Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Art Survey

I stole this from dgowers.

1. do you believe that the action and adventure seen in videogames and novels is characteristic of real life as well (at least if you chose to make it so)?

2. do you have a "mission" in life, that occupies every waking moment? and is this mission creative/productive, rather than consumerist, social, political, truth-seeking, familial, destructive, romantic, or religious?
I do have a sense of purpose in life, that is always at least in the background of my head somewhere, but it's a creative/productive purpose in addition to social, political, truth-seeking, etc. I just have a sense that I want to create lasting written works that will influence people to make the world a better place.

3. do you believe that most "classics" (e.g. beethoven, shakespeare, homer, and all that is held up as great and immortal) are, on the whole, lackluster works, but that most modern works are even worse? that you can and have done better than any of the above, and that there is no excuse for how bad most art is? that humanity has only begun to make great art, and that art yet to be made can put all art that has been to shame?
Absolutely completely not. I'm in awe of art, I love the classics, and furthermore I think most modern works are even better. (In terms of their relevance to today's world, anyway, which is to say that I don't blame the creators of the classics at all for being often slightly inferior in my eyes, because I think art is inherently most powerful to those who come from the same society as the artist so that the artist can know about and speak t them about all aspects of their lives.)

4. do you believe that "modernism" and "postmodernism" (such as the works of james joyce, john cage, jackson pollock, most modern "poetry") are not art, but anti-art, an attempt to destroy art? that art must be representational (recognizable as something), and cannot be absurd, random, or arbitrary?
No. Occasionally I become mildly annoyed by the more extreme randomness like James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, but I like Jackson Pollock just fine.

5. do you recognize the power of art to benefit and harm individual lives, to bring people from depression to greatness and back again, to aid or smear intelligence and to dull or improve the accuracy and intensity of emotion?

6. do you recognize the power of art to benefit and harm whole cultures, to bring nations to war and continents to prosperity, to protect freedom or damage it, and to refine or make crude the sensibilities of a whole people?

7. do you believe that art can be defined, and that it has a specific meaning and isn't "anything an artist thinks is art" or else some other vague thing?

8. do you believe that art can be judged, that an individual's taste is independent of the value of a piece of art (i.e., "this art is good because i like it" is nonsense), and that in a given context a person can objectively say whether some work of art is good or bad, or good or bad for some purpose?

9. do you recognize the importance of epistemology (the relation between the abstract/conceptual and the concrete/perceptual) to art, and that art's use is as a sensible set of particulars designed to center around and make plain and clear some universal?

10. do you recognize the importance of an artwork being integrated, i.e. centered on one idea, image, or theme, rather than going all over the place and being made up as the author goes along? Are you annoyed by messy plots and extraneous elements, and seek for every word, line, and note in a work to have a use?
Somewhat, but I'm not too fascistly extreme about it to be incapable of considerably enjoying less organized works of art.

11. do you recognize that the meaning of a particular work of art can be found out from the artwork itself, and that many times it is independent of what the author intended or what its audience thinks it got from it?

12. do you believe in intellectual property, and that what an artists creates is his own, and not owned by the public, and that its creation was mainly his doing, and that his environment, genetics, and everyone who created art before he did in no way is the author of his art? do you believe an artist should profit from his work, and have the final say in who can and can't see it, who can and can't sell it, who can and can't perform it, and so on?
I think an artist in part is her environment and the people who created art before her, and I also think that if the artist is dead and has not left any specific instructions saying to keep their art secret I would feel perfectly comfortable defaulting to sharing the artist's art without needing the artist's explicit permission for it, although if the artist has clearly specified that they want it kept secret I might feel obligated not to share it . . . but even then I might override the artist's wishes if I felt I had a clear understanding of what the artist's reasons for wanting it kept secret were and I felt very strongly that those reasons were foolish. And I also want artists to have the right to parody other artists' work without the original artists' permission.

13. do you believe that certain facts of reality are constant, independent of an individual's thought or preference? that the mind shouldn't attempt to make up reality, but to seek to create a representation of it as close to reality as possible? and that art is not an escape from reality, but can make you more effective in it?
I believe that some facts of reality are independent of an individual's thought or preference, but I do not believe it follows that art must always seek to represent reality as realistically as possible at all times. In fact, I think that's perfectly ridiculous.

14. do you think that most modern and ancient artworks, even those held up as great, are too derivative of each other? do you hate overwritten cliche phrases, overseen images, and overheard melodies?
No. Derivative artworks are collaborative artworks as opposed to individual artworks, but collaborative artworks are not inherently inferior to individual artworks, even if an individual's personal contribution to them may often be inferior.

15. do you think that some concepts are oft-repeated not because they are cliches, but because they possess a timeless, universally applicable quality, and thus that originality isn't the only thing that makes a work of art good or bad?

16. do you believe that the best art is the product of either a single individual, or at the very least an individual with 100% authority over a small team, and that art made by collective or committee is invariably reprehensible, that "too many cooks spoil the broth" when it comes to art, even including supposedly large-scale art such as movies and videogames?
I might agree about the "individual with 100% authority over a small team" - I'd have to think more about that - but I definitely would not agree about the "product of a single individual" if no such exception were included.

17. do you believe that a hero is simply one who performs great feats, creates great value, or prevents great disaster, not one who undertakes great sufferings, nor one who serves others? and that dying for duty doesn't make a hero, that being great at living does? and that heroes are people of action, for lowliest stone can weather the most torrential of downpours, but only a hero builds a house?
Um, first of all, I would like to state that the faux-elegant use of language in this survey is really getting on my nerves. Second, I agree that a hero should take action, but I disagree that the question of whether a hero suffers while taking action is irrelevant to measuring her heroism.

18. do you believe that it's good (though not necessarily essential) for the protagonist of a story to be a hero? are you against putting flaws in characters unnecessarily, and believe that it is foolish that so many authors warn against putting perfect, flawless people in their stories? do you believe that a story containing only worthless people is a boring story?
I do become very bored with stories that contain only characters so badly flawed that I can't bring myself to care what happens to them, but I do not agree with the opposite extreme of making characters utterly devoid of any flaws whatsoever.

19. do you believe that "good vs. evil" is a more interesting conflict type than "grey vs. grey" or "evil vs. evil", despite what english professors say? do you believe in the necessity of clear outlines and divisions in art, of black-and-white thinking rather than grey, beclouded thinking? and that art should be about what could or should be, and not journalistic or about what actually is?
Uh, I think I prefer "green versus purple."

20. but do you also believe that "good vs. good" is the best conflict type of all? do you realize that evil, being just the absence of good (as dark is the absence of light), can really never win either in stories or in real life, and that everyone of sense knows this, and thusly only "good vs. good" conflicts can be surprising and alive, because only mistaken or misguided good can challenge good?
I do not believe that evil is only the absence of good (if it were then you would have no preference between the options of living alone or living with a mass murderer). I do prefer "good versus good" stories to "good versus evil" stories, but on the basis of believing that evil doesn't exist or can't possibly win. Rather, I just don't much enjoy reading about evil, in spite of the fact that it both exists and can win.

21. do you believe that an artist is fully in control of what he creates, and is responsible for generating his own inspiration and motivation, whether he knows it or not? and that "inspiration" comes from his mind, not from god, or the muses, or from any mystical, external source?
Yes. The exclusively male pronouns in this survey are getting on my nerves though.

22. do you believe that japanese culture has shown a better grasp of the principles of art than that of the west, and is more resistant to the attacks of anti-art and journalistic art than america has been? but do you also believe that there are too few art-exporting countries, and that more should join in the world market of art?
No. I believe that any two cultures that contain an equal number of people with equal opportunity and motivation to communicate with each other, and that allow their people equal free time to create art and equal lack of fear of being punished for their art, will produce an equal amount of good art. I believe that other characteristics that differ between the cultures will drastically affect what kinds of art they will produce, but that the quality of art will be equal. Japan has slightly under half as many people as the U.S., but packed closer together which would tend to motivate them to communicate more, although they have much less ethnic diversity so that would tend to give them less need to communicate. The amounts of free time are actually pretty comparable, and the freedom of speech levels are also pretty comparable. I do not expect their art differs substantially in quality from American art. And for me personally, American art can speak to a wider array of issues in my life than Japanese art can, because although I do greatly enjoy authors like Haruki Murakami and Banana Yoshimoto, they're highly unlikely to have much to say about social issues that are specific to America.

23. do you believe that the purpose of creating art is not to "express yourself", and that the readers of art could care less about the author? do you believe that no matter how much effort or emotion an artist has put into a work of art, that by itself gives it no validity or extra merit if that effort didn't produce good art?
Yes, although I do tend to care about the authors of the art I like best because if an author's works when taken together tend to conjure up a persona of what kind of person I imagine would have written them, that means the art itself has a whole extra dimension of value to appreciate.

24. do you believe that it is important to have a sense of "personal aesthetics," a collection of art and symbols of deeply personal importance to the self, regardless of their standing as objectively good or bad art, i.e. favorite childhood artworks that you loved and still love even though they may not be as good as art you have discovered since?

25. do you believe that art is essential to all, not just to artists, and not just as entertainment, as essential to life as the essential amino acids? do you believe that without good art, a child would be crippled and become boring, and an adult would gradually descend into the abyss?
Tags: surveys
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