Saturday, November 10, 2012

Thoughts on Art and Entertainment

As I've said a million times, there has been an attempt, largely successful, to confuse what you might call art and what you might call entertainment. I think there's a very simple distinction, and it doesn't diminish entertainment in any way, because we all want it and we all enjoy it. Entertainment is that which you receive without effort. Art is something where you must make some kind of effort, and you get more than you had before.
Charles Wuorinen said this in a 2005 New York Times interview.

It would be nice to think that what we call art, in any sense of the word, requires a person to somehow, for better or for worse, give something of himself or herself to the material at hand. We all know that a person listening or looking at or reading or even touching art can become somehow changed by it--even in a very tiny way--if he or she makes a certain effort to "meet" it. Unfortunately, without that effort (and the media through which we now experience art doesn't always require effort), even something intended to be experienced as art can be, at best, experienced as entertainment, and if it isn't entertaining enough to be absorbed without effort, it is sometimes ignored completely, or immediately forgotten.

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