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Why Art?
Page created 4/1/09
The Tate Modern is a gigantic space, a bigger building than any business along the Thames - which
only one of a series of major Museums in London. Why do we pay so much attention to art?

If the world has war, wide spread drug abuse, poverty, famine, illiteracy, criminality and lack of
morality - why do we spend so much money and time on paintings and sculpture?

The reason that Michael Jackson is still front cover of many newspapers, over a week after his death
is the same reason not only is it right that we put so much attention on the arts, but why we must
increase it - The Awesome Power of Art.

Through communication one can solve anything. What did Michael Jackson communicate?: It doesn't
matter if your black or white, heal the world, start with the man in the mirror etc. It is communication
alone that will enable us to fix any of the problems I mention at the start of this note. Communication
between nations prevents war, communication about the dangers of drugs and about how to solve
problems prevents drug abuse, etc.

On top of this art has the power to gain acceptance of its message above any form of communication.
If a message is put out with force attached to it - like a government message on tax - one finds that
people react against it. If a conservative message, for example by a company as a new policy, is
promoted one will find that message may find agreement but it's not likely to have very strong power.
But when an artist puts a message out with a high aesthetic form its power of influence is unparalleled.

As an example in the movie Independence Day Will Smith smokes a lot of cigars - that was product
placement by the cigar companies. Because he was so cool and had such an aesthetic persona in the
movie - the sales of cigars worldwide went through the roof. There was no force or constant drumming
in of a message - it was very light - Will Smith made it look cool to smoke cigars and people copied
him.

A message, when communicated aesthetically, has exceptional power. Artists hold the major influence
over society. Through art society is shaped in terms of our behaviour, our morals, our hopes and
dreams. Through our behaviours and morals, or lack of them, comes the negative situations earlier
mentioned - war, criminality etc. Our hopes and dreams determine all of our actions - our goals are
what motivate everything we do.

Artists are the creators of society’s dreams. That is a magnificent power and therefore carries giant
responsibility. Through the creation of art we shape society so my advice to all artists is - consider
your effect with what you make. Do not allow yourself to be influenced by the degradation of society
and add to it. Use your art to enlighten and enrich. Your effect is much greater than you might think.
Use it to create a New Renaissance!

This note was much inspired by the essay - "The Goal of The Artist" in the book "
Science of Survival"
by
L. Ron Hubbard.

Copyright Fraser Kee Scott '09                             Click here for list of other works by Fraser Kee Scott on my site!
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