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After seeing the discussion of the recent dog and abortion pieces, and all the "that isn't art" type backlash on blogs like Perezhilton and Jezebel as well as here on ArtReview, I thought it would be nice to have a site like this as a direct and obvious reference. Instead of being focused on artistic works in specific, or discussion of any and all things about art, it's going to have a specific focus as an easily searchable database. Here's the pasted post from my personal journal.

whatisntart.net

I'm constantly discussing the nature of art in classrooms, at lectures, in galleries, coffee shops, the internet and so on. In my own blog, the topic comes up fairly often. I've posted my own perspective, but I feel the debate ends up being too one sided in a personal blog. I often link people to various sources around the net, refer them to books, artists, documentaries. What I realized was I couldn't find one place that collected the opinions and content in an easily searchable and clean manner. The domain name whatisntart.net was available, so I decided the easiest way of presenting the information was as a wordpress blog that people could discuss and submit content to, both original essays as well as found information, quotes and excerpts. As a starting point, I've supplied the blog with ten backdated posts from various sources, and a few people from varied backgrounds (from pornstar to art buyer) are working on original content to be posted soon.

So this is an open invitation to participate, share words you've found challenging or inspiring, or submit your own thoughts for consideration. Submissions will be moderated through email (details on the front page of the site), but discussion in comments is unrestricted. Some original content will be in interview format, but these people will generally be contacted directly. You can write an academic essay or you can write something personal, something funny. There are no specific guidelines.

Since this is a non-profit project, with no advertising, mainly intended for educational use and public debate, you will not be able to be paid for your words, but credit and a link (either to your website, or email, etc) will be supplied.

The design of the blog is currently a work in progress (though it will remain minimalist) and feedback is whole-heartedly appreciated. Feel free to repost this information in whole or in part.

Views: 25

Replies to This Discussion

I'm here....
I was about to send you a mail about this, actually, I thought you might be interested in being one of the early short essay contributors.
I want to leave that rather open, as long as it addresses the questions/ideas "What is art?" or "What isn't art?" in some way. It can directly address them in an academic fashion, or it could be a personal anecdote piece, an observational short essay, etc. Look through the blog so far and see the examples of excerpts I've posted.

I want to feature an inviting mix of complex, challenging ideas and posts that really encourage the everyman to think and participate. I want hip hop emcees right next to four thousand year old philosophers. I want to bring art theory easily to the people and I hope others have as much fun with it as I do.
Sounds like an interesting project, I'll keep an eye on your site :-) "What is art" is a question I'm curious about, though I have some difficulties taking it seriously. Like Jonathan Harris, I just try to do what I have to do.
I see a line between negativity and positivity.. on the negative end there is a slow progression towards 'art' which is offensive, gruesome, distasteful, depressing, even evil etc..
I see 'art' as a positive word primarily. But negativity like sadness and loneliness, darkness and explicit scenes with nudity and drama are on the positive side of the negative.
Some see certain gruesome images. displays, installations, as 'art' and others do not.
I prefer art to be mainly a provoking, pleasurable, profound participating experience.
In my opinion 'art' which disgusts me because of its offensive nature is not 'art'.
I prefer the positivity of creation rather than the negativity of destruction and collapse.
I know where my line is, but not everyone shares it with me.
Lou x
What isn't art is craft or product. The tangeable is not the art only a vehicle or representation. The art is the expresion. What is mass produced looses it's art (individual expresion) as it is produced in quantity. All the skill in the world does not an artist make. Art is not teachable only skill is teachable and enables the artist to create the vehicle of or for their expression.

Nate-aka-recyclesculptor
Yes but no. Craft is something else and best left alone but art IS product, as well as expression. As product, it may be marketed but need not be mass marketed or mass produced. The skill in art is expression - and well judged marketing - if the artist is to thrive.
Marketing is the art that I need more skill at in order that I may thrive. I accept your point in that if I sell my product I sell my art. I do believe the skill is the method by which the artist expresses. The art remains the expression itself which is contained in or comunicated through the tangeable product. I agree that the essential skill of an artist is the ability to express. Oddly enough I can follow my thought train on this.
It is after all your line. To be offended is to experiance an emotion. I believe the fact that you find a particuler work offensive could mean that the artist sucsessfully expressed something which would make it potentially good art. To experiance emotion be it posative or negative is to live. I believe an artist sucseeds if they can stimulate or convey emotion. I do not appreciate dark or negative art myself but it is art none the less. A slipery slope exists if we venture in any way to limit expression simply because we find it not to our taist. I don't belive that was the intent of your comment. I simply wanted to make the point. I appreciate the ability to share my thoughts.
You're right Nathan - Art is not a security blanket or a comforting word from nanny.

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