art and censorship

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art and censorship

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:18 pm

This is taken from the "free speech big lie" thread. I thought it might be interesting to explore on a new thread in the art forum...


iambiguous wrote:The "free speech"/censorship debate always brings me back to the controversies that revolved around particular art exhibits in museums:

https://www.google.com/search?ei=yi0LYI ... OwQ4dUDCA0
https://www.complex.com/style/2013/10/c ... hibitions/
https://www.iloboyou.com/controversial- ... allations/
https://blooloop.com/features/shocking- ... hibitions/

Suppose a truly talented artist created works of art that championed racism, misogyny, homophobia. Or works of art that savagely mocked those who championed these themes.

How would this not create a context in which hypocrisy comes into play? And how might philosophers using the tools at their disposal, react to it?

My own "contribution" to debates of this sort is to suggest that the convictions that individuals hold in regard to art exhibits and censorship is embedded in prejudices derived from the lives that they lived. More so than from their capacity to arrive [philosophically or otherwise] at a conclusion said to be either the optimal rational assessment or the only rational assessment.

My focus is less on what people think about art and censorship and more on how they came to acquire what they do think about it given this:

If I am always of the opinion that 1] my own values are rooted in dasein and 2] that there are no objective values "I" can reach, then every time I make one particular moral/political leap, I am admitting that I might have gone in the other direction...or that I might just as well have gone in the other direction. Then "I" begins to fracture and fragment to the point there is nothing able to actually keep it all together. At least not with respect to choosing sides morally and politically.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: art and censorship

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:09 am

the question of art and censorship seems to, at least to me, revolve
around books/literature... for example, United States v. One book called
Ulysses, 5, F. Supp. 182...in 1933....
and even today, people ask libraries to remove books because of content...
and books that have been censored recently include "The catcher in the rye"
"to kill a mockingbird" "Of mice and men" and weirdly enough,
"the adventures of Huckleberry Finn" along with "the color Purple"
"brave new world" "the Grapes of wrath" "animal farm" "native son"
and a book I have never heard of "the hate you give".....

because of the lack of interest in other areas of art, say painting or
sculpture, it rarely ever draws much interest in terms of censorship....

so, we should devote our time to literature.. and skip the rest.....

now first of all, to declare a book "obscene" requires some idea of
what is "obscene"? so what exactly is considered to be "obscene"?
"huck finn" is considered to be obscene because of the language which
includes the word, "Nigger" and many people consider that word "obscene"

so what do you consider to be "obscene"?

what word is beyond the pale for you?


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Re: art and censorship

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:32 am

ok, when last seen, we asked, what work was beyond the pale, now
I ask, what situation is "obscene" enough to warrant being banned?

sex, violence, cannibalism, incest.. I mean, where would one draw the line
as to be "obscene"?

it isn't enough to say, I support censorship, you have to list
what is or isn't acceptable and just as important, who is deciding?

I mean a judge or a priest or a nun or a porno star? who is doing the
judging? and we return back to the ideals we were raised with...
what values and standards were you raised with? my family wasn't
religious and so where they drew the line is far different than a religious family
would draw the line....

and if you are shocked into censorship, the question then arises, why does
this word, picture, action rises to the level of censorship?

you can certainly speak for yourself, but what if my understanding of
what is "obscene" is far different then yours? why does your understanding
of what is "obscene" override or devalue my understanding of what is "obscene"?

should we allow one person idea of censorship stand for all of us?

I say, no....nor should we allow some sort of religious test be the standard
to judge what is "obscene" for the simple reason, which religion do we
take to be the definite religion? Buddhism or Jainism or Christianity?

which religions do we take our cue from?

many questions need to be asked...

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Re: art and censorship

Postby phoneutria » Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:51 am

I've been banned or suspended from imgur
Instagram and reddit
More times than I can remember
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Re: art and censorship

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:56 am

phoneutria wrote:I've been banned or suspended from imgur
Instagram and reddit
More times than I can remember


K: and? why? what words did you use or event? and most importantly,
was the banning, right? was it done because of rules being broken,
or you were banned arbitrarily? do you have a problem with being banned in
light of the thread "free speech big lie?" .... can you relate your banning with
the posts you put into the "free speech big lie" thread?
and I have never been banned from any website for any reason....
so why you and not me?


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Re: art and censorship

Postby phoneutria » Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:36 am

Peter Kropotkin wrote:
phoneutria wrote:I've been banned or suspended from imgur
Instagram and reddit
More times than I can remember


K: and? why? what words did you use or event? and most importantly,
was the banning, right? was it done because of rules being broken,
or you were banned arbitrarily? do you have a problem with being banned in
light of the thread "free speech big lie?" .... can you relate your banning with
the posts you put into the "free speech big lie" thread?
and I have never been banned from any website for any reason....
so why you and not me?


Kropotkin


because i do academic drawing and sculpture
of the human figure
and every website terms of service
has a clause that states that nudity is allowed in art
but i still get banned constantly
so then i have to email the moderator admin
to get my accounts reinstated
have to keep convincing people
that what i am doing is legit art
because sometimes there's a female nipple on it
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Re: art and censorship

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:54 am

phoneutria wrote:
Peter Kropotkin wrote:
phoneutria wrote:I've been banned or suspended from imgur
Instagram and reddit
More times than I can remember


K: and? why? what words did you use or event? and most importantly,
was the banning, right? was it done because of rules being broken,
or you were banned arbitrarily? do you have a problem with being banned in
light of the thread "free speech big lie?" .... can you relate your banning with
the posts you put into the "free speech big lie" thread?
and I have never been banned from any website for any reason....
so why you and not me?


Kropotkin


because i do academic drawing and sculpture
of the human figure
and every website terms of service
has a clause that states that nudity is allowed in art
but i still get banned constantly
so then i have to email the moderator admin
to get my accounts reinstated
have to keep convincing people
that what i am doing is legit art
because sometimes there's a female nipple on it


K: ok, thank you... so how does this banning affect what you think
about the thread of "free speech..''.... does your banning have any
change or thoughts about what is "free speech"?

bring your life history into what you think....

what is the relationship?

Kropotkin
PK IS EVIL.....
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Re: art and censorship

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jan 23, 2021 8:30 pm

phoneutria wrote:I've been banned or suspended from imgur
Instagram and reddit
More times than I can remember


Here we go again...

She claims to have "foed" me. She insists that she does not open my threads.

But here she is. Not only clicking on a thread that I created, but contributing to it.

On the other hand, she does not address the point that I make about art and censorship and hypocrisy.

Why was she banned/censored? Nudity.

Is there a way to grapple with the conflicting arguments made by those who welcomed it or decried it?

Will she go there?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: art and censorship

Postby iambiguous » Mon Feb 01, 2021 6:17 pm

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
IN THE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
from ACLU website

In the late 1980s, state prosecutors brought a criminal obscenity charge against the owner of a record store for selling an album by the rap group, 2 Live Crew. Although this was the first time that obscenity charges had ever been brought against song lyrics, the 2 Live Crew case focused the nation's attention on an old question: should the government ever have the authority to dictate to its citizens what they may or may not listen to, read, or watch?


Of course my argument is that those who set about to convince themselves and others that there actually is an answer -- the answer -- to this question, can often become hypocrites when the work of art, the music or the book is one that reflects their own value judgments.

Art or obscenity? Your community standards or mine? Will someone who condemns a song that blatantly advocates racism be willing to go so far as to [legally] keep the song from being sold...or even listened to? Then in a community of Nazis that seek to censor a song that champions a racial melting pot be opposed to their attempts to do the same.

Or songs, books, works of art that champion pedophilia or bestiality or misogyny or slavery.

Or the reverse: Instead of censoring particular political values, insist that, say, schools should be required to teach them to all children.

American society has always been deeply ambivalent about this question. On the one hand, our history is filled with examples of overt government censorship, from the 1873 Comstock Law to the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Anthony Comstock, head of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, boasted 194,000 "questionable pictures" and 134,000 pounds of books of "improper character" were destroyed under the Comstock Law -- in the first year alone. The Communications Decency Act imposed an unconstitutional censorship scheme on the Internet, accurately described by a federal judge as "the most participatory form of mass speech yet developed."


Not to be ambivalent can, however, be seen as the greater danger. Here it then revolves around who has the actual power to enforce one set of values over all others. Our values, fine and dandy. But their values? No way! And though one can make a sincere and honest effort to embrace free speech for all music, books and works of art, don't we have those proverbial lines in the sand that others cross at their peril.

Others go "too far this time", and censorship, arrest or punishment begins to actually make more sense. It's all about context and point of view.

And, of course, not thinking about this as I do.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: art and censorship

Postby phoneutria » Tue Feb 02, 2021 10:53 pm

Peter Kropotkin wrote:K: ok, thank you... so how does this banning affect what you think
about the thread of "free speech..''.... does your banning have any
change or thoughts about what is "free speech"?

bring your life history into what you think....

what is the relationship?

Kropotkin


it comes down to sponsorships
because the companies that advertise in these big platforms
don't want their brands associated with nudity
or sexuality or whatever
so our artistic pursuit of our true nature
and all that is beautiful and sacred about it
that takes us to a transcendence from this fucking world
that is meaningless without it
has to be interrupted so some asshole can sell more cheap shit made in china
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Re: art and censorship

Postby iambiguous » Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:31 am

phoneutria wrote:it comes down to sponsorships
because the companies that advertise in these big platforms
don't want their brands associated with nudity
or sexuality or whatever
so our artistic pursuit of our true nature
and all that is beautiful and sacred about it
that takes us to a transcendence from this fucking world
that is meaningless without it
has to be interrupted so some asshole can sell more cheap shit made in china


This seems to reflect what can become the murky intertwining of art and capitalism. On the one hand, in the capitalism West, there is considerably more artistic freedom than in nations dominated by theocrats or political ideologues or autocrats.

But, for the capitalists, the bottom line will almost always revolve around the bottom line. So, if money can be made in commercializing art or in using art to burnish a company's public "image", fine and dandy.

But if the art produced rubs enough of those who buy your product or your service the wrong way, then censorship just makes the most sense.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: art and censorship

Postby iambiguous » Fri Feb 12, 2021 6:48 pm

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
IN THE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
from ACLU website

Provocative and controversial art and in-your-face entertainment put our commitment to free speech to the test. Why should we oppose censorship when scenes of murder and mayhem dominate the TV screen, when works of art can be seen as a direct insult to peoples' religious beliefs, and when much sexually explicit material can be seen as degrading to women? Why not let the majority's morality and taste dictate what others can look at or listen to?


Why not indeed.

Well, first, of course, after we pin down the precise definition and meaning of "provocative" and "controversial" art and entertainment. Not to mention "explicit" and "taste".

Come on, there is no getting around the fact that historically, culturally and circumstantially -- given the experiences of any particular community, group or individual -- this is all but "for all practical purposes" impossible.

But there is also no getting around the fact that different people in different situations are offended [sometimes deeply] by particular works of art or entertainment.

And, unless it all comes down to those in power dictating what is okay or not okay to se or hear or read, or those embracing one or another dogmatic moral or esthetic frame of mind doing the same, actual "rules of behavior" are going to revolve around moderation, negotiation and compromise.

And then the part about "the children". Suppose in one household they are allowed to [or even instructed to] view, listen to or read art and entertainment that champion Hitler or Stalin or pedophilia or a criminal lifestyle or a Jim Jones type religious conviction.

When here do things go too far? When here for the sake of[ the children should "society" be permitted to intervene?

The answer is simple, and timeless: a free society is based on the principle that each and every individual has the right to decide what art or entertainment he or she wants -- or does not want -- to receive or create. Once you allow the government to censor someone else, you cede to it the the power to censor you, or something you like. Censorship is like poison gas: a powerful weapon that can harm you when the wind shifts.


Yes, encompassed in a "general description intellectual contraption" like this "just say no" to censorship is easy enough to sustain "in your head".

It's only when we are confronted with particular works of art and entertainment that things get trickier. Especially when they are linked to advocating behaviors that lead to things like, say, the Holocaust, or lynching or rape.

Hate crimes.
Last edited by iambiguous on Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: art and censorship

Postby Peter Kropotkin » Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:23 pm

so, Disney fired the lady from the Mandalorian
because of her controversial social media posts....

Is that censorship?

because Disney is a private corporation, not a governmental organization,
it can hire or fire whomever it wants to fire without any free speech
justification at all.....

now had congress made laws that censor her, that would be a violation of
the free speech clause in the constitution..... so, a private firm can fire
someone for willfully posting hateful social media posts...

but how does this affect ART itself?

if one see's media companies such as Disney as simple businesses,
that happen to engage in ART, then the firing should have no effect
on the idea of censorship within ART itself ...

this is from a legal standpoint, but is firing her a "right or wrong"
issue? in other words, was it right for Disney to fire her, regardless of
the legal issues?

do we allow hate speech to go unpunished?

now of course Disney being a company puts its profits first,
and hire and fires based upon the profit motive....

and clearly that is what disney did here....

but what should have disney done?

should Disney have allowed this lady to promote
hateful idea's?

and once again, what about the ART itself?

she made Disney money, and that is all Disney cares about....

I would not have fired her.. but then I am a private citizen...
with no such profit motives guiding my actions...

should we judge ART by moral problems?

such as in Anna Karenina in which the plot revolves around
an extramarital affair... which can be considered a moral problem?

should we ban Anna Karenina because it engages in as its major
plot point, an extramarital affair?

we consider such an affair to be an affront to morality and has a
negative impact upon society.... but should we ban it because
we do not approve of the action involved in the book as it is immoral,
given the current moral, not legal, but moral status of today?

the legal clause we might judge this case upon is the "Alienation of affections"
clause which is valid in only 6 states...having been abolished in most states.....
the United States Supreme Court has declined to rule on such a legal matter....

so, legally, it is tough to judge the case of Anna K. so we must do so, morally....

and for most people "morals" are what we were taught as children.....
it is our childhood indoctrinations that teaches us what is moral.....

so, when judging ART and censorship, we resort to our childhood
indoctrination of what is "Moral" and not on any legal or rational
status...

so should Disney fire that woman for her "hateful" media posts?

well that seems to depend on our childhood indoctrinations,
and not on any legal or rational factors....

Kropotkin
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Re: art and censorship

Postby iambiguous » Tue Feb 23, 2021 5:33 pm

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
IN THE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
from ACLU website

SEXUAL SPEECH

Sex in art and entertainment is the most frequent target of censorship crusades. Many examples come to mind. A painting of the classical statue of Venus de Milo was removed from a store because the managers of the shopping mall found its semi-nudity "too shocking." Hundreds of works of literature, from Maya Angelou's I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings to John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath, have been banned from public schools based on their sexual content.

A museum director was charged with a crime for including sexually explicit photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe in an art exhibit.


Two things:

1] In depicting human relationships, sexuality and art can be no less problematic than sexuality and the political prejudices relating to what particular individuals believe about gender roles and equality and social justice and sexual preference and beauty pageants and the fashion industry. Do not some things actually deserve to be censored?

If a photography exhibit revolves around the conviction that rape and/or pedophilia is just a manifestation of human nature, when does it go too far? Or is such an exhibition itself going too far?

2] Establishing a more rather than less rational distinction between art and pornography.

American law is, on the whole, the most speech-protective in the world -- but sexual expression is treated as a second-class citizen. No causal link between exposure to sexually explicit material and anti-social or violent behavior has ever been scientifically established, in spite of many efforts to do so. Rather, the Supreme Court has allowed censorship of sexual speech on moral grounds -- a remnant of our nation's Puritan heritage.


Sex sells. So, given the very nature of the capitalist political economy, it's going to be everywhere. On the other hand, the very existence of sexuality itself disturbs some. Why? Because it brings out the beast in us [men especially] and that makes it harder for some to think of themselves as "civilized". And here the distinction tends to revolve around either an urban environment or a small town/rural environment. Out in the Heartland the clash between selling sex and repressing it can precipitate any number of "strange combinations".

And the more censorship in the arts and the entertainment field gets linked in the courts to "morality" the more subjective and subjunctive it becomes. Here dasein rules with a vengeance. In other words, for better or worse.

This does not mean that all sexual expression can be censored, however. Only a narrow range of "obscene" material can be suppressed; a term like "pornography" has no legal meaning . Nevertheless, even the relatively narrow obscenity exception serves as a vehicle for abuse by government authorities as well as pressure groups who want to impose their personal moral views on other people.


That's really where it can start to fall apart, of course. The part where all of this has to be translated somehow into laws. Laws are about what we actually can or cannot see and hear...say and do. The part where rewards and punishments come in. Where the moral strictures beget transgressions that are ever and always evolving and devolving over the years in actual human communities attempting to draw the line between precreation and pleasure.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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