Friday 3 December 2021

To Make an Artwork

If one realises that art is object manipulation uncommon in daily life, then there is actually a easy methodology one can apply to conceive 'new' (and often fairly uninspired) artworks.
In order to do this, you first you make a list of characteristics of an object or phenomenon. Let us take a table, a prime example of an utilitarian object, that nevertheless has a long history of design and aesthetics without us necessarily thinking of any table as art. 
So a table is generally speaking a flat surface designed to hold objects above the ground. They are often made in such a way that one can be seated at the table, with empty space underneath. Their sizes vary, but generally don't exceed 2 by 5 metres in surface area and are between 40 and 120 centimetres in height. They are made of hard materials like wood, metal and stone, in order to support the objects they are supposed to hold. A table is often made up of components, most commonly three or four legs and a separate top, so that it can be made and transported more easily and efficiently. Their top surfaces are even. 
This is of course not an exhaustive list of all common characteristics of tables, but merely an example of the kind of common characteristics one could list for any object or phenomenon.
Once this list is made, one can simply think of possibilities that adhere to some of the listed characteristics, but not to others, or include characteristics that simply don't occur on the list. I did this really quickly for a table and came up with the following possibilities:

- A super long table of more than 15 meters, but still only supported by four legs so it sags a lot.
- A table made from polystyrene
- A table with a non-level surface so that anything that's put on top will fall off.
- A table cut from a solid block of metal.
- A table filled with magnets so that it repels (or attracts) metal objects.
- A table which legs aren't evenly distributed among the plane of the top.
- A table made by placing a top on two large balls.
- A table put on wheels with a small rocket engine mounted to it
- A drone mounted to a table so it flies (and whatever other things Roman Signer did to tables)
- A table which smooth marble surface is actually a thin layer of milk.
- A table covered in a thick layer of roughly spackled plaster.
- A table of which the legs are made of springs. 
Some of these tables have already been executed as artworks and even been acquired by major museums.
It should also be noted that all characteristics are relative to the simple reality of our time. 
If we were five metres tall instead of one metre fifty and a bit, then the 'big' table would be normal sized, after all. Just as a table made of ice might be considered highly unusual in sunny California, while it may be moderately curious on the south pole. This is similar to a snowman in a wintery landscape being a common occurrence and not art, while storing a snowman in a custom freezer year round is considered art, as Fischli and Weiss have shown. This also remains true despite the fact that we're all familiar with keeping ice cubes in our fridges.

This general principle works just as well for phenomena, as they still tend to have a material presence in the world. 
Allow me to provide a few examples for a simple conversation. To make an 'artful' conversation one could have a conversation where there is a ten second pause between each sentence. Or every word has to be exactly four syllables. Or you can only speak to people if you aren't facing each other. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
This is an easy method to make art, that can be taught to anybody without the least bit of imagination, and will quickly yield results.