Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Robot spinning a man with paint creates art

It sure sparked one of those "this isn't art" arguments in the comments section.

Then again its shooting fish in a barrel these days to set that off.

Sploid ran a piece about Serbian artist Dragan Iliclike. Iliclike's methodology is to attach himself to an industrial robot arm that moves him across a wall-sized canvas, spreading paint as he goes (see GIF above). There are those who might object, asserting that there is no premeditated purpose in the streaks of paint. Iliclike is just tossing paint on a wall to see where it lands, except he's doing it with the aid of a robot (which you must admit is kinda cool in its own right). There is no message about how the artist views the world as is present in Dadist or other abstract works, contrary to popular opinion.

Iliclike says not so fast. The robot moves Iliclike and the paintbrushes according to a preprogrammed route that imitates “both the repetitiveness involved in technological production, as well as representing a new stage of ritual or transgressive experiences of the author himself.” A statement on mass production and industrialization? A bit of a dig at big business (a popular even if somewhat trite target for art)? That's a bit like what Warhol was doing, so I can see it.

Is it art? Does it fit the Platonic definition? Does all art require premeditation? That might discount the cut-up method and that would be just plain silly. Sometimes art arises from the subconscious and the random. Do you like looking at it? Then again, does art have to be "pretty"? Of course not. To which "school of art" would this belong? Under the umbrella title of "postmodernism"? We could go round and round like this for the foreseeable future.

Look, the guy is swinging on the end of a robot arm. Cool enough.

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