The Gifted Blog

September 10, 2012

Art as Social Action | Why We Make

I write The Gifted Blog because I love to create, and I've been reflecting on what it means to love making things. I hope this series will be a jumping-off point for thoughtful discussion among us. For the whole series, click here.
Art is not only a form of action, it is a form of social action. For art is a type of communication, and when it enters the environment it produces its effects just as any other form of action does.  - Mark Rothko

I found the quote above in The Artist's Reality: Philosophies of Art. What struck me is the idea of art as a type of communication. It doesn't just sit there, it says something.

Though there are undeniable differences between a Rothko and a wrapped gift, I do love that the act of creating communicates. I find gift wrapping so satisfying because I get to communicate my care for the people I give gifts to! It's a 'social action', to use a phrase from the quote.

Do you think art is a type of communication? When's the last time someone's creation spoke to you?

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{Image of Yellow and Orange, 1949 by Mark Rothko via MOCA}

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