Saturday, August 15, 2009

The transformation of English transformation art into a solely manufactured product without a signature

The creation of a work of English transformation art, once the color schemes have been determined, is a matter of careful computer work. It is all work that follows a formula and therefore can be completely automated. Today there is general acceptance of the idea of digital art--work generated completely by a computer--and English transformation art is a cousin to that. This is the basis on which I, the artist, justify placing my signature on the work and selling it as art rather than an object solely of manufacture.

However, while the signature adds a certain value to the art it does not affect the aesthetic qualities of the art itself. Why not then operate as a manufacturer by omitting the signature and placing an imprint of a trademark on the work instead? Production of a work would in that case not require the imposition, at a key place in the manufacturing process, of the natural hand of the artist, making of the whole a manufacturing business rather than a craft business, and establishing the artist as the owner of that business with full power to hire a staff which would design systems of manufacture according to engineering standards based on the general aesthetic principle of English transformation art. The price a work produced in this manner could command would be less than the price a signed work could expect, but the labor required to produce the work, and thus its cost of production, would be less also. Profit margin would be roughly preserved and the owner of the business would be faced with business challenges rather than craft challenges.

As for the sense one would get from a manufactured item, the machine-like nature of this art is not the sort of thing that makes one look for the hand of a human author. It is the thinking up of the idea for the art, and the sharp simplicity of its expression, that impresses the viewer, not some consideration of craft, whether strongly to the technical side or strongly to the manual side. A signature speaks to craft among the general body of craftsmen while a trademark speaks to thought among the general body of thinkers. Certainly good aesthetic judgment plays a part in the formation of the business and would never be relegated to a minor role. But like other items that have been transformed by modern industrial capabilities into mass markets, to the benefit of the whole population, so would cheap English transformation art make a novel and attractive form of self-expression available to the masses at an affordable cost. Design savvy is as much a part of the industrial revolution as is engineering.

Price would depend on volume so it would be strictly conjectural what the price of manufactured English transformation art would be. Going to manufacture would only be possible if first the work proves to have a market as signed art. The first milestone was sale of one item and that has been passed. It is a new, and in a sense risky, art investment, a hurdle which every new artist faces, but made especially tricky by the somewhat intelligence-driven effectiveness of the product to make an impression on both the owner, who chooses the text and more than anyone else feels its impact, and others, who presumably have little or no investment in the text and react to the work as is in purely abstract terms. Jumping past this hurdle, especially the one of the owner, is the biggest challenge the business faces at this stage of its development.

These are the considerations that will guide the development of the business from top to bottom. Only sales and profit will prove them to have value, for the artist, for the client, and for the public at large.