Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wurrs tha Studio?

Last week Peter Hanley raised the fascinating question of where exactly an artist's studio is. With the growing popularity of digital art, the answer to that question has become increasingly ambiguous for some. Does the computer count as a studio if it's the place in which the art is generated?

Hanley's answer is no. According to him, the studio is the place in which concepts are conceived. (Which, I assume, is why he still considers the traditional idea of a studio -- a room in which art is made -- to be, well, a studio. He even said that he, as a digital artist, was jealous of his traditional artist friends' physical studio space.) According to Hanley, the computer is more of a surface for the art creation -- it's like a desk or an easel. In this age of digital art the mind is the artist's studio, because that's where the art is conceived.

I actually really like this concept. There is no anchor to art now. When a studio was, well, a studio, art was a static act. Now, if I wanted to, I could take my tablet on the train with me and do an entire painting, digitally, in transit. Yes, i could have conceivably done that with traditional paints, but computers allow this action to be socially acceptable. People don't stare at you and think you're an eccentric for just using the computer on the train.

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