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View Full Version : Art and censorship -- a discussion, I hope...


minimonkey
03-28-2005, 01:26 PM
I may well be putting my neck on the line here, and endangering my membership on this site by starting this thread, but....

I've just been sitting here contemplating the deletion of bestof's recent post, and the discussion that followed. I missed the whole thing, and now, sadly, all discussion of this event has been erased forever, it seems.

I am deeply bothered by this. :crying:

What bothers me most, I think, is that I have no idea what happened -- I've seen the piece in question, and I don't find it offensive in the least. Potentially confrontational, yes .. but isn't that part of what makes art interesting?

This whole thing worries me --- I'd really like to hear from our moderator as to what prompted her decision to delete the art and the discussion. Don't get me wrong -- I appreciate having a moderated forum, and the work that goes into moderating -- I'd just like to know what happened. Although the work I've been doing recently is pretty benign, this is not always the case. It scares me to think that I might innocently post one of my more disturbing works, only to find my membership revoked!

Am I alone in this?

d-head
03-28-2005, 01:41 PM
Z: You are absolutely not alone. And since my little Coquette inspired poor Bestof to paint his deviant guy, I feel somewhat responsible. I've seen the painting, as well, and, yes, it may have been confrontational, but in no way did I find it offensive. Moderation yes. Censorship no.

Other than personal preference, what distinguishes one from the other on this site? And to delete all discussion about an individual piece and why it will not be shown is sophmoric and insulting to the integrity of the artists who post here. Not only are we adults, but also practicing artists who should not be subjected to -- I hate to use the term without understanding fully the parameters -- arbitrary exclusion of artwork and subsequent commentary. This is an art forum without, hopefully, a political, moral or personal referendum.

Am I still here, or have I been banned yet?

Well, if I'm still here, let me offer that itt's actually generates more disharmony over a longer period to abruptly delete a post without explanation or examination, than allowing us to review it and come to our own decisions. Is there a committee that makes such decisions, or is it entirely based on the judgement of an individual moderator who may or may not be simpathetic to the scope and timbre of outsider art?

And here we go agan...

Tamana
03-28-2005, 02:15 PM
No;you're by no means alone. Many have suffered worldwide due to the actions of censorship. Be it in politics, religion or especially the arts. It's a cancer that destroys truth and eliminates freedom of choice. Though, I'm not certain which is worse; deletion of the entire truth--or just portions of it leaving a twisted view of what really happened. Take religion for example...

I didn't find the piece offensive at all. And certainly didn't relate it to what he was accused of: Misogyny.

But then again...I have to keep remembering what Anais Nin said--"We don't see the world as it is but as we are."

People have a right to view things as they wish to void of judgement from others. The same have the right to turn away from a piece of art or book. However, to force their view as though it was the correct one via censorship is to eliminate another's choice and view as having no substance at all; be it regarding a piece of art, book or religious/political view.

Censorship destroys truth and freedom of choice.

minimonkey
03-28-2005, 02:30 PM
Thanks, you two, for being willing to jump in the fire with me. Censorship is one of the few things that really gets my goat.

Misogyny????? Now I'm REALLY stumped! :confused: :confused: :confused:

FriendCarol
03-28-2005, 02:36 PM
Although I don't feel terribly well qualified to judge in this arena, I'll contribute my thoughts & feelings, fwiw: I did see the picture, I did see the post following the picture, and then -- poof -- seconds later, it was all gone.

I didn't like the painting content, once I made it out (just my perception issues, not critiquing the artist's technical abilities here!). I would have simply clicked away myself, but I happened to catch sight of the post below, in the issue of pornography was raised. So I read that. It was alleged to be pornographic in the context of, well, not so much misogyny as violence or degradation.

Was it pornography? Truly, I don't know. At least one other member felt it was (stating specific reasons -- more than one), and apparently the moderator agreed.

On my (defunct) writers' site I stated I would not upload pornography (and defined that) or blasphemy (and defined that -- probably not the way you're thinking :) ). I did, once or twice, reply to an author that I believed a piece was one or the other, explaining why, and declined to upload the piece unless the issue was addressed.

On this site, we do our own posting. There's no gatekeeping at the front end. The legal climate in this country -- not to mention the larger world! -- makes this a bad time to test boundaries, particularly on a private art site. Someone had to make a judgment call, quickly, and made it. Whether it was the correct decision (and who decides that -- a judge and jury? a panel of artists?), hard to say. I acknowledge that this is a private site, and volunteer moderators sometimes have to make very hard judgment calls, and I support them. I support this site, I agreed to the rules, I appreciate the work and time that goes into this site.

So I feel a discussion about art censorship is appropriate on this site, but not in the context of the particular decision about a particular painting on this site. Of course, specificity is also necessary. My suggestion therefore: Perhaps someone could locate a specific painting on another site (by someone who is not a member here, because that's part of the rules, I understand), and we could have the discussion here about a linked image?

llis
03-28-2005, 02:42 PM
Discussing censorship is fine in any forum at WetCanvas. I do have to remind everyone of the user agreement that you signed when you joined this site. You can find this user agreement by clicking on "My WC!" and following the links or by clicking on member services at the top of this page.

The user agreement states:

With regard to the posting of nude and/or erotic works of art:

Erotic art IS permitted in this forum, provided that is not blatant pornography. We will be the judge as to what is considered pornographic in nature vs. valid erotic art. Common sense must prevail in the end. Valid entries include nudes, studies of the human form, etc. Works displaying sexual activities ARE permitted, provided the art is tasteful, and does not illustrate the perspective of physical penetration. Posting pornographic photographs would obviously not qualify as erotic art.

Bestof's images were removed because they displayed sexual activities where penetration was either in progress or assumed. The latest image of question was of a woman masturbating. As soon as this image was reported to me, I removed it because I was in complete agreement with the ab/con member who called this to my attention as being offensive. As many of you already know, I don't read every post here but expect and trust all of our members to be adults and follow the guidelines without me having to baby-sit. I also trust that when one of our members break the user agreement or post text or images that are offensive or need attention of any kind, the image or text would be reported. This is called self-moderating.

Now... I also want to tell you concerning the topic of censorship that this site is not in the business to censor anyone's work or ideas. There would be no purpose in doing so. We are however all expected to know that this site is not a democracy in that we as a body of membership do not make the rules. Our rules are already set for us and if we want to stay here, we must follow them. Any post that breaks the user agreement is subject to be removed.

Bestof of is not alone with feeling that he has been unduly censored. There are others that cry out in protest as well. The only thing I can tell you is that there are general rules of life that should govern all our actions even in cyberspace. We are all guest here. Anyone that thinks they can come into a house and be disruptive, showing disrespect for the house owner, those that live in the house, those that work in the house, or otherwise keep the house in repair could probably expect to be asked to leave or at least clean up their act.

I can tell you is that on a number of occasions I have disagreed with reported posts and not removed the offending posts. On other occasions, I have reconsidered and returned those posts to the forums. Bestof's images will not be returned. They are offensive and against the rules he agreed to when he registered with this site. He is aware that if he refuses to abide by the user agreement and posts images like this again, his membership will no longer be valid at WC! .

I also can tell you that anyone who has an active account with WetCanvas and is not following the guidelines will be contacted to let them know that their account is in jeopardy...that is, unless they do not have a valid email address available to us for us to contact them.

Bestof has contacted many of you to rally support for his cause of being censored. A great deal of energy has been spent on this effort which causes tension and discord among our members the same as threads like this that tend to divide rather than unite us. That's never a good thing... unless all of you agree with Bestof, which in that case, maybe agreeing to the user agreement when you registered isn't something that you meant to do. If that's true, I think it would be best to reconsider your membership and find a place where you could post freely without the need of guidelines.

As a moderator one of my jobs is to discuss these matters in private. With this issue being of great concern to so many, I am posting my thoughts publicly which is not something I do lightly. I sincerely hope that this brings some light to this issue and the matter of censorship at WC! will be put to rest as we all are adults here and should conduct ourselves accordingly.

Tamana
03-28-2005, 02:49 PM
It was alleged to be pornographic in the context of, well, not so much misogyny as violence or degradation.

Carol, Misogyny is not my word. It's a quote from the first person who responded and subsequently explained that view (when asked why by bestof) in the latter post you're referring to.

JohnA
03-28-2005, 02:53 PM
The term 'censorship' is absolutely not applicable here. In fact, I am surprised that a writer like FriendCarol went along with this.(1) This is private property, and a picture being removed from here is no more censorship than my refusing to hang that picture in my home. There is no resemblance here to any issue of true censorship.

(1) Not trying to chastise you in any way, Carol. I know you were probably just accepting this usage for the sake of the other issue.

completely redundant after another post uploaded at the same time, but I'll leave it here because it's been referenced in a later post.

minimonkey
03-28-2005, 02:58 PM
Thank you, Ilis, for the response -- it does help to clear things up for me. I didn't mean to be contentious -- and certainly not divisive -- in starting this thread -- I was just very confused, having missed all of what happened. (Interestingly, I had a quite different take than some on the image in question, which probably added to the confusion.)

It is so difficult to define pornography vs. valid erotic art. I'm reminded of the Mapplethorpe debate in the late 80s.... I'm glad you were willing to share your reasoning with me -- it does make sense in light of the user agreement.

Gar
03-28-2005, 03:06 PM
Here's my thoughts on this matter..

I think it's totally lame how easily people are "offended" by things. Especially "ideas" and art. All it seems to take is one, thin-skinned crybaby to complain about a piece of art posted here and we're instantly forced to take two steps back thru "moderation" - i.e. censorship of people's thoughts, words, and art. That offends me more than any notion of of sex, nudity, or gratuity ever could.

What's really frightening is how seemingly ashamed many people are of their own sexuality, or just the idea of sexuality period. What gives? Murder, robbery, assault and battery are flashed acrossed televisions and such all day long without a moments pause, but the mere site of a woman's breast will/has brought the nation to an uproar. Perhaps many of us aren't really the rational adults we think we are??

America and in turn i suppose WC, really needs to come to grips with those things which are "truly" offensive. -And it isn't sexuality, nudity, or love. It's violence, intolerance, tyranny, and oppresive rogue senses of morality.

Loosen up America! - Gar

FriendCarol
03-28-2005, 03:13 PM
No problem, John, that's why I only used the word at the bottom of my post:
"So I feel a discussion about art censorship is appropriate on this site, but not in the context of the particular decision about a particular painting on this site."

My earlier discussion was mostly about what's appropriate on the site (i.e., on a privately owned, publicly available site), but I also thought it might be appropriate to talk about our ideas re pornography (or even vulgarity). So there are 3 issues: what's appropriate behavior here, what's pornography in visual art, and art censorship. The first is not now in question, I hope. The second is a genuine question -- the rule posted on this site is completely unrelated to the rule I made for writers who wanted to post on my site, for example. The third is an interesting issue.

For the record, I do agree that censorship is not a good thing, particularly if one wishes to reach truth (or even concord). I do not support censorship (well, there could be some cases, usually involving children... hmmm). ...this sudden wondering of mine is why discussion seems to me to be a good idea, from time to time. :)

Gar
03-28-2005, 03:13 PM
The term 'censorship' is absolutely not applicable here. In fact, I am surprised that a writer like FriendCarol went along with this.(1) This is private property, and a picture being removed from here is no more censorship than my refusing to hang that picture in my home. There is no resemblance here to any issue of true censorship.

I would have to disagree with that John. Though this is a privately owned board, it is open to the public from around the world. Your living room is not "public" to anyone but yourself.

Apples and Oranges - Gar

Tamana
03-28-2005, 03:21 PM
Censorship is the very reason why things are the way they are, Gar. I truly believe that. It was a succession down through time; elimination of certain truths that the powers-that-be didn't want others to know for whatever reason. But more than likely for power & control and possibly greed. Given only a portion of the truth and then subsequently the next generation a lessor portion and so forth--the world has evolved from what it has been given to know and choose from.

America and in turn i suppose WC, really needs to come to grips with those things which are "truly" offensive. -And it isn't sexuality, nudity, or love. It's violence, intolerance, tyranny, and oppresive rogue senses of morality.

You're right on. The former truths you mention have been twisted by the evolution of the latter corruption. It's evident everywhere, especially in corporate America and religion. It's demonstrated in book-burnings and censorship of art. Thank goodness there are still a few that place value in time & education untangling a web of deceit spun for thousands and thousands of years to discover the truth for themselves.

Perhaps one day things will come full circle to the beginning when all the untangling is complete.

d-head
03-28-2005, 03:39 PM
Bestof's images will not be returned. They are offensive and against the rules he agreed to when he registered with this site....

Bestof has contacted many of you to rally support for his cause of being censored. A great deal of energy has been spent on this effort which causes tension and discord among our members the same as threads like this that tend to divide rather than unite us. That's never a good thing... unless all of you agree with Bestof, which in that case, maybe agreeing to the user agreement when you registered isn't something that you meant to do. If that's true, I think it would be best to reconsider your membership and find a place where you could post freely without the need of guidelines.

As a moderator one of my jobs is to discuss these matters in private. With this issue being of great concern to so many, I am posting my thoughts publicly which is not something I do lightly. I sincerely hope that this brings some light to this issue and the matter of censorship at WC! will be put to rest as we all are adults here and should conduct ourselves accordingly.

This is something I have to think about. It seems extremely subjective whether the posted art was or was not offensive. We did agree to rules. But what exactly separates sexual explicitness from pornography? If a work is aberrant but not hurtful, misogynistic, degrading, is it OK for posting? Is the crux of it, isn't agree with me, agree with my actions or get lost.

That's hard sell and, frankly, a little offensive to me. Maybe it could have been worded a little more positively? Somehow? A little less defensive?

minimonkey
03-28-2005, 03:48 PM
Gar --

I was thinking the same thing about shame and sexuality -- it is so bizarre to me that our bodies have become vulgar in a way that violence and hatred are not. As a therapist, I deal with the repercussions of this regularly. :(

I'm so in agreement with you Tamana -- let's hope it does come full circle one of these days.

Carol has put this really well: What is considered appropriate behavior *here* has been clarified, and this opens the door to a larger discussion about censorship in general, which was my original intent. It seems that the political climate of the last few years has made a lot of us afraid to push boundaries regarding morality, sexuality, etc., except in small, safe, liberal communities. It makes me extremely sad.

Edit -- D-head, just saw your post. I, too, take issue with the label "offensive" -- as if that is some kind of absolute. What I do agree with, however, is that the image in question *could* be seen as depicting penetration, thereby violating the specific user agreement. I actually didn't read it that way --- I read it as a hermaphroditic individual in a very private moment... perhaps masturbating, perhaps simply nude and in a state of contemplation. I thought of it as a sort of 'everyman/everywoman" being -- the femaleness and maleness of us all depicted in a single figure. That being said, I was confused as to how this was at all offensive.

I can see, however, how it might be read as a violation of said rules.

Lisatiffany
03-28-2005, 03:48 PM
Although I have not seen the piece in question, I have to agree with gar I think that this country is full of a bunch of baby's and STUCK UP CONSERVATIVES!!!!! (oh I know IM causing trouble with that!!!) IM also surprised that they haven't brought up the fact that "children can easily see this" well to tell you the truth its probably a lot better for them to see that then to watch television!!! it is OK for us to watch people being called to their death by going to Iraq and for us to watch it on television but its not OK for us to have freedom of expression and post our art work here? As an artist community I would have thought that we would have stuck together On the issue of censorship and raise a point. But it seems that is not the case!!

"While galleries and museums could choose to avoid controversy and exclude potentially controversial art, the Internet, with its wide accessibility and low production costs, promised to be a space of genuinely free expression, a true commons. Anybody could set up a web site and post material on it. Unless that work was legally obscene, contained child pornography, constituted libel, infringed copyright, or presented a direct threat to others, its Internet presence was protected," this was quoted from the website for the National Coalition Against Censorship and was posted on January 13, 2003 titled Internet Freedom in Question. Here is the link to there website
http://www.ncac.org/index.html
Although like I said I have not seen the work and I could have not liked what I saw. It doesn't matter as gar said u could have easily click off of the post and looked at something else. IM sorry but if people are offended by a piece of art work and call it grotesque then they should be just as offended by watching the televison everyday!!!!

FriendCarol
03-28-2005, 03:51 PM
It seems extremely subjective whether the posted art was or was not offensive.That may be subjective, but the actual image in a completely objective sense did violate the single rule absolutely stated. So 'good taste' was not the issue.

We did agree to rules. But what exactly separates sexual explicitness from pornography?That's my question, for visual artists. I have my own definition in the lit'ry realm, but the rule as stated here is not necessarily meant as a definition of what pornography is, I take it.

If a work is aberrant but not hurtful, misogynistic, degrading, is it OK for posting? Is the crux of it, isn't agree with me, agree with my actions or get lost.D, from your question I'm thinking you did not see the image -- perhaps, like minimonkey, you are thinking of a different image? Again, I testify to the fact that the image I saw during the few minutes it was posted VIOLATED the RULE. (That one rule in the User's Agreement, which was cited above.) Whether the image was pornographic is a separate question, and may well be a subjective issue. ('I don't know' is my only answer thus far, for images related to this subject.)
__________
Hi, Lisa, I see I have to add to my post.

If a painter wishes to obtain a Web site and post his work on it, and the government shuts down the site, that is censorship. If his ISP shuts it down, that is censorship -- unless the government had passed a law holding ISP's responsible. Anyone may post anything on his or her own site -- that's no censorship. (Of course, the laws may prohibit 'music sharing' -- a big current issue, but not one of censorship, just money/copyright issues there.)

Fortunately, censorship online has not been legalized in this country. Other countries have tried to hold even ISP's in this country responsible for what is on Web sites they host. In a notorious case, Germany, which has an explicit law forbidding 'hate speech' type 'crimes,' tried to fine [AOL or some other] ISP located in this country for allowing some Web site created by someone somewhere, years ago now, which presented the usual trash about 'Jews and their international conspiracy.'

I am not in favor of censorship. I am in favor of following the rules if I agreed to them. I actually read (though I may not always remember!) rules; it is a matter of personal integrity to comply with rules to which I have explicitly agreed.

minimonkey
03-28-2005, 03:58 PM
Carol -- in case you missed my above post -- I have seen the image in question. I read it differently than other viewers. What I saw was a hermaphroditic figure in a private moment .. perhaps masturbating, perhaps simply sitting, nude, in a contemplative state. I took it as an 'everyman/everywoman' type of figure, stripped down and naked (emotionally and physically.)

I *do* see how it could be viewed otherwise, however, and thereby be a violation of the user agreement. That just wasn't what I saw when I looked at it.

llis
03-28-2005, 04:02 PM
D:

As the user agreement states," We will be the judge as to what is considered pornographic in nature vs. valid erotic art. Common sense must prevail in the end. "

We is the operative word here. That means that it is not totally any one person who makes decisions for this board.

The best I can tell you is that I personally have spent way to much time on this issue trying to assure members that we are fair and do not take the any action lightly. That being said, everyone here must also realize that we who have volunteered to review the messages and images did not make the rules... only try our best to do what our host would have us to do.

I am indeed sorry that any action I might have taken or words I have written have offended you but I am charged with defending the user agreement and have posted this publicly under great stress over what has become a PM rally of support of what has been labeled as WC! censorship. Because of that and the energy I have already spent over the weekend on this as well as other so called censorship issues, I agree, I'm getting more and more terse. Please consider this and forgive my sharpness.

Again... we are all guest here by our own accord. If the house is not to anyone's liking, they are welcome to leave.

Gar
03-28-2005, 04:10 PM
Funny/ironic thing is.. if not for "penetration", none of us would be here posting right now - much less "existing" at all.
What is so disturbing and harmful about the actual "act" that created us all. I just don't get it? What elements in this "act" constitutes the vulgarity? Because i see or feel none.

Some smart folks posting on this thread that occasionally remind me that all is not lost for human beings and the future.

Tamana, MiniMonkey, Lisa, D-Head - I bid you a big, fat -->> :D

Keep it shiny - Gar

Gar
03-28-2005, 04:13 PM
Again... we are all guest here by our own accord. If the house is not to anyone's liking, they are welcome to leave.

Winners never quit, and quitters never win.


:evil: - G

FriendCarol
03-28-2005, 04:33 PM
Thank you, minimonkey, I had indeed misconstrued your first response to mean you didn't see the image I saw. I just went back and reread this thread.

It's often hard for me to interprete what I see anyway, so it took me awhile to figure out what was depicted in the image. I can see now, since you've explained, how it could have been 'seen' differently. I was not actually aware this was a possible interpretation, physically.

Gar, whether or not penetration is a good basis for a rule is not really the question here. That is the rule, and we signed on. Period.

Do you have a definition, for yourself, of what is and is not pornographic in visual art? I don't, and would be somewhat interested in developing one.

I personally would not place the boundary for pornography at depiction of 'penetration' or 'pubic hairs' or any of the other objects I've ever heard used for this. While I am not personally interested in making art regarding this subject, I am not personally oppposed to these depictions by any means; certainly was not offended by, for example, even the most explicit images in 'Joy of Sex' and the like. (I'm revealing my age, again. :) ) I could imagine wanting to hang a painting of lovers on my wall, in fact, though I haven't seen an image that appeals yet....

(Most of what I have is landscapes; there's also one Chinese 'mineral watercolor' of pandas and bamboo. No people, though some favorite images when I was growing up were people, including Mary Cassatte and a head of a boy by Rubens, I think. As I think back, it seems to me the places I typically bought art when I lived in NYC -- street fairs, mostly -- had very few images depicting humans at all; none I can remember, in fact. How odd.)

Anyone have a definition they could lend me? I believe an external link used for illustration is all right, isn't it -- with a warning on the link here so people won't click to something they don't want to see? (That would just be common courtesy, or civility. I hope we didn't need a rule.)

Tamana
03-28-2005, 04:48 PM
Gar --

I was thinking the same thing about shame and sexuality -- it is so bizarre to me that our bodies have become vulgar in a way that violence and hatred are not. As a therapist, I deal with the repercussions of this regularly. :(

I'm so in agreement with you Tamana -- let's hope it does come full circle one of these days.

Carol has put this really well: What is considered appropriate behavior *here* has been clarified, and this opens the door to a larger discussion about censorship in general, which was my original intent. It seems that the political climate of the last few years has made a lot of us afraid to push boundaries regarding morality, sexuality, etc., except in small, safe, liberal communities. It makes me extremely sad.

I can imagine what you must deal with, Z. I agree with Carol as well. I use to counsel in the church. It's particularly bad in the 'religious' community among women. Having seen it first hand by being married to a pastor for 19 years. Many will have affairs rather than discuss desires with their wives due to the 'chaste and pure' expectations of them (God forbid such things are introduced or even discussed with the 'wimin-folk'). And vice-versa. Of course I'm not speaking of all religions -- just those that I've (as a missionary) been in contact with. Which are a great many ranging from Anglican, Holiness, Freewill, Independent, etc. etc. etc. I see the pattern of oppression under the repression of revised rules developed by men for purposes of control, e.g. - women can't wear pants, makeup, jewelry etc. etc. etc.

So the expectations to repress an instinctive and beautiful human desire between two people actually produce a stigma that negates the natural beauty of it. Many women who express or are even curious enough to inquire are labeled Jezebels, harlots, witches, etc. So the cycle of repression is passed from generation to generation until one person is willing, at the expense of labeling and modeling a modern day Scarlet Letter, to break the pattern and discover for themselves a freedom that has been censored and twisted for generations for purposes of control. Though I mention women as an example (one I'm most familiar with)--the problem isn't limited to women.

Same holds truth in art. How many have suffered, at the hands of censorship, ridicule, stigma and banishment from mainstream society for their originality of creations that have now shaped the art world? Or even writers, such as Kate Chopin, who were brave enough to venture into the realm of human desire in a time where women weren't even allowed to check the mail. These are the people I admire; the ones with courage to follow their heart to the truth at the expense of reputation or luxury.

I don't think we, as artists sometimes, realize the great sacrifices that have enabled us to be where we are today. We still have a long way to go and there is an awakening that is producing an evolution in all realms because I've witnessed it. So yes, not-so-big (in form not heart) branch clinger, we are coming full circle--but very slowly. I, like Gar, just hate to see it fall backwards the way it does at times.

I do agree, however, there's an opposite spectrum (especially involving children) that should be subjected to censorship regarding certain things, as Carol said. Children must be protected, whereas adults should have freedom of choice.

I did see the image in question as penetration via an "artificial device" :wink2:
But I found it neither offensive nor disturbing. I must admit, I chuckled over it and wondered what d-head was going to say via the coquette inspiration. :D

Garrrrrrrrrrrrr :cat:

minimonkey
03-28-2005, 04:52 PM
Gar -- I, too, fail to see why penetration is vulgar. It *is* the beginning of most life, failing technological intervention. ( I think some egg-laying species are exempt from this rule, too....) Carol is right, though -- the rules state "no penetration", so there it is, in terms of the user agreement.

Carol -- I have no idea how to define visual pornography, and I don't bother trying anymore. You probably remember the whole Mapplethorpe mess, the recinding of NEA grants for "offensive" art, and the like. Personally, I've decided that the line between "erotic art" and "pornography" is completely arbitrary, possibly non-existant, and therefore not worth contemplating any further. I believe the letter of the law states that pornography "appeals solely to a prurient interest and is void of any artistic merit" or something along those lines. I actually did a debate on this in a forensics class many years ago, arguing for the right to publish whatever one wanted. I've seen "pornographic" films that I thought were more artistically merited than some of the "fine art" I've encountered.

Like yourself, I have to draw the line where children are concerned, erring, if necessary, on the side of precaution. This, too, is a somewhat arbitrary line drawing, but it is where my own ethics take me -- and the research on the effects of overstimulation on children's mental health back me up.

As for my hermaphrodite interpretation :D -- yes, that is somewhat uncommon in the general population, but it does happen (very rarely by nature, often by choice.) I wasn't really thinking literally in this case so much as symbolically -- kind of the maleness/femaleness of all of us, psychologically speaking.

Gar
03-28-2005, 05:56 PM
Gar, whether or not penetration is a good basis for a rule is not really the question here. That is the rule, and we signed on. Period.

"Period". Yes. (put a stamp on it) Never said that wasn't a WC rule. I know this rule all too well, as i had posted a painting of mine sometime last year, only to have it deleted/censored. It was entitled, "Herky, Betsy, Deadman, Shotgun". A few of you may remember. It's prolly one of my most beloved paintings personally and is well over 10 years old.
But yes, as you've repeatedly stated, that is the rule. I don't expect them to change it. Doesn't mean we can't discuss the merits/logic of such a rule. Just a bit of healthy discourse. Was all i was doing.

w3rd - gaR

JohnA
03-28-2005, 05:56 PM
Do you have a definition, for yourself, of what is and is not pornographic in visual art? I don't, and would be somewhat interested in developing one.

I do, but probably not what you're looking for.

I think pornography is "acheived" when a sexual depiction becomes incredibly compelling to a large number of people. If pornography were permitted on WC, I would hope that it would have its own forum. It's invasive, like political or religious discussion. That's why boards typically have a "discussion" or "off-topic" section to help prevent these ideas from consuming all other topics.

Regardless of where society should be regarding sexual expression. I am glad there are private places (even art places) where pornography is prohibited. Environments where it is allowed are too often overwhelmed.

For better or worse, the types of ideas typically expressed in the art in this forum are compelling to fewer people than is pornography. I like that these ideas are protected (on private property).

Gar
03-28-2005, 06:25 PM
I personally don't think that contemporary paintings are/or can be pornography.
I'm sure there's many people that would disagree with that statement, but that's my honest opinion.

- G

Tamana
03-28-2005, 06:56 PM
I've always likened pornography to either film or photographs. I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen what I consider a pornographic painting?

Anyone else?

debbi_carr
03-28-2005, 07:08 PM
hearing and listening to what you and tammy have had to say...has given me hope...and lifted my spirits gar. makes it worth the while hanging out here, to meet people like some of you guys that i have met here.

one thing that gets to me about disappearing threads/posts...it gives me the feeling that we are little pawns...just being played. i just think it is sooo WEIRD. sometimes when a conversation is going on and people are bantering...you open the page to start where you left off and shazam it's like you never had the conversation. it just F^%&%cks with my head. you ever seen eternal sunshine of the spotless mind? one of my favourite movies...but i didn't think i would ever be living it. i feel like that's us at WC: everytime the powers that be remove a part of a conversation and hope that we forget about it, we end up right back where we left off but instead of getting it over with and moving on at the initial time it came up...we revisit it 1 month later or so almost seemingly forgetting that we once happened on a similar if not the same predicament. it's too weird...gone without a trace or a word, or a hint that it will be gone. isn't there a better way to deal with things like this? i am going to have to stop cyberdorking or learn of some coping mechanism (anyone care to share?) if there isn't a better way to handle undesirable threads or posts.

what a shame.

love,
deborah.

debbi_carr
03-28-2005, 07:10 PM
I've always likened pornography to either film or photographs. I'm trying to remember if I've ever seen what I consider a pornographic painting?

Anyone else?
no i never. but i am not the most exposed.

d-head
03-28-2005, 07:25 PM
and books, of course. I had a friend (seems I have nothing but wacko friends) who ecked out a living as a porno editor and writer. He actually sent books to himself and accepted them for publication. Sometimes he would write chapter one while another soul simultaneously wrote chapter two. Seemed that as a long as certain acts were performed with a predictable degree of regularity, it all worked out in the end, so to speak. In his other life, he was a talented and well-published poet. Oh, and another. I studied with renowned Melville/Hawthorne scholar. One day his students discovered a porno writer with the same name and stuffed the porno book under the jacket of the Hawthorne treatise. How proud we were. The upshot was that the teacher/author/porno pusher were the same mealy little guy with the big glasses and baggy pants living in that fine home offering tidbits on Omoo and Tipee (I can't remember how to spell 'em. Probably on purpose: Awful borning hideous books. Now Moby Dick...). He confessed to us that the porno paid more of the mortgage than his professorship.

I don't know what this has to do with the thread. I guess I'm still perplexed when and how abstract expressionist art crosses the line. By the way, saw an expressionist painting publicized in a main stream NY art mag that depicted an explicit sexual act that I know would call for dismissal from this forum. I'll try to dig it up. Maybe we can get that publication banned from this site.

Oh Geez, I'm beginning to sound contentious and edgy. Think I'll go to Costco now and buy luggage.

Tamana
03-28-2005, 07:26 PM
Here's a painter whose work is considered pornographic--I disagree.

http://www.postmedia.net/01/yuskavage.htm

http://www.postmedia.net/01/yuskavage.htm

To me these are more erotic or depictions of natural women than pornography. Which begs another question while I'm delving here: Can pornography be attributed to one person? Or is it an act? I found the below link addressing such.

What is Erotic and What is Pornographic?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A2163070

Pornographic images, for instance, tend to dwell entirely on the sex act. They are voyeuristic in nature and only involve the user in the most alienated way - as an onlooker.

It would seem that WC adhere more to the latter question of it being an "act".

Miss Debbi C -- You give me hope, too. :) And you've touched on an important crux of the issue, I think. Eternal is one of my favorite movies. "Everybody's gotta learn sometime" :music: ;)

FriendCarol
03-28-2005, 07:32 PM
I think pornography is "acheived" when a sexual depiction becomes incredibly compelling to a large number of people.
...
Regardless of where society should be regarding sexual expression. I am glad there are private places (even art places) where pornography is prohibited.
Interesting... I'm trying to make sense of the definition, in terms of my own experience. The one time I happened on something that I thought was visual pornography was years ago when I was designing a Web site for someone. For some reason we wanted a picture of a foot as part of the logo, so I searched the Web for examples of actual feet (so I could do some reasonably representative cartoon in PhotoShop). I accidentally found myself in a foot fetish site.

That aside, however, I think you may be talking about an 'edge' phenomenon. Dietrich Bonhoeffer (probably in Ethics) once said something like most of the time we just take correct behavior for granted, but there are a few, rare circumstances where we actually need to figure out what's correct. (Of course I'm paraphrasing!)

So if I understand you, pornography (visually) is society-specific (or culture-specific) paintings (etc.) depicting anything beyond the edge of currently acceptable sexual behavior?

That definition won't work for me, I think. By analogy, just as there are 'news stories' that are unacceptable for me (close focus on gore without any relevant information, sensationalism, sycophantic posturing disguised as editorial content, etc.), surely there are visual depictions of sexual behavior that I would find objectionable on more absolute grounds.

One potential example might be the portrayal of a murderous rapist... and I will stop there; I could easily get too graphic.

I don't know whether there is anything 'just' sexual I would see as pornography, but if violence is added, or if the two are confused (as presumably they are in the mind of a murderous rapist), I think I would draw the line there.

I'm fascinated to discover that I seem to consider visual depictions of 'pure' sex or sexuality would not be pornographic: In writing, I feel almost the opposite. If the sexual descriptions/content have nothing whatsoever to do with plot or character, feel as if they've just been thrown in without context, unconnected to the rest of the work, then it feels pornographic to me. (Yes, using this description, I do end up defining a lot of 'bestseller fiction' as pornographic -- but not anything like Ullyses, Under Milkwood, etc. I still read these books, but I skip over the irrelevant passages, stopping if I see dialogue or anything else relevant going on during this 'interlude.')

Once in awhile, authors write scenes of sexuality in which we learn more about the characters, or the story (or their relationship) advances. I never saw "Last Tango in Paris" but I must have read the screenplay, and thought it fell into this category. Of course, the film itself may have been pornographic in the sense I just described for visual art, I don't know. But I didn't consider the screenplay to be pornography. (I didn't like it, but that's a whole different discussion!)

d-head
03-28-2005, 07:39 PM
:::::::::::::::

and books, of course. I had a friend (seems I have nothing but wacko friends) who ecked out a living as a porno editor and writer. He actually sent books to himself and accepted them for publication. Sometimes he would write chapter one while another soul simultaneously wrote chapter two. Seemed that as a long as certain acts were performed with a predictable degree of regularity, it all worked out in the end, so to speak. In his other life, he was a talented and well-published poet. Oh, and another. I studied with renowned Melville/Hawthorne scholar. One day his students discovered a porno writer with the same name and stuffed the porno book under the jacket of the Hawthorne treatise. How proud we were. The upshot was that the teacher/author/porno pusher were the same mealy little guy with the big glasses and baggy pants living in that fine home offering tidbits on Omoo and Tipee (I can't remember how to spell 'em. Probably on purpose: Awful borning hideous books. Now Moby Dick...). He confessed to us that the porno paid more of the mortgage than his professorship.

I don't know what this has to do with the thread. I guess I'm still perplexed when and how abstract expressionist art crosses the line. By the way, saw an expressionist painting publicized in a main stream NY art mag that depicted an explicit sexual act that I know would call for dismissal from this forum. I'll try to dig it up. Maybe we can get that publication banned from this site.

Oh Geez, I'm beginning to sound contentious and edgy. Think I'll go to Costco now and buy luggage.

Tamana
03-28-2005, 07:43 PM
Duh!! How could I forget magazines or books?! But wait...aren't those read for the 'articles' only?! :cool:

It's all Carol's fault. She asked for a definition.

FriendCarol
03-28-2005, 08:20 PM
Thanks for the links, Tam. It seems to me the painter you referenced could (if for any reason she wanted to!) post here; no violation of rules I can see. The later work, especially, does pose interesting questions (expressing a major abstract question through largely representational art, btw!!!). With the help of the accompanying article (which, to read, I had to enlarge my font size twice!), I certainly did not see her art as pornographic. Unfortunately, being still such a verbal person, I basically read the article before looking at the pictures, so we'll never know what I might have thought if I hadn't read it. :rolleyes:

The article (somewhere on BBC) seemed to want to focus on something other than the actual image: Does it involve or alienate the viewer? Normally, I don't consider the viewer much in creating art, though the analytical/editing/revising side of the process may include analyzing effect on him/her. It's much easier for me to judge whether a film is pornographic than a painting/photograph, because imo it's just a question of relevance for anything with narrative structure.

Btw, did you catch what I wrote (between the two appearances of d-head's last post?!?)?

Tamana
03-28-2005, 08:28 PM
You know...I did NOT...and I don't know how?! Give me a bit....I'm on a splatter break. ;)

SanDL
03-28-2005, 10:07 PM
I was the member in question who had the strong aversion to Best-of's piece. I still do. But I did not "call it in" other than posting my reaction. You post work in an open board you'll get a reaction and it won't always be complementary. You are responsible for your expressions especially when they are provocative. I still think the piece was remarkably ugly and my stomach still turns at the thought of it. Nonetheless I was hoping to see other members reactions and was also surprised at how quickly it was pulled.
I'm not a prude or a stuck up conservative. I am a feminist and I'm tired of seeing work that objectifies and degrades women. If the other female members do not feel this way, that's fine, too. I have no other commentary.

JohnA
03-28-2005, 10:22 PM
So if I understand you, pornography (visually) is society-specific (or culture-specific) paintings (etc.) depicting anything beyond the edge of currently acceptable sexual behavior?
Respectfully, that bears no resemblance to what I said. To keep it all in context, I'll repeat:
"pornography is 'acheived' when a sexual depiction becomes incredibly compelling to a large number of people"

This can be "a depiction beyond the edge of currently acceptable sexual behavior". The two overlap, but are not equal. To show where they overlap (and to show how it can be a painting) I will tell what I have seen in other forums.

==> A person uploads an image, however abstract, of a non-standard sex act.
==> Those who are militantly NOT interested in the subject of the painting frantically line up to tell the poster what a genuis he is.
==> Someone says, "heh, doesn't look that great to me"
==> Original militantly disinterested and a new group with a left-over axe to grind against Jessie Helms or Tipper Gore, shout down the "dissenter" and tell him what a close-minded, brain washed idiot he is. The word 'fascist' is thrown around liberally.
==> Original poster, enjoying the attention, posts more of the same.
==> Others join in a perceived holy war against the injustice of a person not liking the original painting.
==> Holy war > "silly" abstract paintings
==> Intensity = repetition^10

Unlike other arguments, this one never ever e.e.e.v.v.v.e.e.e.r.r.r gets old. Those militantly disinterested parties will forever do back flips over any depiction of genitals.

I have nothing against pornography, but it must be kept separate for this community to exist as it is now. Right or wrong. For the exact same reason abstract is kept separate from realist portraiture.

Tamana
03-28-2005, 10:40 PM
hahahahahahahaha

d-head
03-28-2005, 10:41 PM
What remains interesting to me is that if the post, and reaction to it, were allowed to persist, it would have been long gone by now with minimal mention or attention. The controversary is no longer the actual post, but the intrigue in our responses to the greater question of what is and is not acceptable on this site, in our consciousness and our world.

Tam. Lovely princess. Carol: where do you get all that mental energy? I'm gonna watch Law and Order. Damn porn. Give me violence.

JohnA
03-28-2005, 10:45 PM
hahahahahahahaha
Dismissing me? Well ... all's fair I suppose. Have you never seen this happen? I guess it doesn't happen most places because the moderators do not allow it to. Perhaps I've spent more time than most in unmoderated communities.

Tamana
03-28-2005, 10:48 PM
One potential example might be the portrayal of a murderous rapist... and I will stop there; I could easily get too graphic.

I don't know whether there is anything 'just' sexual I would see as pornography, but if violence is added, or if the two are confused (as presumably they are in the mind of a murderous rapist), I think I would draw the line there.

But then you have the 'fetish' aspect which simply 'acts it out' but means no harm literally.

I'm fascinated to discover that I seem to consider visual depictions of 'pure' sex or sexuality would not be pornographic: In writing, I feel almost the opposite. If the sexual descriptions/content have nothing whatsoever to do with plot or character, feel as if they've just been thrown in without context, unconnected to the rest of the work, then it feels pornographic to me. (Yes, using this description, I do end up defining a lot of 'bestseller fiction' as pornographic -- but not anything like Ullyses, Under Milkwood, etc. I still read these books, but I skip over the irrelevant passages, stopping if I see dialogue or anything else relevant going on during this 'interlude.')

I think because maybe words take it a step further than a visual depiction. A visual depiction merely offers an image in a stationary position which suggests the act (unless you're discussing film vs. art (not that film isn't art (oh hell jut say painting and be done with it (but then you have photography sheesh))). Whereas the verbal takes you through a step by step of the descriptive process of the act.

Once in awhile, authors write scenes of sexuality in which we learn more about the characters, or the story (or their relationship) advances. I never saw "Last Tango in Paris" but I must have read the screenplay, and thought it fell into this category. Of course, the film itself may have been pornographic in the sense I just described for visual art, I don't know. But I didn't consider the screenplay to be pornography. (I didn't like it, but that's a whole different discussion!)

Hm. Interesting--context making a difference. The same act but under differing circumstances could produce a varying effect of reaction. I guess the same applies with 'intent' (if considered) regarding actions.

Tamana
03-28-2005, 10:53 PM
Dismissing me? Well ... all's fair I suppose. Have you never seen this happen? I guess it doesn't happen most places because the moderators do not allow it to. Perhaps I've spent more time than most in unmoderated communities.

Actually, John, I merely thought your presentation was very amusing and humorous. But by no means was I dismissing you. I thought it very well conveyed. :cool:

FriendCarol
03-28-2005, 10:59 PM
Sorry, John, thought you were actually trying to define it! LOL

D- maybe it's sublimation :evil: I dunno. Doesn't feel like thinking, just feels like uncovering stuff that's already there (and typing it out). Just the typing part takes energy. :)

Curiosity, on the other hand, seems to raise energy for me. I wanna know everything! Just give it all to me, all the information you have! (I feel like Data on Star Trek NG now.) :D

We never got to the part about art and censorship. No one ever wants to discuss that in the abstract; everyone jumps on it everytime something gets wiped out. Ah, well.

How's the splattering going, Tam? I'm working on an abstract using tape! :evil: Three sessions today, lots more (I hope) tomorrow. I'm building layers. :)

P.S. This is not good. I was just in the Chat room and left while writing this Reply, but I feel I'm back there!

JohnA
03-28-2005, 11:02 PM
double post

Tamana
03-28-2005, 11:02 PM
I'm looking at it now...trying to decide if it's finished...

JohnA
03-28-2005, 11:02 PM
Actually, John, I merely thought your presentation was very amusing and humorous. But by no means was I dismissing you. I thought it very well conveyed. :cool:
Thank you. I am embarassed for having once again shown my prejudice. When on the internet, I expect contention. I make an effort to take things as positively as possible, but sometimes the reflex gets the best of me.

Tamana
03-28-2005, 11:04 PM
What did you mean by that?!

*acts all defensive and stuff*



Feel better now? :wink2:

FriendCarol
03-28-2005, 11:06 PM
Guys, I just LEFT the Chat room. CLosed the Java window n'all!

Tamana
03-28-2005, 11:11 PM
P.S. This is not good. I was just in the Chat room and left while writing this Reply, but I feel I'm back there!

Guys, I just LEFT the Chat room. CLosed the Java window n'all!

*Wonders if she should be the one to tell her....*

FriendCarol
03-28-2005, 11:13 PM
ROTFLMAO!

I'm too tired to be this silly.

bbbilly1326
03-28-2005, 11:56 PM
==> A person uploads an image, however abstract, of a non-standard sex act.
==> Those who are militantly NOT interested in the subject of the painting frantically line up to tell the poster what a genuis he is.
==> Someone says, "heh, doesn't look that great to me"
==> Original militantly disinterested and a new group with a left-over axe to grind against Jessie Helms or Tipper Gore, shout down the "dissenter" and tell him what a close-minded, brain washed idiot he is. The word 'fascist' is thrown around liberally.
==> Original poster, enjoying the attention, posts more of the same.
==> Others join in a perceived holy war against the injustice of a person not liking the original painting.
==> Holy war > "silly" abstract paintings
==> Intensity = repetition^10

Unlike other arguments, this one never ever e.e.e.v.v.v.e.e.e.r.r.r gets old. Those militantly disinterested parties will forever do back flips over any depiction of genitals.

sorry JohnA, this isn't specific enough to define porn. If you substitute "statements about religious dogma" for "depictions of non standard sex acts", you're describing what happen regularly on the Debates forum. :D

These arguments neeeeeeever get old either, and they're incredibly compelling....

I don't like censorship either, and although it's not done here by the government, it is being done "to us" rather than by us, and thus feels like censorship. I know this is a private site, and "we are guests" but unlike a private home, the site really wouldn't exist without us, its guests.

I also understand how difficult the job of moderator must be. And I accept that I agreed to certain rules.

But the fact remains, if I painted something showing a knife penetrating someone's heart, it would be okay here.

It's certainly, for all citizens of our country, a cultural standard....and very sad.


















































I have nothing against pornography, but it must be kept separate for this community to exist as it is now. Right or wrong. For the exact same reason abstract is kept separate from realist portraiture.[/QUOTE]

minimonkey
03-29-2005, 01:15 AM
Interesting discussion, all!

Carol, I was thinking today (as I read this thread) about Ulysses, and how it was banned as pornographic -- perhaps the greatest book ever written, IMHO.

I'd love to chat literature and pornography with you sometime :D

bestof
03-29-2005, 03:26 AM
*Blinks* GAAAH! Someone should have called me. I would have logged on hours ago!

I'm glad Phyllis finally explained why she took the painting down, since she didn't do it in her email to me. I understand alot of people see the painting as showing penetration, and I'm not saying if it does or doesn't (not everyone sees it that way), but let's not fool ourselves: Phyllis removed the painting because she had personal problems with it. When she emailed me, she wrote "Your painting is highly offensive. I am personally appalled that you would post an image like this and say that you were inspired by one of our WC! members." It must come as quite a shock to her that not only do the majority not find the the painting highly offensive, but that d-head has no problem with it. Surprise! She also wrote "I can tell you without a shadow of doubt that posting another thread at WC! that breaks the user agreement will cause your account to be frozen for future use. In matters like this, I don't feel giving anyone the benefit of three strikes would be in the best interest of the community." What's with the attitude? In this thread she's tried using the rule of law to defend her actions, but her actions clearly show someone acting out of anger and hostility.

She could have removed the image and posted an explanatory note on the thread saying 'I'm removing this because it shows penetration but I'll leave the thread so you can talk about it', which would have explained the situation, kept the conversation going, and prevented confusion. Instead she chose delete thread, delete other thread, send nasty email. She could have asked if it showed penetration and I would have said 'I'm not telling and you can remove the image if you feel it's in the best interest of the community'. also, It seems like alot of people here didn't know about that rule, since no one could tell me why the painting was removed. I wanted to see why SanDL felt the way she did(I still do). I remember asking her why she felt the way she did about the painting, and then I went into the kitchen for something, and when I came back...everything was gone. DUN DUN DUUUUUN. *insert drama* = )

I still don't know why Phyllis deleted the thread I started asking who removed the pic. Is it possible the only reason this thread hasn't been deleted is that now she knows she'll be held accountable for her actions? I would suggest to her that in the future she she could try taking a deep breath and thinking about what she's doing, and to come from a place of tolerance and understanding, instead of bitterness. Maybe she needs to be told that this is a place for communication, and it seems like it's going to be up to us to remind her of that. And if she doesn't like it, she's free to leave...










Hugs for everyone who wants one!!! Non-standard sex acts for those who don't!

SanDL
03-29-2005, 07:43 AM
I wanted to see why SanDL felt the way she did(I still do). I remember asking her why she felt the way she did about the painting, and then I went into the kitchen for something, and when I came back...everything was gone. DUN DUN DUUUUUN. *insert drama* = )

I explained my reaction after you asked why I thought the piece was misogynistic. In detail.
I don't want to do it again.
I'm not looking for a fight. I'll just avoid your threads in the future.

mame
03-29-2005, 08:25 AM
If not at least a springboard to better questions, understanding, knowledge, enlightenment, what then?


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/inyourface/

Can art be ugly and still be art?
Has a work of art ever made you feel better about yourself?
Have you seen works of art that make your skin crawl?
Can art be confusing and still be art?
Should you pay taxes to support struggling artists?
What image from this Web site would you like to hang on your livingroom wall?
Would you let your 10-year-old visit this Web site?
Can movie violence make the audience indifferent to real violence?
Has anyone ever been redeemed by art?
Has anyone ever been hurt by a work of art?
Has controversy ever influenced your decisions about which movies to attend?
Are there any artworks that should always be banned?
How would you explain the music you like to your grandchildren?
Should members of your community be able to restrict which images you can and cannot see?
Must art in public spaces be acceptable to everyone?
Have you ever been embarrassed by looking at a piece of art?
Has art ever made a difference in the world?
Are video games art?
Has a piece of music ever had a physical effect on you?
Do humans need the arts?
Could a work of art hurt someone?
Should the arts be allowed to threaten the social status quo?
Has a work of art ever changed the way you look at the world?
How would you explain the music you like to your grandparents?
Would you let your aged grandmother visit this Web site?
Should works of art be used to advertise products?
Can a work of art itself be immoral?
Can a work of art itself be moral?
What is art?
Have you ever been scared by an artwork?
Are the arts dangerous?

BOUNDARY CROSSERS - HISTORICALLY
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/flashpoints/index.html

niwi
03-29-2005, 08:32 AM
The legal climate in this country -- not to mention the larger world! -- makes this a bad time to test boundaries, particularly on a private art site.

The current climate makes it more important than ever to test boundaries, or roll over like felled sheep.

JohnA
03-29-2005, 09:41 AM
sorry JohnA, this isn't specific enough to define porn.
Wasn't meant to be a definition of porn. Just giving an example. Political and religious contention can work the same way. I said exactly this earlier in the thread.

SanDL
03-29-2005, 10:20 AM
Can art be ugly and still be art? Yes.
Has a work of art ever made you feel better about yourself? Yes.
Have you seen works of art that make your skin crawl? Yes.
Can art be confusing and still be art? Yes.
Should you pay taxes to support struggling artists? No opinion.
What image from this Web site would you like to hang on your livingroom wall? None.
Would you let your 10-year-old visit this Web site? No.
Can movie violence make the audience indifferent to real violence? Yes.
Has anyone ever been redeemed by art? Don't know.
Has anyone ever been hurt by a work of art? It's seems probable. Since artists have been persecuted, it seems that some are a threat to others.
Has controversy ever influenced your decisions about which movies to attend? No.
Are there any artworks that should always be banned? Yes.
How would you explain the music you like to your grandchildren? Ask me in 10 years.
Should members of your community be able to restrict which images you can and cannot see? Trick question.
Must art in public spaces be acceptable to everyone? Another trick question.
Have you ever been embarrassed by looking at a piece of art? Yes.
Has art ever made a difference in the world? Don't know.
Are video games art? Some are.
Has a piece of music ever had a physical effect on you? Yes.
Do humans need the arts? Yes.
Could a work of art hurt someone? I've answered that.
Should the arts be allowed to threaten the social status quo? They do. It's a physical law.
Has a work of art ever changed the way you look at the world? No.
How would you explain the music you like to your grandparents? I wouldn't.
Would you let your aged grandmother visit this Web site? Yes.
Should works of art be used to advertise products? Don't care.
Can a work of art itself be immoral? Trick question.
Can a work of art itself be moral? Trick question.
What is art? :rolleyes:
Have you ever been scared by an artwork? Yes.
Are the arts dangerous? Sometimes. Depends on your POV.

mame
03-29-2005, 10:22 AM
SanDL -

:wink2:

SanDL
03-29-2005, 10:24 AM
SanDL -

:wink2:
Your perpetual need to be cryptic and reticent to express an opinion makes dialogue with you impossible.

FriendCarol
03-29-2005, 10:24 AM
The current climate makes it more important than ever to test boundaries, or roll over like felled sheep.Here's why I agree with you: You're right. Here's why I disagree with you: We're not the ones who would be stuck with the legal bills.

I defined the rules on my own site according to my own beliefs. That way, if I posted some author's work that imo was not pornographic or blasphemous, but I had to handle legal issues as a result, I would have been willing to do that -- because I would be defending my beliefs as well as the writer's work. I would not have been willing to spend MY time, money, energy to defend some self-styled artist (writer, in this case) stating whatever seemed most provocative at the time.

If you really feel this is of paramount importance, you could create a Web site of your own. It's not a hard thing to do, reallly. I can point you to tools that make it quite easy. (You might have to set up your own server, too, or use one that already hosts pornographic or otherwise risky material.) Then invite the painter to post the work in question, and any others you think might precipitate testing the boundaries.

I'm not called to that, and neither, apparently, is the owner of this site. If you are, perhaps you'd be performing a great service for all painters/visual artists. :)

mame
03-29-2005, 10:48 AM
Your perpetual need to be cryptic and reticent to express an opinion makes dialogue with you impossible.

But......your intellect is sharper than mine and you just say it so much better than I.

I'm more of a one on one-er. Gangs scare me :)

check out your pm's (give me a minute)

FriendCarol
03-29-2005, 11:07 AM
Oooo, dialogue! I'll just put in my answers where they differ, Sandy. :)
Should you pay taxes to support struggling artists? No opinion.Guess I subscribe to the Human Rights charter (without particularly believing in the organizational structure): Everyone, even stubborn artists who can't bring themselves to earn a living some other way, should have access to food, shelter, medical care, clothing, whatever help I can contribute.
What image from this Web site would you like to hang on your livingroom wall? None.
Would you let your 10-year-old visit this Web site? No.
Haven't looked yet. (But your answers probably prefigure mine.)
Has anyone ever been redeemed by art? Don't know.Yes, me, I think. I don't think I was exposed to love as a child except in books I read. Some authors gave me a sense there was a world different from the place I was growing up in; I even began to act (sometimes) as if I lived there, instead. I didn't kill myself as an adolescent, either (though I came close sometimes), because of my sense that that world existed, somewhere, and I might find it.
Has controversy ever influenced your decisions about which movies to attend? No.
Yes, because I used to play around with writing filmscripts, before choosing plays instead. (Research :rolleyes: )
Are there any artworks that should always be banned? Yes.Nothing I can think of that isn't criminal in some other sense already. Like hate speech, really -- if it's a crime, it's a crime (period... poor Gar :) ). If it's not forbidden, I would have it be allowed.
How would you explain the music you like to your grandchildren? Ask me in 10 years.
I think I could 'explain' why I like/dislike most things, don't know if the explanations would be understood or accepted. :D
Should members of your community be able to restrict which images you can and cannot see? Trick question.
If I were a child or otherwise incapacitated, yes. Otherwise, no.
Must art in public spaces be acceptable to everyone? Another trick question.Not in a multi-cultural world. Not in an authoritarian world. Not in an unredeemed world?
Has art ever made a difference in the world? Don't know.At least in changing me, perhaps (I haven't gone around destroying too many people :D ).
Could a work of art hurt someone? I've answered that.Depends on the definition of 'hurt.' Cause pain? Yes. Ultimately damage? Um, not a capable, functioning, minimally mature human, no.
Has a work of art ever changed the way you look at the world? No.Yes
How would you explain the music you like to your grandparents? I wouldn't.Already answered.
Can a work of art itself be immoral? Trick question.
If what hacks produce is 'art,' yes -- insofar as art without integrity is immoral. If what propagandists produce is 'art,' yes. As to what I would call a work of art (artist using technique & materials to express aspect of experience), no.
Can a work of art itself be moral? Trick question.
Hmmm. I know what immoral could mean. I guess I'm not so clear on what 'moral' means, apart from integrity: Could 'real' art be used to teach children what is 'good?' Not in a rule-observing sense, no. Can children and adults learn (find in themselves) compassion and empathy, faced with a true work of art? Certainly. (Isn't that why some artists are doing shows of the works of homeless persons, or portraits of them?)
What is art? :rolleyes: For my own needs as primarily non-visual person, I am developing a definition (see manifesto) (then :rolleyes: )
Are the arts dangerous? Sometimes. Depends on your POV.If danger is risk, yes, for the status quo both of persons exposed to art and of their society.
Is putting at risk what we believe and how we behave a bad thing? (i.e., dangerous=bad) For immature persons and rigidly controlling societies, yes, it can threaten their survival as they are.
Imo this kind of danger is a very good thing, if chaotic forces are not released. Self-examination and the reformation of deeply held beliefs is part of maturation; experiencing art (distilled experience of the 'other') can lead to this. Maturation is dangerous, it invalidates the old ways while we're still groping for the new ways. It's while we're groping that the 'fists of belief' (marvellous line I found on the handprint site recently!) can bring about great destruction.

My 'Easter' abstract must be dry enough by now for another session. :)

SanDL
03-29-2005, 11:18 AM
Sigh.
Too many questions and answers that remain vague, fluid, mutable. Yes yes, I know that's part of the beauty of life but when the attempt to grapple with them begins to paralyze my process then I know I'm stuck in that very limited limited world of linguistics when I 'd much rather be stuck in the world of linguini.

SanDL
03-29-2005, 11:27 AM
I'm more of a one on one-er. Gangs scare me :)

check out your pm's (give me a minute)
Alpha bitches have responsibilities. Don't shirk yours. :D

Tamana
03-29-2005, 11:34 AM
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof} :music:
Who let the dogs out {woof, woof, woof, woof} :music:

-- Baha Man

:angel:






WHAT?! It was THERE for the taking!!!

bbbilly1326
03-29-2005, 11:41 AM
Wasn't meant to be a definition of porn. Just giving an example. Political and religious contention can work the same way. I said exactly this earlier in the thread.

oops, musta missed it, sorry ....

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 11:45 AM
Definition of pornography
Main Entry: por·nog·ra·phy
Pronunciation: -fE
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek pornographos, adjective, writing about prostitutes, from pornE prostitute + graphein to write; akin to Greek pernanai to sell, poros journey —more at FARE, CARVE
Date: circa 1864
1 : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2 : material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction <the pornography of violence>
- por·no·graph·ic /"por-n&-'gra-fik/ adjective
- por·no·graph·i·cal·ly /-fi-k(&-)lE/ adver
does the definintion change your view of the painting?
Is the painting actually "porn"?
Does the painting arouse you?
Art censorship is a touchy subject. but.......... I dont think this is actually about censorship anymore. I think this all about personal opinion on what is "erotic art" and what is "pornography"
What i dont get is why people are offended by the human form? and maybe doing an act that you and I do?
he painted it because he was inspired by something. Most artist paint with feeling and emotion. Some of us might not like it and some of us do. But.....
we are questioning if it is art or porn? Why?

bestof
03-29-2005, 06:52 PM
Definition of pornography

does the definintion change your view of the painting?
Is the painting actually "porn"?
Does the painting arouse you?
Art censorship is a touchy subject. but.......... I dont think this is actually about censorship anymore. I think this all about personal opinion on what is "erotic art" and what is "pornography"
What i dont get is why people are offended by the human form? and maybe doing an act that you and I do?
he painted it because he was inspired by something. Most artist paint with feeling and emotion. Some of us might not like it and some of us do. But.....
we are questioning if it is art or porn? Why?

Good questions. Out of the now hundreds of people who have seen it, only two had a negative reaction, and neither one wants to talk about it. It's obviously a deeply disturbing image for those two, and at this time they'd rather keep quiet about it instead of share their thoughts, because if they did that they might get some feedback and learn something about themselves. Facing demons is a scary prospect. One thing I've noticed is that a persons attitude towards a work of art is often a very good reflection of their own insecurites and prejudices. I don't know why people are offended by the human form. What I'd like to know is why people are afraid of a painting.

muchfoolishness
03-29-2005, 07:19 PM
1. one of the most beautiful paintings ive ever seen depicts a person in the natural act of defecation

2. the difference between eroticism and pornography is just meaning:
probably a reflection of our own libidinosity

3. without some objectification there is no possibility of recipricocity

i dont know that censorship is at issue here
we have preagreed to terms and conditions on this site

FriendCarol
03-29-2005, 07:25 PM
I guess you didn't read my earlier posts, so I'll repeat myself here. A lot.
Out of the now hundreds of people who have seen it, only two had a negative reaction, and neither one wants to talk about it.
[1] I was at least the third person offended by your painting. If I had remembered the rule defining pornography, I absolutely would have clicked that little sign myself. Another who was offended spoke up right away, with cogent reasons for her reaction. Whom do you think is hiding?

[2] I have 'shared my thoughts.' Why haven't you read them? Why does your post feel like you preaching at us, instead of a conversation?

It's obviously a deeply disturbing image for those two, and at this time they'd rather keep quiet about it instead of share their thoughts, because if they did that they might get some feedback and learn something about themselves. Facing demons is a scary prospect.Deeply disturbing, no. Puerile and degrading and ugly, was my reaction. To which, now, perhaps I should add deliberately provocative.

One thing I've noticed is that a persons attitude towards a work of art is often a very good reflection of their own insecurites and prejudices. I don't know why people are offended by the human form. What I'd like to know is why people are afraid of a painting.

[3] I invite you to explain to me, based on any or all of the critiques I've written since I arrived in this forum a few weeks ago, my insecurities or prejudices. That information would be very helpful to me, since I try to clarify my own internal fears or prejudices as I become aware of them.

[4] I am not in the least offended by the human form. Not in whole or in part. The human body is one of God's finest creations (at least, of those visible to me). It's true I always hate to see it degraded, whether by abusive parents, factory supervisors and furniture designers, prison wardens and guards -- or even painters. (Distortion is not degradation; I adore Moore's big wooden figures -- especially in museums where they let us touch them.) I myself am trying to learn to paint figures accurately (at least initially).

This particular thread is not about a specific image, which you appear to have overlooked. We have shared our thoughts about pornography in visual art (and btw, that definition from the dictionary is interesting, but doesn't work for me). Did you see my attempts at a definition? Do you have a reaction?

We have shared a few thoughts about art censorship -- which did not occur here, btw. Do you now understand what censorship is, and is not?

Also, I found the questions posted by Mame were interesting; would you like to share your considered reactions to those? I'm not interested in reading diatribes when it's obvious the poster hasn't even read the previous posts in the thread. In short, would you please join this open, adult conversation some of us were having (in however desultory a fashion)?

Tamana
03-29-2005, 07:34 PM
Definition of pornography
he painted it because he was inspired by something. Most artist paint with feeling and emotion. Some of us might not like it and some of us do. But.....
we are questioning if it is art or porn? Why?

I don't think the discussion surrounding what is/isn't considered erotic/pornography is in reference to bestof's post (though I may be mistaken). It's an answer to a question someone posted asking if anyone had a definitive definition of pornography...

I think the issue here, or rather, the evolution of a main issue here is addressed in Debbie C's (in addition to bestof's) responses (in part) regarding the removal of posts without an explanation and/or an explanation which (in content) is personal and emotional and doesn't point out the violation (as bestof mentioned).

If I had received a note from an administrator in the content that bestof received I would be confused as well. I would additionally be afraid to post any images for fear I would be banned because I offended the adminstrator personally. Now had the "penetration" rule been mentioned in a professional manner and reiterated by the accompaniment of the "rule" (as demonstrated in this thread)--then I personally think the "PM Brigage" wouldn't have ensued --and this thread wouldn't even exist now.

Sometimes it's not so much what we do (or say) that ignites controversy--it's how we do (or say) it.

bestof
03-29-2005, 08:02 PM
I guess you didn't read my earlier posts, so I'll repeat myself here. A lot.

[1] I was at least the third person offended by your painting. If I had remembered the rule defining pornography, I absolutely would have clicked that little sign myself. Another who was offended spoke up right away, with cogent reasons for her reaction. Whom do you think is hiding?

[2] I have 'shared my thoughts.' Why haven't you read them? Why does your post feel like you preaching at us, instead of a conversation?




Does attacking me make you feel better? Okay. I had no idea you were offended. I knew sandl was, so I asked why but missed her comments due to deletion, so I mentioned in this thread that I'd like to hear her views, and she said she didn't want to talk about it and that she would forevermore ignore my threads. That's hiding. Ilis never wanted to discuss this, wants no part of this anymore and has said so. That's hiding. You accuse me of not readng the thread and yet all the information I've just typed is here- in this thread. Did you read it?

Would you feel differently if it ws painted by a woman? What if it was painted by a well-known feminist? Would it make a difference if it was painted by your favorite artist in the whole world or by someone you hate?

mame
03-29-2005, 08:20 PM
Oh, now don't get into gender apologetics/slippery slope stuff.


but........was the painting any good?

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 08:28 PM
tamana, :)

I was refering to what people had previously posted. and how it actually has gotten off the original topic and has turned into a discussion on what is porn and erotic art! In no means was i offended by his work and i never had the impression it was porn! i originally thought this disscusion was about censorship because of the heading but with so many post's, topics are bound to be jumped, its human nature! my point is why are people offended by such a painting? if they are offended by it then why not artist like
pablo picasso
http://www.moma.org/collection/depts/paint_sculpt/blowups/paint_sculpt_006.html
or Agnolo Bronzino
http://www.artformgallery.com/images2/bronzino/01_al.jpg
or Gustave Courbet
http://www.artformgallery.com/images2/courbet/02sl.jpg
Or any of these from Auguste Rodin
http://www.artformgallery.com/rodin.htm
Or if you were to take a drawing class and the nude model happen to be a male and he touched his penis would they be offended?
My point is this is art take it or leave it. If you are easily offended by sexual nature the human form then u cant be associated with art cause it is all around you. art is a passion and full of emotion just like sex. and sex and art combine well with each other!!!!!! thats my point. this isnt about the confusion this is me asking why they were offended and giving my opinion. Some one asked for the definition and i gave it. thats all. Anyway GREAT POST!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 08:33 PM
Bestof,

Awsome Point:
Would you feel differently if it ws painted by a woman? What if it was painted by a well-known feminist? Would it make a difference if it was painted by your favorite artist in the whole world or by someone you hate? :clap: :clap: :clap:

I was trying to get that out but didnt know how and u did it for me!!!!!!!!!
MAD PROPS :clap: :clap:

-Lisa

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 08:45 PM
tamana,

Im not trying to be hateful got mad love :D
just trying to give you my view

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 08:47 PM
tamana,

Im not trying to be hateful got mad love :D
just trying to give you my view
Lisa

FriendCarol
03-29-2005, 08:54 PM
Does attacking me make you feel better?Not at all. I'm experiencing this as tedious, but that's irrelevant. You deserve an answer if you ask a question, just as a matter of mutual respect.

Okay. I had no idea you were offended. I knew sandl was, so I asked why but missed her comments due to deletion, so I mentioned in this thread that I'd like to hear her views, and she said she didn't want to talk about it and that she would forevermore ignore my threads. That's hiding.Wait a minute here. To the best of my recollection, in the deleted thread that contained your image, you had ALREADY asked SandDl about her posted reactions by the time I arrived in the thread. So you must have read them. I found her remarks self-explanatory, so I'm not sure what you're saying.

Furthermore, it's not 'hiding' -- many of us reach an age at which we realize time is not unlimited, and we make choices about how to spend it. Part of my vocation is 'teacher,' so it's sorta my 'job' to listen as patiently as I can, and explain the same things 100 times over. Real artists like SanDl don't have that kind of time to waste, and they realize that more and more as they get older.

Ilis never wanted to discuss this, wants no part of this anymore and has said so. That's hiding.No, it's not hiding. It gets very tedious to do this sort of thing, you know. Over and over and over. I mean, do you have any idea how many different writers I've told, over the years, about unmatched commas around parethetical remarks? And they're usually grateful, they're not attacking me for doing my job (as a volunteer, I should add)!

On this site I've explained at least three times in great detail how to fold and cut watercolor paper in the past year; again, it's tiresome but at least the person asking how to do it isn't attacking me after I type it all out again!

You accuse me of not readng the thread and yet all the information I've just typed is here- in this thread. Did you read it?I read this thread, and even re-read it, when I thought I might have missed part of it. I have been reading it since it started. (See all the posts I left throughout yesterday and today?) I try very hard to make sure I read every post before I ever comment in a thread, which is why I'm not really participating in the huge thread on this site (Quickie Abstracts). I don't want to waste other people's time.

Would you feel differently if it ws painted by a woman?Would feel rather sad for the woman who painted it, maybe pity her (or if she were merely being provocative, might be annoyed). But I would hate the image in the same way. After all, it would be the same image.

What if it was painted by a well-known feminist?Again, the image is what it is. It's ugly, puerile, degrading. I'm not sure I'd recognize the name of a 'well-known feminist' artist -- wait, I remember one called Judy Chicago, I think, saw a lot of plates, she must be a sculptor -- 'Dinner Party?' Can't imagine her doing something as clunky as what I saw, but if she had... no, it's unimaginable. Some counter-factual conditionals basically cannot even be posed.

Okay, just 'no,' then. I'd still hate it, because it would be the same image. I don't hate you, I hate the work. Big difference.

Would it make a difference if it was painted by your favorite artist in the whole world or by someone you hate?See, the thing is, it's simply not possible my 'favorite artist in the whole world' could paint a thing like that. Artists whose work I admire greatly express respect for the natural world (even in abstract work), including the body. This quality is part of them, as well as part of why I admire their work; this has to do with integrity (which just means "one-ness").

If I can just be honest with you... What I really want to say to you is just: grow up. Maybe you are madly talented, maybe not, I can't remember your other work. Develop your self, find out who you are and leave the rest behind. Just cut it away from the essential you (or, 'cut it out'?). Then look at the world from that whole and true person's eyes, your eyes; finally, share your view of the world. I want to see that. Do you understand what I'm saying?

I respect you (the 'you' somewhere in there), but I feel you are not respecting yourself. I don't want to deal with that fracture in you anymore than anyone else does. I will, though; I'll try to hear you as long as you want to go on having this tantrum (well, maybe I shouldn't say that, but that's what this feels like to me. Can you handle hearing that?).

You are worth this much, anyway: my time spent listening and responding to you here, as you are right now. But you are more than this. I'm eager to meet a more grown 'you.' The world cannot have too many mature artists. We need every one of you desperately. (Too much art is barely enough, isn't that what muchfoolishness says?)

Tamana
03-29-2005, 09:01 PM
tamana, :)

I was refering to what people had previously posted. and how it actually has gotten off the original topic and has turned into a discussion on what is porn and erotic art!

But I don't feel it's migrated from the original topic. One, I thought we'd determined that censorship wasn't applicable here in relation to bestof's painting? Two, the name of the thread is "Art and censorship -- a discussion, I hope...". Meaning, that WHAT could possibly be termed as pornography vs. erotic art could be construed as grounds for censorship. I don't feel a discussion to investigate what differentiates them is in anyway off topic. For example, had bestof's painting not included penetration (the violation of the rule) then it wouldn't have been removed.

In no means was i offended by his work and i never had the impression it was porn! i originally thought this disscusion was about censorship because of the heading but with so many post's, topics are bound to be jumped, its human nature! my point is why are people offended by such a painting? if they are offended by it then why not artist like pablo picasso

Well, you weren't offended. I wasn't offended. However, there were some who were for whatever reasons they were. It's not our right to judge their reactions anymore than it's theirs to judge ours. It has been pointed out that a rule (in some people's opinion--there were some who didn't even see it as penetration (I did)) was violated. I'm not upset at the removal of the post due to the violation of the rule. What disturbs me is the manner in which it was handled, which was on a personal level. I just feel ALL this could've been avoided had it not been handled that way.

As for the removal of a post that violates a guideline for membership--I agree that wouldn't constitute censorship regarding private property. However, the removal of only CERTAIN information which alters the meaning of a body of information publicly is, imho, censorship irrespective of public or private property because the public (even on private property such as this) has access to not the full truth, but only a portion of it. Now that's what disturbs me.

I think the discussion regarding the definition of pornography vs erotica is indeed uncovering some reasons for societal reaction to certain things involving sexuality. I think it's worth discussing and exploring and it's something that fascinates me. Of course, human behaviour does in general.

Or if you were to take a drawing class and the nude model happen to be a male and he touched his penis would they be offended?
My point is this is art take it or leave it. If you are easily offended by sexual nature the human form then u cant be associated with art cause it is all around you. art is a passion and full of emotion just like sex. and sex and art combine well with each other!!!!!! thats my point. this isnt about the confusion this is me asking why they were offended and giving my opinion. Some one asked for the definition and i gave it. thats all. Anyway GREAT POST!!!!!!!!!!!!

Would you say take it or leave it in your own livingroom, though? If someone brought a sexual depiction into your home in front of your (let's just say) pre-school aged child, would you allow them to show it and then answer the million questions the child has regarding the piece? This site, just as your home, has rules that you agree to prior to entering through its door. I am not opposed to the rules whatsoever. I am merely irritated at the way they're handled at times.

I have already addressed in a previous post why I feel sexuality disturbs so many publicly. It was painted as such for generations due to censorship in the form of removal and re written information distributed, especially regarding women. And that's why censorship needs to be fought the good fight so that all people have the right to make choices based on the entire truth vs. only the portions of it that others deem they need to see.

Another thing that disturbs me is why people spend so MUCH energy on things of this nature when there's so MUCH beautiful art on the board? They should at least balance it out to keep perspective of what WC is for. And I don't mean you literally, so please do not take it as such.


PEACE LOVE JOY ART!!!

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 09:15 PM
I think the reason people take so much time on the topic is because it is a big problem. IM not saying here but every where. this is a place where people can post their art work and talk about art. when censorship and art are put into a sentence together you are going to get people reacting to it. Like I said in one of my first post's here their is a coalition dedicated to censorship of the arts.
http://www.ncac.org/projects/art_now/main.html

I really done think we are wasting peoples time with it, its a discussion, people are posting what they feel its healthy. I mean I don't think its an argument its just views on the topic its good to see everyone's feelings. I have no negative energy about what people say here everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect that.
-Lisa

Tamana
03-29-2005, 09:23 PM
Well, I don't think I used the word 'waste' at all. I think discussion, even if adverse, is healthy if exchanged in a respectful manner. And you're completely right; it IS a massive problem and the reason for the world's condition today. Or so I feel. I don't know why some people are so afraid that others may choose something different or not agree with them. It's a shame when the world, or rather, some in it, resorts to manipulation of the truth in order to maintain control--but...shame or not...it's the way it is for the most part in corruption.

To clarify my meaning is to say that the amount of time one spends in attempts to rectify injustice they should also balance with equal time spend in what does, indeed, make this world worth living: the beauty of Love, nature, and the arts. If one doesn't, it's very easy to become obsessed and lose sight of what the fight is for...not to mention a life which would lack the very things that make it worth living for.

bestof
03-29-2005, 09:26 PM
Bestof,

Awsome Point:
:clap: :clap: :clap:

I was trying to get that out but didnt know how and u did it for me!!!!!!!!!
MAD PROPS :clap: :clap:

-Lisa

Thanks *High five!* = )

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 09:30 PM
I agree with you entirely. it is sad that the things we love most let it be books or paintings to sculpture are taken away from us due disseption and minipulation. i think that we should have the clause of getting rid of the censorship and evoke the passion of art. but this is not a perfect world :(

Keith Russell
03-29-2005, 09:41 PM
I was the member in question who had the strong aversion to Best-of's piece. I still do. But I did not "call it in" other than posting my reaction. You post work in an open board you'll get a reaction and it won't always be complementary. You are responsible for your expressions especially when they are provocative. I still think the piece was remarkably ugly and my stomach still turns at the thought of it. Nonetheless I was hoping to see other members reactions and was also surprised at how quickly it was pulled.
I'm not a prude or a stuck up conservative. I am a feminist and I'm tired of seeing work that objectifies and degrades women. If the other female members do not feel this way, that's fine, too. I have no other commentary.

It was a painting. No women were 'degraded' in any way. It was a painting, made of paint.

Keith.

SanDL
03-29-2005, 09:44 PM
It was a painting. No women were 'degraded' in any way. It was a painting, made of paint.

Keith.
Eff you.

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 09:45 PM
that is an awsome reply :D

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 09:47 PM
It was a painting. No women were 'degraded' in any way. It was a painting, made of paint.
awsome just awsome

Mich451
03-29-2005, 09:48 PM
One person's art is another's porn and vice (interesting word) versa. Not for those easily offended-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/portrait/story/0,11109,845513,00.html

Keith Russell
03-29-2005, 09:48 PM
I'm surprised no one invited me here before now.

I have seen the painting in question. It was too abstract for me to even consider it arousing, and thus I cannot consider it 'pornographic'--let alone 'offensive'. (I agree that it violated the WC TOS, though...)

We've discussed pornography--at length--in the Debate forum, and I have often offered what I believe to be an accurate definition of 'porn'.

To me, pornography is a category of art, but one with a very specific--narrow--intent, and/or purpose.

For me to consider a work 'pornographic', has nothing to do with the degree of explicitness, nor any aspect of the content of the work, media, etc.

For me to consider a work 'pornographic', it must have, as its sole intent and/or purpose, to arouse the audience sexually. Extremely erotic content along with some other content, and the work isn't 'porn'.

This puts pornography squarely in the eye of the beholder; as there are many things which might turn others on, which don't arouse me--and vice versa.

I am well aware that others often consider 'pornography' to be vulgar, disgusting, etc., but we have adjectives to use when considering 'bad' or 'ugly' work--not only 'porn'.

As for the degradation and/or objectification of women, that's quite an oversight. 'Porn' objectifies sex, and 'heterosexual porn' (the kind of which I'm most familiar) objectifies both women and men. If porn was the only art-form, I would see this as a problem. Since it isn't, I don't.

Want to argue? Bring it on! (And, be prepared to defend your views.)

Keith.

bestof
03-29-2005, 09:49 PM
Would feel rather sad for the woman who painted it, maybe pity her (or if she were merely being provocative, might be annoyed). But I would hate the image in the same way. After all, it would be the same image.

You know, some of the most graphic work I've seen depicting women in various...ways...has been done by women. Do you think there's a reason for that? And you still haven't told me why you hate it.


Again, the image is what it is. It's ugly, puerile, degrading.

You've stated this as if it were a fact. There's a difference between a fact and an opinion. An opinion goes like this: george Bush is an idiot and his brain is made of cheese doodles. A fact would be: george bush has a brain. Okay, that last one was a bad example. Sorry. My bad.

FriendCarol
03-29-2005, 09:50 PM
that is an awsome reply :DI particularly admire the brevity! :p

Keith Russell
03-29-2005, 09:50 PM
Eff you.

It's always lovely to see how much people who claim to care about other people, actually do care about other people.

Thank you for reinforcing my point.

Art can't hurt you--or anyone else.

Keith.

SanDL
03-29-2005, 09:53 PM
Thank you for reinforcing my point.

Keith.
You're welcome.

Keith Russell
03-29-2005, 09:54 PM
that is an awsome reply :D

Which one, SanDL's--

--or mine?

Keith.

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 09:56 PM
yours

Lisatiffany
03-29-2005, 09:57 PM
im actually laughing now this is becoming amusing

Keith Russell
03-29-2005, 09:58 PM
yours

'K.

Keith.

muchfoolishness
03-29-2005, 10:06 PM
statements arent made in a vacuum
the objectification of the male form and of the female form are not the same in our culture
the context of sexism and patriarchy exploitation and oppression have made sure of that
im not suggesting anything here about pornography
just that a negative reading is easy to empathise with
i havent seen the painting and
im not at all sure that that isnt exactly the dialogue the painting was engaging in

i just think its naive to reduce the discussion down to simple rationalism
ignoring the real and understandable perspectives which people may have

SanDL
03-29-2005, 10:09 PM
It's always lovely to see how much people who claim to care about other people, actually do care about other people.

Thank you for reinforcing my point.

Art can't hurt you--or anyone else.

Keith.
What do you know about caring about people?
First of all, I felt hurt when I saw the image. I had a strong visceral reaction to it. I posted my reaction as fast as I could type. I didn't think about it. Like a finger that touches a hot stove I reacted. Because it hurt. You are in no position to say whether or not art can hurt or not hurt someone. It was my existential experience. I may not be a somebody to you but I am to myself.

The image was experienced as provocative not just by me. Carol has described said piece in the way I experienced it and she has articulated it far better than I could. I clicked on the image and was confronted with a badly painted, crude private act. I did not want to be confronted but I was. I didn't call for censorship. I explained my angry reaction in detail. I don't need to repeat it. If Best-of posts a provocative piece of crap that violates site rules, and it is removed that's not my problem. Actually I was hoping his post would stay because I thought that the other female members that felt similarly might have a go at his balls as I did.

FriendCarol
03-29-2005, 10:22 PM
Hi, Keith. Fancy you showing up here, now. I have a very specific problem with your definition of pornography, and I'd rather not explain what that is. Not in public, and -- as I'm no longer sure of your integrity (for reasons presumably clear to both of us re PM's) -- not to you privately, either. Have you read this thread -- have you seen my attempt to define pornography in visual art for myself?

I will open this conversation with you at your statement that a painting of a woman cannot (?) be degrading to a woman because it is 'merely' paint. ?

That seems to be the plain implication of your statement, anyway. Please correct my understanding if you meant something else, because I don't want to waste more of my time than necessary.

If you truly believed a painting is only paint, how could you possibly be interested in painting? If painting does not express anything, is unrelated to the world, why bother doing it? And why would anyone else care enough to censor 'deviant' art?

Bestof -- It's hard for me to remember the totality of an image I saw for only a few minutes, two days ago, considering I've seen many images since then (including one I am painting myself). But I'll try: The woman looked dead and her mouth was a black hole, or maybe a disfigurement. I was literally having trouble making out the image -- what was I seeing? Whatever point you may have been trying to make, I couldn't locate the cues.

I had no idea where the center of focus was. I couldn't find any balance, harmony, or unity in the piece. Verticals, horizontals, round, straight, lines/shapes -- no dominance I could see... The palette seemed confused, almost random, as to which colors were placed where. Maybe that's why the black -- of the blacked-out mouth -- was just about the first impression... Except that was so oddly rendered I didn't recognize it as a mouth in a face. Could it be a gag? I finally figured out it was a woman sitting on the floor(?); just that much was hard to be sure of. I couldn't even decide if she were nude or not. Then I was trying to figure out what she was doing -- was she alive or dead, had she been stabbed? had there been a miscarriage?

Once I finally figured out what you were portraying (which, btw, I was only able to do as 'quickly' as I did because of SandDl's comments), I was repulsed by what seemed to me the slap-dash dishonesty of it. In writing, I would have termed it 'hack' work -- writing done for the sensation and the sale. Nothing seemd to be honestly observed, reported, or reflected on. It wasn't even a quick impression, imo; it just looked like visual confusion.

Now, hack writers sell. They pander to the lowest taste of the barely literate, and can make lots of money. They can't have my respect for their work, but they can have other people's money. Do you want to be a cheap sensationalist? Or an artist?

Yeah, that gwb, not worth speaking of, really.

Keith Russell
03-29-2005, 10:23 PM
What do you know about caring about people?

I guess the above is meant to indicate that you believe I don't know much.

First of all, I felt hurt when I saw the image.

Art can't hurt you. (You can hurt you, and your thoughts can hurt you, but the art, cannot.)

I had a strong visceral reaction to it. I posted my reaction as fast as I could type. I didn't think about it.

Therein lies the danger.

Like a finger that touches a hot stove I reacted.

But there was no heat, no damage, only an image.

Because it hurt.

No, it didn't.

You are in no position to say whether or not art can hurt or not hurt someone.

Pain is a physiological sensation; it can be measured, and it can be altered, chemically. You were not hurt.

It was my existential experience. I may not be a somebody to you but I am to myself.

Again, your assumption that I am incapable of caring about people.

You'll have to have a chat with my wife sometime.

The image was experienced as provocative not just by me.

Am I supposed to believe you are more right, if more than one person agrees with you?

Carol has described said piece in the way I experienced it and she has articulated it far better than I could. I clicked on the image and was confronted with a badly painted, crude private act. I did not want to be confronted but I was.

As you have discovered, the only way to avoid being 'confronted' is by keeping your eyes, nose, ears, and mouth firmly shut.

I didn't call for censorship. I explained my angry reaction in detail. I don't need to repeat it. If Best-of posts a provocative piece of crap--

Again, I rest my case.

--might have a go at his balls as I did.

Once again, your level of sympathy for others is revealed. I guess you think its horrible for men to express certain aspects of their feelings, thoughts about women, but it's perfectly fine for you to react--to a painting--by intentionally avoiding the profanity filters in your comments to me (as much a TOS violation as the painting you decry, by the way!) and feel free to talk about other women 'hav[ing] a go at his balls'.

Yes, you are truly a caring person.

Keith.

Keith Russell
03-29-2005, 10:30 PM
Hi, Keith. Fancy you showing up here, now. I have a very specific problem with your definition of pornography, and I'd rather not explain what that is.

Hmmm.

Not in public, and -- as I'm no longer sure of your integrity (for reasons presumably clear to both of us re PM's) --

If you're going to impugn my integrity, you'd best explain yourself.

--not to you privately, either. Have you read this thread -- have you seen my attempt to define pornography in visual art for myself?

Yes, and yes.

I will open this conversation with you at your statement that a painting of a woman cannot (?) be degrading to a woman because it is 'merely' paint. ?

That is not what I said, but I nonetheless agree.

I said that no women were degraded. This is true. The painting was made of paint, not women. No women were degraded.

I do not believe that ideas are harmful. I do believe that certain ideas--if acted upon--are harmful, but then it is the actions, not the ideas, which are harmful.

Paintings represent ideas.

That seems to be the plain implication of your statement, anyway. Please correct my understanding if you meant something else, because I don't want to waste more of my time than necessary.

If you truly believed a painting is only paint, how could you possibly be interested in painting? If painting does not express anything, is unrelated to the world, why bother doing it? And why would anyone else care enough to censor 'deviant' art?

The painting is only paint, but paint can do a great deal. Nonetheless, any reaction I have to the painting, is mine.

As for censors, I have never been able to understand them or their motives, and I have no interest in ever being able to do so.

As for 'deviant', I have no idea what you mean. I 'deviate' all the time: from the norm, from the average, from the consensus. I consider it a virtue.

Keith.

Tamana
03-29-2005, 10:35 PM
One person's art is another's porn and vice (interesting word) versa. Not for those easily offended-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/portrait/story/0,11109,845513,00.html

His actions don't interest me, but in no way offend me. I guess because I view masturbation as something that should be a beautiful connection with self just as love-making between two individuals. To display for public reaction, imho, desegrates the very nature of its sacred intimacy. However, it in no way offends me other than wishing people would (imho of course) stop lowering such actions to 'performance art' for, in yet another humble opinion, attention.

And to break a mirror...wow, he's brave (or extremely stupid, one ;) ). :cool:

bestof
03-29-2005, 10:48 PM
What do you know about caring about people?
First of all, I felt hurt when I saw the image. I had a strong visceral reaction to it. I posted my reaction as fast as I could type. I didn't think about it. Like a finger that touches a hot stove I reacted. Because it hurt. You are in no position to say whether or not art can hurt or not hurt someone. It was my existential experience. I may not be a somebody to you but I am to myself.

The image was experienced as provocative not just by me. Carol has described said piece in the way I experienced it and she has articulated it far better than I could. I clicked on the image and was confronted with a badly painted, crude private act. I did not want to be confronted but I was. I didn't call for censorship. I explained my angry reaction in detail. I don't need to repeat it. If Best-of posts a provocative piece of crap that violates site rules, and it is removed that's not my problem. Actually I was hoping his post would stay because I thought that the other female members that felt similarly might have a go at his balls as I did.

Quoted for archival purposes. As I said earlier,
Facing demons is a scary prospect. One thing I've noticed is that a persons attitude towards a work of art is often a very good reflection of their own insecurites and prejudices.

Yes, I'm sure you did post your reaction as fast as you could type, because you wouldn't want to let anything like thinking and common sense come between your insecurities and your post. One of the nice things about us humans is that we have this ability to think before we act. You weren't hurt by my painting. My painting didn't pick up a knife and cut you. You did it all to yourself and you just don't want to admit it. I guess it's easier to blame others for your issues than yourself, right? Enjoy your bitterness.

SanDL
03-29-2005, 10:51 PM
Enjoy your bitterness.
I'm not bitter.
I reacted to your work. And it stung, I'll bet. If it didn't, then good for both us.
C'est la vie.
Have fun with your balls.

FriendCarol
03-29-2005, 10:54 PM
If you're going to impugn my integrity, you'd best explain yourself.Would you like me to publish the circumstances prior to the PM you sent me, my response, and describe what happened following my response?

I said that no women were degraded. This is true. The painting was made of paint, not women. No women were degraded.
So if I 'impugn your integrity' with my words, nothing has happened. Except in your head? Except in other people's heads? Has anything happened, or not?

I do not believe that ideas are harmful. I do believe that certain ideas--if acted upon--are harmful, but then it is the actions, not the ideas, which are harmful.Please try to be more precise with your language, or we won't be able to get enough clarity to resolve this disagreement. First you say "I do believe that certain ideas -- if acted upon -- are harmful"

The subject of that embedded clause is "ideas" and its 'passive' verb is "are harmful" ... Then you immediately reverse yourself. I'm a bit too tired to do the Chomskian transformations backwards to recover kernel sentences at this hour, but either an idea is harmful (or can be) or it is not harmful. May I assume we agree on the law of the excluded middle, at least? That is, one or the other is your statement, but not both. So, please, choose the one that best represents your position (or make up one that is at least unambiguous):
1. ideas can be harmful
2. ideas cannot be harmful

The painting is only paint, but paint can do a great deal. Nonetheless, any reaction I have to the painting, is mine.
I agree your reaction is yours, and mine is mine. Your first statement, once again, confounds two kernel sentences opposed in meaning. It is therefore meaningless, so I cannot respond.
As for censors, I have never been able to understand them or their motives, and I have no interest in ever being able to do so.Are you being disingenuous here? Can you really not understand that censors want to control society by controlling the availability of information or ideas? I do not believe you are quite that unintelligent....

As for 'deviant', I have no idea what you mean. I 'deviate' all the time: from the norm, from the average, from the consensus. I consider it a virtue.I, too, deviate all the time, though I do not consider it a virtue or a fault; it is merely a fact. I was making a reference to the Nazi's banning/burning of 'deviant art' (which, nevertheless, several of them collected themselves). I will try, henceforth in this argument, not to make allusions but to state everything plainly and at tedious length.

bestof
03-29-2005, 11:02 PM
I had no idea where the center of focus was. I couldn't find any balance, harmony, or unity in the piece. Verticals, horizontals, round, straight, lines/shapes -- no dominance I could see... The palette seemed confused, almost random, as to which colors were placed where. Maybe that's why the black -- of the blacked-out mouth -- was just about the first impression... Except that was so oddly rendered I didn't recognize it as a mouth in a face. Could it be a gag? I finally figured out it was a woman sitting on the floor(?); just that much was hard to be sure of. I couldn't even decide if she were nude or not. Then I was trying to figure out what she was doing -- was she alive or dead, had she been stabbed? had there been a miscarriage?

It sounds like the need to figure out what it was is what bothered you. You might ask yourself why you needed to figure it out at all.


Once I finally figured out what you were portraying (which, btw, I was only able to do as 'quickly' as I did because of SandDl's comments).

So your opinions didn't come from you, they came from an insecure girl with an axe to grind, who fantsizes about doing things to my balls.
Good job.

bestof
03-29-2005, 11:08 PM
I'm not bitter.
I reacted to your work. And it stung, I'll bet. If it didn't, then good for both us.
C'est la vie.
Have fun with your balls.

You can't stop thinking about them, can you? I'd be happy to describe them in a pm, if it helps with whatever fantasies you've got going on over there. And you bet wrong, because I didn't see your comments, but I want too (as I said earlier today- you got a problem with short term memory?) I really wish someone had saved them.

PALudeking
03-29-2005, 11:18 PM
Art and censorship...

its the relevance of body bags and the beautiful brain....

how can we have both?

Answer..... we already do.

FriendCarol
03-29-2005, 11:26 PM
It sounds like the need to figure out what it was is what bothered you. You might ask yourself why you needed to figure it out at all.Not at all, my dear. What bothered me was the lack of coherence in what was apparently meant to be representational, or at least an figural abstract. I have often enjoyed 'figuring out' what something posted in abs/con is/means. Have a look at my critiques and you can, I think, pick that up. I enjoy entertaining (that is, considering) the communication of most of the painters in this forum. I study the cues, check the title, try to work it out; it's part of the fun of being here. Sometimes I'll come back and look at a piece several times, over a couple days, before I know what I think/feel about it.

You could, if you wish, think of it this way: A person who takes the time to look at a piece created by a painter is entering into a brief contract with the painter: Assuming the artist is communicating through this piece, and attempting to 'listen/see.' In order to do this fairly, one opens oneself to the experience. If that person then has to spend a lot of time only to find, ultimately, that the piece is apparently insulting or disrespectful intentionally, the viewer feels disrespected, even violated. The painter broke the contract.

Now, maybe the painter intended the disrespect. There are people who walk around thinking they're smarter than anyone else, or for some reason have the right to take whatever they can get (including taking up other people's time). If not, the painter is merely incompetent. That's not very interesting. But to be incompetent in a way that wastes a lot of time is worse than mere incompetence.

So your opinions didn't come from you, they came from an insecure girl with an axe to grind, who fantsizes about doing things to my balls.Good job.First, my opinions didn't come from anyone except me. They're my opinions. I was trying to find some way to respect the work, and couldn't. Next consideration (as I went through the process of considering that piece): Was it me? My incompetence at seeing? My relative lack of familiarity with the various new genres of visual art? Ah, no, it was not. I was not the only person having this reaction.

Btw, it's very insulting to refer to a woman as 'girl,' just as it was (is? hope not!) insulting to refer to a man (African-American man, notably) as 'boy.' SanDl is a mature artist, and a woman, not a 'girl.'

I am starting to feel quite exhausted, and will probably only be able to respond once more tonight. Then it will have to wait until tomorrow, I'm afraid.

jenangelcat
03-29-2005, 11:27 PM
Wow this thread is really interesting and disturbing. I have read every post and I cannot believe that an abstract painting of masturbation has been called ugly, puerile, degrading and crude?! Wow I must be a horrible person to have been submitting myself to such an act for quite a number of years. This is the entire problem with Western (American) society today. This is why there are so many teen pregnancies and rampant spread of sexually transmitted diseases. It's because sex is seen as a dirty crude thing that you only talk about behind closed doors. I cannot believe this is still an issue for people. Sex is a beautiful thing (whether alone or with a partner). So is the human body. If you have issues with a completely natural, fun, loving experience being depicted as art, then maybe a talk with a therapist is at hand, as this type of thinking should have went out with the last world war.

Sorry for the vent, but this topic always irritates me, especially when I see young kids messing up their lives because of their parent's issues with sexuality.

Over and out

Jen

P.S Read the book Joy of Sex.
I read it 11 years ago when I was 13. Excellent book.

Keith Russell
03-29-2005, 11:33 PM
Would you like me to publish the circumstances prior to the PM you sent me, my response, and describe what happened following my response?

That's entirely up to you.

So if I 'impugn your integrity' with my words, nothing has happened. Except in your head? Except in other people's heads? Has anything happened, or not?

I simply asked you to support your assertion, nothing more.

Please try to be more precise with your language, or we won't be able to get enough clarity to resolve this disagreement. First you say "I do believe that certain ideas -- if acted upon -- are harmful"

I think that's perfectly clear.

The subject of that embedded clause is "ideas" and its 'passive' verb is "are harmful" ... Then you immediately reverse yourself.

I didn't 'reverse myself'. Of course when you remove words, the meaning changes. But, if you leave the sentence as I wrote it (which you ought to do) my intended meaning is clear.

I'm a bit too tired to do the Chomskian transformations backwards to recover kernel sentences at this hour, but either an idea is harmful (or can be) or it is not harmful.

Ideas are not harmful. Actions can be.

Is that easier for you to understand?

May I assume we agree on the law of the excluded middle, at least? That is, one or the other is your statement, but not both. So, please, choose the one that best represents your position (or make up one that is at least unambiguous):
1. ideas can be harmful
2. ideas cannot be harmful

See above.

I agree your reaction is yours, and mine is mine. Your first statement, once again, confounds two kernel sentences opposed in meaning. It is therefore meaningless, so I cannot respond.

And yet you did respond, by saying that you cannot. Curious.

Are you being disingenuous here? Can you really not understand that censors want to control society by controlling the availability of information or ideas? I do not believe you are quite that unintelligent...

You misunderstand, yet again. I know what censors want to do; I said that I do not understand their motives. I don't understand why they 'want to control society, etc.'

I, too, deviate all the time, though I do not consider it a virtue or a fault; it is merely a fact. I was making a reference to the Nazi's banning/burning of 'deviant art' (which, nevertheless, several of them collected themselves). I will try, henceforth in this argument, not to make allusions but to state everything plainly and at tedious length.

By all means, make allusions, just make them clear. I thought you might have been referring to 'deviantart.com'.

Keith.

SanDL
03-29-2005, 11:34 PM
You can't stop thinking about them, can you? I'd be happy to describe them in a pm, if it helps with whatever fantasies you've got going on over there. And you bet wrong, because I didn't see your comments, but I want too (as I said earlier today- you got a problem with short term memory?) I really wish someone had saved them.

In this painting of yours I saw a woman penetrating her genitals with a phallus. Her hands were poorly articulated so that they looked like stumps. Stumps for hands suggest to me the following, either you can't or don't want to draws hands. Articulated hands mean (to me anyway) empowerment. Stumps for hands mean lack of empowerment. So a disempowered female figure is masturbating with a disembodied phallus. Her mouth (the organ with which to articuate, express, attack or defend) was smeared with black. So, what does that mean? I saw it that this figure was unable to do any of those things. Her figure was distorted. The paint was slapped on with aggressive squiggles scratched into the paint. gestures: rough, crude. A style, I understand. But even styles have meaning.
Since I am a woman I feel a connection to images of women. To see a woman portrayed in this way is offensive to me and apparently others also.

But I also understand that the younger you are, the less likely you are to be sensitive to the content of visual messages since we are, in this day and age flooded with them and have become desensitized to content.
You can say that all of this is my interpretation of the work, and it is not what you intended to express. But once the piece is out in space and you are unavailable to offer an explanation by which I can better judge your intent I am left with my experience. My experience is my experience. No right, no wrong.

I will contend that my words were stronger than necessary. And I apologize. I still don't like your work and your responses here were at least as provocative as your painting. You wanted a reaction? You got one.

You have plenty of friends here that will support your work. My opinion doesn't count for much, especially since it's coming from an insecure girl.
Chill, I will too.

FriendCarol
03-29-2005, 11:39 PM
Wow this thread is really interesting and disturbing. I have read every post and I cannot believe that an abstract painting of masturbation has been called ugly, puerile, degrading and crude?! Wow I must be a horrible person to have been submitting myself to such an act for quite a number of years.Not again... Okay, one more time. The PAINTING was ugly, puerile, and degrading. Not sex. Not bodies. The painting.

It's because sex is seen as a dirty crude thing that you only talk about behind closed doors. I cannot believe this is still an issue for people. Sex is a beautiful thing (whether alone or with a partner). So is the human body. If you have issues with a completely natural, fun, loving experience being depicted as art, then maybe a talk with a therapist is at hand, as this type of thinking should have went out with the last world war.I guess when you read the posts in this thread you missed the one where I said bodies are the most beautiful of all the things I have seen created by God. :rolleyes:

P.S Read the book Joy of Sex.
I read it 11 years ago when I was 13. Excellent book.I actually, in this very thread (waaaaaay back when discussing/arriving at a definition of pornography for myself) said that I had READ/seen this book and found NOTHING objectionable in it. I specifically said I had nothing to object to in the illustrations. I'm saying it again now.

Reading comprehension these days... No rational argument... Oh, it's the end of civilization as we know it. (again) *sigh* ;)

bestof
03-30-2005, 12:05 AM
In this painting of yours I saw a woman penetrating her genitals with a phallus. Her hands were poorly articulated so that they looked like stumps. Stumps for hands suggest to me the following, either you can't or don't want to draws hands. Articulated hands mean (to me anyway) empowerment. Stumps for hands mean lack of empowerment. So a disempowered female figure is masturbating with a disembodied phallus. Her mouth (the organ with which to articuate, express, attack or defend) was smeared with black. So, what does that mean? I saw it that this figure was unable to do any of those things. Her figure was distorted. The paint was slapped on with aggressive squiggles scratched into the paint. gestures: rough, crude. A style, I understand. But even styles have meaning.
Since I am a woman I feel a connection to images of women. To see a woman portrayed in this way is offensive to me and apparently others also.

But I also understand that the younger you are, the less likely you are to be sensitive to the content of visual messages since we are, in this day and age flooded with them and have become desensitized to content.
You can say that all of this is my interpretation of the work, and it is not what you intended to express. But once the piece is out in space and you are unavailable to offer an explanation by which I can better judge your intent I am left with my experience. My experience is my experience. No right, no wrong.

I will contend that my words were stronger than necessary. And I apologize. I still don't like your work and your responses here were at least as provocative as your painting. You wanted a reaction? You got one.

You have plenty of friends here that will support your work. My opinion doesn't count for much, especially since it's coming from an insecure girl.
Chill, I will too.

I would never say what I intended to express. I think the viewer completes the painting, so say what you will. It's interesting that you reacted so strongly to the hands. That's one I hadn't heard before. I don't agree with your view that a person with stumps for hands lacks power. There are artists who draw with their feet, and one guy I saw holds a pencil in his teeth. Power comes from inside. Stephen hawking can't use his mouth or hands but that doesn't stop him from being an authour people respect.

I value everyones opinions. Thank-you for sharing your thoughts with all of us.

keustice
03-30-2005, 12:30 AM
Hello everyone!

I would urge all posters here to keep all comments free of any kind of personal vitriolic. The boards should always be free of abusive language or doubting of motivations of other posters. People are free to object to a piece that another considers excellent and there will always be work posted that some consider objectionable and others consider art. In this particular instance, an action was taken by a moderator because the posted work violated the user agreement by portraying penetration.

There have been some interesting points conveyed in this thread, but of late many of the comments back and forth have been personal. Nothing should ever be said that could be construed as a personal attack. Please keep comments respectful and refrain from guessing the motivations of other posters or in stating anything abusive about another member.

Thank you,
Kerri

Tamana
03-30-2005, 12:40 AM
Hello, Kerri!! Welcome to Abs/Con! Almost like old times with Scott! :cool:

d-head
03-30-2005, 01:21 AM
Amen. This carcass has been picked.

Dake
03-30-2005, 01:58 PM
Preaching and propaganda are ok, as are pointless tulips, aesthetic pleasantry, and all forms of chocolate box playschool crap. All embraced without a blink, although it may offend some we I don't complain aloud.
Is it not ultimately paradoxical that there is such a thing as a moderator of an art forum? This place is a haven for all sorts of kooks, me included, but expresson is what art is about. This is censorship no matter how the gatekeepers would like to phrase it. Pathetic in my opinion! Doe's anyone know of a forum with some organization where all art is acceptable? If so PM me the url.
Dake :mad:

FriendCarol
03-30-2005, 04:13 PM
I was trying to decide where to post this information, and now I can post it here, where (really) it belongs. (I just didn't want to bump up the thread. :D )

Keith Russell & I had a misunderstanding, basically about the status of some information exchanged via PM. He has now written to explain he had merely forgotten, or misread, my response. I apologize for impugning his integrity last night.

minimonkey
03-30-2005, 10:04 PM
Carol --

Wow! Remind me never to get into an argument with you -- I'd never stand a chance against you and your apparent years of linquistic study:clap: Gotta love anyone who can pick apart a sentence so eloquently.

I've found this whole back and forth most interesting and enlightening.

FriendCarol
03-30-2005, 10:36 PM
...never stand a chance against you and your apparent years of linquistic studyLOL! Those were actual years, not apparent years! :evil:

IRL I'm quite friendly, really. More curious to understand another's (weird! stupid! crazy! :evil: ) POV than annoyed, usually. :angel:

Glad you're here. I like this forum. :)

bbbilly1326
03-30-2005, 10:53 PM
I'd like to add one more comment to this thread.

I've been appalled at how adult people are villifying another adult artist who has painted something that they don't like.

I would have thought some here had been talking about a murderer or worse, in speaking about bestof, and his motivations in simply painting and posting a rather straightforward painting.

I believe that he's owed an apology (a public one) for the way he's been talked about and talked to, including by you Ilis.

Just MHO.

PALudeking
03-30-2005, 11:39 PM
I'd like to add one more comment to this thread.

I've been appalled at how adult people are villifying another adult artist who has painted something that they don't like.

I would have thought some here had been talking about a murderer or worse, in speaking about bestof, and his motivations in simply painting and posting a rather straightforward painting.

I believe that he's owed an apology (a public one) for the way he's been talked about and talked to, including by you Ilis.

Just MHO.

I agree...and I add that the poster's who are all too eager to indulge themselves in their ability to boil things down to nothing are not going unrecognized and, by me, are certainly un appreciated.

Gar
03-31-2005, 07:56 AM
Keith,

Thank you for bringing some rationality to some of these kneejerk replies that a few people have been posting in response to merely seeing a "painting". I'm so tired of the morality police swooping in and trying to control others.
I'm also still amazed at how ashamed and frightened many people/adults are of their own bodies. Sexuality isn't a stigma. It isn't a desease. It's human beauty of the highest form and should be held in that regard.

Don't be afraid of your own genetalia - Gar

pearlgirl
03-31-2005, 09:16 AM
Sexuality has many faces...it is something that touches all lives in various ways. I think it is too simplistic to merely state censorship is unnecessary because it is just a beautiful act.

Many have had horrid and deeply damaging exposure to sexual matters. It isn't the paint that hurts, it is the hurtful emotions a painting can provoke. The onus is, indeed, on the viewer to acknowledge their reaction as their own. Yet, to deny (or minimise) the validity of emotional responses in those who react strongly, is to deny (or minimise) that many societies have had some hugely harmful and abusive attitudes, and actions, regarding sex.

I, personally, choose sites that stretch me, but within (or just beyond) my own emotional limits. If I was suddenly faced with something I didn't think would appear on the sites I'd vetted, then, I guess my emotional response might be kneejerk and extreme. WC has it's agreement and as such individuals can decide if the site is going to fit them. Those 'rules' provide many valuable participants to enter and post feeling reasonably safe about the environment they chose.

I'm still formulating my own ideas about censorship. My own views are increasingly expanded but I also understand that some may not be where I'm at and that many are miles ahead. I believe that radicals have their place, that mid-streamers have theirs, and that ultra-conservatists also have theirs. Without the mixture what balance would the world have?

Rome wasn't built in a day; censorship issues will not be resolved in a day. Just my 2 cents worth! (Just heard today that NZ's lowest coin will be a 10 cent piece by October next year)

bestof
03-31-2005, 01:08 PM
I'd like to add one more comment to this thread.

I've been appalled at how adult people are villifying another adult artist who has painted something that they don't like.

I would have thought some here had been talking about a murderer or worse, in speaking about bestof, and his motivations in simply painting and posting a rather straightforward painting.

I believe that he's owed an apology (a public one) for the way he's been talked about and talked to, including by you Ilis.

Just MHO.

Wait, you mean I'm not a mysoginist? Well...damn. = ) Thanks Billy.

PALudeking: Thank-you too!

Dake: Yes, it's censorship. I may have something for you.

bestof
03-31-2005, 01:30 PM
Many have had horrid and deeply damaging exposure to sexual matters. It isn't the paint that hurts, it is the hurtful emotions a painting can provoke. The onus is, indeed, on the viewer to acknowledge their reaction as their own. Yet, to deny (or minimise) the validity of emotional responses in those who react strongly, is to deny (or minimise) that many societies have had some hugely harmful and abusive attitudes, and actions, regarding sex.



Yes, I agree. Sandls feelings about the painting are important to me, which is why I kept asking over and over for them. I know she didn't want to talk about it, but she did(much to her credit), and those opinions helped me to better understand my work.

I still don't know why Ilis feels the way she does, other than she was appalled because I was influenced by another artist(what is that about?) I think if you're going to call a painting highly offensive, it's not unreasonable for the artist to ask for an explanation.

Keith Russell
03-31-2005, 06:18 PM
Gar, you know me--this 'fool' rushes in where angels fear to tread.

How've you been?

Keith.

Keith,

Thank you for bringing some rationality to some of these kneejerk replies that a few people have been posting in response to merely seeing a "painting". I'm so tired of the morality police swooping in and trying to control others.
I'm also still amazed at how ashamed and frightened many people/adults are of their own bodies. Sexuality isn't a stigma. It isn't a desease. It's human beauty of the highest form and should be held in that regard.

Don't be afraid of your own genetalia - Gar

Gar
03-31-2005, 06:22 PM
Fine as wine in the springtime Keith. Thanx for asking. Hoping all is going well for you and yours out in the heartland.

Keep it shiny - Gar

Keith Russell
03-31-2005, 09:34 PM
Fine as wine in the springtime Keith. Thanx for asking. Hoping all is going well for you and yours out in the heartland.

Keep it shiny - Gar

Busy. My mom's in the hospital, we're all worried about her. School is going well, but I'm feeling like I'm getting more and more behind. (Lots of painting will be done over the next four weeks!) I have a show this weeked and I'm not really ready.

But, I'm hangin' in--and the new stuff is looking good!

Keith.

gscar
04-01-2005, 12:53 AM
[QUOTE=FriendCarol]Here's why I agree with you: You're right. Here's why I disagree with you: We're not the ones who would be stuck with the legal bills.]

OK, on the legal side of things. I'm a lawyer (first amendment). Proviso (which I have to give): I'm not offering legal advice.

Having said that, a couple of points:

1. A website like this one can probably legally censor anything it wants, but can also leave anything it wants up (except possibly "obscene" material and definitely no child pornography).

2. In general, pornography is protected by the First Amendment unless it's devoid of any "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value." The literary, artistic, etc. value is what distinguishes pornography from obsencity. Obscenity and child pornography are not protected under the First Amendment (you can't even keep child pornography in the privacy of your home without violating the law). Whatever the painting was, it surely wasn't obscene (by definition).

3. Apart from the legal issue, I don't understand why the painting was taken down. Isn't that what the "butt" icon's for? I would have liked to see it.

4. Strange that comments here are more favorable to allowing expression than the dead kangaroo thread.

--G

gscar
04-01-2005, 10:58 AM
[QUOTE=gscar
1. A website like this one can probably legally censor anything it wants, but can also leave anything it wants up (except possibly "obscene" material and definitely no child pornography).[/QUOTE]


Just to clarify, I was talking about pornography and censorship, not copyright issues. Those are pretty complex, and IMHO, the law's a mess.

--G

FriendCarol
04-01-2005, 12:08 PM
Sorry, missed this post earlier:
1. A website like this one can probably legally censor anything it wants, but can also leave anything it wants up (except possibly "obscene" material and definitely no child pornography).So the guy in Germany, representing the ISP of the convicted hate speech site (you must know the case to which I refer -- something like AOL, a European arm of American corporation) and sentenced to prison... His conviction was overturned, was it? (I thought there was some kind of extra-legal release arranged, but not an overturning of the German conviction.)

What about those cases, which are sure to arise, in which persons in more 'Fundamentalist' countries (with extremely severe penal codes) forbid the kinds of displays routinely made available on sites like this? Since the U.S. has complicated the situation several times by unilaterally invading foreign nations to impose its 'morality' or 'law,' how do we defend those responsible for this site, if those states bring charges in international courts?

2. In general, pornography is protected by the First Amendment unless it's devoid of any "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value." The literary, artistic, etc. value is what distinguishes pornography from obsencity. Obscenity and child pornography are not protected under the First Amendment (you can't even keep child pornography in the privacy of your home without violating the law). Whatever the painting was, it surely wasn't obscene (by definition).
I'm curious about your use of 'by definition' here. Because it was posted (though not permitted to remain) on an art site? Because an artist painted it? Because some artists here thought it was not obscene? Because some community (which?) holds it is not obscene?
Please note I am NOT saying the painting was or was not obscene; I am merely asking what was meant by 'by definition' here.

3. Apart from the legal issue, I don't understand why the painting was taken down. Isn't that what the "butt" icon's for? I would have liked to see it.
Um, if you read this thread, and read your User's Agreement (below the part pertaining to vendor behavior, which is admittedly lengthy), I don't think you would wonder why the panting was removed. Even if you don't read the User's Agreement, the reason was stated in the earlier pages of this thread.

4. Strange that comments here are more favorable to allowing expression than the dead kangaroo thread.Not strange, really; we are naturally more drawn to rally 'round artists we know, with whom we interact, than unknown artists we do not know (particularly when their actions seem bizarre or hard to defend). Second reason: If the work of a fellow member is censored, we might jump to the conclusion it could happen to us, which also tends to arouse us to defense of that artist.

sue ellen
04-01-2005, 12:37 PM
Not strange, really; we are naturally more drawn to rally 'round artists we know, with whom we interact, than unknown artists we do not know (particularly when their actions seem bizarre or hard to defend). Second reason: If the work of a fellow member is censored, we might jump to the conclusion it could happen to us, which also tends to arouse us to defense of that artist

Which goes to the heart of the problem with discussing issues such as censorship and critique in this forum. Everything comes down to personal, emotional reactions to the work and not the actual merit of the work being discussed. When you evaluate a piece of art with a set criteria then that evaluation has validity ...when you evaluate a painting on emotion or familiarity (or lack of Familiarity) then you are using criteria ...but it isn't valid in a constructive way(only in a personal way) And that is the issue that gets confused in this forum and causes people to jump on each other and defend each other and boil it down to a personal issue...not an art related issue.

reynolds
04-01-2005, 01:04 PM
suellen...
i could not agree more.
however all artist's work expresses parts of themselves conscious or unconscious.

part of how i see art comes out of my studies and readings for the thesis that
i wrote (bad word HUH :angel: ) i must admit my first reaction is on a feeling level. i am not sure what has changed in this forum but what i do know is if what i say if it is a critique or disagrees with the masses then everyone rushes in to say how wonderful it is after that...the kewl thing is i have other places to go and my real life is so busy and fulfilling that i have no need to be living the wc life in a box...now that is that.

sue ellen
04-01-2005, 01:21 PM
Oh I completely agree about art being emotional....i know that we share the same views about the conscious and the unconscious in creativity and self expression. :) I base my whole philosophy and practice on it.

creative expression reveals so much more than it could ever conceal!

FriendCarol
04-01-2005, 01:49 PM
Everything comes down to personal, emotional reactions to the work and not the actual merit of the work being discussed.I suppose I would restate this for myself as 'informed personal reactions' to a work; as to the 'actual merit' dimension, perhaps that's a bit too Platonic for me. I practically never have 'purely' emotional reactions myself, and if I do, I do not act on them.

Emotions are ephemeral, and in this society imo receive far more respect than they ought. (Every time I see some self-satisfied idiot try to tear down some carefully phrased and worked out statement meant to further a difficult communication with "But you're ignoring your feelings!" I want to scream. But I don't :angel: .)

Everyone who has lived in close contact with a small child is well aware of the spectacle of the chld apparently in (emotional, not physical) anguish who 'turns on a dime' to instant smiles and joy when presented with a cookie or some other stimulus. We laugh, because we think the emotion was unreal. Suppose emotions really are like that, rather than being the persistent and meaningful phenomena we have perhaps been conditioned to believe in, as adults?

When you evaluate a piece of art with a set criteria then that evaluation has validityFor myself, again, I don't use one 'set' criteria (one set of criteria) to evaluate a piece. I seem to shift to different criteria for different pieces

What comes first is my reaction, then reflection on the reaction. Occasionally, reflection brings me to an actually different reaction, in fact. Finally (and this can take a day or more), I am able to articulate, using some of the 'criteria' I have recently learned, some aspects of WHY I react as I did to a piece. (Iow, in the context of creation we call them 'principles of design' applied to elements of design; these same principles then become 'criteria' during an analysis phase, or 'critique.')

As to WC!, larger, open communities are more fun (at minimum offer more diversity,)... A certain number of immature members perhaps become inevitable at a certain size, however. Then again, larger communities can handle that better; there's a greater stability -- in part just a larger number of positive forces working to reestablish equilibruim. :)

sue ellen
04-01-2005, 02:07 PM
Emotions are ephemeral, and in this society imo receive far more respect than they ought. (Every time I see some self-satisfied idiot try to tear down some carefully phrased and worked out statement meant to further a difficult communication with "But you're ignoring your feelings!" I want to scream. But I don't .)

interesting statement

gscar
04-01-2005, 04:24 PM
Sorry, missed this post earlier:
So the guy in Germany, representing the ISP of the convicted hate speech site (you must know the case to which I refer -- something like AOL, a European arm of American corporation) and sentenced to prison... His conviction was overturned, was it? (I thought there was some kind of extra-legal release arranged, but not an overturning of the German conviction.)

I don’t know what eventually happened in the German case. You probably can find info on it at eff.org. I really appreciate the difficulty in Germany keeping a lid on hate speech, but I still think it was wrong to prosecute, let alone convict, the ISP.


What about those cases, which are sure to arise, in which persons in more 'Fundamentalist' countries (with extremely severe penal codes) forbid the kinds of displays routinely made available on sites like this? Since the U.S. has complicated the situation several times by unilaterally invading foreign nations to impose its 'morality' or 'law,' how do we defend those responsible for this site, if those states bring charges in international courts?

There’s some truth in what you say, but I don’t want to get into a discussion about the war. All I can say is that US courts are probably far better than most at protecting free expression. As for protecting this site from foreign courts, luckily it’s not easy to bring a foreign party into foreign court (I assume this site is located in the US). As for people in countries where their postings might violate the law, thank goodness this site doesn’t require identifying information from its members.


I'm curious about your use of 'by definition' here. Because it was posted (though not permitted to remain) on an art site? Because an artist painted it? Because some artists here thought it was not obscene? Because some community (which?) holds it is not obscene?
Please note I am NOT saying the painting was or was not obscene; I am merely asking what was meant by 'by definition' here.

All I was pointing out here was that there is a *legal* difference between pornography and obscenity under US law. Pornography’s generally expression protected by the First Amendment but obscenity isn’t (I know that the terminology gets confusing because of the way we use the word “pornography” in ordinary discourse).

As for “by definition,” what I meant was that someone posted a picture of a painting on a web site where people post their art. I think it just follows by the definition of “obscenity” that the picture is not obscene. It must surely have *some* artistic value. If it’s not obscene, it’s protected by the First Amendment.


Um, if you read this thread, and read your User's Agreement (below the part pertaining to vendor behavior, which is admittedly lengthy), I don't think you would wonder why the panting was removed. Even if you don't read the User's Agreement, the reason was stated in the earlier pages of this thread.

Um, I read the thread. Sorry it didn’t come across, but my question was meant to be rhetorical.

I realize that the User’s Agreement refers to “pornographic” images. All this means is that the website has told its users that it reserves its right to take down pornographic images. The reason I responded to this thread was because of a comment about legal bills, and I didn’t want that to be misconstrued as a reason why the website *had to* take down the picture. Again, I can’t think of any legal impediment (in this country) for the website leaving the image up. Removing the image was (or should have been) strictly a decision about what the website believes is appropriate for its members.

With all due respect, I personally think that taking it down was a mistake. This isn’t a XXX site that’s regularly posting porn. In those very rare instances when someone posts an image that might conceivably be pornographic, as a member I would prefer to see the image just left there (and I’m making no comment about whether the image was even pornographic—I haven’t seen it). This is a great site, and I’d like to see it remain as open as possible to people’s work.

--G

reynolds
04-01-2005, 05:09 PM
found this in an online dictionary discussing synonyms of the word "feelings"

These nouns refer to complex and usually strong subjective human response. Although feeling and emotion are sometimes interchangeable, feeling is the more general and neutral: "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity" (William Wordsworth). Emotion often implies the presence of excitement or agitation: "Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion" (T.S. Eliot). Passion is intense, compelling emotion: "They seemed like ungoverned children inflamed with the fiercest passions of men" (Francis Parkman). Sentiment often applies to a thought or opinion arising from or influenced by emotion: We expressed our sentiments about the government's policies. The word can also refer to delicate, sensitive, or higher or more refined feelings: "The mystic reverence, the religious allegiance, which are essential to a true monarchy, are imaginative sentiments that no legislature can manufacture in any people" (Walter Bagehot). See also Synonyms at opinion.

funny as a therapist i see a lot of people who need to connect to their feelings or are over run by them...and as an analysand (jungian) i have learned even more...this is not posted in respone as much as a pondering.
i think how one handles ones feelings depends on what tendencies are present in them----be it depressive, anxious, borderline or what not plus of course family history, genetics, diet and yadayada. humans are not all science we have souls.

FriendCarol
04-01-2005, 05:40 PM
...it was wrong to prosecute, let alone convict, the ISP.We agree, of course. The problem is, it happened.

All I was pointing out here was that there is a *legal* difference between pornography and obscenity under US law. Pornography’s generally expression protected by the First Amendment but obscenity isn’t (I know that the terminology gets confusing because of the way we use the word “pornography” in ordinary discourse). The last I checked on this issue (some years ago, I admit), the trend seemed to be to support 'local community standards.' It seems to me I still, often, read of local jurisdictions bringing charges against local businesses (Internet cafes? bookstores?) or persons they accuse of violating the local definitions -- even where the specified material is a national publication (or whatever). Last I recall was in Kentucky, just last year, but that was just through casual reading; I'm sure it happens far more often than I happen to catch.

I know lawyers think about principles and don't pay much attention to legal costs, but in actuality, the cost of defending a lawsuit, even one totally without merit can be crippling. Surely we all know cases where small businesses were driven out of business by some small vocal minority with an axe to grind, using the tactic of bringing cases which had no legal merit. Too often the local police and prosecutors are eager to 'help' with such cases, for purely 'political' reasons.

This Web site spells out a single instance in which an image will be taken down: 'showing the aspect of penetration.' (It leaves open the question of whether other images are erotic or pornographic, leaving that for moderators to grapple with.) The image in question violated that single rule.

This isn’t a XXX site that’s regularly posting porn.Of course not, but it is a site drawing major traffic, both members and guests, from around the world. The combination of an audience and very large membership appears to create an irresistable lure for provocative posts (and trolls). There is no rule-based way to solve this problem, which was first described a decade ago (only two years after the Web was invented).

I think moderators are a good solution... This is analogous to my valuing the contribution of the jury, equally with the law, in court... I suppose you would rather have a rule-based decision-making process. I can only wish you good luck in devising such a thing. :)

Btw, the butt icon is required even the work merely shows buttock, or breast. Among other things, this allows persons from less permissive cultures to browse in accordance with their preferences. One could conceive of another icon, introduced for work which is going to meet with even less acceptance, but that's no solution: Provocative persons would still not use the icon, and will raise the same argument (one imagines endless tiresome debate over whether it should have 'only' been tagged with the butt icon :rolleyes: ).

In those very rare instances when someone posts an image that might conceivably be pornographic, as a member I would prefer to see the image just left there (and I’m making no comment about whether the image was even pornographic—I haven’t seen it). This is a great site, and I’d like to see it remain as open as possible to people’s work.Once that happened, there would be more and more such postings. The minimum age for membership here is only 13. (Think now about a few 13-year-old boys, or girls, you've known.) Isn't there some saying about 'bad driving out good?'

In the absence of a better solution, moderators (like constitutional democracies) are a good one. Not perfect, but I am grateful to them for their long hours and difficult decision-making -- and all as volunteers! As a practical matter we can have gatekeeping (pre-posting), or we can have moderating (after the fact), and I know which method gets my vote.

gscar
04-01-2005, 07:45 PM
the cost of defending a lawsuit, even one totally without merit can be crippling. Surely we all know cases where small businesses were driven out of business by some small vocal minority with an axe to grind, using the tactic of bringing cases which had no legal merit. Too often the local police and prosecutors are eager to 'help' with such cases, for purely 'political' reasons.
That's true. There are idiot jurisdictions out there that like to sue (or better, threaten to sue because it costs them nothing) and local politicians who want to make political points. It's also true that lawsuits even without merit are costly. That's a risk that every small theater and bookstore in many of parts of this country take when they want to expose their communities to material you can't find in Wal-Mart and that thousands and thousands of websites take.

The risk of a totally meritless suit may be greater in one way for this website because of its size and scope, but it has one huge advantage over the corner bookstore and small websites. Because of this website's size and importance, it would be able to attract more good lawyers than it needed who would be willing to take the case pro bono or for practically nothing. This is a huge advantage and one reason I believe this website is freer than most to take risks.


I think moderators are a good solution... This is analogous to my valuing the contribution of the jury, equally with the law, in court... I suppose you would rather have a rule-based decision-making process. I can only wish you good luck in devising such a thing. :)
I"m not against moderators. Just because we question their judgment in a particular case doesn't mean we don't appreciate their work, especially the volunteers.

:)

bestof
04-02-2005, 02:00 AM
found this in an online dictionary discussing synonyms of the word "feelings"

These nouns refer to complex and usually strong subjective human response. Although feeling and emotion are sometimes interchangeable, feeling is the more general and neutral: "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity" (William Wordsworth). Emotion often implies the presence of excitement or agitation: "Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion" (T.S. Eliot). Passion is intense, compelling emotion: "They seemed like ungoverned children inflamed with the fiercest passions of men" (Francis Parkman).

This got me thinking(thank-you!). I'm starting to feel that in order for me to do an honest painting I have to allow myself the freedom to express anything. I know I often feel intense and passionate while painting, and it's in that state that the truth arrives. Like a sledgehammer. And if that truth is censored, so be it.


Some reactions from art critics about Manets Olympia:

"Inconceivable vulgarity"

"art sunk so low does not even deserve reproach."

"Terrible"

"Vile and wretched"

= )

PALudeking
04-02-2005, 07:52 PM
oh I suppose I could mention that Myspace.com removed this digital drawing from my personal profile, some weeks back, for violating their no nudity policy...ive seen some pretty over the top comments and dress on that site, but words have more protection than images it seems .....rules is rules, I guess if I put a g string on the figure it would have been ok...

back to WC, looking again at the painting,Yes it does potray penetration but I didnt find any implications of horror and fear, nor rape and mutilation...etc.

In a very Keith Haring looking way it did, make its point...for me at least ..that being, that people do, masterbate.