These are questions posed at this link here. I am stirred enough to reply.
What is a social conscience?
I think social conscience is simple, a state of mind that means you don’t want to affect someone adversely because if the tables were turned you’d be pissed that someone was treating you in such a way. I live my life by two simple rules, these rules can apply to every decision you ever make for the rest of your life. Rule 1: Do my actions break the law of the land I live in? And Rule 2: Do my actions adversely affect other human beings? Answer ‘No’ to both in any given, situation and you’re OK to go ahead. Simple, everything else is incidental. Follow my rules and you’ll not go far wrong I reckon. Annoying someone with your ideas, speech, writing etc, in a free society is inevitable. But if you answer ‘No’ to my Questions it really isn’t your issue who cares, or not.
What is art?
Art is simply human creativity; it’s the expenditure of time and effort by a life form that doesn’t result in procreation, food or shelter but instead results in ideas, images or sounds that tickle the senses and provoke thought. It’s imagination and it’s a human state. I’m sure someone will read this and say rudimentary creativity has been observed in various apes and monkeys, but I’m not an expert on those things, so I’m sticking to my man only-creativity-life-form argument. It’s the meaning in the meaningless – art is what you want it to be. We all bring our own experiences to the table and we all see the table differently, the table isn’t right, wrong, or controversial, it’s a fucking table.
Does art automatically justify something?
No I don’t think so. Art, as a creative ‘turd,’ is meaningless until given meaning by a person who is affected by its very existence. A thousand people can look at a Warhol painting most of them see nothing, take nothing away or even stop and ponder it. But a few do. Art touches like minded people or awakens the hearts and minds of people who needed to see it. But it justifies little unless of course it frees people from tyranny, but political ideologies do that, art can reflect that, it doesn’t cause it.
Does art have its own conscience?
No. Art is a side shoot of human thoughts. It exists because of the human creators’ conscience but has no conscience of it’s own outside of that.
Is it amoral?
Yes because art is neither right or wrong, it just is. As we can all accept its existence and disagree or agree on its validity the idea of art cannot be moral. It can only be perceived by an individual as agreeable or not.
Can there be art that is so bad it is no longer art?
I’m not sure. I want to say no but then I’m thinking of a serial killer saying “Twenty heads on sticks is art!” But now I also want to know if said killer is insane. But even then I’d/we’d be judging him insane because of an illness and is art formed in illness no longer art? I can’t really offer an opinion on this question because I think the answer is no, but I also think sticking up for negative art such as a turd in a bucket or a dog tied up and left to starve to death in the name of art is awful and wrong. I feel that heads on sticks or generally any art including non consenting human remains or animal cruelty is not acceptable at all, as is torture or enforced suffering or violence. Art has to be consenting when it involves life forms, otherwise it can become cruelty for sick bastards and not art. So I’m changing my mind in a paragraph, some art can be so bad it’s not art… apart from in the eyes of it’s insane creator.
Can art be great art but cause great harm?
I thought of the cartoons that portrayed a well known deity when I read this and thought… ‘yes’ Bloody human satire! Art can anger, but from an atheist point of view you cannot offend believers surely because a person assumes that all religion believers (God botherers I call them) have so much faith that people taking the piss cannot rock it. If people taking the piss out of your religious faith can cause you offence maybe you’re faith is in question not the joke itself. I believe Wolves are a great football team, you might laugh, my belief stands true. If I cry and moan and bitch it’s because I’ve realised that when you laugh at my team it’s because you’ve seen the chink in their armour and they are shit. BUT THEY AINT, SO FUCK YOU FOOLS! What I mean is if you believe it what do you care that some other fool thinks different? As an atheist I can appreciate the pyramids,Mecca, the waling wall, English churches, etc, but still stand aside from the meaning. No art cannot cause great harm, well maybe to brainless fucktards.
Can art ‘cause’ anything?
Anger, love, appreciation, thought, hindsight, happiness, time-killing, hatred, more anger, bile, marriage, more happiness, laughter, shaken fists, conversations in pubs and maybe, just maybe a human being might change a terrible opinion of hatred and become more human. Apart from that art has only ever caused revolutions, real thought about real issues and made people stacking shelves in Asda for a living decide that there is more to life than boxes of crisps and they’ve gone on to do brain surgery. I’m riffing at this point, but then I’m much more drunk than when I started.
Art, be it comedy or music, sculpture or dance, is a positive, entertaining, good and lovely thing.
PS I’m drunk. Artless, working class, but full of it. Full of art.