Daily Archives: June 2, 2005

It's All ART

It’s All ART As I see it, since the beginning of civilization – perhaps even since the dawn of humanity – any distinction between what is art and what is not art has been moot. Without the arbitrary separations of media, venue, audience, class, and official academic and critical imprimaturs, aesthetic experience is something we are exposed to every day as a function of being human. As cultural animals, we live in culturally created artificial worlds. These begin with conceptualizations that condition perception and expression and are continued throughout our lives as inhabitants of particular cultural contexts. One thing about cultural contexts is that they present internally and externally consistent views to all who inhabit them and are the functional replacement of the “real world,” whatever that may be. Our experience as humans in cultural contexts is aesthetic – that of viewers and participants in the experience, expression, conveyance, reception, and transmission of cultural content. Our senses are immersed in aesthetics and the created and mediated realities we experience can be summed up most precisely as artificial – that is they are artifice or quite simply, art. A corollary of this is that as participants in the promulgation of this aesthetically mediated cultural continuum, we can be seen as active agents, or artists – each and every one of us. To see the world in this way allows critical perspective. In fact it is required. Crtical perspective is not so much about drawing value judgments as to what constitutes good or bad art but more a distanced and objectified way of looking at things. On the one hand, this permits experience to be filtered through a conscious and cognizant critical viewpoint and on the other hand, it presents with clarity the fact that things and experiences are artificial, mediated, and interpreted in so far as our perception, thinking, and consciousness of them are concerned. This is why on a given day I may focus on a cereal box as a set of cultural memes and on other days an exhibition of fine art, a car show, a ballet dancer, a farmer plowing a field with his tractor, a web site, a particularly mundane sunrise, a set of vernacular expressions, an avant-garde musical composition, current modes of thinking, or a commercial message as fitting content for an art review – or more to the point, as art itself.

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