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birds and artards

So, ten white Gibson Les Paul electric guitars, four white Thunderbird basses, 70 zebra finches. It’s art. Or, if you’re called something gay like Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, it’s music.

If you’re anywhere near Salem, MA, you can go see it at the Peabody Essex Museum. NPR is all over it, of course. The installation requires a highly controlled environment, an on-call veterinarian and a staff of full-time behind-the-scene poop-wipers. The result sounds like somebody absent-mindedly tuning up before a gig (the guitars are clearly open-tuned to a chord). It has all the soothing, pleasant mindlessness of several wind chimes in a light breeze.

Reddit has a subforum called /r/mildlyinteresting where an awful lot of official state-sanctioned art seems to belong these days.

Comments


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 23, 2014, 1:57 am

This seems to be conceptually the same as nicely tuned wind chimes. Pleasant to listen to for a few minutes, and nice in the distant background. But music it ain’t.


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 23, 2014, 3:22 am

Could someone with more formal education in ART than I have describe something that couldn’t be called ART these days?

It seems to me that modern art is purely theoretical abstraction now, and mostly consists of inside jokes in which the artist shows how much they know about classical theory by trying to break as many of the classical ‘rules’ as possible.

I would argue that this display is neither art nor music, in that there is no consistency in the way in which the birds and the guitars interact. Music and art both require structure. This is mere juxtaposition – not even as witty as posing a catapillar on a cat on a catapillar bulldozer.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: January 23, 2014, 3:30 am

The general definition of art is “Skill in doing anything as the result of knowledge and practice.” (OED)

I suppose that would include skillfully offending as many senses as possible.

I have no particular problem with skillful offense being called art, but I do have a large problem with such people demanding an income no one is willing to provide them in a free market. In the U.S., the National Endowment for the Arts is an obscenity and should be killed with fire.


Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: January 23, 2014, 5:57 am

“Skill in doing anything as the result of knowledge and practice.”

Well, I suppose it does take some knowledge and practice to get birds to sit on the guitars………..


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: January 23, 2014, 6:45 am

(the guitars are clearly open-tuned to a chord)

Those fucking cheaters! I’m close enough to do ‘em like Trotsky got done, if’n ya wants.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 23, 2014, 1:19 pm

I think it would be pretty tough to nail a zebra finch with an ice pick, Stark.

There’s been a real resurgence in representational art since I were a lass, thanks largely to computer games. And animation and movies and so on. You have to know your shit to do concept art.

Though it’s an open question — is there a real resurgence of interest in all kinds of obscure things I love, or does the internet only make it seem so by allowing lovers of obscure things to band together…?


Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: January 23, 2014, 6:49 pm

Though it’s an open question — is there a real resurgence of interest in all kinds of obscure things I love, or does the internet only make it seem so by allowing lovers of obscure things to band together…?

I think it’s a bit of both. Like all of us lonesome losers discovering MST3K, & that there were enough people like us out there watching to support an actual telly-vision show. But, the resurgence of nerdy crap that MST3K was important in creating also gave us hipsters, so it’s not all sunshine & hockey masks. Or Jeff Bezos’s exploitation of the long tail.


Comment from Pupster
Time: January 23, 2014, 7:19 pm

I’m sorry if you already commented on this Stoaty, but I would be interested in your take as an Artard:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: January 23, 2014, 8:49 pm

Hadn’t seen that before, Pups, but I wouldn’t be shocked. It had to have something going for it beyond the fact normos hated it.


Comment from Oceania
Time: January 23, 2014, 10:12 pm

Breaking News!

Elton John linked to BBC paedophila acivities!!!


Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: January 24, 2014, 5:00 am

Some Vegetable @ January 23, 2014, 3:22 am
It seems to me that modern art is purely theoretical abstraction now…

The transition was actually in the 1960s. See Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word.


Comment from Oceania
Time: January 24, 2014, 5:06 am

Actually, if Elton John is buggaring children, he needs to be dealt with.


Comment from ed
Time: January 24, 2014, 5:45 pm

@ Some Vegetable:

example of $1 million “art”


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