As I’ve written before, the job of the poet is to say something transcendent and universal about the human condition – in no fewer or more words than are needed. It’s the liberating, inclusive and motivating definition of poetry from Aristotle.
And I think it applies to the other arts too – no fewer or more brushstrokes, musical notes, dance steps and now maybe pixels.That’s why I like s[edition]art the new digital art marketplace.
I bought a Damien Hirst (a piece is to the left) on Thursday. Number 54 of a limited edition of 10,000. I have a digital certificate of ownership which says so. Talking about it to an expert in visual arts on Friday, she asked me why? Why bother, why pay, what’s the attraction, what’s to stop people copying them, is it just a scam?
I think it’s similar to the way Aristotle has changed my views on charity. It’s not about being ‘seen’ to give – that’s Aristotle’s virtue of magnificence. Charity is the entirely personal internal feeling of doing the right thing – connecting with a cause and doing something about it, however small.
I think that’s why digital art works for me. It involves some appreciation, some choosing, some discernment, connecting and empathising with the artist and personally recognising – in a small way – the value of their art.
As I said to another arts expert on Friday, I think the ‘art of life’ lies in developing and exploring ‘relevant complexity’ – intricacies which embroider existence, refine judgement and develop character. For art, walking a gallery is one way. Browsing and buying in a virtual one is another.
£7.50 is a small price to pay in recognition of an artist’s attempt at a statement on the human condition. I think Digital art – along with digital poetry – is here to stay.