(In advance: For purposes of brevity, I'm going
to use the term "art" to encompass all creative
On the one hand, there are a number of things --
certain techniques -- that usually accompany what
is generally recognized as "good" art. These are
often things lacking from what is generally
recognized as "bad" art. But I disagree that the
mere *presence* of these techniques, even if
they're correctly executed, automatically makes
the art "good". The intention of art isn't about
the tecniques used to create it -- the techniques
are nothing more than methods of using a certain
media (be it paint, print, or something else) to
communicate with the people viewing the art. The
techniques are valued because they have, in one
way or another, proven themselves effective
methods for expressing the artist's thoughts.
The real problem with trying to call any piece of
art "good" or "bad" is the very nature of the
words "good" and "bad". Like "hot" and "cold",
they are relative -- and I'm sure everyone has at
some point experienced being in a room with
someone else who wants a sweater, while you're
wishing you'd worn shorts. Which person is right?
Is the room too hot, or too cold? The answer is
*neither*. The room is nothing more than itself,
and the people inside the room are the ones who
are hot or cold.
I'm not saying all determining of "goodness" or
"badness" of art is opinion. But opinion is a big
piece of it. A piece of art can be unpopular,
even ugly, and yet be technically well-crafted.
But is it "good" only because it's well-crafted?
Or should it be deemed "bad" because no one likes
it? On the other hand, a piece of art might not
use any of the accepted techniques for the given
medium, and yet still successfully complete its
Yes, *its task*. . . Real art ("good" or "bad")
has a task -- a job intended for it by the person
who created it. Maybe it's intended task is to
create a certain mood. Or to make you think about
something. Or to express an experience the artist
had. One way you can judge art is by how
successfully it conveys what the artist wants to
"say" to the viewer. If the artist is trying to
express something and the art doesn't express it
correctly, then you could easily say it's "bad"
art no matter how well it's crafted.
To give a more concrete example, there are
various forms of art of which I'm not fond. One
of those forms is abstract painting. However, I
did take a class on it, and know a bit more than
the average person about the techniques used to
create it. I could look at a piece of abstract
art and examine it for the presence of those
techniques. I might even say: "Look here, and
here. The __________ technique is perfectly
executed." So I could choose to think the art
is "good" by that criteria alone, or I could
choose to think the art is "bad" because it
doesn't communicate anything to me, personally.
The art is still only itself and nothing more.
Anything I see or don't see in it is part of my
opinion -- the influence that my own life
experiences have on my viewing of the art.
Yann, I think the problem vamppire is having is
that when you say everyone can recognize "bad"
anime, the criteria you list aren't quantified.
Something being a "bad story" is a matter of
opinion. I might like a story you dislike. If
you're talking about a badly *written* story,
even that is open to debate, since you might like
a writing style that I dislike. So before you can
be clear to vamppire, you need to define how you
judge something to be a bad story.
Even "bad animation" isn't as clear cut as it
might seem on the surface. For example, take the
animation in the X movie. People seem pretty much
agreed it is a gorgeous piece of work, where
animation is concerned. It's generously detailed,
moves well on the screen (it's technically well
crafted), and creates the mood necessary for it's
intended subject matter. But try to put that
style of art onto something else, and it could
become a bad thing. . . Imagine that uber-detailed
and dark artwork on, say, the Atashin'chi shorts.
Or on Tenshi ni Narumon. Or on DiGiCharat.
Suddenly, although still technically wonderful,
it's no longer supporting the rest of the piece
of art -- it has become relatively "bad" just by
virtue of the mismatch, because this theoretical
situation assumes nothing else has changed about
So to judge "good" versus "bad", you have to
actually concretely decide what you expect of
"good" art. Since I've always viewed art as an
expression of the artist, I consider art "good"
if it correctly conveys what the artist intended.
If people look at the art and no one can see the
message the artist wanted to express to the
viewers, then it's "bad" art -- irregardless of
it's level of technical perfection.
The "rules" for judging art aren't as cut in
stone as you seem to make them sound. Opinion
will always be part of judging art. That's the
reason a panel of judges at the Olympics can each
give a different score for the same performance.
Heck, personal opinion is the entire reason there
*IS* a whole panel of judges whose scores are
averaged together, instead of just one person
deciding everything -- the goal being to try to
eliminate personal opinion from the final score
Judging art is a even combination of opinion and
level of technical skill, but I really think it
leans further towards opinion.
Many Sharp Smiles,