poxic wrote:So, Mr. Dream, if I may call you Mr. Dream, and please correct me if I may not:
Ah, it's actually Squadron Commander the Lord Dream. Common mistake, doesn't bother me in the slightest.
"I used a skill and/or piece of technology (e.g., bleached dried reeds) to make an object or experience (e.g., basket or movement or sound). If I got creative with it -- added some of myself and/or my ideas into it -- then I can call it Art rather than Craft."
I think your definition is just a bit too mechanistic to be perfect. It probably encompasses almost all art, but I feel it defines it by non-essential attributes, technology
, and in opposition to craft
, which I think is not central to the question. To illustrate, there can be art that does not involve technology or craft at all, such as a physical performance made up entirely of presence
. There can also be art where though some level of technology is involved, it is not implemented by the artist, and no particular skill is used, such as found object juxtapositions or the famous light-going-on-and-off in the Turner a while ago. The light, of course, articulates to the audience no particularly comprehensible ideas, which in your definition would make it craft because nothing the audience can't perceive can be said to be present in the work.
What all of these things, and all other works of art share though, is that they achieve their ends by some deliberate application of context. Sometimes, like Fountain, or Lights Going On And Off the context is just the gallery, and the art world in general. Others, like Warhol's print series are more subtle evocations of similar things, about culture, image and mass production. The perfect example of what I'm talking about is Rauschenberg's Erased De Kooning. It's a Willem De Kooning drawing, erased by Rauschenberg (with the permission of De Kooning, to sidestep confusion over it being an attack on him in particular) and exhibited as his own. The act of erasing a thing is not art, nor does it create art. It can destroy it, of course or alter it, or simply be an entirely creatively neutral act, like erasing an accidental stain. Any of these acts could evoke emotion, articulate meaning or apply technology to communicate a thing, but without being or creating art. The thing that makes Rauschenberg art, and not me removing yesterday's lesson from a chalkboard, is the context applied: De Kooning's drawing. So while Erased De Kooning fits your definition perfectly, the application of technology and (very basic) skill to creating a thing, and an idea that sets the act apart from some definition of craft, I don't feel that that captures the art in it. The De Kooning isn't the craft, skill or technology, it's the context, and it's the context that makes it art.
It occurs to me that your definition of the "idea" that sets a thing apart from craft migth be very close, or identical to my definition of the application of context. Maybe?