What is Art?

What is Art?

There is this theme in Software technology that is often picked up by Hollywood.  The idea of free information exchange.   Tron, Hackers, Sneakers, Antitrust.   All the movies that take place in the "computer universe" seem to wrestle with this notion.

A free thinking protagonist struggles to arrest the intellectual property from an antagonist with unlimited resources, often a government agency or multi-billion dollar corporation.

One of the treatises behind nesting dolls in ancient cultures was that a person is actually a community of "individuals" -- each very different and often contending for control.  

Since I've found myself exploring this "artistic" side of photography, it has led me to, for the first time, count myself, at least partly, as an artist.  This is at odds with my engineer self.

Recently, I went with a friend to pick up a piece of art he bid on during the a recent Arts Festival.  It was a hand-blown glass figure and he was thrilled to get it.   While he was picking up his new acquisition, I meandered the gallery appreciating the displays from a multitude of art forms along the walls.

For the first time, in my life, it occurred to me that some of my work could in fact qualify to be displayed in such a way, so I inquired as to what that process was like.

The work is submitted, then juried by a panel of judges in that specific art form.

Cool. Whatever, I may make a few prints and have a go at it.

But, as we drove off I thought a lot about what constitutes art.  On the extreme edges there are successful and sought-after artists creating paintings and incorporating their own DNA.   Taking their labors and "blood, sweat and tears" concept to a whole new meaning.

On the more boring end of things there are people like me.   Weekenders armed with a camera and a touch too many hours behind the computer.  Sculptors, painters, poets and writers.  Musicians & Dancers.  They .. could .. all be art.

More so, what qualifies a person to be the "judge" of anthers' art?   

I see art in the soft curve of an full sail and the hard lines of a Kimber 1911 Pistol.   I also see art in the gentle slopes of dunes and rolling arches of waves. 

I wish the world of art was a bit more like the free-reign hackers of those movies.. All information being equal and open to be consumed by others.. No judges. No contest.

I hope that the zeal of emerging photographers, designers, painters, musicians and other artists aren't easily squashed by the likes of a "juror."   Having received a healthy dose of coldly-worded rejection letters from Stock Photography aggregators and other "judges" for my art form, I hope that others are as thick-skinned as I can be.

If you enjoy doing it..  Judges and Jurors be damned.  It's your art.