Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Original Sin

Was just reading/looking at a slide show, "Art and Advertising", in the New York Times online. Interesting that the slant on the short captioned story is Art:good, Adverts:bad, insinuating "those damn advert bastards are constantly stealing from us and Look at My Halo: I've got so much integrity I didn't sell my idea". Sometimes true, I suppose. However, what I find ridiculous is this notion of "the original" and that somehow Artists alone hold exclusive ownership to creative thought. (As if artists are never influenced by anything other that their own virtuous magical brain power or insular clique at the Kool-Aid watercooler. As if artists aren't selling a product....whether the payoff is in cash, exposure, newsprint, notoriety, what have you?)

The dialogue of ideas and influence travel both ways and in all (in)conceivable directions. People and things influence each other and at all times. (e.g. Warhol's brillo box... chicken and egg story. Yes, the box existed before. Warhol's addition was the concept, which changed everything of course, at least in the days before the whole pop visual (minus the theory) was co-opted and made inane, stupid and powerless (but that's a rant for the rest of the days in the calendar).
The label wars of Artist vs. Advertiser, Maker vs. Thinker are getting a bit dull. Whatever happened to creativity as open source. Whether the end product is deemed art piece or advert, so be it. The quality of the (thinking)process remains firmly the same in order to really affect people and the way they think.

Consumerism in the monetary sense seems to muddle people's judgment in terms of good and evil. Maybe like all things it's a bit of both. Aren't litigious claims to copyright as bad as the perceived consumerist evils in their most heinous sense? Is it so unlikely like more than one person can have an "original" idea....god forbid...the same idea? And the same idea for different reasons? Let's face it, we ALL consume, we ARE all consuming (mostly with our own vanity). Take what you need and want, know the difference and be disciplined enough to stop "investing" as warranted.

I mean Peter Fischli and David Weiss weren't the first to create a machine that does nothing. (We just have faulty memories and very short attention spans) Their Der Lauf der Dinge (translation: The Way Things Go. An excerpt from the 30-min video) is a "Rube Goldberg machine" after all. (difference being one is 3-D and the other is 2-D) Should the Goldberg Estate call their lawyers every time a Rube Goldberg machine is made, Intellectual thefting from the family vault of ideas, and demand licensing fees for the use of the words "Rube" and "machines that do nothing"? Rube was likely not the first to think of such a thing either. But you have to admit, the name is pretty catchy.

Ego-mechanical. HA.
Ego is the truly Original Sin.


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