What is art after all?

"Art is a form of human expression that involves the creation of visual, auditory, or performance works. Art can take many forms, including painting, sculpture, music, dance, theater, literature, and photography, among others.

Art can have an aesthetic function, creating visual beauty or offering a pleasant aesthetic experience. But art can also have a social or political function, allowing artists to express their views on social or political issues, or serving as a means of communication for ideas or emotions.

Ultimately, art can be seen as a form of human communication that allows artists to express their creativity, point of view, and emotions while providing an aesthetic experience for those who contemplate or experience it."

This is the answer that ChatGPT proposed to me based on its data, which goes against the generalized opinion that I have always heard around me. But this question, "What is art, really?" I have often asked myself for almost 20 years. One of the answers that was often given to me by the teaching staff, in addition to the generalized opinion on what art is, is that it is indefinable, that it cannot have an identity. Something I never understood at the time but that I can now understand why it was defended in this way.

One of the reasons I suspect why art is indefinable is simply because of its political and cultural connotation. It has been taken hostage in its definition and had to serve all propaganda throughout human history, for any possible and imaginable socio-cultural event, from prehistory through cults, monarchies, and bourgeoisie to today's TV shows and influencers.

But all of this did not, and still does not, make sense to me because I have always been immersed in this world of art. Since I was 5 years old, this very human technique has invaded me and become part of my identity. Initiated by my cousin José, during one of those afternoons when he was taking care of me in my youth, I copied his drawing of a Formula 1 racetrack in action. With him, I first discovered the drawings of nude models that his mother had made during her fine arts classes. Since then, I have never stopped this aesthetic quest, the technique of transposing what I saw in front of me or in my mind onto a piece of paper through a pencil.

After all these years of studying and puzzling over what art is, after reading and understanding Schopenhauer's aesthetic "Will to Life", Hegel's dialectical phenomenon, and Slavoj Žižek's ideological paradox, which I won't delve into today, I have decided to simplify the ontology of the word "Art".

So, what conclusion have I ultimately drawn? I focused more on the etymology of the word "Art". This word comes from the Latin "ars" which means "skill", "talent", or "craft". This essence has been lost and taken on a more "specialized" but deceptive meaning. In my reflection, if "Art" comes from the Latin "ars" and one of its meanings is "skill" or "talent", it's because before being a skill or talent, it had to be imagined and created by someone. Like anything created by humans, it comes from the mind in response to a need or simply because that thing wants to manifest on the mind of the thinking being.

For example, one of the most essential human creations is language. And if one studies a bit of philosophy in general, one understands that language is the basis of everything because it's through language that the child learns to interact at the very beginning with his or her mother and later with the rest of the world. And finally, it's from there that all forms of human activity were and are created.

The biggest problem with this whole story is that over time, humans have separated their arts into several categories in a principle of organization and promoting specialization, which has caused an identity problem that exists to this day, where certain disciplines are seen with more importance than others serving the political ideals of their time. When I write "several categories", I simply refer to all existing disciplines, such as mathematics, literature, science, philosophy, fine arts, etc. What I mean is that all these branches come from one and the same place: Art.

Art is fundamentally the expression of human nature in all its complexity. It reflects the very essence of human existence, capturing all dimensions of what it means to be a human being. There is a confusion that arises when considering art only as a "form of expression", without recognizing that art is expression itself. I defend this idea because it's what I observe in my own process of reasoning and creation as a conscious being.

I could adopt an even more holistic perspective and argue that art is the phenomenon that governs all existing cognitive systems, as it's through it that life manifests in nature. It's a Spinozist view in response to the question of the universality of nature as a whole, where Art would be the consequence of Schopenhauer's "Will to Life".

The aphorism that came to mind to express what Art is after all these works is this:

"Art is the materialization of thought that crystallizes in the mind, a means by which the unconscious communicates with the conscious to increase universal entropy."

With this sentence, I end this chronicle, see you next time.

"Um bem haja"

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