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Author Topic: Are we unnecessary?  (Read 16667 times)
wmchauncey
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« on: October 03, 2013, 09:30:18 AM »
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We all have seen the questions from the neophytes among us asking about the wisdom/value of pursuing a degree in photography/arts with the conventional wisdom indicating that it's a dumb idea, a position to which I subscribe.
What is never mentioned is "why" that, as a group, we hold so little monetary value.  I would submit that the answer lies within Maslow's hierarchy of needs which indicates that the "need for art" lies at the top of the "need pyramid".
Everything below that tier is more fiscally rewarded in society.  "Satisfaction of life aside"...recall that pyramid when your advice is solicited for career guidance.
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amolitor
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 09:50:18 AM »
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Economics is a funny thing, basically.

Art is, especially in this day and age, profoundly easy to make. There is a vast glut of art out there, even good art. The fact that there's also a pretty brisk demand hardly matters, what matters is that there is less demand than there is product.

Maslow seems to be talking at least as much about MAKING it as BUYING it, though.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 10:09:13 AM »
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Self-actualisation might include making art, or buying it. It depends on what it is that floats your boat - the sense of achievement from making it, the validation from others for what you've done, the sense of self-worth that derives from owning art, or indeed the part in the relationship with an artist, somehow contributing to a sense of community in the transaction between art buyer & art seller. Any, or indeed all of those might contribute.

It's worth noting the lack of evidence to underpin Maslow's work in relation to the hierarchy though.

 
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SunnyUK
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2013, 05:17:35 AM »
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I would submit that the answer lies within Maslow's hierarchy of needs which indicates that the "need for art" lies at the top of the "need pyramid".
Everything below that tier is more fiscally rewarded in society.

Try telling that to the countless contestants in talent shows, cookery shows, x-factor, xxx got talent, strictly come dancing, quiz shows, football clubs, Olympic water-bearers, etc, etc.

Maslow is not talking about money. And people fight to be recognised by others, to get their 15 minutes, to get a shot at the big one, to be famous, .... precisely because their fundamental needs have been taken care of, and now they want more. They want the self realisation that is the top of the pyramid.

As to whether classical training in a subject is the surest way to become famous is a very different question.
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jjj
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2013, 05:32:51 AM »
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Also being famous/rich/important etc is a useful way of getting a lot more opportunities to try and reproduce as it were - a very basic need. Smiley
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Isaac
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2013, 11:50:52 AM »
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... the conventional wisdom indicating that it's a dumb idea,

Would that be the conventional wisdom amongst those who had not pursued a degree in photography/arts, or amongst those who had?

Do you think that would be the conventional wisdom amongst those who attended Rochester Institute of Technology?
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jjj
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 12:01:31 PM »
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My friend and I hold much the same view re Art college. Only one of us actually went to one.
He's a professor of neuro-science and head Psychology department at a highly rated University and I'm a photographer who studied Astronomy and Geology at Uni.
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Isaac
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 02:26:01 PM »
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So...?
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RSL
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 02:47:37 PM »
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So. . . As Elliott Erwitt said: "What is there to teach?"
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 02:50:16 PM »
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One will quickly become unnecessary if one believes they are unnecessary.
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Isaac
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2013, 03:34:34 PM »
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So. . . As Elliott Erwitt said: "What is there to teach?"

What is there to learn?
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wmchauncey
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2013, 04:05:42 PM »
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Quote
One will quickly become unnecessary if one believes they are unnecessary
You, sir, are trying to put words in my mouth...I inferred that, perhaps "Art" is unnecessary.
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Isaac
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2013, 06:37:19 PM »
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I inferred that, perhaps "Art" is unnecessary.

Do you have an example of a society without art?
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wmchauncey
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« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2013, 07:28:22 PM »
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Would that not require definitions?
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The things you do for yourself die with you, the things you do for others live forever.
A man's worth should be judged, not when he basks in the sun, but how he faces the storm.

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Isaac
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« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2013, 07:42:53 PM »
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Did you provide a definition with "I inferred that, perhaps "Art" is unnecessary" ?
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Peter Stacey
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« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2013, 07:47:31 PM »
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Would that not require definitions?

Only if you wanted to give an example of a no art society.
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jjj
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2013, 05:41:26 AM »
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So...?
Too difficult to understand? Well let me type slowly and explain.....
You implied those who did an arts course had a different view from those who had not. Which is not necessarily the case, I simply gave an example of that. One where rather contrarily the person doing arts ended up in science and the other who studied science ended up working in the arts.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 05:51:27 AM by jjj » Logged

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jjj
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2013, 05:49:42 AM »
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You, sir, are trying to put words in my mouth...I inferred that, perhaps "Art" is unnecessary.
But isn't that in one sense what defines what Art is....unnecessary. Not that that should devalue what art is.
For example - Graphic design is to do a specific job or practical function, say provide clear signage on a motorway sign or hard to read text on album by a Hip Hop artist. However art can be done simply for its own sake.
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hjulenissen
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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2013, 06:45:51 AM »
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...
What is never mentioned is "why" that, as a group, we hold so little monetary value.  I would submit that the answer lies within Maslow's hierarchy of needs which indicates that the "need for art" lies at the top of the "need pyramid".
Everything below that tier is more fiscally rewarded in society.  "Satisfaction of life aside"...recall that pyramid when your advice is solicited for career guidance.
What happens at the bottom of Maslow? Food, shelter, etc. What happens to those jobs? They seem to be rationalized, taken over by machines, outsourced to low-cost countries and offer little pay.

My ancestors were probably hunter/gatherers. Then they became farmers. Then they became industrial workers. Then office workers. The development seems to be towards more specialisation, more skill/education, further removed from basic needs.

It used to be that large parts of the population were farmers, in order to feed the population. In other words, each farmer could only produce enough food for his family and a few more people, meaning that you needed lots of them. Today, only a small percentage of the population are farmers.

If you extrapolate this, I predict that at some point in the future, our offspring will all be writing poems and playing the flute (possibly while getting maximum exposure in tv reality-shows) to make a living and to attract mates, while "trivial" aspects of society will be done by machines :-)

-h
« Last Edit: October 09, 2013, 06:50:56 AM by hjulenissen » Logged
hjulenissen
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2013, 06:49:45 AM »
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A second observation.

When visiting Cuba, I commented that I had a background as an aspiring musician, but that I at some point in my life switched to technology. The response that I got was people slapping their foreheads and asking how I could do such a silly move.

Turns out that Cuban economy (at least at that time) was very different from my country. Technologists worked for the state at minimum wages. While musicians had the opportunity to play for tourists, and were therefore partially decoupled from the badly managed Cuban economy. Anyone with half a talent as a musician would rather play the trumpet and make a decent living than designing bridges for little money.

-h
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