Is Content Art?

Updated: Aug 24

A friend who is active on Instagram once said to me that she didn't want to just churn out content, she wanted to create art. I think maybe this was meant as a disparaging remark towards people that are frequent creators of not-so-very-good content but I think she also meant that, in her mind, there is a difference between creating content and creating art. And I think it also implies that to qualify as art, there must be some other additional, special quality, that content lacks.


In fact, to be honest with you, I am not sure exactly how we distinguish content from art nowadays. Is good content, art? But then, doesn't it follow, that bad content is also (bad!) art? Or maybe what was meant is that for content to be art, it must be artistic. But what does artistic mean? My idea of artistry, may not be yours. I may write in a rather direct and straightforward way, you may write more poetically, but we know from history that all kinds of writing styles are considered art (good art at that!) which are not really 'artistic' in their style or presentation.


I think the conclusion must be that content is art in the new age. The medium of the art has changed but that doesn't mean we are not creating art. The actual definition of art in the dictionary is 'the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.'


Surely then, by that definition, (which I am sure many scholars have argued about and debated endlessly), content we produce now, if it is touching the mind, heart or soul and is an expression of the creator's skill or imagination, is art. So, yes, not all content is art, but equally content can be art and a lot of content is art.


Another simpler definition of art is 'works produced by human creative skill and imagination.' This allows an even greater number of expressions to be categorised as art! As long as you are applying creative skill and imagination, you are producing art. As I said, these dictionary definitions, are endlessly debated by scholars and no doubt will continue to divide opinion, because, for example, I can imagine a time when art is machine-made. At that point, will it not be art because it lacks the human component? I doubt it, because the definition of what constitutes art is always changing, as the world moves forward.


For me personally, art must touch me emotionally for me to value it. So I am more inclined to buy into the first definition which includes the requirement for it to have 'beauty or emotional power'. But that is not everyone's opinion. Some people may only appreciate art in a very cerebral, intellectual way, but they can still appreciate it as being art.


Suffice to say, art, like beauty, lies in the eyes of the beholder, and I am inclined to believe that whether you think content is art, or not, also lies entirely up to you!


Let me know your thoughts? Is content art?


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