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reverent forums => Art-Books-Music => Topic started by: Sprickle on May 27, 2005, 12:53:33 PM

Title: True art
Post by: Sprickle on May 27, 2005, 12:53:33 PM
Anybody in the know, knows that the assertion of true art is at the descretion of the artist.


This post is about  True art or a fake? (http://reverent.org/true_art_or_fake_art.html) quiz --admin
Title: Re: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on May 29, 2005, 11:02:19 PM
Quote from: "Sprickle"
Anybody in the know, knows that the assertion of true art is at the descretion of the artist.

This is true, but let us put the question the following way. If anyone can produce images, indistinguishable from "true art", then what is its value?
Title: Re: True art
Post by: Andy on June 14, 2005, 07:44:06 AM
But are the fakes indistinguishable? Do you have any results from this quiz? (Apologies if you have - had a quick look but couldn't find any).
Title: Re: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on June 14, 2005, 10:57:31 PM
Quote from: "Andy"
But are the fakes indistinguishable? Do you have any results from this quiz? (Apologies if you have - had a quick look but couldn't find any).

I am not ready to make the results public. They are currently being collected and analyzed. Preliminary finding is that some of the fakes are selected as "true art" more often than some of the masterpieces. This is consistent with the opinion of certain art critics (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&camp=1789&tag=reverentorg-20&creative=9325&path=ASIN/3791328816/qid=1118813808/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1).
Title: True art
Post by: Anonymous on August 06, 2005, 05:28:24 PM
Didn't we already play this game with a signed urinal?

In reality, art is amorphous, it bends to fit a generation's needs.  I don't particularly like that a man could let his seven year old go at his canvas with some water color and then pass it off as brilliance, but at least it provokes some modicum of discussion.
Title: True art
Post by: VB on August 09, 2005, 06:23:06 AM
One of these quizes were created to gather data for a scientific study. The other is for entertainment purposes only.

Disregarding such information as the names and ages of the authors, the URLs of the quizes, and the nature of the content of other parts of those sites, can you tell which is which?

Quiz #1 (http://quizilla.com/users/ileavebitemarx/quizzes/Which%20random%20object%20are%20you%3F%20(Results%20contain%20pictures)/)
Quiz #2 (http://reverent.org/true_art_or_fake_art.html)
Title: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on August 10, 2005, 02:37:07 PM
Quote from: "VB"
One of these quizes were created to gather data for a scientific study. The other is for entertainment purposes only.

Disregarding such information as the names and ages of the authors, the URLs of the quizes, and the nature of the content of other parts of those sites, can you tell which is which?

"Some medical beast had revived tar-water in those days as a fine medicine, and Mrs. Joe always kept a supply of it in the cupboard; having a belief in its virtues correspondent to its nastiness. " (Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations")

Similarly, some people believe that true science must be boring.
Title: True art
Post by: VB on August 14, 2005, 07:54:19 PM
Quote from: "Mikhail Simkin"
"Some medical beast had revived tar-water in those days as a fine medicine, and Mrs. Joe always kept a supply of it in the cupboard; having a belief in its virtues correspondent to its nastiness. " (Charles Dickens, "Great Expectations")

Similarly, some people believe that true science must be boring.


Well, that's what I'm saying: You can't judge by the smell, you need to know more. Maybe have a look at what goes in the medicine. I guess the bottom line is I'm one of those who *don't* believe a work of art can convey a message entirely independent of the time and culture in which it was created. Now, what do you think? (Or rather, what is your hypothesis?)
Title: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on August 16, 2005, 08:51:55 PM
Quote from: "VB"

Well, that's what I'm saying: You can't judge by the smell, you need to know more. Maybe have a look at what goes in the medicine. I guess the bottom line is I'm one of those who *don't* believe a work of art can convey a message entirely independent of the time and culture in which it was created. Now, what do you think? (Or rather, what is your hypothesis?)

No, you don't need to look at what goes in the medicine to judge whether drug is good. You can just check if it works.

You can't judge visual art by the smell (although some masterpieces of modern art do have foul odor). You can judge  it by visual appearance.
Title: True art
Post by: Doesn't matter on October 31, 2005, 07:02:46 AM
This is crap. I had a score of 67%. And i guessed it all. But how can you say that something is art or isn't. Personnaly I find that all the images were art. No matter how stupid they look.
I guessed by thinking what the makers of the test find art themselves or not. I think they're losers and not artistic at all.
Title: :-)
Post by: cybermage on October 31, 2005, 07:57:16 AM
I scored 50%.
I would like to note that I dont believe in the existence of art in the way most people see it.

This test proves that. The only people who could "see" the real thing from yours were those who knew the art pieces from before. I dont believe that those people are more cultivated than other people, they may have more knowledge, but thats all.

Art is about feeling and not something objective.

By the way, I liked very much some of your "fake" art pieces.
Title: just kiddin
Post by: green_body on October 31, 2005, 03:44:56 PM
nice quiz. but all the fake things actually looked like fake and unnatural. you could draw smth by yourself to make the quiz more tricky.. imho...

about true art: it`s rather a feelin than a artefact itself... the feelin the painting is made with - or the feelin the viewer looks at the paintin with...
(too clumsy isn`t it? =))))

best wishes
Title: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on November 02, 2005, 09:38:31 PM
Quote from: "Doesn't matter"
I guessed by thinking what the makers of the test find art themselves or not. I think they're losers and not artistic at all.

Actually, True art or a fake? quiz and all other quizzes on reverent.org were made by one person. May be I am "loosers", but reverent.org is doing fine: hundreds of visitors daily (some days thousands).
Title: True art
Post by: Anonymous on December 06, 2005, 09:32:25 AM
Abstract art is a contradiction of words. If you remove the communication from art you lose the meaning...with no meaning it is pointless. Think of a book...a book is made up of chapters, paragraphs, sentences, words and letters (and some numbers). That is structure. Remove the structure and it loses its meaning. Abstract art is like taking a novel (paint, canvas, brushes and time) and mixing up all the words and telling people to make sense of it. It was purely commercial and it worked. Please don’t make more of it than that.
Title: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on January 21, 2006, 12:51:00 AM
Discussions of this quiz in other forums:

Hvad er kunst? (http://debat.jubii.dk/54/Hvad+er+kunst_209975.html)
True Art or Fake Art Quiz (http://battlestargalactica-forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2512)
True Art or a Fake? (Another Quiz) (http://www.p45rant.net/boards/showthread.php?p=1616807)
Тест ценителей искусства (http://www.commfree.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5334)
検定 (http://ameblo.jp/ssk2/entry-10005714441.html)
本物? にせもの? (http://blog.so-net.ne.jp/tanamasa/2005-11-07-01)
אמנות או לא (http://www.notes.co.il/gili/9645.asp)
Take this Quiz...  (http://www.scribbletalk.com/showthread.php?t=33)
Ein kleines Quiz (http://funtasyportal.com/include.php?path=forum/showthread.php&threadid=1008)
มาทดสอบสายตากันมองดูว่าอันไหนศิลปะ(True Art) หรือภาพวาดเล่นๆมั่วๆ(Fake) (http://kok.servegame.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=26060)
Art or Fake (http://www.randomville.com/Daily/post-34429.html)
How is your artistic taste? (http://www.shenghuonet.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php3?t=5361)
Abstract art (http://cellosoft.com/2draw/view/51587/)
Kunst of kitch (http://users.pandora.be/linkplaza/images/2005/10/kunst-of-kitch.html)
Is this true art or a fake? (http://www.websponge.net/spongeboard/viewtopic.php?t=8250)
Искусство или подделка (http://eye.moof.ru/note/10493.html)
本物?ニセモノ?アートクイズ (http://10e.org/mt/archives/200510/312320.php)
True Art or Fake Art Quiz (http://ptenthusiasts.org/forum/showthread.php?t=52190)
Is this true art or a fake? (http://www.findagrave.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=518627)
Kunst of nep? (http://www.nfy.nl/forums/viewtopic.php?t=5111)
メンタンピンドラ3で。 (http://blog.dallio.com/archives/2005/11/3_4.php)
リアルかフェイクか答えてちょーだい(クイズ) (http://blog.livedoor.jp/nakosute/archives/50272020.html)
¿Arte? ¿Qué arte? (http://elbalneario.blogspot.com/2005/11/arte-qu-arte.html)
TRUE OR FAKE (http://stylog.jp/monachu/2005-12-01)
True Art or Fake? (http://www.dublinforums.com/about2664.html)
czasem dobrze jest zająć się czymś zupełnie innym... ;-) (http://www.vulcan.edu.pl/forum/zpo/thread.php?t=3393)
Title: Abstract does not mean meaningless
Post by: Zarka on April 11, 2006, 05:06:53 PM
"Abstract" in the real meaning of the word is to remove from the concrete. It means simply that an abstracted concept or idea is harder to understand, rather than directly connected to physical objects.

For example, Democracy is an abstract concept of governance. To call it abstract is not the same as cutting up the words and throwing them like confetti.

I liked this quiz of all of them, maybe because I love abstract art, and I make abstract sculpture from wood. It isn't abstract because it's meaningless, it's abstract because the meaning has to be teased out of it. Not all viewers understand all pieces of art, but art is a form of communication, and if the artist communicates something to the viewer, it is to that degree successful, even if the thing communicated is just a feeling of pleasureable balance, or a juxtaposition of thoughts the viewer might not have otherwise combined.
Title: Abstract art a condradiction of words? Rubbish!
Post by: Someone Else on May 24, 2006, 09:21:47 PM
Quote from: "Anonymous"
Abstract art is a contradiction of words. If you remove the communication from art you lose the meaning...with no meaning it is pointless. Think of a book...a book is made up of chapters, paragraphs, sentences, words and letters (and some numbers). That is structure. Remove the structure and it loses its meaning. Abstract art is like taking a novel (paint, canvas, brushes and time) and mixing up all the words and telling people to make sense of it. It was purely commercial and it worked. Please don’t make more of it than that.


I agree that art is a form of communication but think you are making some very dubious assertions here. Abstract art can have very well-defined structure, for example Mondrian. Pollock's work has a different type of structure, but it still has a structure. And abstract images can communicate.

 Do you find Hubble telescope images of nebulae deviod of structure, meaningless and pointless? The 'structure' in those images are a manifestions of the underlying the structure of Nature. Does it communicate something to those that feel an incredible awe of the Beauty of Nature when looking at them?

Or do you believe only Nature can create awe inspiring abstracts and the we exist somehow outside of Nature and are unable to sense and communicate that same abstract beauty?
Title: Re: Abstract art a condradiction of words? Rubbish!
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on May 25, 2006, 06:11:47 PM
Quote from: "Someone Else"
Abstract art can have very well-defined structure, for example Mondrian. Pollock's work has a different type of structure, but it still has a structure. And abstract images can communicate.

It does. But almost everyone can produce paintings with this sort of structure. The question arises: why some of these paintings are in museums?
Title: True art
Post by: kyle johnson on June 02, 2006, 02:18:56 PM
i was incredible dissapointed in one of the latest articles on RealityCarnival as it asked me which pieces were art and which werent.

I glanced over the pictures and NONE of them really did any true justice as to what art can be. altho all the abstractions ARE art (tho not too detailed in their expression or purpose) I was surprised that it told me what WASNT art and what was!  I recenly finished a art history class and the teacher showed photos of work similar to the art sampled on the page that has black lines and a piece of red and yellow. That isnt art. What the fuck is that saying? What is gained from experiecing it? Nothing, yet i was told it
Title: 100%
Post by: bhz on June 10, 2006, 09:28:10 PM
I took the test as fast as I was looking at them and it was quite obvious to me which were created quickly - most if not all of the fakes are typical computer doodles, and in the true-art you can also see texture which gives them away easily.

-bhz
Title: True art
Post by: Anonymous on January 10, 2007, 06:40:17 PM
Quote from: "Anonymous"
Abstract art is a contradiction of words. If you remove the communication from art you lose the meaning...with no meaning it is pointless. Think of a book...a book is made up of chapters, paragraphs, sentences, words and letters (and some numbers). That is structure. Remove the structure and it loses its meaning. Abstract art is like taking a novel (paint, canvas, brushes and time) and mixing up all the words and telling people to make sense of it. It was purely commercial and it worked. Please don’t make more of it than that.




Art is the products of human creativity.

Anything can be interpreted as art  and since abstract art is my specialty, I just had to disagree


check out my site www.mercurylakeonline.com/bboard

(http://mercurylakeonline.com/image/mloboardlogo.gif)
Title: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on January 10, 2007, 07:28:09 PM
Quote from: "Anonymous"
abstract art is my specialty

Thats good, since a 67% score on the  True art or a fake? (http://reverent.org/true_art_or_fake_art.html) quiz arrived from the same IP address as this posting.
Title: True art
Post by: eiaboca on January 16, 2007, 12:38:25 AM
I dunno, I thought it kind of easy.  Some of the fakes looked exactly like they were done in MSPaint.  I suppose an artist could work in that way, however.  The known/unknown was much more difficult.  I should have taken it without skipping, though.
Title: True art
Post by: Anonymous on May 26, 2007, 08:43:51 AM
All art is abstract, Da vinci, rembrandt, Monet, van gogh, cezanne all are abstract artists.

Now non figurative "art" wich i really call "design" is another matter.
(mondrian, pollock, mallevick, vasarelly)
Title: Wonderfully done
Post by: walksabout on August 07, 2007, 10:47:38 AM
But I can't help but feel that the conclusions are conclusive: One of the main conclusions is that the relative high scores of respondents is due to the respondents' prior knowledge of True Art.  An alternate possibility, and one not tested for, is that the fakes are particularly bad, although one comment in the analysis pointed out that the fakes were clearly born-digital.

In addition to the born-digital issue, the subtlety of the use of color was markedly different between the fakes and the non-fakes, although I doubt it was any better than a first-year art or design school students color understanding.

A better test would be to eliminate some of the obvious differences: Perhaps see if the public could distinguish between art created by non-household-name artists and "name-brand" artists.  (Apologies if you've already run such a test!)
Title: Re: Wonderfully done
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on August 07, 2007, 11:16:50 AM
Quote from: "walksabout"
One of the main conclusions is that the relative high scores of respondents is due to the respondents' prior knowledge of True Art.  An alternate possibility, and one not tested for, is that the fakes are particularly bad

It was tested. I explicitly wrote: "Although the quiz results are biased in favor of masterpieces, I’ll take them on face value to quantify the difference in quality between the images." And the difference turned out to be very small.

See: Scientific inquiry into modern art (http://ecclesiastes911.net/properly_prescribed.html) .

Quote from: "walksabout"
A better test would be to eliminate some of the obvious differences: Perhaps see if the public could distinguish between art created by non-household-name artists and "name-brand" artists.  (Apologies if you've already run such a test!)

Here it is: Famous or unknown artist? (http://reverent.org/great_art_or_not.html)
Title: Hello
Post by: archi on December 10, 2007, 09:33:41 PM
I have done a photo canvas (http://www.paintyourlife.com/) from my photo whcih got 65%. I was so happy when got those score. thank you.
Title: Re: Hello
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on December 10, 2007, 10:38:56 PM
Quote from: "archi"
I have done a photo canvas (http://www.paintyourlife.com/) from my photo whcih got 65%. I was so happy when got those score. thank you.

Who are you? Josef Albers?
Title: Re: True art
Post by: Peter on February 07, 2008, 02:35:53 AM
Quote
I recenly finished a art history class and the teacher showed photos of work similar to the art sampled on the page that has black lines and a piece of red and yellow. That isnt art.

This comment exemplifies a problem I find in the test in general. While your test is quite interesting (I especially like your use of Urban's system to "weight" the answers), your article only points out the (statistically minor, you say) aesthetic disparity between your own art and the masterpieces based on the weakness of your own art.

The problem is that the article implies that truly exceptional art can be distinguished from computer art despite the fact that the masterpieces have been shrunk down, their colors have been reduced to whatever quality one's computer screen allows, and their distance from the observer cannot be adjusted in any practical way. What is lost when a painting becomes a .BMP? Plenty. You're not comparing works of art: you're comparing the digital re-productions of art with other digital productions.

That said, I think your conclusion that the "heavy-weight names attached to the masterpieces" are "[t]he only difference between masterpieces and fakes" is a bit absurd. Your test cannot account for the "only differences between masterpieces and fakes" because your test radically changes those masterpieces.

In addition, I think you vastly overestimate the public's familiarity with modern artists and their works.

If you choose to respond, please e-mail me your response in addition to anything you post here. I'm interested to hear your opinion.
Title: Re: True art
Post by: Pete on February 07, 2008, 02:40:55 AM
Sorry about the strikethrough in the last half of my comment. I was trying to supply the missing "s" after "difference" with a parenthetical (s).
Title: Re: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on February 07, 2008, 03:43:25 PM
The problem is that the article implies that truly exceptional art can be distinguished from computer art despite the fact that the masterpieces have been shrunk down, their colors have been reduced to whatever quality one's computer screen allows, and their distance from the observer cannot be adjusted in any practical way. What is lost when a painting becomes a .BMP? Plenty. You're not comparing works of art: you're comparing the digital re-productions of art with other digital productions.
This is not the first time I hear this objection. I wrote the special article Let us be fair to Malevich (http://reverent.org/let_us_be_fair_to_malevich.html) to address these concerns.
Title: Re: True art
Post by: Peter on February 07, 2008, 07:29:48 PM
From the link, Mr. Simkin assumes that simple magnification makes up for the quality lost when a masterpiece is digitally reproduced. That's simplistic. Not only do you lose the image's detail when a painting is digitally reproduced, but you lose the color range as well. Not only do you lose the color range, but you also lose the circumstances available to the viewer of the original piece--sometimes the point of modern art involves its context, i.e. the lighting, the wall color, the position within a gallery, etc.

And to answer your question, "Are my opponents now happy?" simply no. I don't think your glib response adequately resolves the problems of the study. While I think your study is valuable inasmuch as it provokes further interest in the definition of art, I still find it lacking, still for the reasons I described in my earlier post. As a scientist, you should work to find a better way to disprove the talent of the artists you interrogate than using a joke, which is what your link ultimately is. Maybe redesign the study with non-digital objects and no computer screens.
Title: Re: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on February 08, 2008, 08:31:00 PM
From the link, Mr. Simkin assumes that simple magnification makes up for the quality lost when a masterpiece is digitally reproduced. That's simplistic.
That simple magnification did a lot of service to Brullov's painting.

Not only do you lose the image's detail when a painting is digitally reproduced, but you lose the color range as well.
What color range was lost in Malevich's masterpiece? Does the original painting have different black color then the image on the screen?

Not only do you lose the color range, but you also lose the circumstances available to the viewer of the original piece--sometimes the point of modern art involves its context, i.e. the lighting, the wall color, the position within a gallery, etc.
And, most importantly, the names of the gallery and of the artist.

And to answer your question, "Are my opponents now happy?" simply no.
Of course. Nobody is happy to lose an argument.

As a scientist, you should work to find a better way to disprove the talent of the artists you interrogate than using a joke, which is what your link ultimately is.
I am not waterboarding Malevich. I just exhibit his work alongside real art and it becomes a torture for Malevich's admirers.
Title: Chimp quiz
Post by: i on February 09, 2008, 02:49:30 PM
We get it: most people hate abstract art. 

But those of us who study it do a lot better on the monkey quizzes. 

For a good book on frauds, read F is for Fake, the biography of Elmir de Hora (sic), rumored to be the greatest art forger of the 20th Century.  That will make for a more interesting discussion than blustering over chimpanzees.
Title: Re: True art
Post by: flake on February 09, 2008, 08:59:16 PM
Just found this site, nice. You all need revise your take of Marshall McLuhan. I have yet to experience art on the internet other than the phenomenon of utube.
Title: Re: True art
Post by: harico on February 10, 2008, 05:40:31 AM
    I scored 83%. The Klee threw me, I thought you had cleverly tried to fake a Klee and outsmarted myself! As to the question why does this stuff belong in museums and our own random blotches don't; the answer is partly historical precedent. Pollock ,Kandinsky and all the 20th century pioneers of non-representative art had the courage to go out and discover new continents of expression and aesthetic experience, freeing us to discover our own. I 'see' Pollocks and Rothkos all the time, in hedgerows, sunsets, weathered doors etc.
     That apart, it has always puzzled me why of all the 'difficult' arts abstract art gets such a hard ride from joe public. My guess is that its down to the essential nature of visual arts: you take it all in at a glance. No-one could honestly declare, say, Joyce's Ulysses to be a load of rubbish without first having made an attempt to read the thing. The (imagined?) effort itself demands respect and a certain amount of humility. Looking at a painting though? Anyone can do that!
    If you're interested in the deeper structures in Pollock work and a possible explanation for his lasting reputation as an artist, you could do worse than take this article as a starting point. 

http://discovermagazine.com/2001/nov/featpollock

   I am enjoying your blog, but if you re-stage this experiment maybe you should consider producing work on paper or canvas, and see how the results stand up...you might also consider using less 'iconic' abstract painters for comparison, there are thousands of good ones out there. The fact that the images were so recognizable and yours so obviously computer generated undermined the value of the exercise a bit, I thought. I hope this doesn't come across as too snide or snipey, I really have found this to be an enjoyable and stimulating exercise and I'm just about to go and take all your other tests.
Title: Re: :-)
Post by: artangel134 on April 02, 2010, 05:09:01 PM
I scored 50%.
I would like to note that I dont believe in the existence of art in the way most people see it.

This test proves that. The only people who could "see" the real thing from yours were those who knew the art pieces from before.


I would like to point out that I indeed scored a 100% on this quiz. I knew NONE of the pieces before me, and I don't really have much art experience except for a few art classes at school.
Title: Re: True art
Post by: beckylup on August 03, 2010, 11:13:22 PM
WOW! this is truly stupid! i got 33%! everything that i put as fake art was true art! i mean, anyone can draw that stupid picture wih a huge black circle, and u call that true art! wow. true art is not that crap that they showed a second ago.i can draw myown squigly lines...
Title: Re: True art
Post by: brianvds on June 17, 2011, 07:55:30 AM
The question of real art versus parodies or animal art keeps on fascinating me. I scored 83% in the quiz, so most of the time I managed to distinguish between the work of famous artists and animals or untrained artists with a computer. But the thing is, I know a bit about art history, so I recognized some of the work, or at least the style. And I notice in some other messages that some people did well by simply noting which pieces were obviously done with a computer.

I think a better test might be this: give a few people examples of the work of, say, Rothko to study for a few days. Then have them all paint fake Rothkos (mind you, NOT by copying real Rothkos, but by making their own in the same style). Mix these up with real Rothkos, and redo the quiz. It will already eliminate one objection, namely that the masterpieces lose something in the reduction to computer screen size, because now both real and fake art works will be at the same disadvantage. I have a feeling that in this test, only people who know Rothko's work well enough to recognize specific works will do much better than chance.

But there is a larger issue here, I think. I scored 100% on the Pollock/bird poop quiz. It is pretty easy to distinguish Pollock from bird droppings once you are familiar with his style. But here's the question: is his work actually better than bird poop? After all, it is pretty easy to distinguish the handwriting of, say, Barack Obama from that of Nelson Mandela, once you are familiar with their handwriting. But does this mean one's writing is in any way superior to that of the other? The mere fact that you can distinguish A from B does not necessarily tell you much about whether A is any better than B.

The question isn't really whether we can distinguish between the fine motor skills of an experienced adult and that of an animal, child or person inexperienced with a brush. It seems to me reasonable that most people would fare better than chance on such a test. But what if you took an artistically inexperienced adult and gave him a month's crash course in abstract expressionism, and then had him paint ab-ex works? Are the "experts" going to be able to tell the difference? And if any average person can become an expert abstract expressionist in a month, then what does that tell us about the prices fetched by some of these works of art?

But with these issues there will always be endless room for debate. Perhaps it is kind of obvious that there is little mastery to producing a Pollock or Rothko. But what about Picasso or Matisse? Or Van Gogh, whose work is technically rather crude but enjoys very great and apparently very real popularity, not just among learned "experts" but even lay people, and is more popular than the work of technically far more skilled artists? What about the work of non-western artists, that follow a completely different aesthetic?

I have not quite worked out for myself what I think about that... ;-)

As an aside, it might be useful to do a similar quiz on whether people can distinguish some 20th century classical music from random noise... ;-)
Title: Re: True art
Post by: Mikhail Simkin on June 17, 2011, 01:05:32 PM
But there is a larger issue here, I think. I scored 100% on the Pollock/bird poop quiz. It is pretty easy to distinguish Pollock from bird droppings once you are familiar with his style. But here's the question: is his work actually better than bird poop? After all, it is pretty easy to distinguish the handwriting of, say, Barack Obama from that of Nelson Mandela, once you are familiar with their handwriting. But does this mean one's writing is in any way superior to that of the other? The mere fact that you can distinguish A from B does not necessarily tell you much about whether A is any better than B.
Since the great majority of people get 100%, Pollock is better than his fellow drippers. If they merely could tell them apart, they woulde be equally likely to score 0% as 100%. BTW, in  Bulwer-Dickens  quiz people get 0% and 100% equally often.

But what about Picasso or Matisse?
Did you read the history of creation of the quiz (http://www.alternativeright.com/main/the-magazine/apeing-the-abstract/), or named those two by chance? The mentioned picture also enjoys some popularity (http://www.nzzfolio.ch/www/21b625ad-36bc-48ea-b615-1c30cd0b472d/showarticle/4bc497a8-f13a-45ac-8aef-bee73d08771b.aspx). 
Title: Re: True art
Post by: brianvds on June 17, 2011, 10:23:15 PM
Since the great majority of people get 100%, Pollock is better than his fellow drippers. If they merely could tell them apart, they would be equally likely to score 0% as 100%.

In other words, people cannot just tell them apart, they can tell which is the art and which the bird droppings. I'm not sure this necessarily makes the drippings better than the droppings, because most people have some idea of what a bird mess looks like, and Pollock's paintings do not quite look like it. But I'm not sure they actually look any better either. Most people would probably also be able to tell pools of vomit from bird droppings, and tell you which is which, but I'm not sure that makes a pool of vomit a superior artistic statement to bird droppings.  ;-)

Did you read the history of creation of the quiz (http://www.alternativeright.com/main/the-magazine/apeing-the-abstract/), or named those two by chance? The mentioned picture also enjoys some popularity (http://www.nzzfolio.ch/www/21b625ad-36bc-48ea-b615-1c30cd0b472d/showarticle/4bc497a8-f13a-45ac-8aef-bee73d08771b.aspx). 

I did read the article, but then forgot that you mentioned Picasso and Matisse. I doubt whether your computer created art actually resembled Picasso? Perhaps the people you showed it to didn't know Picasso? His name has become a sort of byword for modernist excess, but his work is actually mostly relatively conservative, and almost all of it is more or less representational. Much of it doesn't really look like child or monkey art. Whether one needs to be particularly skilled to come up with it is another question. A Picasso quiz might be an interesting exercise, though once again one will run into the problem of many of his images being well known. Monkey art or child art it clearly isn't. Great art? Perhaps that's a subjective judgement...

(http://i.imgur.com/xYVLU.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/le6Vx.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/zSF9P.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/XdBEv.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/rBQt7.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/GOdwu.jpg)