Is it cheating?

Since being at the school there have been a few stand out lessons that have stuck in my head more so than others. One of these has come from a lesson taught fairly early on in the course. Be interested to be interesting. The idea of this is the more you look to the outside world for inspiration the more it will benefit you when it comes to creating yourself. In this SCAB, I would like to talk about my most recent form of inspiration. I normally use Youtube as a platform for quick entertainment that I can watch to unwind. However, recently I discovered the engineering side of Youtube and I am blown away with what is being achieved by creators in this space. For instance, this video:

Immediately after watching this video, I must admit I wasn’t as enthusiastic about it as I am now. My initial reaction to the man building a robot to create art seemed like it was cheating “Anyone can make art if they had a machine to do it for them”. It was only after some more reflection that I realised just how naive it was to believe this. So much so I want to put myself on blast in the hopes of teaching myself a lesson. Silly Odysseus, don’t do that again!

Why do I now consider this thought naive? Firstly, It ignores the massive amount of creativity, intelligence and dedication that it would have taken to create the robot in the first place. Secondly, the build in the video is essentially just a larger and cooler version of a standard printer. I studied Graphic Design for 5 years before coming to the SCA and a large amount of this time consisted of me creating digital work, printing it out and slapping it on a wall. I had no problem with this but yet when I saw the same concept being done in a far more creative fashion, I considered it cheating? I can’t tell you why I initially thought this but for me, it hands itself to another key lesson I have learnt while being at the SCA, the importance of reflecting when looking at our own and others’ ideas.

I would like to end this SCAB by asking the same question I asked myself while watching the video. If a person creates a machine that makes art for them, are they still to be considered the artist?


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