If you create / engage / execute a work of art with the express purpose of it not being witnessed or viewed, why tell anyone about it?
Was the work of art created, or are you simply making it up?
If you create / engage / execute a work of art with the express purpose of it not being witnessed or viewed, why tell anyone about it?
Was the work of art created, or are you simply making it up?
Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please stop trying to be Cindy Sherman. Stop the staged scenes, stop the lens flares, stop the animal masks, stop the “young wild and free red indian” bullshit, stop the forced irony, stop the vintage effects, stop using instagram and stop fetishizing crappy old technology just because it’s old and “vintage.”
“But Wespennest!” you whine “If everyone did that, no one would want to be a photographer anymore!”
GOOD. IF THAT IS WHAT PHOTOGRAPHY HAS EVOLVED INTO, IT SHOULD DIE.
I know this month is NaNoWriMo, but I am painfully aware that I do not have any novel-writing talent. I can, however, take reasonably interesting photographs. So, if a picture really does say a thousand words, one new photograph a day should equate to a short novel, I suppose. I could be just finding a new way of weaseling out of NaNoWriMo for another year, or this could be a half-assed attempt to force myself into increased productivity by stapling my form of artistic expression onto something unrelated to it.
Whatever. I’m going to make this pledge that I’m going to produce at least one new photograph a day for the entirety of November.
We’ll see how quickly this goal goes off the rails and splatters horribly on the hillside.
*edit* it’s 50,000 words? Shit, one photograph a day won’t cut it. Two it is then.
Please stop dressing in khakis and street clothes when “*doing pagan stuff.*” You don’t need to look like Laurie Cabot when you’re going to the shop to get some breakfast cereal, but the whole practice of wearing sweatpants, company-embroidered polo shirts and things of that ilk to rituals, blots, esbats, sabbats and virgin sacrifices are chopping, cubing, boiling, straining, starching, pressing, ironing, flattening and bleaching all of the magick and sexiness right out.
It *is* necessary to not appear threatening or dangerous to the community in which you may live, but you’re letting your fear of *them*dictate your practice. Unless you really think that having all of your participants looking like they just finished vacuuming their car is what is needed to create a space that oozes otherworldly power. If I’m attending your open ritual, I don’t want to feel like I’m attending something akin to a Saturday evening vigil mass at a non-denominational megachurch.
Praise “Bob,” I just realized: this is my #666th post!
You know, nothing really makes me not want to post any more nude photographs I have created than when I see on my dashboard “dailysexybabe started following you.”
If I wanted to create and showcase porn, I’d already be doing that. I’m not making porn. If you want to fight me for your right to fap to *art*, I welcome arguing about the “purpose” of nudes in art and whether the inclusion of said elements constitute an “erotic work.” Do not reproduce, reprint or otherwise include any of my work in those blogs or similar venues— my models would object to this and I certainly object.
I’m generally quite open with my work and I license most of everything under some variation of creative commons (hell, some of it has a BSD license) but from now on, assume any nudes I post are © by me. I’m quite sincere about this and that will stay for all perpetuity unless there’s some comparable creative commons license developed that provides me with some legal recourse to prevent my work from being reproduced in ways I disapprove of. I don’t charge for my work unless you want to have a professionally produced inkjet or piezoelectric print— or a hand-made traditional silver gelatin process print— so I’m not doing this for the money.
I’m aware that I can’t stop people from doing whatever they want to do with whatever is on the internet, but I can at least attempt to discourage random cretins from objectifying or dehumanizing my models. After all, I wouldn’t want to work with a photographer who would not or could not do the same for me.
I create art that reflects the beauty of the world around me. I tell stories and I build worlds. *My work does not exist as a service for you to direct traffic to your blog*.
Porn has its own place within the scope of depictions of the human body and I respect that by not creating any. If I ever do create any, it will be under a separate moniker and be wholly separate from my artistic output. (Naturally, I do believe you can create art *from* porn, like Annie Sprinkle or porn-glitch, but the field of “artistic porn” is so over-saturated it currently equates to “high-budget softcore shot with a diffuser or vaseline on the lens,” so if there’s “artistic porn” to be made, I’m not going to be the one to make it.)
tl;dr- My work isn’t porn. Don’t fap to it. If you have a problem with that, you know the way to redtube.
I would be a lot more receptive to criticisms of the occupy movement if the majority of them did not consist of:
-“YOURE ALL COMMUNISTS/PINKOS THEREFORE OCCUPY IS BAD”
-“Collectivism won’t work!”
-“My local occupy isn’t conflict free!”
-“Historically, (communism-collectivism-anarchism-socialism-marxism-keynesian economics-banking regulations-et cetera) has never worked, so you’re wasting your time.”
-“It’s a waste of time.”
-“It’s not leaderless, some people have responsibility”
-“I don’t understand the consensus model and I don’t like it.”
-“People who were very headstrong and charismatic took over the group”
Complaining about history doesn’t equate to a criticism of what’s happening right now. Complaining about your local occupy that you never bothered to participate in or dedicate any time to is useless. Complaining that other people filled organizational roles while you did not volunteer is useless. Complaining that there’s conflict in your local occupy group and using that is a basis to disregard the entire occupy movement is fallacious; there’s interpersonal conflict everywhere— so why haven’t you become a misanthropic nihilist and written off humanity altogether?
Perhaps what we all desire to achieve with our art is to provide some manner by which tranquility can be achieved. Whether this is by venting the pent up aggression in us that stems from unaddressed angst or to find a way of transmitting a notion or a feeling of peace through paper, electron, photon, sound wave or ink blot, the desire for equilibrium is the same. I think all people have this desire, but artists are a curious lot— they are acutely aware that they are unable to achieve personal equilibrium, and thus creativity is born out of the roiling boil that’s in their minds.
You think of nothing but the wonders you will create, but when isolated in a sea of tranquil potential you are more content to sleep than to act upon your grand ambition. The ideas flow like a torrent until the very second the skin on the tip of your finger touches the surface of the pencil. Maybe you’re of the mind that your rough sketches will be judged as completed works. Maybe you’re afraid of the criticism. Maybe you’re not afraid at all but you’re just exhausted from being forced to defend and justify every action.
Nothing is to be born until it has completed its gestation. If your work is in progress, do not label it as such and then abandon it at the first sign of negative feedback. Indeed, expecting any form of feedback that will be useful to the point of producing a superior work before your work has yet to progress past its planning stages is fallacy. So, you post your preliminary sketches online and wait for a slew of praise or vehement condemnation, and are instead greeted by the thunderous collapse of silence, like film of an imploded building run in reverse.
So you shelve your pens, your knives, your chisels and your cameras and you resign yourself to thinking that “at least the crossword puzzles I’m doing are keeping my mind sharp” or “at least I’m being creative with this sandbox game.” At least. *Least*. The barest minimum by which one could be considered to be doing*something*. This “art” thing is a tricky beast— it is a black-and-white means by which one interprets the world of context into shades of gray, hues, vibrance, saturation and opacity before it is further processed into shapes, faces and forms. It, like the world, is an either-or operator. A diode. You do not inject “a little” art into anything— it is either there or not there, on or off. You may confuse the process of paying slightly more attention to aesthetic details as evidence of “a little bit of art”, but what you are witnessing *is* art. Sloppy, poorly executed and of little value outside the narrow confines of commerce— but art it remains, regardless of its thoroughly depressing, toothless, sterile nature.
Your mind is lashed to thinking in the world of efficiency. Efficiency— the thinnest line that separates “maximum output from minimal input” from total systemic collapse.
Kid, this “at least” thinking is going to get you nowhere.
Art has never utilized efficiency as a key aspect of its existence— by its very nature, art is a study in excessive and unnecessary inefficiency. A wall can be painted far quicker by a roller than it can with a fresco, and even then, selecting any paint based on its color or finish rather than its available utility is inefficient. “At least” the wall is painted, right?
You are lying to yourself. Art and creation demand more of you than you are ready or able to admit, and this is a truth that is rediscovered every minute by “real” artists. You are lying to yourself because it is an efficient way of avoiding the pain of failure and of work. What you do not realize is that by continuing the lie, you perpetuate your internal mythology of art being “easy.” All this does is contribute to your frustration and depression.
And then, what’s left but to settle for “at least I…”?
I should probably cease all idle browsing of tumblr. I can only handle so much derpbefore I start to taste copper and I black out from rage.
The event that precipitated the post this is linked to is slut shaming. (“If a woman is raped and conceives from it, should she be forced to carry the child?” and was answered with “If she’s dressed like you, she should.”)
Having your parents yell at you for posting naked photographs of yourself on the internet and acting like some drunken nekulturnyis not slut-shaming— it’s parenting. When you misuse the concept of “slut shaming” to justify your selfish, egotistical and self-destructive behavior, you set the entire gender/sexuality struggle back ten steps by conforming to fundamentalist christian and right-wing propaganda. Stop it.
Here is a breakdown of “good art” (read: “popular”)that I see on places like deviantart, tumblr and various “art communities.”
-Illustrative (sketches, drawings, paintings, etc):
-Anthropomorphic representations of celebrities and/or infatuations as animals in stock, 3/4 poses on a white background.
-Anime-style representations of celebrities and/or infatuations in positions and postures that mimic extant still images.
-Detailed, busy landscapes of fantastical locales.
-Poorly done throw-ups that are miscategorized as “graffiti” or “street art.”
-Erotic versions of all of the above
-Sculpture (3D modeling, physical objects, architecture)
-Faces and bodies detailed down to pore level, but unskinned
-Skinned versions of the above
-No architecture, outside of minecraft screenshots
-Photographs of plastic model kits and associated dioramas
-Erotic versions of all of the above
-Photo and Video
-Music videos of anime shows set to metalcore or Nightwish.
-Instagram-style (read: excessive lens flare, bad color balance, poor focus, grainy) photographs of nondescript, boring scenes, shot with thousands of dollars of equipment
-Instaram-style photographs of nondescript, boring scenes, shot with cellphone cameras and uploaded through instagram
-Nude photographs of willowy models in abandoned and/or decaying structures, or otherwise draped over inanimate objects like a discarded pair of pants.
-Nude photographs of women stretching, making coffee, reading the newspaper, mowing the lawn or any number of chores, duties or activities that would most likely not be performed nude.
-Nude photographs of willowy models lounging around and looking bored inside expensive, baroque apartments
-Photographs of flowers, trees and plants, photographed in the same manner as they are depicted in Audobon field guides (i.e. center frame, leveled, with macro shots existing to primarily showcase the color of the object, not its form)
-Photographs of pets
-Instagram-style variations on these themes
-Astrophotography, celestial objects
-Generic landscape shots
This list isn’t solely of things I hate, because that’s far too easy to make. I did throw in things that I actually like, and I think it’s pretty obvious as to what’s what. Suffice to say, “Good art” isn’t. No one cares about EL Lissitsky anymore (if they ever did)— they just want to make pictures of a furry Matt Smith having sex with a furry David Tennant.
Or, why people believe Willem de Kooning is formless scribbling and detailed fan drawings of anime characters are ‘art.’
Art is nothing without context.
Artist Statements establish context.
Artists do not want to write statements and do not make statements relevant or comprehensible for the viewer. Galleries do not include statements in any way, shape or form anywhere near the work.
The viewer believes that most Artist Statements are nothing more than retroactive justification for a work that does little more than act as a physical manifestation of intensely egotistic and petulant behavior that has no relation or significance to anyone but the artist— and is therefore irrelevant and not worth any substantial investment of time or attention.
Hence, no one wants to read Artist Statements. Context is lost and the work becomes nothing more than the sum of its parts.
Sarah Palin made a gaffe by claiming that Scott Walker’s survival of a recall is a triumph for austerity.
It is a gaffe because the manner by which American corporatists have been phrasing economic arguments has been through the lens of “fiscal responsibility” Austerity, however, has been something they have left to the Europeans. Oh, their economies are all in the toilet because they’re heathen socialist sodomites who practice “austerity,” but American “fiscal responsibility” somehow elevates us above European economic chaos.
What’s most galling is that most liberal commentators have been led by the nose with this line of rhetoric. No one has been referring to teabaggers as “pro-austerity” or “austerity minded.” Union busting politicians aren’t being branded as practicing “austerity” and fiscal conservatives aren’t practicing “austerity.” Maybe it’s an unconscious sign of American desire to differentiate themselves from Europe. Oh well. I digress.
Consider how different the current landscape looks when you view these disparate elements through the lens of “European austerity.”
…And this is where I peter out and make a blase’ reference to my previous post about consuming heroic amounts of stimulants to increase my textual output.
Yeah, I know, it wasn’t worth waiting for. But I’m more proud of this than I am of reposted pictures of robots. Maybe I’ll add more to this later.
Dali is to surrealism as KFC is to southern food:
Simple content enjoyed by simple people who believe they’re now fluent in a vast and bizarre subculture that would probably offend them if they were exposed to it in a form that wasn’t vying for mainstream acceptance and profitability.
Or, why the Institute for Policy Studies can eat shit.
I’ve often groused about how the activist millieu in DC is domesticated, low key and dead. Every event inevitably follows this formula: BORING SPEECH followed by THREE WORD CHANT, with ANNOYINGLY SERPENTINE MARCH that passes by OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, winding up OUTSIDE BORING OFFICE BUILDING, with BORING SPEECH, THREE WORD CHANT, THREE WORD CHANT and BORING SPEECH. Sometimes, BORING SPEECH is interspersed with BORING FOLK MUSIC.
It’s almost as if all of these events are planned by the same central committee. We’ve long been frustrated and irritated by the presence of 501c(3) non-profit groups— they latch on to every movement and suck the life out of it. Suddenly, every event —no matter how grass-roots its origins— is handled like a goddamned rock concert, with backstage passes and VERY BUSY STAFFERS who are VERY IMPORTANT AND CANT TALK WITH YOU RIGHT NOW WOULD YOU KINDLY STEP AWAY FROM THE SPEAKERS. You have to butter these little shits up, too, or else they’ll do everything in their power to keep you from taking pictures or interviewing people.
So it comes to pass that every activist event ends up following the same fucking script, with people on the street becoming so accustomed to the routine that they block it all out. The people of DC have acquired ninja-like prowess in dodging and brushing off bright, shiny-faced youth with pamphlets, and shitty, squawking bullhorns just blend into the white noise of the city. I know, you’re getting less than minimum wage to hand out fliers for an hour or two and it looks good on your curriculum vitae when you apply to another 501(c)3, but the people who told you to do this have no connection with the worker you’re slowing down who needs to catch the subway or else she’ll lose her minimum wage job.
This is why no one who lives in DC gives two shits about activism anymore, and why no one bothers to start anything. You’d think DC would be alive with political discourse on every corner, but it’s not. Everything has been domesticated. Tamed. Broken. Every movement, no matter what it is, will inevitably be co-opted by a large, well-funded nonprofit who will then move its own people into leadership positions in the original, grass-roots group. Or— as with the case of Occupy DC, where there is no leadership position— the nonprofits will createleadership positions with their own people already in the position; namely, the Institute for Policy Studies’ involvement with Occupy DC. We were looking up info about tomorrow’s May Day event at Malcolm X park, and saw this press release. That’s odd, Occupy is just supposed to DO THINGS, not have press agents and people who live in very expensive apartments in Alexandria.
“Who ARE these people?” “Hmm… they work for something… Institute for Policy Studies?” “INSTITUTE FOR POLICY STUDIES?! A FUCKING NON-PROF?!” “Yeah, fuck that shit, I’m not wasting my time on that crap.”
What DOES MayDay DC have planned, anyway? A carnival? A family friendly outing of happy, puffy, safe pablum that completely undercuts the serious nature of the entire goddamned 99% message? The right wing and corporatists are waging a very literal waron working people, dissidents and anyone who doesn’t fit into their narrow “God-Money-Empire” worldview, and the best way to demonstrate this is by having nonprofit staffers dress up in CLOWN COSTUMESfor a goddamned PARADE?
The common line of apologist bullshit from non-profits is that without the power of a nonprofit, they wouldn’t be able to pull in notable speakers or professional sound systems— which is probably they’ve had their sights set on Occupy since it first appeared. Think about it— a legitimately grass-roots movement that doesn’t want or need your fucking Genelec monitors that you can’t mix properly, and where speakers like Slavoj Zizek spent their own money to travel to and attend. Hell, DC may actually by a perfect example where right wing media may have had its baseless propaganda finally hit a mark: a rich, well-funded group of flatulent, old “establishment leftists” really have taken over the activist scene in DC.
The major difference between what Institute for Policy Studies does and what Americans for Prosperity does is AFP has the backing of the Koch brothers’ billions, and IPS only has donations from a few well-off people from left-of-center. Either way, both of these abominations are the very definition of astro-turf political movements. Nothing of any journalistic importance will happen at Malcolm X park tomorrow, and I’m certainly not going to risk my brand new camera and lenses to cover a fucking astro-turf event that’s already being photographed by talentless hacks working for a fucking non-profit. Fuck that shit.
Art is context and intent. Art exists to evoke an emotion. If we can assume that the intent of the artist is to evoke a specific emotion in the viewer, a work of art can be considered effective if the evoked emotions roughly match with those intended by the artist. Even if the artist’s intent is simply to createsome thingthat only satisfies a deep, as yet unidentified urge within the artist, the work still has an intent, a context and set of emotional responses it is expected to invoke.
From this, we can indeed infer that art iseverywhere— and the act of creating a work of art does not necessarily require a skill set like those possessed by skilled laborers, outside of those skills necessary to achieve the vision of the creator. The primary job of the artist is not to know how to operate a bead-blasting machine or to finish a block of wood— but to assign meaning, purpose and life to aspects of our physical reality. Whether this is done by the skilled act of blending various objects together in a smooth, seamless, well-crafted object or by invoking an emotion in a large group of people, “art” is being created. Even if we took the post modern route— that is, attempting to create a work of art that lacks context, intent and emotion— we’d still have a work of art that had context (why it is being shown, why people are aware of it, the background of the artist), intent (the intent being to create a work of art without intent) and whatever emotional (or lack thereof) response on the part of the viewer. Indeed, in this scenario, the most effective way of creating art that has no context, intent or emotion would be to not create anything at all, and instead use the money to be spent on procuring materials on food, rent or taxes.
Art fails when its intent, context and desired emotional response are gone or forgotten; it is important to point out that “failed art” also possesses the potential for the reassignment of context, intent and emotion. Thus, the cycle of art continues on.