RE: Crappy/Krappy

From: Schuyler Grace ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 01/02/05-07:17:00 PM Z
Message-id: <>

These are some good points; however, what I was trying to say was that art,
at its root, is about communication. The artist is communicating an idea
via his/her medium of choice. This presupposes the artist has a "picture"
(although it may be a picture of words or some other form of communication)
already in his/her head of how the idea will be presented, and what really
makes the artist an artist is how well s/he presents that concept to the
world. That's where control over the medium comes into play.

Using your example of "Process Art," the artist may not be able to exactly
repeat the final outcome of the mold growth any more than a painter can
exactly replicate the brushstrokes required to make a specific painting.
However, the concept is there, and it is communicated in a similar way each
time the process is started. In fact, the "product" of moldy bread process
is most likely not a specific beautiful mold design, but the general idea of
beauty from decay, of changing forms, etc. So, the process is the art--the
communication--the result is not, necessarily.

Back to the whole krappy kamera thing that started this off: Anyone can go
around taking snapshots with a cheap camera, dig through the results looking
for something pretty or interesting, slap it up on the wall, and call it
art. On the other hand, a "Real Artist" (IMHO) might see how a cheap camera
alters his/her world view and set out to make photographs that communicate
that view. Now, I'm not saying the Artist won't have a stack of culled
photographs when it's all over with. Rather, the Artist set out with an
idea to share and worked to communicate it; whereas, the "artist" stumbled
upon something neat, took credit for it, and hung it on a nail.

That's not to say happenstance doesn't play a part in art, or that we should
all become technicians--slaves--of our medium. Instead, childlike wonder
leads to many an artistic discovery, and experience helps us to communicate
our ideas more effectively. But a krappy kamera or a moldy piece of bread
does not make one an artist any more than the finest paints or most
expensive camera will. To me, an Artist is someone whose real skill is
showing me what goes on inside their mind. Otherwise, they are either just
a thinker or a hack.


-----Original Message-----
From: Judy Seigel []
Sent: Sunday, January 02, 2005 1:51 PM
Subject: RE: Crappy/Krappy

On Sun, 2 Jan 2005, Schuyler Grace wrote:

> ... If you're
> not in control (for the most part), are you really creating something,
> yourself, or are you just setting events into motion?

What wrong with setting events in motion -- especially if they're
delicious? Art is not about control, it's about ideas and vision...
There's a whole school of serious art called Process Art (among others),
for instance slices of bread in warm water to grow mold. I can no more
direct that mold than I can exactly repeat it, and why should I? It's the
event, the concept, the happening that matters.. All art owes a great debt
to accidents, aberrations and discovery. And if anyone out there still has
to be convinced that photography is real art -- do we need them? Should
they control our vision?

Control is certainly necessary for some processes, especially bodily
processes, And some kinds of photography obviously require it. But others
don't. It's a tool, among many others -- not a commandment.

Received on Mon Jan 3 03:27:20 2005

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