It's okay, rambles is what I enjoy!Until the technical aspect of charcoal improves, do charcoal drawings count as art? When Ingres did his drawings, were they considered art compared to his paintings? They sure are now!
One thing I think is very interesting is how much art and craft are still tied together in art photography discussion. A great deal of that I believe is inherent to the rather scientific medium, as well as it's influential practitioners ('saint' Ansel). In painting this was jettisoned by a large set of artists through the 20th cen. There are still painters (I was one) who grind their own oil paint, who glaze and stumble on linen supports, but it's no longer a necessary part of what a painting is, merely an aspect that informs the end result. Likewise, fiber based double weight two bath fixed prints, are still an artistic medium, but a Polaroid pinned to the wall, or transferred onto arches, or scanned and blown up can just as well be.
Is it art? Is still a super fun question. Myself, I lean toward believing in 'works of art' as a document of an artistic enactment, or possibly less palatable, art is a record of performance. I was looking at some of Dijkstra's Portraits the other day and was struck by how much this was a part of it. The act of setting up the camera, interacting just so with a complete stranger and capturing them in a moment of 'self-ness' would have been a beautiful thing whether the camera was loaded with sheet film, Polaroids or nothing at all. The use of large format film, however, gives a delightfully transparent record of the experience. Maybe the perfect medium for the moment, but not the only one.
Even Worse! Acts and the documents thereof can be rounded up or down by history. Th Gee's Bend quilters probably didn't sit down to be artists, but they've wound up in th public mind that way. Likewise I'm sure some very earnest 17th century guy sat down brush in hand to enact art, but is now regarded as decoration at best.
So, split decision on my part. With hope, I'd say that art is that which you set out with wholehearted artistic intent to bring into the world. More cynically, art is that which patrons will associate their names and money with in the long run.
sorry for the ramble!