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Re: [BKARTS] craft standards, poor books



Well, Andrew, I have more of an interest in being understood than in defending any particular term, but I don't think 'rustic' is as inadequate as all that. In fact, definitions 2-5 are indeed more or less what was meant. Of course as stated (from the polished, urban, cultivated, and couth point of view) these definitions are not very positive -- but that was just the point, to draw attention to a style (not to insist on an 'aesthetic' which might be somewhat stuffy or totalizing a term) which seems to lie outside the spirit if not the norm of the present craft ideal. Or what I perceived as such -- one of the helpful outcomes of this thread for me has been to make it clear there is more diversity out there than I supposed. Anyway, given these contrary styles, the question was whether something artless, unsophisticated, rude, rough, irregular, shaggy could be dismissed as bad craftsmanship and to what extent this was  implicated in the complaints about
 poorly made books.

Yeah, probably a durable term to indicate what I mean ought to have fewer disparaging connotations despite the bias against country people which unfairly burdens 'rustic'. Though I don't much like 'natural' and 'organic' which have been debased through their use as ideological code words. As for 'digital rustic', it's laughable -- but the question it refers to is legitimate: how can a machine process which so locks beauty to functionality and which is completely intolerant of error possibly produce anything 'rustic'?

I thought the notion of charm opened up a useful strategy, as well as the practical adjurations toward authenticity, good intentions, existential courage -- it's nice to see that family of values in circulation again. Of course as critical terms these words are notoriously prickly to handle and possibly fatally personal, but...  I was listening to some Bela Fleck on the way home and reflecting on how he, and Earl Scruggs before him, transformed the banjo and opened up possibilities for the instrument nobody knew about. What change in thinking do we need for a similar casting off of limits? Or -- and this is important -- is that wrongheaded and unfair to the work now being done?

Charles

----- Original Message ----
From: Andrew Williams <pickafightbooks@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Thursday, January 3, 2008 3:55:27 PM
Subject: Re: [BKARTS] craft standards, poor books


I think the term "rustic" is not the right word to be using for what
 you are trying to acheive. Let us look at the definition of the word
 "rustic" as per Dictionary.com.

1. of, pertaining to, or living in the country, as distinguished from
 towns or cities; rural.  
2. simple, artless, or unsophisticated.  
3. uncouth, rude, or boorish.  
4. made of roughly dressed limbs or roots of trees, as garden seats.  
5. (of stonework) having the surfaces rough or irregular and the joints
 sunken or beveled.  
–noun 6. a country person.  
7. an unsophisticated country person.  


I think this a
etter term what you are trying to acheive.

This idea of 'digital rustic' you brought up is an ill defined term in
 my opinion. Although, there is a great deal of boorish computer art out
 there in the world.

Are words like - natural, organic form, decay, stone, wood, earthy -
 more what you are trying to acheive? It seems to me, if you a going
 toward pottery, which often mimics natural forms and phenomena, then these
 terms might match.

Zen is a way - not a visual aesthetic.

Try looking to the work of John Cage and how Zen influenced his work. I
 think you'll find most "Zen inspired" work will all be about
 diminishing the self - retracting the self from the realisation of that ellusive
 thing called - Art.

A.
Pickafight Books
Australia.

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             For all your subscription questions, go to the
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