Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thinking - or not thinking - About Art

This post really has nothing to do with pixel art, or really art at all, and yet at the same time it has EVERYTHING to do with art. (I know, confusing right?)

Ok, my husband helped me to stumble on to a website called Everything is a Remix, which I actually enjoy, because I love the quote, "Not even Shakespeare was an original". This guy is 'remixing' the idea that nothing is original we just alter, copy, borrow and outright steal our ideas.  But he's not condemning it. He's saying it's all right - and I agree with him.

I'm stealing a quote from his website -

"Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don't bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: "It's not where you take things from - it's where you take things to." - Jim Jarmusch
 Ok - so what does that have to do about thinking about art? I'm getting there.

There is an article on EIAR that links to an io9 article that discusses "white guilt" or "sorry about colonialism" movies. This one is talking directly about James Cameron's Avatar. I don't really care for what the article says, but I love the first comment under it. It is not exactly about the article but about the commentators on the web that say, "why can't you just enjoy it for what it is?"

As a former "just enjoy it"-er I used to say this when people complained about movies being copies of other movies/books/what-have-you. But the guy brought up a valuable point. Discussing it, analyzing it, seeking personal deeper meaning - this IS enjoying it for what it is. Not everyone will agree with you, not everyone will think the same thing is art. For example, I have issues about a certain soup can.

I'm never using the 'just enjoy it' argument ever again.

I'll leave you with a quote -

"So when you go out of your way to suggest that people should be thinking less -- that not using one's capacity for reason is an admirable position to take, and one that should be actively advocated -- you are not saying anything particularly intelligent. And unless you live on a parallel version of Earth where too many people are thinking too deeply and critically about the world around them and what's going on in their own heads, you're not helping anything; on the contrary, you're acting as an advocate for entropy.

And most annoyingly of all, you're contributing to the conversation yourselves when you make your stupid, stupid comments. You are basically saying, "I think people shouldn't think so much and share their thoughts, that's my thought that I have to share." If you really think people should just enjoy the movie without thinking about it, then why did you (1) click on the post in the first place, and (2) bother to leave a comment? If it bugs you so much, GO WATCH A FUNNY CAT VIDEO."
 And for me, pixel art is a perfect example of 'stealing with authenticity'. It either may directly steal - Mario world 1-1 anyone? - or borrow - 'evolution of Mario', but either way, each one becomes a personal work of art. And isn't that the point anyway?

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with this. It drives me crazy when people say, "Stop overanalyzing, it's just a movie." Bah!