Tomatoes, or How Not To Define “Art”

Tomatoes, or How Not To Define “Art”

this is a tomato you with me so far a tomato is a fruit by which I mean it is the seed bearing part of a fruiting plant I know that sounds redundant and if you ask a botanist they’ll give you a much more complicated answer but for our purposes that’s the definition of a fruit it’s the plant part that has seeds in it and has evolved to be enticing to eat so that animals will take it and then drop spit or crap the seeds somewhere and grow a new tree Bush vine whatever that’s what fruits do and that’s what Tomatoes do so as far as botany is concerned a tomato is a fruit and so are avocados pumpkins and peppers but we as human beings who eat fruit aren’t so concerned with the lifecycles of fruiting plants what matters to us is usually what does it taste like how do I cook with it what does it pair with and since many of the fruits we consume are sweet and are often used to make up desserts while tomatoes are savory and tend to make a part of the body of an actual meal we tend to think of them as vegetables and for our day-to-day lives as people who just want something to put on our fettucini these culinary definitions of fruit and vegetable are more useful more practical than the botanical ones especially when the botanical definition of vegetable is basically non-existent so in terms of actual usage a tomato has two definitions botanical and culinary a description of what it scientifically is and one of what it culturally means but what a tomato means depends on who you’re talking to whether a tomato feels like a vegetable will vary from person to person from culture to culture from era to era for instance my dad will hold a tomato in his hand and eat it bite by bite like an apple so if to me a tomato is a fruit doesn’t mean it has to be one to you but if to you it’s a vegetable you maybe shouldn’t argue that position with a botanist botanically there is no question as to whether a tomato is a fruit because unless something new has been discovered about plant biology the definition is rigid it’s built on science and consensus there is nothing to debate culinarily there is no question as to whether a tomato is a vegetable because whether it tastes like a fruit or a vegetable is entirely subjective no one opinion is any writer than any other so there’s nothing to debate and when some snotty fourteen-year-old says over dinner a tomato is a fruit actually they are creating a debate where none was necessary it’s possible you didn’t know a tomato is scientifically speaking of fruit but it’s just as possible you did know and the kid knows you know and you’re within your rights to say stop arguing across definitions kid you’re being a ding-dong it’s important to recognize that both these definitions matter for different reasons and we avoid trouble so long as we know when we talk about tomatoes which context we are speaking in now maybe you’ve figured this out already but this is not a tomato it’s a metaphor we often find ourselves having these dinner table debates that are almost arguments and don’t need to be either when we discuss words that are more meaningful and more abstract than tomato words like game as in is proteus really a game words like indie as in is saddle creek really an indie label and of course one of the biggest three-letter words in English art when speaking about science fiction author Damon Nights frequently paraphrased definition of the genre is and I am myself paraphrasing now science fiction is what we point to when we say science fiction meaning if I tell you I’m reading this great sci-fi novel and you say sci-fi you mean like Star Trek and I say yeah sci-fi like Star Trek we can proceed to talk about the novel without confusion we don’t need to know what makes the novel science fiction to know that it is science fiction we just need to know that Star Trek is sci-fi and this is like Star Trek so by substitution this is science fiction and this is how we operate with much of culture we don’t often have definitions we have points of reference but if we have widespread agreement about what those points of reference are and we have a pretty good understanding of what the experience of those points of reference is we can talk about huge swathes of human endeavour without needing things to be defined it’s only when someone offers up a thing that doesn’t feel like it belongs that we run into conflict when someone offers up for discussion a war Kivar that does not feel to you like it should be called art then we have the what is art argument throughout the history of modern art we have pretty much never stopped having this argument whether it’s today with our video games art or before that is performance art art and is abstract painting painting and is free verse poetry poetry someone says leaves of grass doesn’t rhyme but it’s poetry because it feels like poetry someone else says but it doesn’t feel like poetry it feels like grandiose prose where someone kept hitting the carriage return at random points in a run-on sentence and the only way to articulate why something does or does not feel like art is to give language – what has until now simply been a set of gut feelings we thought everyone agreed on these are the fumbling conversations in which people offer up their own culinary definitions and each insist that theirs is the one true botanical one generally assuming that they are authorities on the subject so you might ask me what then is the botanical definition of art are there any authorities who can provide us with rigid peer-reviewed classifications for what isn’t is not art like astronomers determine what isn’t is not a planet anyone at the table who can put what it is to rest so we can speak freely about what it means to us well no but kind of look definitions come in a few flavors some are quite rigid a prime number is just fundamentally different from other numbers a number is either divisible by only itself and one or it isn’t they are an innate feature of the universe and upon discovering them the definition was self-evident we got that one for free on the other hand the definition of say planet is not an 8 a planet is a planet simply because we say so we look at the natural world and we divide its contents into categories because it helps us understand what we’re looking at and while there is a logic to this it is also always to some degree or another arbitrary Pluto stopped being a planet because the more we understood about the solar system the more thinking of Pluto as a planet made weird so we changed how we thought about it now if a prime number is natural thing with a natural meaning and a planet is a natural thing with a cultural meaning art is a third flavor it is a cultural thing with a cultural meaning by which I mean the definition of art is a human invention and so is art itself when we started calling it a dwarf planet Pluto did not change it’s the same lumpy space rock it ever was but if the definition of art changes over time and it has then the art changes also when we think about art differently we start making it differently so trying to define it becomes like trying to hit a moving target from the back of a moving horse this softness on both sides means that the science of our scientific definition for art is not going to be the hard science we think of astronomy and mathematics as being but a social science like anthropology or linguistics art doesn’t come with a user’s manual all we can do is look at the way it is made and the way it is talked about and try to spot the patterns this doesn’t mean there are no governing principles just that they are a bit harder to pin down many people in the art world have offered up workable definitions of art and some are pretty defensible but if you’re looking for a universally accepted definition of what makes art art I don’t think one exists but there are some generally accepted qualities of art that anyone who works in art history art curation or art theory is going to be familiar with we may not know what the one true definition is but we have determined some things about it for example and yes I am bringing this up take Roger Ebert’s Proclamation that video games are not art an argument that was seemingly unbeknownst to him very very old see Ebert didn’t just say video games are an art he said they are not and can never be art that’s not just a bad argument it’s an argument that has been bad for a hundred years around the time that a dude named Duchamp signed a fake name on a urinal and called that art we had a conversation about what is and isn’t art we had it over dinner tables and we had it in publications and the opinion that won out and became foundational for the following century of modern art is that while not everything humans do is art there is nothing humans do that can’t be art given the proper context that’s how a blank canvas or a soup can or 50,000 nickels with matches stuck to them can end up in a museum alongside Rembrandt and Hawkes I none of us individually have to call them art if calling them art doesn’t make them meaningful to us but it’s worth acknowledging that much of the work we do find meaningful would not exist without the art world’s accepted belief that nothing can’t be art I’ve noticed that when someone says this is not art whatever the this is it’s usually something the speaker either dismisses or something they care about a great deal but they don’t seem very invested in the art because they often make these kinds of arguments ones that would be a lot harder to make had they ever taken in our history class or even just typed art into Wikipedia it seems a lot of people don’t view art as a practice associated with a sizable body of theory they see it as a label a status symbol and they don’t want to see that status applied in places that don’t feel appropriate to them these conversations have been going for centuries it’s always fascinating to me when someone at the dinner table starts one from scratch and figures they’ll have it all sorted out by dessert now I’m not saying that we should leave the art discussions to the experts I don’t do the appeal to Authority it’s not like you have to be a botanist to talk about plants but it is somewhat foolish to argue about botany when one doesn’t actually care about botany if one doesn’t actually care what the definition of vegetable is they just like telling folks a tomato isn’t one I think the discussion of what art is and the discussion of what a given work means to us are both incredibly valuable so long as we remember that they are two different conversations and since I would hope no one actually wants such a discussion to spiral into an argument I think it’s most important to reflect when we begin to speak on which discussion we’re trying to have when we talk tomatoes are we talking about biology or are we talking about taste then we can have the conversation we presumably set out to have which is rarely is this art but rather is this good so that’s why you might hear me compare this or the that debate about art to a debate about tomatoes that’s the metaphor everybody follow cool because if hate Tomatoes [Music]

local_offerevent_note October 11, 2019

account_box Matthew Anderson


100 thoughts on “Tomatoes, or How Not To Define “Art””

  • This is a very insightful and helpful video, but I don't think it gives Ebert enough credit in its implication that he wasn't invested in the nature of art. Wouldn't be surprised if you've seen it already, but Brian Moriarty gave a great talk on Ebert, art, and video games from a game designer's perspective:

  • I heard Pluto mentioned and immediately I fumed. It’s silly I know and I’ll restrain myself from ranting here, but I’m just saying that Pluto was classified as a dwarf planet because some scientists at the tail end of a conference missing a lot of experts in the field, decided that they didn’t want to live in a solar system with potentially dozens or even hundreds of planets, and so they decided to add a third criteria to what defines a planet, specifically to kick Pluto off that list.

    …Yes, this is me constraining myself from ranting. I’m stupidly passionate about this and I have no idea why.

    I’d feel better if Jupiter was reclassified as a giant planet because it creates it’s own heat, draws things from outside it’s “neighborhood” (whatever that means) and isn’t quite a brown dwarf.

    Okay, I’ll shut up now.

    Nice video.

  • René Magritte was a pompous jerk that People think was incredibly smart. but he wasn't he was a " ding-dong." People look at the "this is not a pipe? painting and think it's extremely clever and revolutionary, I first heard about it when I was … 11? maybe. The point is it's creating an argument that's not even there. it's a pipe or not nobody cares. A painting tries to show an image or emotion or situation. It's not trying to be a painting but an action or point in time. René Magritte takes this and shits on it. This is what went through his mind when he created that. "Ahah! this will change the feeble minds of the uncultured swine! It's not like art is used to show history or people!" The point of a painting is to convey something not lie to you. If you can’t tell I have a deep disliking of him and his ideas.

    The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So, if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying! — René Magritte

    Of course, you can’t stuff the pipe you dip. It’s a painting! It is a pipe to people that don’t have time to question of every little thing. It is a pipe! Or the idea of a pipe but you have still drawn a pipe. And thus, it’s not a pipe. If he had drawn plate and said this is not a pipe, then he would have been right. If Something is being a representation of an object it is still trying and possibly is that object. You are lying by saying it is not a pipe anyway. My god, he frustrates me.

  • As an artist I always say "art is whatever you think it is because it doesnt really exist" as in, the ketchup I spilled on the floor is not art, its ketchup, and the painting I did is not art, its paper with dried paint on it, I think my painting is art, but you might think it is shit and that my ketchup stain is art. Thats why it is pointless to really seriously argue about anything so subjective, its all beyond single deffinitions or descriptions.

  • Yes but what about hydroponics? You can grow a lot more 'tomato' if you get rid of the dirt. Nobody likes dirt. We like 'tomato'.

  • i personally know people who hate when i speak in points of reference..
    don't they know the purpose of it is to better understand the situation?
    do they hate the idea of us being on the same track of a conversation?
    is this why they always interupt me every 3 words without trying to listen to what i'm saying?

  • Yeah is still a fruit though… @[email protected] Just saying. That and if you aren't an idiot you don't refrigerate them and then tomato tastes sweet. If you don't taste the sweetness sorry? o.O I don't know what to say.

  • In culinary terms, fruits like tomatoes and peppers that function as vegetables are called "fruit vegetables"

    Not very creative, I know, but it gets the point across

  • I don't think art has no soft definition, because we all generally can agree that art is something we experience, usually that someone made, but sometimes it's something that's found, and we find a deeper meaning in despite the absence of an objective deeper meaning.

    I've never heard anyone disagree with this, and I won't say that it's an objective definition, but I do think it has some use.
    Is it something someone made, or 'framed'? Do you find a deeper meaning in it that can't be objectively proven? If yes to both, it's art.

    When I object to say… A video of women screaming like howler monkeys, and calling it art, I don't disagree whether it's art, I'm really saying that I feel like little effort was put in to try and make something people would find a deeper meaning in. Even then I'll admit that maybe the intention was to make people feel uncomfortable. Art has a semi-useful definition, like Tomato.

    I'm open to disagreements on my definition of art, and I'd like to hear why someone would disagree with it. I think for common parlance though, saying that art is something made or found, displayed, and deeper meaning found in is about as useful as saying Tomato is a fruit.
    You can disagree with it, and nobody will really be right, but for 99% of every day conversations it does the job

    You can take or make anything, show it off in an attempt to evoke a deeper meaning to someone, even yourself, and it's art.

  • I’ve never understood the leap from “I don’t like X” or “X is simplistic” to “X is not art.”

    There is a lot of terrible art. There’s a lot of simple art.

  • I've developed a "definition" of Art that isn't so much a definition as it is a lens through which to view its utility.

    That being: Art is the mirror through which one views the world, including oneself.

    A painted landscape is both an attempt to replicate a section of terrain the artist can see, but is also, in many ways, that artist's critique of that terrain. The artist learns something about their subject by making Art out of it. And the perspective, style, and focus that the Art is made in tells the viewer much about how the Artist viewed that terrain. As well as what the artist valued. A Realist landscape, for instance, shows that the artist valued reproducing the terrain's aspects as closely as possible, whereas an Impressionist landscape shows that the artist was more concerned with how the terrain made them feel.

    Humans, for all their brilliance, are actually really bad at self-reflection. They're so close to their worldly and emotional contexts as to be sucked into them. Meaning for much of human life, we are staggeringly bereft of self-awareness. Part of Art's function – especially when the Subject of that Art is humans themselves – is to make us step back and examine ourselves through a mirror of our own fashioning. Many pieces of Art – intentional or no – say something about the Human Experience. Our strengths, our failures, our deepest feelings, and our most comfortable delusions. Human activity teases such feelings out of us, and we use Art to try to make sense of them.

    It's why painters make self-portraits, or novelists write elaborate fictions that, nonetheless, are steeped in anthropic elements. Even the most alien landscape or the most foreign drama is an attempt to understand ourselves, even if only by showing us what we or our world are not.

  • I once went and asked some of my professors what tey thought counts as art or even "good" art. (I was studying history of art at the time.) I got several different answers. Some vague, some concrete or even specific.

  • The appeal of alcohol, to me at least, is that only when drunk do the conversations about "what is art" or "are tomatoes really fruit though" seem productive and worthwhile.

  • Most debate about art is NOT even about art, but rather if it's a conceptual/high/fine art or commercial/media/illustrative art. Well surprise surprise, BOTH are art. Go ahead and debate the specifics of each types, but debating if it is or isn't "art" is just a colossal waste of time and intelligence.

  • As someone who has a degrees in design, in visual art AND in game art, I have basically come to the conclusion art is any human creative expression that goes beyond just function. And I find the now more pertinent discussions of "Is it good art" and "what is the art trying to say" a much more important focus. And yes, this would even include the mechanics of games. Or the UI of a smart phone. Or even a chair.

  • I wonder if by asking "Can Video Games be Art?" we are really asking "Can we see Video Games less as a hobby and so doing so, give them same level of respect and cherishment that we give Art?"

    My answer: "Sure, but do we have to? Can't something just be a hobby?"

    Ironically, a lot of artists, such as myself, do art as a hobby.

  • Saw this and it's making me feel good and weird. Cuz someone I follow on twitter was talking about how Art can't be objective, and applying it to discussion about video games, and… Well, no? Games can be art, like everything else, but talking about things like Accessibility in making games from a perspective that suggests all games must be art and you can't say something is Morally Good about art because art cannot be objective…
    It's very frustrating.

  • @8:20 Just tossing this out there since this developer/director is revered.

    Hideo Kojima does not see video games as art either. Rather a collection of different art pieces to tell a story. I tend to agree with him as most other forms of art are not dependent on a win/lose scenario. My opinion anyway.

  • On the topic of tomato taste (clearly culinary and opinion based):
    I hate most veggies in most contexts. Peppers? No. Unions? Nope. Salad? Nah fam. Garlic? Only and exclusively rubbed on toast and crushed into fish fillet. Carrots? Like 'em raw I guess. Corn? Corn is good. Potatoes? OK, there are a… few exceptions, but tomatoes sure as hell aren't one. I won't eat anything home-made with tomatoes on it (pre-made stuff is way too convenient to pass up due to veggies). Well… kinda. I have historically ate tomatoes as a vegetable in foods, but a video by youtuber Walrusz (link to the video in case you happen to know Hungarian: ) made me decide to put them in the next fruit salad we made. It worked well enough. Moral of the story:

  • Art is usually a form of expression that delivers content through certain means… Video games aren't normal art, they are interactive art… You can grasp meanings, convey emotions, have fun, and be highly immersed into it… Video games can contain within them art from all times… They can teach, they can present, they can debate something.
    Usually, art throughout the centuries appears to be a certain craft that always encapsulate something… Like, people making statues of themselves or what they saw, to people writing stories about a possible distant future… It's all thoughts, meanings, skills, messages conveyed through whatever means are used that can be perceived by the senses.

    Placing a toilet in a museum, and having people actually admiring the toilet, is a middle finger to art, in an art form… The true art is seeing people gathered around a toilet as if it was a religious symbol… While the toilet itself is just a toilet… You can appreciate it for it's utility… You can even craft a toilet with pictures depicting the history of toilets across the human race… You can certainly use a toilet as a place to convey something with… But, like an empty canvas, it usually won't have any content in it until you add something to it/turn the canvas into something that can make our senses see a story/image.

    Contemporary art, is perhaps, a counter-art culture… It's a massive ridicule of message, of meaning… They say the material itself is the art, the material being used is the message… Yet, the message brought by the material isn't something we can actually feel… Or, relate to anything other than just the material.
    Add a story to it, and suddenly it's art… That is why they can bluntly display socks, have a long story behind the socks, and suddenly it's an artifact.
    Though, if you were to take it out in the street, it won't be art anymore… It'd be a random sock belonging in the garbage.

    People usually, indeed, define what is art… Yet, art usually defines a human experience… Art pieces throughout the centuries tended to also depict to what stories, emotions, ideas and ells the era itself seems to have been focused in… Or, which things the era tried to ignore, to raise, to lower…
    The contemporary art, truly defines the oversaturation of ideas… To the point where they'll try and make people adore mundane nonsense with the pretense of depth… Pretty much, imagine the story instead of actually seeing it through the artwork itself… And the fact people are actually getting into that, means that the artworks actually managed to connect with those people… Which, looking from the side, means they are willing to accept the bland as the form of expression suitable to them.

    Hence, you can call it art… Yet, the true question is – What does it express?
    Seems like the contemporary art is either busy at neglecting meaning, or, telling you to embrace everything as a message… Pretty much, allow actual garbage to inspire you.
    Question is, aspire to what exactly?

  • Excellent video! BTW, the tomato metaphor would work well also for the concept of gender (and many other concepts, yes).

  • Math guy here to say "ackshually." There are things about the definition of prime numbers that are not obvious. For instance, by the definition you gave, 1 is a prime number. However basically any mathematician would tell you that 1 is NOT a prime number. One reason for this is that if 1 WAS a prime number then a number like 10 would not have a unique factorization into prime numbers (10=2*5, but also 10=2*5*1=2*5*1*1 and so on).

    Maybe even more surprising, that is not the definition of prime number that most mathematicians even accept unless they are explaining it to a layperson. Most mathematicians would say a number is prime if when it divides a product it must also divide one of the factors of that product. With a small amount of effort one can see that these two definitions are equivalent, but certain statements about prime numbers are much easier to prove using this definition.

    TL;DR there is a TON of subjectivity to the way certain mathematical objects are defined, and paradoxically even if one definition is logically identical to the other, it's is possible for one to be MUCH better depending on your purpose.

  • Oi mate! You're being a bit silly in my opinion in this video. See, you are handling a subject very interesting, in a very "let's make a quick video about this". You're not going to cover everything. But I like how these 12 minutes can get someone invested, that's great. Why silly though, you ask. You used an amazing piece of Epistemology (Ceci ne est pas une Tomate/ this isn't a tomato). Epistemology (briefly: the philosophy of how to know stuff) is, like all other forms of Philosophy, up to interpretation. So let me "difine art" in a few different ways.

    Language is what we use to communicate with people, but words are used to communicate ideas. Ludwig Vidgenstein pointed out that with words we paint a picture (like si-fi). So in this sense, art is what you and people culturally similar to you personaly, consider art. However, when you need to define something AS art, depends on your clutural background. If you are coming from a "progressive" background, you are far more likely to, among your peers, commuticate abstract art, as art.

    There's another way to look at this, an answer you cannot argue with, but feels really unsatisfying. Imagine a red car. Because of the vagueness of the statement, you may have imagined anything even remotely resembling a car to you, completely different to mine or someone else's. However in reverse, what we make as a red car, depends on what car means. Car is a subcategory of vehicles, and red is subcategory of cars. However how broad that car category is, depends on your opinions on cars. I may classify a car as anything automated with wheels on the ground. But that includes motorbikes. Similarly, you may define a car as my car but with the addition of "that used petrol". That disqualifies Teslas right? It depends solely on the person.

    Then…. There is theory of forms, that would tell you that there is a specific definition of art, that simply we haven't found yet. Honestly fuck theory of forms. Sorry greeks, I like you, but fuck that.

  • Art can be anything that requires anything that requires the conscious decision of any being capable of consciousness. Maybe since the definition relies on the subjective concept of "consciousness", that also makes the idea of art innately subjective.

    I can definitively say that the existence of something isn't art if there was no decision in creating that thing, so we cant yet prove of disprove if everything is art without knowing it's true origin.

  • Here's the definition for what is and isn't art:

    Art is something that follows at least 2 out of these 3 criteria:
    1. Takes considerable skill and effort to craft
    2. Final result is what the author originally envisioned
    3. Has a message or meaning
    And always satisfies this one:
    4. Is satisfying or pleasing to one or more human senses, be it entertainment, arousal, fear, tension, sadness, etc

    By this simple and elegant definition, classical art satisfies all 4 criteria.
    Modern abstract scam art only satisfies 3rd and sometimes 4th, and sometimes not even that, leaving it with 0.

  • 2:50 it kind of applies to language in general. any word can have a number of different meanings given the context and so you commonly have debates where no debate is needed.
    4:06 yeah, basically everything you say is in some form a point of reference. Every definition is made of words, words that have their own definitions. eventually, you keep looking up definitions and you get into this loop where you just cant find out what a word means, and so it just means what it means.

  • With the video games being/not being art thing, I think of it this way: if something is pleasing to the senses, it at least contains ELEMENTS of art. The scent of, say, a strawberry may not be considered art, but is it pleasant? Depends on whether you like strawberries. Is a game pretty to look st? Depends on your tastes, but art is itself a very subjective thing. As an example, I personally feel no need to, say, get a tattoo because I think the human body is itself already a kind of evolutionary art form. And then think of a game like Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. That game is intentionally artistic, with the backgrounds being made to look like watercolour paintings: the creators of the game wanted at least to incorporate an objectively artistic style, or at least a less SUBJECTIVE style. A lot of people look at a Monet and say, "Yes, this is art", and that's the kind of thinking that was incorporated into the art design for Skyward Sword. However, in that game, the foregrounds are cell-shaded, making them look a bit block-like and more cartoon-like than its predecessor, Twilight Princess. Twilight princess uses a much more realistic style, but, again, BOTH could be considered art, or at least ARTFUL, depending on the observer. My personal favourite of the two in terms of visual aesthetic is Skyward Sword, but I'm a big fan of bright colours, if not necessarily realistic ones. I really do think it's all based on opinion. Oh, and I really like Monet, so there you go.

  • PS: Exceptionally well-argued, as usual. Gods, I love your channel. I finally find a super intelligent leftist and he talks about art theory too. Nice. Also, I'll eat your tomatoes for you, if you'd like. Too much and they give me acid reflex, but I do like them.

  • one of my favorite art historical subjects is the search for the ideal, particularly 18th century academicism, like the royal academy, british institution, etc. and how the 'best' art and its definitions changed over time. for example initially the art of nicolas poussin was seen as the ideal (mixing elements of raphael and michelangelo), but then that changed and developed. this whole conversation is then made even more interesting and complex when the dada movement comes in and the concept of antiart (duchamp, as mentioned) begins to develop. i think something which is particularly interesting in this is hans arp's piece 'according to the laws of chance'. the piece brings up the conversation about the artist as a craftsman, the importance of concept, etc. its a fascinating subject and i recommend reading about dada if anyones interested in the definition of art. modernism in general makes some incredibly interesting arguments about the nature of art throughout its many movements.

  • "‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it

    means just what I choose it to mean–neither more nor less.’

    "‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you CAN make words mean so many

    different things.’

    "‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master–that’s


  • I like Isaac Asimov's definition of science fiction; Since time travel is Syfy and a time traveler can have any type of story in either the past or the future, therefore all stories are SyFy.
    This definition applies to both fiction AND non-fiction.
    Yes it's rather a snarky definition. I like snarky. 🙂

  • Skill are a measurement of art. From Greek techne and connection with how it is done. Saying that something is good just makes it harder to make distinctions between inner taste and real value. This is not so simple. Everybody should read philosophy: nomothetic and idiographic theories of knowledge and Geisteswissenschaften.

  • 8:45 p sure it actually was a woman's piece, and duchamp ended up taking credit. r mutt was her pseudonym

  • According to my art history teacher, art is 'every object made by human to fulfill any needs' and it doesn't include performance are because the context was fine art.

  • Shit shoulda watched this video first. I really appreciate your perspective on a lot of things and you have given me ideas for conversations with friends that have lead to really interesting things, but now, sadly, I'm gonna have to unsub because you're a tomatoist. I thought better of you.

  • If someone went about creating a video game that was art, insofar as they succeed in making it art, it should no longer make sense to call it a "video game," at least not as a shorthand representation of the "thing in its totality." It's as though the intuitive definition of art contains an element of, "you know it when you see it" – no one could have denied that Duchamp's sculpture was different from other urinals from the moment that he presented it as art (i.e. It would not be socially sanctioned behavior to use the urinal for its utilitarian purpose, not even in complete privacy).

  • A vegetable is any plant piece that you eat, with a connotation that it's probably savory and good with salt rather than sweet and full of small esters. A fruit is the seed-bearing part of a plant, with a connotation that it's probably sweet and full of certain small esters.

  • What if, inspired by that "science fiction" definition, we call art "anything a human creates while trying to create art"? Then my mother will quit trying to call my practical diagrams of machines art, and all the nickels with matches still get to count

  • Old ass video I know. No one is going to read this but I am interested in this topic and I'm having fun writing this so…

    I agree that he's wrong about art. But I think you may have misinterpreted it. You talk about whether or not games are by definition art, he was talking about the quality. It looks like he was being incendiary for clicks with the title. I don't think he's talking about art in the traditional sense. I think he's talking about high art check out these quotes from the article:

    "No one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great poets, filmmakers, novelists and poets."

    "Let me just say that no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form." (This was said in context of him doubling down on the statement in the title, however he brings up time suggests reveals that he's looking for quality particularly lasting quality.)

    in other words, video games ain't shit. Now there are a lot of holes in the article even when you view it from that lens. I could find plenty and I barely read lol. You could argue with the internet games can advanced way quicker than any other art form, you could argue that high art is usually (excuse my marxist language) defined and owned by the bourgeoisie. You could argue that culture is the only thing that can judge art and culture disagrees with Ebert. You could argue that he's trying to look at this like a graph and that's not how artistic genius works or ever works especially not with internet becoming prominent at the time. While I believe there is something to be said on behalf of his argument to be completely honest, the way it's presented does not necessarily have the graceful metamorphosis or the artists soul. It's more like a caterpillar lifelessly coiled in the nook of a leaf. Sorry that was rude.

    No one is going to read this but I am going to steel man his argument. Games at the moment lack the complexity with the tools at hand to apply deep ideas to the craft. Art forms with great art all have a structure, like how language has vocabulary, grammar or vocal tones. Art needs to have structure so that artists can effectively communicate their "vision" and build upon the "language" of these visions overtime. So with that in mind, unless something major happens (like an undertale times 2), video games won't be considered high art in a really long time. Gaming is in a budding stage of interpretation, where there are a few people interpreting it's mechanisms as a rough form of communication but not enough to be considered an art. What you interpret are the stories that accompany games, not the games themselves (which I do agree should be looked at). Most people do. Any reviewer will look at a game strictly for how fun it was and how much it screwed them over or gave them a tough time. In other words, it's less so the message being assessed for it's execution but the challenge and fun. In other words, if you want to play a complex, emotionally power, artistically challenging and compelling game. Read a book.

    Anyways, I did not like having to write that because I don't agree with any of it. While, I feel as though I gained a lot of insight from this video, it missed the mark.

  • I'm kinda curious about that example about Saddle Creek. I always assumed it was indie, and after spending some time on the Internet, haven't seen anything to contradict that. So, is there an argument against Saddle Creek being indie? What is it?

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