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Re: Art, skill, communication, failure

At 9:18 AM 3/26/97, Winston Pei wrote:
>2) As a "designer" my ultimate goal is to communicate my client's message.
>If my end product is visually stunning, crafted with technical precision
>and expertise, but fails to communicate the message, it may be good art, it
>may be good craftmanship, but it is poor design. Communication is the
>purpose of design. What would you define as the purpose of "art", the
>purpose of "craft"?

i too am a 'designer', and have discussed the difference between design and
art at length with friends. i always thought that difference was in this
idea of communication: (graphic) design's primary purpose is to clearly
communicate a message to a particular audience, whereas in fine art (i
think) this is not the main objective. you're right - if a designed piece
doesn't communicate to the audience, it has failed. i think in *some* art,
communication appears to be a main objective, but certainly not in all art.
a work of art does not fail for not communicating. the purpose of art... i
think there are many purposes. to teach, to please, to disturb; in some
cases perhaps it serves only to satisfy a need of the artist. art for me is
like a probe. it makes me thing about what it is the artist must have been
thinking, feeling... what (s)he wants to say with a piece. for me this
applies more to modern art than to more classical works, although i think
in many classical arts (dance, music) there is a strong message to be
gathered. craft - there is craft in everything, imo. unfortunately this is
slipping away in design with the advent of the mac. i'd think that the
purpose of craft is to attain beauty and perfection, no? craft to me is the
actual hands-on creating of a thing - whether it's a book or a typeface. it
requires skill and in the case of visual art, aesthetics. perhaps the 'art'
is in the conceptual creation, whereas the craft is what brings the thing
to fruition.

just my thoughts though!


"I don't think 'This is my party' is applicable anymore. The party's kind
of over. Now it's more like, 'This is my life,' 'This is my tribe.'"
                                                                - Nan Goldin

"Than so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time."
                                              - John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

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