We always discuss art and design manifestos, and I just came across "The Fixer's Manifesto" (offered by Sugru, a company which makes a "moudable glue"--very cool!). The manifesto applauds the ability to mend make an object last longer. I love the declaration that "A fixed thing is a beautiful thing."
|Part of The Fixer's Manifesto (by Sugru)|
I'm not at all handy. I find a way to destroy almost every box I open, and sequential assembly does not come naturally to me. When I was younger, I was notoriously awful at the "spatial relations" and "mechanical reasoning" sections of aptitude tests--my brain just isn't inclined to put stuff together.
However, I absolutely value good design and objects that are meaningful and long-lasting. And even the smallest of repairs or tweaks can change the way we interact with things--a sweater becomes the sweater with the buttons that you lovingly replaced; tarnish can be rubbed from silver.
Adapting this rule as an artist is slightly trickier. I don't think that every poem I draft deserves to be "fixed," although many require a new button or a little superglue. A poem is not a "product," exactly; it doesn't solve a specific problem or need. However, a poem is a thing--a thing that the maker or user (reader?) might not need or use in the same way over time.
Is obsolescence an issue when it comes to art? (There's an art gallery in L.A.that I love called Obsolete). I lean toward saying that it is...but I don't know that we're burdened with the same ethical concerns that designers are in this regard.
What do you think about all this, friends?