From the historical perspective, Art and Designs have played significant roles: for instance, they were used for communicating past occurrences and aesthetic appeal. In relation to designs, one can argue that in the neoclassical time, they belonged to the real masterpieces of art because early human generation used designs on caves and stones to transmit information. Therefore, such designs were conveyed various meanings and interpretations; hence, they are mysterious for the art critics.
Art and Designs as an Discipline
However, in the prehistoric time, cave designs were among the ways of communication and expression of thoughts. Humans found it necessary to make designs by painting animals, plants and signs in caves. In such a way, art and designs is an important discipline because it reflects the cultural attributes that an individual may exhibit.
Artwork is important in maintaining the cultures of different individuals in the society. It is also important in the preservation of culture. The study of arts and designs has significantly evolved in the course of time. This study has spread to other parts of the world through the notion of transcultural exchange.
Transcultural exchange is the way a distinct society in the world transmits their culture from one region to another. This has occurred as a result of globalization, which has become one of the trending topics of discussion today. Transcultural exchange has also been exhibited in the field of artwork in that people exchange their cultures from one dominated area to another. The most specific area where transcultural exchange has been witnessed is the African counties and other countries in the north of the continent.
Conspicuously, the early Man used cave designs and paintings to record and store historical information because he believed that caves were safe. Some of the records that characterized the designs included their history, customs, habits, and events of the time. Most information about what used to happen and the kind of animals, plants, and portraits of people were found in caves. Animals were the most wide-spread designs during the ancient times. Apart from animals and plants, one could see the designs with human figures although not many. The most famous cave design is “The Dead Man” in Lascaux. It is worth mentioning that instead of the normal human face appearance, the men had a bird’s face, but with the human body. The ancient people were very superstitious that is why they did not want to paint a human face as they believed that it could take the soul. However, in the neoclassical responses to Antiquity, contemporary artists use designs to express emotions and beauty rather than telling historical aspects.
Aby Warburg’s assimilation of Native American culture into rhetoric art of history in Germany explains clearly the concept of cultural exchange. He is an art historian who best exemplifies the concept of transcultural exchange. Edward Steichen’s travelling exhibition “The family man” is also an exhibition of the true transcultural exchange. The most dominant artworks that best characterize the tendency of these two artisans include photography, paints and preservation of artifacts in the museums. These three artworks clearly show that the concept of cultural exchange is real according to the two artists.
For example, in line with photography, numerous concepts with culture may be transmitted from one generation to the next. Photography is well explained by Edward Steichen’s work as a true concept to reaffirm the domination of the western culture. Most of the cultural activities within the population of the west are preserved through photography because it was invented and first presented in the west countries. Photography has dominated the culture in the western countries because it is not only done as a way to preserve culture, but it is considered as a way to explore nature.
Painting is another artwork, which affirms dominant western conceptions of historical precedent and influence. The art of painting was exploited by both Warburg and Steichen. In their work, both of them expressed the importance of painting in doing artistic work to preserve culture and also to ensure that there is transcultural exchange. Painting has been an essential way of transferring cultures from one individual to another because it dominated in most countries in the ancient times. Most studies in history affirm that individuals used paintings to share their cultures. Therefore, painting is one of the artistic works that exhibits the tendency of transcultural exchange in line with the field of arts and designs.
In addition to paintings and photography, the storage of artifacts in the museums has been another dominant way of preservation of cultures that different people from different countries have. Museums have been always known to be places where the people preserve their culture. The artworks that are preserved within the museums have been deeply studied by Warburg. Steichen also has tried to talk about the importance of artworks in the museums. In most cases, museums have promoted transcultural exchange through the concept of travel and tourism. Generally, people travel from one region to another to explore these areas: in the process of travelling, they explore areas of cultural preservation in these regions in the process of exploration cultural exchange become dominated.
In line with museums, the domination of western concept of historical precedence is counteracted because from time in memorial, that the majority of people who travel from one region to another have been mainly those from the west who tend to explore the cultures in the southern countries. During this process, cultural exchange takes place. However, there has been a little irony in the fact that the people in the southern countries are the ones who explore the cultures from the people in the west instead of the people from the west taking the ideas of the southern countries’ culture. In addition to that, the travelling of people from the western countries to the southern countries is seen as a way of maintaining the spirit of adventure rather than ensuring that there is transcultural exchange within these two regions of the world. Thus, the concept of transcultural exchange is very important and should be considered as an equal concept in the sectors of artwork and the study of arts and designs.
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In Krauss’s essay of photographic conditions of surrealism, there are two terms, which are used to differentiate paintings and drawings from photographs. She considers paintings and drawings as icons while photographs as indexes. According to her, paintings and drawings are icons because they usually give a representation of something. While on the other hand, she considers photography as an index because a photograph clearly manifests it and discloses the real characters in the photographs.
In regard to cave designs during the Renaissance period, it is necessary to say that they are the most ancient kinds of artwork. They were created during the Old Stone Age or the Paleolithic Era. Without a doubt, every cave design had its meaning, and it was not a mere senseless picture. In addition, the designs attracted different interpretations depending on the issue that the artist wanted to display. These cave designs were created under the influence of the way of life, changes in nature, everyday activities, traditions, customs and beliefs of the ancient people making them important for the current generation as people have always tried to understand history. Some of the cave art and designs were ambiguous and provoked different points of view and interpretations from people who viewed them later, but the original artists had clear understanding of the concept he/she wanted to portray.
Looking at some of the works covered in the course, most people can concur with the ideas that are supported by Rosalind about the distinction of paintings and drawings from indexes. Being considered as icons, paintings and drawings are a significant definition because in most cases, they give the exact symbol of what is there. It means that a painting is used to represent and symbolize a figure, which exists but has not yet manifested itself.
On the other hand, photography is considered an index because the main aim of photography is to show icons, which manifest themselves in the real world. People often use photography to show the exact evidence of the existence of a sample: for example, a person may decide to use photographs to show evidence of an event or an occurrence. This has resulted in its description as an index.
Some of the artistic works that prove that paintings and drawings are icons are the images that represent pictures of animals as well as individuals in their home settings. Most of these paintings are currently preserved in places such as museums and national parks. These paintings and drawings usually symbolize an important event in history, and therefore, they become icons. Most of these paintings are also used to remember some important historical events.
Along with that, paintings and drawings are given the name icon because they are done manually in contrast to photographs, which cannot be produced manually. Paintings and drawings may also be produced through imaginations. A person may conceive an image, and in turn, this image will be used as a symbol of either an event or a situation. In Rosalind Krauss’s essay “The Photographic Conditions of Surrealism,” there is a direct explanation of why the name icon best fits the paintings and drawings.
Photography is considered as one of the most recent artistic works that were introduced by new technologies. It is not done manually and hence produced through the use of machinery. Branding the term photography to be an index is important because the images presented in the photos are real. Being considered real, a photography means that there is a direct similarity between the object and the image.
Rosalind Krauss’s using technically and sociological terms in the field of arts shows that works done in arts are complex. Therefore, the complexities of the art works are a necessary concept in the field of art and design in explaining the reasons why people use symbols. The artworks covered such as music may fall under the category of indexes, and written books may fall under the category of icons. Music is considered as an icon, especially when it is electronically produced, and the images are displayed through the use of improved technology. Books may be used as icons because in most cases, the authors try to illustrate a certain situation that has happened in the real society, or a situation that is imaged to happen given the conditions that are displayed by the authors of the books.
Therefore, the two terms explain the complexity that is peculiar for the study of arts and designs. Different artworks are also linked to the use of icons and indexes. These artworks can be described as icons if they are made manually that is by using hands, and they can be described as indexes if they are made through the use of electronic processes. This has ensued as the result of the emerging use of new technologies whereby technology is considered an important part in the artwork.
Dematerialization of art is a complex concept in the study of arts and designs because it does not consider some artworks to be essential in the society. The concept of dematerialization evolved with the emerging of globalization and new technologies in the world. Especially in line with the new technologies that have been present, people prefer storing their artworks in the the majority of recently developed devises such as computer and other storage machines rather than keeping them in preserved places.
This research supposes that the prehistoric people painted animals because they were important for existence. Animals could bring luck at a hunting scene. The ancient people could paint the animals on the walls of caves for documenting their hunting at that time and to inform the future generation. As it is known, the main activity of the prehistoric people was hunting, and for this reason, animals were the main objects of their attention. Without a doubt, they painted only natural objects as nature was divine for them. Sharp tools and spears were their main “brushes”. The color was created with the help of charcoal, soot, clay or berries. Everything that was natural, from sticks, hair, moss and leaves to hollow bones, was applied in creating this cave art. In addition, the cave designs warned the new generation about the dangers that certain animals, such as beasts posed to humanity, and showed the best hunting techniques when countering such animals. This is not the case with the neoclassical responses to Antiquity as the latter no longer consider using animals in design important. The neoclassical artists focus on designing objects to educate the public or create aesthetic appeal.
Some artworks, which are being dematerialized, include the traditional music and artifacts, paintings and museums. According to some arguments, dematerializing these will be of benefit, but in the real sense, such kind of dematerialization is similar to killing the concept of culture, which exists in the society today. Traditional music and artifacts are being dematerialized taking into consideration the fact that people prefer storing these by means of special software rather than playing it over and over. In the past, some equipment that was being used to play the traditional music is now not being considered important because either they can be improvised through the software or the real music is saved. Others dematerialize artworks such as the traditional artifacts, which were used in the past. With the development of new technologies, some people will prefer to use software to store the images of these artifacts rather than using and storing them in places where they can be seen. Others argue that storing these artifacts will not be of benefit because technology has introduced new artifacts, which are more advanced and more effective and efficient as compared to the ones that were being used in the past.
Another art, which is being dematerialized, is paintings. The reason for this is the development of software for computers, which can create paintings rather than using the traditional methods of painting. These traditional methods of painting are now being dematerialized because they are considered to be not important. There are very few agencies, which deal with paintings, and therefore, they become very expensive for people to apply to them. Using software, which creates paintings directly, is considered very effective and beneficial to each and every individual rather than the manual paintings, which is believed to be time consuming. People will prefer doing things that will save their time; therefore, they will consider using the software and dematerialize their paintings. Making the use of paintings to become dormant has numerous effects on the preservation of artwork because most people will not consider them of general importance. Therefore, this calls for professionals in arts and designs to reconsider their positions and ensure that this artistic work is not dematerialized. Paintings are also being replaced with photography thus relieving people from problems while considering dematerializing them from the arts.
Areas of preserving artworks are also under the threat of being dematerialized. The number of museums where cultural artifacts are being stored has been reduced, and slowly, they are being dematerialized. This clearly indicates that if considerations are not made, these places will become extinct. People argue that these museums have no much benefit to individuals; thus, dematerializing them will not bring much harm. In addition to that, others think that these places take much space, which can be used for other activities within a particular region. Dematerialization of museums will lead to a great threat within the field of arts and designs because majorly, they are the only places that serve for storing cultural artifacts.
The concept of dematerialization of arts is very complex because different people have their own views on why arts should be dematerialized. Dematerialization of arts has very few benefits and a great number of disadvantages because there is no benefit in dematerializing arts. Even though improved technology has played an essential role in explaining the reason of dematerialization of arts, still there is no valid justification why some arts should cease to exist. Music and cultural artifacts are important, and their existence in the society should not be considered to be null and void.
Most of the conventions of photography have been reinvented as a means of exploring the notions of subjectivity of the interwar period by the female photographers of the 1920s and the 1930s. These conventions were raised up in the picture again so as to ensure that the opinions of the female photographers during that time were brought into the limelight. Examples of women photographers during the period of interwar include Emma Belle who actively worked in the period between 1907 and 1925; she was interested in artwork including painting and photography. Most of her works were handmade. Anne Wadrope devoted her time to photography between 1894 and 1933. She was mostly involved in fine arts and pictorology. Laura May was another female photographer during the period during 1899-1930; she mainly participated in photographic salons, and Abigail Cadzo during 1897-1936 was a commercial photographer who mainly participated in storage of photo galleries. Most of these women are considered to be important figures in the development of photography.
One of the reasons why these conventions were reinvented was to try and understand the motifs that these female photographers had in the first place. The roles these feminists played in the development of photography were very essential, and their contribution to photography is considered to be great. Therefore, this led to the reinvention of the conventions of photography so as to analyze what women can do if they become fully integrated in the field of arts and designs and not only in photography.
The convention was reinvented through holding mass campaigns in the study of arts. Holding mass campaigns was also important because these campaigns made people aware of the existence of these conventions. In addition to that, holding mass campaigns was a way of showing that the female photographers have important roles to play in the field of arts and designs. In addition, mass campaigns about the photographers were important because they helped bring the agenda of female photography to the forefront.
Along with that, the conventions were reinvented through integration of the events that led to the development of these conventions in the study of arts and designs. Most people currently study arts and designs, and during their study, they must be taught about the conventions that were developed during the interwar campaigns lead by the female photographers. Studying the interwar campaigns is a way of bringing back the conventions in the picture to analyze and understand them.
The conventions were also reinvented through the use of fine arts meaning that most of the discussions in the conventions were to be related through the use of mass media but in line with arts. Most of the activities that took place were transmitted through media for people to be aware of what happened during the conventions.
Another reason why these conventions were considered to play an important role is the fact that they helped understand the subjectivity. During the period of the interwar, most of these women became subjective only to the things, which they considered to be right. To restore calmness, conventions were made, but they were not being followed to the later; hence, this hindered most women into participating in creative work, especially in photography.
After forming these conventions and affecting them, they tended to be effective. First of all, the conventions presented the interwar period; in addition to that, the conventions ensured that there was equality in the area of photography. This showed that the conventions had a great number of advantages, which were to be considered. Comparing the advantages and the disadvantages of these conventions is essential.
Reestablishing the existence of the conventions of photography should be considered because it makes people become aware of the importance of studying photography in arts and designs. In addition, drawing attention to conventions of photography is important because it enables individuals to be aware that women also played a big role in the development of photography as an art. Such aspects as commercial photography and using galleries to improve photography were developed by women who were active figures in the in the sphere of photography. During the interwar period, most women were in the forefront to ensure that their area of specialization in photography is considered in the conventions that were to be made.
In such a way, conventions of photography are important in developing photography as a sphere in arts and designs. Those people who are interested in arts and designs should be aware of these conventions because by being familiar with the requirements set by the mandates of the conventions, they will be able to ensure that photography as one of the direction of arts actively develops in the course of time and people still consider it to be a part of arts and designs.
Arts and designs is an important area in social sciences. For this reason, all the activities within this area should be performed in a way that affects the community positively. A great number of people have contributed much to arts and designs, and these people should be considered important for this sphere to continue developing. Considerations should also be made on the people who influence the study of arts and designs. Cultural exchange should be because of great concern as it helps individuals to focus on how to promote arts and designs. This means that each and every individual has a role to play in ensuring that art and designs develops.