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"We aren't in an information age, we are in an entertainment age." - Tony Robbins


Art and entertainment are two very different things. Often, as a performance artist, these things intersect. We’ve briefly touched on this before, but this week I’d like to take a more in-depth look at our relationship with entertainment in the work that we create. How do you view entertainment fitting into what you do?

My Answer:

I always weigh out how much entertainment is “needed” to allow me to be able to make my art. And I tend toward projects that allow for more emotional expression with less of a need for entertainment. But the entertainment is always there… it creates balance, space, contrast. But I remain aware of the two and how they are different.

Thoughts and Actions:

Art is difficult to define, but generally understood as the expression of human intelligence/skill, creativity, experience and/or emotion, usually taking visual form and appreciated for its beauty or emotional power. Entertainment is the creation and presentation of something that provides amusement or enjoyment.

Another way to say that is…

The fundamental difference is art is created for expression and, it demands an intellectual effort to appreciate it. On the other hand, entertainment is created for amusement—to make one feel good and is comforting because it confirms an audience's values.

This differentiation of the two is often decided by the viewer. The line is often so fine or blurred that they get lumped together… “arts and entertainment” is something we hear a lot. There is a strong relationship between the two, and certainly they can enhance each other.

Entertainment gives you a predictable pleasure… whereas art leads to transformation.

While art primarily focuses on creative expression and aesthetic experiences, entertainment seeks to engage and captivate audiences.

Art is not just for your entertainment. The purpose of art is to affect an audience in a way that is unknown to them. Many would say art is not meant to entertain at all. There is a common belief that the purpose of art is to entertain the viewer, and that it should portray some sort of high-level skill that would be unattainable to the common man. I don’t personally feel that is accurate… The purpose of art is not to make us feel good, but rather just to make us feel.

Viewing entertainment is easy. It’s designed to make you feel good. It’s designed to be accessible, to allow you to turn your brain off. But viewing art is harder… often because it taps into uncomfortable emotions. If you can become more open with art, you can in turn become more comfortable with your complicated emotions. Many artists create work to process emotions. Catharsis.

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