What exactly do you disagree with? I'm trying to explain why I think that saying a piece is "about" some totally abstract idea is not art.
I disagree with pretty much everything you stated in that quote. Almost every piece of art was about some kind of "totally abstract idea" in the first place. This idea or set of ideas is then further explained, modified, dismissed, etc. which can point us to the underlying intention of the artist. In the case of 4'33'' it is only one unmodified musical idea that is kept up throughout the whole piece, which is pretty much what pnoom criticized about it earlier in this thread.
And what exactly is the piece, according to you: nothing at all (what was written), or what you actually hear when it is "performed" (breathing, sighing, rustling etc. in the concert hall)? You seem to be saying one at one time and the other at others.
As with all western classical musical works that were originally written down in stave notation, the piece itself is just that: notes on a sheet of paper and an idea of sound behind it since that's all the actual artist (i.e. the composer) left us with. Any performance of the piece is already an interpretation of the original and maybe could even be looked at as an individual work of art by another artist (i.e. the performer). 4'33'' doesn't leave much room for interpretation by the performer. Maybe the audience could even be considered performers in any concert performance of the piece.
I'll also comment on some things you wrote in another post.
So it spawns a lot of talk about music, fine, but he could just have asked the questions you mentioned instead of "writing" a piece of music that somehow asks them for him.
He could have, but he was a composer, not a philosopher or author, and therefore the way he actually did it seems most fitting for him. Also those questions, thoughts, ideas or whatever you want to call it were of musical nature, so it seems plausible to publish them in musical form.
In a real piece of art you don't need language to pinpoint the meaning of a certain piece, and John Cage's 4'33 is worthless without it.
Any piece of a art can be conceived in a rather superficial manner without thinking about the meaning of the piece, the intentions of the artist, etc. If you are
trying to explore those deeper meanings language can be a very helpful tool. And when you're saying that 4'33'' is worthless without language to explain it, then that is just your own personal and completely subjective opinion.
If indeed art has no objective definition, fine, then anything can be called art then anyone can do anything, lot's of people will talk and we'll all forget what it is was all about in the first place: watching or listening what somebody has created, and where anything we can ever say about it will always be inferior in nature to the work itself.
I never said that art has no objective definition, but maybe I misunderstand you. How exactly would you define art?
Anything anybody says about a work of art will always be somewhat inferior to the work itself, since it won't able to provide any kind of final word to the understanding of the piece. That doesn't mean that discussion about a work of art could not enhance our understanding and appreciation of the piece. And if you think that artists only create art so that other people can consume it and make random judgments concerning their liking or disliking of the piece, then I think that you're not doing justice to most artists.