Friday, March 14, 2008

The artist's shit

I have been asked to write for a new upcoming SL magazine, and was thinking about what I should write. It is obvious that my interest is not really in scripting, building but more in Art. Art related in SL, whether this is RL Art or SL Art, whether this is Art or not.
There was lately a lot of fuzz going on about the term SL Art, but this is not the place, nor the time to discuss this issue. I would rather talk about whether and where Art is to be found inworld.
My friend Raul Crimson, wrote an interesting piece about art, and if we can say that art exists in SL.
He took a really good example out of RL, “Merda d’Artista”, with other words, the Artist’s shit. Not that I would buy such art, but that is not to the point.

1/ “In May 1961, Manzoni collected his own feces in 90 numbered cans, which contain 30 grams of feces each. He labeled them as '100% pure artist's shit' in Italian, English, French, and German, and sold them for the price of their weight in gold. Their current estimated value stands at approximately EUR30,500 (US$25,000–35,000). On May 23 2007, an exemplar has been sold for EUR124,000 at Sotheby's.[1] (from wikipedia)

Another example:

2/ “The readymades of Marcel Duchamp are ordinary manufactured objects that he selected and modified, as an antidote to what he called "retinal art". By simply choosing the object (or objects) and repositioning or joining, and titling and signing it, the object became art. It was the the least amount of interaction between artist and art, the most extreme form of minimalism, and at least in abstract idealism, the precursor to punk. (from wikipedia)

So, the real questions are, does art exists in SL and, are there artists in SL?
I think the answers to these questions are more a personal answer than a general, common well thought answer by any writer of an article. I think you can say that if Art sells, it is supposed to be art, and the person who made it is an artist.
I have seen a lot of things in SL, that is called art, but is nothing more than a picture with a beautiful background. I have seen photographs, which are wonderful photoshopped into a piece of art, which is not even called art.
Are people, who have the skills of post processing artists, and other are not?
I think those people will have an advantage to make some beautiful works, and will have more chances that their post processing is called art. But I am convinced, that people, who does not have those skills, can also be artists.
I also think that contests of SL are not relative to call what is art and what not.
Art is something that you make of it. When you think a piece is beautiful enough to put in your living room, and you would pay money for that, if it is RL or SL, that would be art.
Don’t ask me for a definition of art, you can do so much better. You, the avatar, the person, can define art much better than anybody else, as art is what you see as art.

But, that is ofcourse, just my two pence.

There are definitely artists in Sl, and there is certainly art in SL…..

And that is where my articles in that magazine would be about.


raulcrimson said...

Interesting post, my friend. For me that artists (I mean Manzoni and Duchamp among others) broke the concepts about art. Anyway, as you said, ART is a relative concept, as all the human concepts, the ones that doesn't exist physically like evil, good, worth, justice, etc.
But as a human concept needs some "social acceptance", that means a part of the society has to accept it as art. Even some people may consider "Merda d'artista" a piece of shit (never better said) there is a minimun "social consensus" to accept it as art.

Looker Lumet said...

I agree, Raul, there should be a minimum "social consensus" to accept something as art too.

Winter said...

Congrats on the invitation Looker :)
Be sure to inform us when the magazine will hit the stands so that we can run and get one.
Best of lucks in this new project of yours :)

Looker Lumet said...

Be sure that I will keep you noticed, Winter!;), when it comes that far.;)