Ae17. Jazz and Intention
Intention and Art
Tom Wark's FERMENTATION wine blog poses some challenging questions regarding the definition of art. He reveals that winemaking satisfies many proposed conceptions for what requirements may be needed to qualify as art.
Winemaking satisfies these conceptions of art as quoted at FERMENTATION wine blog.
“There are a number of ways to define "Art". With the help of Wikipedia: Art we see these definitions:
- "Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items (often with symbolic significance) in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions and intellect. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations, and modes of expression, including music, literature, film, photography, sculpture, and paintings."
- "The use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others."
- art: "A skill is being used to express the artist's creativity, or to engage the audience's aesthetic sensibilities, or to draw the audience towards consideration of the finer things."
- "Purposeful, creative interpretations of limitless concepts or ideas in order to communicate something to another person."
- "Art may be to communicate ideas, such as in politically, spiritually, or philosophically motivated art; to create a sense of beauty; to explore the nature of perception; for pleasure; or to generate strong emotions. The purpose may also be seemingly nonexistent." (bold not in original)
As Wark points out, by these and other definitions, it can appear that wine is an art and winemaking an artistic endeavor. Notice that wine when it's being made is a "deliberately made item" that can when drunk "influence and can affect one or more of the senses, intellect, or emotion." Wine is made with "skill and imagination" and is an "aesthetic object" in that aesthetic adjectives can be successfully applied to wine when remarking that the wine tastes good or bad while "sharing it with other people." The point has been made—wine making, drinking, and sharing meet the above conceptions of art making activities on many levels, as Wark observes in his blog.
Wark, however, has a legitimate complaint against these conceptions of art were they thought to be satisfactory conditions guaranteeing a candidate as art. Warner finds winemaking satisfies the prior conceptions, but appear to fall short when two other "vital conditions" for art are considered.
“Yet these various definitions do not include what has always been two vital elements of the nature of art:
1. Art's ability to track, interpret, communicate and represent the movement and changes of a culture.
2. Progress through individual artists' innovations.
This second element of the nature of art that I cannot find in wine was foremost in my mind as I watched the description of the impact of Charlie Parker on the world of American Jazz in the early 1940s. Parker, the great Kansas City alto saxophonist, gave to the emerging Bebop artists a new harmonic paradigm that filled in the sound that progressive jazz artists were exploring as they moved away from the swing genre. Parker's great innovation was his discovery, out of his own imagination, of how to play any note and resolve it in the chord so that it would sound harmonically right. Upon hearing Charlie Parker's new way of playing, Dizzy Gillespie declared, "We heard him and knew the music had to go his way."
I'm trying to imagine any innovation in wine and winemaking that so fundamentally moves wine forward into a new direction through the result of creative genius a la Charlie Parker. I cannot identify such a thing. Is there in the last 50 years a new movement or new paradigm in the "art" of winemaking that moves the endeavor forward to new heights or at least into a new paradigm? I can't find the act of creativity that does this in the world of wine.” (bold not in original)
Wark finds winemaking falls short of meeting either of these two goals of (1) tracking cultural changes as well as (2) the progress made by artisans through innovation. He remarks about the second requirement that:
“I'm trying to imagine any innovation in wine and winemaking that so fundamentally moves wine forward into a new direction through the result of creative genius a la Charlie Parker. I cannot identify such a thing. Is there in the last 50 years a new movement or new paradigm in the "art" of winemaking that moves the endeavor forward to new heights or at least into a new paradigm? 'I can't find the act of creativity that does this in the world of wine.
In querying my community of friends and followers, some have suggested that it is the art of blending wine that is the true artistic element in winemaking. Yet, blends have been created by winemakers for literally 1000's of years. That this blend of grapes or vineyards might be something new I don't think offers any significant paradigmatic shift or creative leap. Rather, it seems to represent an alteration in what is common.
Charlie Parker and his contemporaries such as Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell and Kenny Clarke created something that wasn't simply an alteration, but something really new in jazz. We see this kind of leap in innovation across various artistic fields. Yet, we do not see this fundamental kind of leap in the world of wine. At best, what we see in wine are new cultures and people picking up the traditional methods of others.” (bold and bold italic not in original)
Why must art always satisfy these two requirements to qualify as art
Recall that the alleged two requirements for art are tracking and communicating changes in culture and having this result in progress in the art field.
What can count as 'progress'?
Intention in Jazz
- "Charlie Parker and the Notion of Wine as Art," Tom Wark, FERMENTATION Wine Blog, posted December 12, 2011.