When I enjoy any piece of art (painting, song, and so on), I've the impression of getting different perception due to the environment where I'm "consuming" it. It seems that lights, rooms, and many others aspects will affect the way I got it. On music this is very noticeable (different speakers, different rooms).

I don't talk about emotions: but what I perceive (brain task).

Does this means that art is simply an abstract thing that we "shape" on every "use" (so a painstakingly review will change everything's existence) or its somethings concrete and we just look at it with infinite shades, compensating to them and retrieving the same messages? (so existence is consistency; the artist make something concrete).

I'm really bubbling over this these days. Any clues? Is there some worth reading about this subject?

  • 3
    A related question might be whether the object, whether it be a painting or a sculpture, is the art, or whether the art extends into what is happening within your own mind as you view it.
    – Cort Ammon
    Aug 8, 2017 at 19:03
  • @CortAmmon: another good observation. Nobody reviews these aspects in the past?
    – markzzz
    Aug 9, 2017 at 7:05

2 Answers 2


This is a live debate within the philosophy of art: is the aesthetic quality within the artifact (the usually material object that is generally referred to as the artwork) or is it in the experience of the audience (which makes more sense in terms of performance arts and conceptual arts)?

The problem has become especially acute in light of the wide variety of unusual things and experiences that are currently classified as art. Monroe Beardsley and Arthur Danto are two relatively recent and influential philosophers who took radically different approaches to answering this question.


In terms of music, it depends on it you mean artifact (abstract) or phenomenon (concrete).

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That may be worth thinking about, as well as defining what you mean by e.g. 'art'.

If you mean the qualities that we judge as a success or failure, then you'll agree that it depends on e.g. if we are judging the performance or the composition.

If you are talking about the emotion the work inspires within you, that's presumably concrete joy or excitement. And the message, abstract.

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