Sunday, June 6, 2010

Recognizing corrupted art

Art may belong to one of two categories. The first is where it is healthy and the second is where it is corrupt. The question that worries me is how to tell good art apart from corrupt art.

The two attributes of corrupt art that I know of are
1. It glorifies malevolence
2. It is not popular among the masses;
where the first is the cause of the second.

So if I can tell malevolence apart from what is benign I should be able to tell when I come across art that is corrupt. The ability therefore to articulate malevolence ought to be useful, and not malevolent itself, since it helps in recognizing malevolence.

Thus art that contains a discourse on malevolence must be corrupt when it glorifies it instead of articulating the fault in it.


  1. Nice insight. Usually, artists who glorify malevolence are also hostile towards those who disagree. For instance, a popular myth circulated by such artists is that the masses do not have a good taste, and great art is only for the "initiated".

  2. To me Art means conveying feelings. Popular art is the one which conveys those feelings which we mostly can identify with and which are universally beneficial; it can be in any form or genre of art. As humans we have all sorts of feelings, in our different moods, but, the literature is the platform which must bring about a synthesis of all this in such a subtle way that the eventual outcome and its message should be beauty, harmony, bliss and oneness of the objectivity. An art that does not do that cannot be termed even art, because beauty means balance and we cannot term something beautiful if it is not balanced. So I would conclude, to me Art means conveying feelings that are beautiful and balanced (Thank you Khurram Ali Shafique Sahib for this approach)

  3. There is nothing to add here. I feel that this post and the two comments cover immense and welcome ground.

    Thanx, all three of you.

  4. I had a related insight into this recently. Here is what it was : )

    Sometimes a label that we give to a thing is so corosive to the mind it has a weaking effect. That is why 'Everything is an Affirmation of who I am' is a powerful mantra. But clearly for this to apply everything has to affirm and nothing be able to harm. This however requires a journey on the path of maturity. A journey that each individual should ideally undertake.

    But what about all the talk of consensus literature then?

    Consensus literatre - or literature that is acceptable and has consensus of the society - ought to be promoted more in society vs. high/dark literature for people who aren't mature to the point where they safeguard them selves from it's affects.

  5. However, since consensus literature can itself enable the journey that itself is a big reason to promote it.

  6. An articulation of good behavior provides us one tool to leverage human nature and be strong by it. The demonstartion of good behavior is also available to us through good art/literature as a second tool. Using them together should help internalize this education faster.