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Re: Definition of the Artists B

At 06:22 PM 3/9/98 +0000, you wrote:
> What acts does an artist "commit" that designate him/her as an
>How about:
>"An artist creates physical or intellectual artefacts which are intended to
>be evaluated primarily by aesthetic, rather than utilitarian or cost
This strikes me as a good run at the question, though I guess I wouldn't
want to rule out aesthetically worthy but also utilitartian objects.  But I
would like to push for some moderately objective standards and the matter
of intent, without more, keeps circling us back to the subjective.  "A book
is an artist's book if an artist so intends it and an artist is one who so
intends it." The question gets begged and begged. If it is the case that
all this is a purely subjective matter than that's the end of the
discussion. I believe that each artistic medium evaluates it product by
some at least slightly objective value principles. This at least permits
the discussion to continue.  There may be considerable debate and
disagreement over what the principles should be in a given discipline but I
expect that most, if not all, of them are derived from acknowledged works
of art.  Maybe this is just an old-fashioned view since it treats art as an
evolutionary process, a continuum, and discourages thinking of it as
completely disconnected from and not indebted at all to the widely accepted
standards which have gone before. Maybe we <are> living in a
post-art-history era.

>On the other hand, if a book falls apart before you can 'use' it as the
>creator intended, it isn't art because you never got around to evaluating
>the aesthetics at all.

I'm not clear on your line of thought here. Now it is the whim of the
"beholder" which determines whether the book is art?  And since the book
must be "used" to be art are you now saying that the utilitarian aspect is
critical rather than ancillary?

Fascinating issue. Wonder how much more of this Peter can take? :-)

Sam Lanham
Sam Lanham (slanham@xxxxxxxx)

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