I saw (yet another) really good artist lecture tonight. I tell you, with how much I've enjoyed these recent lectures, how much I've enjoyed my American art history class and with some of the conversations I've had with friends recently I'm inspired to quit school and go out west and see the world and make art and be a poor hippy or something. Every parent's worst nightmare I'm sure. Don't worry. I won't really do it. I'll at least graduate first. ;)
Some of these lectures have gotten me thinking how art is not just an object; it's a process. Some of these artists are really just generating ideas and and using them to create awareness of social issues or environmental issues or both. They collaborate with other artists and with people outside the arts to create dynamic and powerful statements. I've been hearing people try to define art since I got into art school and have heard a lot of different explanations which I think are true but I am becoming convinced that it is also largely a form of communication. Music can make us feel things we can't put into words or explain. I think art can do the same thing too. I think art can also create community. One of the cool things about some of the artists I've listened to is that they get huge groups of people involved in their work. The people become part of the work. Sometimes the work is ephemeral and the act of coming together and making it and watching it disappear is as much a work of art as the object that was created. I think to make good art you need to have a good understanding of history, science, politics, religion, social issues, environmental issues...really the more you know about the world around you the better your work will be. Art isn't just fun and games and useless, random objects; it's important. It can convey a message, make a statement, create community and more. Art is a responsibility in a way.
It makes me so excited to be an art major. This isn't useless, but I have to decide to do something useful with it. I feel that learning that art is interdisciplinary can make my work much better. Now I am trying to think of how to take this idea and apply it to my work. I'd love to find a way to get my whole school involved in making work together. Could you imagine getting English majors, Chinese majors, engineers, philosophers, mathematicians, science majors, history majors, social workers, psychologists, computer programmers, etc together to make art about their work? Collectively even? I think it would be a great way to show the rest of the community that art is meaningful, useful and not just something silly that people study so they don't have to work hard. Plus just think of how interesting that work would be. Maybe the work of art could be just organizing us all to work together and to see how interconnected our studies really are. Or how different they are.
Okay. Enough gushing about art for one night. Time to do Chinese homework.