What is Art?

(baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more) Sorry, couldn’t resist and yes I know art is not the actual lyric. The word used is love. For my thought today, there is actually a correlation between the two though.

Earlier, I was watching a course on creating a basic app using Instagram APIs. I use a bookmark manager that lets me sort items in lists, with each list having whatever categorization I want. I didn’t intend to select my caterogry for Art, but decided to leave it in that category after considering, “What is art?”

Does art need to be conceptualized as such before its creation? Does it have to be visual art like painting or photography, written like poetry or prose, or experienced like dance? if it invokes emotion for someone during creation, are they not an artist?

To that, I suppose one could say coding isn’t art, it’s math or science because it’s based on technicalities such as specific syntax and mathematical operations. I couldn’t disagree more with that thought and practically any syllabus from an Art Appreciation course will tell you why.

We often think of art in terms of something that creates a feeling within us through auditory or visual stimulation. We know that what we are seeing or hearing was created with the intent to do just that; make us feel. We know what emotion we want to invoke, and proceed to browse our minds catalogue for what will give that to us.

Though we more often than not browse with intent, sometimes we find something we didn’t even know we were looking for. Hearing someone else’s music, a post or photo from somone’s feed, or the seemingly endless plethora of other stimuli can invoke an emotion within us that’s so strong that it moves us to action, or possibly inaction. Sometimes both in such rapid succession we feel paralyzed to do either and somberly await our mind’s decision.

Whether or create or consume today, may you enjoy it.

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