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It was early winter and my friend and I were walking through a park near his home.
We came to a patch of dark, almost black, mud. As we walked around it, I stepped on
something sharp. I brushed the dirt away with my hand; "this mud seems to have corners",
I said. We brushed more dirt away and revealed a large rectangular piece of canvas
stretched across a wood frame. "Art", my friend said. And with that, the author rose
from the dead. (We didn't even need to know his name was Rothko and that he'd been
enshrined in a chapel a few blocks away.) "Dead art", my friend said, "requires dead
authors".

The best dead author I ever knew was the one my same friend pointed out to me one day.
Her work was a mud puddle (about the same color as the art above) and the artist was his
daughter. This artist was so dead she didn't even know she was an artist. The only thing
that spoiled this perfection was her father's knowledge of it. "If she doesn't know she's
an artist, and you just told me she was; doesn't that make you the artist?", I said.
"It did, but now it's you". His daughter looked around, "I want my own chapel". He looked
down at her, "We're going to need more mud".

If an artist paints a great landscape, you can walk up to the painting and say, "that's a
great landscape". You don't need any additional contextual information (it's a Savrasov).

If an artist's painting looks like smeared mud, you can walk up to the painting and think
to yourself, "this fucking thing looks like smeared mud, but they've made them an alter
here in their shrine and if I fucking mention this they will fucking sacrifice me".

Rothko's paintings are NOT his art; they are symbols of it. The actual art is a
collaborative work of literature whose authors are the artist, art critics, gallery owners,
museum curators, owners, art historians, et al. It's conceptual (little 'c') art.

Sol LeWitt:
"In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an
artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are
made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that
makes the art."


Personally, being a big fan of literature, I tend to prefer art of this type. And, being
old-fashioned, I've reserved a special place in my heart for old-school Conceptual (big 'C')
artists.

Roy Ascott:
"Stop thinking about art works as objects, and start thinking about them as triggers
for experiences."


almost terse
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