The Art of Art
What is art? I mean all kinds of art. Visual (including drawing, painting, sculpture), performing (including music & theatre, mime, statue etc), and design (including architectural, decoration) to name a few to start with.
And, of course, each of these very broad categories has so many layers below them we would not have enough paper to show probably half of the spreads. But the high-level question still remains. What is Art? Who decides and how does it (an idea) spring out of a mind and into the realm of ART?
Silly question? Perhaps? But it has been taking some energy from me lately, so I figure let’s get it out.
The difficulty here is to not be judgemental. Because that’s not it. I actually don’t have any vested interested in the perceived value (or not) of any of these creations. That is not the point. We all have our predilections and our current likes and dislikes. It is not up to me do have any input into that process at all.
OK. I was in an airport the other day resting on a day bed during a long layover, and I was staring at a design feature on top of a column. It was a wide twisted white plaster (or plastic – I couldn’t quite tell from where I was) and it was about 20 meters long extending from the pillar out into the airspace above me. It wasn’t very wide, although the bit over the column was wider than the rest.
Hanging from this were a large number of rectangular plates of a golden colour (metal, or plastic – not sure). They were hanging from a wire or some such support, were all the same thickness and width, but slightly different lengths.
As I stared at it I wondered why it had been made like that. Why not different coloured bits of hanging stuff? Why not many different lengths or shapes? A zillion questions appeared to me and there were no answers. This is a piece of building design either commissioned by the airport building company or generated by an employee. It probably doesn’t matter. It had no purpose but decoration, at least as far as I could tell.
But the point was many DECISIONS were made about how this would look. Even perhaps how it would sound or maybe even smell. How did these decisions get made?
The other week while watching a guitarist play some really great original music, I noticed his foot reach out and tap one of the many buttons on the switch array under his microphone. I am not sure if I heard anything change, but once again, my questioning mind asked, “What did he do? Why”. And, “How did the decision to do that and not something else or nothing at all get to be made”, I asked.
Of course, I am brushing over here, the strumming, finger-picking and fretboard work that generated the sounds in the first place. All the result of decisions relating to the art of music. Way beyond my understanding. But I usually like what I hear. Bugger. That is judgemental. Sorry.
Is this line of thought reducing the higher artistic to a low end simple, practical decision or series thereof? I guess it is. Your thoughts, please?