Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Life Is A Time-Based Art

As some of you know, I'm teaching an Internet Art class in the Computer Arts program at the School of Visual Arts. We took time yesterday to think about Nam June Paik's work and career. It was a way of paying homage. It was also a way of thinking about how his experiments in music composition contributed to video art as we know it. I'm trying to help them think about several artists' oeuvres, not just in the context of their media but of their lives. It seemed fitting, then, to take a step back from the Internet and think about how other intermedia artists were thinking and creating and living. As we were thinking about Paik's life and death, we began to talk about our own lives, being young or old, where we wanted to go with our work, and how we wanted to get there. It felt like a departure from our other conversations about the medium, but I said to them, This is an important conversation for our work because life is a time-based art. I was happy to come to that language because it helped me get right to what I've been trying to say this semester about sculpting moments in one's life. I'm writing it down so I can remember.


Blogger Rey said...

How far do you go with this idea? I only ask because I wonder: does this make us artists who make lives or people with lives in which we make art? I don't know if I'm saying that right.

I guess I'm wondering this, you say: life is a time-based art. But maybe art is based on a time during a life. Where is the subject in all this: the person making the art or the artist inside of the person? Who's pulling the strings?

Now I've confused myself. Don't mean to be critical, just hoping to help you (and me) articulate ideas.

2:27 PM, February 10, 2006  
Blogger Mendi O. said...

These are good, hard questions. I think my answer is: yes! The subject is both the person inside the artist and the artist inside the person. My thought, based on my conversations with these artists and my reflection on Paik, is that as artists, ideally where we end up (in life) is the product of our timing along the way, our strategically timed life events. This is just as it is in film or music. But I also think that as a person with a life in which art plays a large role, my art is a life as much as my life is an art.

3:19 PM, February 10, 2006  

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