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The arts are a vast subdivision of culture, composed of many creative endeavors

and disciplines. It is a broader term than "art", which as a description of a fi


eld usually means only the visual arts. The arts encompass the visual arts, the
literary arts and the performing arts music, theatre, dance and film, among othe
rs. This list is by no means comprehensive, but only meant to introduce the conc
ept of the arts. For all intents and purposes, the history of the arts begins wi
th the history of art. The arts might have origins in early human evolutionary p
rehistory. According to a recent suggestion, several forms of audio and visual a
rts (rhythmic singing and drumming on external objects, dancing, body and face p
ainting) were developed very early in hominid evolution by the forces of natural
selection in order to reach an altered state of consciousness. In this state, w
hich Jordania calls battle trance, hominids and early human were losing their in
dividuality, and were acquiring a new collective identity, where they were not f
eeling fear or pain, and were religiously dedicated to the group interests, in t
otal disregards of their individual safety and life. This state was needed to de
fend early hominids from predators, and also to help to obtain food by aggressiv
e scavenging. Ritualistic actions involving heavy rhythmic music, rhythmic drill
, coupled sometimes with dance and body painting had been universally used in tr
aditional cultures before the hunting or military sessions in order to put them
in a specific altered state of consciousness and raise the morale of participant
s.
Ancient Greek art saw the veneration of the animal form and the development of e
quivalent skills to show musculature, poise, beauty and anatomically correct pro
portions. Ancient Roman art depicted gods as idealized humans, shown with charac
teristic distinguishing features (i.e. Zeus' thunderbolt). In Byzantine and Goth
ic art of the Middle Ages, the dominance of the church insisted on the expressio
n of biblical and not material truths. Eastern art has generally worked in a sty
le akin to Western medieval art, namely a concentration on surface patterning an
d local colour (meaning the plain colour of an object, such as basic red for a r
ed robe, rather than the modulations of that colour brought about by light, shad
e and reflection). A characteristic of this style is that the local colour is of
ten defined by an outline (a contemporary equivalent is the cartoon). This is ev
ident in, for example, the art of India, Tibet and Japan. Religious Islamic art
forbids iconography, and expresses religious ideas through geometry instead. The
physical and rational certainties depicted by the 19th-century Enlightenment we
re shattered not only by new discoveries of relativity by Einstein and of unseen
psychology by Freud, but also by unprecedented technological development. Parad
oxically the expressions of new technologies were greatly influenced by the anci
ent tribal arts of Africa and Oceania, through the works of Paul Gauguin and the
Post-Impressionists, Pablo Picasso and the Cubists, as well as the Futurists an
d others.