I recently found myself discussing, or perhaps rather brainstorming, this question with a bunch of friends of mine and I can honestly say that I don’t think anyone listening in on our conversation would have emerged on the other side any wiser. We threw around concepts such as ‘beauty’, ‘imagination’, ‘creativity’, ‘aesthetics’, ‘provocation’, ‘avant garde’ and many, many, more and ended up somewhere in between the albeit true yet essentially nonsensical statement that what is considered art is unique to each and every individual and that art stems from us as humans having a need to express ourselves and connect with the world on an emotional level. And there we left it as we moved on to other subjects.
But I have since found myself pondering the subject and if you allow me to indulge in some philosophical explication I believe I have managed to drill down to the core of what I believe art to be, on a fundamental level:
Art is its own point. Art exists in and of itself. The element of art in something is that which makes you have the instinctive reaction of ‘That didn’t need to exist. No one would ever have noticed if that never existed, but the world is undoubtedly a better place now that it does and now that I have experienced it, the world could no longer seem complete without it’.
That’s it. That’s my definition of art. And, interestingly, since I got this definition down I’ve found myself able to make some rather remarkable deductions from it, ultimately leading up to that
Life itself is art, on a level that scales the universe.
And this in turn actually allows for deductively answering the, according to some, ultimate question of
What is the meaning of life?
And the answer is that the question can’t be answered because the question itself approaches things the entirely wrong way around, because
Life has no meaning. Life never needed to exist in the first place, but in the moment it came to be life itself became and now forever is the meaning of everything.
So there we have it.
Art is its own point and life is the meaning of everything.
Or, you know, something like that.
I’m only passing the time on a train journey here after all.