What is Unintentional Art? Just like the concept “truth” the answer to this question is rarely pure and never simple. Everything is unintentional art and nothing is. The Unintentional Art Movement (UAM) takes conceptual art a step further. It finally gets rid of the need to create anything other than an idea. The unintentional artist has no need for any creative abilities, no craftsmanship or even a basic level of artistry. The only skill one needs is the ability to combine the objects of everyday existence with the subjects that together encompass societal criticism and thus generating ideas that explain or critique modern life.
It’s also useless to try and compare it with performance art. Despite the fact the artist does not create art in its material form, there is a clear material component to the works of art themselves. It’s not merely about the ideas. The concepts come from existing objects, either manmade or not, that become works of art because of their context and hidden meanings. Because of this peculiarity some art critics describe the UAM as a league of wizards, conjuring up an element of meaning in the seemingly meaningless.
There are different branches within the UAM, and sometimes the distinction with actual conceptual art or performance art does become unclear. The discussion about the intention, or lack thereof, of art is, needless to say, THE most important subject in any UAM-criticism, with both orthodox and broader interpretations of UA. Within the movement following branches are usually identified: Societal criticism, art criticism, Marxist, naturalism, technological and metaphysical. These branches often correspond with different decades. Naturalism for instance peaked during the 80’s, whereas metaphysical is probably the most influential branch anno 2017. There are also regional differences.