01 June 2006

MakerThinker: Definition

Makerthinkers are opening new doors by asking nonverbal questions during the making process. Their thinking is physical and relationship-based, and that physical thought process is evident in their work. Makerthinkers are bottom-up. Rather than prove a concept (Serra, Ray), they investigate a set of problems (Streb, Nauman) by setting up if-then propositions. This fiddling, questioning, and active negotiation informs aesthetic choices, and becomes the meaning of the work. Makerthinkers engage in active conversation with process/physics/materials, and are not attempting to prove as much as uncover or discover.

Bruce Nauman, Finger Touch With Mirrors and Finger Touch #1


Anonymous Eric Larsen said...

Hello, Deborah Fisher. Been reading your latest and clicked to this "makerthinker" definition. Wonderful. You seem to feel that you and I are far apart on political vis a vis aesthetic questions, but I really am much less sure. Your "makerthinker" definition is almost identical--though the arts admittedly aren't the same--to my own argument in "The Death of Literary Thinking in America" about how real as opposed to phony literary art does and must get made. I really think that both you and I are talking about very much the same thing, real art as opposed to ersatz, art whose meaning is in itself as opposed to art that functions as message board. And please don't misunderstand me in assuming that my stance means that art will be, must be, or should be separate from the political life or from the bringing about of change and reform. My whole book was written because over theh past 40 years I've seen art and artists, both graphic and literary, LOSE political influence and power at very nearly the same rate they've either LOST or DISCARDED aesthetic and artistic influence and power. Anybody can disregard a message. Nobody can disregard an artwork--let's say a shocking, frighening, awesome one--whose meaning IS ITSELF and is IN ITSELF, having been created by a really, really serious Makerthinker.
Thanks again for your smart thinking, and all best--EL

22 July, 2006 09:00  

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