Hara Response

What I’m getting from this essay is that Art, or in our case design, is intrinsically linked with history. The phrase “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life” from Oscar Wilde comes to mind. One can’t exist without the other. Art allows us to express ourselves and speak out against injustices in the world and life provides us with motivation and inspiration for art.  

Hara touched on a really important subject when it comes to the distribution and availability of art throughout history. Before the invention of the printing press and crude factory machines “art” was produced by hand by master craftsmen that spent their entire life’s perfecting their craft. With the introduction of mass production and industrialization created this massive new school of thought. No longer would it take months of tireless crafting and shaping to produce a new piece of furniture instead a factory could produce hundreds in a month. Scribes would no longer have to spend months transcribing texts for a single recipient instead the printing press could produce a library in half the time.  

The availability of information and art skyrocketed within months. With things like the Printing Press Martin Luther’s reformation of the church wouldn’t have been possible. The 95 Theses would have been torn down and forgotten, the bibles German translation would never have been publicized. Religion as we know it and by extension art might be completely different to what we have today. Only can we consider mass produced works to be art? Are the first books produced by the Printing Press comparable to the beauty and penmanship of hand transcribed texts of old? Where is the line in the sand drawn? 

People keep pushing for newer and better without appreciating what came before. Through the creation of new mediums, we move farther and farther from our roots. We create fantastic and mindboggling things the human brain can barely comprehend. Ones and zeros come together to for images and texts for us to appreciate and we do but we don’t understand it. You can sit in front of a screen for hours at a time but when asked to explain how it works most people will just stare at you like you asked them to build a rocket from scratch. Granted a rocket is a bit extreme but most people nowadays can’t even draw their own face. We appreciate art but can no longer produce its most simple forms without the assistance of some sort of machine.  

As humans we have created a power vacuum in creativity and filled the void with machines. In our quest for new and amazing horizons we’ve ignored the fact that we won’t be able to cross the first ocean we come across. Essentially just because its new doesn’t mean it’s better. Infact as a society we have created a perception that nothing can ever be new. We see the past as a barrier to overcome not a resource to learn from.  People always say that if we don’t learn history is doomed to repeat itself if we don’t learn from it but that way of thinking is very limited. We shouldn’t be afraid of our past mistakes instead we should grow and learn from them.  

Art is the same way, if we ignore it we gain nothing, if we continually push for the future we fall farther behind. We need to stop and smell the metaphorical roses. We need to stop worrying about what’s right around the corner because we might miss what’s right in front of us. Art is all about the experience and how we let it affect our perception of reality and the world around us.

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