14 11 17 iai plus banner.DH


Philosophy for our times: cutting edge debates and talks from the world's leading thinkers

The Point of Art:

Why the artistic impulse?

Enjoying this video? Why not to get exclusive and unlimited access to all our content.
Already have an account? .
To continue watching, to get exclusive and unlimited access to all our content.
Already have an account? .
You have watched your monthly limit of videos. to view an unlimited number of videos and articles.
Already have an account? .
IAI TV videos are for personal use only. For commercial or educational licensing please contact TVF International
  • The Debate

    The Point of Art

    “It is self-evident that nothing concerning art is self-evident” (Adorno). Since our ancestors marked cave walls thirty-two thousand years ago, the artistic impulse has been a facet of all human culture. But why? What is the point of art?
    Senior Curator at the V&A Lauren Parker, writer and critic Godfrey Barker and author of Seven Days in the Art World Sarah Thornton open up this year’s theme with three different perspectives on the purpose of art. Chaired by BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz.

  • Find out more about speakers

Want to learn more about our speakers?
Join the conversation

to post comments or join now (only takes a moment). Don't have an account? Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or Google to get started:

Eric Wayne on 06/07/2015 6:05pm

Nobody has commented on this in 3 years? Nobody can cut through the rhetoric? I was surprised at the second tier position of the panelist in terms of saying what is good art. One person argues that it is decided by a history of shows and recognition, and a conviction in the person and his or her story? Really? I can cut through all that bullshit with a single vinyl record I bought as a teenager at a used record store. I judged for myself, through listening, whether or not the music was good. After at least a decade of passively listening to music, and a couple years of actively examining it, I felt confident I could tell if music was good or not. If you can't decide for yourself if art, or a movie, or a song is good, do you even enjoy it? If you enjoy it, or are fascinated or intrigued or moved by it, it's a good sign it's a good work. You don't have to defer to authority and context about the artist. The artist doesn't need to be a celebrity.

Is the point of art to make money? Is this a serious question? Is the point of life to make money? Have we become that superficial? The point of art may be closer to the point of science, than to the point of the commodities trader. It's to keep searching, to discover, to open up vistas, to grapple with reality and existence. It is less like science perhaps in the effort to realize what is discovered, to render it, and share it with others. It can be to share ones own story or vantage, which is something the audience desire to take part of vicariously in order to substantiate and broaden their own existence.

I agree with the irate members of the audience who insist we've been served too many goblets of urine from Duchamp's cynical porcelain oracle. Art that declares art dead, that originality or authenticity is impossible, and which attempts to eradicate the significance of imagination and rub our noses in dusty mundanity is like the science that says there's nothing left to discover.

So, no, the point of art isn't the negation of art, nor money, nor adhering to the paradigm put forth by various authorities in the art world. It's discovery, realization, and sharing.

My art blog: artofericwayne.com

KasiaKusnierz on 30/06/2012 9:29pm

An artist Claudia Cannizzaro who works part-time for the Art Omni Residency in New York has made her choice not to be a full-time artist in order not to compromise her works. Pragmatically, art is a source of income for artists. By choosing not to make it her main source of income she is able to afford her artistic freedom.

Copy and paste the code below to embed or link to this video.

Embed options
  • Video Seek
    Converted to a link which jumps to that point in the video
    Example: 00:34
  • Bold Text
    Example: [b]Bold[/b]
  • Italic Text
    Example: [i]Italics[/i]
  • Underlined Text
    Example: [u]Underlined[/u]
  • Website link
    Link to another website or URL
    Example: [url]http://www.website.com/[/url]

Rate this talk with three clicks. You can choose 3 words, or vote for the same word 3 times.

Why sign up for the iai?
  • All you can watch
    Unlimited access to hundreds of hours of debates and talks from the world's leading minds, all for free.
  • Have your say
    Join the iai community and engage in conversation and debate around the issues that matter.
  • Hear it first
    Be the first to hear about our video releases, articles and tickets to our festival HowTheLightGetsIn.