September 28th, 2005


Theoretical Artist

The phrase "theoretical artist", which showed up as a meaningless term on Creidieki's livejournal a few days ago, has been bugging me. I hereby propose a definition for theoretical art:

Theoretical art is any work of art (painting, sculpture, music, literature, what have you) which has been thoroughly described, but does not actually exist. Examples include several novels reviewed by Borges, the Necronomicon, the painting in Dorian Grey's attic, Larry Niven's novel Down in Flames, and the 1980s video game Kid Radd.

A theoretical artist is anyone who creates theoretical art. This can either refer to a fictional artist (such as Richard Upton Pickman), or to the person who describes the theoretical art (such as H.P. Lovecraft).

Theoretical art is, of course, a form of metafiction.
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