Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Validity Of Art

In the lecture on the Monday some one had brought up how he found that in terms of photography how spending 60 hours in a darkroom is more faithful and worth more in a artistic sense than someone spending 10 hours on a photoshop. I find this statement completely false and also brings up in me many issues such as these in other forms of artisitic expression whether it be film, music or paintintg.

I just find it completely frustrating that people who use technology as a means to create their art subjected to criticisms that "it is not the same" etc. I get frustrated the means of producing your art whilst they are important is not as important as the final product so just Massive Attack or Aphex Twin uses computers and electronics to create their art in their living room does that mean it is of less artistic value than Led Zeppelin recording on a 4 track on a crappy hilltop mansion on top of Scottish hills and Valley? I answer a resounding NO. This is because each of those are striving for the same goal which is to create long lasting art that can make people and more impoortantly themselves feel proud but the only difference the "instruments" that they are using are different. Just because Johhny Greenwood sits in front of a laptop for hours a day doesn't mean he is worse or better than Paul Mccartney sitting in Apple Studios.

This same viewpoint resonates in the film and art worlds. It infuriates me that art historians and other critics have not put both album artwork or grafitti art work has been examples of an actual art form or example of artistic expression. They are to me are as valid and in my opinion more of a profound statement (depending on the grafitti art) than arts from the renaissance. In terms of grafitti art it is more profound as they are expressing issue sof frustration against society and their anger towards the establishment which is what makes the art that they are doing significant in a cultural and historial landscape. This could be said for the music that I was talking about before. People such as Aphex Twin and other long lists of artists who use computers are making a statement about how the same feelings and emotions that one gets from listening to records by sonic youth or led zeppelin are the same or even greater even though they are are using a computer. What is the difference anyway? A guitar is a peice of wood with strings on it and a computer is just a box!! So people please judge the expression of art whether it be art, movie or music based upon their artistic and lets not get caught up if the "instruments" they are using are no "the real thing" or "analaog" enough for our liking.


Blogger YuHan said...

I'd agree, but only to a certain degree. The argument between producing pieces of artwork manually and digitally as valid forms is a stalemate; it only depends on what one sees as "worthwhile" to them.

I've done both - I've stayed in a darkroom 8 hours a day for 2 weeks straight, and I've spent all day for a week working on Photoshop for a set. Which was more rewarding? Neither. It was the process, the doing that was more rewarding than the final product. I prize more highly and more valuable the experience of producing a particular product, not the end result.

While the end result garnered me an Excellance under NCEA Photography, it was the sweat, the hours of correcting and progressing, and at one point, the blood that I stuck in. You don't get the same experience working on the computer, or over a digital interface.

Like I said, for me it comes down to the experience; you cannot produce the *exact* same thing using two different mediums - the emotions and the memories that are evoked within yourself cannot be reproduced, no matter what argument. For those 2 weeks that I spent, I gave a part of myself away. In my opinion, it's not that digital artworks are not viable as forms, but rather for me personally they are detached. They are not things that I, as a human being, have poured all my energies and all my soul into creating.

For the last 2 days before assignment was due, I spent a total of 40 hours in that darkroom, barely eating, napping when I'm waiting on film to develop. I don't see that ever happening when I'm working on Photoshop. It's just not the same.

August 21, 2007 at 4:25 PM  

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