An Art Rant

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.

Alley Alley Alejandro

My friend Ms. Spite and I were sitting around discussing the new Lady Gaga video Alejandro and at first we had no idea what the fuck was going on in that video.  So we sat around discussing the scenes in the video and I got the idea that maybe Gaga was a dictator in an alternate world.  A world where the fascists won World War II and were all living under an oppressive dictatorship of women with gun bras and epic goggle headdresses.  This is all well and good but it does not at all explain the nun, the Spaniard, or the smokey Liza Minnelli-ish bar scene at the end or the fact that parts of the music were taken directly from the Ace of Base song, “All that She Wants”.

Sitting here thinking about this I proposed and idea.  Perhaps this is the story of the Alt Future Dictator the Lady Gaga and her forbidden and passionate romance with a man named Alejandro.  She meets Alejandro on a tour of South America, in Argentina and immediately upon casting her begoggled gaze down at him falls in a deep lust.  Pointing she orders an SS agent to sniff out who he is.  It is worth noting that she parades around as Xerxes on a golden thrown with effeminate black clad soldiers dancing ahead of her, signaling to all that they should stop and pay homage.

Gaga the Xerxes

So, one she has the information she goes out in disguise (because all good rulers know how to sneak out of their shit, yo) to the house of the hot and duly Latin Alejandro.  This is where the trouble happens, after a night of passionate love making she finds herself totally into him.  Granted this is not allowed by her social position and in this weird world you only had sex to breed!  And you only do that with a permit!  After months of passion, Gaga is caught.  This inevitably happens when you have a secret service they find out your secrets and not just those of your subjects.

Gaga and Alejandro kissing.

Anyway, so Gaga is caught and one of her agents gives this information to a rival.  Push comes to shove and Gaga is left with two options.  She can either be hung and her lover can be executed as a conspirator against the state, or she can run.  Gaga in order to spare Alejandro goes into exile and joins a convent, because the last place you’ll look for a former dictator is in the hands of the Catholic Church amirite?

Sad Nun Gaga

So time passes and the Gaga wastes away in the convent, not at all certain as to the fate of Alejandro (he’s probably been offed, since you know this is an evil fascist dictatorship) and she begins to age.  Time flies on and eventually, Gaga in her golden years decides that it is safe to leave the convent and pursue an alternate career, one she’d of been involved in had she not chosen the evil dictator route.  That of a lounge singer.  And this is how the story ends, with The Former Lady Gaga in a smokey lounge, her glory days of evil dictator long behind her and woefully singing pop songs of the 1980s and 1990s dreaming wistfully of the life she once had, and the love of Alejandro.

Old Lounge Gaga

The images in this post are courtesy of Ms. Spite with whom this entire conversation happened.

An Analogy

I was discussing World of Warcraft with a friend of mine.  We are part of this casual raid group and we were discussing the group getting hung up on a major fight.  I felt the need to explain to him how I feel about our group.  This is how it went:

They are like this puppy.  Its cute, with big eyes and friendly beyond all belief.  However, this puppy is also flawed.  While it is adorable and lovable, and has the sweetest little bark it also is severely brain damaged and lame in one foot.  you know you should take it and get it euthanized but every time you try it looks up at you with sparkling big brown eyes and smiles at you.  So you just pat it on the head and let it keep on going.