Sunday, May 21, 2006

Art In Question (I)

Let's say we dispense with copyright law as we know it, and whatever law applies to every art form. Let's say all art--use the modern word media, if that works better for you--is ultimately not about the vision of the original artist, but rather about the preferred mode of consumption of those on the receiving end. Let's say an artist's output--whether book, painting, song or what have you--is not a finished work/example of his or her expression (or, in some cases, their), but rather simply raw material for consumers' idiosyncratic, utterly personal reactions, to in turn be manipulated to express their own yearnings, not limited to but especially in the case of those who can't generate the raw material themselves.

Does this redefine the artist as moderator, as supplier of raw crude, to be refined into myriad uses, many of which will never be recognized as a product of the original fuel souce?

If not, why? If so, is (and in what ways is, or not,) this a step forward?