Do you ever wonder about 1,000 years into the future?
I have sat through my fair share of art history courses, enough that they’re giving me a minor in it. This semester I have found myself wondering what archeologists and art historians will think when they unearth our art. I imagine the whole slew of crazy art that I have seen, and I imagine them wondering what kinds of deities we worshipped, or trying to conjure up purposes for many craft works. There is literally so much art and craft out there that I wonder what will be preserved to speak of our culture in the future. Much of it is art for art’s sake; instead of local artisans creating all the sculptures for the king, or chiseling out calendars and stelae full of historical moments, people make things because they like to, because it is a release, because of expression of ideas or feelings. Everything has a concept. Will those concepts be remembered after hundreds of years? Will they understand everything they find? Especially ceramics and other materials that don’t decompose so easily…there’s a lot of weird stuff out there. And unlike other cultures where their items served a purpose, our items are often purposeless save the conceptual ties. Our art culture is much more geared towards ideas rather than records of history.
I often wonder what movements they will classify us under. Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Modernism, Post-Modernism…but what comes after all of those? What will we be called? No doubt there will be tens and twenties of various categories and sub-categories branching off from one another.
The thought that really boggles me though is just how much art there is by now (and we are constantly making more). There is an innumerable amount of objects in art history already, but just imagine all of the art we have made in the past century being uncovered and analyzed. There will be SO MUCH for people to find. This is what I think about when someone mentions how very little craft there is within art history. “There’s not enough craft in history. Craft is important. It IS!” Same goes for women artists. “There are not enough women artists in the history of art. I am appalled!”
Don’t you get it? You are making the history. This has been a golden era in which an explosion of craft has occurred. Also, most of the artists I find and am inspired by today are women; there seems to be no lack of them now. I am sure it is directly related to feminism’s rise in importance and the ideas and concepts which flow from that. I think the questions many art critics and historians have been asking about the lack of women and the lack of craft in the art world are being solved and answered right now. We may not have figured out every answer so far, but I do believe we are currently in a history-making movement in which we will continue establishing what will be found in future art history books. Just imagining what art history will include in the future is, to me, quite mind-blowing.