Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: A post about art (sort of)

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  • Islander,

    How is being a singer not being an artist?
    Len Lye - well, I think of him as a kinetic artist (I especially like his work with film.)

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Of course Len Lye was an artist. Apart form the fact that he did a ton of stuff himself, the fact that some of his designs were constructed by others doesn't make him any less of an artist - I frankly doubt it's even up for any sort of debate.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Why must a singer write songs to be considered an artist? Must a songwriter also sing her songs to be accepted as an artist? I think not.

    Len Lye is an artist because he is accepted by the Art World as such. Artists are identified by the Art World by the fact of their making expressive pieces of work, and the purpose of those works being expression. Making props for movies is not art - it's primary purpose is not artistic expression.

    There is also a big question of skill here. The sculptural output of Weta Workshop is not of good quality. Like much conservative art, it is dedicated to prosaic realism, yet its makers are not competent to capture likenesses well. It is also weighed down by leaden symbolism. In this case, we have a sculpture of two halves - which represent earthquakes or teams or islands or any other pairing you can think of. Mawkish sentiment suffuses this and every other Weta work.

    In short, it is kitsch, a sort of Capitalist Realism. Real artists moved on from this sort of thing decades ago, and even then its was only the second-rate who indulged in it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Islander.

    How is being a singer not being an artist?

    Gio.

    Of course Len Lye was an artist.

    Paul.

    Artists are identified by the Art World by the fact of their making expressive pieces of work, and the purpose of those works being expression.

    I think Paul won that one...
    Now, your starter for 10 points. ;-)

    Can TV commercials ever be considered Art?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Geez you stirrer!

    I'd submit the "Going West" ad as evidence for art existing in the bowels of commercialism.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    This one?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I still love it (and that's the 7th playing.) It's the meld of sound and paper-pic conjuration-
    Who is the V/0? It sounds rather like Murray Gray, Murray-ther-Malt?
    Yes? No?

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Who is the V/0? It sounds rather like Murray Gray, Murray-ther-Malt?
    Yes? No?

    It's a bit of a mystery who does the V/O here. Murray Grey is the director of the annual Going West Literary Festival so there is a connection. The Sound design was done in Shoreditch, East London, by Mikkel H. Eriksen INSTRUMENT [studio] but I'm buggered if I can find anything to confirm the identity of the Narrator.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    There is also a big question of skill here. The sculptural output of Weta Workshop is not of good quality.

    I'll respectfully disagree.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6204 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I must say I really liked some of their ephemeral stuff - the Gollum at the airport was great, and it was great in part because you knew it wouldn't be there forever. The tripod in courtenay place is just stupid - why the hell is it still there? But I agree with Kyle that it is of good quality. I mean, it just sits there, not showing signs of wear and tear. It is a detailed sculpture that I'm sure reflects the design with some precision. Can't be faulted in those respects.

    But the quality of the idea? Come on.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    I am fear they are all terribly well-made and will last for years. But as sculpture, they are rubbish: more GI Joe than Giacometti. I expect they are all done with computers and cameras. Making measured models of things as exact reproductions is not much of an artistic act.

    No doubt we will find out the secrets of Weta's technique when they produce a making-of-the-making-of film about this ghastly episode in the decline of our culture.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    But as sculpture, they are rubbish: more GI Joe than Giacometti.

    Oh go on Paul, why don't you say what you really mean?
    Weta has some excellent technicians, I have worked with a few of them in the past. Artists?. Well, I guess that is the question we have been discussing wasn't it?. As you said upthread

    Artists are identified by the Art World by the fact of their making expressive pieces of work, and the purpose of those works being expression.

    Define expression. Is it not also expression if a technician works from a rough idea working for a committee to say what that committee wants to express?. For instance, can Architecture be Art?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Architecture traditionally has been accepted as one of the Arts by the Art World, so it is art in that respect. Whether architecture is expressive is another question; I would say yes. That its primary purpose is not expression but habitation suggests it is not an art form.

    Technical competence does not imply artistic expression. One could produce a very realistic imitation of an object - something like a model car, say - without producing a work of art. I think there needs to be some intention of producing art, as well as acceptance of the object as being art by the Art World.

    I do not agree with the contention that art is a big tent. I think it quite a small tent.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    One could produce a very realistic imitation of an object - something like a model car, say - without producing a work of art.

    Well that depends on what? If the model of the car a realistic rendition of an existing design then it is just that, a model but if that rendition is a generic form of a car then it is an expression. I think we may be expressing the difference between Arts and Crafts and that... is a whole kettle of fish with a can of worms... on toast.
    Architecturally speaking, St Kevin's Arcade and the Myers Park buildings, especially the Kindergarten, is a great New Zealand example of Arts and Crafts thinking in design. Don't you think?.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Kindergarten, yes; St Kevin's is Roman.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Kindergarten, yes; St Kevin's is Roman.

    When were the Romans here, did I miss something?.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4869 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    Artists are identified by the Art World by the fact of their making expressive pieces of work, and the purpose of those works being expression.

    Without a clear definition of the "Art World" I'm not buying this, as the definition is clearly ciircular in the context used here.

    n.b. I can be as expressive as I like at a Karioke bar, but an art installation ? I think not.

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    The tripod in courtenay place is just stupid - why the hell is it still there?

    I quite like it. It's playful and is perfectly located - right in front of the Embassy theatre, just down from the Paramount, in the town's entertainment district.

    It's taken the skills that the Weta dudes have in designing and building sci-fi models and turned that into a giant alien tripod film-making robot.

    And - fortunately - it's not especially laden with symbolism.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1861 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I quite like it. It's playful and is perfectly located - right in front of the Embassy theatre, just down from the Paramount, in the town's entertainment district.

    I could tolerate it for all those reasons if it was temporary, like the troll on top of the embassy. As a permanent fixture it's just a concept that wasn't very clever to start with and keeps getting older. IMHO, and all that.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    I think it quite a small tent.

    Well, I'm of the (subjective) opinion that pretty much everything 'created' by Emin, Hirst, or any of those Hoxton twerps is an enormous heap of steaming, stinking ordure.

    In some cases, almost literally.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    When were the Romans here, did I miss something?.

    Substations of the Crossing...
    an alternate history...
    Escaping from the flames of Mesopotomia, the Roman Legion of the Parthian Less Trodden (Naval Division) fled south, drifting across the Arabian Sea and The Indian Ocean, missing Australia completely to wash ashore on the west coast of New Zealand. Due to decimation only a cohort survived to
    establish a remote base in Fiordland...
    Generations later they crept from hiding to assimilate themselves into the European diaspora flooding into New Rome...
    They established themselves in Canterbury
    and traces of them may be seen in the Shrines * to the great (Greco-Roman) God MED** dotted about Christchurch and the Cantabrian propensity for Atriums and gladiatorial sports...

    PS and I guess some went to Auckland to build St Kevins - <ahem>

    *as captured here by Chch artist Hilaire Campbell

    ** this idea of these temples of MED spread across Chch in an arcane pattern was in a great book I read years ago, the title and author of which I have forgotten - does anyone else remember?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5046 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Due to decimation only a cohort survived

    I believe you're going to hear from Craig's attorneys on this one.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7383 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    I believe you're going to hear from Craig's attorneys on this one.

    Bloody Mathematicus - point taken...
    Decimation is taking one-in-ten
    and a Cohort is a tenth of a Legion
    sorry, I was all at sea with that one
    but ya get my drift...

    I suppose I could get into some kind of explanation of a series of nine decimations...
    but the numbers shift and we could slip into numerical paradoxes - so being a Zeno-phobe
    I'll leave well enough alone...

    speaking of Tenths (he lisped)...

    'Art' is a big tent, attempts to exclude people from it (particularly with quasi snobbery like people who make works for entertainment shouldn't also make public art works) are silly.

    and

    Well, I'm of the (subjective) opinion that pretty much everything 'created' by Emin, Hirst, or any of those Hoxton twerps is an enormous heap of steaming, stinking ordure.
    In some cases, almost literally.

    I think we may be getting sidelined by the Freakshows and amusements on the midway
    heading towards the Big Top circus proper...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5046 posts Report Reply

  • JackElder,

    When were the Romans here, did I miss something?

    More to the point: what did they do for us?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2008 • 708 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Camping it up...?

    Everyone I Have Ever Slept With, 1963-95.
    Appliqued tent, mattress and light. 122 x 245 x 215 cm. - Tracey Emin.

    is this work the genesis of the phrase:
    "being sold a pup"?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5046 posts Report Reply

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