Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Who and What


(Rachel K. Riggs
www.keenmedium.com See the website for this artist's opinion.)


I posted this on the last thread as an off-the-cuff rant on that topic. Catreona asked me to post it as a thread. Please take these comments for what they are: opinion only.

======================================================

On my 1st trip to Haifa, Isreal, I took a tour with one of the local kibutzs. A highlight of the tour, at least for me, was a brief visit at an artist's kabutz. It was explained to us that "all" of the residents of the kubutz, including the children, had to be artists and had to be voted in by the current membership. This seemed a little harsh at first, especially regarding the children, but the more i thought about it, the more sense it made.

Let's take Jessica (sorry to use you as a test case Jessica) as an example: she states that she "like(s) to do crocheting and needlepoint, and I've done a little quilting." Now that's ok. But, if we could see a picture, maybe, of one finished article, then we could judge its artfulness and welcome jessica as a full member. Or a description by the artist or another observer could do. One doesn't have to be Picasso, or Miles Davis, or Gunther Grass, or et al, to be an artist.

So, i looked in the dictionary to help define art, but it only seemed to be concerned with process and characteristics:

*the conscious use of skill, taste, and creative imagination in the production of aesthetic objects. (partial definition from Webster's 7th New Collegiate Dictionary, G & c. merriam co., 1976.)

that's a fair description of process, but what is art?

To me, art is an intention, a process, and an outcome. The intention is to create in order to express. The expression may take the form of banal beauty, or it may be intent on enlightment or exchange of ideas. The intent must be, but is not always necessairly, an attempt by the artist to "relate" to an audience even if the audience is a single person. The way in which the artist relates involves the process, or form, employed in conveying the communication. If the color, design, feel, or useful nature of Jessica's articles produce an emotional aesthetic or ambiance, then she has created art. Most often the receiver/audience determines what the communication has become no matter the intent of the artist. Some would say that the closer the audience is to the intent of the artist equals the success of the art, but i really don't like to narrow a plausability to the level of a near yes/no.

Vague? Sure, and intently so. Art has many descriptions and forms. As artists, i would include, but wouldn't limit the list to:

physical artists (painters, sculpters, jewelry makers, etc.)
musicians
dancers
poets and writers of literature
performance artists (talking about a vague description)
actors
story tellers
dreamers & liars (maybe)
film/video makers
(some) clothing designers
architects

The "what are we to do" portion should perhaps take the form of expressing the world as we would see/have it be. To attempt to create the mental image, a lasting image, that would cause people to wrestle with their own hearts and minds as to the right path we should take as a species. Will it be together, or apart? Will it be to ensure common health, or individual excess? Will it be to replace a face full of fear with a smile, or will it describe a coming holocast?

Sorry for being so dramatic. This is art after all.

======================================================
Also, from Catreona:

I think ART as such doesn't need to be overtly political but, yes, I agree that the best art conveys a vision of the world as the artist would have it. That's why Dark Fantasy, Horror and shading into pornography disturb me. It is possible that on some level such works portray the world as it is, or one dark vision as it is, but it does not strive for the betterment of the characters, the reader/viewer, the world at large. Such things may be very well crafted, but I hesitate to call them art. Beauty, on the other hand, be it majestic like Michelangelo's David or homey and humble llike a lovingly and well made quilt, is always a good, a lift to the spirit of the viewer and, thereby, makes the world better to some extent.

======================================================

What do you think???

18 comments:

mprov13 said...

let's try that again:

http://www.servicio-ejecutivo.com/htdocs/exhibition.php?id=16&visited=2002

listener said...

I hope we won't judge one another's work, and I hope we won't take our meager impressions as the definitive word on what constitutes art. Many of the world's greats were not valued in their own time.

What makes one an artist is simply that you cannot not create.

What makes what you have created "art" is that it has been created...by someone who cannot not create.

All I ask (for our purposes) is that it be art that is not destructive. So no atom bombs, okay? ; )

Catreona said...

Hi guys,

mprov, you did it! Very nice, and with an image and everything!

If you don't mind, I'll delete that first comment with the weird URL, OK?

No, listener, definitely no bombs of any discription if I'm involved either!

mprov13 said...

listener, et al,

i didn't mean to say we should "judge" one another, that's why i made the qualifying statement that followed. but, especially if we decide to include content here, we should have some mechanisim for deciding whether "we" accept it or not???

mprov13 said...

also, techie stuff:

it would be nice if this post page was the actual thread page.

i get an alert box when i'm leaving the page which asks if i really want to?

i can research how to attach an mp3 player that any one can upload to and/or play?

theme music when you open the page or a thread page?

this stuff should be doable in html.

mprov13 said...

also, how to make links clickable/linkable?

Catreona said...

mprov,

the links you've posted in this thread have shown up as live (clickable) in my browser. Don't know why they don't for you.

Also don't understand what you mean about entering and leaving the thread comment page. For me, the main post has a lllink at the bottom that says x comments. Click the llink, get the comment thread page, which displays for me with comments down the left side and a text entry box etc. on the right hand side. A link appears at the top, that can take you bakc to the original post. When I click this, it takes me to the original post on its own page followed immediately by all comments. At the bottom of this page are two links, Comment and Home. The Home link returns to the main blog page. BTW Puddle's blog works the same way. Renee has rigged something entirely diffrent for her big blog, but AFAIK the layout and process I describe are the norm for Blogger blogs.

Hence, I have no idear at all what you're seeing and what you're talking about.

Music playimg when pages change would be a great hastle for me, since I need to listen to my browser to know where I am. I would suggest getting more input from other Blogger users before embarking on any such project. Also, this space may not end up being our permenant home. So, I wouldn't invest a whole lot of time and effort into it just now if I were you. I'm not going to myself.

Catreona said...

Carried over from last thread:

listener said:
Well, I don't know. This arty type can't type worth a hill of beans. Of course my mother, who was also an artist, used to say a true artist can't draw a straight line freehand. (They have so much creativity they quickly wander off into something amazing instead!)
3:53

LOL listener. Is that why I can't spell? Just too much creativity to master fiddly little rules?

BTW, let's all welcome JC!!!

We already are six members strong. I think that indicates that we're on to something here, folks!

Catreona said...

BTW mprov, there's some weird interaction between your code and the template code, as you may have noticed. I'm not sufficiently checked out in CSS2 to understand the conflict, but maybe for future front page posts you should restrict yourself to unalloyed HTML. That seems to work best.

Imn2paine said...

Wow, i like this Art talk. Very nice, and "uplifting."

poemless said...

HI all. Just found this blog, and I think it is a great idea, I think. However, don't get me going about "What is art?" And perhaps I have misunderstood, but is this site to be only for the use only of those who are artists? Take Jessica, for example. What can she contribute? I guess I think this blog would be a great outlet not only for the people creating the art, but for those who wish to support you and/or discuss the role of art in politics and society in America today. But maybe you should just do what you want to do and I should get my own blog. :)

Wondering about myself now. I painted picture today but don't think of myself as an artist. I've done films, plays, photography, painted paintings, written stories and I have a habit of turning junk I find lying around into arts&crafts projects. But I mostly do these things for myself (save for the film/theatre stuff in my past). I don't create for others. Just as therapy. A way to get zenned out. So I'm more interested in the process than the final work.

I don't call myself and artist but I also think everyone is an artist. I also think half the things wrong with this country are a direct result of our society not encouraging creative expression, not teaching art in the schools, and not valuing any pasttime that doesn't bring in the cash or promote the status quo.

So I wish you all luck on your endeavor.

Anonymous said...

weak force
gravity
the thud imagined
stronger
orbit random electron
near where expected
people powered poetry
blogward
drawn
here

Jessica said...

Sorry to be so contriversal...although I do think it's funny because this is probably the only time crocheting will be controversal..LOL..Oh no wait! Robert was offended by a project I posted on the blog once about women in VT crocheting uteruses (around balloons) and sending them to the white house as a pro-choice statement.

Anyway...if this community wants to be a community of serious artists, that's fine, and I would probably not fit in. I would never impose myself on a community that didn't want me. ;-)

And I wouldn't be offended. I know that it would be based on my (lack of) artistic talent, or whatever, not against me personally.

I actually wanted to join mostly to come here and enjoy all of *your* artistic talents, and I can do that without being a member, so, ya know, whatever you guys decide is fine.

listener said...

STEERING LESSONS

I'm behind the wheel
feeling the acceleration
as my vehicle careers
along in the Dark.

I am not asking for intellectual
discussion on the operation of
accelerators or braking systems.
Just tell me what you see.

Sometimes the lurching
frightens me. Are there rocks?
Is this a bend to negotiate?
Am I too near the ditch just now?

Does this new Silence mean
freefall or coasting?
Listen. My aim is only to be
centered on the road alive.

~ listener
Howard Empowered Poet

listener said...

Written during the Gulf War...


IN THE MIDST OF FEAR AND GRIEVING

A voice calls:
"I will raise up your ruins.
Return to me for I have redeemed you.
Come to me and I will give you rest.
Comfort, comfort my people.
I am with you always.
I am the Beloved and there is no other.

"Do you say to me,
'Your work has no handles'?
'We have no bread'?
Do you imagine that I grieve with you?

"Would that even today you knew
the things that make for peace.
Truly, I have borne your griefs.
Forgive them,
for they know not what they do.
Give them something to eat.
Walk in love.
O that I would find you
Grieving with me,
Toting crosses,
Purchasing fields in Canaan.

~ listener
Howard Empowered Poet

Catreona said...

Hi Paine and Tosha! Glad you found us.

For myself, there is plenty of room on this blog and in this group (which is still forming) for discussion of art and politics. Seems to me, there ought to be enough room for everyone who wants to join and to contribute in whatever way seems right, including just hanging out and reading.

LOL Jessica, I never thought of crocheting as contraversial. I think arts and crafts for political purposes certainly have a place here.

Damn! You guys are going to force me finally to write that Ars Poetica I've been trying not to formulate and state for about fifteen years. Don't have the time! Don't have the inclination. But, clearly, there's a need. *grumble grumble*

BTW Gonna make a nice, new front page post with all these lovely poems.

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