Monday, December 19, 2011

Consumption vs. Creation of Art

The iPad has been criticized as a device made for the consumption of art. And this is indeed mostly the case as I experienced the iPad for the first time when I bought one a few weeks ago.  This is in contrast to the personal computer which is both used for the consumption and the creation of art.

Obviously, artists would prefer something that can be used to create art and not just consume it. 

Steve Jobs was keenly aware of this criticism and went on to address them by introducing some applications that can serve as tools for creation rather than just consumption according to accounts in his biography. 

When art is spoken about, many associate the term with something done creatively and one which demonstrates beauty or elegance. Art is usually thought of as a painting, a sculpture, architecture, music, film, photography and literature. 

I would broaden those categories to include everything and anything a person creates which causes someone else to become intellectually or emotionally stimulated. Whatever it is that is created can be considered by the audience or the creator as a work of art as long as it affects the intellect through its usefulness and composition and/or the emotion through its design and feel. 

For example, an engineer who creates a product for a company may be said to be creating art with his design of how a widget works and how it looks and feels. A blogger could be creating works of art from the things he posts on his or her website. Most people could be artists in their own right. 

However, not everything about work is art. Some things are just difficult to belong to this category. For example, a line worker whose job it is just to stamp a piece of paper to a box cannot be really considered as someone creating art. It may be considered making a living but it certainly is not making a piece of art. Of course for the person himself, the act of stamping may require skill and the finished product would have to be done perfectly for it to be acceptable to quality control that he may consider it a piece of art in itself. 

Although not everything is art, I believe that everyone has the capacity to produce something unique, creative and artistic. But not all of us realize the importance of creating something to express our inner selves or share how we view the world in different ways. Many of us are just consumed by our efforts to earn more money in order to become successful. This has resulted to more art consumption and less art creation. 

My current job, although I’m an engineer, has not been the type where I can design or create things. I am a process engineer whose main job includes tool qualification and process problem solving. But I believe that opportunities are always there to make things that may be considered artistic. Although I have not actively pursued this to show any result, I now have a stronger sense that creation of art is a worthwhile objective. This will be an active change besides the usual consumption of art that I do when I surf the internet. My blogs are a part of this creation that I hope will produce improving articles over time to a point when I and others can call it an artwork.

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