Encyclopedia of Big Data

Living Edition
| Editors: Laurie A. Schintler, Connie L. McNeely

Arts

  • Marcienne MartinEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32001-4_13-1

Big Data is a procedure that allows anyone connected to the Internet to access data whose content is as varied as the perception that every human being can have of objects of the world. This is true for the art.

Art is a cognitive approach that is applied to the objects in the world, which is quite unique because it uses the notion of “qualia,” which is the qualitative aspect of a particular experience: “Qualia are such things as colors, places and times” (Dummett 1978). Moreover, in the myth of Platon’s cavern the concept of “beautifulness” belongs to the world of Ideas. What is more, for Hegel, art is a sensitive representation of the truth approached through an individual form. In other words, art is a transcription of the objects of the Reality through the artistic sensibility of the author. This phenomenon is at the origin of new artistic currents giving direction for the writing of artwork, irrespective of the domain (painting, sculpture, writing, music …), as well as featuring performers who are in resonance with these new views about art. In painting, we mention Gothic art in connection with Fra Angelico, Renaissance art with Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, impressionism with Claude Monet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, and more recently cubism with Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Lyonel Feininger, Fernand Leger, and futurism with Luigi Russolo, Umberto Boccioni, just to name a few. There are also artists who have joined any artwork current as Facteur Cheval whose artistic work has been called a posteriori “naive art.”

Literary movements are part of a specific formatting of writing. This is the case with, for example, in France, Middle Ages with the epic or the courtly romance; in the nineteenth century, Romanticism with, in Germany, the circle of Jena; in England with Lord Byron’s works or else in the USA, Edgar Allan Poe who included the story of horror as artwork or Herman Melville’s novel with internationally known: Moby Dick (1851); in the twentieth century, various movements have emerged, including the new novel illustrated by Alain Robbe-Grillet’s works; in the United States, writers like Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway belong to contemporary history. Science fiction is a new scriptural approach created from imagination with no relation to reality. In music, its writing is at the origin of the creation of innovative rhythms transcribed through diverse instruments. Monody and polyphony have created the song and the opera. Around the Classical Age (eighteenth century), the art of music is transcribed in the form of a sonata, symphony, string quartet or chamber music, etc. Popular music as jazz, rock and roll, etc., is an art form appreciated. From the bitonality to the polytonality, the art of music has been enhanced ad infinitum. Finally, architecture is an art form which values monuments and houses; it is the case with modern architecture founded by the French architect Le Corbusier.

Some theories in psychology consider art as an act that would allow the sublimation of unfortunate experiences. For example, Frida Kahlo transcribed her physical suffering in her paintings “The broken column” (1944). This technique, called “art therapy,” was developed based on the relationship between suffering and one’s ability to express oneself through art and, thus, sublimate suffering, which expresses one’s resilience capacity. For example, Jean Dubuffet, an artist, discovered people’s artworks who were suffering from psychiatric disorders; he named this art form “Rough art.” Other psychological theorists have analyzed this phenomenon.

Through its specific manifestations, art stands out from the usual human paradigms, like pragmatism (the objects of reality approached as such), representation (lexical-semantic fields, doxa, culture …), or their symbolization (flags, military decorations …). Art uses the fields of imagination, emotions, and the sensibility of the author, which makes each work unique in its essence.

If art is difficult to define in its specificity (quale or feeling), it can be analyzed in its manifestations with the informational decryption realized through various perspectives on the work by art critics, authors specialized in this area, magazines, etc. Goodman tried to find common invariants of a feeling to another concerning the same object, which he expressed as a matching criteria of the qualia by the following equation: q(x) = q(y) ssi Mxy (q = quale, M = matching). Qualia are phenomena which belong to the domain of individual perception, which cannot be transmitted as such from one individual to another; this phenomenon refers to the concept of solipsism that covers the meaning of: “attitude of the thinking subject for which his own consciousness is the only reality, the other consciousnesses, the outside world are only as representations.”

The rewriting of the concept of qualia through an informational system will consider the objects causing these feelings and not the qualia. The information system is the substratum from which the living world is based upon. Indeed, whatever the content of information is, its transfer from a transmitter X will influence the perception of the environment and the responses given to it for a receiver Y, which will result, sooner or later, in the “butterfly effect” discovered by Lorenz and developed by Gleick (1989). Furthermore, the oscillation of objects in the universe between entropy and negative entropy is articulated around the factor time; without it, neither the evolution of objects in the world would exist nor their transformation; concerning the information coupled with the advancement of the living world, it would have no reality.

The exchange of information is a start that allows the world of the living to exist and perpetuate itself through time. The informational exchange has been the subject of numerous studies. The understanding of the nature of an object in the world is multifaceted: an unknown object generated as hypotheses and beliefs as postulates of more information than a known object. Norbert Wiener came up with a concept defined by the term “cybernetic”; this concept refers to the notion of the quantity of information which is connected to a classical notion in statistical mechanics, that is, entropy. As information in a system is a measure of the degree of organization, entropy is a measure of the degree of disruption of a system. One is simply the opposite of the other. In the world of common realities, the transfer of information is realized from an object X to an object Y, and this will affect particular environments, provided that such information be updated and sent to an object Z. In the virtual world, or the Internet, information is available to any user and it is consulted, generally, at the discretion on of people; a contrario, in the living world, information is part of requirements that are linked to survival and continuity.

In addition, information on the Internet is reticular, which refers to the basic idea of points which communicate with each other, or differently with intersecting lines. The networked structure generates very different behavior from those in relation to social structure as tree-like or pyramidal type. As part of the “network of networks” or the Internet, each internet user occupies a dual role: the network node and the link. Indeed, from a point X (surfer), a new network can be created and can aggregate new members around a common membership (politics, art, fashion …) and mediated by tools called “social networks” such as Facebook and Twitter. The specificity of this type of fast growing networks can open on the discovery of an artist with his work put on the Internet as the South Korean artist Psy with his song “Gangnam Style” (December 2012) presented on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bZkp7q19f0).

The database on Internet has increased exponentially. At a new given information, feedback is given, and this ad infinitum. However, if the information is available, it is not solicited by each user of the Web. Only a personal choice directs the user to a particular type of information based on its own requests. The amount of existing information on the Internet as well as its storage, transfer, new feedback made after consultation by web users and their speed of transmission are part of the concept of “big data,” which is built around a double temporal link. Each user can connect to any Internet user regardless of where it is on the planet. The notion of time is in the immediacy. The amount of information available to each user is available to anyone, at any time, and regardless of the place of consultation, which refers to a timeless space.

To return to the concept of time, from the nineteenth century (era of industrialization) with the creation of transport rail or automobiles, distance perception by people has changed. The air transport is the source of a change in concepts of time and distance. Indeed, e.g., a Paris-New York travel is no longer expressed in the form of the distance between these two points, but in the length of time taken to reach them; thus Paris is 8 h from New York and not 7000 km. The tilting of the spatial dimension time in time dimension is in resonance with Internet where contact is part of immediacy: time and distance become one; they are redefined in the form of binary information through satellites and various computer media. The reticular structure of the digital society is composed of nodes and human links (Internet, experts in the field), but also of technological links and nodes (hardware, satellite, etc.).

Art is in resonance with the phenomenon of the rewriting of time and of space, with art called “ephemeral” in which the artist creates a work that will last only the time of its installation. The ephemeral art is a way of expressing time in the presence and focusing on the feeling, i.e., the quale, not the sustainability. This approach is the opposite of artworks whose purpose was to last beyond the generation that witnessed their creation. Examples would be Egyptian pyramids, the Venus of Milo, and the Mona Lisa. The Internet is also the source of new approaches of art. This is the case of works by artists and which are retransformed by such another artist; two or more works can coexist while being retransformed in a third artwork. “In writing, painting, or what might be referred to as overlapped art, I could say that art is connected from my feeling to the creation of the other” (Martin 2014). Mircea Bochis, a Romanian artist, has created original videos mixing poetry of an author and a video created by another. After Dark is a new project for visiting a museum at night from his computer with the help of a robot. The National Gallery of British Art in London or Tate Britain has similar innovative projects.

Technological development has opened a new artistic approach to photography and filmography. Moreover, art has long been known in privileged social backgrounds and it was not until 1750 that the first French museum was opened to the public. If art in all its forms, through its digital rewriting (photographs, various montages, movies, videos, books online, etc.), is open to everyone, only personal choices will appeal to big data for consultation.

Further Readings

  1. Bochis, M. (2014). Artist. http://www.bochis.ro/. Accessed 15 August 2014.
  2. Botet Pradeilles, G., & Martin, M. (2014). Apologie de la névrose suivi de En écho. Paris: L’Harmattan.Google Scholar
  3. Buci-Glucksmann, C. (2003). Esthétique de l’éphémère. Paris: Éditions Galilée.Google Scholar
  4. Denizeau, G. (2011). Palais idéal du facteur cheval: Le palais idéal, le tombeau, les écrits. Paris: Nouvelles Éditions Scala.Google Scholar
  5. Dummett, M. (1978). Truth and other enigmas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Gleick, J. (1989). La Théorie du Chaos. Paris: Flammarion.Google Scholar
  7. Hegel, G. F. W. (1835). Esthétique, tome premier. Traduction française de Ch. Bénard. (posth.). http://www.uqac.uquebec.ca/zone30/Classiques_des_sciences_sociales/index.html.
  8. Herrera, H. (2003). Frida: biographie de Frida Kahlo. Paris: Livre de poche.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Martin, M. (2017). La nomination dans l’art – Étude des œuvres de Mircea Bochis, peintre et sculpteur. Paris: Éditions L’Harmattan.Google Scholar
  10. Melville, H. (2011). Moby Dick. Paris: Editions Phébus.Google Scholar
  11. Platon. (1879). L’État ou la République de Platon. Traduction nouvelle par Bastien, Augustin. Paris: Garnier fréres. http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb31121998c.Google Scholar
  12. Wiart, C. (1967). Expression picturale et psychopathologie. Essai d’analyse et d’automatique documentaires (principe – méthodes – codification). Paris: Editions Doin.Google Scholar
  13. Wiener, N. (1948). Cybernetics or control and communication. In The animal and the machine. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire ORACLE [Observatoire Réunionnais des Arts, des Civilisations et des Littératures dans leur Environnement] Université de la Réunion Saint-DenisFranceMontpellierFrance