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The definition of an artist is wide-ranging and covers a broad spectrum of activities to do with creating art, practising the arts and/or demonstrating an art. Debate, both historical and present day, suggests that defining the concept of an artist will continue to be difficult.

Look up artist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
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[edit] Dictionary definitions

Wiktionary defines the noun 'artist' (Singular: artist; Plural: artists) as follows:

  • 1. A person who creates art.
  • 2. A person who creates art as an occupation.
  • 3. A person who is skilled at some activity

The Oxford English dictionary, cites broad meanings of the term "artist,"

  • A learned person or Master of Arts
  • One who pursues a practical science, traditionally medicine, astrology, alchemy, chemistry
  • A follower of a pursuit in which skill comes by study or practice - the opposite of a theorist
  • A follower of a manual art, such as a mechanic
  • One who makes their craft a fine art
  • One who cultivates one of the fine arts - traditionally the arts presided over by the muses

(referenced from: C. T. Onions (1991). The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Clarendon Press Oxford. ISBN 0-19-861126-9. )

[edit] History of the term

In Greek the word "techně" is often mistranslated into "art." In actuality, "techně" implies mastery of a craft (any craft.) The Latin-derived form of the word is "tecnicus", from which the English words technique, technology, technical are derived.

In Greek culture the seven Muses patronaged eacha different field of human creation:

  1. Epic poetry
  2. Lyric song
  3. History
  4. Erotic poetry
  5. Tragedy
  6. Sacred song
  7. Dance
  8. Comedy and bucolic poetry
  9. Astronomy

The word art is derived from the Latin "ars", which, although literally defined means, "skill method" or "technique", holds a connotation of beauty.

During the Middle Ages the word artist already existed in some countries such as Italy, but the meaning was something resembling craftsman, while the word artesan was still unknown. An artist was someone able to do a work better than others, so the skilled excellency was underlined, rather than the activity field. Looking to registries or acts of those times it is easy to find out how some goods (such as textiles) were much more precious and expensive than paintings or sculptures.

The first division into major and minor arts dates back to Leon Battista Alberti's works (De re aedificatoria, De statua, De pictura), focusing the importance of intellectual skills of the artist rather than the manual skills (even if in other forms of art there was a project behind).

Michelangelo Buonarroti is generally indicated as the first artist who separated his creative work from the committance requirements.

With the Academies in Europe (second half of XVI century) the gap between fine and applied arts was definitely set.

Many contemporary definitions of "artist" and "art" are highly contingent on culture, resisting aesthetic prescription, in much the same way that the features constituting beauty and the beautiful, cannot be standardized easily without corruption into kitsch.

The word "artist" is used as a pejorative in certain circles (connotating, for example, pretentiousness, selfishness, temperamentalness, egotism, and having an inflated sense of one's own self-worth).

(referenced from: P.Galloni, Il sacro artefice. Mitologie degli artigiani medievali, Laterza, Bari, 1998)

[edit] The present day concept of an 'artist'

Artist is a descriptive term applied to a person who engages in an activity deemed to be an art. An artist also may be defined unofficially, as, "a person who expresses themselves through a medium". The word also is used in a qualitative sense of, a person creative in, innovative in, or adept at, an artistic practice.

Most often, the term describes those who create within a context of 'high culture', activities such as drawing, painting, sculpture, acting, dancing, writing, filmmaking, photography, and music—people who use imagination, talent, or skill to create works that may be judged to have an aesthetic value. Art historians and critics will define as artists, those who produce art within a recognized or recognizable discipline.

The term also is used to denote highly skilled people in non-"arts" activities, as well—crafts, law, medicine, alchemy, mechanics, mathematics, defense (martial arts), and architecture, for example. The designation is applied to high skill in illegal activities, such as "scam artist" or "con artist".

There is no consensus about what constitutes "art" or who is, or who is not, an "artist". Often, discussions on the subject focus on the differences among "artist" and "technician", "entertainer" and "artisan," "fine art" and "applied art," or what constitutes art and what does not. The French word artiste (which in French, simply means "artist") has been imported into the English language where it means a performer (frequently in Music Hall or Vaudeville). The English word 'artist' has thus, a narrower range of meanings than the word 'artiste' in French.

[edit] Examples of art and artists

[edit] See Related Topics

[edit] References

P.Galloni, Il sacro artefice. Mitologie degli artigiani medievali, Laterza, Bari, 1998 C. T. Onions (1991). The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. Clarendon Press Oxford. ISBN 0-19-861126-9

[edit] External links

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Xerox PARC

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PARC current logo.
PARC current logo.
PARC entrance.
PARC entrance.

PARC (Palo Alto Research Center, Inc.), formerly Xerox PARC, is a research and development company in Palo Alto, California that began as a division of Xerox Corporation. It was founded in 1970, and incorporated as a separate company (wholly owned by Xerox) in 2002. It is best known for inventing laser printing, Ethernet, the modern personal computer graphical user interface (GUI) paradigm, object-oriented programming, and ubiquitous computing. Today PARC collaborates with sponsors and clients to discover novel business concepts and transfer scientific findings into production. Current research areas include biomedical technologies, "clean technology," user interface design, sensemaking, ubiquitous computing, large area electronics, and embedded and intelligent systems.



[edit] History

Xerox PARC old logo.
Xerox PARC old logo.

PARC's founding director, George Pake, was a physicist, working in the area of nuclear magnetic resonance. Dr. Pake had been serving as provost of Washington University in 1969 when he was approached by Jack Goldman, Chief Scientist at Xerox. The result of their partnership was that Goldman was chiefly responsible for Xerox founding, and generously funding, a second research center, and George Pake was chiefly responsible for choosing PARC's location in Palo Alto — 3,000 miles away from Xerox headquarters.

In retrospect, this turned out to be a good idea, for around 1974, PARC was able hire many employess of the nearby Augmentation Research Center (founded by Douglas Engelbart) as Engelbart's funding from DARPA, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force was drying up.

Much of its success in the computer field was due to the inspired leadership of PARC's Computer Science Laboratory by Bob Taylor, as associate manager (1970–77), and then manager (1977–83),

On January 4, 2002, PARC was incorporated as a subsidiary company of Xerox, called Palo Alto Research Center Incorporated, i.e., PARC. Following the spin-off, PARC remains a wholly owned subsidiary of the Xerox Corporation. As of 2004, Xerox remained the company's largest customer, but PARC had also announced a multi-year relationship with Fujitsu and an entrance into biomedical sciences in partnership with the Scripps Research Institute of La Jolla, CA.

[edit] Accomplishments

PARC has been the incubator of many elements of modern computing. Most were included in the Alto, which introduced and unified most aspects of now-standard personal computer usage model: the mouse[1], computer generated color graphics, a graphical user interface featuring windows and icons, the WYSIWYG text editor, InterPress (a resolution-independent graphical page description language and the precursor to PostScript), Ethernet, and fully formed object-oriented programming in the Smalltalk programming language and integrated development environment. The laser printer was developed at the same time, as an integral part of the overall environment.

Among PARC's distinguished researchers were two Turing Award winners: Butler W. Lampson (1992) and Alan Kay (2003). The ACM Software System Award recognized the Alto system in 1984, Smalltalk in 1987, InterLisp in 1992, and Remote Procedure Call in 1994. Lampson, Kay, Bob Taylor, and Charles P. Thacker received the National Academy of Engineering's prestigious Charles Stark Draper Prize in 2004 for their work on the Alto system.

Xerox has been heavily criticized (particularly by business historians) for failing to properly commercialize and profitably exploit PARC's innovations. A favorite example is the GUI, initially developed at PARC for the Alto and then commercialized as the Xerox Star by the Xerox Systems Development Department. Although very significant in terms of its influence on future system design, it is deemed a failure because it only sold approximately 25,000 units. A small group from PARC led by David Liddle and Charles Irby formed Metaphor Computer Systems. They extended the Star desktop concept into an animated graphic and communicating office automation model and sold the company to IBM.

The first successful commercial GUI product was the Apple Macintosh, which was heavily inspired by PARC's work; Xerox was given Apple stock in exchange for engineer visits and an understanding that Apple would create a GUI product. Much later, in the midst of the Apple v. Microsoft lawsuit in which Apple accused Microsoft of violating its copyright by appropriating the use of the "look and feel" of the Macintosh GUI, Xerox also sued Apple on the same grounds[citation needed]. The lawsuit was dismissed because Xerox had waited too long to file suit, and the statute of limitations had expired. However, some dispute the degree to which the Apple interface was derived from Xerox designs[1]. Indeed, prior to Apple's visits to PARC, its Macintosh project more closely resembled the Valdocs operating system of the Epson QX-10.

There is no denying the long-term impact of PARC's systems. It took two decades for much of their technology to be equalled or surpassed. The interfaces and technology that PARC pioneered became standards for much of the computing industry, once their merits were widely known.

It is legend that Xerox management consistently failed to see the potential of many of the PARC inventions. While there is some truth to this, it is also an over-simplification. They certainly understood the value of laser printing, and of advances coming from the non-computer-focused part of PARC. Most critics don't realize that computing research was a relatively small part of PARC; there were many researchers working in areas such as materials science at PARC, including pioneers in LCD and optical disc technologies.

The work at PARC in the years since the early 1980s is often overlooked, but major work since then includes ubiquitous computing aka pervasive computing, aspect-oriented programming, and IPv6 to name but a few.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Xerox PARC was the first research group to widely adopt the mouse invented by Douglas Engelbart's Augmentation Research Center at the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International) in Menlo Park, California.

[edit] Further reading

  • Michael A. Hiltzik, Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age (HarperCollins, New York, 1999) ISBN 0-88730-989-5
  • Douglas K. Smith, Robert C. Alexander, Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, Then Ignored, the First Personal Computer (William Morrow, New York, 1988) ISBN 1-58348-266-0
  • M. Mitchell Waldrop, The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal (Viking Penguin, New York, 2001) ISBN 0-670-89976-3
  • Howard Rheingold, Tools For Thought (MIT Press, 2000) ISBN 0-262-68115-3

[edit] External links

Robert Wilson (dramatist)

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Robert Wilson (flourished 15721600), was an Elizabethan dramatist who worked primarily in the 1580s and 1590s. He is also believed to have been an actor who specialized in clown roles.

He was connected with sixteen plays intended for Philip Henslowe's Rose Theatre, in partnership with other playwrights who also produced copy for Henslowe. While mentioned as a dramatist by Francis Meres in 1598, most existing information on his dramatic career is derived from Henslowe's papers.

Since the name is common, it is not certain that the Robert Wilson who worked for Henslowe in 1598-1600 is the same man who was a prominent actor and occasional playwright in the 1580s; yet many scholars consider it more likely than not that the records refer to one Robert Wilson and not two. If this is correct, Wilson was acting with Leicester's Men in the 1570s, and was praised along with Richard Tarlton for his "wit." He is generally accepted as the author of The Three Ladies of London (1584), The Three Lords of London (1585), and The Cobbler's Prophecy (1594). It has been speculated that he may also have written Fair Em (ca. 1590). In Palladis Tamia (1598), Francis Meres mentions Wilson along with Tarlton, and specifically connects Wilson with the Swan Theatre, which was built ca. 1595.

In just over two years, from spring 1598 to summer 1600, Wilson worked with other members of Henslowe's stable of house playwrights on sixteen different plays, including three two-part projects. Several of these were never completed.

  1. Earl Goodwin and his Three Sons, Parts 1 and 2, with Michael Drayton, Henry Chettle, and Thomas Dekker; March 1598.
  2. Piers of Exton, with Drayton, Chettle, and Dekker; March 1598.
  3. Black Bateman of the North, Parts 1 and 2, with Chettle; Part I with Dekker and Drayton also; May-June 1598.
  4. The Funeral of Richard Cordelion, with Chettle, Drayton, and Anthony Munday; June 1598.
  5. The Madman's Morris, with Dekker and Drayton, July 1598.
  6. Hannibal and Hermes, with Dekker and Drayton, July 1598.
  7. Pierce of Winchester, with Dekker and Drayton, July-August 1598.
  8. Catiline's Conspiracy, with Chettle; August 1598. Apparently never completed.
  9. Chance Medley, with Munday, Drayton, and Dekker or Chettle; August 1598.
  10. Sir John Oldcastle, Parts 1 and 2, with Drayton, Munday, and Richard Hathwaye; Oct.-Dec. 1599.
  11. Henry Richmond, Part 2, with others; never completed.
  12. Owen Tudor, with Drayton, Hathwaye, and Munday; Jan. 1600. Apparently never completed.
  13. Fair Constance of Rome, Part 1, with Dekker, Drayton, Hathwaye, and Munday; June 1600.

Of Wilson's collaborations for Henslowe, only the first part of Sir John Oldcastle was published, in 1600 and 1619. None of the other plays has survived. Sir John Oldcastle was commissioned as a counterblast to the negative depiction of title character in the original versions of William Shakespeare's plays Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2. Objections from descendants of the historical John Oldcastle, a Protestant martyr, appears to have been responsible both for the writing of the corrective Oldcastle play and the alteration of Oldcastle to Sir John Falstaff in later versions of the Henry IV plays.

As to why a writer would work the way the Henslowe collaborators did: the careers of dramatists who worked mostly on solo projects, like Shakespeare and Ben Jonson, show that a dramatist working alone could produce one or two plays a year on a dependable basis.[1] If one of those plays failed to sell, or flopped with the audience, the writer was severely impacted. Collaborative writing spread the risk, and could provide a more certain income for a journeyman author.

A "Robert Wilson, yeoman (player)" was buried at St. Giles in Cripplegate on November 20, 1600. This is consistent with the view that the two Robert Wilsons, the player with Leicester's Men and Henslowe's dramatist, were one and the same person; it explains why Henslowe's Wilson stopped writing in 1600.

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ In 1635 the Caroline era playwright Richard Brome signed a contract to write three plays a year, but couldn't meet the demand.

[edit] References

  • Chambers, E. K. The Elizabethan Stage. 4 Volumes, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1923.

Karen Finley

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Karen Finley (b. 1956, Evanston, Illinois) is a controversial American performance artist, whose theatrical pieces and recordings have often been labelled "obscene" due to their graphic depictions of sexuality, abuse, and disenfranchisement. She was notably one of the NEA Four, four performance artists whose grants from the National Endowment for the Arts were vetoed in 1990 after the process was condemned by Senator Jesse Helms under "decency" issues.

Having received an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, Finley procured her first NEA grant and moved to New York City. She quickly became part of the city's art scene, collaborating with artists such as the Kipper Kids (Brian Routh — whom she married/divorced — and Martin von Haselberg) and David Wojnarowicz.

Finley's early recordings featured her ranting crass monologues over disco beats (and she would often perform her songs late night at the famed club Danceteria, where she worked). These recordings include the singles "Tales of Taboo" from 1986 and "Lick It" from 1988 (both produced by Madonna collaborator Mark Kamins) plus the 1988 album, The Truth Is Hard To Swallow (re-released on CD, with a slightly different track listing, as Fear Of Living in 1994; in conjunction with the re-release, both "Tales Of Taboo" and "Lick It" appeared on 12-inch again with new remixes by Super DJ Dmitry, Junior Vasquez, and other DJs of note). She also made a guest appearance on a remix of Sinéad O'Connor's "Jump in the River," and was prominently sampled by S'Express on the classic dance floor cut-up, "Theme from S'Express" (her "Drop that ghetto blaster/suck me off" vocal - sampled from "Tales of Taboo" - formed something of a chorus in the song).

In 1994, she released a double-disc set on the Rykodisc label, A Certain Level of Denial, a studio version of the performance piece. Following that piece came The Return of the Chocolate-smeared Woman[1], her performance rebuttal to Helms and the NEA controversy. Around 1998, Finley was delighted by the fact that she appeared in Playboy and received a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year award within months of each other. She was also featured in TIME during this period, though she felt that the magazine misrepresented her by "eroticizing" works (such as one that addressed rape) based on her nudity alone; in other words, that they couldn't absorb any information beyond her naked body.

Among Finley's books are Shock Treatment, Enough is Enough: Weekly Meditations for Living Dysfunctionally, the Martha Stewart satire Living it Up: Humorous Adventures in Hyperdomesticity, Pooh Unplugged (detailing the eating and psychological disorders of Winnie the Pooh and his friends)[2], and A Different Kind of Intimacy - the latter a collection of her works. Her poem "The Black Sheep" is among her best-known works, and has been immortalized on a sculpture in New York City.

She has also created gallery installations that include together decorated walls, inscriptions, manufactured libraries of imaginary books, mock documents and objects associated with real and imagined persons. Her visual art is represented by Alexander Gray Associates, a contemporary art gallery in New York.

The Karen Finley Live DVD (2004) compiles performances of Shut Up and Love Me and Make Love. Finley also played a doctor in the movie Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks. Finley will revive a slightly updated version of "Make Love" in September 2006 at the Cutting Room in New York to commemorate the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

Finley's father committed suicide in 1979, a subject that frequently came up in her work.

Finley is the recipient of both an Obie Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship for The American Chestnut, and was chosen as Coagula Magazine's Artist of the Decade as the 90's came to a close. She currently teaches writing workshops for both teens and adults at the Hudson Valley Writers' Center in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and has been a frequent guest on Politically Incorrect.

[edit] References and Footnotes

  1. ^ The title refers to a small section of We Keep Our Victims Ready.
  2. ^ Pooh also informed her decision to use large amounts of honey in Shut Up and Love Me.

[edit] External links

Allan Kaprow

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Allan Kaprow (August 23, 1927 - April 5, 2006) was an American painter, assemblagist and a pioneer in establishing the concepts of performance art. He helped to develop the "Environment" and "Happening" in the late 1950s and 1960s, as well as their theory. His Happenings - some 200 of them - evolved over the years. Eventually Kaprow shifted his practice into what he called "Activities", intimately-scaled pieces for one or several players and devoted to the examination of everyday behaviors and habits in a way nearly indistinguishable from ordinary life. Fluxus, Performance art, and Installation art was, in turn, influenced by his work.

He studied (time-based) composition with John Cage at his famous class at the New School for Social Research, painting with Hans Hofmann, and art history with Meyer Schapiro. Kaprow's work attempts to integrate art and life. Through Happenings, the separation between life and art, and artist and audience becomes blurred. He has published extensively and was Professor Emeritus in the Visual Arts Department of the University of California, San Diego. Kaprow is also known for the idea of "un-art", found in his essays "Art Which Can't Be Art" and "The Education of the Un-Artist."

His influence is also evident at the California Institute of the Arts, where he taught during the early formative years.

For more information on his work while at Rutgers University, see Fluxus at Rutgers University.

[edit] Quotes

"The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible."

[edit] External links

Vito Acconci

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Vito Hannibal Acconci (born January 24, 1940) is a Bronx, New York-based architect, landscape architect, and installation artist.

His father was an Italian immigrant who took him to museums and opera houses and gave him his first arts education. He received a B.A. in literature from the College of the Holy Cross in 1962 and an M.F.A. in literature and poetry from the University of Iowa.

Acconci began his career as a poet, editing 0 TO 9 with Bernadette Mayer in the late 1960s. In the late 1960s, Acconci transformed himself into a performance and video artist using his own body as a subject for photography, film, video, and performance. His performance and video work was marked heavily by confrontation and Situationism. In the mid 1970s, Acconci expanded his metier into the world of audio/visual installations.

One noted installation/performance piece from this period is Seedbed (January 1972). In Seedbed Acconci lay hidden underneath a gallery-wide ramp installed at the Sonnabend Gallery, masturbating while vocalizing into a loudspeaker his fantasies about the visitors walking above him on the ramp. One motivation behind Seedbed was to involve the public in the work's production by creating a situation of reciprocal interchange between artist and viewer.

During the 1980s he invited viewers to create artwork by activating machinery that erected shelters and signs. He also turned to the creation of furniture and to prototypes of houses and gardens in the late 1980s.

More recently, the artist has worked with the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, and has focused on architecture and landscape design that integrates public and private space. One example of this is "Walkways Through the Wall," which flow through structural boundaries of the Midwest Airlines Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and provide seating at both ends.

He has taught at many institutions, including the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax; California Institute of the Arts, Valencia; Cooper Union; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Yale University; and the Parsons School of Design.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links