I considered naming this essay Branches of Knowledge or Needless Partitioning. The current fragmentation that engenders the concept of a work of art has long seemed weird to me.
Experience is experience.
Awareness is awareness.
Activity is activity.
Note that in many (most?) ancient cultures, art was more integrated with craft (now known as manufacturing). There was not such a well-defined boundary then. The urgencies of a faster pace, as well as competition due to larger cultures, as well as possible cyclic alternations between inspired and functional modes of life, led to more items being created without love, without inspiration. The concept of a work of art emerged to describe those few items (events) into which a kind of larger whole was incorporated. As day to day life consisted more and more of uninspired states of mind, the split into art and non-art became more noticeable.
I see the strange concept of art as being tied to integration, integrating the higher into the lower, integrating our minds, emotions, and bodies. Such integration is desirable in endeavors of the mind or of the emotions.
In academia, archeologists may not study ancient literature, psychologists may not study consciousness (truly absurd), physicians may not study exercise, political scientists may not study economics, etc. How can branches of knowledge or activity be so separated? Much of the fragmentation seems almost an accident of history. I believe that an interdisciplinary future is called for, on many levels.
Accepted methods of study, writing, and getting tenure have become somewhat ossified into the current academic system.
Why should it be the case that even in the realm of Consciousness studies, the academics and the mystic poets gather in different camps.
The ideas which entice us most are those which are the most integrative.
The art which inspires us most gives the most food for thought.
Since what we seek most is completeness,
all art is really a self portrait.