Fabricate

DEFINITION

In general, to make; to create. Often more specifically, to construct or assemble something.Some artists have relegated parts or all of their works' fabrication to others. Examples include Sol LeWitt, Vito Acconci, Laurie Anderson, Gilbert and George, Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, numerous printmakers (artists working with master printers), and sculptors of especially large or technically demanding works. At what point does the artist stop being the artist if responsibilities for fabrication are either shared or delegated entirely? How do we gauge the quality as well as authorship of a work which is fabricated partly or entirely by people other than the artist? Consider the authorship of motion pictures. Remember the endless credits rolling past at the end of every film. What enormous collaborative efforts they typically are! We experience them less intimately than we do most gallery pieces. Nevertheless they are (or can be) works of art. Who's the artist? (If you think only of paintings, sculptures, etc. by individual artists, you get into the mindset that something is art only if it's the product of a lone maker. What lone artist can actually be considered entirely apart from his society [context], however influential or removed that society is?) Looking at movie credits, we begin to assign artistic authorship by reading the job titles or descriptions. As in these filmic examples of creative visual art making, there doesn't have to be just one means of assessing credit. But if a gauge must be found, go for one that measures the decision-making: Who made what choices, for what reasons, how well, etc.? While craftsmanship is a highly significant issue, it's not so important who held the tools as who decided what the tools will do . . . what content, what composition with what materials, what shapes, colors, textures, sizes, etc., to what standards of craftsmanship? An artist can be an artist as a writer, as a director, as an actor, as a musician, etc. We enjoy our terms having relatively stable meanings on the one hand, but our awareness of their mutability is among the most delightful aspects of our enjoyment of the arts!Also see assemblage, carve, cast, creativity, form, manufacture, model, and mold.

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