Part of it seems to be a belief that the defining focus is the object,
product, or performance. "IT" is art (or craft) what have you. In my
experience, this is not a universal distinction. Many makers do not make
it. Some makers find the defining focus to be on the experience and
perceive the residue as detritus, or leftovers.
That even in academic institutions instructor/makers find it important to
enforce and maintain such distinctions is intersting to note. Such
distinctions would seem to be learned, learned WHERE? Such distinctions
have been important to the artworld for several centuries now. Perhaps
not in the past, perhaps not in the future. But, nevertheless, perhaps
they will remain a significant component in human understanding of art;
at least in some circles.
There is a point of view (I love visiting different view points don't I?)
that would see such distinctions as beeing part of an art culture, one
particular culture out of many. Current thinking would seem to lean
towards non-interference with a culture. It seems fair. I seem to belong
to another "art culture". Anthropologist E.T. Hall points out that where
two cultures coincide, differences in understanding which might normally
escape interest or even notice can become problematic and thereby enter
our consciousness. Part of our ongoing cultural ecology to extend my
apparent focus todday on ecology.
Could we NOT make such distinctions? Maybe, maybe not (I suspect not). It
is likely that we could ignore them however. Would that be a useful
thing? Same answer. How many distinctions or differences could we ignore?
AND, if we could, what would that look like? We might choose not to make
any distinction between art and science. Could be useful. Some people
seem, essentially, to have already begun to take such a position. But,
maybe not useful too (It soesn't work for me) We might choose to
eliminate the distinction between learning and practice. It's been done.
Kind of ends the current form of public education though. (but not the
possibility of education)
To make one distinction it can be necessary to ignore another
possibility. Sometimes we can alternate the distinctions we make:
student/class; moving easily from one to another. If we decided not to
distinguish between students that would have a different effect. It's
fascinating how many ways reality can be put together. But not for everyone.
With that in mind, I'll log off for the day; not doubt to the relief of many!