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Critically examine the concept of art as a collective activity - Essay Example

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Art as a Collective Activity Name: Institution: Art as a Collective Activity Art may be viewed as a communication or expression medium characterized by its content and form, whereby the communication is aimed at creating an emotional link between an audience and a certain piece of art (Becker, 2003)…
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Download file to see previous pages The form of art refers to its elements, design principles and the physical materials used by the artist. Content is based on ideas and refers to what an artist intended to communicate, what he actually communicated and how the audience reacted to both the actual and intended communication. Content also includes the way a work of art was influenced, which could be socially, politically or religiously. These descriptions clearly indicate that there are more players in art than just the artist, and this paper will examine the concept of art as a collective activity. The production of an artwork that is truly appreciated involves the artist, an idea, support apparatus, manufacturing and distribution networks, an audience, money, critics, time, training as well as civil order (Thelma 1973). The whole range of individuals contributing to the creation of art is referred to as the art world. Before the 17th century, any mastery or skill was referred to as art and was not distinguished from sciences or crafts (Becker, 2003). However, in contemporary use, where the aesthetic aspect is of paramount significance, art is distinct from generally acquired skills. This means that artists also undergo formal training which involves instructors and fellow artists. For example, in the performing arts, before a performance appears the way it finally does and is staged, many distinct parties have played varying roles. Instruments were invented, built and maintained; artists were taught how to play the instruments; a notation was devised; music was composed; venues and time for rehearsal were provided; advertisements were created for the performance and posted; and an audience was convened. The same activities may apply to visual arts, with instruments being replaced by materials and performance by exhibition. Artistic practices, as collections of specific activities, assume a sense of judgment and appreciation of art, theoretical knowledge and practical skills and abilities. The practices include conception, production, displaying, distribution, promotion and exhibiting an understanding of the works. The practices are developed collectively and practically within collaborative networks. They are initially structured by conventions, financial and technological means, alignments or forms of power, regimes of competence and institutions, and the practices themselves prompt the formation of the structural parameters. Works of art may be regarded as the creation of joint and mutual activities of many people (Alexander 2003). Among the people, some are the artists while others form the support personnel. Although the dependence on joint activities by the artists may limit their scope of artistic possibilities they may achieve, it makes less work of production. Producing works of art calls for detailed forms of cooperation by specialized teams. Such cooperation is guided by previous agreements that form conventional ways of working in the arts. Artistic conventions entail the decisions that must be arrived at with regards to work in a certain art world, although some conventions may be revised to suit certain works. Conventions, therefore, determine the materials that will be used. An example is when a group of musicians agree to found their music on notes in a set of modes (Coser 1965). The concepts to be used to communicate particular experiences and ideas are dictated by conventions. Such concepts ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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