In the past century the borders have blurred between art and design. Designers, artists, aestheticians, curators, art and design critics, historians and students all seem confused about these borders. Figurative painting was reduced to graphic design while still being called 'art'. Figurative sculpture was reduced to nonfunctional industrial design while being called 'sculpture'. This fundamental blunder resulted from total misunderstanding of the concept of "abstraction" by the founders of modern art. Comprehensive analysis shows that so-called "abstract art" is neither abstract nor art, but a very simple, even trivial, kind of design.
In this book the prehistoric, philosophical, logical, historic and religious sources of the confusion between art and design are analyzed.
A new and coherent conceptual framework is proposed, to distinguish between art and design. Nearly one hundred distinctions, contradistinctions and comparisons between art and design are presented, showing clearly that they are totally independent domains.
Philosophy of art books are written by philosophers for philosophers, not for artists and designers; therefore they are irrelevant for the latter, especially for students who normally lack the necessary conceptual training. This book is not only for theoreticians but for art and design practitioners at all levels. This is a new kind of book: an illustrated philosophical book for the art and design world, which can make philosophical knowledge accessible and useful for solving real problems for designers and artists who are mostly visual rather than conceptual thinkers. The book contains over two hundred images; thus art and design people can easily follow the arguments and reasoning presented in this book in their own language; images.
Lack of distinction between art and design harms both. Design is contaminated by the ills of modern art, while modern art cannot recover from its current stagnation whilst under the illusion that it is actually art rather than design.
About the Author
Table of Contents
1 Invitation: Can a chair be a sculpture of a chair?
1.1 On the need to do away with fake sacred cows.
1.2 Misunderstanding of abstraction by modernism is the main source of the
confusion between art and design.
1.3 Duchamp's syndrome: Camouflage, disguise and fraudulence in nature
1.4 Which art versus which design
1.5 Can a chair be a sculpture of a chair?
2 The human tool kit: Body-tools, Brain-tools, Mind-tools
2.1 Body-tools: First order reality- Phenomenal reality.
2.2 Brain-tools: Second order reality- Symbol systems.
2.3 Mind-tools: Third level reality- Structuralism or mind in tools.
3 The roots of confusion between art and design
3.1 The confusion between object and photo.
3.2 In prehistory there was no distinction between art and design.
3.3 The confusion between art and design produced by the Greek concept
"technē" and Plato's metaphysics.
3.4 Scientists in no-man's land: Science inadvertently promotes the confusion
between art and design.
3.5 The confusion between art and design in mathematical art.
3.6 A whirlpool of confusions between art and design: Self-deceit and
eyewash by academia, museums and some parasites on art.
3.7 Tools as art?
3.8 "Painting": A linguistic trap.
4 Art versus design: A horde of contradistinctions
4.1 There is natural design but no natural art.
4.2 Art versus design: some basic distinctions.
4.3 Art versus design: symbol versus object
4.4 Art versus design: systemic versus discrete entities.
4.5 Art versus design: paradigms versus styles
4.6 Art versus virtual design.
4.7 Complementary aspects between art and design
5 If it is holy it is not art. If it is art it is not holy:
The confusion between icon, art, and design in religious art.
5.1 Art and iconoclasm are incompatible.
5.2 Art, design and iconoclasm in Judaism.
5.3 Art, design and iconoclasm in Christianity
5.4 Art, design and iconoclasm in Islam
List of illustrations