"My role in society, or any artist's or poet's role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all." - John Lennon
"Art is not icing on the cake of culture. Art is an intrinsic part of human behavior; we can call human kind not only Homo sapiens but, as Ellen Dissanayake has it, Homo aestheticus. Probably quite by accident and without understanding what they had done, our remote ancestors co-opted some adaptive behaviors to add to their elaboration of ordinary things. These behaviors, such as fear at the sight of predator eyes and teeth, turned a previously ordinary thing, such as a covering for the head, into a frightful mask.
Art can be made by any of us. It need not result in museum-quality work; it can be only an elaboration of an ordinary object: a hair style rather than plain hair, fashion rather than a simple covering to keep warm, decorating rather than a room with furniture. We can all dance, sing, and doodle; some just do these better than others.
Art is appreciated by all of us. We need no special knowledge or sensory apparatus or experience to respond to a rhythm, a tune, a series of bright colors, a monumental building, or a parade. We can all be thrilled and soothed by art.
Art is a species-specific behavior which can be used for social manipulation. All of us are subject to art's whim. Art can direct thinking, beliefs, and behavior. Art is a means to educate, subjugate, subvert, and convert. Art has this power because it can tap into and use our reflexive responses to natural, biologically relevant stimuli. We are unable to control these responses. We do not even realize what is happening."