Friday, November 15, 2013

What If Nothing Was Ever New

Roland Barthes: neither of us is in control of what we've written.

Today, I am gripped by the joy that nothing is new. Ecstatic waves of relief slam against my body as I sink into the sea of realization: Barthes et al. were right. Prior to reading mounds of critical theory with differing levels of interest, I had wandered in the naive way of an unscholarly "maker of things". I had some notion that I was creating artworks, writing ideas, and living my life in a fairly original way. What a terrifying burden that was to carry. I realize that so very many of the things I make or do have innumerable outside influences directing their creation. It is as if some unseen cultural puppet master guides any generative process with which I engage. It is impossible to avoid being a product of the various cultures and experiences that I have encountered throughout my life - all my art is a testament to this truth.

Perhaps every idea is, to some extent, a recycled idea.

I wish I was being sarcastic, in a romantic and modernist way, but I'm not. It is actually a great relief to realize that the zealous efforts I could briefly sustain to stay on what I thought was the surface of the ocean of ideas was in fact only bringing me to a pool of stagnant air in some cave. There is no "surface" so to speak. I don't have to be angry that I don't have some fantastic oeuvre to show for my brief bursts of energy. It may be more likely that there is some great gift to society in the non-making. I am not contributing to material consumption in this space. I am not adding to your ever-growing collection of tchotchkies. Perhaps, though, I am adding to your idea of ideas. Of course, the beauty in this is I am by no means a trailblazer on this path. There is a mountain of digital musings about the loss of/lack of ever having been original ideas. It's really quite liberating, once you start swimming in it.

Hiroshi Sugimoto knows where I swim.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Monty Python: Prophets of the Interwebs

"Oh great boobies honey bun! My lower intestine is full of Spam, egg, Spam, bacon, Spam, Spam, Spam, nipples..." - Dirty Hungarian

I have to say that I feel immensely liberated by the whole natural evolution of this blog into a Spam artwork. I have always been a huge fan of Monty Python. I was remembering how much I love the Spam skit from their show (that I secretly watched as a kid even though my parents said it was inappropriate for kids...) while I was approving comments (flagged as spam by Blogger - thanks for nothing punk!) for my Marcel Duchamp and Invented Pseudo Algebra post when I thought I might share the Monty Python skit video. You know, kinda as homage to the creative ghost in the machine that drives this blog. I realize that some of you out there may find my shameless spam comment approval distasteful or unethical or morally objectionable or some other judgment you might levy against me that I've not thought of yet. If you are one of those people, I found an amusing Spam PSA to clear your conscience. Alternatively, if you find this video to be an inadequate warning, all means....message me in the comments and let me know what you think I should be doing with my blog. I am open to suggestions and artistic directions for this work. I do plan to talk about Banksy at some point when his New York pop-up crap is sufficiently passe, but people are still infatuated with the character so I will stick to my Spam adventures for now. Unless you can convince me to stop.

I am open to your compelling argument.

Oh, so here's that nice video to remind you not to click on banner ads and what-not. It's probably produced by the lovely people at Snopes. They're trying to help you find the "truth" on the internet. So what if they make a small profit off of your clicks. Maybe I'll monetize this blog and make money off your clicks....oh wait, NO. That would scare away all my DELICIOUS spam!!!!