Tool/toy instrumentality/art opposition may be convenient but as discussed earlier, depending how you look at things, art can be seen to have instrumentality, and instruments/tools can take on artistic value themselves. I like the point Lauchlan raised about how the appearance of function or functional performance can become a fashionable or desired aesthetic style or even broader zeitgeist, the examples given of streamlining in cars, which carried over to architecture and industrial design in art deco, similarly modernist architect Le Corbusier talked about creating machines for living. One can find functional elements being used decoratively or in a manner which cannot be accounted or justified by functional considerations alone. I would argue that technology became a spiritual fixation - a symbol of prosperity and progress and that this was reflected in design and associated rhetoric. Conversely art has it's own relationships of causality, motivations, intent, as well as measurements of worth or value - for the artist it is not only art but also a meal ticket. My point is that tools are not purely instrumental, and art is not purely decorative, or more likely trying to separate art from craft over function doesn't really work.
(just saw the pun)
Edited by drez - 9/3/13 at 10:10pm