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Art or Entertainment

Discussion in 'Resonance' started by tybalt, Jan 2, 2004.

  1. tybalt

    tybalt Artificial Lifeform

    I have never started a thread but catching up reading threads of the last two month I have a feeling that there is a split forming between us that I would like to point out and have a discussion about.

    There are various threads that deal with the money making side and mainly there are two sides: one who does visuals for the money and one who does visuals because its fun (and its cool if you can make a living but its not mandatory).

    there are various threads about the use of clips from others (not diving to deep into here thats what the other threats are about) but basically there are those who claim that the thing about is the performance vs those who say its about making the whole experience.

    then there are threads which deal with the actual content. there it goes between a message (however this looks like) and the wallpaper art that the clubowner love so much (and bring you money).

    Ok all those threats are not so black and white as above but it points out the two extreme positions of people.

    Now with all this I have a question that I want to throw out: Isn?t this the core problem of art vs entertainment.

    Ok art can be entertainment but there is entertainment that clearly is not art.

    In my view I think that when you do get paid to make xyz visuals in corporate club fashion this clearly is entertainment. As much as Britney Spears is clearly entertainment (someone wants to argue that?). Entertainment is about money first. You make what you feel is getting you the best money and reception. While art come truly from the heart and money is second place.
    Again not black and white. I know that there is entertainment as in my description above that still comes from the heart and has an artistic value (you choose what you play). Also I think art has a message - always (and I have been slashed for this comment before) while entertainment - well - wants to entertain and make people forget every grey day outside and be happy.

    I think there can be a generell distinction between the two. Its really a bugging question I have at the moment. What ya think?
  2. littlecatalyst

    littlecatalyst Retireded

    fALK i think you are hitting something really central here..... i dont really blur the lines where you do , im muchmore inclined to stick to Arts & Crafts; as for me that makes the most sense

    a craftsperson often will have even better skills than an artist, but there is something beyond skills that spearates the two. I often see craftspeople as more grounded and realistic (I am not in that camp) they make things that have a purpose whethere its a masonry wall, a teac cup or a video mix. in addition they are using their artistic and creative skills to pay the bills.

    sure artists would all love to get paid properly and not have to have a day job in order to pay for the art but that is not the MO
    -- as opposed to a craftsperson.

    like a wedding band guitarist as opposed to musique actuelle guitarist. yes they are both engaging intehir creative skills but there are great differences in the goals

    ps: what was the projector out of the window in brighton? art or entertainment, cause i loved it!
  3. charlielangridge

    charlielangridge www.rho-d.co.uk

    Is a DJ art or enterainment? Do they do it because the like doing it, it's fun or because they get paid? It's gotta be a bit of both, one supports the other and visa versa. This thread seems the start of another pigeon holeing session. Yes there are people who do it entierly for the love (we have a name for them ;)) and there are people who do it soley for the money. Im not going to stand on either side, becuase I love doing it, and i consider my stuff to be artistic, but without the money i get for gigging / projects, i would not have the time / resources to be able to create the stuff i do and present it in the way i feel it fits best.

    As for the art / meaning comment, what meaning does a portrait or lanscape has? To be an artist do i have to change the punters views on something???!!?!?!? ...or would that be a politican!
  4. oxygen

    oxygen V i d e o l o g y

    yeah.. art comes from the heart, but without money
    i cannot eat and pay my bills...and i cannot make art..

    art can be commercial , commercial can be art.(artotainment?)
    there are no rules...
    and if ...then they have to be broken!
  5. solly

    solly New Member

    In my opinion I think its art. If you get paid or not its still art. Nowadays people consider anything to be art so why not visuals.
  6. labmeta

    labmeta Moderator

    I`m not sure i would split it as art vs entertainment but rather art vs design

    I think inevitably people will produce both kinds of work. I`ve been having the artists vs designer argument with a few people lately, ultimately i think the difference comes in the process and not wether you earn money from it. An artist might employ design process`s just as much as a designer can be artistic - but a designer is governed by a commercial agenda/message and the artist is governed by there own agenda with there own message.

    I would definately say that art can make money without crossing over into the design or entertainment category.
  7. Rovastar

    Rovastar /..\

    Art does not always have a message. You *could* add your own message to them but do all traditional artists have a message a normal landscape picture does that have a 'message'.

    Drawing a bowl of fruit for still life does not mean that it has to be a social commentary about the political unrest about the waring groups in Columbia.

    I believe messages in art is more of a recent phenomenem all/most 'modren art' is about messages in there. Therefore getting critism from the general public if they are not nice to look at. In teh UK we have the yearly Turner prize (cannot beleive the Chatman brothers still haven't won it) for new modern art always there are messages in the peices. Sometimes at the expense of traditional artistic values.
  8. littlecatalyst

    littlecatalyst Retireded

    is it apples vs. oranges all over again??

    ok why have i already seen at least 2 refernces to landscapes and one of a bowl of fruit. sheeesh can't we find a more obtuse cliche than that??

    besides which, who's doing hot landscapes in the art world these days ('cause i aint talking about the Ladies Auxiliary Floral Oil Exhibit and Tea here) ? you got crazy folks like Scott Musgrove and Frank Moore doing HOT Landscapes band none of them are doing it art for art's sake. they are heavily infused with meaning.....

    so this Broad brushstroke some are talking that "art doesn't have to be about something" and doesn't have to be solcially relevant..... youre right, 100 years ago that was not one of the prime aesthetic criterias. but things have changed a little

    ...and i still think that the difference is between art and craft. where they are almost exactly the same, except for the intent. cause you can have design thats functional or design that is using design as art. you can have art that is entertaining and *some* entertainers are prolly artists. the big difference is if you view yourself as driven to do it and woudl like money to pay the bills that would be nice, or looking at it as a way to make a living, like a luthier or a cabinet maker as opposed to someone making woodcuts

    it can ultimately be broken down like this; do you jones for it when youre not doing it? do you think about it and take notes, in other words is it an obsession/addiction? are you driven to do it with no rhyme or reason? or was it a trade you picked up when looking for a way to make a living (in which case boy oh boy whoever gave you the advice that playing in clubs is teh solution..... smack them!). cause if its a trade you were looking for, make some stuff good enough for the networkls to liscence, other stuff good enough for prosumers (wedding videos et cetera) to liscence, and even start working on stuff to liscence to other VJs. I assuem that a lot of the people who ar epissed about things liek inteelectual property are the people expecting this stuff to pay for their living, as opposed to people who are living just to mix again (sorry for being obviously over the top in the division)
  9. tybalt

    tybalt Artificial Lifeform

    I have said before. I think even in some still fruit pictures is a meaning if its meant to be art, but beware that there have been PAINTERs that have been ENTERTAINERS instead of artists. They made a picture (wallpaper) you can hang on your wall and forget about the pale grey everyday outside but had no meaning. What we consider artists even the old painters that me and you can call by name have done something for their art. they moved it forward instead of just applying the same old formulas in the earlier this had been such things of adding a third dimension (something religious and political at the time - so yes they had a meaning!) or mona lisa whos smile is famous because it says more then a picture of a pretty woman. I see analogies here where some of us make "moving wallpaper" some stuff I have seen is trying to tell something - a story, a political meaning, a social meaning. yet as said above art can also entertain but I would never say that every entertainment can be art.

    As littlecat pointed out craft and art might be a better explanation then entertainment vs art.

    the beamer on the house. Yes that was something with a meaning. We all hate observation of puplic or even private space and we had this discussion how survilliance would be ok (as noone can get rid of it anymore) and we had the concept that if everyone would be able to watch every camera (not just the police) and if there would also be cameras to watch those who watch then it might be a better solution then just a few in power over the pictures. Hence filming the TV which showed the surveillance camera at the brighton vj hotel and beaming it into the public. so yes it had a message even if it was not front up visible for everyone, but this is something that is hidden in so many paintings or other pieces of art so it does not need to be right in your face. can be subtle. I find the truly good art the one that has an entertaining value but if you look closer, longer harder you find out more and more of a meaning inside it. The very best - for me - is something that reverses the very first impression you have of the piece, something that is deep.
    So I do see a meaning in the generative "art" when it first came out because it was raising the question if random can be art or if a computer can create art for us - hence this has a meaning in itself - the medium is the message. Seeing the some formula applied for the hundreds time makes it not better, for me only the first pioneers in that have been artists the rest are doing it for a living and as a craft - of course there are those who really try to push it further and they as well have my respect. Anyway I getting off track. I do not want to debunk the craft peeps. Entertainment is needed and better an entertainment that has the chance of accidentally tripping over something that can be art then the same stuff you can see when you switch on that tube plasma whatever in you living room and look at the waves that come flying in on you.
    My real problem is that we are not moving. It seems everyone is settled with what he has and all there is left is better resolution faster output better beamers. I think we should step back a bit and look at the stuff we are doing and convert it really to art because then it has an impact on people. Then it is not seen as moving wallpaper. Then its not about the Stars because then its about the message the output we produce. Otherwise we will linger the next 100 years doing silly animations that "trip" people.... Have you asked one of your "viewers" the next day what you have shown and what she remembers?
    I would say there is a distinction and to call all entertainment art is not right. It simply is not. I have seen lots of VJs and besides the occasionally grab for attention have produced meaningless moving wallpaper (and I am guilty of that as well from time to time) all night long. The medium we have is great I still think we need to put it into some action that is beyond pretty design, beautifull pictures to look at, because that is craft that is pure entertainment. Its two side of the same medall where the medal is the medium and our medium is the beamer in a hot and sweaty music driven club (concert wedding whatever). One side is for those that crave the money the other is for those that can do nothing else to fill out ones life.
  10. rickmaersk

    rickmaersk New Member

    false dichotomy alert

    What you have proposed in both your title " Art OR Entertainment" and this quote "money OR fun" are both examples of false dichotomies. Listen to any modern politician and you will hear exactly this form of argument. They state their own case, then they put words in the mouth of their opposition then they restate their own case. Anti establishment thinkers do this aswell. It's the basic song structure of many great Dead Kennedy's songs.
    I'm not accusing you of anything cynical here it's just such a common form of lazy thinking that we sometimes fail to recognise it.
    I cannot see the simple art v commerce/design split on these forums at all.
    If you like I'll do a trawl for quotes. There seems to be a full range of artistic styles, gig budgets, motivations and experience.
    Here's a good example of your simple dichotomy not working:
    I'm trying to pass my regular club gig onto my "apprentice"- let's call her Miss C. The gig has a budget of ?300 in a 450 capacity venue ( basically I'd say it's a half price gig but probably better paid than anyone else in the same town and much more than quite alot of people here get). We use a pair of 1800 lumen projectors, very professional looking screens and rigging, a G4 laptop, mixer, SVHS decks and a camcorder. I own the backline and a friend owns the beamers. We try to let miss C keep as much of the money as possible. Miss C has a fine art degree but works in a cafe to pay the rent, has a student loan to repay and recieves no financial support from her parents. Sometimes Miss C and her friends go out before gigs and shoot and edit stuff that looks like the kind of footage a french new wave cinematographer would have produced if they had a modern colour camcorder and DNLE set up instead of an R16, and B/W film stock. Not all of her work is thought provoking or emotive but some of it could/should definitely be shown in a different context ( i.e. an art gallery with her own sound track etc). Recently someone offered miss C a ?50 gig and she laughed at them.
    Another VJ-( let's call him Mr J) that I've recently set up projectors for plays in similar venues for about ?50 as long as some else does the teccy work. He uses a VJ soft and just brings one laptop. He's the director of a media company that does commercial design and does slick looking flash animations with club sponsor branding. He just VJs for fun. He commented to me how much he like Miss C's work. I'm pretty sure she'd like his stuff.

    So that's an artist working with a decent budget who cannot afford to play for any less and a commercial designer working for fun for beer money. I do not see either option as being a threat to future of VJing. They are not opposing attitudes just different ones. Different people, different motivations, different contexts.

  11. elviswong

    elviswong Hack

    Funny that visual people can get so caught up in language. The A-word is a shocker and you can free yourself by not using it any more.
    If your doing something and you experience complete emersion in it, I mean you are not thinking about anything else at the same time ie; money, sex, bills etc. then you are as close to reaching your creative potential as you ever will.
    Don't get me wrong I enjoyed reading the threads, my point is that you don't need to beat yourself over the head with your heavy dictionaries. People know if they are creating things from a true hearted perspective if you are not you are a lier not a faux-A-word-ist.
  12. murk

    murk Bringer of Blight

    , or science or work?

    Could VJing be considered a science? how about plain old work? Are these viable viewpoints of VJing?
  13. julez

    julez Syn.thesia Visuals

    if u think of the actual process of vjing (not rigging and that stuff)as just plain old work u can never have the kind of inspiration that is required to attract anyone who knows nething about production.
  14. tybalt

    tybalt Artificial Lifeform

    oh rick you got me all wrong. I am not debunking one form or the other. I just tried to figure out if there is such a line to be drawn (so blurry as hell as I admitted in the first post). I do think the entertainment has its place but its not something moving us forward. This scene has produced great artists throughout and most have not been pure entertainers most had been pioneers and most struggled with money (walter ruttman f.e.). I do understand the artists need to do something for money, heck I am selling out myself to some company doing silly commercials for tv to survive that you can call anything but art. I too - because of time restrain - can not take any 50 Euro gig that is thrown at me as when I have a gig that goes all night I have 3 days that are totally unproductive as I am powered out (yes getting old or the such). But I do try to do the most I can to push myself forward with what I do. I am happy that I hear examples just like the ones you state but the reality looks pale (at least over here) where I have few new revolutionary stuff and mostly the same line flash art that I have seen over the last 5 years and its still popular but tells me nothing other then great for triping out. I would even argue that most of it can be programmed to look like it. Its just like the vector traced photos that are so popular in some reagions of the world right now. Anyway getting sidetracked again.

    Topic is are you considering yourself doing art or entertainment when doing the real vj thing (I am not talking about installations, artgallieres etc). I would just like to hear from people what they feel more comfortable with (this has to do with my diplom which I am starting to write, produce at the moment) and I would like opinions sorry if the above sounded to biased (yes I am a bit) thats why I wanted to hear different opinions. Or if you feel that the distinction can not be made. Provocative it is ? yes....

  15. Lara

    Lara alllgood

    Times are changing, culture is different, the media landscape is redefining itself all the time. People are working in new ways than before, in new industries. The stereotype of the poor, struggling artist genius is has become a cultural myth. The best modern artists today are excellent designers and excellent business people skilled at manipulating the media. Successful fine artists are rich. This was not always the case, just as artists did not always produce 'conceptual' works (perhaps what we mean when speaking about message?).

    Art is a closed economy based on 'spiritual value'. Design (craft?) is a more open economy based on use value or 'functionality'. Of course the two will borrow from each other- as Paul says some art will use design techniques and vice versa.
  16. Lara

    Lara alllgood

    Look at film as a good example of how the two fields come together: film functions as both 'art' and as an industrial product to be sold: design. Design techniques are used to create the film. The same I think is true within the animation industry. Animation also straddles these two fields, it is a technique which can be employed for a range of purposes. I think that the same is true of vjing (except the lines are even less unclear): that the context makes it what it is.

    Being an artist is also a job, a profession. Artists use their work to make money too. Some designers create work for the love of creativity. I think it takes a lot more than the average filters in After Effects to make art, and it takes a hell of a lot more than that to make good design also.

    Perhaps we should concentrate on becoming better visual communicators, whether we want to communicate is beauty, or have a conceptual agenda. I think that communicating true beauty is a worthy goal and has been aspired to for centuries. Perhaps a lot more difficult than throwing up some ripped war footage and calling it political.
  17. Amukidi

    Amukidi New Member

    "Perhaps we should concentrate on becoming better visual communicators, whether we want to communicate is beauty, or have a conceptual agenda. I think that communicating true beauty is a worthy goal and has been aspired to for centuries. Perhaps a lot more difficult than throwing up some ripped war footage and calling it political."

    Lara speaks the truth.......the above statement is so true and yet so often ignored.
  18. littlecatalyst

    littlecatalyst Retireded

    it is very true that anger is easier to express than joy. and it is just as noble to express the beauty of exo\istence and if you got the chops for it, i cant wait to see the results.

    at the same time it seems like political vjs get almost as bad a rap as the samplewhores. are all politically motivated vjs using WTC images. still?? cus i dont see that much of it, but i do get to see some dope personal/politcal stuff which has often little to do with wars or TV politics but of social and local things. like, here in quebec we have mojor language issues (we have language police, and you can get in a lot of trouble for havinf a sign in english) and i have seem some killer VJ work that had a social relevance dealing with these local hot political issues in funny insightful ways.... also hevay stuff re: homelessness, civic action, as well as eco tings that were not dry and lifeless...

    while it may be easy to have anger up there, and way more dificult to express the sheer beauty of existence, there is also something to be said for artist who want to deal with more than just that expession. and just as it isn't the easiest to convey the beauty in a non cheesy way, it is equally difficult to express the social "political" stuff without seeming over the top or too negative. its not all war footage..


    A WORD OF WARNING: once you start bringing in film and animation i think we do have to get into the anklebiting hell of taxonomy, as especially by the time you get to animations the lines blur again and i do not think that you can be sitting on both sides of the fence. and i dont want to sound liek a snob here but im gonna anyway;

    kitch while employing artistic tools and even references, is still kitch. it is neither carftsmanship nor art, it is something that uses from both, then processes it through the machine to sell at high volumes. for mass consumption. and i gotta side with old man Clamato Greenberg about this stuff: it aint for the art-history books.

    if you look at the 1930's radios (craft) with amazing design and wood-work and then the late 40's plastic radios that became amazingly popular. they were cute and accesible (just like those baby-angel birthday cards) but you can not say that they are the works of crafsmanship nor are they art. same for painting saround the same time, Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish (the king of kitch) these guys had skills but more skills at promoting their product, than anything else

    animations are like that. sure there are the ones that we talk about here fischinger, and the like; but the whole of animation is closer to a craft and even then, most is actually in the K-hole. in contemporary animation right now there are but a handful that do things without the care of a market or of a final product. sure there are classics in both animation and film that can be seen as amazing works of art (excluding art films, art videos installations...) . but they are exceptions. sadly. in general is it once more mass produced bunk, so srry i just dont think thas a great example...

    i think it really boils down to intent and to your whole raison d'etre. its not a value thing i dont think anyone here is saying one is better than the other (and usually the craftpersons skills are a little more profficient. usually not always). but i have seen the beginnings of kitch vjing (some company i ran into a while ago-- not naming names-- wanted to hire a few vjs to do seasonal dvds. you know a christmas mix, a halloween mix, a valentines mix) the kitch will get here.... some one on this site will get a phat contract with some karaoke company.... we'll have that too, though right now i like that we are talking about this......

    i wonderif a breakdown of aesthetic values over the past 10,000 years woudl be good for this debate???
  19. Anyone

    Anyone New Member

    is it art or entertainment?

    this question is obsolete...
    the relevant question is rather:

    is it interesting or not?

  20. tybalt

    tybalt Artificial Lifeform

    Yeah there is already kitch here - a lot of it - if we redifine kitch into "new art techno line style" or dancing babes or the such - I think that boils to kitch very fast but again its probably a question of defenition.

    And I wholeheartly agree with lara that to communicate beauty and good things in life - without the kitch that easely forms in ones head when thinking of said things is the a real hard goal to have. anger is communicated easily as this wants to get out. The smile most want to have for themself or don?t see this.

    In any way I think the communication of things is the essence of our artotainment.

    Who things that your own visuals are tellling the viewer something or have some form of communication with the viewer? What and how are they communicating? Can we define different styles by different communication skillz of our visuals rather then by their appearance.
  21. tybalt

    tybalt Artificial Lifeform

    Here is a piece about Mr. Fischinger who was trapped in similar question. (so the article below is not so good their ought to be better ones. this ones only touches the problem fischinger faced briefly)


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