How Do You Define Art?

You may remember last week I linked you to the Interstitial Arts Foundation Jewelry auction and pointed you over there to bid? Well today is the start of the the Third Interstitial Arts Salon online discussing:

We’ll be talking about creating visual art inspired by texts, about the relationships between narrative and wearable art, the cultural history of personal adornment — anything we can think of!

I’m linking to this because I think it’s always interesting to talk about what constitutes art, fine art and where different types of art intersect. It’s like that saying “A comic book is low-brow art but a painting of a comic book, that’s high-brow art.” That’s where my interest lies, especially because I write SF/F and spend a lot of my time explaining to friends that SF/F is more that Star Trek, that there’s a whole slew of artists exploring intertextuality and intersextionality. When I write a story I always think of other art forms or ways of writing that I’d like to incorporate and my stories almost always have a soundtrack that I listen to over and over while I write them (helps set the mood).

One of the things I really liked about my undergrad is that we weren’t required to just take fiction classes even if that was our emphasis, we could take poetry class or play-writing. We weren’t hemmed in by what does and doesn’t constitute our art. We were able to find those spaces in between different writing genres. Now the Interstitial Arts Foundation goes beyond that, they’re talking about literature, music, film, jewelry making (and more!) and the spaces in-between these realms.

Anyway that’s enough of my insane artsy ramblings for now but I think this discussion is something to at least follow along with even if you have nothing to say.  



2 responses to “How Do You Define Art?

  1. I’m interested in this topic too and, like you, part of that stems from feeling defensive about the cultural dismissal of sf/f. Have you read Samuel’s Delaney’s thoughts about this in Shorter Views: Queer Thoughts and the Politics of the Paraliterary? I’ve only read part of it, but it’s really good. Also, this sounds like an interesting symposium.

    I really like it when stories incorporate other forms. I’ve mostly seen this done with other textual forms. I loved how Jane Yolen’s story Blood Sister included song lyrics, mythology, and historical analysis.

  2. Willow:
    I haven’t had a chance to read that essay of Delaney’s yet. I’ll have to track it down soon. And if I was in London I would definitely be heading to that symposium but I’d also have issues because from what I can see all the speakers are male and I’d wager they’re all white as well which is problematic of the SF/F genre that we’re always represented by white men, although I suppose that can be said of most literary fields. But it bothers me that there doesn’t seem to have been even an attempt at diversity.

    I haven’t read Blood Sister by Jane Yolen, I read a couple of her books and enjoyed them but think I just drifted onto other things. I’ll have to pick it up though because I do love inter-textual writing especially if it includes historical analysis.

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