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A Decade of Art

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by BenCorman, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. BenCorman

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    Over on the radio show we've been discussing the most important works of art over the last decade. Here are the relevant details in Dr. Rob's grandiose and self-important prose (edited by me for sanity):

    The key words here are “important” and “art.” For the purposes of this exercise, you may interpret the word art as really any product of human creativity, as long as it could be experienced by a reasonable number of people (i.e., not a poem your friend wrote that isn’t even on the internet). Important is also critical here. Did it change the way you viewed your life, or society as a whole? Did it alter the landscape of the industry in which it’s recognized? There were plenty of fantastic and entertaining works of art this past decade (and the assumption here is that works you nominate are, in fact, quite good), but that doesn’t make them important per se. They may have been just fun.* However, please note that you need to tell us why something is important for it to be considered and not just send us a list. The cogency of your argument will be a major factor in the judgment of your submissions.

    We'll pull ideas from this thread for the show but I figured it might be a fun thing to debate outside the show. So, what are made the last decade what it was and why?
     
  2. Crown Royal

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    This is a truck-sized painting by psychedelic artist Alex Grey called The Net of Being (you may recognize a variation of it on Tool's album cover for 10,000 Days). I've always been really selective about art since some I think is galvanizing and others that some consider "masterpieces" I think is complete horseshit (Hi, Andy Warhol!). This is the first painting that I ever looked at the provoked real thought in me. The painting generally is about infinite space, infinite consciousness and higher states of such. Now, as an athiest I would usually dismiss such things, but Grey's paintings not only are absolutely gorgeous to admire but they also throw in that "What If" factor about what we can't see and don't know.

    I actually have a large back tattoo of one of the "Godheads" from this painting. Sure enough, three weeks after I had it done Tool released 10,000 Days and now it looks like I have a band tattoo (Begorrah!!!). It's a good thing I am a fan of Tool. What if the Kings Of Leon put this painting on their album (I kind of doubt that Grey would give those Hipsters the time of day anyhoo)? Suicide for yours truly, that's what.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. kuhjäger

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    Unfortunately I think this may be a pretty limited thread. I can't even begin to name someone who has produced anything groundbreaking in the past decade. I have been pretty disconnected from the art world for the past few years since I graduated college.

    A lot of this is because I have become disillusioned to art because I went to a school that had a heavy bias towards the left because of the liberal arts, but is primarily a science school. This is because the liberal arts screamed as loudly as they could over the science crowd.

    This led to my view of a lot of art as being nothing more than drek that is an attempt for attention, and shock value. The art students at my school didn't seem to understand that that part of art died the moment that Duchamp unveiled Le fountain. Instead they try to out do it. You can't outdo something that outdid itself, and mocked itself at the same time.

    I saw menstrual blood flung at a canvas; poorly drawn, thinly veiled narrow minded political statements. The usual, I could have done that piles of crap. My least favorite was a girl who "locked herself in a cardboard box for 2 days before reemerging.

    I worked in an art gallery that had the centerpiece of a years worth of junkmail shredded in the middle of the floor.

    Don't get me wrong, I saw people I considered talented, but most of it was what I considered self serving and self congratulating crap, and the art department was a pure circle jerk of fawning over each other.

    What I have become to consider art in this multi-media age is something that combines performance with well crafted artworks.

    Therefore my vote, which is a bit biased, because of my connection with the city is "The Berlin Reunion" celebrating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the wall, a multi day performance preformed by a French company telling a story of a man and child separated and their long, tough journey to reunite.

    It covers a lot of the political history and pains of Germany, and the separation of the western world during the previous century, and the healing that is still taking place, even into this century.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Gravitas

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    Let's just go ahead and get this one out of the way now.

    The Wire

    This is by far the most compelling show that I have ever seen. Other TV shows in the last decade have been entertaining, but none of them really changed the way that I view the world. As a white guy living in the rural southwest The Wire exposed me to narratives that I would have never encountered otherwise and it did so in a way that impacted me deeply. And the real brilliance was presenting those narratives in an entertaining way. The show works on two levels. You can sit there and watch Omar be a bad ass and have a good time or you can slow down a bit and delve into what the stories are actually trying to say and be profoundly moved.

    I wish I could do a better job describing why this TV series is so important to me, but I honestly don't have the words.

    I'm just pissed off because it has ruined every other TV show. Nothing compares.
     
  5. untouchable

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    Harry Potter- J.K. Rowling proved to my generation that reading books and using your brain/imagination can be more entertaining than HBO/computers/video games

    Eminem- Popularized rap music among the white youth. Changed the content of rap music from money hoes clothes to much deeper issues

    Maddox- His angry and cynical rants were hilarious. This guy was a pioneer for using the internet to voice his opinion and say what everyone was thinking

    Lost- Best show ever. Kickass show that's secretly about love and discovering what's truly important in life
     
  6. kuhjäger

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    Maddox, if you have ever seen him actually being interviewed (especially when I saw an interview in his apartment, post success((it is a rat hole)) is nothing more than a bitter man ranting on the internet. He is no more "art" than the musings of the old man writing to his local newspaper editorial complaining about how his paperboy throws the paper too far from the stoop. Far from art, more so guy with nothing better to do.
     
  7. Dr. Rob

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    TIB is messing with me and won't let me put blocks of text, so here are my four choices and explanation for this thread:

    http://shrinktalk.net/?p=1695

    If you can't care about the explanations, they are A Million Little Pieces ("memoir"), Arrested Development (TV), Next to Normal (theater) and In Rainbows (music).
     
  8. Dr. Rob

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    I think that Harry Potter began in the 90's, no? We probably should have been clear about this but the "art" has to be exclusive to the last decade (e.g., you can't really include the Simpsons even though the show didn't start to suck until about 2005). Also, Eminem and Maddox are the artists, not the art itself. Do you have a specific album or song, or specific pieces that Maddox wrote?
     
  9. kuhjäger

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    So a book that was exposed to be written with a fraudulent premise is art?

    And a TV show, which I think was brilliant, and and can accept some TV as an art form, but I have a dislike of calling a TV show "art" in the sense that they are overwhelmingly guided by commercial interests over free expression. If your "art" has a commercial guiding hand to keep it going (and I don't mean patronage) ie Burger King can it really be considered "art"?
     
  10. Beefy Phil

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    Considering that art patronage was more of a sociopolitical chess move than genuine support of freedom of expression, I don't really see how this differentiation holds water. The Catholic Church didn't pay Michelangelo to paint the Sistine Chapel because they thought it'd be pretty. They were making a statement. "We have money, we have power, and this is how we're going to prove it." They might as well have painted, "God: You're Lovin' Him" on the ceiling and been done with it. That doesn't make the fresco any less of a masterpiece.

    So, to answer your question: yes, commercially guided creation can still be art.
     
  11. kuhjäger

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    (People hate talking to me about art so hang with me)

    Ok, so:
    Sistine Chapel = Arrested Development

    One is an intrinsic interpretation of a mythology that had been around for 1500 years and influenced the western world; produced by a person who was secretly anti religion (and hid messages in his art) in a time where that was very out of the ordinary, to the point where he hid messages in his art. His interpretation and skill would serve to be an inspiration to all.

    The other was the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.
     
  12. Beefy Phil

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    Subjectivity's a bitch.
     
  13. Dr. Rob

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    Yes, I still think it's art, even if it was anti-social behavior. He wrote the words and told a story. It was a creative endeavor. If they had just slapped the words "Based on a..." it wouldn't even be a point of discussion, it was just be art. That said, it's because they didn't do that that it made my personal list, because it changed a lot about the way we read supposedly true stories.
     
  14. kuhjäger

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    deleted because the tags were being stupid
     
  15. KIMaster

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    I'm a little confused by the topic. I like Joseph Conrad's definition of "art", which is essentially "a work that goes to the very depths of the human condition."

    Looking at Dr. Rob's list, it just seems like a bunch of mass entertainment that demonstrated originality in something having little to do with the product itself. What is "art" about a very poorly-written book with a completely dishonest portrayal of human emotion and action, that was an utter fraud? The fact that it generated some controversy? So what? Or a generic-sounding, popular rock group that simply released an album in a new format? That's "innovative capitalism", sure, but are you arguing it's the same as "art"?

    I could go on, but I assume "Dr. Rob" is working from a very different definition of "art" than I am, and the first post doesn't totally explain it.

    Focus-

    I'm not going to explain these picks, because either you feel what these works have to say about life and human nature in your heart and soul, or you don't. Obviously, this is from my own definition;

    TV- Mad Men (In fact, it's the only television show ever made that I would call "art")

    Movies- No Country for Old Men (From what I have seen)

    Books- The Dark Tower (Have read very little from this decade...perhaps Eco or Murakami wrote something better?)
     
  16. DrFrylock

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  17. lust4life

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    Gris' artistic renderings of "The Escapades of Ballsack" fit neatly within this definition.
     
  18. Fracas

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    I'd second Mad Men and nominate Mulholland Drive. Not easy to follow, but as an impressionistic portriat of Los Angeles, classic Hollywood, the movie business and confused identity, I'd rank it with the Great Works, and it's by far the most complex, interesting thing Lynch has created.

    It's hardly perfect, but let's throw in Outkast's Speakerboxx/The Love Below, as close to a classic double-concept record as hip hop is likely to get, fully examining the street and art-school aspects of the genre. And god help you if you're talking to a chick and "Hey Ya" comes on.
     
  19. BenCorman

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    I don't know how A Million Little Pieces ended up on Rob's list but it shouldn't be there. The book isn't a memoir, it's a lie. It's not an account of *anything* because IT'S A LIE. And to try and assign some mystique to the lie is just a justification. It's like saying that it's ok that he hits you because deep down, he really, really loves you. It's bullshit. Frey didn't lie to try and show us some greater truth about the human condition or to expose a naive faith in the written word, he lied to sell books. The only thing that AMLP did was prove that it's publisher didn't do their due diligence before publishing it. It's insulting to people who write truthful accounts of their lives to say that this book did anything to the memoir genre except cheapen it and insult those who put in the work.

    As to the topic: I think Girl Talk's Night Ripper went a long way in redefining how we think about music and how music is made. I'm not a fan of the whole mashup genre because most artists think that they should simply lay one track over another then sit back and watch people celebrate their genius. Greg Gillis was the first to really use samples as their own instruments and to tear into those samples to see what's possible. Night Ripper isn't simply zippering two tracks together, it's really finding a way to blend many pieces together to come up with something entirely new. And it has allowed him to fuck with the structure of how a 'song' is put together. It plays with your expectations listening to it because all the old cues about what belongs where are gone and allows for something truly novel.
     
  20. Sam N

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    Valzhyna Mort is one of very few contemporary poets out there doing real "art." Funny name, I know, she's Belarusian and brilliant. Guess I'd put down her book, "Factory of Tears," as the artistic work (sorry foreign words get translated into corny American titles).

    I don't know about too much else out there that is "art," in the last decade.