Mon, May 3, 2010 at 9:15 PM
There is going to be multiple points of entry into any content put online. This is simply the structure of the web. Making work online has always interested me because it’s going to create friction no matter what because it’s very difficult to anticipate what exactly will happen to the work, and the trillions of ways it will be read. This friction is where I think the energy lies. It can be played off in the work.
ps – I think all of your questions can be re-written as:
What happens when work using the codes of fine art becomes entertainment?
Tue, May 4, 2010 at 7:34 PM
Hi Cory -
What are you thoughts on this idea of entertainment? One would think most artists would be opposed to this because “entertainment” has a negative connotation – art is supposed to be better than entertainment, it is supposed to invoke thought. Entertainment is supposed to amuse. I guess online this “supposed to” has no power.
hope you are good, so nice in NY right now!
Wed, May 5, 2010 at 10:28 AM
I like my artwork to be entertaining. It’s something that I’m a little bit embarrassed of. A kind of guilty pleasure. In each new work, often I try desperately to scrub it of any feeling of entertainment, but almost without my knowledge or power, these elements creep back into the work. Its as if I am powerless against this force. It is possible this is one reason I feel so comfortable working online. Online this tendency gives the work a certain kinda ambiguity as to its purpose or intent. Because online, as I mentioned before, content can operate in many different systems simultaneously.
There is a section on my website called “Things I Made”, where I post my projects. I purposefully called it “Things I Made” as opposed to “Artwork”, or “Works”, because I felt “Things I Made” could lead to a multitude of readings – maybe I’m just a bedroom tinkerer, or a weekend coder, or just a creative person with a home on the web, or an artist. A few years ago, this page was just a list of titles, which linked to the projects. My projects have titles like On C (2007-8), Punk Rock 101 (2006), etc, etc. I realized after a few years this was an “artist portfolio” construct. Meaning, a page of poetic sounding titles with dates was something that would most likely read as “art”. Therefore I added descriptions next to these links a while back – something to pull the content back into a more grey area. Also, I liked that a poetic sounding title with a date next to it and a small personally written description was a construct often found in the websites of bedroom computer programmers posting their software.
Wed, May 5, 2010 at 7:38 PM
You’ve told me before that you use Google Alerts. How does the presence of this immediate feedback (whether it is the viewpoints of a young blogger or a more “established” art journal) inform your practice?
Thu, May 6, 2010 at 10:39 PM
I don’t use Google Alerts or Google Blog Search to look at viewpoints. I think that would drive me crazy. I guess Im old fashioned, but I tend to like my feedback in person. Though, I do use Google Blog Search to track the dispersion of some of my work, and other similar media. I do this mainly to familiarize myself with how things tend to spread on the Internet, as some of my work is about this process. Studying this mechanism helps familiarize myself with it therefore if I have a project which uses this landscape I am able to do so fluidly. My project Drei Klavierstücke op. 11 (2009) is an example of this. This project – which is Schoenberg’s well-known 1909 piano composition Opus 11 realized by cats walking on pianos downloaded from YouTube and edited together – is partly a play on the system of meme culture. To put it simply the punchline is, “Do people like cats enough to make even Schonberg a minor meme?”. So by being familiar with what things get passed around and how they get passed around, I guess I was able to roll it all up and re-enter it into the system. An infinite loop of nothing and everything at the same time. Id like to say the nothing is the entertainment part of it and the everything is the art, but I could just as easily say the art is the nothing (thx Andy) and the entertainment is the everything.
Fri, May 7, 2010 at 12:41 AM
This reminds of something you told me during a studio visit at my first summer at Bard. I don’t know if you said it spontaneously, or if it was something you had said many times before. It was something like: it’s easy to get one step ahead of the art-world, but how do you get one step ahead of that? It was very much like a zen koan, and it has stuck with me.