Re: A Posteriori Art - follow-up

Posted by Dyske Suematsu | Fri May 2nd 2003 12:17 a.m.

A few things to add:

In terms of supporting any activities that are yet to be "art", I must
emphasize once again that my criticism is more towards the artists
themselves than towards the institutions of art.

Your own ideas need your own support too. There is only so much time in a
day, and in your life. You need to define priorities. For an "artist", any
activities that do not appear to have much profound meaning are pushed
towards the bottom of the list. The same process will occur at the
institutional level as well. The unfortunate thing about this process is
that we often achieve great things if we didn't intend to achieve great
things. If we try hard to attract someone, we fail, but when we have no
intention of attracting anyone, we end up attracting someone. When we try to
be funny, we fail, but if we stop trying, we naturally become funnier. Our
intentions are overrated. We accomplish much greater things if we just let
it happen; if we didn't sensor ourselves with intentions.

Many famous artists live miserable lives. The only solace that they can
find, what keeps them going, is the notion that they are doing what they
love. It is not that they are truly doing what they love, it is the idea
that they are supposedly doing what they love, is what gives them the
comfort and pride. Meanwhile many of these established artists are slaving
themselves to the market that demands and expects a specific brand of
products from them. All they do is to churn out what is expected, like
factory workers, because their concerns are more with preserving their
status as artists than with doing what they love. Granted, there are many
happy artists too, but it should strike you odd that in the field where
people are supposed to be doing what they love, they are just as depressed
as people of any other fields. I personally see this as a result of
alienating themselves for the sake of being "artists". They suppress what
they truly want to do for the sake of what could give them the title of
"artists".

Supposed you are an artist, but you find that you really enjoy cooking.
Since you have a very little chance at achieving something profound with
cooking, you suppress this desire, or keep it moderate, not to take too much
time away from making "art". In this fashion, your true interests and
passions get pushed down to the bottom of your priority list, because, as an
"artist", your priority rests on creating something profound. A healthier
approach would be to simply follow your passion, whatever it is. If
something profound and meaningful comes out of it, that's great, if not
that's great too; at least you didn't alienate yourself. However, this
approach does not get much support, neither from yourself nor from your
community, because there is no real grounds on which the meaningfulness of
your activities can be justified.

The term "art" is completely arbitrary. There is no substance that the word
points to. Its definition is utterly biased and culturally dependent. Yet,
we fund and support "art" based on this arbitrary grounds. For those who do
not see the arbitrariness of the term "art", funding on the grounds of "art"
seems perfectly sound. To me, it is as meaningless as funding someone
because she is 27 years old. This is not to discourage funding. It's a
positive thing, but I do not believe that funding "art" is any more
meaningful than funding 27 year olds.

-Dyske
http://www.dyske.com
  • Ivan Pope | Fri May 2nd 2003 5:11 a.m.
    > From: "Dyske Suematsu" <dyske@dyske.com>

    > Supposed you are an artist, but you find that you really enjoy cooking.
    > Since you have a very little chance at achieving something profound with
    > cooking, you suppress this desire, or keep it moderate, not to take too much
    > time away from making "art". In this fashion, your true interests and
    > passions get pushed down to the bottom of your priority list, because, as an
    > "artist", your priority rests on creating something profound. A healthier
    > approach would be to simply follow your passion, whatever it is. If
    > something profound and meaningful comes out of it, that's great, if not
    > that's great too; at least you didn't alienate yourself.

    Pace my previous post. Dyske, I think you miss what it is to be an artist.
    You say that you may be an artist, but cooking could be your passion.
    However, you cannot pursue cooking to the exclusion of art, because cooking
    is not profound. I would suggest that often artists would love to do
    something that produces simple results, but the artist inside them will keep
    dragging them back to the struggle with more complex issues. Which cannot be
    explored in cooking. Its not
  • Jess Loseby | Fri May 2nd 2003 7:24 a.m.
    > Supposed you are an artist, but you find that you really enjoy cooking.
    > Since you have a very little chance at achieving something profound with
    > cooking, you suppress this desire, or keep it moderate, not to take too much
    > time away from making "art".

    actually its possible to do both. I'm an artist but the profundity of my
    chocolate cake is breathtaking;-)

    The events that create the ['net.] artist as genius' is multiple texts like
    this by people that go to bed with a copy of derrida's greatest hits under
    their pillow.

    http://www.rssgallery.com/trivialconnections/cookthecode.htm
    http://www.rssgallery.com/trivialconnections/computerand-cup_red.htm
    http://www.rssgallery.com/trivialconnections/rundamnyou.html

    o
    /^ rssgallery.com
    ][
  • Ivan Pope | Fri May 2nd 2003 7:38 a.m.
    I guess what gets me about the original post is the subtext that artists are
    frauds, conniving at producing what the world expects rather than what they
    'really' should be producing. And that 'art' and 'other stuff' can be
    separated into neat compartments.
    Of course there are people like that, but what of it? For most artists the
    struggle is their life.
    Cheers,
    Ivan

    From: "Jess Loseby" <jess@rssgallery.com>
    To: <list@rhizome.org>
    Sent: Friday, May 02, 2003 11:25 AM
    Subject: Re: RHIZOME_RAW: A Posteriori Art - follow-up

    >
    > > Supposed you are an artist, but you find that you really enjoy cooking.
    > > Since you have a very little chance at achieving something profound with
    > > cooking, you suppress this desire, or keep it moderate, not to take too
    much
    > > time away from making "art".
    >
    > actually its possible to do both. I'm an artist but the profundity of my
    > chocolate cake is breathtaking;-)
    >
    > The events that create the ['net.] artist as genius' is multiple texts
    like
    > this by people that go to bed with a copy of derrida's greatest hits under
    > their pillow.
    >
    > http://www.rssgallery.com/trivialconnections/cookthecode.htm
    > http://www.rssgallery.com/trivialconnections/computerand-cup_red.htm
    > http://www.rssgallery.com/trivialconnections/rundamnyou.html
    >
    >
    >
    > o
    > /^ rssgallery.com
    > ][
    >
    >
    >
    > + ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup
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  • Jess Loseby | Fri May 2nd 2003 10:12 a.m.
    And that 'art' and 'other stuff' can be
    > separated into neat compartments.
    > Of course there are people like that, but what of it? For most artists the
    > struggle is their life.
    > Cheers,
    > Ivan
    Absolutely, and it is this enforced separation (particularly endorsed by
    academics) between the 'real' and' the art' that is creating what is so
    often called digital divide. I think one of the most current and pressing
    questions (re potentials of net.art) is how artists respond to the
    pressure from critical writing and institutional thematics to keep the
    internet and domesticity (the 'real') worlds apart.

    jess o
    /^ rssgallery.com
    ][
  • MTAA | Fri May 2nd 2003 10:35 a.m.
    Seriously?

    If an artist starts out to be 'profound' the artist is on the road to
    failure. Most artists who stick with it for a few years figure this
    out.

    all good artists ARE following their passions. they are not taking
    some toll road of 'art' and skipping all the exits. I've known many
    artists who have hung it up to pursue want they've discovered to be a
    more passionate passion like baking, teaching, and other careers.

    Why pick on cooking? providing sensual pleasure and enjoyment thru
    food for one's family, friends, or patrons is a very valuable thing
    to do and carries great meaning in many cultures.

    At 9:11 +0100 5/2/03, Ivan Pope wrote:
    >> From: "Dyske Suematsu" <dyske@dyske.com>
    >
    >> Supposed you are an artist, but you find that you really enjoy cooking.
    >> Since you have a very little chance at achieving something profound with
    >> cooking, you suppress this desire, or keep it moderate, not to take too much
    >> time away from making "art". In this fashion, your true interests and
    >> passions get pushed down to the bottom of your priority list, because, as an
    >> "artist", your priority rests on creating something profound. A healthier
    >> approach would be to simply follow your passion, whatever it is. If
    >> something profound and meaningful comes out of it, that's great, if not
    >> that's great too; at least you didn't alienate yourself.
    >
    >Pace my previous post. Dyske, I think you miss what it is to be an artist.
    >You say that you may be an artist, but cooking could be your passion.
    >However, you cannot pursue cooking to the exclusion of art, because cooking
    >is not profound. I would suggest that often artists would love to do
    >something that produces simple results, but the artist inside them will keep
    >dragging them back to the struggle with more complex issues. Which cannot be
    >explored in cooking. Its not

    --
    <twhid>
    http://www.mteww.com
    </twhid>
  • Eryk Salvaggio | Fri May 2nd 2003 2:26 p.m.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "t.whid" <twhid@mteww.com>

    > Seriously?
    >
    > If an artist starts out to be 'profound' the artist is on the road to
    > failure. Most artists who stick with it for a few years figure this
    > out.

    Any artist who does *not* attempt to create anything moving or insightful
    will have a *far greater chance* at success, because creating work that is
    moving and insightful requires something far more "multidisciplinary" than
    art school can provide. So, we have a lot of very "succesful artists"
    running around saying "nothing" because it provides them with the easiest
    stepping stone to "creating something" even if they are only running around
    creating "nothing."

    But, you can't evaluate failure by this mechanism. If an artist creates
    something meaningful, is that because he did not "start out" trying to make
    something profound? If the piece is meaningful, because the artist has a
    mastery of his abilities, does that mean that they failed because he "set
    out" to make what they made?

    Did Beuys start out by rejecting the idea of making his work communicate
    something meaningful?
    How about poets, did Rilke or TS Eliot set out to make "entertainment" as a
    first priority and then "stumbled" onto meaning? How about in cinema, we
    have Wim Wenders, or even Woody Allen, but certainly a long tradition of
    films that have succesfully "moved" thier audience and created "insights."
    Who are the cinematic "artistes" who reject the profound outright in thier
    "art"? Maybe Barry Sonnenfeld?

    The rejection of this comes solely out of the prison of
    hyper-self-consciousness that originated out of the ass end of post
    modernism. "Meaning is passe. And so Fascistic!" If you reject being moved-
    if it makes you feel like the artist is "embarrassing himself" by creating
    work that tries to *transcend* these little hampster wheels we call lives,
    then that is a problem with the viewer, not the artist. An artist should
    have no consideration for whether what he/she does is "embarrassing" or not,
    particularly if that embarrassment comes from the attempt to communicate
    something the artist finds meaningful.

    -e.
  • MTAA | Fri May 2nd 2003 3:20 p.m.
    At 13:26 -0400 5/2/03, Eryk Salvaggio wrote:
    >----- Original Message -----
    >From: "t.whid" <twhid@mteww.com>
    >
    >
    >> Seriously?
    >>
    >> If an artist starts out to be 'profound' the artist is on the road to
    >> failure. Most artists who stick with it for a few years figure this
    >> out.

    the self-consciousness of being 'meaningful' or 'profound' usually
    leads to crap. (there are many roads to crap) That's not to say that
    it can't lead to something interesting. I doubt Beuys thought to
    himself, "I'm being profound and meaningful, ain't it great!," and
    Warhol obviously didn't, though his work has had a profound and
    meaningful effect on contemporary art over the last 40 years.

    If one is interested in what the world might define as 'profound' or
    'meaningful' subjects, than perhaps one's work will be 'profound' or
    'meaningful'. If one is not interested but takes these subjects
    anyway, one will probably churn out self-conscious badart (i'm going
    to use that as one word from now on, badart).

    But seriously, these terms are so vague... the color red could be
    'profound' and 'meaningful' to someone and it could be a paint chip
    to someone else.

    It has nothing to do with post-modernism IMO, a modernist, a
    symbolist, a romanticist, (probably not a neo-classicist) could all
    follow the same advice which is simply the old cliche, "follow your
    passion," which said another way could be, "do what YOU find profound
    and meaningful to YOU."

    So, we are in agreement.. I think.

    I personally don't attempt to do any work which is 'profound' or
    'meaningful'. Those thought patterns simply don't go thru my head
    when I'm thinking about new work.

    ta,

    twhid

    >
    >Any artist who does *not* attempt to create anything moving or insightful
    >will have a *far greater chance* at success, because creating work that is
    >moving and insightful requires something far more "multidisciplinary" than
    >art school can provide. So, we have a lot of very "succesful artists"
    >running around saying "nothing" because it provides them with the easiest
    >stepping stone to "creating something" even if they are only running around
    >creating "nothing."
    >
    >But, you can't evaluate failure by this mechanism. If an artist creates
    >something meaningful, is that because he did not "start out" trying to make
    >something profound? If the piece is meaningful, because the artist has a
    >mastery of his abilities, does that mean that they failed because he "set
    >out" to make what they made?
    >
    >Did Beuys start out by rejecting the idea of making his work communicate
    >something meaningful?
    >How about poets, did Rilke or TS Eliot set out to make "entertainment" as a
    >first priority and then "stumbled" onto meaning? How about in cinema, we
    >have Wim Wenders, or even Woody Allen, but certainly a long tradition of
    >films that have succesfully "moved" thier audience and created "insights."
    >Who are the cinematic "artistes" who reject the profound outright in thier
    >"art"? Maybe Barry Sonnenfeld?
    >
    >The rejection of this comes solely out of the prison of
    >hyper-self-consciousness that originated out of the ass end of post
    >modernism. "Meaning is passe. And so Fascistic!" If you reject being moved-
    >if it makes you feel like the artist is "embarrassing himself" by creating
    >work that tries to *transcend* these little hampster wheels we call lives,
    >then that is a problem with the viewer, not the artist. An artist should
    >have no consideration for whether what he/she does is "embarrassing" or not,
    >particularly if that embarrassment comes from the attempt to communicate
    >something the artist finds meaningful.
    >
    >-e.
  • Eryk Salvaggio | Fri May 2nd 2003 4:11 p.m.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "t.whid" <twhid@mteww.com>

    > the self-consciousness of being 'meaningful' or 'profound' usually
    > leads to crap. (there are many roads to crap)

    Any path can lead to success or failure depending on:

    A. The definition of "success" or "failure" one implements for oneself.
    B. The competency and ability to achieve the task one sets out to do.

    But to declare that "intent" is in and of itself a problem- and that the
    artists who "do it for a while know this" strikes me as cutting off far too
    much possibility.

    > That's not to say that
    > it can't lead to something interesting. I doubt Beuys thought to
    > himself, "I'm being profound and meaningful, ain't it great!,"

    I don't know about the "ain't it great" part. But I also doubt that his
    interest in art was simply to entertain. I think he engaged in deliberate,
    conscious acts. So did Duchamp. So did the situationists, the fluxus
    artists. Even Cage, in his chance pieces, was "saying something." Warhol was
    consciously "saying something" with his "nothing." Warhol most certainly
    knew what he was doing.

    > If one is interested in what the world might define as 'profound' or
    > 'meaningful' subjects, than perhaps one's work will be 'profound' or
    > 'meaningful'. If one is not interested but takes these subjects
    > anyway, one will probably churn out self-conscious badart (i'm going
    > to use that as one word from now on, badart).

    Of course. Integrity is important to the success of any artwork.

    >
    > But seriously, these terms are so vague... the color red could be
    > 'profound' and 'meaningful' to someone and it could be a paint chip
    > to someone else.

    "Profound" is subjective but "Meaningful" is not really that vague. It
    simply implies that the work means something, that a piece of art has
    something to convey to the audience. The debate as I see it revolves around
    what that meaning is. Of course, none of the most meaningful work can be
    discussed in terms of theory or critical assesments. You are moved,
    inspired, or come away having some insight into your self or the world that
    you did not have before. The idea that an artist can not "intend" this is to
    say that all the great artists are merely awkward stumblers into brilliant
    accidents. [Death of author is "post-modernist".] That this conversation is
    very "trite and cliche" is post modernist.

    "Must" an artist make work that is meaningful on a true level, a level that
    goes beyond the capacity of most art, (which is "meaningful" on an
    intellectual level only), or engage the audience to simply "reconsider thier
    viewpoints"? Must" an artist make art that reveals layers of mediation that
    are imposed by humans onto thier environment? I don't know. I don't know if
    anyone "must" do anything. But profound strikes me as a term used for this
    sort of cutting away of mediation. The establishment of a new paradigm, the
    revelation that old rules do not apply [when they actually *don't* apply.

    There is a difference between *profound* art and "profound" art. The problem
    is that a history of hacks has made profound into a dirty word, people are
    afraid, "do I come off as too profound?" In actuality this is a ridiculous
    thing to worry about. "Do I try to be profound and fail dismally because I
    have no understanding of what I am talking about?" is why "profound" has a
    dirty connotation. Of course, any work that is actually profound doesn't
    have to ask. [Except in the case of inflated vanity.]

    >
    > It has nothing to do with post-modernism IMO, a modernist, a
    > symbolist, a romanticist, (probably not a neo-classicist) could all
    > follow the same advice which is simply the old cliche, "follow your
    > passion," which said another way could be, "do what YOU find profound
    > and meaningful to YOU."

    I was referring to the conscious decision to reject art that has meaning or
    sets out to be profound. But mostly, to the idea that artists cannot
    "intend" certain results, or that an audience "takes the result to the art".
    An artist can influence others through art, an artist can most certainly
    intend to be profound and do so. If, as you say, the artist is capable and
    ready to make a profound statement. Maybe 999/1000ths of the people who seek
    to make "profound art" are capable of it. And so for some reason we've
    assigned the label of what those seekers "want to achieve" to them as if
    they achieved it- all very ironically, but it seems people are forgetting
    that "profound" has a meaning beyond irony. There are a million hard drives
    and servers broadcasting the end result, just as there are canvases in dusty
    basements, or, in all honesty, art that is being sold for millions and
    hanging on gallery walls and in permanent collections.

    > I personally don't attempt to do any work which is 'profound' or
    > 'meaningful'. Those thought patterns simply don't go thru my head
    > when I'm thinking about new work.

    So, what does?

    -e.
  • ruth catlow | Fri May 2nd 2003 4:47 p.m.
    like it!

    :-)

    ruth

    Dyske Suematsu wrote:

    > A few things to add:
    >
    > In terms of supporting any activities that are yet to be "art", I must
    > emphasize once again that my criticism is more towards the artists
    > themselves than towards the institutions of art.
    >
    > Your own ideas need your own support too. There is only so much time in a
    > day, and in your life. You need to define priorities. For an "artist", any
    > activities that do not appear to have much profound meaning are pushed
    > towards the bottom of the list. The same process will occur at the
    > institutional level as well. The unfortunate thing about this process is
    > that we often achieve great things if we didn't intend to achieve great
    > things. If we try hard to attract someone, we fail, but when we have no
    > intention of attracting anyone, we end up attracting someone. When we try to
    > be funny, we fail, but if we stop trying, we naturally become funnier. Our
    > intentions are overrated. We accomplish much greater things if we just let
    > it happen; if we didn't sensor ourselves with intentions.
    >
    > Many famous artists live miserable lives. The only solace that they can
    > find, what keeps them going, is the notion that they are doing what they
    > love. It is not that they are truly doing what they love, it is the idea
    > that they are supposedly doing what they love, is what gives them the
    > comfort and pride. Meanwhile many of these established artists are slaving
    > themselves to the market that demands and expects a specific brand of
    > products from them. All they do is to churn out what is expected, like
    > factory workers, because their concerns are more with preserving their
    > status as artists than with doing what they love. Granted, there are many
    > happy artists too, but it should strike you odd that in the field where
    > people are supposed to be doing what they love, they are just as depressed
    > as people of any other fields. I personally see this as a result of
    > alienating themselves for the sake of being "artists". They suppress what
    > they truly want to do for the sake of what could give them the title of
    > "artists".
    >
    > Supposed you are an artist, but you find that you really enjoy cooking.
    > Since you have a very little chance at achieving something profound with
    > cooking, you suppress this desire, or keep it moderate, not to take too much
    > time away from making "art". In this fashion, your true interests and
    > passions get pushed down to the bottom of your priority list, because, as an
    > "artist", your priority rests on creating something profound. A healthier
    > approach would be to simply follow your passion, whatever it is. If
    > something profound and meaningful comes out of it, that's great, if not
    > that's great too; at least you didn't alienate yourself. However, this
    > approach does not get much support, neither from yourself nor from your
    > community, because there is no real grounds on which the meaningfulness of
    > your activities can be justified.
    >
    > The term "art" is completely arbitrary. There is no substance that the word
    > points to. Its definition is utterly biased and culturally dependent. Yet,
    > we fund and support "art" based on this arbitrary grounds. For those who do
    > not see the arbitrariness of the term "art", funding on the grounds of "art"
    > seems perfectly sound. To me, it is as meaningless as funding someone
    > because she is 27 years old. This is not to discourage funding. It's a
    > positive thing, but I do not believe that funding "art" is any more
    > meaningful than funding 27 year olds.
    >
    > -Dyske
    > http://www.dyske.com
    >
    > + ti esrever dna ti pilf nwod gniht ym tup
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  • Christopher Fahey | Sat May 3rd 2003 12:16 p.m.
    t.whid:
    > > That's not to say that
    > > it can't lead to something interesting. I doubt Beuys thought to
    > > himself, "I'm being profound and meaningful, ain't it great!,"

    Eryk:
    > I don't know about the "ain't it great" part. But I also
    > doubt that his
    > interest in art was simply to entertain. I think he engaged
    > in deliberate, conscious acts.

    I agree with Eryk here - people have "deep" reasons for doing things
    that aren't always calculated and rational. As an atheist, I do find it
    hard to understand that people do things for anything but cynical,
    personal, selfish, secular, and worldly reasons.

    But I realize that people do have deep feelings and often express those
    feelings. I'm not usually one of them. But (besides mental illness)
    there's no other way to explain things like the Crusades or suicide
    bombing or Ray Charles singing "Drown in my own Tears".

    -Cf

    [christopher eli fahey]
    art: http://www.graphpaper.com
    sci: http://www.askrom.com
    biz: http://www.behaviordesign.com
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