Weapons of Art
The concept of building a piece of art from a collection of weapons establishes a criminal art form with certain representations or messages conveyed by use of these weapons. The simple form of the weapon used to form a larger sculpture can contain a lot of meaning in itself. Consider the characteristics or associations of a knife: sharp, pointy, and often times potentially violent, dangerous, intimidating. What type of sculpture would one want to create to work with the messages their materials create or to completely contradict the message and the medium. I’d assume the sculpture would look dominant with sharp edges, smooth lines, and hard angles. For example, a knife sculpture that was formed to be a large bird with extended wings used the points of the knives to create sharp edged feathers for the wings that overpower whomever interacts with it. Is it criminal to use weapons in art in consideration of people feeling threatened by them? Should public safety come into consideration before or after the potential complaints people who oppose such strongly monumental art forms would make in attempt to get rid of the statue. When evaluating materials for an art work, one think about how to use this material, what it represents, and what is associated with this material. With this in mind, can you criminalize an artist for using materials appropriate for their intended meaning or context of form?
Another thing to take into consideration would be the attainment of certain weapons. For example, a chair made from guns. How many guns would the artist have in their possession and what are legal issues surrounding that? Other materials could include old grenades, knives, swords, rifles, ammo, machetes, etc. What methods could someone undergo to find and purchase a variety of these types of materials in large amounts? The art may not be specifically criminal or violent, but parts of the process could be considered criminal ideologically. Those who interact with the sculptures or art forms would interpret each aspect in their own ways. It would be interesting to create something like this and test different worldviews from different cultures and ethnicities. Would the materials considered to be “weapons” change across cultures either in meaning or form? If this is the case, how can a criminological ideal be universally applied? The meaning of the sculptures made of weapons, whether by intention of the artist or by universal interpretation of the audience, could actually be of fear or violence, a crime, or intent to overwhelm or intimidate. In this case, the artist purposefully interrupts the space of those who interact with their art in both positive and negative ways.