Most forms of life on Earth spend their entire life just to get foods for their survival. Humans started to leave some form of art when they were able to get enough food and have some extra time. So, basically art is a product of our extra energy after subtracting the energy for survival.
I have thought we will find engineering architectures or their relic first from the space when we find an extraterrestrial intelligence. But may be we were wrong. What would ET civilization people(?) be doing if they have a plenty of extra time? Maybe we have to look for some kind of art form instead.
Then what is art? Do not try to introduce the concept of beauty because that is human stuff. We are talking about universal (literally) art. Art is something completely useless. Or at least it is something embedded in a useful architecture as a form that we cannot recognize a purpose of it. I thought if there is an advanced civilization, their engineering work must be perfect without any inefficiency or redundancy. May be that’s not true. Art is something playful with randomness and disorder but not completely chaotic. We might be able to detect some kind of ET art embedded in apparently very random and chaotic pattern.
Thoughts while listening J. S. Bach’s Goldberg Variation. I recalled Keanu Reeves in the movie ‘The Day Earth Stood Still’. He was an alien visiting Earth and said after listening this music:
“This is beautiful. What is it?”