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- Posted: Sat, 09 May 2009 16:05:41 +0000
My objection to your standards is not a moral one, but a semantic one. You say that anything created by a person, for any sort of gratification, is art.
Not exactly. "Gratification" as opposed to necessity. "Necessity" is being used rather broadly, I'll admit, since beyond food, water and a certain amount of shelter most of us don't really truly need a lot of things in order to live in the most basic manner, but I apply that to things that are related to necessity: we feel gratification when we are hungry and eat food, but that is a function of our need. A brick used to make a house serves the need of shelter, a fridge protects the food we require. This is not gratification, not art - though the way in which the fridge is decorated or the shape and arrangement of the brick(s) may very well be art.
That's a lot of text there, and you've still failed to confront the problem of defining art. Your definition still extends the net as wide as child pornography and crush videos, fridges and toasters, beer and cocaine...etc.
Your distinction between a want and a need is stunningly flawed, and you accept yourself that all we 'Need' with a capital N are base nutrients and shelter from the elements. Beyond that is a spectrum of 'needs' which includes variety, sensation, beauty, satisfaction...etc.
The level of 'need' associated with alcohol, porn or a fridge is comparable to (and I would say lesser than) the need for art and culture. This being the case, your argument that "Art is anything made for gratification rather than need" seems even more strange and untenable than it did when you first presented it.