“I also think it’s pointless for a human to paint scenes of nature when they could just go outside and stand in it.”–Ron Swanson
One of my lifelong obsessions is coming up with a simple, clear definition of “art”. And yet every time I think I have it nailed down something comes along and challenges some or all of whatever definition I’ve come up with. Something that’s made to last? Not necessarily. Dance is an art form and unless it’s captured on video—or maybe even if it’s captured on video—it’s fleeting. A shared experience? Again not necessarily. A well-crafted cocktail is an art form that might only be for one person—and again not meant to be lasting.
The one thing that’s consistent, I guess, is that all art is something made by a person or persons. I once went to an exhibit where an artist had put some pieces of a tree that had been cut down around the floor of the gallery. He said he was trying to make a statement about how, contrary to the idea of art holding up a mirror to nature, nature itself—untouched—can be seen as art. Nice, I thought, but someone still cut the tree down, the artist selected pieces, and put them in a gallery which kind of undermined the point he was trying to make.
As for the point I’m trying to make the pictures I’m sharing here are from Astronomy Picture Of The Day. The first one captures a rare sun pillar, a phenomenon that happens when sunlight is refracted through hexagonal ice disks falling through the atmosphere. The others are light pillars that appear when a ground source of light is reflected by ice crystals in the atmosphere.
These aren’t made. They just happen. Several people might see them or they might happen when no one is around to see them. Although I guess it’s only when they’re seen that they could be defined as art.