PCA&D students create NYC film: What is art?

. . .

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

In a September 2006 issue of the Village Voice, art critic Jerry Saltz contemplated the enormity of the art scene in the New York City neighborhood of Chelsea, in an article

http://www.villagevoice.com/2006-09-26/art/the-art-world-jungle/. Over three hundred gallery shows were slated to open the fall season.

Much has happened since then, with the Great Recession of 2008 and the destruction of many galleries and businesses caused by Hurricane Sandy. The result is that there are only approximately one hundred art galleries still operating in Chelsea today, with most of the work exhibited exorbitantly priced. The diminution of Chelsea as the art world mecca in ways mimics the earlier declines of Soho and Paris.

The PCA&D annual Fine Art and Photography Departments’ field trip to New York City was held on Friday, March 27th. In the afternoon, the Fine Art sophomores in Tim Roda’s Digital Mixed Media: Time, Motion & Sequence class descended upon Chelsea ready to ask a cross-section of random New Yorkers one simple question: “What is Art?”

What kind of answers would they find in a declining art center that is being co-opted by boutique stores and high-end condominiums?

The students strategically canvassed the ten-block radius that comprises the Chelsea art gallery district. They decidedly went low-tech, using only their smart phones to film responses to the question. When they returned from the trip, the class continued their collaboration by editing the footage and producing the approximately four-minute video What is Art?


(photo: Still image from “What is Art?”)