B1 Intermediate US 30 Folder Collection
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SPEAKER: And welcome to your Week 2 video tutorial.
This week we're going to be talking about the concept
of an artifact.
For your upcoming assignments in Humanities 100,
you're going to be choosing a number of artifacts
that you'll be discussing in more detail.
And as far as the definition of it
goes and as far as the purposes of our Humanities 100 course,
there's a specific way we want you
to think about this concept of an artifact.
You've got some readings, of course, the new materials
in Blackboard to help you define the term artifact more clearly.
But we also wanted to give you a quick tutorial
to clarify, as well.
So again, for the purposes of our Humanities 100 course,
when defining an artifact you want
to think of two main elements of that definition.
That first element is that it must
be something that is man-made.
So it's not something that's naturally occurring or found
in nature.
It has to be created by man.
So it can be a physical object.
It can be one of the more traditional
creative visual works of art like a painting, a building,
a statue, even a photograph, something
that you can actually hold.
Or it can be an intangible creation--
so a song, a dance, a choreographed performance,
a television show, again these aren't
things that are tangible, they're not physical,
but they are created by man.
Secondly, an artifact should not be primarily
functional or practical.
Its main purpose is not to create a function
or to result in a particular function.
It is more of that creative expression
that we're thinking about here.
So it should have some artistic qualities to it.
It should embody creative expression
in one way or another.
And it should present individual ideas.
So simply an object that performs a function or purpose
like a chair or a table, while it might be beautiful
or beautifully made, it's not necessarily an artifact
because its primary function is to perform for an individual
or to create a utilitarian purpose.
So some examples-- we think about a seashell
that's found on the beach.
Yes, it's beautiful.
We can admire it.
But it's not an artifact.
Again, it's not man-made.
This is something that's natural found in the world
without our having to create it.
However, a necklace or another kind
of adornment or work of artistic expression that uses a seashell
or seashells would be considered an artifact.
Because while the seashell itself is not an artifact,
the necklace or the adornment that's created with it
is created by man and therefore falls
into the definition of artifact.
Another example, a smartphone-- again,
this seems like it would be an artifact.
It's man-made.
And there's definitely a case to be made for it being something
that's beautiful.
But a smartphone itself is not an artifact. ,
Because its main purpose is something beyond just being
a visual or aesthetic element for us to look at or to think
about creatively.
It has more purposes that are more at the forefront--
communication, posting onto the web,
those kind of technological elements to it.
However, we can find artifacts that
deal with the concept of a smartphone.
So Eric Pickersgill's Removed photographic series
of photographs that he made where
he's looking at the affect of smartphones on us
as a culture--
these are creative expressions by the artist himself
thinking about the concept of the cell
phone or the smartphone.
So these photographs and this series of photographs
would be considered an artifact, because it's
a creative expression created by man that
brings in individual ideas.
And its primary function is not that
of what the smartphone is for, but it's
for getting us to think or getting us to reflect
on the ideas of an artifact.
I also wanted to remind you of the difference
between an artifact and a symbol--
one that a lot of students think of is the idea of Uncle Sam.
The simple concept of Uncle Sam would not
be considered an artifact when we think about it.
It's an idea.
It's a symbol.
It became a symbol or a personification
of the United States based off of an actual man.
But the idea of Uncle Sam, in itself, is not an artifact.
However, if you wanted to focus on a work like James Montgomery
Flagg's poster for the army, I Want You For US Army,
that features this image of Uncle Sam,
then that itself, the poster itself, the work
created by Flagg would be considered an artifact.
So again, you can kind of see the difference here
that just the concept of Uncle Sam or saying that you're
going to choose quote, unquote, "Uncle Sam" as your artifact
would not qualify as an artifact because it's an idea.
Whereas an actual creation of a work like the I Want You
poster by Flagg would be considered an artifact.
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Week 2 - HUM100: What is An Artifact? - CC

30 Folder Collection
Caurora published on July 15, 2020
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