David Thompson
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February 18, 2015

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Robert the Biker

A life without pretentious smug wankers attempting to pick my pocket because they're so very worth it!
How wonderful that would be!

Viewer from afar

As Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame, back in the 1990s) says, "...art is a private language for sophisticates to congratulate themselves on their superiority to the rest of the world. As my artist's statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance."

David

But… but Robert… How can you not be deeply moved by a full hour of uninterrupted radical door scraping? Followed by an hour of some hooded bint scraping knives together? See how she thrills the crowd.

james

My daughter's friend is having performance art lessons (seven years old).

Anna

See how she thrills the crowd.

I don't think he's looking at her art.

David

I don’t think he’s looking at her art.

Heh. But the chap seems so… studious and earnest.

Lancastrian Oik

Nicole Dube is really good at crayoning-in, though. She stays within the lines and everything.

sk60

I don't think he's looking at her art.

Worst. Date. Ever.

rjmadden

and yet sadly, inexplicably, “underfunded.”

And yet sadly, inexplicably, still at large.

David

And yet sadly, inexplicably, still at large.

You mean you weren’t swayed by three hours of radical pavement mopping?

No pleasing some people.

Rick

On a positive note it all seems to have a healthy stay active keep fit masturbatory aspect to it with evidence that peer review plays a strong part.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

But… but Robert… How can you not be deeply moved by a full hour of uninterrupted radical door scraping?

I read this at first as "racial door scraping". Would fit right in at the local university, I suppose.

Lancastrian Oik

"Three hours of radical pavement mopping".

I liked the bit where she was doing the writing, whilst dressed as Captain America's radfem niece, with an eating disorder, and some tatts.

When the equivalent of the Red Skull failed to show up I must admit that I lost interest rapidly.

That took about five seconds, by the way. Yeah, that long- I think it means that I just care more than some of the cynics who frequent this place.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

You do have to give the mopper and scraper some credit, though, as both instances are probably the first times in their (both of them , not just the singular their) lives they have done anything vaguely resembling manual labor.

wtp

Watching the first video (OK, the first 1:22 of the first video) I had a capital idea, though it seems F M Muldoon may have beaten me to it. If someone could organize these performances of deck swabbing, door scraping, etc. on a broad scale all across the country on a daily, say 8 hour a day basis, there could be produced a work of art that is unarguably worth its value, regardless of the "eye of the beholder" qualifier. Or perhaps special studios where these artists can perform! Someplace with a slogan! Kunst macht frei!

Ray

Mind: Blown.

David

Mind: Blown.

Don’t faint on me, dammit.

Daniel Ream

Performance allows them to fabricate situations of childhood trauma and adult responsibility.

Okay, not to dampen the hilarity of all this, but I had a friend who trolled in these waters in university because many of these bints were rather undiscriminating in their choice of sexual partners. According to him, virtually all of them had tales of childhood sexual and/or physical abuse to tell. How much of that was true and how much attention-seeking look-at-me victim posturing is unknowable, but when I see these people I find it hard to laugh. I suspect many of them are working out (or more accurately, not working out) some very deep-rooted damage.

Ofay Cat

All the shit used to be called doing dumb stuff while killing time. .... it's for year olds ... those people are losers and nothing more ....

svh

a full hour of uninterrupted radical door scraping

Door scraping and muttering, David. Don't forget the muttering.

David

Door scraping and muttering, David. Don’t forget the muttering.

Oh yes. That too.


Scrape, scrape, scrape.

“I forbid you.”

Scrape, scrape, SCREECH.

“It’s none of your business.”

Scrape, SCREECH, scrape.


That’s deep poetry, that is.

Lancastrian Oik

Kunst macht frei!

Wouldn't work. From where could you "ethically source" yardbrushes, Nitromors, various things with sharp blades, etc. for these proposed ateliers?

Exactly....

The participants would be too traumatised to work seek intersectional meaning and memory in others by the act of othering.

Shame, really, because sweeping up, or stripping old pine doors and furniture for other people will still earn you a few bob in my part of the North West of England.

Hal

That’s deep poetry, that is.

Meh.

I prefer the classics.

They told me, Francis Hinsley, they told me you were hung
With red protruding eye-balls and black protruding tongue;
I wept as I remembered how often you and I
Had laughed about Los Angeles and now ’tis here you’ll lie;
Here pickled in formaldehyde and painted like a whore,
Shrimp-pink incorruptible, not lost nor gone before.
Jimmy

Execrable, but also totally banal. When will it end.

Jimmy

ssshhhhlurp

apropos

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I suspect many of them are working out (or more accurately, not working out) some very deep-rooted damage.

I rather think that their (the plural this time, not the singular their) main malfunction is that for their whole lives they (plural again) have been so cosseted and fed the pap of the esteem movement that they (again the plural they) never emotionally advanced out of infancy.

That applies also to the pretentious twits such as the people studying the knife scraper, though it would be an interesting debate as to whether the "artists" or observers are the more pretentious.

Andrew

I make performance art every day. Usually around 6:30am right before my shower.

Tell Sackett

Anyone remember the Hancock's Half Hour episode "The Poetry Society"? That was more than 50 years ago so it's reassuring to know that the creative flame still burns bright. I wonder whether the enforced munificence of the taxpayer has anything do with that. I'd get on the gravy train myself if I thought I'd be able to stand the company I'd have to keep.

ac1

Meanwhile the market for ONLINE gaming is set to reach 111 Billion USD.

dw

Darien Stankowski’s haphazard scraping of a wooden door, the purpose of which remains stubbornly unobvious and hard to care about.

I thought you were joking. I now wish you were.

David

I thought you were joking. I now wish you were.

You do have to marvel at the pretensions involved. Well, no, you don’t have to. Given what’s on offer, you could, quite reasonably, not give a shit and do something more interesting instead. But if these people want us to pay attention, and it seems they do, they can hardly be surprised if our attention is drawn to their incompetence, conformity and bad faith. Which is to say, the more obvious features of what it is they’re doing, or pretending to do.

And remember, the fatuous noodling above has been encouraged and accepted as adequate, even exemplary, something to display. It’s supposedly the result of study. There doesn’t seem to be any mechanism for deterring tosspottery, or any expectation that tosspottery will be discouraged, criticised or even remarked upon. Have any of the artists above had one of their peers or educators take them quietly to one side and say, “Actually, what you’re doing is the most colossal wank, and transparently so. Just how dumb do you think we are?”

Jimmy

“Actually, what you’re doing is the most colossal wank, and transparently so. Just how dumb do you think we are?”

Well, I'm willing to bet a significant number of teachers have already been there, done that to some degree. Who are they to judge?.

David

I’m willing to bet a significant number of teachers have already been there, done that to some degree.

And I suppose if the person teaching you thinks this makes her an artist, and has friends and associates who think this makes them artists, and if they all agree with each other about how clever and radical they are, then you’re pretty much screwed. Unless of course you’re every bit as talentless and dishonest as they are. In which case, huzzah.

Jimmy

Speaking of yarn related artistry...

Great art, or mental illness?. You be the judge.

btw there is actual applause at the end. Encouraging this sort of behaviour should be a punishable offence. A pie in the face, perhaps. That's what clowns deserve.

David

Speaking of yarn related artistry...

It’s so potent. Like seeing the world anew.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

But if these people want us to pay attention, and it seems they do, they can hardly be surprised if our attention is drawn to their incompetence, conformity and bad faith.

The difficulty is that the hordes who pay to pay attention are not the ones who point out the incompetence and conformity and thus the proverbial self-licking ice-cream cone (or self wrapping eggplant) of inanity is perpetuated.

David

and thus the proverbial self-licking ice-cream cone (or self wrapping eggplant) of inanity is perpetuated.

It does suggest a profound and institutionalised lack of integrity.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

It does suggest a profound and institutionalised lack of integrity.

It goes beyond that, I think, in that operating in their frame of reference they see themselves as chock-a-block with integrity, just as the Mafioso considers himself as a man of integrity because he strictly follows omerta, and we who do not lap at their font of genius are Morlocks lacking in integrity.

When I was a much younger Muldoon, when actual hippies roamed the Earth, this nonsense appeared to have its beginnings, Marcel Duchamp hanging urinals on walls and calling it art notwithstanding. At the time I was attending a school that in its art departments were schools for craftsmen (as un-PC as that term is now), commercial artists, and visual artists. Performance art at the time simply meant the theatre crowd. At any rate, that which I got to witness was that the craftsmen and commie artists were regularly raked over the coals (generally constructively) during peer critiques of their products, but the visual artists never were, except when one produced that which would be considered "traditional" drawings, paintings, or whatever. The visual artists tended to look with disdain upon the craftsmen - pardon, craftpersons - as mere product makers regardless of the actual artistry involved in the furniture, ceramics, or whatever.

Though it sounds as if blinding flash of the obvious, I would suggest that the primary cause of this dreck has been the rise of narcissism and arrested emotional development as a byproduct of the self-esteem movement and its handmaiden, relativism, all of which have led to an utter abandonment of standards and technique that actually require talent. Everyone got the proverbial gold star.

Unfortunately the half century or so that this nonsense in the art world has been festering has led to its becoming institutionalized, and I fear that the only cure will be economic conditions so bad that it will be starved out of existence for lack of funding, whether parental, state, or foundation.

I will now report to the re-education camp so I can learn the profundity of rubbing crayons on sandpaper.

D

That's a great point -- I wonder if I could get funding by declaring that me sitting quietly at my desk and typing is, in fact, a deep work of art. Then I could get paid twice! Or I could get paid to do my yard work, because it's about -- I don't know, man's struggle with nature or something. This opens up all kinds of new avenues for things that claim to be art!

Paul - Nottingham

Some nice cleavage shots on the second to last. I had assumed that it would go into a little girl on girl action but perhaps I misunderstood the meaning of performance art.

Still, if the lady involved wishes to contact me I am confident with my aid and direction we can overcome her underfunding problem. And increase her audience.

Paul - Nottingham

That's a great point -- I wonder if I could get funding by declaring that me sitting quietly at my desk and typing is, in fact, a deep work of art.

If you can convincingly impersonate an infinite number of monkeys I'll watch the 2 minute condensed version of that.

Paul - Nottingham

I don't think he's looking at her art.

"t" or "se." It's only a few letters after all.

Paul - Nottingham

I was trying to work out if the artists waddle in the first video were because she's a bit of a lard arse or as the result of artistic expression. Any thoughts?

Hal

It goes beyond that, I think, in that operating in their frame of reference they see themselves as chock-a-block with integrity, just as the Mafioso considers himself as a man of integrity because he strictly follows omerta, and we who do not lap at their font of genius are Morlocks lacking in integrity.

Ehn.

No.

Competent Mafioso could at least demonstrate competence in operation. Do ignore the Disney version, Caribbean pirates were definitely known for having completely thought out, quite sound and valid economic practices.

Though it sounds as if blinding flash of the obvious, I would suggest that the primary cause of this dreck has been the rise of narcissism and arrested emotional development as a byproduct of the self-esteem movement and its handmaiden, relativism, all of which have led to an utter abandonment of standards and technique that actually require talent. Everyone got the proverbial gold star.

That, instead.

Hipsters, by definition, are not the counterculture, they are the lackingculture.

And then along came the nineteen-empties. Unfortunately, the decade will never be remembered as the nineteen-eighties. Because of the weak and deluded, the 'empties wound up instead being the undoubted, bar nothing, butt-ugliest decade of the entire 20th century. Early on in the nineteen-empties, a very minor bit of social satire was published, called "The Preppy Handbook" The powerful uniformly noted the satire as being satire, where a redundant indicator is that it always and still is categorized as humor. On an other hand, the weak and deluded rather uniformly delineated themselves as the weak and deluded by totally missing the point, subsequently fantasizing that the book is an actual guide, and as the weak and deluded do, they also additionally fantasized that if they called themselves preppy, that any of the powerful might someday thus mistake them for any form of capable adults. . . . . . .

Etc.

El Duderino

I think it's safe to say the human race has long since reached its zenith and is now fast gathering momentum on the downhill slide.

Drake D

The young lady beginning at the 8:00-minute mark is quite attractive, an outlier for the genre. I was hoping it would be one of those "strip and smear chocolate all over her body" type of performances. Sadly, no. Instead she starting whining on about something and the magical moment evaporated for me.

I am impressed by the "audiences of one" peppered throughout the performances, although I believe the young man in the final performance simply wanted to get close to a woman, at any cost.

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