Exercise 2: Twenty-four hours of text
I compiled a list of everything I’ve read, written, seen or heard over the last 24 hours.
So, what makes writing art?
I brainstormed this, too, and ended up with far more questions than answers.
Feeling stuck and as advised, I ended up referring to my notes from Part One, where we looked at how to define “art” more generally, and where I referenced Grayson Perry’s lectures about how to recognize (especially contemporary) art when you encounter it.
Text feels even more evasive, as it appears almost everywhere, and today there are so many self-publishing apps and platforms. I guess it comes down to using the word “art” or “artist” with reference to one’s production and vocation, respectively, and then having the contextual pieces (an agent, publishing house or platform, audience) in place to support that.
Or perhaps I’ve gotten it all wrong and text becomes art when we manipulate it to behave unexpectedly, as in the computer-generated or “emergent” texts Hazel Smith mentions in her paper on “new media writing”. Perhaps finely-wrought personal essays, novels, short stories, poems or podcasts are examples of the craft of storytelling, and writing is truly “art” when it’s employed by self-defined artists, within an art context, in the making of works of “art,” as opposed to literature.