Modern art

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Modern art

Postby thisisdavid » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:40 am UTC

Do you enjoy it? Or do you think it's ridiculous and stupid? For me it's all about being able to tell the difference between works that mean something and works that wish they meant something.

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Re: Modern art

Postby spelunker » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:47 am UTC

I guess to the extent it defines itself as "modern". I saw an exhibit in Minneapolis recently which was, I swear to God, a bunch of different stains on small, white canvasses. They were all titled by the object that made the stain: "Chocolate", "Urine", etc.

I was at a loss for words. Here were have the awe-insipiring art of the classical period or even more recent things like Art Deco, and this passes as art?

I'm all for pushing boundaries, but sometimes "modern" art confuses me :-(

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Re: Modern art

Postby thisisdavid » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:53 am UTC

absolutely. When I have time I'll post a list of the more absurd things I've seen, but at the Modern in Ft Worth there's definitely a florescent lightbulb mounted at a 45 degree angle in the same room as an Andy Warhol. As I said, it's all about telling the fakes apart from the art.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:59 am UTC

http://youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

Related. Seriously, what? The hell?
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Re: Modern art

Postby Oort » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:04 am UTC

Yeah, being weird or unusual doesn't make it art. I've seen some dissapointing stuff in modern art museums. A toilet (not as part of a restroom, but a prominently displayed piece of art). "Paintings" which were only one color. I just got the feeling there was no point.

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Re: Modern art

Postby Likpok » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:05 am UTC

The trouble with modern art is that it seems (to me) to be a revolution. It is a throwing off of the chains of artistic expression, and just expressing.

The trouble is that to understand it, you have to understand the history of the art, how it developed etc.

For example: Atonal music. It is by its very nature not pleasing to the ears. But the whole point is that up until recently, you couldn't have atonality.

Maybe, after the novelty has worn off, people will relax and begin to incorperate modernist ideas/freedoms into more traditional artistic expression.

EDIT: But being banal and ordinary doesn't make it not art. It's all in the selection and expressivity. Some people are better at it than others. Some people are only understandable by the intellectual "elite".
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:11 am UTC

Oort wrote:Yeah, being weird or unusual doesn't make it art. I've seen some dissapointing stuff in modern art museums. A toilet (not as part of a restroom, but a prominently displayed piece of art). "Paintings" which were only one color. I just got the feeling there was no point.


Eh, I believe that art is subjective to each person, and as long as you call it art, it's art... but I think some art is more worthless than most.

You wouldn't be thinking of this, would you?

Also, what makes me annoyed aren't so much the actual single-colored paintings, but the reviews gushing about the deep emotions they feel.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Oort » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:27 am UTC

Yeah, I think that's it.

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Re: Modern art

Postby Twasbrillig » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:42 am UTC

Chocceh wrote:http://youtube.com/watch?v=hUJagb7hL0E

Related. Seriously, what? The hell?


I have to say, I thought 4'33" was actually quite a good work of art.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:56 am UTC

Twasbrillig wrote:I have to say, I thought 4'33" was actually quite a good work of art.


It's a reflection on society's treatment of the blue-collar worker, and filled my heart with mystery and pizazz. (Unless you weren't being sarcastic?)
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Re: Modern art

Postby thisisdavid » Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:14 am UTC

monochrome paintings aren't quite as silly when you see them in person. I've seen a 10' x 15' or so sandbox filled with pure, dry blue pigment, where if you stare at it you start to see it almost ripple or undulate, you can actually get pretty lost in it. Like many conventional paintings, sometimes you have to see it in person to appreciate it.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Berengal » Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:48 pm UTC

Some modern art is actually quite intelligent and expressive, but because of it's dissimilarity to classical art, the apparent nonsense or complete mundanity of it all this isn't recognized by the casual observer.

Alot of modern "art" is, however, in blind attempts to be "smart", just bullshit. Duchamp's Fountain might be clever, but that doesn't mean anyone who flips a caserole upside down and puts it on a pedestal is a genius. It has to do with context (and Fountain's context is lost on today's casual observers). If nobody, including the artist, can tell you what the point is, and you can't find one for yourself, then it's utter crap.
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Re: Modern art

Postby kcr » Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:13 pm UTC

Your avatar is a photo of Yves Klein jumping off of the ledge of a building or something. I forget the name, or who took it..

I don't like paintings that are a one color canvas, or maybe one color with some other color stripes. Maybe the artist has some intense meaning behind it, but for me? It's something that couldn't have taken much effort and tries to be "unique" for the sake of being unique. I wouldn't say it's not art, because blah blah how do you define art and so on, but I would call it stupid art.

Like, ok, Yves Klein. I recently saw his painting that's just the blue canvas? The little card talked about how it was a big deal because he went to a chemist and they developed that shade of blue. Cool, but not meaningful art. It also used a phrase like "monochrome is about showing what the painting is not, but what it could or could not be" .. I'm sure I've mangled that. But it was just pretentious sounding faux-art crap. ..in my opinion. It's stupid.
Alot of modern "art" is, however, in blind attempts to be "smart", just bullshit.

EXACTLY. That's what I can't stand.

At the National Gallery in DC last year, I saw this. It's modern art that I'm not sure what to think of. A whole series of paintings like that? What's the point? I just don't get it.

Granted, I don't know anything about art. This is all from the little info I've gleaned over the years, a semester-long high school art class, the cards next to art work, and mainly my opinions. Maybe if I knew the point and it didn't sound as stupid as "what the painting could be or could not be" I would appreciate it more. The National Gallery had a bunch of Jaspher Johns' targets a little while ago, and I wasn't super impressed with them when I just saw them, but I thought they were interesting. I jumped into a tour group and after hearing about them, I was a lot more into it.

So maybe part of it is an issue of art education, and context, and all of that (on the other hand you shouldn't need to be educated about art to be able to appreciate it or understand it, right? It should appeal to you because art is about emotion or whatever) .. but I swear to you, I will never appreciate the one-color canvases, or the enormous things that look like huge scribbles. Sorry.
Last edited by kcr on Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:19 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Modern art

Postby Twasbrillig » Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:16 pm UTC

Chocceh wrote:
Twasbrillig wrote:I have to say, I thought 4'33" was actually quite a good work of art.


It's a reflection on society's treatment of the blue-collar worker, and filled my heart with mystery and pizazz. (Unless you weren't being sarcastic?)


I wasn't.
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Re: Modern art

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:19 pm UTC

Almost all modern art I've seen isn't for people, but for other artists, art students, people involved in the art scene, and people who like the idea of but are too young to have been involved with Dada.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Berengal » Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:33 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:Almost all modern art I've seen isn't for people, but for other artists, art students, people involved in the art scene, and people who like the idea of but are too young to have been involved with Dada.

This is very true. Having lived together with a bunch of artists for a year, I've learned to appreciate modern art much more than I used to.

Still, some of it just fails on every level. For example, I went to a lecture from a supposed artist, who among other things showed us a video of her trying to climb a big heart. "Well, it might not be GREAT art, but at least it's got a point (love is hard)", I thought. Just afterwards she said she had originally intended to film herself sitting ON TOP of the heart, because SHE WANTED TO, but since the heart was too big and hard to climb onto she failed. The ONE thing that wasn't a complete and utter failure, and she stripped the very meaning of the piece away, the only thing it had going for it. She didn't even recognize this! Every other piece she showed us was a complete and utter failure, either through amateurish production or (mostly) lack of any substance to the idea. I'm sure she and her friends had a great time drinking red wine late at night, but the audacity to think they had accomplished anything at all surprised me to no end throughout the whole lecture.

It should be said that the reason I went to this lecture in the first place was because I had just attended a great lecture about prominent modernist artists (from Dada -> surrealism and upwards).
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Re: Modern art

Postby d3adf001 » Sat Dec 29, 2007 5:38 pm UTC

i dont like an entire type of art. if i see it i might like it i might not. i just have to take it as a piece by piece bias.

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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:07 pm UTC

Twasbrillig wrote:I wasn't.


Oh shi-

I'm going with Berengal. 4'33" and countless other pieces might be interesting and cool and whatnot, but there's no way I'm going to call the composer of nothing (literally) a genius.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Likpok » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:16 pm UTC

Chocceh wrote:Oh shi-

I'm going with Berengal. 4'33 and countless other pieces might be interesting and cool and whatnot, but there's no way I'm going to call the composer of nothing (literally) a genius.


It is an amazing work of art. But to understand it, you have to have the context of Western musical development and music theory.

And that's the trouble, the average person won't get it. Admittedly, the average person won't get even most classical art, it is just that they can appreciate the effort more easily.
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Re: Modern art

Postby LoopQuantumGravity » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:32 pm UTC

Likpok wrote: But the whole point is that up until recently, you couldn't have atonality.


That's just retarded. Until recently, you couldn't be killed by nuclear bombs, either. That doesn't make it art.

"Modern art" is like the Emo kid of art. Being different for no fucking reason doesn't make you cool. Whining about how you're oppressed by other art, or how no one understands you does not make you cool. Cutting yourself is not art.

This kind of crap just pisses me off. If I want to see a pile of twisted metal melted together, I'll move to fucking Iraq, thank you. It pisses me off when I see it walking to class, and know my tuition money/taxes paid (the hundreds of thousands - millions) for it. Even if it didn't, it would still piss me off, because it's an ungodly eyesore. If I see a series of tubes, it had damn well better be the internet, not more art.

At least Emo girls can be hot, modern art doesn't even have that going for it.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Dream » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:46 pm UTC

I was under the impression that all art is currently thought by a broad consensus to consist of a dichotomy between the creative act and the viewer's interpretation. The viewer interpreting the art is an act every bit as creative as was the artist making it in the first place. Otherwise, in the presence of a hostile audience, even Guernica could be "uncreated". Clearly a difficult concept. Once the viewer has created in this way, the art exists. Whether it is good, bad or indifferent, it is still art.

The other side of the situation is that the act of creation is generally thought to be separate from the process of creation. Yves Klein's shade of blue is every bit as much a work of art as The Last Supper, because they are both created, even if it were by vastly different means, and in almost incomparable media. The notion that there can be a single superior branch of the arts went out of fashion in the ninteenth century. The current climate of all creative endeavours enjoying equal legitimacy seems better to me than an eternal argument over the primacy of sculpture or painting, and a corollary argumant over whether anything created outside the artist's own hand can ever be art.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:55 pm UTC

Likpok wrote:It is an amazing work of art. But to understand it, you have to have the context of Western musical development and music theory.

And that's the trouble, the average person won't get it. Admittedly, the average person won't get even most classical art, it is just that they can appreciate the effort more easily.


I know the history behind it. That doesn't make it much different for me, though. It may be a little genius in that nobody's really made an entire piece of silence and it was moving in a new direction, but to quote so many people, "My kindergartener can do that."

Dream wrote:Once the viewer has created in this way, the art exists. Whether it is good, bad or indifferent, it is still art.


This is what I meant earlier - I can accept that it's art. In my eyes, however, I still see some art as "Let's draw a large piece of graph paper and call it 'Play' and maybe they'll buy it."
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Re: Modern art

Postby Twasbrillig » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:11 pm UTC

Likpok wrote:
Chocceh wrote:Oh shi-

I'm going with Berengal. 4'33 and countless other pieces might be interesting and cool and whatnot, but there's no way I'm going to call the composer of nothing (literally) a genius.


It is an amazing work of art. But to understand it, you have to have the context of Western musical development and music theory.

And that's the trouble, the average person won't get it. Admittedly, the average person won't get even most classical art, it is just that they can appreciate the effort more easily.


Did you know there's actually 3 movements, and that the piece is written for 3/4 time?
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Re: Modern art

Postby william » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:14 pm UTC

Chocceh wrote:"My kindergartener can do that."

Then why didn't he?
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:18 pm UTC

Twasbrillig wrote:Did you know there's actually 3 movements, and that the piece is written for 3/4 time?


I did.

william wrote:Then why didn't he?


As soon as I have a kindergartener, I'll tell you.

Kindergarteners definitely can do what Pollock did (if you need proof, I did that kind of stuff when I was really young). I don't know of any kindergarteners that know much of anything about music (though I know they exist), but I'm sure you've seen little kids clam up and refuse to speak when a parent demands an answer.
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Re: Modern art

Postby william » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:20 pm UTC

Silence isn't actually what 4'33" is about. It's supposed to be about making the natural sounds produced by where it's played into the music. I doubt any stubborn children are trying to do that.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:23 pm UTC

william wrote:Silence isn't actually what 4'33" is about. It's supposed to be about making the natural sounds produced by where it's played into the music. I doubt any stubborn children are trying to do that.


No, but it still happens when they do it. Just because he's doing it intentionally doesn't make it much different for me.
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Re: Modern art

Postby william » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:25 pm UTC

But when you're arguing with a stubborn child you're not listening for music like when you're listening to 4'33".
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:28 pm UTC

william wrote:But when you're arguing with a stubborn child you're not listening for music like when you're listening to 4'33".


But couldn't you argue that you're just hearing differently natural sounds? Duchamp would probably be more impressed with the kindergartner's silence*.

*I'm not speaking for Duchamp, only saying that if he can find great art in a urinal, great art can be found in a kindergartner's silence. The Last Supper : Fountain :: 4'33" : Kid not saying anything.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Twasbrillig » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:32 pm UTC

william wrote:But when you're arguing with a stubborn child you argue about subjective art.


Fix'd.

Also, we need the small-text baron back.
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Re: Modern art

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:40 pm UTC

I had a huge argument a few weeks ago over whether Banksey was propper modern art. I said that his presentation and medium made it modern, but my debatee said that it was just cleverness applied to mediocre art.
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Re: Modern art

Postby parkaboy » Sat Dec 29, 2007 8:56 pm UTC

http://youtube.com/watch?v=eDnrFgd7yfo

modern. art. modern art?

also, i want one.
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Re: Modern art

Postby SecondTalon » Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:21 pm UTC

william wrote:Silence isn't actually what 4'33" is about. It's supposed to be about making the natural sounds produced by where it's played into the music. I doubt any stubborn children are trying to do that.


That... actually ruins it for me. I was looking at it the same way I considered the game Desert Bus. Seems retarded, but makes you think of the genre as a whole, breaks it down into strictly mechanical motions and ideas and removes all individuality from it, making it a fairly accurate representation of the entire idea of it, be it an orchestral performance or a video game. I mean.. the musicians were turning blank pages when it was time to do so. Yes, it's something that can really only be performed once, but it's art. It's no more of a mockery of the viewer than the viewer wants it to be.. it's just the idea stripped down to complete bare bones so you can appreciate it for what it is - be it spending money on tickets to watch people put air through tubes and vibrate strings and animal flesh or spending money on driving a bus that veers slightly to the right for eight hours.

It's every musical performance ever, in 4 and a half minutes.

Or that's how I'm going to see it, as "wanting the listener to listen to the sounds surrounding them" is dumb. And stupid. And I'm going to throw rocks at it and question it's sexuality regardless of the fact that I actually don't care what it's sexuality is.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Antimatter Spork » Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:52 pm UTC

The thing about "modern" art, and music like Cage's or the second Viennese School's, is that it is a reaction to a large institutionalized community of artists and musicians. People like Duchamp and Cage aren't creating art for your five year old, they're creating art and music for a community of well-educated and knowledgeable artists, musicians, and public. Understanding this art requires knowledge of the context and knowledge of why it is important that Duchamp sees art in his Readymade objects.

For a large portion of our history, art (and music) was controlled and held to certain standards. Recently, artists and musicians have been able to break out of those standards. People like Duchamp and Cage are trying to get us to recognize the art and the music always present in our surroundings. It's about how people look at art. The point is that something doesn't have to be The Last Supper or the Ring Cycle to be Art. Art and music are found in the objects and sounds around you all the time.

Re: 4'33'': It was originally a piece for solo piano. Cage was all about stretching the boundaries of what the artistic community would call music. He wasn't trying to say that every musical performance was, at a basic level, 4'33''.
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Re: Modern art

Postby william » Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:59 pm UTC

So basically it's trying to tell an institutionalized community to be more free, accidentially becoming said institutionalized community?

Shades of Hot Topic.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:01 pm UTC

Again, I can accept the movement and the idea as new and exciting - but if the point is that the artists are doing this to shed light on new areas of art, are the people who see and feel wonderful things when looking at solid blue doing it wrong?
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Re: Modern art

Postby Antimatter Spork » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:18 pm UTC

william wrote:So basically it's trying to tell an institutionalized community to be more free, accidentially becoming said institutionalized community?

Shades of Hot Topic.


I don't know anyone who says that all music needs to be like Cage or Reich (or Schoenberg or Webern). I don't know as much about the art world as I do about music, but people like Cage and Duchamp were about breaking down restrictions, not about destroying the academic art or music world (especially because art and music that does not appeal to a large popular audience (like Cage or Duchamp) tends to thrive in an academic setting).

Chocceh wrote:Again, I can accept the movement and the idea as new and exciting - but if the point is that the artists are doing this to shed light on new areas of art, are the people who see and feel wonderful things when looking at solid blue doing it wrong?

No. That's the point. Neither are the people who see and feel wonderful things when looking at the Mona Lisa or Michelangelo's David.
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:26 pm UTC

Looking back, I'm not sure why I said that, because I sure as hell don't agree with it. I think I meant to be talking about artists who mount a lightbulb and be done with it because it's an established genre, but I can't be sure.
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darwinwins
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Re: Modern art

Postby darwinwins » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:46 pm UTC

oh my god, i've taken art history and theory classes! i is smarts about art 2 guyz!

this thread is full of fail. but let's start with my opinion of modern art: it sucks. it sucks a lot. there are pieces that are well thought out AND well executed but they are the exception and not the rule. the vast majority of art that came after the 40's and 50's have been tripe. Warhol? hello? what the fuck is that crap? (there was a Warhol exhibit where i currently am a few months ago). while "his" works weren't exactly bad, they weren't exactly enthralling genius works of art people make him out to be.

4'33 -- neat idea in concept. it would work great as an art theory paper. as it stands, what a waste of four minutes and thirty three seconds. there was a lawsuit brought on by the Cage trust back in 2002 on some git for infringing on Cage's work: http://edition.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/Mus ... k.silence/ -- it would have gone to court if it weren't settled out of court. the rationale for settling was out of respect to Cage rather than genuine wrong-doing. if it went to court, the trust would have lost -- the claim was that the one minute of silence used was ripped off of the 4'33 (cage, i believe, was listed as co-writer of the song in question). the reason they would have lost is that they can't tell you what part of 4'33 was ripped off for a minute.

i want to take this time to pay respects to Jackson Pollock for his first painting using his technique -- awesome. it was original and thought provoking and i love every thing about it. for all his follow-ups - WTF dude? three words: one. trick. pony. if you look up his other stuff before he went all avant garde, you'll understand why he went the route he did -- he was mediocre at art. his "drip" technique paintings are nice to look at and they fill a lot of space well -- but most artists would be loathed to admit that they make space filler for rich people. (for a few million i would be proud of that infamy). pollock was an alcoholic for a reason -- even if it wasn't such a good one. when you're successful, you might lie to yourself and feign happiness in your success but the nagging of mediocrity can drive a man nuts.

as for most artworks before modern art -- if you can read a book, you can read a painting.

the avatar in question: Saut dans le vide (Leap into the Void).
Last edited by darwinwins on Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:08 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
"if you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. that's the world of hicks and slobs. " - haruki murakami

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Chocceh
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Re: Modern art

Postby Chocceh » Sat Dec 29, 2007 11:53 pm UTC

darwinwins wrote:there was a lawsuit brought on by the Cage trust back in 2002 on some git for infringing on Cage's work: http://edition.cnn.com/2002/SHOWBIZ/Mus ... k.silence/ -- it would have gone to court if it weren't settled out of court. the rationale for settling was out of respect to Cage rather than genuine wrong-doing. if it went to court, the trust would have lost -- the claim was that the one minute of silence used was ripped off of the 4'33 (cage, i believe, was listed as co-writer of the song in question). the reason they would have lost is that they can't tell you what part of 4'33 was ripped off for a minute.


You have no idea how happy this makes me. (Not the suing, just the not being able to find which minute was stolen. Though I guess it also has to do with the fact that Cage didn't really come up with anything super original (it was mostly original, but silence isn't).)
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