Re: the function of art

Date Sun, 29 Aug 1999 00:01:32 +0200 (MEST)
References <Pine.PCW.3.91.990828143450.15910A-100000@vanwagea>

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Art , does it have a function? 
Is the artful flooding of mexican government websites with the names of
the dead worth anything? Is it achieving what it should? Let's put it this
way: It is certainly a unique measure. It may not be drawing thousand of
people's attention to a certain website, a certain message, but it is still a
powerful voice. Granted, the webmaster of the receiving site could delete those
names with three clicks of his mouse but it is the symbolism of what has
been done to him and his site that counts. Useless this action is not, and the
most effective it isn't either. But it is, as others have said before and
C.I. Marcos would say, "poetry". The names of the dead are unknown to most of
the world anyway. This action is a virtual memorial. It takes _so_little_
effort! I'm sure the initiators don't expect it to be a world-moving event.
But it is still a symbolic pie in the face of those governments, corporations
and agencies who regard themselves as the supreme controllers of political
and civil thought. Anything that is able to capture the attention of the
unimaginative many is laudable, and ART is the most universally understood of
all actions. This makes art more than a means in itself.
Art is a very special means of communication. 
Don't you think?


> hello all,
> i am wondering if talking about the function of art might 
> be of interest to some on the list and if it might be a 
> productive discussion.
> in talking about the purpose or the function of floodnet 
> actions, one answer has been that, for example, the 
> artful creation of error messages, makes the action public 
> art.  this makes a lot of intuitive sense to me, as 
> others have commented this.  the notion of error logs 
> full of the names of those usually unnamed--the massacred 
> indigenous at Acteal--is really powerful, touching 
> especially aesthetic senses.
> but i also wonder if this is really an answer to the 
> question 'what is the function of floodnet actions.'  can 
> the answer be that art is an end itself?  it is obviously more 
> complicated than that, as this floodnet art is always 
> tangled with activism.
> perhaps this question is a little too philosophical and 
> utterly unanswerable.  it is one i think about a lot as a 
> graduate student.  i wonder what the function of (my) 
> writing is.  is it for me (writing to save lives, even if it is 
> only the writer's life who is saved)?  is it for the 
> benefit of others (educating the masses or some shit 
> like that)?  is it an end it itself (writing for 
> writing's sake)?  these same questions seem to apply to this 
> art.
> aimee
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