Is this art?

On Wednesday one of Edmonton’s popular newspapers asked the question: “Is this Art?” in Reference to particular construction that has appeared near the Whitemud and Fox Drive. Considering our discussion Wednesday afternoon about the nature of art (revolving around the Hallucinogenic Toreador – see the video below) I thought the question was worth asking with reference to out local art. So what do you think? Is this art? Is this something that governments should be finding? Is there something you’ve seen recently which has caused you to question ‘art’? I’m curious to see your opinions.

6 thoughts on “Is this art?

  1. I believe this is art. If the definition of art is expression of creativity and imagination then this would be considered as art. But then again there are different opinions. I think the opinion of the artist is the one that matter most. If no one likes their artwork that doesn’t mean its not art.

  2. It quite literally is art. Any visual representation of the mind is considered art. Such are poetry, drawings, paintings, colourful expressions, rap, singing, acting… you name it. Whoever does not consider what is in that video as art need rethink and possibly go over the definition of the word ‘art’-The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination- Google definition. According to Zahra, it is only dependent on the artist’s opinion.

  3. I think people often confuse “is it art?” with “do I like it?”. For me, things – in this case, a stack of shiny balls – become art with intent and context. If a bunch of shiny balls fell off the back of a truck near Fox Drive, they wouldn’t become art (though they might be pleasant to look at); the balls become art when they are placed with intent and an awareness of the context in which they will be viewed.

    Of course, if you accept the above definition, there is the sticky question of whether the vandalism on the sculpture is art. It was placed intentionally, with an awareness of context, so what separates art from vandalism?

    Even if we agree that the Talus Dome is art, there is still the question of whether it should be publicly funded. Is there a method of determining the merit of individual pieces of art? If we are committed to funding public art, should we choose artworks that appeal to the broadest range of people? Questions around the funding and merit of public art are difficult in the context of a democracy; it is all much simpler under absolute rule!

  4. Art is the representation of a civilizations culture. It is officially defined as “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination.” I believe that the fox drive metal balls, although they are considered art, there could be something better to be put in it’s place. We have to look at other factors in the situation besides this concept of if it is in fact art. The government could make better use of its money, particularly that of the ‘art’ budget put in place and backed by Stephen Mandel, by creating some things that mean something. If it is in fact a representation of our culture, I don’t see how these big steel balls reflect or even show us as a people. What would people think of these if they survived in 200 years? Would they see the significance? I believe not. Although they may be art, putting something that means something to the people, such as a statue or sculpture of something in our city we value, would mean more to everyone.

    On a last note, I believe that Mandel has to put discretion with his budget and ensuring that we have art that means something instead of this essentially meaningless colourful things that are scattered around our city and public buildings.

  5. When I first saw the Talus Dome from shotgun of my mom’s car, I was surprised to notice a mass of steel balls beside the road, close to the river valley. In my opinion something so manufactured and shiny should not be placed in front of a scenic view. Perhaps if it was in a different location where observers could walk and scrutinize it… For example, the towering baseball bat (which can be swung around!!) is place strategically beside the “Avenue of Champions”. There, the lamp posts are decorated with different coloured figures in a variety of poses depending on the sport they represent.
    Despite wishing that it was in a different location, I still think that it is a form of art. I do wonder what the message or idea is behind the steel balls? I believe that any forms of expressions from a person that has meaning and significance to them are art.
    I appreciate that the municipal government recognizes that art is a significant part of the city. Not only does it look aesthetically pleasing but also has a significance to the city or area of the community. Whenever I’m in Calgary, I admire their sculptures downtown that adds character to their city and I think that the mayor and the council should definitely enhance our city with art.

  6. In my opinion, this is art. Anything that represents your opinion in a visual form is art. It doesn’t matter of it is weird or not liked by anyone else. The art only matters to the artist. It should not be criticize by someone else because this art was made from the artist’s point of view, not the viewers.

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