Friday, December 19, 2003

Interpretive art

In an interview with Elvis Mitchell that I heard on NPR today, the actor Ian McKellen said, "... I'm an interpretive artist, not a creative artist."

Perhaps I'm an interpretive artist who dreams of being a creative artist...

Perhaps most of us are. Novelty has always been important; in a knowledge economy where innovation is the source of wealth, it's doubly so. This quote highlights that creating, so critical in an innovation economy, is just one way of being imaginative; interpreting is inspired (i.e., artistic), too.

There are more musicians than composers.
There are more builders than architects.
There are more explainers than inventors.

Without the Kronos Quartet, scores modern composers would be mute.
Without the "finishers", the visions of the "starters" would never be realized.
Without actors, the director's movie won't win an Oscar (or make money).

And the point is: interpreters are not just dumb pipes. They not only complete the work of the creators; they create part of it.

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