After the last COETAIL class (which was amazing by the way to be able to play with photos for credit), I began to ask myself what is original art anymore? This came because I took pictures of trash on the curb outside of NIST in downtown Bangkok, and other similarly trivial items, and was able to put these photos into IPhoto and adjust them to look epic. What ever happened to being a good photographer based on taking an original image without needing to alter it? I still have a very nice film camera with telephoto lenses back in the States that I will most likely never use again. This is simply because it is too costly to shoot film and develop pictures that aren’t all quality instead of simply deleting them, and because I can’t tinker with them afterwards. I am really curious what true artists (those that consider them such and who get paid for their art) actually believe anymore.
Historically, great art included those talented individuals who could draw, paint, sculpt, etc. on the fly. Meaning that they were capable of picking up a brush, chisel or other tool and deliberately creating a flawless masterpiece their first attempt. I suppose it is significant to mention that many of these individuals were craftsman trained in one specific field over the course of their lifetime as an apprentice before venturing out to be commissioned. I remember hearing that many believed that the mark of a truly great artist was one who could draw a perfect circle without an implement to aid him/her. Apparently after some debate, the best-known artist who could do such a feat was Giotto Di Bondone, an Italian painter and architect during the Italian Renaissance. Just a fun fact for the day. I dabbled in college taking art classes, but I would never consider myself an artist. But what actually makes someone an artist anymore in the digital age? I now have images on Flickr that are Creative Common images that anyone can use (with attribution of course). If someone finds a photo that I have taken and shared online, and they believe that it would work well in a presentation of theirs, does that mean I too am an artist?
After web-surfing on individuals’ responses to what art and or being an artist is, I have come up with a couple of key talking points to consider. They include:
- Are you an artist if someone pays you for your work, thus making it your livelihood? Can you be considered an artist if you create original works for yourself solely, simply for the sake of creating and not for retail? Are you an ‘actual’ artist simply because your work has been utilized by others through various mediums and venues such as Flickr?
I am sure that we all know people who are incredibly talented artists and can create authentic works who do not do this as their day job. I am also certain that anyone who has looked up images on Flickr ever to utilize for a presentation or simply out of curiosity, have seen some atrocious examples of works of art. So, are the above considerations not significant? What about looking at art in a different light.
- Is art simply about freedom of expression? Is art a medium of expressing oneself in a unique way that inspires others? Is a true artist someone who looks at the world in a different way?
The majority of the world’s population anymore has basic freedoms and liberties in expressing themselves openly. I know that this can be debated, but I would say simply the majority does. I continue to struggle personally in blogging because I never feel like what I have to say is worthwhile, because I don’t consider it inspiring. I look at technology as a tool to helping us in our everyday lives, through dispensing of information, making us more efficient, and lending convenience. I am rarely inspired by technology itself. I have noticed though, that the more programs and apps out there that allow me to alter my own works to make them more asthetically pleasing to the eye, the more I actually want to create. Whether or not the actual message is inspiring or not, I leave in the hands of those who judge, but sometimes it simply feels good to be proud of something you created. I really enjoyed one of the activities that we did in our previous COETAIL class, that being creating slides/ posters of matching specific given words with images. I do this in my own classes. As a Special Needs teacher, one of the ways to make sure all learning styles and multiple intelligences are included, is by ensuring information is taught in a variety of mediums (auditory, visual, kinesthetic, etc.). When new vocabulary is assigned, I ask my students to create a visual that includes the word, the definition, and a pictorial representation to aid the in remembering the word.
I have included a couple of visual slides that I created at our last COETAIL class in the activity I previously mentioned to make a point. Teaching is about inspiring others to seek out knowledge and do something beneficial with that knowledge. Teachers know that teaching is not about rote-memorization and the more upper tier thinking towards meta-cognition you can possible instill in your students, the better. The activity we did can be altered in a number of ways to promote added critical thinking. You could ask students to find traditional images for various words, or ironic images. I added a couple of my images because it shows first a traditional view of the word bleak, that still needs mental engaging to interpret. The other however, is an ironic interpretation of the word filthy that has a political massage to it. I hope you enjoy, and if not, I am still proud of them.
I know that I got wrapped up into the idea of “what is art anymore?”, and I assume that I most likely didn’t help you come any closer to a definition. Sometimes blogging is for the journey rather than the destination in my case. I did want to leave you though with a very entertaining youtube video that has had an extraordinary amount of hits recently. Who says that technology can’t be inspiring? This fellow was inspired to sing a song with a new app on his IPhone called Siri. Enjoy!