Recommendations are a tricky feat. They come as a necessary tool as any aspiring tasteful consumer needs to decide what books, movies, music, paintings, museums, etc, make the cut into their life. And you’re right, a good recommendation comes down to a mutual connection of empathy. Can I relate to the types of people making a recommendation to me, and trust that my emotional experience of the art will match the one of the recommender? But, I ask thee Valentin, are we doing recommendations right? Before we get there though, lets briefly talk about expectations.
Recommendations set expectations. And expectations colour your experience of consumption. Now, this is different than a blind recommendation you mentioned, This is the recommendations based on a critics review, or a number rating out of 10 on IMDB. This isn’t a “just watch it, cause trust me bro”. Now lets take movies as an example. If you watch a movie going into it with expectations of it being an all time great after hearing amazing reviews, your experience is much different than watching it knowing only the name of the movie. Now, I realize I’m not saying anything you haven’t heard before. Of course, expectations matter. But, if you are to experience art and consequently judge that experience, I would argue it’s best to minimize these expectations. In an ideal world, we would experience all art blindly, and base our judgments from the experience and not the ideas of it set out beforehand.
Now on to recommendations. If we so have to to communicate my thoughts on an art piece, whatever the medium, what would be the best way to do so? We get a plethora of critical styles, from analyzing the piece in its place historically in the medium, to the what and how of the piece itself, or just a thumbs up or a thumbs down. One thing that I think is missing in making recommendations is highlighting the emotion of the piece. As I mentioned in my earlier post, emotions are the universal currency of art. So if we are to use words to critique and consequently recommend art, I suggest introducing an emotional intensity scale, or emotional state analogies to communicate opinion. So Valentin, how do you feel about that?