Recently (Oct 19th) I dropped over to Ventura for their annual Kinetic Sculpture Race. For those that don't know this is a “race” where people have built human powered vehicles (mostly based on bicycles) and race them through four events.
First they launch down the boat ramp into the harbor and then peddle, paddle, row, or who knows what to go through the harbor and out into the channel and head to one of the beaches. This is sometimes pretty dramatic and the first one into the water this year tilted over and began to sink. It was only in a couple feet of water, so not too bad, but still...
Next the racers do a “quick” dash down the beach across the sand. Of course they have to wait for everybody to make it out of the water. (So the first ones done get a bit more rest). After a lunch break the racers get back on their vehicles and do a figure eight course in the parking lot of the Harbor Village. And then finally the most grueling event (for most of the vehicles) the hundred feet of mud.
So the designers have to put together vehicles that can do well in each of these courses. Which isn't easy to do, since each course has it's own challenges. So some may do really well in water but not in sand and so on. And did you notice the word “sculpture” in the name. Well each vehicle is supposed to be a work of art too.
Now some are more artistic than others. Some look like they are simply engineering projects, while others spend too much time on the appearance and message and leave behind good mechanical principles. But the ones that are the most fun are the ones that actually try to do both.
And a lot of art is the same way. There are technical skills, ones that don't always how, involved in creating paintings and sculptures, books and poetry. And the technical skills involved in making music are numerous. But we generally aren't interested in art that is merely technically proficient, we want it to have creativity and to move us. And don't get me started on the culinary arts.
So we have to take some time and learn the rules and techniques of art, then we can proceed to make our own rules and techniques. And then some day, maybe, just maybe, we'll see someone pedaling a pink paper mache elephant down Tehachapi Boulevard. Hopefully people will understand.