May 2013 Archives

Critical Talking

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Chances are that, if your discussion of an artwork cannot trace the following model, then you are either not trying to talk about art or the work you are discussing was not art work. Having made that assertion, an equally important one to make is that using work as art is readily legitimized by the experience of the audience.

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Art Criticism Model 2013.jpg
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The model emphasizes the relationships between the essential factors of the way art is made (as opposed to "found"), The typical key influences on creative acts -- namely, ideas, motives and means -- are neither surprising nor extraordinary; whereas the sources of those influences may be wildly varied and rooted in contextual layers such as geography, societies, and historical period. These variations are normally accountable in terms of prevailing or at least evident forces that mediate creativity, such as expectations, intentions and rules. These are often the matters that get discussed as the distinguishing signs of movements and environments that host or generate bodies of work and communities of artists. These discussions, and the model, suggest that the inherent but outward-facing promotion of art effort can go on to be catalogued or profiled in the intuitive or intellectually basic dimensions of What, Why and How, providing half of the rubric for any good story (who and what, where and when, why and how...). The circumstantial half -- who, when and where -- tends to be presented as a theory of originality, leveraging the dynamic half -- what, why and how -- more fundamentally applicable to the general phenomenon of art.

When looking at the position and impact of art work as a product, we still wind up respecting the process of art, by deciding on our understanding of the relationship s between the three essential dimensions. That is, there is no What in art that is unaffected by a How or a Why; moreso, each of the three aspects is affected by the other two. In the model, these relationships are easily identified as Class, Form and Function which provides another way to profile the product's presence and behavior amongst other experiences that we have.

The external perspective also characterizes the aspiration of the individual who does not intuitively translate their creative impulse into art work, pending orientation and training. In the model, the keys to the orientation are in providing awareness of what art practice fundamentally requires in the dimensions of What, Why and How. The fundamentals involve, at minimum, resolving a pair of impulses or decisions that characterize each dimension. For example, "How" is resolved when the constraints of a technique are balanced against the preference for using the technique; together they present the "effective" means of the creative . Likewise, the pair of terms surrounding What and Why are resolved. Whatever balance is decided by each resolution leaves the terms accountable within the relationships between What, Why and How. For example: as ordered in the model, What and How influence each other, which means that the object type (of the work) and the constraints of the technique used (to produce the work) are influencing each other.

The importance of the model is in its ability to repeatedly simplify how the numerous aspects of creative production wind up interacting and reiterating each other. This means that different kinds of discussion points can be introduced and emphasized without discounting the actual role or incidental intensity of other factors.