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« Gun Thread - Father's Day Edition | Main | CAC's Spaced-Out Challenge: Galaxy Guide (Part 1) »
June 16, 2013

CAC's Art Thread: defining the undefinable and the MONA

It's been a while since I've posted anything about art. Tiny confession: I haven't visited a gallery or museum in a few months. I guess I need to get out there a bit more, what with LACMA dashing itself to pieces. But recently, I've run into a conundrum, one I've hinted at a few times before. I'm turning the floor to the horde to help me out here.

What is art?

Not what isn't art, which tends to be the immediate answer to this question. "I hate x" and "x is bullshit" feels great to say, but doesn't bring us any closer. Blame the relativists I suppose, but even if you ignored the last 125 years of art, you are still left with a surprisingly difficult question: what is art?


Apophasis permeates our definitions of things that "are", from the concept of art to the very nature of the universe. When people often respond to the question "what is art" by answering quickly "well I'll tell you what it isn't", you didn't do a damn bit of good in solving the initial problem.

If we can't define something on it's face, is it even something to begin with? Even if we are talking abstract concepts, those concepts need to have a meaning or a definition or at least a boundary to truly work in our heads. This all may seem silly, but (and here's where I go on a pseudo-tangent), describe "nothing" without relating it to something. Tough huh? Even the brightest minds on the earth have a problem hashing that one out:


Through the Wormhole S3E5 What is nothing... by costello74

If something fails to yield a solid, comprehensible description, why call it that? On the flipside, why even question it, or deride that which we call "not X" when we can't even describe what X is?

This of course takes a turn to the insane when we consider radical conceptual art that declares itself "anti-art" or "non-art". Or does it? Conceptually, would a truly "non-art" work still described loosely as art be a recognizable piece of "true" art, if we are going by opposites-of and inverted definitions? With this additional question in mind, in addition to the 45 minute video about nothing and the big one posed at the very beginning, I bring to you the Museum of Non-Visible Art, and it's manifesto, without any further comment:

A MANIFESTO: TO CLARIFY THE NON-VISIBLE

1.

Art itself is nothing.

All that matters is what is left.

The afterglow.

The ambition is to produce this.

We strive for an afterglow with no thing preceding.

A glow.

Phosphenes.

2.

The only surface worth painting is the mind of the viewer.

The viewing of art should not require eyes.

Art should be entoptic.

We strive to force meditation.

The prisoner’s cinema.

Phosphenes.

3.

Art is without value until it faces the market.

The market purveys value.

Money is banal until it has been spent.

Money spent on art is money transformed.

Money spent is mourned.

This mourning is eased by art.

We strive to enhance mourning.

Mourning is a response to what is not there.

An afterglow.

4.

What you see does not matter.

What you have seen is everything.

All you truly buy is the afterglow.

It has value.

5.

You must pay more for the glow that has no thing.

Nothing before.

Pure after.

Phosphenes.

RULES FOR THE CREATION OF THE NON-VISIBLE

You shall not add to the banal. (You shall not build.)

You shall not litter the world with art. (You shall not make.)

What you have not made must be beautiful.

What you have not made must have value.

You must bring what you have not made to market.

(The market will give it value.)

You must give to the market absence.

(Money is banal until spent.)

You must offer the market anguish.

(What is spent is painful.)

You must make the market beautiful.

(Nothing beautiful without pain.)

You must increase the world behind the eyes.

The wreck of the Medusa.

It left us with phosphenes.

You must conjure them and sell them.

Only when you have done this are you one of us.

————————————–

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posted by CAC at 04:14 PM

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