Processual Variation in Tourist Art
Serving as their own critics, tourist artists juxtapose Western and African themes. For them, tourist art is both a source of commerce and a necessary vehicle for the dissemination of new ideas. It is a way of popularizing innovative styles, experiments with technique, and new commercial strategies. In this chapter, I examine processual variation, which entails stylistic and technological innovation, as a stimulus for changes in imagery and art. Processual variation has two important features: (1) the communication of knowledge about artistic techniques; and (2) the development of corresponding changes in styles. In broader terms, I explore the relationship of tools and techniques to changes in communication across the groups of artists. Processual variation is a key source of innovation in tourist art. My discussion challenges the sharp dichotomy between idealist and materialist approaches to changes in culture and communication by suggesting that the two approaches are interrelated in the conception and spread of new orientations to art.
KeywordsProcessual Variation Technological Innovation Cottage Industry Stylistic Variation Freeze Level
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