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December 17, 2013

Comments

Alan

She's blown my mind with her menstrual blood. I renounce the patriarchy and all its works.

Jonathan

If only Michaelangelo, instead of creating the Pieta, had simply taken a shit on the steps of the Vatican. How much deeper and more meaningful it would have been.

Rafi

People are incensed!

Maybe they want their money back.

James

I wish I could unwatch Ms Jenkins' video. I think of it every time I see my missus knitting. Creepy.

rjmadden

in fact, the work is primarily about casting off the need for validation from external sources.

Says the talentless attention-seeker.

David

Says the talentless attention-seeker.

Well, Ms Jenkins has apparently risen above the need for validation via coherent reasoning and aesthetics as we know it. So there’s that, I suppose. The assumption seems to be that all the laughter at her expense must be nervous laughter. Because we’re all so terribly disturbed by “a woman putting herself forward in a way that is not designed to be attractive or pleasing.” Which is “downright seditious,” apparently. On account of The Crushing Patriarchy™.

It’s a bold move, you’ve got to give her that. Almost as bold as letting us know, quite pointedly, just how brave she is. Sorry, how brave other people keep telling her she is, on account of her bravery: “You’re so brave, you’re so brave.” That’s what they all say, you know.

Mangosity

Someone else has surely thought of this, but when I hear about this woman pulling stuff out of her vagina, I'm inspired to create my own art by pulling something out of my arse.

splotchy

It doesn't take Hercule Poirot to deduce that her 'art' is produced for the attention. The more intruiging thing is her interpretation of the response, plus the tacit inference that the graun endorse it by virtue of their publicising it. Distaste, mockery, repulsion and pity are perceived as some sort of deviancy or inadequacy on the part of the observer. And not on herself, oh no. Never.

Is this a/ contrived for further attention? b/ needy narcissism? c/ stark staring madness?

I must be getting old, because I also find myself thinking: 'What must her poor old Ma be thinking?'

JuliaM

"I must be getting old, because I also find myself thinking: 'What must her poor old Ma be thinking?'.."

This time of year, probably 'Oh please, not another scarf or mittens, please..'

Steve

"letting us know, quite pointedly, just how brave she is"

Is it not rather telling that the comments for the video have been disabled or are my assumptions merely a result of my infantile refusal to question the patriarchy and open my mind to the aesthetic joy of menstrual discharge? Somebody please enlighten me.

Tom Foster

According to her (presumably self-penned) Guardian profile, she co-hosts and produces a queer-feminist podcast called… Cunts In Space. Yes. Cunts In Space. A title certainly worth repeating.

She's also 'an active street artist, most notably with her Cunt Fling-Up work (crafted female genitalia attached to shoes and flung over power-lines in the manner gangs fling shoes) with which she has adorned the streets of London, New York, Berlin, and Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to Vatican City's Basilica.'

And once again… Cunt fling-Up work.

I know it's a cliche, but words really do fail me.

Bart

"for a woman to put herself forward in a way that is not designed to be attractive or pleasing is downright seditious"

I think you'll find that people don't like men behaving in a manner that's not attractive or pleasing either. You might say people are not attracted to such behaviour, and find it displeasing.

That's kind of what attractive and pleasing mean.

Ms Jenkins. A genius she is not.

R.Sherman

Evidently "art" has devolved to the point where we find something extraordinarily prosaic and then involve bodily fluids in some fashion. I suppose these new artists fail to realize that toddlers all over the world have been creating these sorts of masterpieces since, well, forever.

pst314

"Women putting themselves forward"

More like "froward" than "forward".

David

Some Guardian readers are attempting to defend Ms Jenkins’ incredibly daring and political art, though they’re not doing it terribly well. One reader insists that in terms of aesthetics people are “unnecessarily confining themselves to very rigid rules” – say, by preferring things that are beautiful and require discernible expertise. “Vaginal knitting,” we’re told, “can also be viewed as an organic process.” Which is apparently something intrinsically deserving of applause.

Another says,

I haven’t evaluated your work closely enough to say it’s a great piece, but I want to express my sympathy: what horrifyingly ignorant responses you’ve received! The nature of these responses itself is reason enough to believe the work is certainly important.

So an absurd and pretentious thing that’s later defended in absurd and pretentious ways is “certainly important” - artistically important - if enough people notice that it’s absurd and pretentious. Interesting theory.

bilbaoboy

It requires a special sort of person to ignore or misrepresent the lack of appreciation of her 'art'. I do admire her awesome self-esteem.

This sort of juvenile attention-seeking pap, continues to shock me, but, I fear not for the reason that the 'artist' thinks.

It is pretentious, tiresome and excruciatingly talent-free and I am, of course, despicable for not recognising her 'bravery' and the importance of her 'message'. What on earth is brave about it? Maybe somebody has changed the meaning of the term?

At this stage in the game, it would require a couple to have anal sex under flood lights with lurid explanations in front of children to 'shock' me. It wouldn't be art. It wouldn't be a political statement. But I would be shocked. Watching women (or men) vomiting colours, shitting on canvas, masturbating into a rug seems so crass and new standard that I don't know what to say.

Pathetic comes to mind.

bilbaoboy

This is of course one of the disadvantages of twitter, youtube at al.

Rubbish goes viral

mojo

Also disgusted, and cynically bored with the sheer trangressiveness.

Or something. NEXT!

Jason B.

On the off chance that anyone wants to cleanse their performance art palate: http://vimeo.com/66392216

David

Distaste, mockery, repulsion and pity are perceived as some sort of deviancy or inadequacy on the part of the observer.

It’s as if someone had erased the difference between “aesthetic discernment” and “pretension plus credulity.” But at least Ms Jenkins is occupied with something marginal and harmless. I mean, she’s probably not the kind of person you’d want in charge of scaffolding, medication or air traffic control.

Henry

I renounce the patriarchy and all its works

Sadly if we all do that it will leave the bonkers lady knitting-needle-less, government-grant-less, and still clueless.

So I'm sticking with the patriarchy for now. For the sake of vaginal knitting artists everywhere

T.K. Tortch

The posture of contemporary art is hostility and condescension towards the audience. That's why it's so popular!!

Marcel Duchamp was ever so much more clever than these latter-latter-latter day épater le bourgeois art drones. He also had a sense of humor. Once he gained notoriety, now and then he would kludge together one of his ready-mades, just to stir the pot, and then go home to play chess. I mean he may have been a bit of fraud, but at least he knew what he was up to.

Ten

The next time someone successfully elaborates on the value Ms Jenkens brings a world starved for it - that being her thesis - will be the first.

From which one concludes it's simply too self evident to be taught. Or sufficiently weighty as to forgo explanation. Or breaks such momentous taboos as to transcend words. Or comes on its own cusp, that being genius.

And yet, it finds its roots in yanking yarn out of your crotch on camera and hanging it on the wall. The very humility of the act belies its vulgarity while it's vulgarity is instantaneously blotted from existence by the sheer blinding light of unmitigated Truth.

Maybe that's the message: There can be no message.

For now, we're to suppose Ms Jenkens the Mark Rothko of craftivism, the smears on the wall having such gravitas as to be literally indescribable. Even by their creator.

The Lord moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. Is what I take from all this, that surely being my only option. Because.

D

One wonders what she thinks people would say if her art really was pretentious garbage. These artists have an impressively high standard of proof, though it seems odd to me that the burden of proof always seems to be on the side of their work not being brilliant.

svh

“Vaginal knitting,” we’re told, somewhat cryptically, “can also be viewed as an organic process.”

A classic Guardian (reader) sentence surely?

splotchy

I stand ready to be corrected, but this sort of thing (and its appreciation in media such as the graun) is pretty much exclusively female? I mean, you wouldn't find an art offering of something knitted from wool unwound from a penis as a living spindle? And if you did, the reaction would almost certainly be a collective point-and-laugh rather than anyone publishing it or commending it as 'brave', 'edgy' etc?

This is 21st century feminism: Do something more ludicrously pointless and moronic than any self-respecting man would contemplate. And then wait for all your mates (and the guardian) to tell you what a clever girl you are.

(I'm female btw)

Steve 2

Hello David

There I was, in my high powered office, chomping on cigars, leering at my PA, and plotting how best to reinforce our glass ceiling so as to hold back the progress of womynkind, when I received an email linking to Ms Jenkins' artistic display of fanny-weaving.

It was very difficult to become aroused at it, but I managed somehow. And then it hit me. (the message, not my tumescence)

"Take that, Patriarchy!" it seemed to cry, in the voice of Athena or Kali or possibly Willow from "Buffy" (I'm not sure, it was lunchtime so I was pretty drunk)

I literally died of shock at the sheer talent on display, and her breathtakingly courageous defiance, like if that Tiananmen had started knitting in front of the tanks with HIS vagina.

Then I thought "pull yourself together Steve! You're still a man!"

But it was too late. The Patriarchy was already crumbling into the dust like the Eye of Sauron. Cisgendered men everywhere were fleeing for the hills, leaving a trail of discarded pornography and wee behind them. And then my penis fell off.

Apparently the NHS waiting list for penis transplants is massive, despite all the members in the House of Commons, so I am currently using an ornate second hand toilet roll holder in place of my manhood. I bought it off some Welsh guy. I do like the heft of it but it smells funny.

The lesson here is, never watch feminists on YouTube.

David

splotchy,

Well, despite all the blathering and self-congratulation, Ms Jenkins doesn’t say exactly why her vaginal knitting stunt is supposed to be beautiful or even significant. She just tells us, repeatedly, that it is. Like she tells us, modestly, how brave and transgressive she is. And the fact so many people disagree with her is apparently proof that they are wrong and she is right. The nearest thing to an explanation I can find is this:

I have created a performance piece that I believe is beautiful and valid and I know that this belief can withstand all the negativity in the world. I had hoped to create a work that was about forging a path of self-determination in the face of society’s expectations, but until it was tested in such a public forum that was something I could only dream of.

In other words, she’s managed to do something she imagines other people – sorry, “society” - will dislike, and this is somehow a great achievement. Personal growth. But performance artists have been producing things from their vaginas and arses for decades – Carolee Schneemann comes to mind - and making all manner of grandiose political claims about it. Bodily orifices and their various secretions have been a routine feature of performance art for half a century. From mayonnaise enemas and vomited milk to self-induced miscarriages and crapping onstage. I can’t offhand think of an example that was remotely aesthetic or deserving of applause.

And the idea of trying to produce something evidently gorgeous – something that punters might travel across town to see, and see again – doesn’t seem to have occurred to her, even for a minute.

bgates

Different, but related: #MeninistTwitter

Men make jokes, feminists _____.

(Did you guess 'get angry'? The answer was 'get angry'.)

splotchy

"I have created a performance piece that I believe is beautiful and valid and I know that this belief can withstand all the negativity in the world."

My children, when toddlers, would say similar (in babbled words of fewer syllables, natch) when they produced various painted daubs and splodges, and of course I roundly praised them as one does with ones touchingly dependent infant offspring.

But since then, they’ve matured and likewise, so have their achievements. Plus their maturity has brought about sufficient insight to recognise that ‘beauty’ and ‘validity’ is relative to the many other beautiful and valid things in the world. What we might call a sense of proportion and discernment has developed, as it seems to do in most people.

Unfortunately Ms Jenkins seems to have bypassed such maturation from a toddler. She really does seem stalled at the ‘Look at the poo I just done in the potty’ stage. And as if that were not enough, her poo must be admired. So much so that all the negatively in the world is overcome.

D

A bit off-topic, but great for those of us who deal with software:

https://github.com/ErisBlastar/cplusequality

Probably not as hilarious if you're not a coder, but the guy exhibits a pretty thorough understanding of a variety of feminist complaints.

Mike James

I'd like to be a fly on the wall when Casey Jenkins' loved ones open their Christmas gifts and pull out sweaters or ski caps, maybe a lovingly crafted afghan or the like.

Franklin

She'll be forgotten in two weeks. Personally I'm starting now.

dicentra

Women putting themselves forward in any capacity in the world is frowned upon,

Because a nude dewd publicly lighting his methane or writing his name in the snow or producing other bodily fluids would be universally applauded as Fine Art.

Narcissism is its own reward.

Pellegri

I'm not much of a coder, but C+= is a glorious thing and I applaud the creator.

David

Franklin,

She’ll be forgotten in two weeks. Personally I’m starting now.

Well, it’s such transparent hokum. It’s remarkable just how low the assumed standards are. This, apparently, is what will do. For someone who affects great political intent, Ms Jenkins doesn’t seem at all sure what her performance is about or what it’s supposed to evoke and signify. At first she blathered aimlessly about “social activism” and our “very gendered” society, and about “raising awareness,” though of what she didn’t say. Then there was some confused and ignorant waffle about craft. Now, when the audience reaction has been overwhelmingly negative and mocking, she’s claiming it’s about “forging a path of self-determination” and “withstanding all the negativity in the world.” Why, it’s almost as if she were an opportunist bullshitter, twisting in the wind.

Luckily, the more credulous Guardian readers are happy to fill the gaps themselves. One reader says, “Fantastic, thought provoking and obviously challenging to many people. Menstruation is still very much taboo for many people… It was an interesting concept especially seeing the change [in the wool] when it was her time of the month… Men can’t handle what comes out of [the vagina].” So if you don’t think much of Ms Jenkins “work” – say, because it’s intellectually sloppy and fails to meet any aesthetic standard - this apparently proves some patriarchal such-and-such and therefore confirms how incredibly brave and important the “work” is. Our not being impressed is what makes the “work” so impressive. Apparently.

In terms of highlighting the bollocks that surround such things, Ms Jenkins may have done us an unintended service.

Henry

One reader says, “..Menstruation is still very much taboo for many people... Men can’t handle what comes out of [the vagina].."

I just knew someone was going to say something like that sooner or later. That and 'patriarchal restrictions on what women do with their bodies' is in there too.

For anthropologists out there: you usually get a plethora of feminists enthusiastically offering her the validation she seeks, and saying "nasty, wicked patriarchy" in some way. Then on about the 5th page of comments someone will find an equally feminist reason to be terribly cross about the whole thing:

"As a mother of two grown up daughters.."

(there are always quite a few of these too: "As a mother", "As a woman", "As an artist")

"and a step daughter growing into a woman, I have to say self indulgent public stunts such as actually make me quite cross..and sad. It is hard enough to help, guide and support one's daughters through the confused mess of modern culture with all its pressures, pitfalls and frankly screwed up ideas about what women 'should be', but women choosing to offer themselves up for public consumption in this way really doesn't help"

Often Handbags At Dawn follow, though this time is a let down. Oh, I'm a bad person, I know. Though really I'm just observing dispassionately

Rob

"As an artist, of course I do seek attention"

She should have stopped there. The rest of the article pointlessly elaborates on this one central fact.

Bert

"Someone else has surely thought of this, but when I hear about this woman pulling stuff out of her vagina, I'm inspired to create my own art by pulling something out of my arse."

Obviously. If she wants to be really transgressive, and is prepared to suffer for art, she should try anal knitting.

Watcher

Pulling wool out of one's vagina? Surely this is no more remarkable than talking out of one's arse.

Furor Teutonicus

xX People are incensed!XX

No lassie, we were just considering the fact that you are merely a fucking dip-shit.

David

Rob,

“As an artist, of course I do seek attention.” She should have stopped there. The rest of the article pointlessly elaborates on this one central fact.

Quite. I suppose that’s the tragicomic aspect of it. If you can make beautiful images and objects that captivate people and make them want to part with their money, there’s a good chance you’ll get attention and acclaim. And more to the point, you’ll have earned that acclaim. But hustlers like Ms Jenkins can’t do the thing that earns the popular interest and recognition they want. So they settle for fleeting notoriety, or simply being laughed at as an incompetent hustler.

And there are so many of these people – so-called artists who can’t actually make art and can’t take themselves, their own little egos, out of what they do. Like Reshma Chhiba, mentioned recently, and her giant howling vagina installation, which is supposed to disturb men and topple the patriarchy. Just as Ms Jenkins feels a need to let us know how “brave” she’s being, Ms Chhiba feels a need to tell us, repeatedly, just how “fazing” and alarming her naff quilted corridor is. A naff quilted corridor with a photo of her own face positioned at the end of it.

Steve 2

Watcher - I hope she doesn't try to pull the wool over my eyes

Steve 2

David - it's remarkable how afraid of vaginas the Patriarchy is.

Unless those vaginas are displayed in Razzle or a naughty website, in which case it's disgusting objectification of women and should be banned.

David

Steve 2,

Yes, I’m told they’re very popular.

Aaron

The girl will make a fortune.

Course, it will be mainly Liverpool and Man Utd fans who buy the scarves...

The original Mr. X

"A naff quilted corridor with a photo of her own face positioned at the end of it."

Well to be fair, she does sound like a but of a four-letter word...

The Inside Line

I notice she fails to mention that Lesbians Inc (Linc) gave her a $10,000 arts grant, the largest single grant they have ever given, to assist her in her outrageousness. It's a lot easier to be radical and dangerous on other peoples money than having to work and earn your own.

Ed Snack

Continuing with the slightly off-topic mention of C plusequality as posted above by "D", this has been widely referenced around the webs, and amazingly a fair chunk of the "rightist" blogs seem to take it seriously ! Then all the comments pile on criticizing pomo, feminism, etc and etc. Rather strange really.

CC

For the talentless, transgression is the only card to play.

That. That there.

RebeccaH

I wonder if Ms. Jenkins has stopped to consider that spiders do the same thing she did, and with a lot more symmetry and purpose. I've never met a spider yet who felt the need to brag about it.

Jeff Guinn
WTP

Ed,

But is it any wonder given the absurdities that we do endure. This being the most recent:

https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/413079861922508800/photo/1

Also consider that back in the day, certain computer interactions were described via the paradigm master/slave but the PC police butted in and thus we now have, the admittedly more elegant, client/server. Sigh.

David

WTP,

But is it any wonder given the absurdities that we do endure.

It’s hard to parody a thing like that. But thankfully not impossible.

Fish

Next time the patriarchy would like to warm its cock, it would be wise to remember that this lady has added another choice; yet more it may find that the restorative properties of virgin wool renewed an ancient fertility goddess long lost to pornography and base things.

Calamity Jane

Our not being impressed is what makes it so impressive. Apparently.

*applause*

Nik White

If you can make beautiful images and objects that captivate people and make them want to part with their money, there’s a good chance you’ll get attention and acclaim. And more to the point, you’ll have earnedthat acclaim. But hustlers like Ms Jenkins can’t do the thing that earns the popular interest and recognition they want. So they settle for fleeting notoriety, or simply being laughed at as an incompetent hustler.

Leaving aside the comic aspect for a moment, I fear the tragic side of the situation is much worse. A hustler after all does at least know that he/she is orchestrating a hustle, whereas I've a feeling the tragedy of Casey Jenkins and her ilk is that they are as deadly earnest as they are ignorant.

If Jenkins went to any kind of Art School, she would most likely have received a great deal of positive reinforcement for exactly this type of … activity. Even if she herself didn't go, she has clearly picked up on the ideas of those around who have an art school background.

Either way, this makes an apparently unwitting pawn of the following Revolutionary Masterplan:

The masterplan starts from the premise that the ruling classes and the Bourgeoisie fetishize commodities, awarding things like works of art a value out of all proportion to the labour that actually produced them. The disproportionate value placed on those works of art reveals the machinery through which the upper echelons of society maintain their prestige status and power over the oppressed slobs of the proletariat.

Artists, because they tend to live in the world of the proles but work in the world of the elites, make the perfect material for bringing about a Revolution. The artist as double-agent/Fifth columnist creates a work of excruciating awfulness which he/she presents to the galleries and therefore the ruling classes and their bourgeois capitalist running dogs.

If the work of excruciating awfulness is rejected, the elite is forced to bear its fangs in public and its true face is seen for what it is. However if the excruciating awfulness is praised as a work of genius / daring etc., then the complete arbitrariness behind the elite's system of value is exposed to the People, who in turn realise that nothing can stop them from bringing about a Working Class Revolution which will sweep the Patriarchy aside and usher in Glorious Socialism.

The fact that this Revolutionary Masterplan has been an abject failure for – oooh, let's say a good fifty years, now? – does not seem to have filtered down to the Art Schools, their graduates or the critics. It's as if the original blueprints have been lost but the plan is still in operation.

What this has resulted in is artists who act a bit like people who keep going into the same room but who can't remember what they went in for – they keep churning out utter nonsense without any understanding of why it is they are doing it. In fact worse than that, something you often hear is not only do they admit to not knowing what their own work is for or about, they actually take pride in ignorance of their own work(!)

What they do understand, however, is that churning out this type of garbage gains them accolades from critics who have absolutely no interest in 'art' as such but who do relish the opportunity grind a political axe or two. The fact that Jenkins, as pointed out above, was sponsored by a pressure group says it all.

Wadding wool into your Jemima Puddleduck and pulling it out again to make a scarfe is so completely devoid of any meaning (as well as taste) that it makes it possible to say literally anything about it – which is handy if you are certain type of critic-activist.

Most people so far have seen as having something to do with women's bodies but it would be just as easy to use it for an Environmentalist critique (it's an organic cottage industry process) or a Marxist one (repetitive labour, alienation, repressed bodies blah blah blah).

David

Nik,

artists who act a bit like people who keep going into the same room but who can’t remember what they went in for

As Franklin pointed out during our exchange with Stef Elrick, the vagueness isn’t just a matter of incompetence, but opportunism too: “Once it [the piece of pseudo-art] garners any reaction whatsoever, then that is what the work is about.” And so the justification for the thing starts out vague, then shifts – amazingly – to being ‘about’ whatever the reaction happens to be. In this case, ridicule. And so Ms Jenkins now claims her grubby wool is ‘about’ “forging a path of self-determination in the face of society’s expectations.” Which had somehow slipped her mind up until this point.

Patrick Chester

Evidently "art" has devolved to the point where we find something extraordinarily prosaic and then involve bodily fluids in some fashion. I suppose these new artists fail to realize that toddlers all over the world have been creating these sorts of masterpieces since, well, forever.

I wouldn't put toddler's messes in the category of art, but I find their usual scribblings with fingerpaints, crayons, etc. outclasses things that are called "serious" art.

Actually, fan-made art for various games/books/movies/etc tends to be better as well. Might have something to do with the creators in question (be they toddlers or fans) are trying to show appreciation for something instead of seeing how many people they can shock.

David

Patrick,

instead of seeing how many people they can shock.

As so often, the reactions of Guardian readers are quite instructive. One reader chastises the people leaving mocking comments, congratulates Ms Jenkins on having “expanded art’s field of endeavour,” and says, rather airily, “Is it art? Well it has shocked, surprised, offended... so I’d say definitely.” There are many comments of this kind. So art is now being defined by quite a few people as something, anything, that shocks and offends. Or something that makes people mock it as pretentious and banal - which is then construed, dishonestly, as being shocked and offended. At no point does this reader, or others making similar noises, refer to aesthetics. Beauty isn’t even acknowledged as a passing consideration. It isn’t on the list. It’s all about the alleged shockingness of it all. And this is offered as a sophisticated position.

How far we’ve come.

Jonathan

" So art is now being defined by quite a few people as something, anything, that shocks and offends."
Provided, of course, that it shocks and offends the right people; the most famous example being the Mohammed cartoons, which offended entirely the wrong people and were therefore to be condemned.

Pellegri

Interesting. So by those criteria, van Gogh's "Starry Night" is not art.

It's lovely, but I don't think it's shocked, surprised, or offended anyone except people who really don't like ...

uh. whatever school of art he represents. (I am out of my depth in discussions of art history. I apologize.)

Nik White

As Franklin pointed out during our exchange with Stef Elrick, the vagueness isn’t just a matter of incompetence, but opportunism too

Absolutely, though I'd still maintain that the source of much of the unintended comedy is that artists such as Elrick and Jenkins are genuinely unaware that what they are doing is not only opportunist, as you say, but also completely lacking in courage or conviction. It's a tacit admission that they have absolutely no idea what they are doing or why - which is a poor showing for a professional 'artist' (or a professional worthy of the description in any field for that matter).

As both you and Franklin point out, Elrick and Jenkins are hopelessly derivative of one-trick pony works from the 60s and 70s which in their own turn were looking back to Marinetti's Futurism (pre-WW I) and the Cabaret Voltaire (c. 1917) - though I think Elrick and Jenkins' real inheritance is probably the Grand Guignol).

What is indisputably opportunistic is Elrick and/or the Cornerhouse's cynical use of on-message buzz words as an 'Open Sesame' to finagle funding (I'm assuming it was funded in part or whole by the Arts Council) to have her boyfriend 'first time collaborator' tattoo her bare naked arse in front of a crowd of strangers:

dissolve boundaries
collaboration
performance
international
emotional
transforming
explore
vulnerability
intimacy
process
experience
bodies
memories
etched
flesh
open
virtual
hub
integrated
represents
fluctuating
document
online picture diary
concept

David

Nik,

the Cornerhouse’s cynical use of on-message buzz words as an ‘Open Sesame’ to finagle funding

If you’ve ever had to spend a weekend ploughing through dozens of art press releases, you’ll know how hypnotic and numbing it is. There are basically two dozen words and phrases that are repeated endlessly in an attempt to signal those all-important intellectual credentials, and which typically have little or no bearing on whatever it is you’re actually looking at. And so a given piece of art – it scarcely matters which – is often said to hover between this and that, to be both such-and-such and its opposite, absent and present, while confounding this, transgressing that and interrogating the other. How these things allegedly happen should of course be vague and unverifiable.

This reliance on generic buzzwords and assumptions, used seemingly at random, is a tad perverse, given that the items being (supposedly) described are typically uninteresting to the eye and rely very heavily on ‘theory’ and verbal elaboration. As Brian Ashbee noted while explaining the rules of writing art bollocks, “This is not art to be looked at; this is art to talk about and write about. It doesn’t reward visual attention; it generates text.” It’s been, as it were, rendered academic, and therefore statusful. But apparently academia is where art goes to die.

Pellegri

Can we make an algorithm to mine word frequency from these and then dynamically generate art reviews on demand, ones that shape themselves to the current critical mode being expressed in the publications of the day?

Because that would be really cool.

Hal

Can we make an algorithm . . . .

The Pomo Generator has been running for awhile.

There is also another collection of options.

There's probably going to be some sort of generator for the uber hyper feminist coding "language" concept, so I rather expect that an "art" review generator would be relatively trivial.

Soooo . . . apparently very much in the category of the "feminist" coding and the attempt to demand acclaim as an artist while pulling wool over everyone's eyes, we collectively are now informed of such a thing as a wine philosopher with accompanying college level . . . um . . . well the plan is to list this as a class.

Pellegri

I was thinking of the Pomo generator, in fact, when I suggested that.

I just like the idea of it being adaptive based to whatever new jargon is being churned out.

ACTOldFart

Never mind the pomo critique or art-speak generators, what the world really needs is an algorithmic arts grant application generator. Fortunately for the pretentiously talentless everywhere, such a thing (or at least a generator of the titles of grant applications) already exists. See:

http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/timblair/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/initial_investment/

You simply plug in your initials (presuming your parents were nomino-normative enough to give you just two christian names and a single surname), and out pops the title of your next grant application. That's the hard part done, and then turn to the pomo-generator for the text, and your mobile phone number for the amount of money you seek. Simple.

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