Archive for September 22nd, 2008

Photoshop art

Ancient artist wrote a piece about technologically created art and mused on the subject of whether this is art. I have touched on this subject in the past, where my discussion was more on the subject of whether an artist can sub-contract others to do his artwork. This is a similar discussion because it would appear that the computer is a sub-contractor to the artist who isn’t creating the art himself.

However I would hold that the computer is a tool not a surrogate creator.

I think that technologically generated art is art as long as it is made clear to the viewer what it is and what it isn’t. Passing off a computer generated image as a hand crafted one is fraud, but if photography is an art form then Photoshop must definitely be a valid tool as well.

I think that we need to separate between artistic merit and craftsmanship. A high level of craftsmanship can make a building, a machine or a painting a work of art. However can an item of little or no craftsmanship be art? On this hinges the question. Duchamp and his successors would say that art is an intention not a physical attribute of the object. I would hold that there must be a physical manifestation of the intent, because without that what can I see of the art? If you want to craft intentions and ideas, make philosophy not art.

So I think that the issue here is that the tools used by the artist need to be made clear in order that the level of craftsmanship in the piece not be mis-interpreted by someone who imagines that it was hand crafted.  Photography and computer manipulation of images can be done skillfully and those works are art. However like a family snapshot album is not generally art, similarly thoughtless, routine and mundane computer edited images are just that and not art.

You might want to giclee print it on canvas and hang it on your wall because it is decorative, but you might do that with many other things that are not art either.


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