Be forwarned! Parts of my blog may seem a bit “snarky” this week. I assure you that all is meant in a productive manner- please bare with me. Well, there should not be a problem to find something to write about this week. First, I would like to thank all of the participants in the 4D art show. I won’t list names but people did a lot of work to make the show come out so well. On a less than positive note, I have to comment on the conduct of some of our peers during the opening. The original parameters kept changing and it became a “slippery slope” thing. It was at first agreed to be the thirteen members of the exhibition. That later changed to eleven, allowing two visitors during the piece. That transformed in to allowing more than thirteen if they were inside the piece. That morphed in to people partaking on the outside of the piece occasionally touching a couch. That was the first problem that we should have dealt with early to quell the party tendencies. The piece was created to discuss art over a beverage. What happened was people took an advantage of those who created a piece that could be seen as controversial. If there were to be reprocussions, it would be on the originating artists, not the random student who decided to slide in to the piece and just party. The other slipperish area was the duration,. It originated with a one hour time limit, which was adjusted to finish the beverages that were on hand. I agreed with that, as it was not a big deal if the closed refridgerator door contained unopened bottles. This was subverted as soon as someone brought in more “props” that were not in the piece. For one, this only promoted the idea that it was a bash and not an art piece. One reason, if we care about art, is the fact that the brand was not what we selected as a well thought selection for the piece. The original performance by Marioni had local beverages. That is why we chose Leini Red. The last issue that I would like to go into is the behaviour. The original concept allowed for three to four discussions to go on at once. The idea was to discuss art and theory. We began with that until it turned into lets see who will smash a bottle in an art gallery. By deduction, I assume that a precedent was set that it is ok to “deface or destroy” another persons art as long as you are having fun. This is a selfish action and I will get into that later. We had thirteen people work countless hours researching, shopping, assembling and installing the piece. Is that fair that people can fuck it up because of a portion of its content? I think that it would be hard to justify someone defiling any traditional art piece in a gallery. What seemed to be getting great public response in the beginning began drawing scrutiny toward the end of the piece. There may have been other issues as well but I have beat this enough. Currently, we are discussing possible cleanup of the piece as it is a huge mess. Much more than we would have had by its original plan. On cleanup: I am not one to touch performance art. I was pissed when George Lucas went back and digitally included the Alien Jabba the Hutt in Episode IV. Once art is finished you have to choose carefully on how to “adjust” it. Our piece was about performance and the remnants left behind from conversations that went on during the performance. Now, we have to decide as a group what to remove and what to leave while still maintaining the original message. Since is about trace, we will lose that (good or bad) since our intervention will take away parts of the piece that really happened. I don’t think that is honest, but we may have to bastardize the remnants to make it safe and keep it from smelling like a frat house by next week. I am on the fence on this whole subject. My reaction is to retain historical accuracy but I do understand others concerns as well. I am usually more opinionated but We all need to search for the best answer and my opinion, sorry to say, is not ALWAYS the answer, though I wish is was.
Which leads me to my next small rant: I believe that I have solved one of the most pressing issues of humanity. I have solved peace, war, economy, religion and a myriad of other issues with one broad sword. I believe that many of the difficulties endured by humans are a result of each individual’s selfishness and lack of humility. Chapter 6 of Practices of Looking delves into media, the mass audience and philosophy. These have always been highly interesting subjects to me. I am not a philosopher nor an expert with the Scientific Method, but I will put forth this theory about selfishness and let my peers try to dispel it. Being around war, I often study people to try to understand how they develop their ideologies. I worked with a group of Iraqis at one time (who had been eyed as possible insurgents) and asked them, what they wanted most in life. The general answer was to feed and clothe their children. This caused me to question Americans and ask their reason to fight. Surprise! Many of our troops overseas did not come from upper class families and a huge portion of them joined the military as an option to earn good money to support their families! From this, I decided to ask why each group of people in America wanted to support war (those that did) and I found out that my landlord’s entire family worked for Boeing. My State Senator (who was feeding his family as well as his ego) had constituents that wanted new jobs (be it defense contracts) in his district. They wanted money for their families as well. After studying the military, I looked into various other industries. I talked to old classmates that work for one of the agricultural industrial giants that I grew up around.. They could care less that the entire nation getting fat on high-fructose corn syrup and MSGs as long as they received their weekly paycheck. Not just picking on the right, I had been scrutinizing unions for a long time and learned that many of the industrial workers were not in unions to protect all workers rights but to maintain a monetary separation in the middle class and be able to afford niceties in life. Growing up in an Agri/Industrial area, I heard many heated conversations between union and non-union workers. A farmer and factory worker got in to an argument at my job and the union laborer called the farmer a “scab” for taking money away from families by contracting during a strike. The farmer told him that he was a “scab” for working under the table and stealing contractors jobs while the union was on strike. It boils down to each was trying to earn money and support their families. I will end here as I have ranted way to long. My next area of concern is how many people (at least in western countries) are trying to feed their families and how many of them are being greedy so they can shop for luxury. Before you slap me here, define a family’s actual needs and luxury. Sorry that I did not include any art pictures this weekend. I have been wound pretty tight. To make my blog a little easier to take, I will include a picture of a unicorn. And if you are reading my blog because you have to, I assure you that they are not all this cynical. Check back next week for happy stuff!