Does Art have something to fear from the industrialisation of the processes?

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Art is a concept which is based on several factors such as your age, where you are from and how much you know about the topic. It is seen by some as something which must be clear and reflect reality. At the same time though some schools of thought believe that art can be something far more abstract where it is hard to recognise what you see as being anything at all.

Art in it’s most basic form and more popular definition is a work which may be sculpture, photography, a good piece of music and more. If we think of art in this way then we are going along a realist stream of thought such as artists like Michelangelo, Emil Zola and Leonardo Da Vinci. These are examples of artists who are very skilled at recreating reality in their medium. To some degree therefore is a question of skill which exceeds other artists of the time.

With the advent of photography though surrealism began to appear because creating something real was carried out by photography in a fraction of the time. It now became important for experimentation with ideas in order to form art. Painters like Dali, Picasso and Andy Warhol are but a few of the artists who have played around with abstract art.

Picasso is interesting in this particular essay because of his Guernica picture, showing the bombing in Spain and the suffering. At a time when photography and film could have been used he used forms on a canvas in an attempt to convey the suffering of the people. Andy Warhol is a more interesting artist because whereas today we may think that it’s junk it was greatly admired in the past. We see the soup cans for example and are led towards a perception that they’re all the same except for the label describing their contents. To today’s person this is boring because we are so used to seeing this. It has become mundane due to the industrialisation in part of art. The car crash series are another interesting piece of experimental art because we are all aware of films having frames and read comics which also use cartoons to illustrate. When seeing this art I had the impression that anyone with a film camera or an editing system could extract 6 frames at different moments, put them together and call it art. With Andy Warhol I would say that because of the time at which he produced his commercial art it was considered quite interesting. Today though it’s interest has been ruined by how easily we can do the same thing.

Andy Warhol broke from the norm by showing the Empire State building as a single long shot with no editing as if it was a window looking out onto the building. With his aim of trying to get people to view this art his idea was to get people to talk. In contrast we see that Soviet film makers such as Sergei Eisenstein was aiming at a form of art or communication called intellectual montage whereby through the craft of combining images and symbols which may be unrelated a message can be communicated to the audience. This was a great and interesting art form which to some degree was re-used by many directors of which one was A Clockwork Orange by Stanley Kubrik. The film which is about ultra violence breaks away from the television norms by it’s content and resembles opera as if you were watching a modern version of Sergei Eisenstein’s Ivan Grozny for example. It is a very interesting film because after the first screening we may not have understood the real implications of the film and through watching it again we get a better understanding of the film’s real purpose. This masterpiece has shown what an advantage technology and industrialisation have brought to film making as a process.

A problem occurs when we begin to look at directors such as Spielberg among many others. Cinema has become far too commercial and films can be made at such a rate that at one time in Rome one film was turned out a day which is similar to television series today. When the aim is entertainment it is understandable that this process may be used, particularly since it brings in so much money. The problem though is that because of the speed at which films are made they lack any depth and integrity. They are always about the central topics of love, war and comedy as a majority. During a period I went to see 90 films at the cinema within around 9 months and I got sick and tired of always seeing the same thing over and over with hardly any change in story and plot. The industry had ruined my perception of the cinema as an art form and my interest in American films especially plummeted and turned my eyes towards the less industrial films where there was some meaning and purpose to the films.

With the digital revolution film making has re-democratised itself so that for a far lower budget we may get the same image quality as if we were using film and this is helping a new revival in the documentary genre for example with films like War Photographer about James Nacthway or Atenjurat, legend of the fast runner speaking of Inuit life on the ice. Finally more people may start expressing themselves through the art of the moving image.

Upon analysis of films in particular as an art form, we find that because the process is so rigid and films may be overproduced in terms of characters being the same and following the same plots the cinema is going downhill towards nothing more than a Friday night entertainment form which may be forgotten within the next hour. There are however films that have greatly profited through the industrialisation of cinema, for example, films like Kubrik’s A Clockwork Orange or Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexandre Nevsky.