Art and Activism

Video, as an art, should be distinguished from the uses of video, however artfully executed, in documentaries, news reporting, and other purposeful, that is, applied, arenas. ‘Art’ and ‘artful’ are separate, though linked, terms that exist to help us differentiate between what can and cannot be considered to be art. Artful techniques may enliven commercial television, advertising, etc., but these techniques are not in themselves what we would normally call art. Art lies in the intentionality of the artist: to make or conceive of something without the constraint of some other purpose. The intention of the activist videographers, no matter how artful in execution, was not to create a moment of personal expression regardless of a practical application (here an alternative to traditional news reporting). New Media in Late 20th-Century Art, Michael Rush, p. 83

This is a pretty succinct manifestation of the philosophy of art for art’s sake, which stands in opposition to the general tendency of Transnational Temps, which sees beauty in hybrid enterprises that are at once aesthetically sensitive and politically positioned against to the earth despoiling violence of war, racism, greed.