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Re: Definition for Art (was 60 Minutes...GAG!)

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Nov 26 2001 - 12:11:15 PST


> my wife and I have this discussion all the time.... what is art? It becomes
> very interesting as she is left brained and I am right brained. She makes a
> good devils advocate.
>
> One of the things that always gets thrown into this discussion is the whole
> Dada movement.

This is why I love Marcel so much. He and the Dada movement introduced the
notion that art needs to be thoughtful.
Before the camera art's purpose was documentation, story telling, ritual
.... some kind of attempt at what is "real"
The Dadaists saw the absurdity. When Marcel put the mustache on the Mona
.... well I think many still don't "get it"

In my teaching I continually go back and forth between technique, process
and content. I firmly believe that artists lead a way, and I also believe
that one can't deviate until one knows what one is deviating from
but how to teach that in 2001 ? I'm just not sure of.
I find a real need to redefine the elements and principles we are dependent
on.
I have been spending much time on time and motion -- elements only sometimes
considered.

When the camera and photo processes were put into motion, there were huge
debates on the future of standard art practices. Most thought it was the
end to painting.

It's a 160+ years since the camera and still the debate. The community has
not accepted the way of the 20th century artist. The community still wants
to buy Kincaids--- pretty pictures .

I wonder
how are we, as art educators, leading the way to teach prospective artists
as the first interpreters of social concerns, as documentors, and as venues
to "think" ?

when I look at the very contemporary scene I wonder what they want me to
think about

Art is a means to convey a thought Art is a means to point out and it's
also a means to document and if it's it's ugly, as so much in our world is
today, then it's
just what it should be -- a reflection of the ugliness

A civilization is measured by the art it produces
that's a pretty hefty though

I don't want to be part of a civilization that measures the financial
success of a Kincaid
I think we have to be very careful about our measurements. Marketing,
business.. it'a part of art. But not part of the definition.

I think we have to do some serious thinking about content-- from elementary
on up
Technique is a tool to convey content. I want to see every project have an
element of content as well as technique. We have an obligation to teach the
proper technique for conveying the thought -- otherwise there is no art.

Patty

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