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Life, Death, and Pacman

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Since art’s inception, we have always found ways to arbitrarily limit its scope. As there’s been no agreed definition of art, the most popular answer to the question: ‘is it art?’ is ‘who cares?’. This, argues James Tartaglia, is a mistake. Articulating a response to this question is crucial for the development of our culture, the livelihood of many artists and understanding new artistic breakthroughs in the virtual world.  The most popular answer to the question ‘is it art?’ is ‘who cares?’ All that matters is whether it’s good, or whether people like it, and since there’s no agreed definition of ‘art’ anyway, pursuing such questions can only lead to bickering. That’s an attractively conciliatory stance, but a mistaken one, I think.  ‘Is it art?’ is both an influential and important question.Consider Tracy Emin’s Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995, a tent with 102 names inscribed on the inside, which was exhibited at the Sensation show at the Royal Academy in London, 1997. I wa…

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