And the Winner is...

February 14, 2006

What is art? Who decides what is art? What is the purpose of art? Does it have any? Does it need any? Art can be attractive, it can be repellent, and it can be neutral. It can be inspiring and depressing. It can be passionate and coldly rational. Seductive and chilling. Evocative and obscure. Educational and confusing. Informative and misleading. Critical and non-judgemental. Factual and fantastic. Logical and nonsensical. Sensual and ascetic. Analytic and intuitive. Playful and serious. Satyrical and reverent. Political and anarchic. Abstract and concrete. Invented and discovered. Intentional and accidental. Anything and nothing. What makes it art? What makes it good? What is it worth? Says who? The author? The experiencer? The connaisseur? The learned critic? The aristocratic establishment? The public consensus? The seller and publisher? The buyer? The market?


This we know: art is a creature of human consciousness, that is, of human life. It cannot be extracted from the context of human life. It is a tangible manifestation of our appreciation of and response to the experience of being - a primal act of will/desire arising directly from our perception of what is happening. It is a means of making our immediate experience meaningful by integrating it into our memory of our experience so far and discovering the patterns, actual and potential, present in the whole. Art is, in fact, the precursor of science which is the systematic and self-consistent categorization, description and cataloging of the patterns perceived in the universe of human experience.

Paul Wyszkowski