04/06/2005: "Process or Artifact?"technorati tags: philosophical
Yesterday a friend and I got into the age old artistic debate about which is more important, the process or the artifact.
I think they both are, but if forced to choose I’d fall soundly in the artifact column. I know most artists would say it’s “the process”…but I find that nearly impossible to believe. To me it makes as much sense as saying that the pregnancy is more important than the actual baby!
My friend said that in one of his studio classes they decided to destroy anything they produced for an entire month, but when it came down to it all of these “it’s the process” artists, couldn’t go through with it.
We like having something to show for all our hard work, even if it only acts as a cautionary tale (we need to be free enough to try things and fail too )...Which happened repeatedly to me this weekend by the way.
It reminded me of a great scene in Awakenings where the researcher Kaufman explains a massive project he was on trying to extract a decigram of myelin from four tons of earthworms.
Kaufman: “I was on it for five years. I was the only one who really believed in it. The rest of them said it couldn't be done.”
Employer: “It can't.”
Kaufman: “Well, I know that *now*. I proved it.”