Manifesto on Art 1.0

I was recently confronted with the difficult (and frankly impossible) task of explaining what art is through a blog I’ve been following (…. I thought about it and came up with my answer to it and wanted to post if for nothing else than to remember it:

Put simply: Art is meaning in its’ purist form. Art is how human kind refashions the world to make it more comprehensible and have more depth. Without art – food is something that subsistence instead of something we enjoy. Without art – sound is only noise instead of melodies which inspire or sadden. Without art – movement is only a way to get from place to another instead of the emotive narratives shown through dance. In the end, an artist is an architect of meaning and destiny in its’ truest form .


Self Portrait circa 2004

Mixed Media Self Portrait circa 2004

About a.s.c

Palestinian-American Artist, urban planning & architecture student living and practicing in Washington, DC.
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2 Responses to Manifesto on Art 1.0

  1. rose says:

    are you suggesting artist make up our meaningfullness?
    as there is another option I am not sure if you are ruling out?
    there is the phenomenum of objectively orientated scientists who have a different sort of meaning in their exploits- that of amazement in the world as it is in its bareness with no addition, human interferance.

    as an artist my aim is just to point something out in the world- drawing other willing consciousneess towards it. already all these things like meaning and destiny already exist without art. but art may be a decent sign post to awaken our dying brains, renewing our sight, taste, bodily movement. rather than a distraction from mundanity but a windscreen wipe of our dulling.

    and then there is art in abstract terms. music, colour. rythmic movement that do not occur in the world outside of human design. but for our heart beat, a rainbow and our marching feet. which only supply the base or the scale. and then your definition does come into play. but of meaning I would like to hear what exactly you mean by it?

    • adamchamy says:

      Oooo I knew I’d opened a thought provocative can of worms….

      Hi Rose,

      Thanks for the comment!

      Yeah, you’re so right… I suppose my definition follows your point of art being a decent sign post to awaken our senses…. Or also the idea of art in abstract terms… But what do I mean by “meaning”?… thats such a negotiable term… Meaning… To me at least, meaning is that idea that something doesn’t just happen but it has some deeper importance toward it . I’m not suggesting a god or faith or a sense of purpose (though for some that might be true)… but more importantly it has a quality to it that effects everyday life personally. A scientist discovering a planet has no effect on everyday life – but suddenly that dream of being there is closer to reality. That sudden dream is the meaning behind the discovery. The scientist discovering it… has little consequence – its the meaning of the discovery that matters.

      In a sense… political figures/events provide inspirational (or horrifying) meaning in a similar sense.

      Art though.. is that vehicle for dreams and imagination… it allows us to interpret that meaning – to mourn, to smile, etc… and relate it to ourselves and to others. Its how that planet is imagined to be habitable (by a science fiction writer or the scientist himself). And at the end of the day – I think every person is an “artist” – even if not in the classical sense of sitting in a studio or writing workshop… What matters is translating the facts of everyday life into something with meaning.

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