The Prediction of the Future Through Art

In the 19th century, Oscar Wilde wrote in ‘The Decay of Lying’ that, "Life imitates art far more than art imitates life… results not merely from life’s imitative instinct, but from the fact that the self-conscious aim of life is to find expression, and that art offers it certain beautiful forms through which it may realize that energy." According to Wilde, what people find in life and nature is actually not there, but what people find is what artists have taught them to find through art. So, does life imitate art or does art imitate life? In light of these questions, is it possible for art to predict the future? Which artwork by which artist do you think predicted the future?

  • The writer can choose any artwork from any artist, from any era to analyze. For example, Amalia Ulman masterpiece, “Excellences & Perfections”, which was dubbed by art critics as the “first Instagram masterpiece” could be an artwork worth the analysis. – Laurika Nxumalo 1 year ago
  • People tend to idealise life, paint a picture based on their consumption of art, even in mediums like film (especially romantic films). So many people build mannerisms, plan events, do activities, based on what they see in films, what they read in books... I don't think that art predicts the future, but rather it manifests conditions for people to build experiences very similar to what they see in art, because that's what they idealise and strive towards. Does NASA continue to fund space research because of science fiction films like '2001: A Space Odyssey'? Maybe, maybe not (and if they did we'd never know). Will the events in those films actually occur? Who knows—but if they do, you might bet the people reacting to them will have seen those circumstances in art they have consumed, and respond accordingly. – Patrick 1 year ago
  • Recursive. Wilde also talked about dreaming of things that never were. If your starting point is that the inner and outer life is a continuum then time/timing is of less relevance than occurrence. Everything will happen. At least once. – sodapop 1 year ago

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