Art in Mind
Cultural condemnation. Creative catheter. “Art is to piss on.”
The real struggle of deliberation and an ideal often violently quiets itself by a constipation of an ideal that blinds. There is a question of art. We want artists to deserve their name.
To define art as a product which is the consequence of some practiced external activity?
If art is simply the result of practiced external motion, that, an artist is a practiced potter, an educated painter. Then we are forced to assert all who practice dutifully at a craft, make art. We would likely want to amend this by adding that an artist must also have the natural inclination towards his particular art. Without artistic inclination her practice is not productive toward the betterment of her skills, she will never become better or have an excellence in his activity. The claim could be made that ‘excellence’ only differentiates a good artist from an artist. If it is the case that excellence only differentiates a ‘good artist,’ then all makers are artists and all things made are art. If so, then our initial claim that art is solely the result of practiced motion has been proved false. So then why do we not frame every child’s macaroni artwork and sell it for trillions of dollars?
If it is that art is not exclusively the process of external making, though it has been seen that it can be loosely used in such a way, then what does distinguish making from art in the more particular sense?
Aristotle, in his Nicomachean Ethics claims that art is a kind of concern and consideration.
“All art is concerned with the process of coming into being, and to practice art is also to consider how something capable of being or not being, and of which the source is in the one who makes it and not in the thing that is made, may come into being[…]” (NE 1140a10).
Here art is depicted as a concern with coming into being, a concern with how something can exist. Not only can the artist be concerned with how the object which is made will be constructed externally, but also must be concerned with how it can depict what is within herself. Art can be a deliberation of idea. This requires notions of “how” from the artist, “But no one deliberates about things that are incapable of being otherwise, nor about things he himself is not able to do.” (NE 1140b).
Because an artist is concerned with a subject matter that must be considerable in many different ways, hence as Aristotle claims, concerned with things which are capable of being otherwise, then the artist must be aware of how of something can expose the way it is viewed by its author. This conception of art does not require for the artist to be the particular maker of the object, rather it requires the artist to be seen as an author of how something can be seen. These claims do not expect you to consequently know how to see the way the author has seen, rather it does expect you to recognize that the author has in fact experienced something particular and is challenging you to approach his subject matter as if there are new ways that you can observe it. Even if it is simply that that author has observed something about society that is looked at daily and never considered. She may approach art by attempting to startle you from your accustomed narrative, or she may be more gentle and suggestive. It depends on what the artist has seen and what he wants to, or can, say.
Concerning “Fountain” by R. Mutt, 1917.
“Whether Mr Mutt made the fountain with his own hands or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.” – The Blind Man, The Richard Mutt Case. (http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/dada/blindman/2/images/blindman_no.2_05.pdf).
Amy Cutler, Tiger Mending. Polly Morgan Tim Noble and Sue Webster “Origional Sinners.” Tim Noble and Sue Webster. “Wasted Youth” 2000.