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Desc:A BBC series about Goldsmiths MFA program, where 'technique isn't necessarily important'..
Category:Classic TV Clips, Arts
Tags:BBC, art, disgruntled student of the arts, goldsmiths, mfa
Submitted:gmol
Date:06/12/13
Views:1409
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Comment count is 27
That guy
ok, 1:45-2:08 is good enough for me.
"The Artist"
Old_Zircon
Technique ISN'T necessarily important in art, but it should be important in art SCHOOL.

Art school an art are only very tenuously related to one another.
Old_Zircon
I live near RISD, so I could buy art of this quality for about 0 in half a dozen coffee shops within walking distance of my apartment. I hope these kids get a lot of experience networking and writing grant proposals, because if they expect to go anywhere on strength of their work itself they're doomed.

candyheadrobot
^yup. I live and pal around with people of the sort, and while it's nice these folks have gotten this "far", an academic fine artist doesn't translate well into the art world. Unless they're interested in pulling a Hennessy Youngman, art school kids need to stick to the commercial stuff.

Old_Zircon
Art school could be a really good networking opportunity though.

Old_Zircon
And peer criticism is really, really helpful in theory, but my experience with sitting in on (honors, graduate) peer critique sessions at Mass Art has been that not a single one of those motherfuckers has the first clue, and I would have gotten so constantly laid if I'd gone to art school because spouting off some variant of 9th grade literary criticism 101 was enough to have students AND faculty coming up and asking me questions afterward. And I'm not saying that as any kind of bragging or self aggrandizement, because it really was some meaningless bullshit I was saying the couple times that happened.

Troll deep.

Baldr
I'm strangely attracted to coprokelpto girl. She's like an awesome low-rent supervillian.
Old_Zircon
"Art for me is very much about what I can get away with."

I am completely OK with that sentiment.

Baldr
The rest of this episode is pretty awesome. Coproklepto Girl flies to Spain to steal a plant from some famous gardener artist, and then sends him an email which presumably contains her villain's exposition regarding the situation. She then sits around for days waiting for a response, like a parody of an internet troll. When Coproklepto Girl finally receives the legal threats, she tapes them to the wall of her display nearby the stolen potted plant.

I was really hoping The Tick would arrive in the last act and confront her, but maybe that would just be gilding the lily.

FABIO
Ha!

Yes, a villain from The Tick is the perfect way to describe her.

Old_Zircon
She sometimes reminds me of a good friend and roommate of mine back in college whose master's thesis was (in part) creating multiple personas fr herself and then advertising for a "boyfriend" as if it were a job - through the Internet, direct mailings, and canvassing in character as her own agent in the downtown business district for a few months. For the final piece she papered a room with printouts of literally thousands of (usually painfully awkward) mail and email responses she had gotten and had some video loops of some of the actual job interviews she had done in character with people (mostly men, no surprise there). It actually was great, but mostly because it was excellent, long-game trolling and she got a lot of fairly high powered business and finance types.

I think there's a very strong overlap between good conceptual art and good trolling.

Old_Zircon
In episode 2 she finds out about a neon piece that Gander is working on and has a duplicate made and put in a gallery before he gets the original out, which is about the hardest troll there is.

Old_Zircon
(even though it kind of fails because he denies everything and ignores her).

sosage
The second guy talking about the judgmental reactions he gets at parties is embodying the negative generalizations the rest of the world's artists receive.

I really don't recommend paying a dime to go to any art school if you aren't going to bust your balls on the techniques and foundation knowledge of traditional art. After that, then smash through those rules as much as you want and eat a bucket full of stolen costume jewelry to shit onto a canvas.
Old_Zircon
Unless you're legitimately mentally ill or autistic and get discovered as some kind of outsider artist, you're pretty much obligated to spend a good amount of time honing your craft before you can credibly abandon technique, although I do think that's a good end goal - overly technical art or music or whatever is almost aways utterly vacuous in my opinion; c.f. shred guitar. I count excessive focus on concept as overly technical, too.

Growing as an artist is a process of absorbing more than you need and then abandoning what you don't need. You can't abandon what you never had to begin with.

Old_Zircon
Also, painters who put text in their paintings are so highly suspect it's not even funny. I mean, painters in general are kind o suspect but if you put text in there you'd better be able to deliver.

Old_Zircon
Anyhow, most of the teachers seem pretty good. I think someone who had something to say could get a lot out of this place, but most people won't. So like art school (and a whole lot of other types of higher education) in general.

Mr. Purple Cat Esq.
"overly technical art or music or whatever is almost aways utterly vacuous in my opinion"

I totally agree with you there. With my music though I was never trained and always avoided it. As a result Ive developed my own way of doing everything and playing instruments for example.
So Ive completely shunned technical prowess and just started doing my own thing. Now I'd say I'm quite good, but at doing my own weird thing.
So I think its ok to ignore the rules in art. Theyre not really *rules* anyway! Just opinions and techniques other people have developed in art over time. its all subjective!

About these art guys. What puzzles me is it seems that the consensus is that the important thing in all the art is what nits message is and what it communicates.
Well *maybe* it communicates something, but very awkwardly and haphazardly. And what its message is is just the opinion from the ignorant (and maybe a bit dull) artist.
Why not just read a popular science book? That will convey huge amount of new information to you in an elegant way (if it is well written) and the information is not just random musings; It is a cogent theory about something with data and references to back it up. Injecting that kind of new info into my brain is what makes *me* think.

Old_Zircon
I was definitely trained (and I think having some lessons can be helpful if you have the right teacher and approach it as "learn by ear and then apply theory to understand what you earned rather than starting from theory) butI always made a point to kind of segregate my formal training from what I did ersonally. I can write scores and I can sight read for a few instruments (although that's receding) but I can't sight read for any ofthe instruments I'm actually serious about or good at. Incollege I had private composition lessons for years (and did quite well at it according to them) but I rarely if ever compose on an instrument, and when I do it's never a primary one. As a guitarist, if I feel myself getting to technical I switch to a tuning I've never used before and just stick to that for a few years until I start getting too good at it. The interesting thing is, I've found if I do that when I go back to a tuning I AM familiar with my approach to playing has changed so much that it's almost like I have to relearn the old tuning and it keeps things from getting stale.

As far as the whole "but what does it MEEEAAAN?" obsession in the modern art world, I've got to give credit to one of my high school writing teachers who was a stanch postmodernist for really driving home the idea that the artist's intentions are completely secondary and they should basically shut up and let other people find meaning in it. I don't totally buy it, but I think it's a much better approach than planning the meaning of a piece in detail, since that usually makes the actual piece itself become kind of an afterthought and that's not a way to make art that has any real depth to it.

MY takeaway from spending a ot of time with art students back in college and sitting in on some high level classes at art schools an taking my share of art courses and occasionally working at a gallery when they need someone to fill in, is that the "art world" is largely about learning how to convince people who don't really know much about art (because a really high percentage of the people who buy art don't have a clue - a lot of them hire companies to choose it for them, since they're really just looking for a decoration that won't lose value so they can sell it in a few years when they decide to change the color scheme of their summer home - there are exceptions but in general there is absolutely no correlation between understanding art and having the money to buy it), and that the emphasis on the "meaning" or intent of pieces is tied up with the fact that the piece really is secondary, and what an artist who wants to actually be commercially successful needs to do is create and sell a myth. It's show business, and that wouldn't even necessarily be bad if they would just admit it,at least to themselves. Which is why I'm completely OK with the woman in this who just steals stuff.

Old_Zircon
The best art is art that communicates meaning without deliberation. Not necessarily without intent, but without deliberation.

Old_Zircon
The blinking shells guy s the classic example of excessive focus on technique (although in this case the "technique" is concept not craft, but it's the same thing really) - he's thinking REALLY REALLY HARD about it - so hard he's literally sweating and on the verge of some kind of panic attack - and the harder he thinks the worse the project gets because the thinking IS THE PROBLEM.

FABIO
This is making me want to watch Art School Confidential again.

Is there anything worse than young artists who want to break the rules before they even learn them? (no)
Old_Zircon
I always feel bad for the teachers who clearly really understand art (which is definitely not all of the teachers, but a lot of them) but have to suck it up and find a way to flatter students who are clearly never going to have the first clue but have the money. You must have to either have a really good sense of humor or be some kind of saint to stay sane as a professor at an art school.

Old_Zircon
SPOILER: the stuff that actually sells at the end is the really mediocre paintings. The best stuff and the worst stuff are ignored, but people love the really average stuff.

So no surprises.
Baldr
If you don't mind me asking, what was the best stuff? Nothing I've seen in contemporary art interests me, but I'm pretty firmly in the, "no disputing taste", camp of aesthetics. So, it would be interesting for me to hear an informed opinion from someone who's into it.

Old_Zircon
For me personally,of what they showed the Irish thief woman was the only one doing anything particularly interesting (and apparently the school agreed - she won some prizes and got excellent reviews). The guy with the blinking shells was the worst. The guy who sold a few paintings and got offered a teaching job in Moscow did completely forgettable stuff that would look at home in a coffee shop or the lobby of a hotel that wanted to look "contemporary." All of the pieces that sold were his least favorite and his teachers had to basically force him to even show them. The stuff he liked was even worse.

Old_Zircon
The older, armor designer's stuff was really bad but to me it seemed like that was because he was trying to follow instruction without trying to understand why, an he actually could have done something interesting if he'd either been more open to what he was being taught or reacted against it really strongly. He just didn't commit to anything.

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