Friday, January 1, 2010

A Note About 'Art'

by Stephen Cummings

'Art' as it is used in the title of this blog should be understood broadly, referring to all those practices which are commonly known collectively as 'the arts'. Painting, sculpture, dance, music, literature, theatre, etc. Go see a play. 'See', then, should be recognized as a stand-in for any number of verbs which might suit a particular medium, and may reasonably be generalized as 'experience'. Go hear a symphony. And 'go', it turns out, may be sometimes excluded altogether, depending on the art form in question. Read a book, for example. A more apt title for the blog might thus be something along the lines of, 'Make an effort to experience art of some kind.' But that wouldn't be very catchy. So, Go see art.

In the body of this blog, on the other hand, 'art' will tend to possess its more narrow definition, denoting those media which are so often generalized as 'visual art'. 'Visual', of course, doesn't begin to cover the myriad iterations which have come to be over the past century, which is why we'll be sticking with the unqualified 'art'. It is somewhat irksome, however, that a term so small should lead to such potential perplexity. If only there were some context upon which we could couch our confusions. Sigh.

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