In part one I outlined what art meant to the ancient Greeks and Romans as well and described how it is used in the modern day.
The key difference between between the ancient and modern definitions of art is where the mystical connotation is placed. To the ancient person creation of art was a mystery. To the modern person the purpose of art is a mystery. Why does this matter? Because if we can do away with both the mystery of creation and the mystery of purpose we will be left with objectivity.
The first step to demystify art is to remember that there is no difference between art and technology. A sculpture and a set of traffic lights are both human creations intended to convey messages. The messages are not the same the purposes aren’t so very different.
The next step is for self described artist (and by extension curators of art galleries, etcetera) to accept that what they are creating are forms of machinery. The purpose might be to make everyone who sees it laugh (a comic play) or perhaps remind a specific group of a parable (a religious painting).
Having accepted this in-distinction of art and technology the “artist” is now responsible for first setting out a well defined purpose and then creating a piece that can fulfil this. If the work successfully meets that purpose, that objective then it should be deemed objectively good. Conversely the public becomes free to state if a piece fails to achieve its purpose without shame.