Follow this by Email if'n you like

Jun 22, 2010

What is ART?

Aboriginal Night, Holmes
Of course I think about this all the time.  As an artist I am constantly aware of the presence of this question– like a sailor of the sky– though it does not often surface to conscious discussion.  I find my definition of art helps me in two directions: to determine which of my own many creative activities is "art", and also to be able to discern if other people's "art" is actually what they say.  Without a clear definition I'm frustrated both in my studio and in a gallery.

The whole subject is very interesting.  Looking at history, artmaking is perhaps the most significant human productive activity.  While cultures create all kinds of things from roads to receipts, art seems to be the one thing that consistently stands above all else in terms of value, and not least because only the latter cannot be "improved" by another culture.  So it is helpful to me to know what is art and what is not.  I have been refining this definition for myself over decades and I am very curious whether others can poke holes in it as it stands now.  If you are curious, please have a go:
Post a Comment

Blog Archive

Tim Holmes Studio

My photo

I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.