Making a piece of art "work" is something that comes easily to some artists, but less so for others.
In photography there are images that have junk or other banalities in them, such as garbage cans, light poles, people in odd poses/tableaux and so on. Some work and some don't for mysterious reasons.
Here's one by William Eggleston, a prime example of an artist that can beautify the ordinary.
They look easy, but they aren't. It takes work to make it work, usually on the part of the viewer: "I don't see anything there that's worth taking a picture of". But the photographer did, and if you try you can too. These kinds of snapshots are recording memories as well, as all images do, even if they aren't the typical "photo memory" photo. With metadata, "date taken" is enough to encode the memory. The image could just be white or black, and it works as a background for what only you remember at that moment, and it "works".
Here's one by me:
Space travel became more plausible once the TV and film set designers got involved and made it look comfortable. This could be the reason that people believe that the moon landings were all a Hollywood hoax--it was designers like Syd Mead, Jacques Fresco, George Melies and other futurists that made it seem like it was only a matter of time before we'd be living in that world. That's what artists and designers do; they show possible futures. (Bucky Fuller called in "anticipatory design science".)
David Bowie was kind of a futurist, but more of a realist. For him space travel was about loneliness and isolation, and he designed his art and life around those themes, without suggesting that it was anything more than a prop--not a literal construct for the look of the future in general, or his own future. The point was how to use one's inner life, or inner space travel as transcendence.
We understand by now that months or years of space travel would be a real slog. But that's not an interesting look or interesting story for a feature film. That's why we need artists, which feeds ideas into the science that could objectify it.
Reality TV in space is actually interesting. The production design in the recent film "Passengers" was part hospital diagnostic imaging lab done with an art deco/Johnson Wax building vibe, and the outside, the cast iron hull of the Titanic as a metaphor.
Elon Musk is in some ways a designer of a future in space, using the accumulated futurist design ethos over the past century, by Syd Mead and others. That's an exciting vision, yet might lead to an anti-climax or a bathetic reality, or the Mars colonies might actually look like it does in film.
"The content of art is shaped by local conditions: the culture in which it is born, its historical antecedents, the economic conditions of its production and reception, and references relevant to its time and place." (The Aesthetic Brain: How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art, p. 184)
The psychologist James Cutting found that people prefer impressionist paintings just by being exposed to them. This is definitely true, based on my observations of people at museums looking at art. There's no intellectual prerequisite to looking at impressionist paintings; You can just stand in front of a painting and enjoy the open-air feeling, whereas the oppressive gravitas of painting from the 14th century is depressing to some people, as is the confounding feeling of Robert Morris scatter pieces.
Prejudice of conceptual art (as opposed to new experiences with conceptual art) can diminish its capacity for being enriching. There's a disconnect between the "I" and the "me" that is having a relationship with it, i.e. "'I'" don't like this because it's not "me'" (or "us"), and placed in a binary context, such as brand preferences, and the associated personal identifications: Either you're a 'Coke' person or a 'Pepsi' person. Identifying with the label of a particular kind of beverage influences our enjoyment of the taste, probably having to do with cross-wiring in the brain.
An enjoyment or appreciation of an artwork does not require a historical reference, but is tremendously powerful to cognition. All periods of art have histories, even those created last week. All art gathers an intention from "local conditions" even if there wasn't one to begin with. Both artists and viewers can appreciate the intent of something, and can appreciate it just for that alone, regardless of skill involved or aesthetics.
(One also has to keep in mind that photography made a de-skilling possible, yet allowed it still retain all the aesthetic power.)