What separates art from slop?

I was thinking about what makes art art. And I think I came up with a very succinct, all-encompassing definition. Simpler definitions are better than very elaborate ones, who have to deal with a lot of exceptions.

Art is self-contained. A picture, a book, a musical piece are self-contained entities. There are no expansion packs for a book or a DLC for music. They are judged on their own. Context might help you to appreciate and understand them better, but the other work of an artist are all separate self-contained art pieces.

This is why games, tv shows, comics, etc are not art. Because they are not self-contained. This is why the upper class had such disdain for penny dreadfuls, who started the trend of not telling self-contained stories, but having the same protagonist, like a detective for example, always encountering new monsters, finding new lover interests, repeating the same themes over and over again. A game's lore and universe can always be ruined by a sequel, who in an effort to subvert expectations now tells you how the evil enemy you fought all along were actually dindu nuffins. Or how a culture, where all of the druids are male and the all of the priestess are female now has men in dresses and female furries.

  1. 3 months ago

    >What separates art from slop?
    >mde by big company = slop
    >made by individual or small group = art

    (most of the time)

    • 3 months ago

      That's just an accidental effect. It's correlation that big companies or multiple writers always create an end-product with competing visions and themes, but not a rule. And there are some things like music in video games, which can be appreciated as art, especially in the context of the story. Like "O Thanator", which wouldn't have the same impact without the Arthas context.

    • 3 months ago

      Art is that which seeks to elevate the beautiful.
      Art is unchanging and timeless. (OP mentions)
      Art can be ugly if it seeks to elevate the beautiful, thereby taking for itself the quality of beauty.
      Beauty is the quality of ideal forms used in pursuit of the righteous.
      Doodles, sketches for practice, game art, coomer materials, &c are not Art, they're simply aesthetic patterns. They look good or convey information.
      I won't elaborate further.

      • 3 months ago

        If I remember correctly this is what Joyce said/decided on, that art was something that strives toward and elevates beauty, while anything that merely provokes crude 'lower' feelings like pleasure, fear, etc., is not art.

  2. 3 months ago

    Art is what I like and slop is what I don't like.

  3. 3 months ago

    >This is why games, tv shows, comics, etc are not art.
    Play a game, start to finish, it's a complete self-contained game.
    Some new games have DLCs and shit, but who cares? If you want to dispute the status of games as art there are better arguments.
    TV shows and comics - same shit. A show is like a long film/play split into little units. Many literary classics were published that way - Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Dickens... Comics are also frequently just single volumes ("graphic novels") or even shorter works.
    I do agree that open-endedness causes problems in forming a meaningful narrative, but it's really not an essential part of defining art.

    In fact, you're not even defining art. Tons of stuff can be "self-contained", e.g. a roller-coaster ride is a self-contained experience that doesn't need sequels etc.

    • 3 months ago

      >Play a game, start to finish, it's a complete self-contained game.
      It's not self-contained. It has self-contained aspects, but they badly interact with each other. The music can be taken out and appreciate on its own. Music is art and self-contained. But the gameplay? Take Uncharted for example. The story is supposed to be about a treasure hunt adventure. But the gameplay doesn't simulate that part at all. it's only through cutscenes, which often creates a dissonance with the shooter heavy gameplay style, where you commit mass murder against NPCs. Not to mention that gameplay can be changed with patches, mods, expansion packs, dlc or even retroactively made to look bad by sequels, who improve the gameplay signficiantly. Also the gameplay consists of many different subsystems and is made by many people, which like

      >What separates art from slop?
      >mde by big company = slop
      >made by individual or small group = art

      (most of the time)

      said often doesn't result in an end product that does its vision justice. But the story? The story can absolutely get fucked over by later additions.

      >TV shows and comics - same shit. A show is like a long film/play split into little units.
      It's not. They have many different authors, different visions, which doesn't equal a timeless and unchanging art piece, but just goyslop.
      And I like Graphic Novels. I am still waiting for Requiem Vampire Chevalier to be finished. But even if the same author and artists finish it together, they might be influenced by the ideology and tastes of today and add some horrible new woke storyline or characters to it to atone for their problematic past or something. It can definitely happen. And it would ruin their past chapters retroactively.

      Art has to be a self-contained medium.

      • 3 months ago

        >Take Uncharted for example.
        I've never played or even seen that game.
        >The story is supposed to be about a treasure hunt adventure. But the gameplay doesn't simulate that part at all....
        So it's just one single game that has "ludonarrative dissonance", and that's proof games are no good? Countless games I know of don't even care about the narrative (various abstract games, starting with chess), or the narrative arises from the gameplay (strategy games, roguelikes... minimal scripted events). It's a problem of particular games and not of the medium.
        >Not to mention that gameplay can be changed with patches, mods, expansion packs, dlc
        And writers made new editions of their old works, made sequels, etc. Fuck, the most important novels of the renaissance, Don Quijote and Gargantua et Pantagruel, had sequels.
        >even retroactively made to look bad by sequels, who improve the gameplay signficiantly
        And you're complaining about goyslop? A good game is a good game, you really have to be a redditor sheep to change your mind retroactively and forget the positive qualities of a game.
        >They have many different authors, different visions, which doesn't equal a timeless and unchanging art piece, but just goyslop.
        So everything other than literature and most of artwork is goyslop. Film, opera, music (especially classical), ballet - all made by various people in collaboration = muh newest /misc/ buzzword. Even e.g. lots of great frescoes by Rafael are in doubt, because his students painted many parts.
        Most comics are made by 2 people, many by just 1, which makes them infinitely more focused in "vision" than any classical symphony or concerto (which has to be negotiated between the composer, the conductor, the soloist, and the countless people in the orchestra).
        >they might be influenced by the ideology and tastes of today
        Yeah, such stuff has never ever happened before! Art always used to fall from heavens.
        >I am still waiting for Requiem Vampire Chevalier to be finished
        fuck lmao this is the sort of people who wants to "define art"
        you know where you have go back to

      • 3 months ago

        Not every comic is a superhero comic, anon.

  4. 3 months ago

    I'm assembling the worlds top minds to try and crack whether this nig is fo real

  5. 3 months ago

    Here's a rule of thumb. Art NEEDS to be produced. Kitsch requires external stimulus to be produced.

    The sort of person who creates something great feels a compulsion to do it to the point that he would sacrifice from his own well-being to do so, be it wealth, time, his life. The artist will throw all things aside to make way for his work.

    Kitsch, or slop as you say, is simply produced for pragmatic reasons. If you've ever been to the house of a woman who wasn't beaten enough by her husband you will see that it is covered in this sort of saccharine bullshit. There's no soulful longing in any of it, it's hylic "art" devoid of humanity.

    You can tell when you look at certain things, right, "this person really needed to draw this," versus "this person phoned it in because he needed to pay rent."

    Incidentally this does not just apply to visual art, as might be implied by my wording, it applies to everything, it applies to carpentry, you can tell when a carpenter actually cares about what he's doing and when it's just a job. You can tell when a writer just needs to pay off his mortgage and when he's actually dragging out pieces of his own soul onto the paper. You can tell when an actor is just there for the paycheck and when he actually loves the role.

    It's basic human behavior, right down to our flint-knapping ancestors. You can tell when a goddamn stone arrowhead was made quickly and when it was made lovingly just by looking at the chips and what kind of stone was used.

  6. 3 months ago

    unity in variety is good, contributes to intuitive impression of an autonomous lifeform. similarity is also more difficult than difference, therefore objectively more valuable.
    unity on its own is just a secondary criterion among thousands of others which are equally important and as the other anon wrote, it's insufficient to decide whether something is trash.

  7. 3 months ago

    if i like it, it's art.
    if i don't like it, it's slop.
    if you like it but i'm not familiar with it, it's slop

    • 3 months ago

      it always comes down to it, and then anon trying to autistically justify why his personal preferences define that "true art" is objective
      the real answer is this btw

  8. 3 months ago

    > “In a striking work published a century ago the Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce pointed to a radical distinction, as he saw it, between art properly so-called, and the pseudo-art designed to entertain, arouse or amuse. The distinction was taken up by Croce’s disciple, the English philosopher R. G. Collingwood, who argued as follows. In confronting a true work of art it is not my own reactions that interest me, but the meaning and content of the work. I am being presented with experience, uniquely embodied in this particular sensory form. When seeking entertainment, however, I am not interested in the cause but in the effect. Whatever has the right effect on me is right for me, and there is no question of judgement—aesthetic or otherwise.”

  9. 3 months ago

    Art is not a synonym for good. There can be bad art and good art.

  10. 3 months ago

    maybe self awareness and a conscious, intentional reflexivity that plays on it’s own condition so as to able to engage in self referential meta narratives, which is also arguably the defining characteristic of intelligent life, too.

  11. 3 months ago

    So is there even a single philosopher who came up with a hard rigorous definition for Art?

  12. 3 months ago

    "Art" is human expression with the intent of achieving an emotional reaction.
    Baking in qualifiers to non-qualifier words is sophism. 'Art' just is art; 'Good' Art is art with a secondary qualifier that must be addressed secondarily. There's no qualitative difference between the art you esteem highly and the art you don't qua 'art'.
    That's not to say, of course, that there is not 'high' and 'low' art, or 'good' and 'bad' art, but the distinctions are in the secondary qualifiers and trying to exclude toddlers fingerpainting from the general category of 'art' is sophistic.

  13. 3 months ago

    Anyone actually interested in understanding art should try to gain a real understanding of Heidegger's "Origin of the Work of Art" essay (this will require a basic understanding of his phenomenology but it's well worth it), and read Geuss' essay "Art and Theodicy" for a good summary of Hegel's aesthetics

    One of the main things about art is that art should "tell the truth," and this not necessarily meant in a pedestrian materialist sense of being socially useful (although that is close to the Marxist interpretation, as seen in Lukacs' theory of the novel for example, where he basically insists that all artists be social realists until communism is achieved). How one tells the truth depends on what one thinks truth is, which depends on what one thinks the world is and how man relates to it, which is obviously far more open-ended. But you can get close to an understanding of the real function of art when you put it in the same category of truth-telling or of seeking to find the truth (so that it can be told) as the desire to understand scientific mysteries. The work that one does to build oneself up to the point that one could maybe solve a scientific mystery, not for the sake of social or technological utility but because of genuine desire to bring the real truth of the world into consciousness, is the same work that a true artist does in trying to express what he is trying to express. But art is unique in that it can also express the truth of the very frustration of being unable to discover the truth or even where to start, which is what most of the avant-garde and surrealist movements were getting at, of which "postmodernism" is only a dull echo.

    Even if you aren't solving the major problems of culture or truth with your art you should still be telling the truth. The Symbolists and pre-Raphaelites wanted to express the truth of a whole form of truth-knowing and truth-telling they felt was obscured by modern, deficient notions of scientific and conceptual truth, they wanted to recover ancient ways of knowing and being and seeing that they felt were only dimly perceptible in their day. The fin de siecle vitalists wanted to show the truth of their vision of nature, which they felt was only partially conceptualized and couldn't be held onto without concrete symbols (works of art) to stabilize it, even for themselves. That's a major psychological reason real artists create art, to hold onto something they have seen and know is real but need to "work up" into visible, tangible reality to see it clearly, from which work everybody else then benefits. This is the romantic conception of art.

    Even at the lowest levels you should still tell the truth. Even someone like H.R. Giger is saying "something," even if he can't put a finger on it. Art can be ambiguous and works of art can be failed or partial experiments, as long as they're saying that something. The lowest form of art is art for entertainment, distraction (from truth), and art for utility's sake

    • 3 months ago

      Great. So you just proved that corporate slop can't ever be art. Because they are not concerned about for example creating a truly soulful rendition of the Nightelf Race, but instead selling it to customers, who find gender-based barriers for classes inconvenient.

      • 3 months ago

        I think good art can exist in spite of corporate slop conditions, for example video game designers in the 90s and early 00s were working with an ostensibly inherently childish medium but tried to say and do real things that really reflected the problems of their culture, allowing them to be conduits of the collective unconscious in its continuing struggle to solve those problems. This is analogous to the function of cosmic horror, which has been completely degraded into slop for the mentally defective, but the original raison d'etre of which was to express deep longings and frustrations about both the inability of modern man to pierce through the "iron shell" of modern rationality and understand higher truths, and the increasing fear that even if he could do so, there is nothing but more alienation and horror beyond the shell anyway. And likewise, one answer to this nihilistic fear and pessimism that was nevertheless published in a pulpy and pop cultural form is the more optimistic occult literature of someone like Blackwood, or C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet for example.

        One can still tell the truth even when working within a kitschy medium. That is part of the romantic theory of art, and also later "situationist" theories, of radical (re)appropriation of the medium by imposing form on it. But this is still rare, and sometimes the best you can get from this dynamic is something that wavers between being "merely entertainment" and real art, or only has moments of real art in it. Worse I think is stuff like Cyberpunk 2077 or whatever that game was called, where there is nothing being said, the actual raison d'etre of Gibsonian cyberpunk is long dead, and all you're selling is a kind of vacation to kitschified Blade Runner-Land, like a smoothie made of the tropes and imagery but with no inner form of reason.

    • 3 months ago

      alas, what truth is there, other than our own ignorance, fren ? Beauty.. beauty at times seem’s fleeting, can we really ever possess it and hang it on our wall like a bauble, is beauty even reiterable? When does a Van Gough cease being a work of art ? When you own it, then it becomes just another problem. Perhaps our modern conception of beauty is a conflation of adoration, and adoration itself a conflation of the social power structures that exist when one is removed from the object of your supposed adoration by some higher authority.

  14. 3 months ago

    >I was thinking about what makes art art.
    Read Tolstoy's "What is art".
    It's a tough pill to swallow but he's 100% right.

  15. 3 months ago

    >All the high moments in art are magical in quality; that is, have an untranslatable and indefinable influence that is unforgettable; for a vital consciousness enters in just as life enters an organism and makes it move.

    >Critics endeavour to analyse it—and fail. Students try to imitate but unsuccessfully; and the envious belittle it, but are themselves forgotten.

    >Now a great work of art is also a spiritual mystery; for the artist has pierced many veils, probed beyond the illusions into the permanent, and a hint—fragrant with infinite richness and intensity—has been given. And this enduring loveliness, whether distilled into words or music, into colour or stone, is given to man. A great adventure has been recorded; a spiritual illumination has been saturated in virtue, which gathers—strangely enough—strength through the ages.

    >To analyse this elusive magic is impossible; as well try to analyse the divine; for even the artist cannot analyse this gift thou he has captured and expressed it. Magic, like electricity, can be used, but not defined.

    >The great artist has no necessity to be consciously revolutionary as his inspirations are of a unique nature and comprehensive sense. Neither does he express his age; he expresses himself through the medium of his age, which is vastly different. The great artist, though frequently prophetic, can be equally retrospective and can incorporate in his work as much of the past as he does the future. His mind ranges over far greater perspectives in visions and in ideas, and it is not because he is ahead of his time that makes him either prophetic or retrospective, but because he is above his time; though this quality would be exceedingly rare, as such a quality would defeat one of the purposes of art: to be a bridge between lower and higher man.”

    — Quaestor,The Occult Observer, no. 1

  16. 3 months ago

    >What separates art from slop?
    Art is what I like, and slop is what I don't like.

  17. 3 months ago

    This is a literature board isn't it? Go to the origins of the word. Art and craft are basically the same. When we talk about art, all we are talking about is how well something is made. If some work takes very little skill, it is not very artful. It lacks art.

    • 3 months ago

      >This is a literature board isn't it?
      I just check the catalog and I really doubt it.

  18. 3 months ago

    >Art is self-contained
    what does that mean
    give some examples
    self-contained in its conception?
    in its reception?
    your definition is vague

  19. 3 months ago
    N E M O .

    If trouble is between problem, and symbol, splicing is between entanglement, and art, as transversion is between convolution, and revolversion.

    The two weave, knitting nuance; the one breathes, keeping peace.

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