Art is an activity—by that I mean the activity of creation. The artist is a person engaged in the activity—in the moment of creation. We can only qualify the object itself—whether it’s a story or a poem, a sculpture or a painting or a film, etc.—as art while it is in the process of being created.
Before it is created, an object of art is mere fantasy; the artist, a thinker; the activity, an abstraction. After it is created, an object is a commodity; the artist, a bullshitter; the activity, a memory.
To those who are passive in the arts—i.e., the viewers or readers, etc.—the activity is the intention; the object, an ambiguity, something open to interpretation; the artist, a craftsman.
The act of creation—active—and the act of interpretation—passive—are distinct acts. Any theory of art that doesn’t take the distinction between the active and the…
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