My personal definition is that an artwork must possess...

    Art that has no discernible point--Modern or Postmodern--is not art

    My opponent has a fundamental misunderstanding of what art really is. He says that he has always thought of art as an "extremely broad term." Even the broadest terms have definitions, and so it is with art. According to Wikipedia, "Generally art is a (product of) human activity, made with the intention of stimulating the human senses as well as the human mind; by transmitting emotions and/or ideas." (http://en.wikipedia.org...) This is a wide, basic definition, and Wiki admits that beyond this there is no generally agreed upon definition. My personal definition is that an artwork must possess truth and beauty--whether these are apparent at first glance or only after long study. And no, my bias against the pieces and classes of art I have mentioned is not based on my personal views, but rather on the basic definition of art as provided by Wikipedia. The pieces I spoke of ARE generally "products of human activity," and they MAY, on a basic level, have the INTENT of "stimulating the human senses as well as the human mind," (although I would hazard that it most of these pieces were made for personal gratification or pure monetary value) but they are CERTAINLY not "transmitting emotions and/or ideas." They are not even symbolic. They have no meaning. Art, I'm sure you'll agree, must have meaning. My opponent says, "We can only conclude that these pieces stray from the traditions of past artists and that my opponent dislikes them." My opponent cannot conclude that these artists have strayed from past traditions. People have been creating NON-art art for centuries. However, it is only in this day and age that it has transcended all other forms of "art." He can logically conclude that I do not like the pieces, but that in itself is irrelevant, and it is fallacious to boil my argument down to that. It would be like me saying, "We can conclude that my opponent DOES like the pieces." My opponent also says, "I argue that it is impossible to give an objective scale to measure whether something is art or not, so my opponent's declaration that 'X is not art' is false." If this were true, then this would be a futile debate for both of us because if there is no standard for art, there is no art, and nothing to judge the debate by. Art, like most everything in this universe, is finite and has standards. It is objective. In conclusion, my opponent says, "Simply put, everything is art." Again, this is fallacious, and would be akin to me saying "Simply put, NOTHING is art," and equally false. The most BASIC definition of art is that it is created by human activity. Since "everything" is not created by human activity, this statement is utterly false. You cannot hang a tree in a frame and call it art. Well, actually you can, and if you have a big name in the art business, you can even sell it to a museum or eager private collector for a large sum of money. But this is not art. My opponent basically holds that there is no definition to art. Art, he says, is "everything." This is demonstrably false. Once again, the "art" that I have described is not true art. It has no truth or beauty, it is merely scratches on paper, etc. Perhaps it does not signify anything, even to the artist. And it is most certainly not created to stimulate the mind and senses, or if it is, it fails and thus fails to be art. The Modern/Postmodern art craze can be summed up by a comic strip I once saw. I believe it was from Non Sequitur. A man, trying to impress his companion, walked up to a blank piece of wall in an art museum and, with arms outstretched, started to extol its virtues. He believed it was a piece of art, and gave it all sorts of pop-art qualities likes, "shows the artist's soul," etc. While this was going on, a janitor came up and hung an artwork on the blank space on the wall. "Had to clean the dang thing," he said, apologetically. The last panel showed the other people in the room looking at the man in disgust, while he hung his head. It was an excellent, meaningful comic strip, and it's totally true. When everything is art, nothing is.