Why are we so attracted to art?

by lizabernstein

After discussing Alison Knowles in class, I became quite intrigued by the idea of fluxus.  It seemed to take the most ordinary things, like something so random and simple as salad, and turn it into a complex art, creating an act that people wanted to be a part of.  In class, I was extremely surprised by the idea of fluxus.  As it was explained, I scrunched my nose and found the concept quite silly – I just didn’t get it.  But I wanted to get it.  So, I searched online to find some more examples of fluxus and realized that I had not only encountered this art many times before, but I had admired it each time.  Upon this realization, I wondered why in class I had found the idea so strange, whereas in “real life” I had found fluxus so appealing?

I believe that this discrepancy occurred because of the difference between listening and experiencing.  In my opinion, fluxus is all about being in the room, absorbing the act, sometimes even becoming a part of it.  You can’t understand fluxus by having someone explain it to you; you have to be in the moment watching it.  Once I realized this, my epiphany seemed blatantly obvious.  Especially in our class, you can’t just learn through listening to a lecture.  If all we did was listen to Professor Dolan, we wouldn’t really understand music.  Instead, we experience the music.  We listen to it, we analyze it, we talk about it.  This made me realize that art is about so much more than just learning.  It’s about understanding through experience.  And maybe that’s why people are so fond of art.  When we listen to or experience art, we aren’t being told what to think or what to understand.  Most of the time, we are coming up with our own ideas, our own beliefs.  Art doesn’t limit us, it lets us expand.

So, now I ask you guys, why are you guys so intrigued by art?  Do you think it has to do with the “experience” component? How do you experience art?  I’m curious to see if others feel the same way.