Systems Esthetics

http://www.arts.ucsb.edu/faculty/jevbratt/readings/burnham_se.html

I could argue that like science, art is also dominated at any given period by a single major paradigm. “We are now in transition M from an object-oriented to a systems-oriented culture.” Could the system also be the method or construct of the process of art making? Is this all process art then?

“Situated between aggressive electronic media and two hundred years of industrial vandalism, the long held idea that a tiny output of art objects could somehow "beautify" or even significantly modify the environment was naive.” Or that there is an innate sense in human to gravitate towards the ‘beautiful’ as if it is a constant thing or that it is somehow accomplished by technical achievements of craftsmanship.

“The specific function of modern didactic art has been to show that art does not reside in material entities, but in relations between people and between people and the components of their environment.” –Duchamp

"Craft-fetishism," as termed by the critic Christopher Caudwell, remains the basis of modern formalism. Instead the significant artist strives to reduce the technical and psychical distance between his artistic output and the productive means of society. This was recently discussed between another art grad student and I who strongly believes good art is great technical art without ideas.

“Fifteen years ago Victor Vasarely suggested mass art as a legitimate function of industrial society. For angry critics there existed the fear of undermining art's fetish aura, of shattering the mystique of craft and private creation.”

The components of systems-whether these are artistic or functional- have no higher meaning or value. Systems components derive their value solely through their assigned context. Holistic approach to art as well as gestalt.

A "sculpture" that physically reacts to its environment is no longer to be regarded as an object. Couldn’t it be said that all things react to their environment as they age and decay?


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