My response to John was the same as it would have been to Clive, had Clive also confirmed my sense of his original question.
If the answer is "Yes" then no art which may rely on the "pursuit of technical perfection" is possible. If the answer is "No" then the presence or absence of "technical perfection" factors out of the equation, and the work's assertion as "art" must be assessed using other criteria.
It's not just a case of splitting semantic hairs. If the answer is "Yes" then an entire class of potential art is summarily dismissed. And dismissed based on one person's singular opinion. And of course, if that can happen within this particular discussion, then... well...
Photography is a big tent. It needs to remain open and accessible to all interested parties, regardless of their choices of styles or approaches. Or even talent levels.