Monday, May 25, 2009

Mannerism, the 'Death of Art' Movement, Purity, and Awesomeness

It's hot as Hell.

I feel like this person.

Stupid A/C is broken.

Anyway. This ties into the three recent art posts I have made, and shall be the apex of my floundering.

Art: Once Removed

Art: Twice Removed

Art: Completely Removed


Shortly after the Renaissance Era, a movement began that moved away from the classic talent of Artists before. The importance of transferring reality onto a canvas was left behind. Suddenly warping the image for the sake of symbolism became more important.

Madonna of the Long Neck

This movement allowed more to be said with an image than perfect representation. Symbolism crept into different facets of the image. Here we see the Baby Jesus with extended limbs in a position that looks almost lifeless. This told us about Jesus' destiny. He had to die, and his death was set in stone even before he began life. This drift away from the classic view of Art would change everything.

And technically, centuries down the road, it allowed for this.


Duchamp's Fountain rocked the very foundations of art in a similar way, just much more extreme. People didn't think it was art. Duchamp shook Modernism with this 'practical joke' piece that flirts heavily with the idea of Post-Modernism at the same time. He took a urinal, turned it on its side, signed it with a fake name, and called it a work of Art.

But this was only the beginning of how things could get shaken up.

Now I have mentioned the Death of Art Movement before. And I insinuated that it has already come. This movement will never be featured in a museum because it will never be considered 'real Art'. Hence the death of Art. This movement doesn't really care about critical acclaim, nor does it care if it gets any attention. It also could care less if it has any meaning within itself.

A now famous work of 'Art' in this newest art movement is The Awesome Face.


No one knows who made The Awesome Face, but it has become one of the more famous works in the newest movement of Art. It is not Post-Modern because it doesn't rebel. It doesn't care. It doesn't even really have an artist. It's simply awesome. The Awesome Face gets used everywhere, especially the internet to convey that something is awesome. But, since it is often used sarcastically, the little meaning that it has isn't even consistent.

This makes The Awesome Face the perfect representative for the 'Death of Art' movement. Because the movement itself is Awesome... kinda. Not really... Sometimes. But that's why it's a good representative.

But if The Awesome Face were ever to be recognized by any critic as 'Fine Art' the said critic would be lambasted to death.

Thus, it is up to me.

The Awesome Face rocks the very foundation of civilization

This movement, when recognized as a movement, will shake Art to bits. How can Art with no credited artist be considered art? How can Art with no real meaning except to lampoon be considered Art? How can art that is this easy to make be considered Art?

Truth: All of these things independently have been considered Art before. Many of Duchamp's works fit into the mold. Such as this.

Bottle Rack

No meaning except about the meaning behind a signature. This is basically an autograph. But it's considered a work of Art.

Beyond that, several poems and songs written by 'Unknown' or 'Anonymous' have made their way around the literary and musical art world (which strangely doesn't often enter the 'Fine Art' world) to much critical acclaim (which for some reason is the method of legitimization).

So, a purchased bottle rack with a name written on it is Art. And a great poem with no name written on it is Art. So what the hell is the criteria?

What's awesome about The Awesome Face is that it is under the purest form of art. Much like the writing on bathroom stalls.

Now here's a work of Art that can't even be considered Art in a classical way without being a hypocrite. This isn't even technically the work of Art, it's just a photograph of it. Now, who then, shall go out into the world and find the red bathroom stall on which this was written (guys or girls bathroom?), remove it, and bring it to an art show to be put on display (assuming it hasn't been washed off already)? Certainly not the artist. So whoever brings this Art out of hiding in the world would be a fraud. So the photograph that someone took of it floats across the internet for the sake of appreciation, and the provocation of thought.

The Awesome Face, and the art pieces that it inspires all over the internet, are pure in that no one makes money off of them (except when they do), no one cares about critical acclaim (except when they do), and no one even takes credit for them (except when they do). They simply find their way around. And even when there are exceptions to this rule, the exception is embraced. If the modified works are 'good' they survive. If they're not... well... no one uses them and they fade into the dark recesses of the intertubes.

and on your desktop, they are the center of the universe,
your universe.

Those that survive will make people laugh, make people think, or make people facepalm at the stupidity, and still survive. Thus the internet has become the ultimate judge of what is Art and what isn't. And also the collective judge of what is worth keeping around.

Can we consider The Awesome Face (and the subsequent inspirations?) a legitimate work of Art? Probably not. But if it isn't, then it highlights the hypocrisy in the legitimized art world in a way that might suddenly legitimize it. But, at that point, if it were to be legitimized, that part of the meaning would be immediately lost (such happened with Fountain when it was legitimized. Legitimization caused it to lose it's meaning in a strange way). Thus becoming a perpetual flipping statement of Art.

Since Mannerism was the first dissenter (or among them, probably the most famous) from the conventions of Art. I credit Mannerism ultimately for allowing the following movements. Including Modernism, Post-Modernism, and the Death of Art. This means, of course, that the Mannerism movement is, indeed, awesome.

Thanks Mannerism


Richard Dawkins says

that Pantheism is sexed-up atheism.

I say that atheism is pantheism without any fun.


That is all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Art: Completely Removed

Moar floundering.

Art: Once Removed

Art: Twice Removed

And following the fall of Post-Modernism, some have theorized that this will be the Death of Art. This is, of course, assuming that art isn't already dead. Maybe Art has been dead all these years and is waiting to come back to life.

There will be a point when the very concept of Art has been so battered and beaten that it will die. A concept can only take so much. Fine Art of our age has already fallen from popular opinion. The common man doesn't care about what's happening in the art industry.

Apart from video-games, movies, advertising, and other things that a lot of people don't really consider 'Art'. The Art that finds its way into a museum is now the type that is only understood by the pretentiously sophisticated of our generation. Beyond that little world, the rest of planet turns their eyes to art and shrugs.

Question: Is that because they don't understand it, or because they're already on the side of enlightenment that Art's evolution will eventually place it?

The Death of Art will be an interesting experience. It means that the life of the artist will be put aside and people will simply accept art as the Chinese and Japanese saw it centuries ago.

Part of life.

The art behind a weapon is the aesthetics, how well it kills, the designs down the side and the family inscription on the blade. There exists inside the Japanese katana an art of design, beauty, skill, and malice in the same creation.

Art or Weapon?

But when it comes right down to it, it's a weapon. It does what it does.

It kills.

Personalization identifies the owner with the weapon rather than provoke a viewer. The death of art will really be the death of Museums rather than the death of artistic concept. Art will come full circle by the end of Post-Modernism and return to its place thousands of years ago.

We made the mistake of separating Art from other studies. Art exists in biology, aesthetics, astronomy, literature, war, philosophy, and millions of other subsections into which humans have divided the study of life and the universe. Art by itself doesn't exist.

Art or Science?
It's both, and we shouldn't distinguish the two.
Art is not it's own subject, it encompasses everything.

Art or Painting?

The Death of Art will be something to celebrate because finally we can stop asking all the questions and searching for true originality. Because, honestly, originality doesn't exist. No matter what we do, we will use materials that have already existed, and put them on canvases that were already there. Using art to find yourself can be useful, but it can't be used to find originality.

Post-Modernism struggles to delay the Death of Art as long as possible, until every artist searches every crevice of expression in the search for true originality until finally it's admitted that originality is impossible.

After the Death of Art, art will be art for the sake of being art. But it will allow room for the entire system to start over from the beginning. But if it does, there will be a certain amount of enlightenment in the next cycle of artistic movements that this cycle couldn't understand.

Next time, we'll know that the search for originality and trying to define art as it's own subject became Art's causes of death.

And it will become not Art, but art.

Art: Completely Removed.

Post-Modernism. Art: Twice Removed.

First read the post on Modernism, and this will make much more sense.

So, in the same line of thought in asking about Modernism. What, then, is Post-Modernism?

And so my floundering continues.

Here's what Oxford has to say:

a late 20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of “art.”

In other words. A sort of modernist response to modernism.

Modernism and Post-Modernism are both very rebellious movements. It's hard to apply any sort of rule or definition upon either of them. I called Modernism 'Art: Once Removed'. So it only makes sense that I call Post-Modernism 'Art: Twice Removed'.

If Modernism is a departure from structure and rules of classical art, then Post-Modernism is a departure from the departure.

The 'Art: Twice Removed' definition makes sense because Modernism and Post-Modernism define one another. Post-Modernism can even be considered a part of the Modernist tree, considering that it's so related. But given the extreme rebellious nature of Post-Modernism, it does to Modernism what Modernism did to the rest of Art.

The Post-Modernist looks at the entire history of Art and says, "Fuck you, I'm doing it this way."

And so he does

The canvas is left behind almost completely. Some still make Post-Modernist art on a canvas, not because it's the rules, but simply because there's no rules in Post-Modernism art so why worry about whether or not to use or not use the canvas in the first place. If it fits my vision, by God I'll use it. But may I remind you, it's not 'cause it's the rules.

Finally the very definition of art gets questioned on a very serious level.

The questions that we ask when looking at an 'art' piece get poked at prodded. Who made it? Do we care? Is there meaning? Do we care? Is the goal of art to make us think or simply get a laugh? Do we care? Is it about composition, meaning, or both? Do we care? What is composition anyway and why are we so damn concerned about it?

Do we care?
Do we care?
Do we care?

And if you do care... why?

And what the hell is the purpose behind all this Art stuff in the first place?

Ideologies behind Art and style get lost in the fray. The step that Pollock took with adding the screws and bolts into the painting get taken several steps further in the hopes for finding originality. Suddenly medias are mixed, styles blend, and we don't recognize Art anymore. Silk screening gets combined with painting and crayon in order to make a pretty picture.

And next to that piece in a museum will be a store-purchased pink bicycle with the words 'I'm an art piece' scribbled on the side with white-out. The base of art gets battered and ransacked until suddenly... the very concept of Art can't take it anymore.

And the death of Art is upon us.

Defining Modernism? Art: Once Removed

What is Modernism? Is there a definition?

Oxford says- a style or movement in the arts that aims to break with classical and traditional forms.

The above definition is probably the only thing that is going to be technically right in this entire post. I have been taking an Art History class for about a year now (honestly too long for any class to last) and the teacher has decided to let us flounder in finding a way to define modern art.

So here is my floundering.

People started messing around with the idea of modern art in the late 1800s and it continued into the middle of the 1900s. A group of people apparently started to question the definition of art. For example: can an overturned urinal be art?

answer: yes. decidedly.

Regardless of whether or not the signature matches the 'artist's' name. DuChamp basically founded modern art on a number of levels. I believe that he turned his entire life into a practical joke. Occasionally making 'real' art to please the masses while occasionally flirting with the idea of post-modernism before it existed.

I can see him smiling after finishing Fountain. Which in my uneducated opinion is more post-modern than modern because it not only breaks from traditionalism, it breaks from the breaking of traditionalism. Pissed off a lot of people.

But that's for the next post.

I'd label/define modernism as "Art: Once Removed". As the definition above states, Modernism is anything in the art movement that breaks from the traditional rules of art. Which is strange because that kind of happened with every single new movement of art from Mannerism on.

Mannerism asked the question: Do we have to show things as they physically are, or can we change it to fit our purposes? And thusly, everyone started drawing strange versions of Mary.

The first true Modernist painting?

After this drift from the rules, movements that broke the rules developed by the classical Renaissance era started up all over the place. Europe being the only place these advancements really happened. In other parts of the world, art stayed mostly the same because the only people figuring out the definition of art in the first place were the Europeans. Other civilizations (Aborigines, Chinese, Japanese, Zulu, All the Native American tribes, etc) simply accepted art as part of the rest of their life. They didn't see a distinction.

Personally, I think it's better that way.

But moving on.

After Mannerism, several movements broke away from the great and powerful Renaissance and moved into 'new' areas of art. All the while trying to find some vestige of originality that might still be left while still using the same paints on the same canvas to paint discernible subjects.

Then Modernism happened and changed the whole game.


Pollock used some paint. Sometimes he used other things. I saw a Pollock painting up close (not one above) once and walked up to it. I discovered nuts, bolts, and screws stuck into the paint.

Why? No clue. Probably had something to do with his image as a 'working man' artist. But it was certainly a different experience. Pollock had made as step in the direction of originality. Whether or not it's pretty is up to you. But it's certainly original.

All the while still being technically 'Art'.

Take it as you will.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Young Turks... oh dear God.

Meet The Young Turks.

This guy is trying really hard to be a legitimate journalist. He's been trying to get a spot on MSNBC, which would be a good place for him, considering how partisan he is.

No conspiracy theory at all... amirite?

I commented his channel with this. So I decided I'd post it here because I feel it's important. I'm not even going to bother addressing the issues in the video right now because I have so much on my plate right now.

But short answer is: Obama made a good decision here. The last thing we need is propaganda material while our troops are spread thin over the Middle East.

Here's what I left them.


This channel is way too partisan. If you're going to be interjecting your own opinion in the news, you're not a journalist, so quit trying to come off as one.

If you're going to claim to honestly put forth the news, then your opinion has to remain out of it. Otherwise it's no longer news, it's commentary. Journalists trying to be commentators is ruining journalism, and you're not helping.

Beyond that, your commentary is one-sided. It's obvious that you don't think for yourself. So you can't even really be a commentator without sounding like your parroting other people. Either quit and find something you're good at, or change your show. If you don't, you continue to hurt the integrity of journalism.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And So, I Must Leave The Internets... For Now

Editing a movie. The week shall be devoted to editing a movie I just shot entitled 'Real'.

The rest of my waking moments will be devoted to a second movie I'm producing/directing/writing entitled 'Land of the Faithless'.

Beyond that, I am finishing a final draft of a script for a movie by this dude that is a little overdue. This one is entitled 'Ultraman Sorta Episode 3 - A Moderately Threatening Invasion'.

'Real' cannot be posted on the internets, but if you want a copy, let me know and I will get one to you. As for 'Land of the Faithless', that one might go onto Youtube or Vimeo.

But my point!

I will most likely not be posting anything for at least a week outside of small shit. Just wanted to let ya'll know why.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Project Pitchfork: Requiem (Water Mix)

Dude, fuck yeah. This song is the latest thing to be playing in my ears over and over. It's off their album Ch'i.

I don't really know much about the band, but I've recently come across a lot of their music. It's pretty damn awesome. Have a taste.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Pantheist: A disconnected ramble about why I believe what I believe.

So, upon further examination of my articles Theism or Atheism and Thin Places along with my own thoughts on the world and how it's composed, I've decided pretty solidly that I'm a Pantheist.

I figured out some time ago that if there was a God, it probably wasn't a sentient being. And what sentience that God does have is ours, because we are linked to God.

God is just as much a part of us as we are a part of God.

God is a part of his creation and the creation is a part of God.

And, to complete the triangle, We are a part of God's creation as much as the creation is a part of us.

God, Creation, Us

We watch over the creation. This is where I think that the parable of Adam and Eve has some validity. We, God, and the creation are one and the same, even if different in concept. If there ever was any such trinity, that would be where it is.

I came across this belief when I read a concept in the Hua Hu Ching that basically read that we are all a part of the same whole. When I threw my understanding of God into that mix, I realized that I was a pantheist without yet knowing the term.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes we as humans have empathy for even the tiniest of animals? Have you ever saved a ladybug from a puddle? Have you ever rescued a dog from execution in an animal shelter (like Obama decided not to)?

NOTE: Yeah, I threw the Obama thing in there. I'm just really pissed that he didn't get a pound puppy instead of some purebred fancy breed. As an owner of two pound-pups, I'm kinda pissed that he didn't follow through on his promise to get a dog from a shelter. When he made that announcement, I was like... oh cool, at least I can like him for something. Turns out... not so much. Watching this guy break promise after promise is infuriating.[/rant]


Our empathy for animals of other species (as a whole) surpasses that of any other animal. Though sometimes the animal kingdom has its heroes.

As awesome as this is, why didn't anyone help that dog?

For any of you that want to know what the result is: The dog that was rescued died shortly afterward and no one can find the hero dog. After about a month of searching they called it off.

My point is that humans have a respect for life that far surpasses any other species. Even the hero dog of Chile only saved another of his species. If it'd been a cat, or raccoon in the road, no such action would have been taken (most likely, can't say for sure. That dog is pretty impressive).

But there's constant stories even among our own childhoods of finding a wounded bird and nursing it back to health, or feeding a stray cat. When we see the death of animals with our own eyes, sometimes we cry because those are our brothers.

Plants are People too

Sometimes we eat those brothers (both plants and animals), as we cannot survive otherwise. But this is the natural order of things as life consumes life all the time. But humanity will eat plants and animals while still having a pet dog and a garden. It's not hypocrisy as much as it's balance. There's a balance in life, death, and God. The responsibility of the human is to watch over it carefully.

In the parable of Adam and Eve, God charges us with the responsibility as rulers over the environment. We are to guard that cycle, because we, like it or not, are the only creatures that can truly handle that responsibility. Although recently our civilizations have become so narcissistic that they have forgotten this purpose.

So God, whether you can call the subconscious spirit of nature God or not, links us to everything, and each other. I think that if people realized that, we'd live much more peacefully with one another.