Art as Experience

At a Digital Arts and Humanities lecture a couple of weeks ago, the topic of what is art came up, with an example of programming code being discussed as possibly being art.  Some mentioned that they did not consider it art, while others discussed that some it may be art. I had contributed my own thoughts at the time, that art might be in the eye of the viewer rather than as a property of the object itself.

Thinking back to that discussion, I still think that art is less an object but more of an experience.  I don’t think that everything is inherently art, but instead, that anything could be art, and that art as an experience has the possibility of emerging from an object.  It depends then not only on the object but also the person perceiving the object.

For example, a person who may not be familiar with paintings may call something “art” because they understand that to be so, but not ever feel any impact or draw to anything they see.  Yet, they may very well see beauty and elegance in something from their daily life, or may be consumed to look and ponder deeply at something usually considered outside the realm of “Art” (i.e. a fine sports vehicle).  Yet, their experience of these objects may very well be just as strong and evocative as any trip to a gallery or concert hall, and perhaps they may call these other things art as well.  I would like to believe that these experiences are every bit as much art as any other.

This has been a fascination of mine, to see art emerge from daily life, to see the tragedy or beauty or other depths of human experience not only in objects classically categorized as art, but elsewhere as well.  This view may perhaps be at odds with other definitions of art, I don’t know, and I’m sure these thoughts are not new either.  All I do know is that this view has served me well and that when I have not been distracted by other things, the days have been fascinating.

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