quinta-feira, 10 de julho de 2008

My métier is a medium

That everyone agrees that Design is an artistic métier is widely unquestionable. But when we discuss about what distinguishes the Design praxis from other artistic expressions or from Art itself, it becomes rather controverse.

First of all, artists and humans are, generaly speaking, narcissists. In spite of this being a really interesting subject, we prefer to be right than being truthful. With this pointed out and assimilated, we can now see the random shooting of arguments and connect them to the human ego.

Well, I believe that Design is purely another artistic medium. For those who are used to this latin word, it still may sound confusing. "When you refer medium, do you mean a pencil or a canvas?", yes, I do - but not in a physical way.

Like a piece of paper, clay, a canvas or a screen - and the list goes on - any artistic medium has inherit characteristics, and these are the ones that makes the medium identifiable. So, as the canvas is to the painter, Painture, Sculpture, Design, Arquitecture and other artistic métiers are for Art. That's why Design is easily inside the Arts' paradigm.

The boundaries question is a lot more complicated. As for any Art's medium media (canvas, paper, and so on) it's not that easy. Just because there is paint on a canvas, it doesn't means that it is painture. In fact, it can be sculpture. And I'm not talking about modulating ink into a 3D form, that could be painture. I am talking about intension.

If the artist is concerned, on a 2D surface, about the way that piece is interacting with space, that is sculpture. And if a designer is concerned how typographic elements can form an image, he is doing illustration, not typography. But in other hand, when he is concerned on how a particular glyph is shaped inside that illustration, he is on a typographic ride.

So, and this is nothing new - Nelson Goodman already exemplified it with genius -, the question "what is Design" or any other métier in the Arts, is wrong. There are no wrong answers, only bad questions and much, much worse interpretative minds. The question "when?", "in which universe?", "in which culture?" or "in what sense or scope?", seem a lot better.