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Old 01-18-2004, 08:57 PM
fritchie's Avatar
fritchie fritchie is offline
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: New Orleans, LA
Posts: 3,456
Re: Art contrasted with Craft; apprenticeship

Mark - Thanks for this amplification of two topics. I've been greatly disappointed with NYT for about the last 3 - 4 years especially and that undoubtedly colored my reply above. It was and may still be the best U. S. paper for current affairs in general, but over this period I find that I have had to strain each article with a filter of some sort more than ever - political, religious, or commercial, usually. In other words, all their biases or the pressures they feel are becoming more extreme.

Both print and traditional television media are feeling the economic pressure of developing cable and internet media. This clearly reduces the classic revenue stream, and all of the above have responded either by trivializing content or making it appeal more strongly to one special interest group or another.

In my view, this Close article falls in the category of unpaid advertizing, to promote another artist affiliated with a gallery or galleries which do advertise heavily in the paper. Overall, thatís probably how major media have worked for many years, but the relationship seems to be increasingly transparent, and I find that a disturbing trend.

I find your discussion of the overall artist - artisan relationship basically sound, and, yes, you are correct in at least two ways that this is very common in science today. Graduate school, especially in the sciences, closely resembles the atelier or guild system of centuries past. This knowledge generally is very specialized, and the guild or atelier model is an excellent way to transmit it.

The other way in which I find your statements reflect contemporary scientific practice is in the need for close collaboration among many workers, typically because of extreme expense of data collection. Papers in high-energy physics, for example, may have several hundred authors distributed among dozens of institutions. Each author must be assumed to have had a significant role in the work, though for many it may have been as apprentice.

On your comments about todayís relationship between philosophy and art, Iím afraid Iím still puzzled. A century and half or so ago, philosophy, as I understand it at least, considered science a search for truth, but relativity, advances in mathematics and quantum mechanics especially have demoted it to a way of making limited predictions about impending behavior. I supposed you were saying something similar about the contemporary view of art. Maybe you are?? Its only role is decoration, titillation or commerce. Maybe sometimes it's best to sidestep philosophy.

Last edited by fritchie : 01-18-2004 at 09:18 PM.
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