Week3/Theres nothing wrong with being efficient/ Lam Tran

Henry Ford made things efficient with his assembly line. Doing so made cars cheaper, thus they could broaden their consumer base because more people can buy them. This, in turn, is related to capitalism, because with Ford’s new assembly line, they can beat their rivals. Some argue that this is repetitive and boring. In the late 1920’s, this is shown in Charlie Chaplin’s The Modern World. The repetitiveness drives him insane. One can also argue that this destroys the creator’s ability to be creative. Because each person is only working on a single aspect of a product, they normally do not see their finished work or couldn’t care less because it is not their design. If you only look at it this way, I can agree that it does block one’s creative juices.

But in the art world, this drive for efficiency is required in some cases. In artwork shown in class, its even more required. Installation work requires hundreds of parts, sometimes many of these parts are used many times. For example, (http://www.villareal.net/projects.html) Leo Villareal’s art work light show requires hundreds, maybe thousands of small individual lights. Each light was not made one by one to be unique by the artist himself. That would take more than a lifetime. The beauty of it is the work as a whole, after everything is assembled. Efficiency in the factories made these small lights affordable and plentiful for projects like these. It gives the artist the ability to focus on the project and less on how he or she is going to obtain the parts for it.

This efficiency can also be used to replicate installation art and place it in other museums for display in multiple places around the world. Ford’s assembly line made replication easy. It also makes replacing one of the parts easy if its broken. This is particularly useful for Leo Villareal’s work because I’m almost certain those lights will probably burn out and he would have to replace them. If each bulb was “unique” then, remaking one and replacing it would just be a pain.

All it really requires is a twist. Anything that one thinks is dull or bland can be made into something more original. Ford T-Models were all the same and the same color. Individually, they might seen bland because it loses its uniqueness. But seeing all the products fresh out of the factory all lined up creates a different picture. Now it can be seen as art.

Lam Tran

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