I DO believe there are objective standards, but certification implies that
others agree with my standards (or I with theirs).
After all, the NEA did fund "Piss Christ" and other abominations. I'm sure
that a board of nice people made the decision based upon some set of
standards that they all considered "objective".
I was on the boad of the American Institute of Graph Art and we had a huge
fight over whether designers should be certified. Clearly, it would be nice
for clients to know whether the deigner they hire is "qualified", but alas,
no one could quite come up with what "qualified" meant. A lot of
"qualified" designers were lousy and a lot of "unqualified" designers did
We dropped the idea.
Art is essentially anarchic and should remain so. The mediation of taste
should be left to the culture at large.
-- Mike Reed