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  #1  
Old 03-07-2007, 08:21 AM
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Tired Iron Tired Iron is offline
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Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Here we go again...Is this art?
"Artist Kevin Jones sets up his display in an exhibit titled "It's Alive" at the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Mass. The exhibit mixes science with art to explore and comment on the power that biotechnology and other sciences are exerting over fundamental questions of life"

The whole story...http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17387568/
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2007, 02:07 PM
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evaldart evaldart is offline
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

If there's anything I learned for my 25,000 bucks worth of Art school its that you're not allowed to say it isn't art if someone is presenting it as art. I might not like it or think it agrees even remotely with MY definition of art (which canges all the time anyway), but its all Art. Paper airplanes, dirt, naked people dancing around with bloody ribeyes, Rocks knocked over, urine, a picture of urine, a blank canvas, canned fesces, a black cube, a black square, some sticks, some chewing gum, an I-beam, a chewed-on block of chocolate, some old tires, a statue of David, a random stuck-together pile of scrp metal...and now some mold and fungus. Great, come on in, join the party.

I don't see any reason that visual forms can't be generated by growing suff in a controlled lab. I don't want it it my house, gotta draw the line at anthrax - no matter how good it looks all furry in the test-tube.

Without batting an eye I say it can be art - maybe it'll look cool. But I doubt it will have me trading in the sweatshirts for a lab coat anytime soon.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2007, 03:06 PM
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iowasculptor iowasculptor is offline
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

The "is this art" question has been around for a long time, I think it is rediculous. If we start defining what is and what isn't art we close down many avenues of exploration and progression in the arts. I think about Clement Greenberg when I hear people start to define what art is, Greenberg sought out to define modernism and did just that. I guess that would have been fine but since he was such a "well respected" art critic, people took his word as gospel, extended its scope to the fact that they were living in modernist times and so all art that was made should hold to his definition. What did this do? Well the public grew tired of grometric sculptures and artwork that had nothing to do with the larger world outside of the arts and so artists started to rebel. Artwork started to be more and more about the world and had less self imposed isolation. We moved into a period where artists began making work that was all about the idea, many people hated this, wondering where the art was. Now we live in a period that embraces art of many kinds (I say many because there are probably some forms of art that are still not accepted). Artists and people are free to create art from any material they can find, they are free to explore any subject that they feel is deserving, and I think this is a healthy place to be. Much of todays art is heavily influenced by what has come before but is done in a new way often with new materials that speak of different issues than the period being referenced. So I saywelcome to all sculptures/ art being made from dead people, fungus, poo, spaghetti, pollen, paper, cardboard, steel, bronze, aluminum, etc... and encourage all of you to not be inhibited by your idea of what makes art, you are an artist, you made it, you can call it art or anything else that you want to call it and who are any of us to tell you differently.

Go forth and create!
matt
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2007, 05:36 PM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Quote:
Originally Posted by iowasculptor
you are an artist, you made it, you can call it art or anything else that you want to call it and who are any of us to tell you differently.
This is more evidence, along with evaldart's post, as to why I look at a University education in the arts as the following equation:

Way too much money + fruitcake ideas = liberal arts education - common sense

In theory, yes, there should be few if any limits on what material elements or style can be used to create art. In practise, there is very little art to show for so much "art" that has been created in the name of art when standards and past experience has been abandoned entirely in the pursuit of the new and different with the "anything goes" approach.

So who am I to tell you differently when you throw a bunch of muck together and call it art? I am Glenn. I have a love for good art, and a level of discernment that I am not willing to abandon to make the lazy feel comfortable and self-congratulatory. I respond to intelligence, beauty, joy, and harmony and do not think it is my responsibility to allow self-destructive foolishness to go unchecked. I think that it cheapens the name and profession of art to call anything at all art. It does a disservice to an aspiring artist to instruct them, at an impressionable age, that there are no standards. It is an uncaring laziness that is unwilling to teach the true worth of one's labors when applied with diligence, intelligence, heart, and strength of character to artistic efforts. It is a failure to pass on to the next generation the cumulative knowledge, wisdom, and experience of the masters of the past. Not that those masters need be copied, but their efforts and the fruit of their explorations should be honored and made a part of the tool chest of useful resources.

Genius + discipline = great work , whereas chaos + lack of skill = 0

skillful chaos > 0 , but not by much

How about we teach our youth to create art worth doing, and give them the skills to communicate their ideas effectively?

GlennT

Last edited by GlennT : 03-07-2007 at 09:24 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2007, 05:38 PM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Its one of those universal truths that you will find supporters for any position you want, even if you are lying to yourself about the most serious of matters.. The truth can be a lie and vice versa...for some people. Of course the better you are at lying the more support you'll get. How will history treat it? How will history revise itself over time? Who knows? So you can use terms like incursion, invasion, police action, military support, extreme prejudice, ultimate sacrifice, sanctions, sorties, exploration, relocation, extermination, genocide etc...all short of using the words "kill" or "war" and yet we all know what we're talking about because people never stop killing. The evidence is there...centuries of countless piles of dead bodies. And for all of history the growth of the pile has never slowed.. So what people do is dance around some terms and make them more polite or palatable. Now in regards to Bush, I mean art, we can't even define the word..." art". And, the evidence that we do indeed enjoy making and viewing it, yet can not get closer to defining it never has stopped piling up.

jOe~
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2007, 09:34 PM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

How bout we teach our children to do art worth doing, and give them the skills to communicate our...er, I mean their ideas effectively.

Funny thing about these artist types. They have a nasty habit of figuring out their own way of doing things. They can't even remember the recipe for good art.

I see where Glenn's comin from though, and I agree. So I'll say it in the language of a beholder of a Master of Fine Arts degree, the highest academic honor achievable by a studio artist: You can't make chicken salad out of chicken shit.
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2007, 08:45 AM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

It does a disservice to an aspiring artist to instruct them, at an impressionable age, that there are no standards. It is an uncaring laziness that is unwilling to teach the true worth of one's labors when applied with diligence, intelligence, heart, and strength of character to artistic efforts. It is a failure to pass on to the next generation the cumulative knowledge, wisdom, and experience of the masters of the past. GlennT

I know we come from different backgrounds in the art world but I hardly teach my students thtat there are no standards, we concentrate on the elements and principles of design, craft, visual expression, the message being conveyed, and in the beginning levels I dictate what materials they will be using for each project (metal, wood, bronze, found, or non traditional). I do encourage them to take risks, to push it to the limit, to use these tools to make art that embodies them, and their ideals. I have never been instructed in figurative art, and personally there isn't much of it that inspires me (to each their own), I am primarily a metal fabricator and mixed media artist, thats what I teach those are my strengths, if someone wants to learn figurative they will need to find someone else to teach them, I can't know everything. I am inspired by tom friedman, tara donovan, andrea zittel, toland grinnell, richard sera, and others... I appreciate a great figurative piece for its skill and craft but that is about as far as it goes for me, although ron mueck is killer, I like his substance that is integrated into his pieces.
its a big big world and everyone can find a niche, so make what you love and hope that someone else will love it too.
Matt
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2007, 11:11 AM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Hi, Fruitcake ideas, laziness, self destructive foolishness, chaos, lack of skill?
What the hell is that all about? As usual Glenn, you want to set the standards and be the arbiter of good taste and skill in the art world.
I think you need to get out of your cocoon and check out what it really means to be a creative, inquisitive artist in the 21st century. In fact, when you figure that out, you'll see that it applies to any artist in any age!
what makes you think that the "true worth of ones labors" is not being taught to these students?
By the way, there are standards, they're just NOT YOURS!!!!!!!!
Jeff
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2007, 12:23 PM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Gosh folks, don't take this personally! I was responding to the misguided concept foisted at universities that anything that someone wants to calll art is art. Or that if we try to define what art is we are somehow going to put limits on some precious genius, who we can't imagine having freedom of thought if we actually pass on some accumulated wisdom first.
This is a far cry from pretending that I am the sole arbiter of standards and good taste. The work that Matt does and the methods that he teaches are not what I was addressing, nor that of other works that I may or may not personally like.

If you were alive in any time period prior to the 20th century, wanted to be an artist, and proclaimed that there are no standards, you would not be taken seriously. If that is the norm for being a 21st century artist, I am happy to not have succumb to that mindset. I do not have the arrogance to believe that I should ignore thousands of years of experience because my precious gropings in uncharted waters is superior, or what it means to truly be a 21st century artist. My ideas may not be stuck in the past, but my techniques are definitely guided and informed by those who have preceeded me.

If the youth are given a bunch of materials and asked to create, and not given any set of standards or guidelines to aspire towards, the disservice is that any result is acceptable, and they are not pushed to the limits of their creative potential. As an analogy, communism does not reward a laborer differently for excellence or for just showing up and going through the motions. So the incentive to strive and achieve mastery is missing.

You, Ironman, have acknowledged in other posts the importance of your studies in drawing and of the works of past masters. So when you explore new territory, you are doing that from a certain amount of wisdom. You have internalized a standard of excellence with which to measure your own work. My concern is that standard and that wisdom is not being passed on to the next generation. It has nothing to do with my own tastes in art, and everything to do with passing on a legacy of value for others to do with what they will.

GlennT
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  #10  
Old 03-09-2007, 07:20 AM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

I am a firm believer in the development of manual abilities. They are the way our works come into being. And I even believe an artist should make all his own work (you can get into trouble for that one), but paying too much attention to past masters and tradition and someone elses standards is harnessing. Before the twentieth century creative forces had few outlets in regards to medium and subject. The great ones set themselves apart anyway. But most, very much like many artists today, were hammering away in mediocrity or abject obscurity.
To some degree we are all building on works that came before us. The ones that caught our eyes and nudged us in one direction or another.
Genius has nothing to do with it. That will be decided later by someone else. It cannot be aspired to. Thats like setting off to make a "masterpiece". Besides the word genius gets tossed around enough, draped over minor achievements and memorializing untimely deaths.
Skill is nice, technical knowledge too but it can't turn craft into art. The personal relationship to the matrial, the idea and the intensity - or a purposeful lack thereof - and the execution is what will carry things.
The most important thing a teacher, at any level, can give to students is confidence and self determination - which will grow stonger with every accumulation of experience he/she brings into the art thereafter.
The reason you cannot draw boundaries is because you never know what someone might be able to do...who knows.

Last edited by evaldart : 03-09-2007 at 10:36 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-09-2007, 10:12 AM
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Aaron Schroeder Aaron Schroeder is offline
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Many years ago I read that the word " art " comes from the latin root word " ar " which means " arm " and " to put together ". I forget why the T was added but I think it has to do with the word " tech ". In the beginning "art" was a general term that could be applied to every one, However not every one wanted to be associated with those who worked with their arms and put things together because that's what slaves did. To be an artist was to be a slave, then bloody revolution, the destruction of the ruling class, and then the elevation of the artisan class. Once artist had a say in political matters, the business of artist became political. The slave class then emulated their oppressors and developed a caste system, replete with rules and proper modes of conduct. The battle continues to this day. The artisan class will always produce revolutionaries who wish to have a piece of the pie and a say in political matters. There's just something about the experience of gaining a sense of control over materials that emboldens a person to seek social control. It's a vicious cycle. Because effective propoganda relies heavily on artisan derived technologies, ideas and working methods, there has always been a door open for artist to get close to the center of political action (the money, the luxuries, the chicks ). I think many artist are tempted to beat a path to that door however many see the temptation for what it is and choose instead to not get involved. Both have kids. They teach them different things yet for many reasons the will to power regardless of it's origins assert itself and for good our bad parents think they're responsible.

I have alot more thoughts on the subject but I'm still very much a slave and have to get back to the studio. Perhaps if I'd had a better upbringing I would have more slack and work would be optional.
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  #12  
Old 03-09-2007, 11:15 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Hi Glenn, You don't seem to understand that the concept of what can BE art has and continues to change radically. We're F-ing dinosaurs for Christ sake. Object making, although still in vogue can in todays world be ANYTHING!
The art of the past didn't have to compete with radio, 500 channel television, video, computers, movies, etc. All it had to do for many many years was please a pope or a king.
Today, in the face of all that techno media, art is just trying to find a place to have some impact and relevance to society.
"can't be" and "can't do" are EVIL WORDS. Anything CAN be art and the " ANYTHING GOES" approach IS the correct one.
I for one, and I think we'd agree here, don't think that the anything goes approach means that mindless and inane bullshit is acceptable as art. There is, in my opinion plenty of that crap in traditional, contemporary and cutting edge (so called) art.
Where we differ, I think, is in our ideas of what "mindless and inane bullshit" IS.
I don't think that the artists in question are lazy or without skills, they're just different and their approach to art making IS NOT our approach and their skills may very well be DIFFERENT from ours.
How do you know that these students can't draw, don't know anything about art history, have no background, etc. You're just assuming that since what they're presenting as art doesn't FIT your criteria, they must be lazy ignorant undisciplined bastards trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
I LIKE PEOPLE and being a New Yorker, I trust my street smarts and have at least one pessimistic, skeptical eye open for the hoax. (I avoid 3 card monte also) But, I like to trust and believe in people, their goodness and sincerity until of course, faced with facts to the contrary. I also have faith in the youth of this world that although they're certainly not like us (we weren't like our parents either), the future of art as well as life is in as good hands as it's ever been (scary thought, huh!).
have a great day,
Jeff
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Old 03-09-2007, 11:43 AM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Quote:
How do you know that these students can't draw, don't know anything about art history, have no background, etc. You're just assuming that since what they're presenting as art doesn't FIT your criteria, they must be lazy ignorant undisciplined bastards trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
I had this exact same discussion with my father 40 years ago...about Picasso. About every 10 years since (we talk about that often) he needed a reminder about Picasso because his opinion slipped back to his comfort zone. Funny thing this mind that humans worship.

jOe~
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:20 PM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Alright, fellow sculptors, you are invited to a dinner at my studio. It will be the "Culinary Arts, Anything Goes Dinner"

Those of you who believe that art is about class envy and politics, go sit in the other room with the serfs. The rest of us kings and queens can't be bothered.

Those following the figurative tradition will be served lasgna, a tossed salad, carrots and kale, and a rice dish.

The abstract sculptors will have the same meal, except we will be mixing it all in a blender first.

For the found object artists, we will be serving fillet of compressed and dehydrated squirrel with a garnish of deflated tennis balls and cigarette butts.
Last year's autumn leaf salad with rusty beer cans with be followed by a desert of broken CD covers and old socks.

For the concept artists, imagine a dinner with you enjoying it...words don't begin to describe it!

The minimalists will be served a nice big bowl of steam.

The computer artists will be served hologram stew, which I understand is both low fat and low carb.

The performance artists will be performing for your entertainment, and those who have smeared themselves with chocolate will be available for dessert.

The deconstructionists unfortunately will be missing the meal, but get to do the dishes.

Any questions?

GlennT
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Old 03-09-2007, 12:33 PM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

You didn't say but I'm figuring thats meatless lasagna. Better throw in some slim jims or the abstract sculptors will eat your fingers.
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Old 03-09-2007, 01:25 PM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Of course they all blessed their food and gave thanks (to Glenn?) for their meal.

And, those misguided souls that need to "investigate or revisit our relationship to food" will be directed to the bathroom.

jOe~
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  #17  
Old 03-09-2007, 03:05 PM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

you guys are too funny!!!
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Old 03-09-2007, 09:03 PM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

I normaly don't get into debates about "what" art is but (I know what I like), but the invite to Glenn's dinner was to good to refuse (I'm fall into more of the figurative side, thankfully). I went to wikipedia to see what they had to say (yes it is a wiki, but as the defination keeps changeing I figured it would have multiple view points). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art It makes some interesting points and regardless of where your veiws on "art" are it's worth a read. As for the "bio-art" if Adam Zaretsky is comming to eat don't forget to add his E.coli to his dinner.
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Old 06-10-2007, 06:24 AM
Rick Clise Rick Clise is offline
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

Australian performance artist Stelarc has an exhibition here in Adelaide until end of June at the Experimental Art Foundation, and one of his current works is an artificial ear that he is growing in one of his arms (yep!)

See http://www.eaf.asn.au/ for info. Stelarc has been famous for hanging his nude body suspended by hooks piercing his skin; controlling mechanical limbs attached to his body; making videos of the inside of his body made by 'swallowing' (for lack of a better description) small video camera devices like those used in keyhole surgery.

I've always been amazed by his work - what someone will do in the name of art. I heard him talk about his work a year or more ago here in Adelaide and it was fascinating. He refers to his body in the third person.

And he has the best laugh you've ever heard!
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Old 06-17-2007, 01:03 AM
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Re: Bio-artists bridge gap between arts, sciences

I agree with TiredDartSculptor, SchroederGlenn and JoeDrifterClise.


Iíll take a single serving of lasagna, hold the lettuce and a blended carrot milkshake with no E-Coli please. Are we allowed to do that? Create our own?

Happy Fathers Day to those who are!

I see my Dad tomorrow, 76 and going strong and I made Salsa Haberneros (Flamus Tail-Pipus), Peach Boursin Roullade en Cilantro Peppered Pollo and Callibaut Tart Framboise! Gonna chow down tomorrow and play Spades, ya'll stay safe and have fun!
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