the future of Art in danger. or is it?
Art has never been static.
By definition, - according to the Oxford Dictionary, Art takes form of
“The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”
while the Collins Dictionary rather highlights the importance of Art as
“the activity [...] of creating paintings, sculptures, and other pictures or objects for people to look at and admire or think deeply about.”
Thus in the latest century we've witnessed a radical transformation in the concept of art and artistic value. I still remember the time they assigned me the 1936 Walter Benjamin essay ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’.
Benjamin questioned whether the validity of an artwork may decline in relation to an increasingly easy reproduction. It was referring to the raise of photography as a proper art but the question still stand and can be easily applied to the today standards. Not to get technical or anything, but it would be silly pretending that Art is the same as it used to be not longer than a century ago – whether we agree on the positive outcome of the digital revolution, the effects speak loud and the transformation is right in front of us.
Benjamin talked of the quality of the artwork in terms of 'authenticity' or 'aura' – so what would happen when that work can be reproduced ad infinitum without being able to tell which one is the original one.
Copy after copy of the same printed photograph.
There's no original, - so there's no longer need for any sort of validation, in the digital era.
As a writer though, I can't help but think that the value of a book is in the story hid inside it - not in the paperback or hardcover copy - nor in the ebook which is no more than a sequence of digital codes.
Is eventually the future of Art in danger? My answer is no.
As long as it will keep that universal authentical revolutionary value that defines it - not the authenticity of a given artwork perse