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Redefining art #culturematters

It’s  Sunday morning so once again I’ll allow you into the dustiest corners of my mind and share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? Well I didn’t have a great week but continued to research my art project and write notes. I’m not quite sure what I’m trying to achieve. I want images that people can relate to and so how do I find out what people will relate to? I think the answer is social media. I can post images and see if people like them. Simple, eh? It won’t be a very good test of what they like because some people will see the images on their mobile phones and some will see them at 72 dpi on their computers. I want them to see the images at 300 dpi as large prints. I think I have to redefine art.

redefine art

Redefining art

I have to redefine art for my particular audience. If I include music in with my art then it has to be music that appeals to my audience too. There was a bit of discussion about music on Facebook recently  when people objected to the singer coming to entertain us at the Christmas lights switch-on. The music is going to have a broad appeal rather than just appealing to the young, the old or some particular genre. It is a family event and so the music has to appeal to have broad appeal. We are also getting a well-known singer for free! How do I make my images have broad appeal? Well the songs this singer will sing will be songs people will recognise and tap their feet to. I need to do the same sort of things and create images that people will recognise and identify with but also appreciate. Perhaps, images like the one above? I need to do something different and redefine art.

Social media

Social media is all about content – words, pictures and video. I produce content and so social media is something I’m quite good at. I’m also getting quite good at predicting how the Facebook algorithm will behave. I hope when I’m ready to start spreading the word about my art project I can do it with social media and so I am on a fast learning curve to try to better understand the Facebook algorithm and I’m trying to get into Twitter and Instagram too. Instagram is still a bit of a mystery but I’m beginning to get used to it.


Commonality if it is appreciated leads to social cohesion. If people see they have something in common whether it is history, art or their geographical location it give them a sense of community and belonging. There is a sense of belonging as people adopt the latest trends in an effort to find their niche. I have noticed people adopting fashion in their choice of clothing, hair styles and the decoration of their bodies. These things are important parts of their culture. They aren’t really important to me but I do need to pay attention to them. These are the people I need to photograph as well as the people who have chosen not to conform. The nonconformists are a lot more interesting. Some people prefer to be different and even social outcasts. They are the artists, poets and the great British eccentrics. They choose to be different. They might choose to live on a narrowboat or maybe spend all their days pottering around an allotment. They are the nonconformists.

Redefine art

I need  to redefine art and my new definition needs to include all these people. The conformists and the nonconformists. There are a few people who are both, they are conformists in the sense they fit into society and abide by the rules but at the same time they stand out from the crowd. The current Mayor of Sandwell is such a person. He stands out not just because he wears a mayoral chain but because he takes some pride in what he is doing and speaks with honesty and passion. I might include him in my art project if I can get a decent picture.

To redefine art in this way won’t be easy and my biggest problem will be working with other people. I plan to take many of the photos from a distance because candid shots often exposes the real person at least for a moment in time. A facial expression in that split second can expose a quiet sense of humour or an evil streak and I have seen both and many more expressions driven by guarded inner thoughts.

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