Manifesto of What I Believe Art Is

To define design is simple, and yet complex. It can be compared to the fact that all thumbs are fingers but not all fingers are thumbs. You cannot simplify what design is, and in doing so would be senseless. Everything is designed, whether you believe in intelligent design theory or evolution. Just like we cannot define beauty, but we know it when we see it, we cannot say what art is. To try and put art and design into a set definition would be like caging an elephant in a 4cmᶟ box. It is impossible. The differences between what art is, and is not are great, but revolve around normative statements. One cannot define what art is, but we can look into our own personal feeling toward something.

To label something can be both helpful, but also can be seen as a death sentence. For this reason, I cannot define myself as an artist, designer, illustrator, philosopher or critic. If you wanted to look at what I am from the facts, I am an academic in a world of nebulae. I am a grounded person who sees, analyses and then continues, looking at the bigger picture whilst pinpointing the intricate.

Most people think that education can ruin the creative mind, but in my eyes it can open your eyes so much more. Without academia, one cannot be expected to problem solve artistically and with integrity. Art and design can be very controversial, but cannot afford to be dysphemistic, after all, there is a fine line between art and pornography and vulgarity. One needs to know the rules before one can try and push the boundaries. Even a child knows that.

All artists wear several hats and cannot just wear the one that says ‘artist’. If they do, then it would be as career killing as a ‘kick me’ sign. Not only are we artists, but we are the listener, the dreamer, the philosopher, the activist, the eye opener, the head turner, the critic, the speaker for those who are afraid, the day maker, the middle man, the creator, the architect, the hope, the definer of beauty, the designer of ugly, the employee, the manager, the individual, the hope, the entertainer, the man behind the curtain, the narrator and so much more. Art and design have the same hats. Their main hat however is to cause reaction.

All art and design must have a purpose or it is not art. Without purpose, nothing could exist. If you wanted to label the box that you want to attempt to confine in a definition for art and design in, you could label it ‘purpose’.

Manifesto Re-Written

During the first of a short lecture programme, we were taught about manifestos. We were given an example, which was “I am for an Art” by Claes Oldenburg, which can be found here. As a response to this, we were told to write our own form of the manifesto poem, keeping the same structure. Here is my attempt:

I am for the design of simplicity

I am for the design of the complex

I am for the design of intrigue and wonder

I am for the design of innocence

I am for the design of the explicit

I am for the design that pushes the boundaries

I am for the design of new boundaries

I am for the design of the new world

I am for the design of the rebirth of styles

I am for the design of imagination

I am for the design of remakes

I am for the design of gimmicks

I am for the design for the masses

I am for the design for the mere self

I am for the design of expressionism

I am for the design of maps of knowledge

I am for the design of dreams

I am for the design of the future

I am for the design of the ridiculous

I am for the design of sensibility

I am for the design of passion

I am for the design of work

I am for the design of intrigue

I am for the design of essentials

I am for the design of sensory needs

I am for the design of wide eyes

I am for the design of practicalities

I am for the design of envy

I am for the design of want

I am for the design of desire

I am for the design of manufactured desire

I am for the design of the practical

I am for the design of the non essential

I am for the design of the norm

I am for the design of the extraordinary

I am for the design of life’s visual content

I am for the design of beauty

I am for the design of ugly

I am for the design of harsh reality

I am for the design of dirty little secrets

I am for the design of the unspoken words

I am for the design of utterances

I am for the design of the people on your shoulders defining right and wrong

I am for the design of persuasion

I am for the design of advertising

I am for the design of promotion

I am for the design of success

I am for the design of the middle man

I am for the design of culture

I am for the design of tourism

I am for the design of the hidden corners

I am for the design of paradise

I am for the design of hell

I am for the design of nature

I am for the design of man-made structures

I am for the design for selfishness

I am definitely for the design for the benefit of others