March 20, 2004 by Allen George
On March 5th, just after the WarsawPack concert, Allister and I had an interesting discussion about what exactly one classifies as art. I, of course, cannot reproduce all points touched in that discussion here due to the sheer breadth of ideas that were highlighted, but I can outline some of its more striking points.
The subject was brought up when I remarked how the power of technology was bringing the ability to create more polished works into the hands of the ‘general public’. I expressed my wish to help create tools that would enable people to express themselves with as few frustuations as possible when dealing with the tools. ( I don’t think the conversational format will work, since it would attempt to put into words, what was essentially a back and forth ramble ). The salient points were as follows:
– The frustruations of dealing with the tools, the trouble one has with them, is an essential part of art.
– The easier a work is to create, the less value it has (to him) regardless of the quality of the final product.
– The easier the tools are with which an artist has to work, the easier it is for them to express themselves. Therefore removing impediments to the artist should be the ultimate goal of the tool-maker.
– The quality of the finished product is (to me) of greater importance than the amount of effort that is put into creating it.
– I wondered what the ‘use’ of creating a work that was accessible to only a select few was.
– Creating a digital work, (despite the improvement in the tools used) is just as much a piece of art as painting a picture.
There were of course, more points – but these are the ones I can remember at this time. I think the sticking point to me at least was the statement that a photograph was not as much of a work of art as a painting was (given the same scene). To me, this was…questionable. Just because I can take a photograph quicker doesn’t mean that the creativity was sucked out of the act of acquiring it. The idea that just because one is using technology to make it easier to accomplish something makes the act less worthwhile sticks in my craw.