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[P]
What Art Is

By CheeseburgerBrown in Culture
Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:03:12 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Defining art is like defining sexy -- as slippery as it is sure, as ephemeral as it is compelling.

None of our modern techniques for detecting art have made the matter more certain. Our giga-computers and mega-scanners of the 21st century have utterly failed to clarify the picture. And, while generation after generation of human beings stumble their way into learning about sexy, art remains more of a mystery than ever.

It is easy to point at history and argue that the constant presence of art is proof of its essential nature to the spirit of every earthly civilization. Like oxygen, like dance. The portfolios of a thousand dead masters is a solid hook upon which to hang your hat.

It's a Captain Kirk speech waiting to happen. "Art -- is part of...who we are. It's part of...being human, Spock."

This world is full of black turtleneck-wearing pedantibots who can define art in terms of a million high-falutin' ten-cent words, but these are exercises in obfuscation as often as education. Artists are a jealous guild and if you ask them they'll say that it takes a trained artist to recognize art -- it's just that lofty and subtle and contextually sensitive and refined.

It's a waterfall of bullshit.

But let me tell you this: when I was four years old I experienced the real McCoy.


When I Was Young and Ancient Greek

Before we have words we explore the universe sensually. The impressions these explorations leave are the keystone concepts around which we build our notion of the world. It's true.

When I was two years old I slept in a crib. When I was finished sleeping I would stand at the side of the crib and call my mommy. While I waited for her to arrive I would put my mouth around the rail of the crib, and feel it with my teeth and tongue.

The rail was made of wood, encased along the top edge in a strip of smooth plastic. The contrast in textures fascinated me. Frictive below, glossy above; chewy below, yielding but unbreakable on top; intricate and patterned on the bottom, fat and cold and constant on top.

I remember it.

And I remember being three years old and sitting under a piece of lawn furniture. On one of the legs the thick, rubbery plastic skinning had peeled back from the rusted metal beneath. I ran my fingers around the edge of the wound, taking in the simultaneous impressions of the pitted, fractal details of the metal and the broad, clean uniformity of the skin.

And so was born my reoccurring dream, which would visit me throughout my childhood: twin lines of material move laterally -- the bottom element composed of fine, intricately woven strands, the top element composed of a thick, glossy plastic studded at irregular intervals with little domes and coins of lawn furniture material. The dream was far too abstract to convey to my mom, but I did try. "I had my funny dream again," I'd tell her. "About the way the moving stuff feels."

Children are natural philosophers. They have an engine in their heads that compels them to classify and associate, to compare and to formalize. Give them time and they'll run through the early history of metaphysical thought without batting an eye -- they just won't be able to tell you about it, is all.

When I was four years old I decided that there were two elemental kinds of material in the universe, each the complement and opposite of one another. The first material was wide and heavy and simple, and the second material was complex and patterned and light. Broad and Intricate.

I saw the relationship between these two essential materials in all things.

It was clear to me as a child natural philosopher that the most perfect of all shapes was a sphere. Things substantially larger than civilization, like the Sun and Moon, were round. The Sun was a Broad ball of light which turned around the plane of our Intricate Earth.

It all rhymed, in my head. The themes were universal. The rhyme between concepts delighted me in a way I could not express.

I didn't have the words, but now I can identify the feeling. As a four year old I was convinced that the interplay of the Broad and Intricate forces in our world of Spheres was holy.


Event Horizon

And then one day my parents took me to see Disney's The Black Hole (1979). The movie featured a lot of pioneering computer animated effects, including an opening sequence flying around and through a space-like hypersurface surrounding a black hole, described with warped green wireframe lines on black.

I found the image compelling.

The green lines were accompanied by a slow, pounding bass and brass march scored by John Barry, full of foreboding and doom. It occurred to me wordlessly as I watched that the green lines were the element of intricacy, and the music -- a non-visual, non-textural element -- was playing the role of broadness. What a revelation! I realized that Broadness and Intricacy were not inherent qualities, but rather ones imparted by the observer by virtue of the contrast between things.

It was the way Broadness and Intricacy were proportioned that lent them their beauty, and they could be rhymed in any medium. As long as the proportions were true they would rhyme with the world and so seem right. Or, if done perfectly, even holy.

I didn't have words for any of this. I wasn't yet five. I was quickly distracted by the spaceships and robots on screen. The image of the round, churning black hole surrounded by a halo of spiralling cosmic jetsam riveted me, as well as its inexorable, merciless pull. Only a sphere could be so powerful, I reasoned.

When we came home my parents went to do mommy and daddy things and I retired to the rec room in the basement. I went to my drawing desk and tried to draw the space-like hypersurface from the opening of the movie, but it wasn't nearly as interesting as a still picture. I tried pretending that my eye was a camera and zooming the paper past my head.

Then I spotted my mother's basket of yarn. The yarn was green. Eureka!

I could not replicate the image of the thing, but I could replicate the thing itself. I started unravelling the balls of yarn. I wasn't allowed to use scissors by myself, so I sawed the yarn against one of the metal arms of the mechanism that reclined my dad's easy chair.

I made a grid of yarn that stretched from one end of the room to the other, tying it to furniture and light fixtures, toys and doorknobs. It was fun to look out at the web and choose which parts to tie together next, or connect with a bridge of smaller stringlets. It was fun to crawl around underneath it, and look at it from the floor.

Next I tried dropping balls of various sizes into the middle of the yarn network to make it bow and warp as if a black hole were there, but they were too light. I tried using heavy toys, but they kept falling through. I thought the yarn might be heavier if it were wet, so I filled up my plastic space-helmet with water from the washroom and then poured it on the centre of the web (and all over the carpet).

Then I just got into pretending I was a movie camera, closing one eye and moving around the mesh from various angles. Tilting my head for a dutch shot I panned along the flattest part, skimming in close to the strands and then pulling back to take in the whole scope of my creation.

It was a grand, grand thing.

But the sudden shout from behind me was not congratulatory. "Cheeseburger Toad Frankfurter Brown! What are you doing?"

My mommy was not impressed. I was not able to convey to her what I was trying to accomplish. She couldn't understand the association between my mess and The Black Hole. I wasn't yet five, and my oratory skills were still developing. I tried to patiently make my case but I got a spanking. I had to clean up the basement and go to my room.

In my room I thought about this: the intricate element was the thing-place I had made. The broad element was the unfettered joy it filled me with.


Redux

Yes, and I once attended an imploding school. It was a million years old and run by dying hippies. It was all lead paint and asbestos and the grime of decade-stains, lit by incandescent lamps on long, dirty cables. The windows were thick and irregular, the outside world convoluted into whorls of coloured light.

Inside was chaos, too. I've mentioned all this before.

One day my friend Cowboy and I were farting around in the abandoned Humanities Room, playing Jenga with stacks of chairs. We were thirteen years old. A snotty girl wandered in and asked us if we had seen her lost book. It was white with a bunch of blue people on it, she said. We knew the book -- we'd seen other kids from her home-form with the same assignment, carrying the same paperback. We hadn't seen any lying around, no.

She left. And then Cowboy found the book. "Let's hide it and then make her look for it. We'll go like hot-hot-hot, cold. You know?"

"Good idea."

But once Cowboy had hidden the book in a cupboard we decided that the game was too easy. "We should make an obstacle course," he said. So we dragged the tables and chairs around and made a kind of maze. But it still didn't seem to contain enough latent amusement to satisfy us.

That's when I spotted the box full of rolls of masking tape. I said, "Hey, I know -- let's make a giant spider-web."

Yes. Something rang true in it. I was consumed by the task. I was drunk on the joy of the creation, and gave no thought to any consequences. Cowboy and I wrapped up the masking tape strips into heavy cables, and then hung them across the classroom. Then we each took a roll and set to creating connecting strands that dropped down near the floor, and tied them together with more tape.

When we were done we were both winded and sweaty with the effort, but we'd made a wondrous thing -- a three-dimensional labrynth of webbing that described tunnels and awnings leading from the floor, over and under tables, and finally creating tiny pockets near the cupboards which could only be explored on hands and knees.

It was Cowboy who came up with the inspired touch of making it like finding pirate treasure. We drew a rough and misleading map, and marked an X. "We should burn the edges, to make it more piratty," I said, so Cowboy pulled out his lighter and singed the edges of the map. He put a few little holes in it, too, trying to brown the paper. It looked cool.

I took the lighter and crawled through the maze. The afternoon light shining through the windows created stripes of shadow over my hands as I crawled. I came to the cupboard and pulled out the book, and then I singed the edges of the pages as we'd done to the map. "Now everything looks piratty," I called.

"Cool!"

I replaced the book and crawled out. We went to the Common Room and found Snotty. Cowboy cleared his throat. "The good news: my colleague and I have solved the case of the missing book. The bad news: we're pirates."

I presented the map. "Arrr!"

Snotty looked snotty. "Where's the stupit book?"

Cowboy cackled. "Avast! Ye must follow the map to finds the treasure!"

"Arrr," I said again, for emphasis.

And so Snotty and a half dozen other kids from the Common Room followed us to the Humanities Room and were bedazzled by the magnificence of our creation. Snotty wouldn't go inside the maze but everyone else did. More wandered by, returning from afternoon field trips, and marvelled and gawked or shook their heads and laughed. Most crawled around and played a little or a lot. The sheer improbability of the thing made them giggle, and feel young.

"It's not just vandalism," Cowboy announced. "It's a ride!" He then jumped into the thickest part of the net. It held his weight momentarily before pulling over several tables and chairs, collapsing in a chain reaction, rippling outward from his position.

The noise brought complaints from below, and someone was sent to check on the commotion. Principal Poopoolopolis was not far behind, the matted hair covering his body standing out through his white shirt. We'd all cleared the room by that point, but he found us in the urine-stinking locker gallery trying to pull tape out of Cowboy's hair. "You boys have been warned before," said Poopoolopolis.

We attended a trial by hippie.

MoonChild, the queen of the school, sat across the table from Cowboy and I and stared at us with a sad half-smile. She held a pen, and was fingering a lock from her massive gush of unruly hair. She was trying to get her head around the whole "art project" angle of the thing, and was eager to seize on a non-barbaric explanation.

Cowboy said, "We know it was stupid, MoonChild. Both CheeseburgerBrown and I have jobs, and we want to pay the school back for the cost of the tape we wasted."

I nodded.

This was very satisfactory to MoonChild, but then her face became graver. She leaned back in her chair, further away from us, the beads around her neck jingling. "What's more troubling here, however, is this." She put Snotty's copy of the assigned paperback on the table, with its singed edges. "Who did this?"

"I did," I said.

"Cowboy, you can go," she said quietly. Cowboy pushed back his chair and left. MoonChild turned back to me, chewing her lip for a moment before speaking.

"Why did you do this?"

"So that it would look like a pirate map, kinda. You know, like browned and ragged at the edges? That's all it is, just the edges. If you think it's ruined I guess I could pay for it, too."

"That's not the point," she said.

I was pretty sure it the point was going to be about having fire in the school, if nothing else. They tend to be strict about that sort of thing. "There was hardly even a flame," I said quickly. "It wasn't really on fire -- just getting brown."

She shook her head and played with her pen and then fixed me with another long look. "It's not about how much fire you used, CheeseburgerBrown." She leaned forward and said with dire seriousness, "It's about burning books."

I blinked. She continued, "Books are ideas, and nobody's ideas should be censored by you, or by anyone. Do you understand? Burning books is a crime against ideas, a crime against humanity. Do you understand that?"

"But MoonChild," I protested. "I didn't burn the copy -- I just singed the edges. It's an artistic effect! I didn't ruin the book. You could still read the ideas in it."

"CheeseburgerBrown," she snapped harshly, "you cannot get away from the fact you burned this book. You burned these ideas. Do you know what this book is about?"

"No. My home-form is doing Interstellar Pig this term."

MoonChild looked down, leafing through the singed paperback. "This is Night by Elie Wiesel. It's about Auschwitz."

"What's Auschwitz?"

"It was a Nazi Death Camp."

"Oh. Like from the war."

"The Nazis committed unspeakable atrocities, including book burning. And a lot of people get very upset when they're reminded of that kind of thing, especially Jewish people. I'm a Jew, CheeseburgerBrown. And, God, when I saw that room, saw that giant swastika made of masking tape..."

"What are you talking about? There was no swastika!"

"Well, there's one version and then there's another. I'd like to believe you, CheeseburgerBrown. But with the book burning on top of it, we have no real choice here. That sort of demonstration can't be tolerated, I'm sorry." She sat back again. "You are suspended from school. Is there someone at home right now?"

"What?"

"Who's at home right now?"

"The nanny. I'm suspended? For singing the edges of a book?"

MoonChild smacked the table hard with her open palm. "No!" She shook her head and stood up. "You can play naive all you want, but I'm making clear now to you and to all the students here that book burning will not be tolerated. It is a hate crime, CheeseburgerBrown. Think about that."

I was suspended for three days. Sometimes the broad strokes wipe out the intricate detail. Data is lost.


Climax

This piece is a triptych. It comes in three parts, like the classic Star Wars Saga. The Empire dealt the Rebellion a mighty blow, but that couldn't stop the return of the Jedi. Fueled by a new hope, every dog has his day.

I was twenty. I was at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. My major was a field called "Intermedia." Don't ask. No one was ever able to produce a satisfactory definition of the course of study, including the instructors. They were artists who worked in the field professionally, so when pressed to describe the genre they would point to their own work and say, "Well, there's one example."

Our class had space in the old Morse Tea Building by the harbour, industrial space converted by the school into small clusters of studios, connected to a larger conference room where we sat around a wooden table and watched slides and videos.

I was assigned the theme of "space" for my next project.

While each of the other major students were dealt out their themes I rocked back and forth on my chair and looked at the space we were in. It occurred to me that much of the space was unoccupied by human beings. Like the space beneath the table, or above people's heads. The space could be roped off, and no one would find their navigation impaired.

It came on me of a sudden: my experiments at four and thirteen had been mere preamble. This was my chance to make my greatest web ever.

I did not want anyone to see my web in progress, so I pre-tied great spans of it at home with white string. I cut off the loose fringes after tying, giving the arrangement a nobbly but clean look. The night before my presentation day I had my friend Gimli give me a lift to the Morse Tea Building, the back-seat of his rusted Jetta overflowing with bundles of string.

And I spent the night webbing up every nook of unused space on our floor, from the elevator lobby through the hallways, on through the conference rooms and into studios. I laid out tendrils leading from one room to another, tied along the walls, meeting and separating, pausing to array into a geometric arrangement, moving on. I networked the windows, I connected the pillars, I bridged floor and ceiling.

Lastly, and most importantly, I strung the path of filaments out across the square outside, over the street and into a window of the next building, in the textiles department. First I tied a string to the windowsill of my studio, and wound it around a bundle of popsicle sticks. I dangled it down to the dark sidewalk and let it rest. Then I crossed the street and used Gimli's key to get into the textiles department. I said hello to a couple of students who were working all night to finish an assignment. To the windowsill I attached a second string and bundle of popsicle sticks, and let them dangle down to the sidewalk. Then I ran outside, picked up one string-end and then the other, and tied them together.

Once back in my studio I hoisted up the slack until a taunt line was formed. I had prefabricated a thick, hollow cable of interwoven string, and I untied my end of the cross-square line and put fed the cable on. More tossed bundles of ballast, pulling strings across the street from four storeys below, more trips up and down the elevator back and forth between the intermedia studios and the textiles department. "What are you doing, exactly?" one of the sleepy textile students asked me, furrowing her brow.

"Uh, intermedia."

So now the fourth floor of the Morse Tea Building was ensconced in webbing, with a thick profusion of strands flying out the window and across the square, into another window and tied into the innards of a cracked, disused loom in the corner. Gimli had told me about it. This was to be the supposed origin of the strands. It was against its face that I put the carefully printed card that showcased the title of my piece:

"Naughty Loom."

Yes. I was fed up with taking the rap for this kind of mucking around. This time, it was the loom's fault.

I smoked a cigarette and felt unbelievably good. I watched the sun come up, illuminating my creation from ruddy orange to harsh white.

Come morning it was a beautiful scene. Cars slowed, pedestrians pointed, students gaped. At presentation time I met the class in the string-jungle conference room, and had them follow me across the street to textiles. We reconvened beside the source of the string, and there I told them the story I'm telling you now, beginning with black holes and concluding presently.

Like most wonderful things, it could not last long.

The fire department came and cut down the cross-square cabling, and that sort of depressed me so I cut down the rest of it, too. I wanted to preserve it as a gem memory for the occupants of the building, not to be sullied by the decaying reality. So within two days it was all gone again, as if it had never happened.

Which is just how magic should be.


In Conclusion

In a writer's world a thing is wrought that attempts to ring true with reality -- a thing that cannot be reproduced, but can be hinted at with just the right peppering of broad and intricate strokes to harmonize with patterns we remember from the world. A writer can create a thing that rhymes with reality enough to feel true, without the infinite complexity (and ambiguity) of life itself.

It's a compression algorithm, and it causes people to feel.

So too the gifted painters, the sculptors. It is in these clumsy forms that we attempt to encode the wonder of experience to artifacts.

It is my desire to recreate for you the circumstances that lead me to feel moved, so that you might be moved too. This is the essence of why I tell stories, or create virtual abstract spaces to fly through and explore, or attempt to engineer a moment of improbability with string.

This is the feeling that seized me when I was seized by the image of the space-like hypersurface. I wanted to bottle that gooseflesh, and re-experience it at will. I wanted it to enjoy it myself, and I wanted to share it so that I might enjoy myself vicariously through the eyes of others, to re-experience the wonder second hand.

Does that make me a wonder-ghoul?

Maybe, but it also makes me some kind of artist, or like anyone else who is so overwhelmed by the beauty or the horror of the sheer awe of existence that they cannot help but respond somehow.

I am the god of a very small universe, but that universe rhymes with ours and that makes me happy. When I can export a slice of that universe to others so they can taste a glimmer of that wonder, I am ecstatic. I feel alive, and tall.

So, anyway, that's what I figure art is. Exported awe.




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Poll
Art?
o Art is for tyrannical elitist Intellectubots. 5%
o Art gives me gas. 0%
o Art is as art does. 11%
o My name is Inigo Montoya; you kill my art, prepare to die. 6%
o Art embiggens the smallest soul. 6%
o Art? We don't need no stinkin' art. 2%
o Without art we're just monkeys. 8%
o Me wanna banana! 1%
o Art is an elegant weapon, from a more civilized time. 9%
o Art is just Craft with Extra Bullshit. 15%
o Art is a part of this healthy breakfast. 5%
o Ceci n'est pas d'art. 6%
o Kuro5hin is teh dying! 8%
o Only people who do drugs care about art. 8%
o L.H.O.O.Q. 2%

Votes: 72
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o I
o The Black Hole
o space-like hypersurface
o John Barry
o mentioned all this before
o Interstell ar Pig
o Night
o Nova Scotia College of Art & Design
o Also by CheeseburgerBrown


Display: Sort:
What Art Is | 201 comments (180 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
Not bad, to quote another take I like: (2.80 / 5) (#2)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 03:40:04 PM EST

Art is the process of communicating things which can't be easily communicated. There's a difference between telling someone what dread is, and actually making them feel it. That's art.

Anyway, good article.

I Like This Bit, Myself: (none / 0) (#5)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 03:52:40 PM EST

"These are miracles, but I use that word in a different way. To me a "miracle" isn't something inexplicable; it's something extraordinary and complex."

_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
I think Ezra Pound said it better.. (none / 0) (#192)
by benzapp on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 04:05:39 PM EST

Art is propaganda.  

I think that the problem we have with this article as another poster somewhat alluded to, is the author has done nothing but posit the same postmodern crap that is taught in every major American university these days.  These people are nihilistic and short sighted; they will die forgotten having contributed nothing to great narrative of human civilization.

[ Parent ]

Oh, I miss dumped this. (none / 0) (#8)
by mindpixel on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 05:25:05 PM EST

I have decided I like it.

What Made You Change Your Mind? (none / 1) (#12)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 05:55:01 PM EST

Just curious.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Unfortunately (none / 1) (#9)
by trane on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 05:30:19 PM EST

It is my desire to recreate for you the circumstances that lead me to feel moved, so that you might be moved too.

The feeling you most often move me to is a kind of cringing terror.

Anyway, compression algorithm is decent. I think of a good piece of art as something I can think of no way to improve upon. Like a blues by Coltrane say, i can't find anyway to swing it harder. Maybe after I've listened to it a million times I can hear some flaws, or get an idea how to extend it or something...

Chacun A Son Gout (none / 1) (#10)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 05:38:17 PM EST

You can't please all of the vehicles all of the time, after all.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Easy (none / 0) (#11)
by toulouse on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 05:38:35 PM EST

Like a blues by Coltrane say, i can't find anyway to swing it harder.

If it's from before late '61, it could be improved by the addition of Elvin Jones.


--
'My god...it's full of blogs.' - ktakki
--


[ Parent ]
I should have specified (none / 1) (#87)
by trane on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:59:45 PM EST

a blues by the Classic Coltrane Quartet (1961-1965). You know, like "Up Gainst the Wall", "Bessie's Blues", "Pursuance". Although, "Cousin Mary", "Blue Train", "Chasin' the Trane", etc. are pretty good swingers too...

[ Parent ]
Economic Theory of Art (none / 0) (#88)
by adavies42 on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:01:18 PM EST

Art is Pareto-optimal.

[ Parent ]
Regarding the title of your intermedia composition (3.00 / 4) (#14)
by BottleRocket on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 06:22:54 PM EST

The loom didn't do it, CheeseburgerBrown, you did it. Just like it was you who burned Elie Weisel's ideas, and you who poured water on the carpet. I would encourage you to take responsibility for your work, knowing full well that it may be misunderstood by firemen and half-smiling hippies.

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Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
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$B R Σ III$

I Confess (none / 0) (#15)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 06:31:42 PM EST

I arted. But, like a civilized man, I wiped the area thoroughly afterward.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
You do tend to art messily (3.00 / 2) (#20)
by BottleRocket on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 07:23:39 PM EST

's ok though. Clean up afterwards if it makes you feel better.

Did you ever see the thing by Matthew Barney? I spent four hours in his Cremaster Cycle, after which I was disoriented, confused, aroused, and unfortunately, not covered in petroleum jelly. It made me jealous that he should get to lose so many teeth, wear a gown, and be imprisoned by self-lubricating shackles, and I had to remain a casual viewer. I get a similar feeling about your adventure in the humanities room, but I have trouble defining what exactly I want out of it. WIPO: Art makes me jealous.

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Yes I do download [child pornography], but I don't keep it any longer than I need to, so it can yield insight as to how to find more. --MDC
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[ Parent ]

Figures (none / 1) (#16)
by kamera on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 06:32:45 PM EST

Only someone with an Oscar Wilde quote as their sig would say something like that. I fully agree.

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." -- Oscar Wilde
[ Parent ]

Reminds me of a motorcycle (3.00 / 8) (#17)
by localroger on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 07:12:53 PM EST

Really, there was this episode of American Chopper that I happened to catch on one of my lovely vacations to industrial America, when I receive the bountiful goodness of cable TV in a hotel room.

These guys at Orange County Chopper set out to build a "web chopper," a motorcycle whose frame was comprised of welded steel webbing. They went to an enormous amount of trouble to get the illusion of an "invisible motorcycle" made of faux steel spiderweb. They made spiderweb outlines of the fuel tank and oil reservoir, and since the bike was meant to run and actually needed non-invisible fuel and oil tanks these were cleverly concealed as part of the rear fender. Even the seat was steel webbing; must have been uncomfortable as hell, but also cool. Even the wheels were carved in fractal web patterns by a CNC milling machine. The final result was just tires and an engine, spun together into the ghost of a bike that you could actually ride.

I have little interest in motorcycles but I thought that was incredibly cool, not just the end result but also the process by which all of these motorhead greasemonkeys whose idea of "art" is probably a really cool Betty Boop tattoo pounded out this completely original thing I would never have thought to build in a million years.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer

Jesse James (3.00 / 3) (#24)
by rusty on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:32:15 PM EST

Those custom bike guys are actually pretty amazing. It's a bizarre medium to work in, but I would call many of them artists. One of the other ones with a few different shows is Jesse James (some kind of distant relative of that other Jesse James). He does a lot of TV hosting crap now, but his real thing is shaping steel by hand. He's one of a vanishingly small number of people that can take some flat sheet steel and cut, weld, and hand-form it into these crazy chopper gas tanks. Watching him do that, you can tell you are watching an artist at work. It's quite a thing to see.

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Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Yeah, the shaping steel thing (3.00 / 4) (#26)
by localroger on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 10:52:57 PM EST

You know, I get close to that kind of thing in my line of work but I don't do it myself. And the people I know who do pound metal aren't artists. I think what impressed me the most about that Chopper episode is seeing people with basically the same skills and the same outlook as people I work with all the time use those same skills to oh just the holy fuck wow.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]
+1 FP; Postmodernism (3.00 / 6) (#19)
by kamera on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 07:21:51 PM EST

Have you ever heard of Improv Everywhere? It's a group that stages public stunts like 'time loops' in coffee shops or having a different pantless person get on a bus at each stop until after a half-dozen stops a man selling pants gets on. It's sort of like the Cacophony Society, but you know, not mean. Your idea of exported awe reminded me of what the group views as its purpose, although I guess their awe is more gifted than exported.

They have a website at http://www.improveverywhere.com, and there was an interesting interview of the founder, Charlie Todd, on This American Life.

And for everyone else who was wondering, Wikipedia defines intermedia as

'a concept employed in the mid-sixties by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins to describe the ineffable, often confusing, inter-disciplinary activities that occur between genres that became prevalent in the 1960s. Thus, the areas such as those between drawing and poetry, or between painting and theater could be described as intermedia. With repeated occurrences, these new genres between genres could develop their own names (i.e. visual poetry or performance art.)

This, of course, brings up the question of how exactly 'Naughty Loom' fits into that description, so I'll just trust you that intermedia is largely beyond definition.

(Sorry about the editorial comment below.)

"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live." -- Oscar Wilde

A Serious Definition of "Intermedia" (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:09:59 AM EST

Practically, studies in Intermedia mean that the professor isn't concerned with what media you use, period. The efficacy of a work is judged on its merits as a piece of artistic communication*. Craftsmanship is relevant only to the extent that its lack interferes with the presentation of a work.

I like the pants thing. That amuses me. I'd buy it for a dollar.


________
* Defining "artistic communication" is like defining sexy -- et al.
_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Here's a more accurate definition: (none / 1) (#21)
by Pat Chalmers on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 08:22:34 PM EST

"Art is what you can get away with."

Attribute it to whomever you please.

No, That's Business. (none / 1) (#63)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:06:49 AM EST

Art is what you can get away with and still seem cool.


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I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Most art is business, it seems. [nt] (none / 1) (#71)
by Pat Chalmers on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:33:40 PM EST



[ Parent ]
If You Reduce Far Enough, All Is Commerce. (none / 1) (#83)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:26:55 PM EST

But dollars to dougnuts there's still a difference between what businesspeople make what artists do.


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I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
That's usually attributed to (none / 0) (#110)
by 3waygeek on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 07:37:41 PM EST

Andy Warhol, as is "Art is a man's name."

[ Parent ]
Also: (3.00 / 3) (#22)
by Pat Chalmers on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 08:25:58 PM EST

MoonChild sounds like a hyperbolic douchebag. "Oh, noes, the book you burned happened to be about some members of a religious minority who were viciously persecuted, therefore yuo = nazi." You just burned the book to make something like a pirate map. I'd have thought it was pretty obvious to her that you weren't some kind of Jew-bashing skinhead, without her going ahead and planting that shit in your head.

Well, That's How I Saw It. (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:05:25 AM EST

My parents, too. But that's what you get for going to an "alternative" school.


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I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Not necessarily (3.00 / 2) (#164)
by rusty on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 11:33:44 AM EST

I went to a pretty "alternative" school, and we didn't have any twits like that. We even had a couple of people who were definitely cast from the same mold, but they weren't idiots, and I can't imagine them having that kind of reaction to what you actually did.

No, what you had there was a run-of-the-mill stupid person. They come in all political varieties, unfortunately.

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Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Meh (none / 0) (#121)
by bugmaster on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 05:47:57 AM EST

MoonChild is a whinter, but she kind of has a point. A burnt book is a fairly powerful symbol in our culture: it represents wholesale destruction of ideas, by brute force. How would you feel if someone walked up to your freshly made spiderweb and lit it on fire ? Well, a singed book feels 100 times worse to most people.

Symbols are powerful things, regardless of whether or not you are aware of them.

And, from a purely pragmatic point of view, you shouldn't burn things that belong to you. It's bad policy.
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

Small correction: (3.00 / 2) (#165)
by rusty on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 11:35:44 AM EST

You shouldn't burn things that don't belong to you.

You should routinely burn things that do belong to you, after taking all reasonable fire-safety precautions, of course.

This has been a public service announcement from Sparky the Arson Badger. Remember kids, be safe with fire!

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Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Oops (none / 0) (#176)
by bugmaster on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 05:23:43 PM EST

Yeah, I meant what you said, not what I said. Sorry, typos...
>|<*:=
[ Parent ]
art is cinema (1.40 / 10) (#23)
by circletimessquare on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 08:52:50 PM EST

all other media is bankrupt

painting or sculpture? somebody shitting on canvas and sells it for $20K?

music? you mean a remix of someone else's music?

literature? blah blah blah snore?

no: there is only one true living art form today

the cinema

and digital technology is making it possible that we can all have a hollywood studio on our shoulders and in our pc for about $5K in a few years

so get to work young artists, but make sure to choose the only medium that matters in anymore


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Literature Isn't Dead. (3.00 / 2) (#32)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:04:06 AM EST

But I wouldn't put my money on podcasting, either.

Cinema is definitely the modern visual language, with that I agree. Television is its fattest, most vulgar (and therefore far-reaching) dialect.

But I still think you're giving installation masking tape art short shift.


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I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Bankrupt? Nah (none / 0) (#40)
by destroy all monsters on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:40:17 AM EST

It looks more like a case of you're being jaded.

I can't tell you how many people tell me "oh there's no music worth listening to anymore" who expect a regurgitation of what came before or who refuse to listen to anything they haven't heard of before. The bottom line is that in every area exciting and vital new stuff is coming out all the time. I might hate theater (and I do) but I recognize that people are doing new and interesting stuff in it all the time even if it isn't for me.

Given the level of repetition in today's cinema (especially outside independent film) I'm surprised you feel that way; particularly since every (Hollywood) vision is necessarily compromised by monetary concerns (e.g. casting).

"My opinion: You're gay, a troll, a gay troll, or in serious need of antidepressants." - horny smurf to Lemon Juice
[ Parent ]

let's put it this way (none / 1) (#50)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:36:39 AM EST

art is about representing experience to someone else, and moving them, right?

well, cinema is the most immersive artform yet then: it's visuals, it's sound, and it is long, like a book, but not too long that it can't be digested in an afternoon: just the right size timewise

therefore, it has all the sensory and temporal elements to make it literally the most powerful medium for the expression of art yet invented by mankind... all other media fails in it's "bandwidth" as compared to cinema

sure, there is theatre, but theatre is constrained by its ability to be distributed only live and it has no ability to manipulate the visual perspective or crunch the timeline

simply put, if you are a young artist, and you want the biggest canvas that reaches the most people and can move them the most, then you get into cinema, end of story

all other media looks quaint in comparison

furthermore, cinema used to be the sole province of giant bureaucratic organizations with lots of money

however, with the appearance of sub-$5K HD digital cameras, computers with massive computational power and terabytes of hard disk space for also lowly sums, then in a very few short years, ANYONE can be a director, producer, and editor of a film in their den

that really means something

let a thousand flowers bloom


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Agree, For The Block. (3.00 / 2) (#62)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:05:54 AM EST

Celebrity guest centre square CTS takes home another basket of flowers. I think he's made the case quite well.

While it's true that the world's most perfect poem may express in an incomparable way the just-soness of something eternal, but what good is that when nobody reads it except coffee shop clowns who are already dead inside?


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I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
thank you (none / 0) (#65)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:22:40 AM EST

but all of this agreement and good feeling is making me itchy

let me trot out my old "canada is a joke of a country" troll

then we can all stew in the usual k5 animosity and hatred i hold most dear to my heart


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Not Good Enough. (none / 1) (#66)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:43:16 AM EST

That troll is utterly irrelevant to our discussion here, unless you manage to bend it toward cultural protectionism, media quotas and nationalism.

I demand a custom-tailored troll!


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I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
ok, here's my attempt: (none / 1) (#74)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:56:40 PM EST

there is no such thing as a canadian artist

anyone from the geographic area called canada of any talent immediately goes south to cash in on their talent

sure, they might proudly proclaim how proud they are to be canadian, whatever that is, every now and then, but they never move back: actions speak louder than words

this is because canada, surrounded by nothing but the usa and ocean, is really just unincorporated us territory: the culture is exactly the same

molson and hockey do not make a country, eh? i mean americans from southeastern states have more cultural signifiers than canadians to differentiate themselves

therefore, there is no such thing as a canadian artist: you cannot be called a canadian artist, when really your determining cultural membership is to that of the united states... if this were not so, "canadian" artists would not migrate south at the first opportunity, as they all do, since canada is just unincorporated us territory

anyone of note has cashed in and moved, permanently, one way, to the usa, the mother culture of european north america, of which canada is but a dull satellite thereof

how was that troll? ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Reasonable! My Repost: (3.00 / 2) (#79)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:18:50 PM EST

therefore, there is no such thing as a canadian artist: you cannot be called a canadian artist, when really your determining cultural membership is to that of the united states... if this were not so, "canadian" artists would not migrate south at the first opportunity, as they all do, since canada is just unincorporated us territory

While what you are is true I fear you're looking at it backasswards -- through the distorted lens of self-aggrandizing Americana.

It is all an elaborate fart of obfuscating jingoism designed to rationalize the fact that your cultural elite are foreigners.

Who writes the television sitcoms your journalists editorialize about? Who writes the jokes? Who produces the cinema, the special effects, the visual phantasmagoria of twenty-first century American media?

You have your token players, but the simple answer is: we do.

You can keep the ass of America. And the thighs, and the elbows, and the belly. We Canadians will sit pretty up here riding on liberty's crown, sending your precious American dollars back home where we summer so that we might sit back and enjoy a real beer while we contemplate how next to steer the American show.


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I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
exactly: "liberty's crown" (none / 1) (#86)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:59:28 PM EST

see how the us cushions canada from the rest of the world and it's troubles?

you guys got it good: you are able to shit on the us, while benefitting from the us, all at the same time, because of your geography

it's good to be canadian!

but what's not so good is admitting how your existence is merely as a parasite to ours... it's simple geography, stupid

and btw, it's the other anglo neighbor who is steering our culture right now

you know, the one who sides with us in international geopolitics, as they are not shielded like you are, they have to work for their liberty ;-P

not that any of this matters... what canadians think of americans, whatever animosity or affinity they feel to americans, is about as interesting to americans as a blowhole barnacle farting is to a whale

90% of you live within 100 miles of our border, right?

canada: the usa's liver fluke ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Canadia Uber Alles! (3.00 / 2) (#89)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:19:26 PM EST

not that any of this matters... what canadians think of americans, whatever animosity or affinity they feel to americans, is about as interesting to americans as a blowhole barnacle farting is to a whale

America's famous ethnocentricity aside, your argument suffers from a second notoriously American misapprehension: that we should all like to be American.

Do Canadians find it insulting for someone to suggest that our nation is not one of globe-shaking consequence? Nope. Only Americans, and to a lesser extent the French, consider that kind of delusional hubris to be anything but a cultural character flaw.

but what's not so good is admitting how your existence is merely as a parasite to ours... it's simple geography, stupid

Sir, more than half of the economies on the planet are largely parasitic with reference to the United States. Your point is blunt, and has some mustard or something on the end of it. Clean that shit up and try again.

90% of you live within 100 miles of our border, right?

As most Finns live within 100 miles of Russia, and the rest are almost spilling into Sweden. That is simply a matter of geography.

canada: the usa's liver fluke ;-)

As one comedian put it: "Canada: North America's Designated Driver." Or, as I would say, Canada: America's conscience, sense of humour, and charming better half.

As I've said before, Canadians are Americans -- but with enough good sense to be embarrassed by the fact. The distinction is critical!

you know, the one who sides with us in international geopolitics, as they are not shielded like you are, they have to work for their liberty ;-P

Who wants to be in the liberty business? Not us. Not everyone in town can be a blacksmith, you know. You just keep on doing your job, and we'll keep doing ours.


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I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
well that's the whole point (none / 1) (#90)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:43:26 PM EST

you're not doing your job

canadians were fuck-all hardcore admirable hardasses during wwii: you pulled your weight

but in todays' struggle against islamofascism, england and australia stand with the usa, but canada and the rest of europe is awol

and so you reap what you sow: if you plant seeds of division, those seeds will grow... into further division

the eu is now falling apart, and canada with its current scandals may revisit quebec saying "adieu" a la the mid-1990s... and i think your supreme court just trumped your glorious healthcare system too, no?

oh wither canada

look, you bluntly point to american ethnocentrism, and you speak of other countries being tied to the usa, and american arrogance, egotism, hubris, etc... i don't deny any of it

but it doesn't counter my points, it only obfuscates them

canada is way different than all of that

no really: your culture and your geography and your language and your history means your ties to the usa are stronger than any other country in the world: you cannot obfuscate that point by pointing to the philippines, for example

canada is simply on a whole different level when considering ties to the usa in one way or another: orders of magnitude separate such considerations when considering any other country

if i were peering at the earth-as-solar system of north america and europe, i would see a binary star system... the usa as one star, europe as the other... and this little brown dwarf in tight orbit around our ass ;-P

it is actually frighteningly simple from a canadian's perspective: the more you try to differentiate yourself from the us, the more painfully obvious to everyone how little really differentiates you... yes, the border is like a one way mirror: americans look north and see themselves, canadians look south and see everything they are not, but even as old married couples are painfully aware of their differences, everyone else looks at the old couple as a unit... and so the usa is the arrogant husband who still condescends after all these years, and you are the old suffering wife whose differences you wear like a badge... but everyone else just sees an old ornery couple ;-P

canada: you are nothing but the usa, unincorporated territory

we just never bothered absorbing you because it's too damn cold ;-P

but i hear you got oil... and the prices just keep going up... well, if we decided to invade at 9 AM, at least we know we'd be in yellowknife by what... 1:00 PM?

BWAHAHAHAHA ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Whatchoo Talkin' About, Willis? (none / 1) (#92)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:53:03 PM EST

What you don't seem to grasp here, CTS, is that on a team we cannot all perform the same functions. Were we all Chilean, nothing would ever get done (and that's no slight against Chile, fine place as it is).

The point is that it takes different strokes to rule the world. Why can't you accept that it's your nation's job to purchase and deploy the latest in battle-droid technology to fight the good fight against Johnny Islam, and to market The Simpsons? It's not such a bad lot in life. You get heaps of glory for it.

Our job involves going in and cleaning up afterward. It's a team effort. In the tradition of Lester B. Pearson, we help negotiate the day to day realities of neighbourhood by neighbourhood peace after the killing's done. The French have Medicins sans frontiers, and we have an unswerving reasonableness and open-mindedness that facilitates productive dialogue. Plus we crack jokes that help break the ice.

The basis of your argument seems to be that Canada is insignificant, which is a sort of fallacy stemming from hubris that I alluded to earlier.

Because, the thing is, we don't care.

Failing to corner the world is only a concern to those who consider cornering the world a pursuit of interest. Like I said, it takes different strokes. We're not in the global hegemony business here in Canada.

It's true that our charmed existence is only made possible by the prosperity of the United States. Are we supposed to be ashamed of this? Personally, I think we've rather got the better of you.

At any rate, keep up the good work. We wouldn't want Johnny Islam to become a nuissance, so do make sure you've got all your ducks in a row. We'll expect a progress report soon.

And fetch me a beer while you're up, won't you?


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I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
ah, the canadian delusion of moral superiority ;-) (none / 0) (#93)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:22:24 PM EST

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F30D10FC385D0C768EDDAC0894DD40448 2

May 25, 2005

Was Canada Just Too Good to Be True?

By CLIFFORD KRAUSS

TORONTO, May 24 - The news from Canada has been very un-Canadian of late. Or has it?

A government program sponsoring sporting and cultural events in Quebec has been tainted by allegations of millions of dollars in kickbacks and money laundering. Witnesses before a federal inquiry into the scandal have described envelopes full of cash left on restaurant tables to advance the cause of the governing Liberal Party.

But even as the "sponsorship scandal" has unfolded, one unseemly chapter after another, Prime Minister Paul Martin has held fast, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, to a cherished Liberal Party script: Canada as a singularly virtuous country that adheres more than most to values like honesty, decency, fairness and multiethnic equality, not to mention publicly financed universal health care.

"We will set the standard by which other nations judge themselves," Mr. Martin boasted to his party caucus only minutes after his government was saved on May 19 by a single vote in the House of Commons - the vote of a lawmaker who had turned her back not only on the Conservative Party, which she helped found only a year ago, but on her boyfriend, a Conservative leader, in return for a Liberal cabinet seat.

This notion of national rectitude and compassion, long promoted by the Liberals, has been captured in the slogan of a national book chain: "The world needs more Canada."

Of course, quite a few nations have an embellished sense of righteousness, not least among them, many would say, Canada's southern neighbor. But perhaps no other country puts such a high premium on its own virtue than does Canada.

"That's why the sponsorship scandal stings as much as it does," said Janice Stein, director of the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto. With a touch of irony, she added, "We're not like this; we're nice and good."

The recent spectacle of scandal and tawdry politics has some Canadians now wondering if all the self-congratulatory virtue is not mixed with some old-fashioned hypocrisy, or what Robert Fulford, a leading literary journalist and columnist characterizes as "a fable" expounded by generations of Liberal leaders.

"During recent decades our politicians have told us a sweet bedtime story about Canada being an exceptionally compassionate country, a world leader in multiculturalism and wonderfully generous to the poor countries," Mr. Fulford said. "All of this expresses something called 'Canadian values.' All lies."

Most Canadians would probably consider that assessment harsh.

Canadian cities are among the most ethnically diverse and safest in the world. Canadian tolerance took real form during the past two years with the extension of marriage rights to gays and lesbians in most of the country. Canada's reputation as an exemplary world citizen comes from its strong support of the International Criminal Court, a ban on land mines and the Kyoto climate control accord.

But there is another side to the story.

While Canada signed and ratified the Kyoto accord, making a commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions 6 percent below 1990 levels from 2008 to 2012, emissions have risen to 24 percent above 1990 levels. The powerful domestic oil industry has lobbied effectively to guarantee that the development of oil sands - a noxious source of carbon dioxide - will go on expanding.

In fact, Canada, where logging, mining and oil interests are extremely powerful, has a less than sterling environmental record. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Canada produces more nuclear waste per capita than any other member country and ranks as the fourth per capita emitter of carbon dioxide, following the United States, Australia and Luxembourg. Environmental activists say that only Finland and Sweden log more forest land per capita among industrialized countries.

When European governments sought to ban the import of Canadian asbestos for its toxicity in recent years, Ottawa complained to the World Trade Organization that such an action would violate free trade.

"Canada for years has fought against international controls on asbestos because of the importance of that industry to Quebec," noted Michael Bliss, a leading historian at the University of Toronto. Mr. Bliss, for his part, dismisses as "posturing" the idea that "Canada is some kind of moral superpower."

Canadian officials constantly lecture Europe and the United States on the need to level the playing field in agriculture for third world producers. But at the same time Canada runs monopolistic dairy product marketing boards that raise tariffs of 200 percent and more to protect its own producers of milk, eggs and butter.

On social policy, Canada has been slow to make amends to indigenous Canadians for a century-long policy of forced assimilation under which parents were forced to send their children to residential schools where they were routinely punished for speaking their native languages and routinely abused sexually. Only a bit more than a thousand victims in the schools, the last of which closed in 1986, have received minimal compensation in a process that has been hobbled by delays and bureaucracy.

As diverse as Canada is, corporate boards and senior political bodies on the federal and provincial levels remain overwhelmingly dominated by people of European stock. Incomes of immigrants have been dropping in recent years relative to the population at large, as 25 percent of the immigrants with college educations are forced to settle for unskilled jobs.

"We are putting on blinders," said Ratna Omidvar, executive director of the Maytree Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to reducing inequality. "We don't talk about racism, but of course it exists."

Canada is rarely criticized at home or abroad, making a recent international boycott of Canadian products by animal rights activists protesting the return of the large-scale commercial baby seal hunt off Newfoundland and Labrador particularly rankling here.

The discussion over what exactly is Canada's identity - and whether its favored definition is perhaps a piece of Liberal propaganda - is beginning to emerge in the political debate between the struggling Liberals and the challenging Conservatives.

At a recent Liberal party convention, Mr. Martin pledged that "our most important commitment to the Canadian people was our pledge to protect and defend the values that define us: Liberal values, Canadian values." To which Stephen Harper, the Conservative leader, shot back at a rally of his own: "Corruption is not a Canadian value."

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Let Me Get This Straight: (none / 0) (#98)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:41:00 PM EST

CTS, you're getting the Times to troll for you? That's some lazy-assed spiced rum, I tell you what.

You didn't even attempt to insinuate some kind of a bridge between my last repost and the buzzmeme of Canadian moral superiority. I mean, c'mon.

Personally, I think anyone expending too much hooplah trying to demonstrate that Canadian life sucks for Canadians has been chewing too much gum. Far more compelling are the stories of the American ex-pats who live amongst us, and who have had occasion to piss in both pools.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
you mean like mike meyers? (none / 0) (#99)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:01:33 PM EST

and boom, there we are: back full circle to my original troll

man i love picking on canadians

mainly because it simply works

a canadian content in their canadianness would simply laugh at me

but when canadians get upset, the chip is shown to be on their shoulder

that there is truth somewhere in what i say about canada is shown in the reactions of canadians to my words: because the self-doubt comes out in opposing my words... a true canadian content in their identity would feel no need to dignify me with a response

therefore, trolling canadian identity is one of the wonderful joys of trolling... because so much fireworks can be made out of it by revealing the insecurities canadians hold about themselves

god i love picking on canadians! ;-)

but you're still good humored deep in this thread, and really, you have just been humoring me all along: you asked for it, you solicited a canadian troll from me... a successful troll requires an element unsolicited response, and so this whole thread is a waste of trolling, i am already defeated before i have begun

so i can't say i have adequately trolled you, you haven't really gotten upset

so curses cheeseburgerbrown! i anoint you an exemplary member of your icecube dwelling nationality... your national identity remains unsullied in this thread... curses!

but mark my words, i will be back for more harvesting... there are a lot of canadians out there full of deeply seated self-doubt about their nationality identity... so i shall surely strike again >:-)

when did they weed you icecubes off the queen's tit? in the 1980s???!!! what a joke of a nationality

but i can only gnash my teeth at you though: a true canadian, resisting my trollish attacks with good humor, curses!

congratulations, you should take a trip to disney world, in orlando florida, to celebrate and thaw

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

One Day People In White Will Defeat You (none / 0) (#101)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:36:47 PM EST

They'll be more lucky than smart, but they'll have moxie. They'll be an unlikely band of heroes until the chips are down. But then they shall fall upon your evil fortress and call you out to render accounts!


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
never! (none / 1) (#104)
by circletimessquare on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:06:05 PM EST

i fart in your general direction!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Fair Is Fair. (none / 0) (#174)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 05:06:41 PM EST

I art in your general direction.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Whonk (none / 0) (#168)
by rusty on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 11:53:36 AM EST

You used the word "islamofascism." I'm sorry, but that's a ten yard penalty and CBB has the ball.

First down!

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

However (none / 0) (#167)
by rusty on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 11:51:36 AM EST

Your argument fails to account for Celine Dion and Alanis Morisette.

If that ain't the ass of the American entrtainment industry, I don't know what is.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

The Who In The What Now? (none / 0) (#179)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 07:45:43 PM EST

Your argument fails to account for Celine Dion and Alanis Morisette.

Never heard of them. Anyone who's anyone knows the only Canadian artist worth mentioning is Billiam Shatner.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Ah, but you're wrong. (none / 0) (#190)
by DavidTC on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 12:53:52 PM EST

The point of art isn't to hold a mirror up to life, despite the expression that claims exactly that.

It is to get across a meaning.

If that meaning is a 'plot', aka, these series of events happened in this order, etc, then, yes, video is the most technically accurate representation of that.

However, that's ignoring all the meanings that are not plots, like 'a happy bright spring day' and 'being late'. Yes, you can make plots that include those meanings, but that introduces extra baggage.

Whereas a photograph could easily convey the first meaning, and a painting could convey the second. (I'm imagining an Impressionist painting, myself, of a street, where the only important thing is someone blurrily running down it. I dunno, I'm not an artist.)

And it's also pretending the most technically accurate representation is the best one, which is a very difficult point to prove or disprove, so instead of doing so I will point out throughout history art has continually reinvented 'realism' and then backed away from it to more expressive works.

Even now, logically, we shouldn't have had paintings for 150 years, because we had photographs. And cartoons are hard to explain, at least ones that show humans.

And heaven knows how you explain music, as that's an art that conveys meaning by using something that doesn't exist at all. There's no 'real' songs that music is duplicating, barring one or two birdsongs that have gotten pulled in during music history. How do you portray 'music' realistically?

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

your premise is absurd (none / 1) (#41)
by insomnyuk on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:41:15 AM EST

cinema is dead!

---
"There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness." - H.L. Mencken
[ Parent ]
So Is K5... (3.00 / 3) (#61)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:03:11 AM EST

...And yet here we are.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Flash cartoons are the ultimate media (none / 1) (#108)
by tweetsybefore on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:36:40 PM EST

They cost less than a camera. And you can portray the same things with each respective form. Flash cartoons are not bounded by reality. Simply put your 5K camera is obsolete.

I'm racist and I hate niggers.
[ Parent ]
Hastily Assumed Universalism (none / 1) (#109)
by killmepleez on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:59:30 PM EST

Landmark Theatres' sloganeers may speak the truth when they claim that "the language of film is universal", however, it does not necessarily follow that "the universal language is film".

I agree that there are many people for whom film is the mot high-bandwidth key to their inner world. But personally, cinema and most visual media bore me. For whatever reason, my neurons don't fire off in ecstasy when presented with optical data. The dominant rapturous and sublime "art" experiences in my life have all been auditory in nature. I know others who would say the same about literature.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
it's a matter of demographics (none / 1) (#137)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 09:47:03 AM EST

there are many people who don't find cinema appealing

there are many people who don't find literature appealing

music, etc.

the point is, if you charted all of these groups, cinema is the medium with the smallest level of unimpressed people

the point is to speak to the most people most effectively

no other medium approaches cinema in level of appeal

therefore, cinema trumps all other media, demographically

it IS the universal medium, or as close as you can get to such a thing, in this world

so cinmea bores you

fine, but you can be ignored


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Perhaps someday (none / 1) (#148)
by killmepleez on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 04:21:30 PM EST

the accuracy of our social and statistical sciences will allow us to actually determine the validity of such assertions.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
You need to watch better movies (none / 0) (#166)
by rusty on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 11:47:20 AM EST

Most movies don't make the most of the sound aspect. But if you're audio-oriented, get your hands on a copy of THX-1138. It'll blow you away.

Robocop and Citizen Kane are also both excellent movies for the sound-focused.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

That's like... (none / 0) (#172)
by killmepleez on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 03:25:50 PM EST

...suggesting that if I don't enjoy the videos on MTV, I need to go buy a High-Def Plasma unit. What I'm saying is that as a primary audiophile, having the brain process visual data is a superfluous distraction from processing the audio, and the intensity of the latter alone is far more rewarding than a mixture where the video is center stage and the audio is merely a soundtrack.

To suggest that I just need to amp the audio while keeping all the other parts is to chase bad money with good money and ignore the fact that brains do not assign the same emotional/psychological weight to all stimuli. For example, it's well known that smells, for many people, unlock emotional memory on a deeper level than the other senses due to the way the brain is structured.



__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
What? (none / 1) (#173)
by rusty on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 03:59:55 PM EST

THX-1138 is a movie. Not to be confused with Lucas's later THX sound format (which was named after the movie). I'm not saying you need to turn the sound up, just that there are movies where the sound is at the very least an equal partner to the visuals, if not more important.

Or, if you find the video a "superfluous distraction," close your eyes (I think that sounds like a lot of nonsense, personally, but who knows what people will believe). You will miss some excellent sound design by just giving up on movies altogether, is all I'm saying.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Ah (none / 0) (#175)
by killmepleez on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 05:21:24 PM EST

My mistake. I assumed you were suggesting a specific implementation of surround sound for home theater or something similar.

All I'm saying is, I get waaaaaaay more of an artistic/psychological/emotional experience out of, say, going to an Autechre concert than any movie I've ever seen. Yes, there have been movies that have moved me deeply, but that doesn't mean that only movies can move me or that movies move me more deeply than literature or music alone, which was CTS's original assumption. For me there's always a narrative distance implicit in a theatrical or cinematic performance; narratives are contextual, critical, analyzable, digestible and thus execrable. Music has the power to deactive any overarching consciousness; it goes straight to my inner brain and screams, "HOLY EFFING SHIT I AM FEELING THE BEAUTY OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE RIPPLE ACROSS MY VERY SELF AND IT'S SO OVERWHELMING EVEN AN ARROGANT SOLIPSISTIC ASS LIKE ME IS HUMBLED BY THE UNENCOMPASSABLE SCALE OF ITS MAJESTY". Movies just make me say, "WHOAH! THAT WAS A GOOD MOVIE".

Hmm... actually, I reckon that's the underlying issue: good movies make me feel like I've just seen a good movie. Good music makes me feel like I've just seen the unveiled and ineffable face of God.

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
Oh yeah (none / 0) (#181)
by rusty on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 09:42:06 PM EST

CTS's assertion about movies was asinine. Sorry, I didn't mean to implicitly endorse it. Or explicitly, for that matter. Just saying, here are some movies that make excellent use of sound. While I may not be as far out toward the auditory as you, I have similar tastes. I tend to focus more on sound than other senses, all things considered. Like my memories of skiing and snowboarding, for example, are almost entirely audio -- the swoosh of the board on snow, my breathing, wind, etc. I don't really remember what the surroundings look like. But I can get absorbed in a movie to the point that I'm not particularly aware of my surroundings anymore, and it happens most in movies that make good use of sound.

Anyway, if you haven't seen it, do try to find THX-1138. I think you might like it. :-)

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Thanks for the recommendation (none / 0) (#182)
by killmepleez on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 02:10:05 AM EST

Now I just have to find a friend who's willing to loan me their tv/vcr for a few hours. :-)

__
"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I thought was unfixable was totally fixable - except for having just jumped."
--from "J
[ Parent ]
nope (none / 1) (#119)
by starX on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 04:14:28 AM EST

But how bold and daring was it the first time someone did shit on a piece of canvas, stuck it in a frame, and submitted it to a gallery.  It is cliche now, and crappy art based on the premise that EVERY TIME someone shat on a canvas (pun intended) is probably second in proliferation only to so-called free-verse (I refuse to acknowledge that free-verse is verse at all, but that's a thesis project a couple years off), which every teenager feels it their god ordained duty to polute perfectly good sheets of paper with.

But just because there are some who can't see past the immediacy of a thing (Alan Ginsburg does it and it's cool, and it remains cool that he does it) and carry on the tradition of proliferating crap doesn't mean we should merely disregard everything else.  I dare say that no art form has or can ever completely replace what came before it, and that in large part because it is usually a n integration of more than one media or a repackaging of a pre-existant one (like cinema repackages theatre for cheaper and wider distribution).

Don't get me wrong, it's great that anyone with enough people can do a film, just like it's great that anyone with enough people can stage a play or a dance, or perform a concert, record their cd, and distribute it to the net (c.f. cdbaby.com).  The publishing industry is finally catching up, which isb great.  The proliferation of many different aspiring artists in a culture, most of whom suck, isn't the sign of cultural decay that conservatives want you to think.  Quite the opposite, it's a sign of a thriving culture, and it's a sin that we don't have more public funding to support it.... that's a different rant though.  Fact is, quality work tends to attract attention, and quality work tends to be preffered over non-quality work.

So how can you consider all other art forms dead?  Most of them are going through growing pains to meet the new media culture that has emerged from the ruins of the bubble (and yes, it is emerging, it's just lost its corporate sponsorship), but each of them can offer something that the others tend not to; whether it be the perfect stillness of a single image frozen forever in time, a body of writing that reflects the pains and concerns of the next society learning that everything old is new again, or a troupe of actors in an experimental company performing The Diary of Anne Frank in the basement of a home for destitute old folks, the arts are alive and well.  People need them, and they ask for them, and maybe everyone doesn't like everything, but everyone likes something, and in our all you can eat buffet culture, there's plenty to choose from, and I have a feeling that there always will be, and that thirty years from now someone will include cinema on the list of dead art forms in favor of however it winds up being repackaged.  

"I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust
[ Parent ]

it's the bandwidth (none / 0) (#136)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 09:29:47 AM EST

time, vision, sound

no other medium has more "bandwidth"

sure cinema will be dead someday: when they invent a medium with more bandwidth

but for now, all other media sucks in comparison to cinema, cinema simply has more to play with to move someone's emotions

it is more immersive, it is more EFFECTIVE


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

As we say in the theatre (none / 0) (#138)
by starX on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 11:34:36 AM EST

Less is more.

"I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust
[ Parent ]
better version: 5,7,5 (none / 1) (#140)
by circletimessquare on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 11:47:26 AM EST

"less is more" he said
the light flickers, the track skips
there a baby cries
 

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
one word: webblogs (none / 1) (#124)
by auraslip on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 07:15:05 AM EST

suck it
124
[ Parent ]
Art vs. Craft (3.00 / 4) (#27)
by cribcage on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:30:53 AM EST

People say that art is subjective. I remark that so-and-so is better than something else, and they reply, "You can't say that. Art is subjective."

Is the Mona Lisa art? Maybe. I don't know. I'll tell you what I do know: It's a painting. David is a sculpture; the Duomo, architecture; Oliver Twist, literature; Beethoven's Ninth, a symphony.

Maybe art is subjective. Craftsmanship is not.

Please don't read my journal.

That Must Mean The Web Is A "Happening" (3.00 / 6) (#31)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:01:31 AM EST

Maybe art is subjective. Craftsmanship is not.

I agree. This why, in part, I will never be really impressed by anything that looks like it could've been executed in less than five minutes by a child; no matter how formally perfect their marks might be, without some element of craft the whole thing rings empty for me.

Art can arise without craft, but waiting for it to happen is like waiting for monkeys with broken typewriters to come up with really snappy greeting card texts. There's always hope.

A good bed of craft encourages art to grow because the study of the discipline cultivates an otherwise inaccessible awareness of the medium, facilitating an intuitive, masterful control of it.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Art isn't subjective, impressions are subjective (none / 1) (#51)
by JVincent on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:40:29 AM EST

The Mona Lisa is art even if you ask a blind man. What we call objective is just a collective agrement on subjective simularities, however to call Art subjective is to call Mathematics subjective.

[ Parent ]
Disagree, For the Block. (3.00 / 2) (#60)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:02:25 AM EST

...however to call Art subjective is to call Mathematics subjective.

While I'm the first one to give the nod to formalism in the study and practise of art, I think you err by hyperbole in implying that even highly formalized critique could be considered a science.

I mean, c'mon.

If it were the case that art is sufficiently mechanism to stand definition by axiom and rote, surely the Japanese would have already invented a pocket-sized generator capable of scoring world renown with the touch of a button.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Bingo (none / 1) (#100)
by starX on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:09:12 PM EST

As an aspiring artist, this question is of great interest to me.  Asking how you know when you've made art is useless and will only muddy the issue.  What every aspiring artist needs to worry about is the technical quality of their craft.  More important than staining, patterns, upholstery, etc is a chairs ability to be sat on.  After learning that simple step of making a stool sturdy enough to be sat on, you can worry about some more detailed work.  Don't worry about being a brilliant "artist," worry about the technical perfection of your painting, instrument, dancing, etc.  Focus on making your craft good.

Art happens when your craft transcends this.  When what you have created is held up as a standard of quality craftsmanship, you have achieved art.  To wit, I dare say that art is not something that ones contemporaries can judge.  How has your play, novel, composition held up after a hundred years, or 500, or a thousand?  Then we can talk about whether or not the thing is art.  Until then it's just meaningless speculation as to what our grandchildren will think of what we considered to be quality craftsmanship.

"I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust
[ Parent ]

Art is easy to define. (none / 0) (#186)
by DavidTC on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 12:12:50 PM EST

It's when you have a concept, and create something that conveys that concept.

This concept, just to make sure I'm being clear, is not 'what the art is about'. You can take a picture of a person, or sculpt a technically perfect lamp, and you might not have conveyed any meaning at all. Exact portrayal of something is not art unless it also has some other meaning. (Art is not, in fact, holding a mirror up to life.)

If you might take a picture and convey something else in addition to the obvious 'an old person on the street', it's Art. (Yes, the image can be the art if it just gives the impression of what it is, aka Picasso's "Bull".)

This is why people say 'I don't know art, but I know what I like'. They don't know what other people, who are trained to look at art, might be seeing, but they can look at something and see if it gives them any meaning.

Which is really where modern abstract art falls down, failing to convey anything to the viewer.

Anyway, craftmanship is obviously part of art...no one likes sloppy work. Unless it's meant to be sloppy, the sloppiness itself having meaning.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

+1 FP (3.00 / 3) (#37)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:27:27 AM EST

Mentions Interstellar Pig, possibly the favorite book of my early childhood. Well, at least until Ender's Game came along. :P

I was so inspired I actually made an Interstellar Pig set, drew all the colorful planets onto a piece of cardboard and the star paths, and cut out a bunch of paper to make the cards, and drew all the aliens and items. I had the envelope and everything, and my mom let me borrow an egg timer. I even got other kids to play it with me - which is pretty rare for games I've designed - and they seemed to like it, too. Of course, the best game for children has been and will always be, "let's pretend".

That's how I think of writing, sometimes. I'm keeping in practise at let's pretend. Just in case anyone wants to play again someday.

I'm aware I spent my comment talking about me and not about your piece, but how can you comment on something like that? Except: it was a fun story.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Ender, the little Hitler? [nt] (none / 1) (#43)
by vera on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 02:49:38 AM EST



[ Parent ]
no, Ender the misunderstood killer! :P -nt (none / 0) (#46)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:56:30 AM EST

nt


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Hmmmm, my ears are burning (none / 1) (#103)
by localroger on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:50:05 PM EST

My favorite books from maybe age eight to twelve were the two volumes of The Mad Scientist's Club.

(Yes, age eight or so. I was a very precocious reader.)

After that, for several years the book I found most inspirational was the first volume of Asimov's Foundation trilogy. I took Salvor Hardin's adage "Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent" directly to heart, as a hopeful alternative to the very violent incompetence I had seen on the news from Vietnam. I was also very taken with the early books of James P. Hogan, especially The Genesis Machine, mainly because they illustrated a similar philosophy.

I am become Death, Destroyer of Worlds -- J. Robert Oppenheimer
[ Parent ]

Loved all those. :) (none / 0) (#115)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:46:59 PM EST

Well, I never read the Genesis Machine, but Asimov (primarily the Robot novels starting with the Caves of Steel - Daneel was my hero), and the Mad Scientist's Club. I didn't even know there WAS a second book in that until I saw it at a yard sale. All eyes turned to me as I shrieked like a little girl.


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Still, It's A Nice Bit. (none / 0) (#59)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:57:20 AM EST

I remember almost nothing of Interstellar Pig, as it offended me to be assigned from school a book which I considered too junior for my effete and refined adolescent tastes. The version I linked on Amazon features a different cover than the one I used...that much I can tell you.

Don't get me started on pretending. I'm a pretending junkie.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Heh. (none / 0) (#78)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:17:13 PM EST

Well, for me Interstellar Pig was my book when I was under ten... it's definitely not challenging enough for adolescents, but I always thought it was a fun story.

I have the one with the original cover, showing the kid standing on a big chessboard with pieces for the other races. Very old and careworn. Still has the stamp of the library I may have stolen it from. (I can't remember whether it was checked out and never returned or bought in a book sale)


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
When I was a kid (none / 1) (#64)
by LilDebbie on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:07:14 AM EST

I developed a game that was an amalgam of Warhammer and Magic: the Gathering using Legos before I was aware that Warhammer existed and before Magic exised at all.

It was pretty sweet.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
reaching into the K5 grave (2.33 / 3) (#49)
by khallow on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:51:16 AM EST

Now seems an excellent time to drag the "programming is art" zombie out of its grave and watch it stagger around. In this way, I can express my bitter, spiteful disappointment in your life story disguised as an article on art.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Aw, C'mon. (none / 1) (#58)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:55:25 AM EST

In this way, I can express my bitter, spiteful disappointment in your life story disguised as an article on art.

Why wait for the conceit of the coding metaphor? Just have at it!

Lend me your vitriol.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
ART amongst the ruins??? (2.33 / 3) (#52)
by EminemsRevenge on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:43:30 AM EST

It's a waterfall of bullshit pretty much covered it, then you got "artistic"
Keep on rocking for a free world---
Art For Fart's Sake. (none / 1) (#57)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:54:19 AM EST

Does it help if I tap-dance?


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Interesting... (3.00 / 3) (#53)
by nate s on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:01:08 AM EST

..but I can't help feeling like you are suggesting that art is response.

Basically, something strikes you as awesome, and you respond to it.

I think that is a part of art, certainly, but it isn't the whole thing.  Art is about communication, it has a social component, it's active.  The great artists are remembered because they challenged people in some way, not because they responded to things that impressed them.  There are times when the two may have coincided, but there are many, many people who have responded to events/sights/thoughts and written/sculpted/painted/composed reactions to the stimuli.  It does not make them artists.  

There's a difference between production as catharsis and production as communication.  The former says, "Wow, that was great...I have to get it out so that I'll be able to smoke my cigarette and feel unbelievably good."  The latter says, "Wow, that inspires me to take this idea, wrap it in layers of my own, and throw it back out at the world to see how they react!"

Philosophy is not my forte, but I wanted to toss my thoughts in anyway.  In my opinion, this piece itself is probably more art than either of the three "works" that the piece is about.  You have successfully gotten a response from me, and that's what art is about.

A Wonderful Point Of Discussion (none / 0) (#55)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:49:40 AM EST

Philosophy is not my forte, but I wanted to toss my thoughts in anyway.

I think you've done quite an eloquent job, actually.

"Wow, that inspires me to take this idea, wrap it in layers of my own, and throw it back out at the world to see how they react!"

Since you pretty much there describe my Halifax piece but set it up as a the wet end of a compare/contrast exercise, I think it's fair to say somewhere along the long you missed the point. Apologies if this was due to my faulty communication work.

In my opinion, this piece itself is probably more art than either of the three "works" that the piece is about.

Well, there you definitely do get the point, so you're not such a ham sandwich of a philosopher after all.

I've never really bought the art as communication line. Artists with something compelling to say usually end up in a communicative field like writing. Do you know a lot of working artists? If you do, like me you probably thank your lucky stars they don't get more opportunities for clear communication -- their brains are full of nothing but charming hogwash (and please, people, let's have some tact and let that circular reference stay subtle -- oops).

In art school there were a lot of people sucking around mumbling about communicative, political art. You know what they're doing now? They're mopping up barf at McDonald's, writing grant proposals and making "art" that only their life-partner sees.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
art is communication (none / 0) (#130)
by fhotg on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 08:54:16 AM EST

but a very special one. In my view (and I'm aware that I exclude many works usually considered "art"), a piece of art communicates something which is not communicateable otherwise. The work of the artist consists of getting hold of something he wants to communicate which only exists a potential floating in some untangible space between his belly and her brain, and then using some down-to-earth technical skills to create a representation of it in the physical world.

The magic of art lies in the fact that other people might get access or a hint at something intangible inside themselves from being exposed to the artifact which is in resonace with the artists original "idea". The basic message of art that works is "you are not alone".

"Political art" is not art, because it's trying to convey some ideas which can and are better dealt with an essay or other standart forms of communication.
~~~
Gitarren fr die Mdchen -- Champagner fr die Jungs

[ Parent ]

Everything you need to know about art... (none / 1) (#54)
by SocratesGhost on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:26:54 AM EST

... is found in the phrase "work of art". It takes effort to make and art must act ("work") upon the appreciator.

-Soc
I drank what?


To Muddy The Waters: (none / 0) (#56)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:53:08 AM EST

Everything you need to know about art is found in the phrase "work of art". It takes effort to make and art must act ("work") upon the appreciator.

Not bad at all -- nicely compressed.

Can you find a way to integrate comparative valuation? For instance, if we give the better part of the weight to the volume of efficacy in response, does that imply that fart jokes are the highest form of art, since they are so universally appreciated?


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Yes but... (none / 1) (#72)
by Skywise on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:43:17 PM EST

only unique farts (say like large ones, noisy ones, or ones that make a unique sound or tune) constitute art.

The others are just run-of-the-mill, everyday,  noisy/smelly/annoyances.

Just like real art... hmmm...

[ Parent ]

aesthetic calculus (none / 0) (#106)
by SocratesGhost on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:29:32 PM EST

I don't think it works that way otherwise I think woodworking would be a higher art than painting which would be greater than sculpting. I think once you put a sportsmanlike competitive mentality on art, that some of art may cease to work simply because it doesn't work as much as its neighbor and so we'd ignore it. In doing so, we deny it the ability to work at all except unless it qualifies as a superlative.

We can really make any created object into art if we wanted and I think our understanding or appreciation doesn't need to suffer because of it. It's simply a matter of function of whether it "works" on us but not necessarily how much.

For example, the artisty put into crafting a chair has near universal recognition while few of us notice it. The "art" of a chair is dormant to us but we can imagine that chair in an artistic context: what does the craftsmanship evoke; what if George Washington sat in it; what if Ansel Adams photographed it; what if Mir painted it? We might even look at it and see its symbolic value, its geometric harmony and its poetic capacity such as calling the mind the "throne of reason".

The upshot is, if art enriches our experience, if we seek it out so that it can do its work on us, then we don't need to seek out the museums or salons. We just need to look at our own homes. Museums simply become laboratories for appreciating the everyday world.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
My order is wrong? (none / 0) (#170)
by rusty on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 12:09:18 PM EST

otherwise I think woodworking would be a higher art than painting which would be greater than sculpting

Is that not how it is? That's probably the ordering I would have come up with.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

The trend (none / 0) (#194)
by SocratesGhost on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 03:42:34 PM EST

If we were to order it, I agree that's the order I'd place them, too. The questions become then are such ordering useful and what do these orders really mean?

To take these questions backward, I'm not sure what these orders mean. I would never use a photo for sitting or a chair for contemplating how well a scene was captured. Each of these arts work in different ways, sometimes overlapping, but generally each with a distinctive character and function. In comparing categories of arts, it is the individual artifacts (I love that word in this context) that bear the burden of the comparison. I think it would be strange to compare the most finely built functional chair to the paintings of some renaissance masters. Where do we even begin comparing these?

The usefulness of these orders, I think, then diminish to a simple parlor game lacking any real value. Also, I would add, that not only do they lack usefulness, but they also enhance difficulties. Once the focus of art becomes stressed toward its pragmatic purposes, we devalue the less pragmatic purposes. Once we devalue, the inclination becomes toward focusing only on the valuable. How much relative time should we study music compared to the crafts in school? Why offer music programs at all if we fail to teach math? Even when the sciences are successful, there is such an emphasis on tangible results that literature and philosophy are viewed mistrustfully because they fail to measureably improve the world. Of course, that isn't the purpose of either of those.

So, we could order, but I really don't think we should. Instead, we should value each work on its own merits.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Fantastic (none / 0) (#67)
by Sgt York on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:00:48 PM EST

That was quite enjoyable, thank you.

It's nice to hear the same sentiment that I never could (or even thought to) put into words myself. I frequently look at things the same way, but lacking decent communication skills, I never had the idea to put it into words like "Broad and Intricate". The closest I ever came was the cliche about forests and trees, but that is only a hollow echo of reality. Far from a rhyme. Or even a decent zip file.

In fact, I think that is what makes a gifted artist, and I think it is what you are hinting at here. You put the words on a feeling I have had for years, a feeling that many people probably have, but lack the ability or drive to express it, even to themselves. Art puts a physical reality on something intangible; it is something that can be experienced and known that represents what can only be perceived.

Again, thank you for the story.

There is a reason for everything. Sometimes, that reason just sucks.

One word... (none / 1) (#68)
by urdine on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:07:18 PM EST

SPIDER-MAN!

That's Two Words. (none / 0) (#69)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:15:04 PM EST

You fail it. See me after class.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
my thoughts on "art" (3.00 / 2) (#70)
by urdine on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:18:53 PM EST

I think trying to define a single word philosophically is an exercise in retardation.

A lot of others already have tried to define it with a quip, defining one word with 10 words.  I think the problem is that "art" (or any such conceptualization) is simply throwing a net over a bunch of stuff, as a form of classificatoin.  People argue to the death about what that net covers and what it doesn't.  No matter what definition you achieve, there will be exceptions and contradictions and problems in real life.

I think it's ok to leave definitions fuzzy.  There's "art" here for me and "art" there for you, the only purpose of the WORD "art" is to be able to hold a conversation about my art and your art and everyone else's.  It's the consensus that ends up defining the bulk of art (defining the bulk of "artists", too).

Slippery When Wet (none / 0) (#73)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:55:25 PM EST

I think trying to define a single word philosophically is an exercise in retardation.

You know, I think that's exactly what Xanthippe claimed right before she dumped that load of garbage over Socrates' head.

I think the problem is that "art" (or any such conceptualization) is simply throwing a net over a bunch of stuff, as a form of classificatoin.

Yes, it's called language.

People argue to the death about what that net covers and what it doesn't. No matter what definition you achieve, there will be exceptions and contradictions and problems in real life.

To return to a theme: you seem to be suggesting that since linguistic shorthand falls short of the ultimate and unknowable Form (or Idea-in-itself, as some translations of Plato run), exploring semantics is a fruitless pursuit.

I would argue that exploring semantics helps us to gain new appreciations of the subtleties of a concept. Achieving universal acceptance of some ultimate definition is not really the goal.

...the only purpose of the WORD "art" is to be able to hold a conversation about my art and your art...

How does this differ from the purpose of other words?


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
I agree (none / 1) (#105)
by urdine on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:28:59 PM EST

Talking about words and their definitions is fine, to a point - I think it's easy to start arguing about how a word SHOULD be defined rather than how it is generally UNDERSTOOD.  If it's the gateway to an interesting conversation about the core idea itself, all the better, but in my experience conversations that try to "define art" or somesuch usually end up running around in circles.

Not that your article does that, by the way.  An unexpected, exploratory essay, which is one reason I still come to K5.

And Slippery When Wet is Bon Jovi's seminal work and it is art, end of discussion.

[ Parent ]

art is (2.33 / 3) (#75)
by refraktor on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 12:58:22 PM EST

the meaning of a word is it's usage in language

Yes, And (3.00 / 2) (#76)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:10:48 PM EST

The answer to any problem of engineering the solution one reaches after parsing the relevant data with past learning.

True as that may be, it's a lousy way to get a bridge erected.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
game (none / 0) (#97)
by refraktor on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:38:01 PM EST

it's a game ... we can enjoy it for what it is and maybe even gain something from it ... but "erecting a bridge" ?
that sounds a bit like giving the whole thing way too much credit ... dangerous to build a bridge on your concepts playing tag.

[ Parent ]
Functionless art is simply tolerated vandalism (2.80 / 5) (#77)
by Have A Nice Day on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:12:50 PM EST

Or so some pretentious band said. Actually your efforts do sound like tolerated vandalism, but in a good way.

Your webs sound awesome.

On the whole I dislike a lot of arty types for the same reason I dislike a lot of literary types - they think they have the monopoly on deciding what is and isn't art, and they co-operatively work themselves into a tight little clique that thinks it gets to decide for the rest of us. What's more they try their damnedest to look down on any accessible forms of art and keep "their" art as impenetrable as possible to the rest of us. They become totally irrelevant to life outside of themselves but are still given a voice.

Partly my attitude comes from lack of understanding - Why is Jackson Pollock's work art? Sure it's pretty patterns, but there's little or no technical skill in there, I could probably make prettier patterns in 5 minutes with my computer. But then skill is the hallmark of a craftsman rather than an artist these days.
Art seems to have changed in the days since the renaissance from something done only by those with huge amounts of skill to create things that are beautiful to behold into something anyone can do as long as it shocks a few people. Brit-art to me is garbage. Tracy Emin's bed could be found in any one of a few hundred thousand student bedrooms round the country but because she went to art school and she said it was art, it was instantly a masterpiece on display in a gallery and was bought up by Charles Saachi. I often thought of balancing a zippo on top of a box of marlboro's and calling it "existance" or "pain" or some such and seeing if I could make the tate.....

If you want to argue art is something that makes people react then the bed could, I guess, be art, but I don't think the "what the fuck is that doing in a gallery?!" reaction qualifies somehow.

</rant>
Better now.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
On Pollock (none / 1) (#80)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:25:13 PM EST

You make lots of fine points that I can't improve upon, but I do want to point something out about the "splatter-paintings" of Jackson Pollock.

A couple of years ago Scientific American funded an analysis of reams of Pollock's paintings, and what they determined is that the specific tuning of visual chaos in the splatter patterns was fractal in nature, and in fact mimic a pattern of complexity the mammalian mind is attuned to. With the use of an EEG, for example, one can determine that cats respond to paintings by Pollock but not to splatter-paintings created by kindergarteners.

Pollock was not a mathematician, or an evolutionary biologist. He just worked on his shit until it "felt" right. Was he on to something? Science says yes. He accidentally happened onto a frequency of pattern that makes neurones fire in people's heads.

Of course, it might be argued that this is just as deep a work as one of those "3-D" hidden pictures you have to defocus your eyes to see, but I think you get my point -- sometimes what really works about a piece or why it speaks to people is hard to pin-point, but that doesn't mean the mechanism in operation isn't there.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Read that; interesting article. (none / 0) (#95)
by crustacean on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:25:10 PM EST


Will take to the forest before the oil overlords annex Canada.
[ Parent ]
Wow (none / 0) (#107)
by morewhine on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 06:31:45 PM EST

Next you will say that human emotion is simply neurons firing in the brain in different patterns.  Of course it is, but that's not the point.  WHY do people express certain emotions or behave in a certain way?  Unless, of course, you can reduce the experience of life to algorithms, formulas, and/or objectively quantifiable analysis.  Is this what you honestly believe?  And if so, why would an entirely predictable world filled without any type of meaning be one that is worth living in?

[ Parent ]
That is interesting (none / 0) (#122)
by Have A Nice Day on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 06:26:17 AM EST

patterns have an odd effect on the mind, or sometimes not-quite-patterns that keep the brain searching for matches and repetitions, done just right they can hurt.

The man was on to something then, and I suppose it goes to show that sometimes the artist doesn't exactly know what or why they are doing,. only that it feels right. Perhaps that is where your webs came from too.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
I disagree about Pollock (none / 0) (#184)
by marinel on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 02:17:09 PM EST

First, the fractal analysis of Pollock's paintings is a bunch of BS. Just because the analysis was published in Nature, it does not make it valid. Applying the box-counting method to two of Pollock's paintings only confirms that the second painting is more complex than the first one. That has hardly anything to do with fractals and a lot more with people's readiness to be in awe when someone bandies about such a cool word as 'fractal'.

As to the EEG response, again, a more complex pattern will most likely cause more neurons to be fired trying to make sense of the mess. It does not imply that cats dig Pollock more than kiddie art.

As to Pollock's art genius, I believe it has more to do with the avant-garde's sensibilities and some modern art museum curators groupie attitudes towards the former than anything else, but that's just my uninitiated opinion.
--
Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
[ Parent ]

BUZZ! You Fail It. (none / 0) (#185)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 02:33:09 PM EST

Sorry my esteemed colleague, but whatever you're thinking of in Nature ain't what's being discussed.

The original paper can be read here, as we reported in National Geographic and I'm sure in other publications.

Try to read and understand the article before you go off half-cocked trying to debunk it.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
No need to get your panties up in a bunch (none / 1) (#197)
by marinel on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 01:50:58 PM EST

What I proposed is still valid even if you didn't notice that the Physics World paper is just a more verbose version of their original Nature paper (which was referenced in the paper you pointed to).

It's OK though if you like to use the words fractal and Pollock in the same sentence. Personally, I prefer to use the words fractal, Pollock and pseudoscience together.
--
Proud supporter of Students for an Orwellian Society
[ Parent ]

Even if this was true... (none / 0) (#189)
by DavidTC on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 12:32:40 PM EST

...it doesn't matter.

I can make perfect fractals in seconds on my computer.

His work fails as art, just like painting a room a uniform shade of off-white fails as art, no matter how technically perfect it is, because there is no meaning there, or at least no meaning anyone other than himself can see.

And, yes, if he can see meaning, or just enjoys throwing paint around, he should, by all means, keep doing it. I'm not the 'don't waste time on that' police. (Hell, I've thrown paint around before painting a floor, and it is fun, even if I only had one color.)

It just shouldn't be hanging in galleries as art.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

disagree (2.33 / 3) (#81)
by parqbench on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:25:54 PM EST

i dont understand this. a lot of people seem to judge art based on skill--it is a factor, but since when are you the judge of what counts and what doesn't? where's the line drawn? you can't draw a line because it's ridiculous to claim one thing is art and another isn't. it's about aesthetic appeal. the "i could do that" argument is very flimsy. you could do that--but you didn't. he did. it's the nature of neoistic art--purposeless, knowledge that it is purposeless, and affirmation that not having a purpose isn't a problem. people have this really amazingly linear view that art is a painting--people don't even consider, often, that video games, movies, books, even the setup of a city art. it's all about perspective. and hating condescending artsy types is one thing--but it's usually misdirected. it's like people who make fun of (real) hippies--"they're just lazy and they think everything should be peaceful blah blah blah!" instead of disliking condescending artists for being just as closed-minded as the non-artists, people hate them because of the actual good art that they usually make. you know, "oh everything is art, right? yeah, okay, i could do that with my eyes closed." they hate the creation, not the person. this is why i do not restrict myself when it comes to music--some people say they like all kinds. some people are telling the truth. others think they like all kinds but they still restrict themselves. when you just open your ears and your eyes and consider everythnig you find yourself enjoying everything. through my brother, i was introduced to avante-garde and experimental music--of all kinds and genres, some of the most obscure and contemporary, exciting stuff of our day. sometimes it's atonal, random, and completely nonsensical, and i still love it--and not any less than formulaic music, in fact, maybe more. it's fucking with traditions, fucking with what we find 'right.' for me, street art is one of my fascinations--sticker and graffiti art in urban areas is such a great example of living, breathing, organic, DESIGN; creation. even the imperfections a shop gets after 10 years of abuse from its citizens creates this kind of quintessential image that wouldn't be the same if it wasn't the way it was. i'm sure this has been said before. just my two cents. i'll end with a cliche: the world's a canvas (kind of like all the world's a stage, since people seem to herald shakespeare so much ;)

[ Parent ]
shit. (none / 0) (#82)
by parqbench on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:26:42 PM EST

ah crap. i always forget to put
codes.

[ Parent ]
neoistic art? (none / 1) (#94)
by crustacean on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 04:23:51 PM EST

"neoistic art--purposeless, knowledge that it is purposeless, and affirmation that not having a purpose isn't a problem" I think that this will be the title of my next painting.Will credit parq.
Will take to the forest before the oil overlords annex Canada.
[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#178)
by parqbench on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 07:44:03 PM EST

i guess i'm flattered ;)

[ Parent ]
A couple of questions..... (none / 1) (#126)
by Have A Nice Day on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 07:31:20 AM EST

I will readily admit I don't understand "art" and the world of art, I'm a very literal person and a computer programmer, so not disposed to see beauty in the same way as others. But anyway, here goes:
"since when are you the judge of what counts and what doesn't?"
I am not. But that is the very attitude I don't like, because neither is anyone else surely? And if they are then why are they? What gives them the right? if art is about beauty (or maybe just impact) and communication then surely everyone is as qualified to judge what art is? If only 'experts' can judge what is 'art' then it has it not failed in its purpose to communicate?

"the "i could do that" argument is very flimsy"
Oh I agree, incredibly, especially in the case of something like Pollock, where it took actual effort even if the end result isn't directly appealing to me, but in the case of Tracy Emin's "work" it is not that "I could have done that" but "What the fuck?". The only reason some of these things are "art" is because those that are trying to sell the stuff went to art school and are self proclaimed "artists".
even the imperfections a shop gets after 10 years of abuse from its citizens creates this kind of quintessential image that wouldn't be the same if it wasn't the way it was
Indeed, but is it art? The site of several construction cranes against a darkening sunset sky makes me stand back in awe, but that was not the intention of the people that placed them there, they simply wanted to put up a building or two. I think it's just the appreciation and wonder at all that is and the accidental confluence of circumstance, which I also understand but don't think is really "art" as it was without intention. Feel free to contradict though, as we have already established I don't feel I (or anyone) should be in a position to judge this matter.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
Makes Sense To Me. (none / 0) (#135)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 09:21:01 AM EST

Especially your thought on the role of intent. Indeed, the world around us can present us with moments of surprising, surpassing and even unlikely beauty by accident or happenstance -- and it seems obvious to me that these experiences must fall under a label other than "art".

Art is artifice. We expect a certain measure of method to the madness, or else it just feels like natural happenstance.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
method is full of intent (none / 0) (#180)
by Ticoun36 on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 09:25:13 PM EST

I feel confident you have touched the g spot of the definition of art. I can't make it any more plin than to say, this; I am sure most of what I have known as art has contained an element of intention that combined with a certain method, catures my imagination for if ever so breifly a time like that time one might experience while waiting to be sucked into a black hole. It is no way up but constantly forward. Up Up and away!
The truth begins with faith - logic is not enough. KUND
[ Parent ]
You know what's crazy? (none / 0) (#188)
by DavidTC on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 12:26:43 PM EST

There is an art form consisting of perfectly everyday objects.

It's called photography. You take pictures of the damn thing, find the ones that move you, and ship those around the country.

Someone really needs to get these guys a camera, and tell them how to set up light and shadow so things do have a meaning others can see, instead of shipping a damn bed around the country, outside of context, with random lighting.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

Art is... (none / 1) (#84)
by ivancruz on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:46:10 PM EST

...a physiological necessity.

It's personal, it's demanding, it's most of time, urgent.

Ivan.

______________________________________
Eu vou, eu vou vender a minha v, Eu vou vender a minha v, A minha v filosofia.(Zeca Baleiro)
Like Poo. (none / 0) (#113)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 10:42:13 PM EST

Or jissom.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Art is in the process. (3.00 / 3) (#85)
by kick out the yams on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 01:49:40 PM EST

If you can see it, hear it, taste it, smell it, or touch it, it isn't art - it's just the byproduct of the process the artist went through.

If you were to stand in front of a painting at a museum, and the artist was there next to you, you would both see completely different things. You see the end result - he sees the sketches he made beforehand, the tests, the experiments with different colors, the first strokes he put on the canvas, the mistakes he made, that dream he had which gave him the initial spark of inspiration....none of that can be conveyed to anyone except the person that actually made it.

If the art, the process, is the living, breathing thing, then the painting, sculpture, music recording, etc. is the corpse of that living being. It's dead - inert. Artists are just lucky that people are willing to pay for those cadavers to hang on their wall.

If you think this definition of art is too narrow or is pretentious somehow, you're missing the point - it's the exact opposite - go create something! It's the easiest thing in the world to do.

That's "Creation" I Think. (none / 0) (#102)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 05:40:34 PM EST

Cathartic and meditative as it may be, it's personal and it ain't art unless it's shared.
Q: If a tree falls in the forest and there's nobody around, is it art?

A: Fuck no. Not unless I tell you about it.
Creation is a joy open to anyone. I contend that authoring art is a joy open to only masters, earnest journeymen, and the occasional shit-lucky novice.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Bullshit! (none / 0) (#120)
by der on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 05:25:43 AM EST

Defining art in terms of showing it to other people is the most horrible extension of "look at me" syndrome ever. True art is created for the sake of creation. Any other reason and you're just living a fucking popularity contest.

[ Parent ]
Not really (none / 0) (#127)
by zakalwe on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 08:21:19 AM EST

Theres an argument to be made for communication being an intrinsic property of art. For some forms, I think its vital. What use is a poem that nobody reads? Ink marks on paper aren't art - they only become so when filtered through a comprehending mind. If theres no-one to communicate with, there is no communication. If there is no communication, then there is no message, and if theres no message, is it art?

[ Parent ]
Messages need not be communicated to exist (none / 0) (#128)
by der on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 08:46:08 AM EST

... it's not so much this idea that art must be communicated in order to be art that I disagree with, it's the implications of this position.

IMO, the only truly admirable art is that which is created for the sake of creation. It's simply what artists do. "Artists" creating for the sake of impressing others seems a lot more like rock-star-ism (although in a very black turtleneck kind of way) than true artistry.

Screw fame, screw "messages", screw communication. It's the ideas that matter.



[ Parent ]
Then Why Create At All? (none / 0) (#133)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 09:05:36 AM EST

If what you're saying were true, all "true" artists would save a lot of time and toil by simply imagining all of their best work inside their heads.

(This is, in fact, one of my guilty pleasures.)

According to your rubrick an artist who bothered to lend physical form to their ideas has already betrayed your credo of purity.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Ideas (none / 1) (#139)
by zakalwe on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 11:41:30 AM EST

IMO, the only truly admirable art is that which is created for the sake of creation.
But create what? You can't just create in the abstract - you have to create something, and in order for that creation to be meaningful you have to communicate some kind of meaning. Surely the whole point of presenting your ideas in art is to communicate those ideas - if not, why not leave it as just an idea? If the idea really was all that mattered what need was there for art?

[ Parent ]
Too Selfish (none / 0) (#132)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 09:03:44 AM EST

Like the parent poster, you've confused "creation" with "art". Worse, you seem to have missed the point of defining either, der.

Let us suppose someone, in a fit of solipcist creative funkiness, creates something purely for the sake of creation (as you suggest), and it somehow "speaks" to many other people who, upon viewing it, are moved to feel things and/or think things. That's "art."

Now let us suppose this same someone creates something in the same spirit, but it holds no interest whatsoever for anybody else. Does this diminish the holiness of his creative act? No. But is it art? Fuck no.

Defining art without an audience is supremely selfish, and masturbatory. It also frees the artist of any kind of professional responsibility or credibility. This might be a teenager's idea of art: all self-gratification, all beyond judgement, all for number one.

Anything presented to the outside world does not devolve by neccessity into a "popularity contest." The opposite of solipcism is not unfettered narcissism. Wanting to be involved with your fellow human beings is not by definition showboating. Why so bitter against the human race, der?


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
*sigh* (none / 0) (#152)
by der on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 08:33:54 PM EST

So if someone fills their house up with wonderful paintings, but never bothers to show anybody, it's not art?

I suppose it immediately becomes art the instant someone steps into their apartment and takes a look then?

Yeah... that makes a whole lot of sense.



[ Parent ]
That's An Obtuse Interpretation. (3.00 / 2) (#155)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:38:19 AM EST

So if someone fills their house up with wonderful paintings, but never bothers to show anybody, it's not art?

How would you know the paintings were there at all? Did God tell you? I find your theoretical access to ultimate knowledge dubious.

Besideswhich, is wheat not food if it is not eaten, remaining but a plant? Is it really an ambulance if it's up on blocks? Is a pious act pious because the gods love it, or do the gods love it because it is a pious act?

Do you see the point?

If an old woman lives all by herself knitting socks all day which are burned in a fire before anyone can wear them or even know of their existence, or they truly socks, or are they just sock-shaped tubes of knitted yarn?

Function is a part of form (even Ultimate Form, if you want to stay all Platonic here). Something's place in the universe has a bearing on its meaning as an object. Whether selfish solipcists appreciate it or not, we govern one another's reality by the ways in which we are awate of it.

Get of your own head and into the world, you poor lost little boy!


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
A fantastic retort... (none / 0) (#160)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 06:52:51 PM EST

...to a foolish, but not thereby uncommon, argument. Kudos sir!

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
If a tree falls in a forest... (none / 0) (#187)
by DavidTC on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 12:21:04 PM EST

...and no one ever saw it, before or after it fell, was it even a tree? ;)

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
Let me say... (3.00 / 2) (#91)
by Tharkis on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 03:20:36 PM EST

Cheeseburger, you never cease to amaze me with your careful choice of words, and the vivid pictures those words produce in my brain. It's like watching a movie every time I read a story or something like the Vader blog.

Thanks once again for a wonderful experience.

Seconded (none / 1) (#111)
by jandev on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 08:54:52 PM EST

And I'm sure that one day Matthew Frederick Whateverthefuck Hemming will be world famous, and we all can say that we knew him when he was still a wee Cheeseburger on some shady website.

"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

I agree (none / 0) (#112)
by zrail on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 09:10:12 PM EST

Your ability to churn out stuff like this while simultaneously writing Simon of Space just astounds me. Bravo, sir.

[ Parent ]
Agree (none / 1) (#156)
by strawser on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 08:53:24 AM EST

I have to agree that it was a very well told story. Maybe Cheese should give up spiderweb sculpting and switch to writing and lit -- if he can manage to get his books to press before he's overwhelmed by the compulsion to burn them, that is.

Anyway, the moral to the story was clearly to never let your children watch Disney's The Black Hole, or they'll spend their lives getting spankings from hippy firemen.



"Traveler, there is no path. You make the path as you walk." -- Antonio Machado
[ Parent ]

Two possible ways to define art (none / 0) (#114)
by 1318 on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:16:09 PM EST

First it can be defined with some criteria and then we can find instances of things purported to be art and see if they match: no? It's not art. Alternately, we can find instances of what is art and then attempt to create a definition of what unites those things. I am not sure either approach is particularly satisfactory although the article seems to approach this task more from the second method than from the first. The Modernist conception of art is what most non-art-educated people think of art: marble statues, paintings, naked people - usually women presumably devoted to the ideal of beauty. Post-Modernism, armed with a large load of weak politically correct rhetoric, has cast a wider net seeking to depose the goal of beauty and the tradition media of paint and stone. In attempting to dethrone the objectification of art-as-object (e.g. a statue) to rethrone it as art-as-concept presumably to make it less elitist and more available it seems to have done the very opposite: firmly removing the common person from knowledge of what is art and placing it in the claws of the ivory tower mandarins who layer every minor wink and smirk with political and social importance. The upside: art can now be more or less anything that people say it is - robots, bands of color, umbrellas, people drinking beer. The downside: most of it sucks ass unless you made it or are participating in it and even then it still sucks ass but it becomes a sort of fun-ass-sucking. It helps if you are as high as the artist who conceived it. I am not sure this article really goes beyond post-modernism's failures in approachability and the remaking of the conceptual artist-as-commodity instead of art-as-commodity. Instead of asking "is it art?" perhaps we should ask "does it suck?". Sadly, by either standard, most art does suck.

"So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes

My web (none / 1) (#116)
by Eight Star on Mon Jun 20, 2005 at 11:52:18 PM EST

When I was very young, I made a similar network of lines across the living room, hallway, bathroom, and my bedroom.

I used bubble gum.


The Artful Brain (none / 0) (#117)
by ph317 on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 12:25:25 AM EST


Read this, or listen to the audio on the page, or both.  Fascinating stuff, very on-topic, but from a different perspective - that of a neurologist.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/reith2003/lecture3.shtml

The lecture is better appreciated in the context of the two lectures that precede it - and there's now a relatively short book out by the lecturer which expands on all five lectures.  I consider the book to be the "Breif History of Time" of neuroscience.  It was written by a brilliant man in the field, yet it concisely explains very deep concepts in layman's terms.

repost? (none / 0) (#118)
by gdanjo on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 03:59:21 AM EST

Did this text exist somewhere before you posted it here? I know I've already read it.

I like it, as a definition of what high art feels like. You have certainly communicated feelings which make me think "yeah, art does that." But a any definition must necessarily define what it is not, which is missing in this case.

The question is: can one define what is art is not, such that we can derive from it what art is? I suspect not.

Great story.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT

Husi (none / 0) (#123)
by bml on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 06:51:08 AM EST

I read this on Husi a long time ago. It's probably also on CBB's web site.

The Internet is vast, and contains many people. This is the way of things. -- Russell Dovey
[ Parent ]
Yarp. (none / 0) (#129)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 08:51:10 AM EST

Lotso folks suggested I throw it in the K5 queue, so I finally did.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
Art should be free. Not just taken from me. (none / 1) (#125)
by auraslip on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 07:15:44 AM EST

WTF does that mean???
124
Is that whole article a troll? (none / 1) (#131)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 09:00:44 AM EST

If not, what was the point of writing it?

Nope. (none / 1) (#134)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 09:07:41 AM EST

The purpose of writing the article was to find a way to immerse the readership in a series of art-related experiences as preamble for digesting my conclusion, in which I posit a kind of pattern-based compression algorithm for transmitting emotions by design to many individuals as a reflection of my personal experiences in life.

Is your comment a troll? What was the point of posting it?


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
To flatly state it: (none / 1) (#141)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 01:15:51 PM EST

I don't believe a word you just said.

Posting my comment is the best I can do to help anyone who is unwary; who may be half-asleep and misses that this is one big fat self-aggrandizing screed of 100% Pure Grade A irrelevant nonsense.

[ Parent ]

Thank You For Being Frank (none / 0) (#143)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 03:12:09 PM EST

Posting my comment is the best I can do to help anyone who is unwary; who may be half-asleep and misses that this is one big fat self-aggrandizing screed of 100% Pure Grade A irrelevant nonsense.

Thank you clarifying your point of view, Harvey Anderson (if that is your real nick).

The purpose of this document is to provide a narrative framework from which one might recognize the importance of wonder. Considering the fan mail I've had over this piece, I'd say it would be disingenuous to call it a failure in this respect. A lot of people seem to feel this kind of framing of the goals of the creative process is somehow relevant.

However, I'll mark you down under the this sucks column. No hard feelings. You can't please all of the people all of the time.

My theory is that your bitterness stems from a suspicion that if you essayed a similar feat of self-aggrandizing nonsense no one would find it interesting.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
An appreciation of wonder (none / 1) (#145)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 03:56:36 PM EST

does not need to be taught.

I suspect that your mails are from people who already had been on your 'ooh laa laa wonder!' wavelength.

I am not saying that your piece is durrr because no one likes it.  Your fans are filed along with your piece under 'irrelevant'.  It's like people discussing whether Third Eye Blind or Green Day is a better band.

My theory is that your bitterness stems from a suspicion that if you essayed a similar feat of self-aggrandizing nonsense no one would find it interesting.

No one should find it interesting.

The overriding point is that virtually all people who fancy themselves artists/writers/musicians are in it for acclaim and affirmation.  What is really galling, though, is that few will say as such, instead relying on these other arguments (I paint for me, I stroke the sense of wonder, etc etc etc) to avoid seeming as needy as they truly are.

[ Parent ]

You, Sir, Are Worse Than Hitler (none / 0) (#146)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 03:59:20 PM EST

No one should find it interesting.

I follow you now -- you're a prescriptivist, with no doubt laudable ends in mind for all society!

Your scepticism smells like bubble gum.


_____
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weeke
[
Parent ]
More (none / 0) (#147)
by Harvey Anderson on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 04:14:52 PM EST

nonsense.

[ Parent ]
Green Day is better (3.00 / 2) (#150)
by ghjm on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 06:13:37 PM EST

the rest of your thread is irrelevant.

-Graham

[ Parent ]

"irrelevant"? -nt (none / 0) (#144)
by tsubame on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 03:25:03 PM EST



---
"Congratulations, that's now my new sig." -mcc, in response to my comment about circlejerk meta k5 sigs.
[ Parent ]
Indeed (3.00 / 2) (#169)
by rusty on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 12:03:43 PM EST

This article is clearly 100% unrelated to Kuro5hin's very clear mission and purpose of publishing articles about stuff.

____
Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
You have missed (none / 0) (#201)
by Harvey Anderson on Mon Jul 11, 2005 at 10:06:33 AM EST

the audience to which the article is irrelevant.

[ Parent ]
it was a good text, now stfu [nt] (none / 0) (#154)
by boxed on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 05:30:55 AM EST



[ Parent ]
thanks for the help (none / 0) (#142)
by boboli fresh on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 01:50:48 PM EST

i've been working on critiquing transhumanist conceptions of art...this helps me some with that, thank you.

art is not as hard to define as you make it out to be. a piece of art is something transcendent. transhumanists such as yourself believe that science is transcendence instead, and call art things like 'magic'. however, there is no such thing as magic.

------
"Kaycee, you don't need this negativity in your life."

Software for decoding successful pop (yuck!) (3.00 / 2) (#149)
by rulethirty on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 04:49:39 PM EST

Quote:
None of our modern techniques for detecting art have made the matter more certain. Our giga-computers and mega-scanners of the 21st century have utterly failed to clarify the picture.

I refer the author and reader to this article on slashdot:
Slashdot: Decoding the Algorithm for Pop Music

Slashdot Excerpt:
Over at Modplug, they have an article describing a mathematical algorithm to predict if a given song will become a hit or not. Paraphrasing the article, a Spanish company called Polyphonic HMI has made a business out of analyzing song submissions and predicting their "hitability". Here's their description of the algorithm and here's their FAQ. They claim to have predicted the commercial success of Norah Jones through this method. Here's my question (which is not fully answered in their FAQ): if they (music company executives) are currently using the algorithm to screen submissions for their "hitability", can we (people who listen to music) use the same algorithm to reject recycled tunes and encourage originality? I for one, still like the fresh talent and community feel of the tracking scene.

Missing the key point. (none / 0) (#151)
by tthomas48 on Tue Jun 21, 2005 at 06:59:35 PM EST

<b>Quote:</b><br/>
None of our modern techniques for detecting art have made the matter more certain. Our giga-computers and mega-scanners of the 21st century have utterly failed to clarify the picture.
<br/>
Slashdot: Decoding the Algorithm for Pop Music
<br/>
Art can become pop once it becomes popular enough, but not all art is pop (and none of this should be confused with pop art which is essentially satire). Art is generally the new idea, the reimagining, the rebirth. Pop is the re-creation, it is the copy. Aristotle came up with a Decoding Algorithm for Theater that is still amazingly effective even when used against the modern motion picture. But it's more effective at decoding what you will understand and what you will identify with, that what is art. And art is often that which breaks the rules and creates a new pop standard.

[ Parent ]
I don't understand. (none / 1) (#191)
by DavidTC on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 01:01:08 PM EST

What's the relationship between pop music and art?

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]
Your string is captivating (none / 0) (#153)
by dbickett on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 01:29:45 AM EST

It is my opinion that you deserve a nobel prize for this and, though this may be the second article which I felt warranted this comment, I want to be your lifelong pal.

A simple definition of art (none / 1) (#157)
by aminorex on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:04:41 AM EST

Art is a class of things or events. A thing or event is in that class to the degree that it does one thing for a given onlooker: It conveys meaning in a way that is not explicit, which the onlooker attaches to the artwork as a whole, rather than to the parts of the artwork which are used to add the meaning to the artwork.

Thus, for example, this posting is not art, because its meaning is explicit. Art can have actual meaning, it can have consensual meaning, it can have private meaning, or it can have no meaning but merely the private sensation of meaning. It is the sensation of meaning which is essential. Found art is art which did not have this kind of meaning for the producer, but does for a given onlooker or group of onlookers.

This definition is analytic, but it has an appropriately Platonic feel. That vague Platonism is part of the assumption underlying the use of the word as a category.

simple definition (none / 0) (#159)
by mrcloudy on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 04:42:04 PM EST

art, in my opinion, is anything done with style. style being defined as unique to a specific person. this deffinition deals soley will the artist and the artists intent. It becomes the artists "response" if you will, to the world around them. anything done with style is art, whether it be painting, playing guitar, kicking a feild goal or any other creative pursuit.

*no one likes what i like, thats why i like it*
[ Parent ]
Your definition is flawed... (none / 1) (#161)
by basj on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:04:38 PM EST

... without proper definitions of 'explicit' and 'implicit' in this context.

But I doubt even a definition of 'implicit', quite an elusive concept in itself, will save you here. Of course, art can be -- besides exciting, and bold, and dashing, exciting, and fierce -- secretive sometimes, and elusive, ephemeral or ethereal but that does not mean only art has 'implicit' meaning and all art has 'implicit' meaning (a necessary condition for a definition). Because, if you do not downright beg the question by saying 'implicit meaning is the kind of meaning art has', I can imagine the cute girl in my class or the politician implying all kinds of (hopefully different) things, thereby giving implicit meaning to their words. Does that makes those words art?

Is it art to say "Would you like to come up for some coffee?"


--
Complete the Three Year Plan in five years!
[ Parent ]
It's a perilous course... (none / 1) (#177)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 05:33:06 PM EST

...littered with the splintered remains of many a sunken doctrine, which runs between the Scylla of the explicit (denotative, literal, truth theoretic, etc..) and Charybdis of the implicit (connotative, figurative, non-propositional, etc...).

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
I forgot just how WASPy and Uptight (none / 0) (#158)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 02:53:11 PM EST

even the Jewish WASPs in Toronto can be.  i remember people just like that, back when we were kids.  Self-righteous, high-idealed, low-idea-ed, arses who wanted everyone to swallow their morality.

Not me, of course, but, y'know, those other guys....

----------------

Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.

Yeah existence (none / 1) (#162)
by 3454234 on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 10:56:49 PM EST

"Maybe, but it also makes me some kind of artist, or like anyone else who is so overwhelmed by the beauty or the horror of the sheer awe of existence that they cannot help but respond somehow"

Absolutely Lovely (none / 0) (#163)
by Santiago de Mayo on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 08:55:32 AM EST

I'll echo the sentiments from above. You are now my best friend. That was a lovely unique piece. Thank you. I reminds me a little bit of something I wrote some time ago when in the space of two days I saw the Guggenheim in Bilbao Spain and ancient cave paintings in the Pyrenees.

From Ancient Caves to the Guggenheim Museum



Great piece. (none / 0) (#171)
by IronChefIdaho on Thu Jun 23, 2005 at 12:20:04 PM EST

That was a great piece of writing, Cheese. It appears that we're about the same age, judging from the references in your article. I can remember seeing The Black Hole in the theater as well, and being affected in a similar way. Although I didn't create the green yarn sculpture afterwards that you did. I hate to use other people's words instead of my own, but I think that Ani DiFranco has the absolute best definition of what art is: "Art is why I get up in the morning, and my definition ends there. It doesn't seem fair that I'm living for something I can't even define."

Let's have another round of definitions anyway (none / 0) (#183)
by Scrymarch on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 06:16:29 AM EST

Art is manufacture that changes the perspective of the viewer.

What Art is (none / 1) (#193)
by Marvaud on Sun Jun 26, 2005 at 08:32:48 PM EST

Mmmm. Art is all about having an experience and a response . It is fully in the senses of the person beholding the art form. If an artist has no response he or she has failed. Internet is a perversion of all art forms, reducing them to pixellations, reducing them to a very small sterile environment. Its a lonely format.

Art doesn't end with "In Conclusion" (none / 0) (#195)
by kero on Mon Jun 27, 2005 at 04:03:18 PM EST

I mean really.

really (none / 0) (#196)
by soart on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 12:09:00 PM EST

And I remember being three years old and sitting under a piece of lawn furniture. On one of the legs the thick, rubbery plastic skinning had peeled back from the rusted metal beneath. I ran my fingers around the edge of the wound, taking in the simultaneous impressions of the pitted, fractal details of the metal and the broad, clean uniformity of the skin.
机票打折机票
art is any form of communication (none / 0) (#198)
by aphrael on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 12:29:53 PM EST

which helps you to see the beauty of the world in a way you never had before.

hmmmmmmm (none / 0) (#199)
by majoriot on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:13:04 AM EST

Well, it's certainly hard to say. I have been playing and recording music for 20 years, but I still hesitate to call myself a musician. (What is music?) I leave such labeling to others. And I don't always agree with their judgement, nor do they agreee with mine. Still persuing my goal of making music, which exists in time, something that exists in space (besides noticing that a stage is too small). I constantly wonder why so much art seems content to be contained in a square or rectangle. There are methods, and thoughts, and practices. All considered vehicles of creation. The creation itself is art. So, if I create someting and call it art...or music, I think I know what I am talking about. Do those who are visual artists suffer the same as musical artists? Fame is chance? Art, well, I know what I find interesting or compelling. Is that art? Or is that just what i like? To be continued...
---------------------------------------------------- Suppose there was no such thing as a hypothetical question...
hmmmmmmm (none / 0) (#200)
by majoriot on Sat Jul 09, 2005 at 11:31:06 AM EST

Well, it's certainly hard to say. I have been playing and recording music for 20 years, but I still hesitate to call myself a musician. (What is music?) I leave such labeling to others. And I don't always agree with their judgement, nor do they agreee with mine.

Still persuing my goal of making music, which exists in time, something that exists in space (besides noticing that a stage is too small).

I constantly wonder why so much art seems content to be contained in a square or rectangle.

There are methods, and thoughts, and practices. All considered vehicles of creation. The creation itself is art. So, if I create someting and call it art...or music, I think I know what I am talking about.

Do those who are visual artists suffer the same  as musical artists? Fame is chance?

Art, well, I know what I find interesting or compelling. Is that art? Or is that just what i like?

To be continued...

---------------------------------------------------- Suppose there was no such thing as a hypothetical question...

What Art Is | 201 comments (180 topical, 21 editorial, 0 hidden)
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