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Taking your question seriously, it can be argued that Art occurs twice—in the creation and in the reception. William Saroyan said “Art is looking at things carefully.” So, when a “creator of art” designs a painting or a piece of music or a poem, the detailed composition that calls for appreciation by experiencing it “carefully,” that moment is Art. Then, when the “receptor” looks at or listens to, etc. that creation carefully, Art is taking place in the mind—that is why something like environmental installations can be Art—there is a piece, for example, that consists of paint rollers, trays, paint buckets, brushes, etc. that at first glance (“non-carefully”) looks like that room in the museum is closed for repair and repainting—only at “careful” observation does the viewer realize it is an Art installation. It is at the moment of realization that Art takes place. If you see mouse-tracks in the snow, and careful observation shows that they lead to the dog’s food dish on the porch, Art takes place as you make this observation—not because the mouse is an artist, but because you are “looking at things carefully.” (A final caveat: Just because a statement takes a question form does not make it a legitimate inquiry—“What flavor of ice cream does Art prefer?” is in question form, but is not a legitimate inquiry.)
My wife the artist in the family points out that there is a difference between logic (my example) and art (appreciation of patterns themselves, as bird prints under the bird feeder, and Art occurs when the arbitrary beauty of those patterns is appreciated.
Awesome input! Thankyou wordprof (and your wife) for the insights!
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