Fast + Borrowed = Bad?

Thanks to Escape into Life for the pointer to the essay.

I’m new to digital manipulation, but I’m discovering that of course, others aren’t. The question is, does digital work make art too easy? In this essay, Eric William Carroll suggests that borrowed images mashed together quickly make for bad art.

…just because the search for images has been reduced to seconds doesn’t mean critical thinking should follow suit.

As bad examples, Carroll puts forth Jason Salavon and Idris Khan, both of whom have serious careers and a fair share of favorable reviews. Instead, he blesses the technology/art mix of Christopher Baker, the work of Martjin Hendriks, and art blogs like spiritsurfers.net. I’m not sure I agree with his split between “good” art and “bad” here. Is this just one critic’s take?

As I prefer to work quickly, and would rather be done than let a piece drag on, I have often wondered and worried about this. To compensate, I produce in quantity, and hope to find a bit of quality in what I do. Or, I’ll have several projects on the go and bounce between them. Eventually, I find pieces that I’m happy with. That’s been true since before I worked digitally, though.

The point that contemplation is not keeping up to the speed of the digital age is a good one. Thinking, mulling, coming up with options — these take time, not split-seconds. Does this mean that procrastination makes for better art? If the amount of thought behind the piece is what counts, what happens to serendipity?

One Comment Add yours

  1. Liz says:

    Aha! It’s not how long it took, it’s how we answer the question! According to this interesting post… http://artistsjournal.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/how-long-did-it-take-you-to-paint-that/

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