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Re: [BKARTS] art

Hi Richard

We just fell through the looking glass.

If art is defined as broadly as this the term is meaningless.

Any human activity from tooth brushing to genocide is an art.

The problem with equating the alphabet with waxed linen,
or java with poetry,
or a web site with a book
is that it renders all meaningful discussion pointless -
everything is everything,
end of tautology.

Commercial art is craft, not art.
It is a matter of intention and who pays the commission,
Commercial art has precious little to do with an artist's POV or world view
or examined life; it has to do with skill, technique, craft and work for
- much like religious kitsch.

I certainly never considered a web site I made for Toyota as art,
with or without JavaScript, let alone accounts payable,
with or without skill, code, content and whether it was good or not.

To criticize a web site as art depends on intention.
If the creator did not intend it as art, then it ain't art
- and that's logic.

It is not that it is unjust to the creator,
it is that it destroys criticism itself.
There are no longer any meaningful distinctions.
Rational thought is not discursive for no rational reason.

Good is not an adequate definition of art.

Hitler was good at his job. Was he just a misunderstood artist?
Was the Invasion of Poland a book?
Porno Sites are good in terms of getting the job done.
The Republican party is good at loading the Supreme Court.
I imagine there are plenty of anesthetized brains out there who think a Bush
with any set of initials is an artist.
Many carpenters are good. I doubt many of them consider framing to be an art
although there seems to be little doubt that nails and studs are words and

Oh my, I just made a book.

see you down the rabbit hole


----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Minsky" <minsky@xxxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, January 25, 2006 11:07 AM
Subject: Re: art

> The Internet is my favorite book.
> Code is the thread that binds the pages together.  When I made the
> first book art website in 1993 I was very excited that I could use
> html code as binding thread. Like Michael, I am a computer geezer. I
> started off programming an IBM 360 in machine language in 1964. Now
> there are many forms of code, as there are many forms of bookbinding.
> We have perl, java, javascript, etc.
> I would not agree, however, that it is not art because it has a
> commercial purpose.  There are many kinds of art. Commercial Art is a
> big field.  And some TV commercials transcend their pecuniary
> function and become iconic artworks of the culture. Some are
> entertainment. Some are hilarious. The reason I titled this thread
> "art" with no modifier is that it raises the fundamental question
> that some have stated--when do we call it art.
> It further goes toward our field wide nomenclature: Book Art is a
> subset of Book Arts. The latter includes industrial arts, hand
> crafts, etc. When the metaphoric content of a work is enhanced or
> furthered by the materials, form and images, then we call it Book
> Art.  We distinguish between Fine Art, Decorative Art and
> Illustration. I've written and spoken a lot about this.
> So we have two different questions posed by Peter and Michael: Is it
> a book?, and is it art?
> Whether it's good or not is another question. But it may be THE
> question. Rose Slivka said "If it's good, it's art. If it's not, who
> --
> Richard
> http://minsky.com
>              ***********************************************
> Now Online - The Bonefolder, Vol. 2, No. 1 at
>              For all your subscription questions, go to the
>                       Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
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