Saturday, 14 January 2012

The Artefact

When arguing what constitutes an authentic or true work of art we must also consider the idea of the exhibition itself. Most exhibits containing artefacts in museums were not originally intended to be viewed as works of art and tend to be objects that were created for a more practical or ornamental use. These displayed objects may still provide an aesthetic experience, for example – the visual aspect of a working model of a water pump exhibited in a physics exhibition could be compared to the auditory experience one gets when viewing the Loophonium or Harpic-phone by Fritz Spiegl.1

Multisensory experiences within art tend to be encouraged when they are part of the work, when it was the artist’s intent to provide such experiences. Multisensory experiences within artefact or science exhibits tend to be coincidental. However, if an artist were to put a working model of a water-pump in to a gallery space people could be convinced that it is in fact art, even though it wasn’t created with the purpose of being art.

1. (Accessed 4th November 2011)