Assignment One, Part A – What is art revisited

I still think that art, to be named so, must bring forward new ideas, show things under an innovative light, offer an original approach to old solutions and activate the mind and/or the soul of the viewers. But I now see that this is too general a definition as it can be true also of other human activities, like science, technology or even religion, and that does not fully account for the pieces examined so far. Looking back at the artists I have studied I see that all of them, as diverse as they are, do have important points in common: a clear concept in mind,  a choice of appropriate media to express it, a willingness and competence to communicate their vision to the viewers in intelligible ways and the capacity and determination to develop their work consistently throughout their careers. And I think that these criteria might be used also to evaluate art in the past.

These first months of study have been challenging and required time, patience and a lot of hard work. The most difficult task has been to get into the habit of accurately referencing all sources, something that I was not used to. A skill that I need to improve is to organize my study priorities more efficiently as I do have a tendency to get sidetracked and lose precious time. This clashes with my desire to deepen my knowledge of art movements and artists but I shall have to find a better balance.

I decided early on in the course to keep a learning blog instead of a physical log and I don’t regret this decision but I see there are differences. What I miss is the spontaneity linked with a physical log, since it seems almost unavoidable to be more self-conscious when posting on a blog that is open to the public, and I do wish to keep it public as I would see it as pointless to keep a blog private, being the very nature of blogs communicative.

Also in my blog I tend to include less images and ephemera like exhibition tickets, short notes taken on the go etcetera than I would in a log, partly because I am afraid to infringe copyright laws and partly because being public a blog feels less intimate and more formal. And I do set myself the goal to let my hair down more in the future!

(402 words)

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