing patience, to Other Fan) You want your book signed or what?
Fan: Hey-hey-hey-hey-hey, don't get all testy with him just because you got a problem with your station in life!
Banky: Oh, I'm secure with what I do.
Fan: Then just say it...you're a tracer!
Banky: (To Other Fan) How should I sign this?
Other Fan: I don't want you to sign it man, I want the guy who draws Bluntman & Chronic to sign it. You're just a tracer.
Fan: Tell him, little shaver.Collector: You're mucking with a G, you fuckin' tracer.
Banky: I'll trace a chalk line around your dead fucking body, you fuck!
Holden: [to Security Guards] Will you get him out of here!
Collector: [as he's being dragged away by Security Guard] Hey wait a second! He jumped me, you fucking tracer!
Banky: YOUR MOTHER'S A TRACER!

Re:Art for geeks? I can think of one... (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155522)

The true art in xkcd rarely has much to do with drawing. :)

Am I missing a plugin or something? (1, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154836)

The one that was supposed to be "very clever" [flickr.com] is just a painting with some windows on top of it. It looks like my browser thinks I need another plugin or something, but it doesn't tell me what this would be.

If this is supposed to be clever, I'm missing something, either personally or in my browser. Some of the other ones were pretty decent, I guess...

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22154924)

The original painting is missing something.
(It is badly damaged in parts, and restoration hasn't been succesful)

Whoever assembled this added the (image failed to load) windows on top of the damged sections to highlight them.

Perhaps I missed the /sarc tag in OP

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (2, Informative)

turtledawn (149719) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154946)

I think that was the point. Windows in particular is bad about showing you there's something there but not telling you what it is or how to make it visible.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154954)

Yes, you understand the painting. You see, some of the paint has rubbed off. That's why you can't see what it would be. ;-)

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (1)

kamakazi (74641) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154964)

jeez, I hope this guy was being sarcastic. Or maybe he can't see what is under the "missing images". Duh.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (4, Funny)

ebcdic (39948) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154982)

Yes, it's "something" you're missing, not a plugin.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22155012)

You are missing something. It is called intelligence.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (2, Funny)

kevlarcowboy (996973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155032)

Most of this painting was damaged over time, most likely in an epic battle between wizards and elves. I know of this because I am an art trader and that's where we get most of our paintings.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (1)

Dan East (318230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155100)

I'm missing something, either personally or in my browser.

The former. This is art for geeks.

Dan East

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (1)

Peeet (730301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155298)

I bet you're one of those guys that clicks the fake "No" or "Cancel" button on the faux "dialog box" image popup ads asking if you want your computer raped by malware.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (4, Informative)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155454)

The one that was supposed to be "very clever" is just a painting with some windows on top of it. It looks like my browser thinks I need another plugin or something, but it doesn't tell me what this would be.

If this is supposed to be clever, I'm missing something, either personally or in my browser. Some of the other ones were pretty decent, I guess...


You're missing something, personally, I'm afraid. The picture was a painting on wood that had been damaged by the passage of time, with large patches of paint having completely flaked off. The joke was that the flaked-off patches had all been enclosed in "broken image" frames.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (1)

xant (99438) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155734)

Bah, except - they weren't. They were enclosed in "loading image" frames. Which just made it confusing. Had they been broken image frames, I would have gotten the joke much faster. So that means I'm a geek, but the person who posted the series is not.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155976)

Thanks for explaining it. I thought it was just random splotches of brown paint...

I'm not kidding...

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22155922)

Yes, you are personally missing a plug-in. Apparently whoever modded this as Insightful is also.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (1)

Frogbeater (216054) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155964)

They are pictures of broken links!

That's the best part! The image is showing that there are portions of the painting that have deteriorated and can't be seen.

To represent this issue he has placed broken image links over the areas that an observer can't see.

I thought it was kind of funny on it's own, but it gets better and better as I see more people confused by the image.

In the case of the original, the missing portions of the painting add something to its qualification as art. For me, the number of people that don't "get the joke" of the revised piece add to its qualification as art.

Re:Am I missing a plugin or something? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22156008)

Actually, as mentioned elsewhere, they are pictures of loading images, not broken ones. Might have been clever if the painting was "unfinished" instead of damaged...

appreciation of art is similar to literature .. (5, Interesting)

wakim1618 (579135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154842)

Several friends of mine teach art history at a large university and in my conversations with them, I came to appreciate that the study and appreciation of art is similar to that of the study of literature or film. For example, throughout history, there are innovations in story telling, eg Shakespear introduced the device of a character speaking aloud to himself exploring his own inner thoughts and conflicts or eg Griffith's camera work in Birth of a Nation and shooting in 'natural' not studio settings. At another level, looking at works of art as a reflection of social structure and myths and understanding how innovations in aesthetics and story telling accompanies social changes and transformations. For example, prior to the Renaissance, much of art was iconography (the representation of icons of religion and pivotal moments in the story of Christianity) whence the Renaisannce introduced the human subject into art. More recently, cubism and modernism movements in art and architecture reflects the rise of industrial society and the capture of the imagination of the cultural elites by marxist ideologies. Hence the change in materials in housing and furniture and crafts from arnate woods to then modern materials such as glass, concrete and steel and the mass production of quality housing and furniture.

Another strand of the study revolves about the construction of a social canon (the 'great' works of genius and orginality) and how it reflects the social shifts in power. One way of understanding this is the common complaint amongst film afficiandos that the academy awards are a popularity contest and that, over and above the wonderful movies, Speilberg has been a brand and is a socio-economic construction.

In short, the appreciation of art is much more than aesthetics and more than meets the eye. In fact, it engages the intellect and a deep appreciation involves a broad understanding of the social historical context.

Re:appreciation of art is similar to literature .. (0)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155424)

prior to the Renaissance, much of art was iconography ...

Your professor friends don't consider graffiti to be art? That's like referring to Slashdot articles as electronic scribblings. ;-)

From the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]

Historically, the term graffiti referred to the inscriptions, figure drawings, etc., found on the walls of ancient sepulchers or ruins, as in the Catacombs of Rome or at Pompeii. Usage of the word has evolved to include any graphics applied to surfaces in a manner that constitutes vandalism.

Re:appreciation of art is similar to literature .. (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155710)

You're talking to art historians. They care about historical context, but I don't. What about the study of art without the history?

Re:appreciation of art is similar to literature .. (3, Insightful)

wakim1618 (579135) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155916)

The study of art does not take place in a vacuum. So to appreciate/study a work, you end up comparing it to something else, perhaps other mediums of art or other works in the same medium that preceded it. Or you examine how it speaks about a comtemporary situation in an innovative way... why it captures a moment or vision better than other works. This inevitably means situating the work in a socio-historical context. Even if you believe that it is all a matter of taste and preferences, studying art and understanding art means to understand the language, method, or device that makes a particular painting, novel or work of art more effective, more immediate or deeper than other works. I can go on (eg how does a particular work build or borrow from previous works and why the product is more than the sum of its borrowed parts) but the central idea is that it does not take place in a vacuum. You can call it a historical context but history is just a short-hand for past societies and their many subcultures and how it sees its past, its present and its future.

Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22154858)

Lame

Better than the originals... (4, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22154950)

...in many cases at least. These seem to me to valid art - or at least as valid as Duchamp or Warhol. Certainly, they are considerably more entertaining, exhibit more social commentary, and are more thought provoking than many of the originals do today -- although they were once thought provoking themselves.

The wikipedia one is masterful. It's occurred to me for a few years that Gallileo is the perfect example of why wikipedia is flawed. (among many other potential examples of free individual thought)

Re:Better than the originals... (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155568)

It's occurred to me for a few years that Gallileo is the perfect example of why wikipedia is flawed.

I disagree. In Galileo's time, there was no scientific consensus in favour of his theories. Therefore, if Wikipedia had existed by then, he could have gotten a few paragraphs or even a few articles regarding his work while acknowledging it as controversial work. With this respect I don't see how Wikipedia is flawed, unless we assume that Galileo would solely have tried to publish his work by vandalising Wikipedia, which no serious scientist would do as a sole effort of promoting their findings.

Re:Better than the originals... (1)

The One and Only (691315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155676)

This is what makes it such a great example of art. After all, most art that does have a social or political message, has a message that's poorly thought out and superficial (i.e. Marxism).

Mod+1 insightful (1)

Anne Honime (828246) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155706)

I won't go as far as saying "better than originals", but there's something inside that work that desserves a good mention. Like you, I found the wikipedia one extremely to the point. Most have a "punch line" quality. The /. summary is misleading ; it's not art for the geeks, but it's definitely a work from an arty geek.

This guy isn't a geek or an artist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22155084)

Witness lame (PHP) code from the first image...

<?
$i=1
while ($i <= 2){
  echo "water\n";
}
?>
Any true geek would have written...

while (true) print("water\n");
... saving a single assignment and comparison for every loop iteration.

Re:This guy isn't a geek or an artist (1)

Rigrig (922033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155404)

<?for(;;)echo"water\n"?>
Saves you even more typing.

Meh (1)

glwtta (532858) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155378)

Most are exceptionally lame, plus, they really missed the point of "Ceci n'est pas une pipe".

Art is easy to spot (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155534)

If it has a frame around it, it must be art.

Macintosh Classic (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155600)

I've just had a "functional" Macintosh Classic as a present for my birthday. Now THAT's art.

Puzzled ... (2, Funny)

jc42 (318812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155640)

That "very clever" Annunciation image is baffling. It's covered with white rectangles, each of which has a little icon in the upper left that looks like a "broken link" icon. But there's nothing active associated with the rectangles or the little icon. Clicking on various things gets nothing except the usual image menu, and that gets me another copy of the Annunciation.

It's not the browser, because I tried it on a number of different browsers from different sources, including Firefox, Opera, Safari, iCab and SeaMonkey. They all show the same thing, so presumably that's what's supposed to be on my screen.

But it doesn't seem at all clever; it's just baffling. And there's nothing resembling an explanation or other clue that I can find. What am I so non-geeky as to be missing here?

Re:Puzzled ... (1)

MacarooMac (1222684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155844)

Take a look at the "Am I missing a plugin or something" thread above

Quick guide (2, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155690)

ln -s /dev/random Jackson.Pollock

Understanding Art (2, Insightful)

arigram (1202657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155716)

Being an artist myself, understanding Art is simple:
You either like it or you don't.
You shouldn't -try- to like it if you don't and you shouldn't -try- to understand it if you think you don't. Art has to be appreciated by the instinct, knowledge, aesthetics, etc one has at the moment, otherwise any further analysis will detract from the appreciation and real meaning and push you further away. One can't understand why a flower is beautiful by chopping it to pieces and measuring its parts.
When you don't like something and think you don't understand it, then back away, forget about it and give it another chance later in life. If you have changed, your perception will have too and will see the artwork in a new light. That doesn't mean you will like it then though. Maybe you never will or maybe it will take you half a lifetime.
If you don't like something, keep an open mind and be prepared to give it a chance later on. You never know...

Smurfs dude. (1)

rivendahl (220389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22155802)

I sense a crotchedy, moldy, cynic somewhere in the comments on flikr who seems to "not get it". Oh well, not everyone is/can be a pedagogue, so someone has to do it.

Riv
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