Body X Ultra - Marta Śniady International Festival of Contemporary Music Warsaw Autumn

go to content

Design is considered an activity far removed from art. The latter term was ostensibly supposed to refer to an altogether different category of things. The design world is that of commercial and functional, material, mass-produced objects, in which designers are expected to focus on serious technical issues rather than on superficial stylisation. Designers create high-bypass turbofans, full-body scanners, mobile phones, and lamps. They design various functional objects which, among others, enhance the possibilities of the human body, making us better, stronger, prettier, slimmer than we would otherwise be. Art, on the other hand, belongs to the hard-to-grasp world of ideas that escapes definitions and is surrounded by an aura of uniqueness and uselessness. In theory, art therefore differs from design in terms of the latter’s utility. Art is that rare case in which the useless is usually valued more highly than the useful, even by the greatest materialists among us. But what happens when the boundary between the two begins to blur, allowing art and design to cooperate? If functional objects lose their original functions, they can become instruments of art. Our desires, on the other hand, may well turn against us. Where, then, is the borderline between art and design, technology and the body, everyday use and beauty? 

Marta Śniady