There are numerous examples throughout history of somebody creating something we end up labeling as “art”, which were never intended to be experienced by other people. One canonical example of this is the diary of Anne Frank.
Another famous example is found in the many manuscripts of Franz Kafka, most of which he instructed his friend and literary executor Max Brod to burn upon Kafka’s death. Fortunately for us, Brod did not burn anything.
Which leaves us with a question: If somebody never intends a work — be it painting, sculpture, poem, song, novel or something else — to be experienced by others, is it still art?
Or does art require that most basic contract between creator and audience: That there be an intended audience?
My own take is that we need a different word for such works. The word “art” doesn’t not quite encompass the antisocial provenance of such creations, because the creation of art is fundamentally an act of intentional communication.
But what would be a good word?