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October 19th, 2011, 12:44
Hello. Been lurking for ages, but suddenly decided to register to give my humble view, since this particular subject keeps popping up in different forums.

I would suggest that claiming something not to be "art" immediately elevates it to "art".

The very definition of "art" is that people talk about it in tems of "art". Denying that something is "art" is talking about it in terms of "art", hence, it must be "art".

Funny as it might seem, my definition of "art" is a serious proposition. For the benefit of those that don't get it, I'd like to elaborate:

A common mistake in this type of discussion is confusing the concept of art with good art. Even bad "art" is "art". That Planescape Torment is often mentioned in these discussions indicates that some (presumably better) games might be "art", while other games might not. But this is not the case.

Claiming something not to be "art" immediately elevates it to "art". "Elevate" is a key word here, since "art" works as a pedestal. But it only works if you know what you are talking about when you make the claim. You don't need to be an art professor, but you need to have some notion of what "art" is supposed to be. Any notion will do, actually.

Anyway, "art" works as a pedestal. Claiming that something is not "art" is equal to claiming that it doesn't belong on the pedestal. But in order to know what you are talking about when you make the claim, you must first put that something on the pedestal, to see if it belongs there. To make any sort of judgement on whether something is "art" or not, you must first view it as "art", which actually makes it "art".

That is why anything exhibited in an art gallery must be art, because it being exhibited there forces you to view it as art. You might conclude that it's not really art and doesn't belong there, but by then the damage is done, and you have to settle for it being bad art.
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