#wacasnu Words a Contemporary Artist Should Never Use
Critics! Artists! Artsy friends! I’m compiling a list for a new project and need your help!
I’m looking for words artists should never use in their artist’s statements (e.g. explore), or when describing their work (e.g. meditative). It could also be words that are taboo within the general contemporary art conversation as well (e.g. spiritual).
Please submit words using the hashtag in Twitter, comment on FB or on the tumblr page here. If you prefer your contribution to be anonymous you can email me: email@example.com.
I can’t give more details yet but stay tuned, and thanks!
“Some people have been on the ride for a long time and they begin to question, is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us, they say, “hey - don’t worry, don’t be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride…” And we… kill those people. Ha ha “Shut him up.” “We have a lot invested in this ride. Shut him up. Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and my family. This just has to be real.” Just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. Jesus murdered; Martin Luther King murdered; Malcolm X murdered; Gandhi murdered; John Lennon murdered; Reagan…. wounded. But it doesn’t matter because: It’s just a ride.”—Bill Hicks (via)
iMovie! 100% Saturation! Ken Burns! Drum roll! Screenshot!
I couldn’t stop thinking about this for most of the day yesterday. Wasn’t sure why, or why I chose to defend Allen or chirp up in the first place (besides the fact that he seems like a nice/smart guy online). In making this video response I realized I did so because I believe in supporting what I view as a kind of digital populism (dopulism?) at work. It takes an image/artist that most art world folks are familiar with and seeks (in my opinion) to hold the viewers hand into the big scary world of digital theory. The rub is that some people already know all the tropes and history of digital art so to them it comes off as banal, well-trodden, dated etc. Understandable. Totally cool. However, and this is regardless of whether or not it’s “fine” art or not, I believe it’s important because in a small way it further “legitimizes” digitally inspired practices. Especially conceptually driven digital practices.
It’s one thing to make a painting in Brushes, it’s another thing to use conceptual tenets AND technology. In the end it’s not about the technology at all, but HOW the technology is used to make a point. I also don’t think it even matters WHAT that point is.
Ok there’s probably a lot more, but that’s all I got at the moment.
P.S. The video is meant to play in the background while you read this post and associated links. Or a large projection on a wall, with people passing by.
Bushwick Open Studios starts today at noon and continues until Sunday 7pm. If you’re planning on checking it out, I’ll be around! Listing/more info is here.
Also, there will be an informal performance on Sunday from 4pm-5pm. I’d like to create a group drawing with you: For you virtual players send a tweet with any message and the hashtag #circleforme and I will draw a circle for you. Your message can be something that you hope for, something you want to get rid of, an opinion, a random message, etc. Whatever it is, I’ll put that into your circle(s). Send as many, or as few, as you’d like, from now until Sunday at 5pm. For those that are visiting IRL you’ll be able to draw your own circle (in a different section of the same drawing).
P.S. I’m still digesting last week’s Whitney performance. A bunch of scattered notes will eventually be making their way into a post. Maybe next week? I know, I know, you’re on the edge of your seat. :)
P.P.S. Oh also this weekend in Long Island City, Flux Factory is opening a show: The Science Fair! I’ve caught a sneak peek of the install (shh) and it looks pretty awesome. Check it out Saturday or Sunday 12pm-6pm.
Site-specific works are impermanent, installed in particular locations for limited duration, their impermanence providing the measure of their circumstantiality. […] In this, the site-specific work becomes an emblem of transience, the ephemerality of all phenomena; it is the memento mori of the twentieth century. Because of its impermanence, moreover, the work is frequently preserved only in photographs. This fact is crucial, for it suggests the allegorical potential of photography. […] As an allegorical art, then, photography would represent our desire to fix the transitory, the ephemeral, in a stable and stabilizing image.
Craig Owens, The Allegorical Impuse: Toward a Theory of Postmodernism (Part I)
All those images of Abramović make me think that she is as much an artist who uses performance to create images, as she is a performance artist. Some of those documentary photographs of her are so iconic (with all the religious resonances of that word […] that the fact of the performance can seem almost secondary. I’m thinking here about a piece such as Rest Energy (1980), in which she and Ulay hold a bow and arrow in tension, the arrow pointing at Abramović’s chest. It’s less of a record of a performance than a striking and carefully constructed image, one both instantaneously grasped (you don’t need to study it for more than a second to work out what’s going on) and laden with symbolism.