Nairobits E-learning > P 4 Artists > Session 1 The social and cultural importance of art Brief overview The responsibility for the accurate documentation, display and preservation of Artwork in the 21st century is primarily determinant of the Artist’s own initiative, more than any of the players involved in the arts industry. This is so mainly due to an array of factors, even in the most currently culturally ‘judicious or advanced’ societies. Without the Artists own vanguardship in the effort to appropriate exhibition, accurate documentation and suitable preservation, there can never exist any sustained artistic development. This shortcoming is inevitable, irrespective of the number of connoisseurs, galleries, museums, critics, theorists, intellectuals, or even artists themselves. In the wake of fast moving developments in global information & communication technology, multimedia & interactive applications have gained increasing importance, not only as tools for documentation and/or presentation, but also as an independent medium in art-making. Even as global events continuously increase their pace due to artists persistently inventing different art forms, the digital media co-utilization, whether in private artistic enterprise or within the entire creative circles in Eastern Africa has just defiantly refused to take off. The causes for this situation are multiple and interwovenly complex. These Complications notwithstanding, there are some very critical realizations that must be faced. The transformation into a mediatized society, and the radical changes and retrogressive dissolution of traditional social and economic structures that this process involves, poses the major cultural challenges we must squarely face, especially as African Artists, as the situation becomes more and more complex due to the imbalance of culture, technology and business. It is of fundamental importance that artists step up in their efforts to harness this tool, from which they can, if appropriately used, exploit or advocate for its application in policy for cultural & artistic development - contextually in presentation and documentation. It is therefore adequate & appropriate that the proposed Nairobits Trust artists’ course – Presenting U and Ur Art – is a milestone in setting the foundation for initiating the artistic criticism, appraisal & documentation of artists’ work, by themselves, and therefore setting a timely precedent in encouraging critical thought, developing channels for diverse perceptive audiences, nurturing local artistic intellect and safeguarding the current & future artistic occurrences for the present & prospective generations.