Monday, October 24, 2005


What is Art?

Posted on Princeton's Alumni Art Discussion Group:

DATE: 10/21/2005 12:58:00 PM

I think it's interesting that in Japan, for example, flower arranging and even serving tea are considered forms of art. And various styles of fighting are considered "martial arts." And even many Westerners would argue that cooking is also an art. Except for architecture, though, we tend to think of the arts as not having any practical function; or, conversely, if an activity does have a practical function, that tends to lower its status as pure "art."

Is this unfair, or are peoples' attitudes changing about this? I just thought of another one: the art of making love! Or consider ice skating: is that not really a form of art? And what about mathematics? Some people even say that art is simply a "mindful" way of doing anything. Anyway, i thought this might be a useful angle on the topic "what is art."

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