Re: Scooping Up & Blending Knowledge

Gerhard Kessell-Haak (
Wed, 30 Sep 1998 18:51:02 +1200

> Though I am not one to speak against technology in any capacity, it
>is my observation that the advent of the computer age seemingly
>smudged the lines of what is and isn't "art." True, art itself is totally
>open to interpretation, but the amount of people in the last hundred
>years who have called themselves "artists" has drastically increased.

This is true for science too - there are now more scientists in existence than at any other time in history.

Does this mean that the level of attainment required before one can call oneself a scientist should be raised?

>...Techno and "alternative" music forms are generally formulaic: the
>beats and the same musical progressions are churned out over and
>over again. How often is a hit song written in a time signature other
>than 4\4 or 6\8? Innovation is not what the majority of people really

Artists have been using particular "Styles" since time immemorial. The old renaisance painters copied each other's styles willy nilly, and even passed them onto their successors via tutorage. The only difference today is that it is a lot easier to copy a particular style.

> What the reality of art is is that not everybody can be an artist, just
>as not everybody can be a scientist. There is more to it than just the
>outpouring of words, the strokes of a brush or the playing of notes.
>Beneath the surface of a true artist there is a fierce conflict between
>tragedy and passion, and this war is always being fought. No matter
>how much output a true artist has, he will never be satisfied --never be
>content with his accomplishments; instead he will be tormented by the
>things he could never quite express. However, this conflict creates a
>drive to *try* to attain the perfect expression of one's essence. A true
>artist will never be able to stop creating for fear of losing the impetus of
>expression forever. Without this drive, the artist will stagnate, and his
>desire for his own understanding will be lost. This, to a true artist, is

So, basically what you're saying is that to be a "true" artist requires a particular personality type. This is highly contentious, but I'll let that one slip by :o). However, I think you're confusing being a "true" artist with being a "great" artist.

Surely, the great thing about art is that anybody CAN do it. However, the value of the art is determined by the response it receives when observed. Art is only great when exhalted by others, but the extremely broad (and open) definition of art means that there will be pieces that are "below par", in addition to allowing an extremely large segment of the population to call themselves "artists".

>However, for a true artist to be successful, the social and
>cultural standard towards art --innovative art-- must first be raised.

Standard? By what means is this standard going to be measured? Mere 'innovation'? Novelty? Difficulty? All three? None? Art is far too difficult to standardise, let alone measure. To "raise the standard" you first need a standard to raise. Unfortunately, there isn't one.

Though I understand where you're coming from, I don't see the solution in "raising the standard". I would even venture to ask whether there really is a problem?