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					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.

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Jun Wang Jun Wang Dr
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