Oct 24, 2013

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“What is Art” – English 1A – Midterm Essay

Assignment – 

Write an essay in which you define what art is (in your own words) – what elements combine that allow us to call something a work of “art”. Then engage briefly with Tolstoy and Bloom – does your definition of art agree or deviate from theirs? What (if anything) do they miss in their analysis? Finally (and this should be the larger part of the essay), discuss the standards you use (or don’t use) for labeling artistic endeavors “good” or “bad”. Whence does the standard originate by which you judge art on those terms? Does a preference for one kind of “art” implicate someone morally (i.e., bad people like bad art? or not?

Score: 50/50

Notes: “Excellent”


Art, to me, is the product of creativity and the act of making. This could be something visual or auditory, it could even be something you eat. Art is nearly limitless in its definition as long as someone (the artist) considers it to be so.

Though I would be more inclined to agree with Bloom’s (and Dutton’s) perception of art, and agree very little with Tolstoy, I am so greatly rooted in the belief that art is completely objective I find it difficult to see their points.

Tolstoy and Blume agree that what matters is where art came from and its intention. For Tolstoy that means a connection with the artist (and if there is no connection then it is not art), and for Bloom it means significance in the origination of the art; the exact duplicate is not worth the original because there was no performance of creativity involved.

I do not judge art by these standards, or I do not, at the very least, believe there to be “good” or “bad” art. There is art that I do nor do not enjoy or don’t understand, but that doesn’t not intrinsically devalue it. The subjectivity of art means that as little as I like or understand something, there is someone else who enjoys it greatly. Oftentimes “modern” art is disparaged because of its seeming simplicity; you will hear people say “I could have done that!” However for the artist (in most cases) there is a great thought or effort put into a piece. For them, this piece is the result of their creativity. Beyond that there is also validation when others are able to connect to, or enjoy, the product. Do not misunderstand though, the art does not require an observer or appreciator in order to be; the art already is by sheer effort.

Since the nature of “good” or “bad” art is subjective, it is impossible to judge ones morality purely on their artistic taste. Hitler enjoyed paintings from the Renaissance, not child pornography* where as I know some lovely individuals who collect splatter paintings made from blood; one cannot draw a direct corollary between taste and nature. I believe that to do so would be short sighted and denying art’s individuality.

The products of artistic expression are constantly growing and expanding as more and more artists continue to be creative. They discover new mediums and tools for their expression and birth new creations. Other artists are able to then nurture, foster, and bring life to the new forms.

Art, though subjectively received is an even greater collaboration among the artist of the world. Our perception of the products of their souls does not change what it, and they, are.

*I have approximate knowledge of many things.

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Oct 8, 2013

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I am humbled by the outpouring of support that has come from the GoFundMe page that Cat and Jenna put together for me. I have been so happy and fulfilled by pursuing my education, and so very excited in my future. Also, since I’ve not been able to find a flexible part time job yet, I would *never* have been able to make it till now without everyone’s support and faith in my dreams. I am especially humbled by the crazy generous donation matching being made by my anonymous benefactor (whose identity I’ve been unable to wrest from Cat or Jen.) I am so touched and so eager to make you all proud. My heart absolutely burst with your love.

In other exciting news, my grade from my math exam last week was posted yesterday and I got 100%!

On one hand, right after I finished the test I felt like I should receive full credit; I took my time, I triple checked my solutions, and just generally felt really great about it.

However, on the other hand, I still have all my various doubts and anxieties so the further I got from the test date the more allowance I gave myself for a lower score. I though “well maybe I’ll get at least 95%” or “I’ll be happy with at least 90%”.

BUT FUCK THAT SHIT! I rock! This is just proof that if I take my time and understand the material, then there’s nothing I can’t do.

Uhg, I’m so happy.

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Oct 1, 2013

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Introductions Can Wait

So, I was hoping to have at least two posts in the month of September. Clearly I’m either a failure or I got really busy really fast. It’s the later, I swear.

… Mostly.

I’m a third of the way into my first semester and I’m finding that any moment I’m not physically at school, studying, or doing homework, that I don’t really want to do anything at all. I know that there is a balance, but I’m till searching for it.

I have, in the last couple of weeks, managed to do all my laundry and keep  my room mostly clean, so I’ve got that going for me.

Having a schedule over at Qwerty helps make me keep up with those posts, but there’s still a certain amount of procrastination involved.

I had a lot of plans for this weekend, homework to get on top of, papers and posts to write, do some more Mass Effect streaming, ect. But, then I got sick. It was kind of a sneak attack. Saturday was particularly terrible. I ended up completely forgetting to finish an online homework work book for my German class before it was automatically submitted.


I emailed my professor right away on Sunday and I got an extension, however, the catch that I would discover the next was that all of the questions I had already completed would be wiped and I would have to do everything again.

That was pretty disheartening but I managed to power through and then rewarded myself with a couple of hours of FFIV.

Besides for German my courses this semester are Astronomy, College Algebra, and English. All together 16 credits.

It’s a full load but because my commute is about 50 miles one way I managed to condense my courses into two days a week.

So on Tuesdays and Thursdays I leave the house at 7 am and don’t get home until 10 pm.

I’m fortunate that the classes are arranged in such a way that I have a pretty good break during both lunch and dinner. I’m able to eat, make it to the other campus, and do some homework.

On the other days of the week I do my homework, study, house stuff, and apply for jobs. I’m trying to find work that will have a flexible schedule, but no such luck yet.

I’m trying to not freak out about money and not having a job, but I have a feeling that it’ll be freak out time very soon.

However, having such a clear goal and having my educational desires fulfilled is helping stem that flood.

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