The Barnacle

@thebarnacle

#100 Days of Writing - Tips, rants, stories, complaints, product reviews.

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Day 4 - Bullshit Ground Zero

Put aside questions about what constitutes “art”. Let’s assume that a banana taped to a wall is “bad art” because it required no talent or effort whatsoever. Let’s also assume that since the judgment of art is a subjective endeavor and that interpretation has some value. Again, a banana taped to a wall is a-level bullshit, but there’s an art to this bullshit. The artist knew that the act of taping a banana to a wall would generate discussion and debate. More to the point, he likely knew that the easier something is to produce (and the higher level of bullshit) the more people throw their interpretations at the thing. That is, the more they stoke their ego and proclaim their supposed intellectual superiority over the masses. Artists who are aware of and exploit this fact can indeed be considered artists. If they can produce something at zero cost with zero effort but still generate attention, discussion and money, they are indeed a special form of artist. They are making a statement, after all: in the comforts of today’s world (many brought on by the ironically-maligned capitalist system), interpretation trumps fact, ego becomes the product, and chatter and drama become currency. In the Internet ecosystem, which has re-moulded the tangible and visceral, this is a logical end to bullshit. So, when an artist uses bullshit art to ignite bullshit, the artist reignites conversation, jokes, anger, egos fragile and resilient, and the spending of hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars (the ultimate joke, in the end). So, when a person generates this explosion or Big Bang with a banana and some duct tape, he is indeed a true artist.


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