So, I’m sitting in my chair going through blogs and trying to keep myself at least moderately amused and I’m going through a couple of art blogs. I come across a post and its of those large course pieces of fabric (they look like dyed burlap to me but I’m not sure what the fabric actually is) with old school windows cursor icons on them. You know the pixelly arrow key and the equally eight bit hour glass?
The blog owner and writer of the post mentioned a phrase that…irked me. It has nothing to do with the author of the post either. The phrase he mentioned was “techno kitsch”. I had to sit there and think about that for a moment, this is a trend in art where we take desk top icons from now or the past, slap them on a canvas or screen print them onto fabric or…whatever. And to me this is presumptuous at best and bogglingly dull worst. Found object is a long used process in art and while some of it is hokey and tongue in cheek (think of the bed pan dubbed The Fountain) isn’t it going just a bit far to try and turn pixels into “found objects”?
But then this brings about another question, and dynamic of art and modern life. We are so utterly accustomed to sitting behind our desks and staring at our screens at such things as our cursors and to us, they’re as real as picking up a pencil. Have we reached a point in human invention and interaction (or the lack their of) has been so detached from the physical that cursor points and the flippy hour glass are actually found objects?
Also, if by translating the digital onto burlap or whatever counts as re-appropriation for arts sake then what of all of this whining tits that see cut out pieces of their digital masterpieces photo-shopped into someone’s collage? Is it really plagiarism or have we reached the point that it’s the bed pan turned fountain? “I found your thing floating around and I thought part of it was cool so I stuck some butterflies and dancing unicorns on it and a pair of tennis shoes having a chat. I call it found object, if that guy throwing windows icons on burlap can do it so can I!”
I’m not really sure I like this. Sure, pop art is fabulous and I’ve loved it long time but at least the soup can was real. And at least the true to form pulp comic paintings weren’t panels taken directly from a Dick Tracey comic. “OMG I’ve gone and put a cursor on burlap I arted!” just doesn’t seem to live up to that standard. It also doesn’t really seem fair, at least you could throw the soup can through the Warhol screen print, the poor eight bit cursor can’t really attack the burlap. =/ Its not a fair fight I tells ya!
I’m not entirely certain where I was going with this rant. I just saw that phrase and it irked me. The following babble was what I thought of when I associated technology and kitsch.