Sunday, July 15, 2012

Artful Facade

If I were to write a story that had already been written verbatim. Or if I were to write a story nearly identically to another.

And if I knew nothing of the original story's presence, what does that make my story? What value does it have? Is it original? What does that mean for the effort I put in? What if I copied Moby Dick or War And Peace? Is that more valuable than another copy? How many authors does the book have now?

I guess the point is Dada. Or rather, that art only has the value that we say it does. And that people are suckers for crap if it sounds deep and meaningful.

What we really enjoy is less the art and more the history and visibility of the piece. I value immensely any art that is related to my friends, family, or me. I value it simply because there is a connection that I recognize and take solace in.

What if a fake Picasso fell into your hands? What if you were the only person in the entire world who knew that the painting was fake? How would you value the piece? What if critics believed it to be Picasso's finest work and valued it as the most expensive and important piece of art in the entirety of human civilization—perhaps an exaggeration but I'm sure you can follow. But what does that mean for the art itself?

And how would you feel?

What if the ruse were revealed; how would the world react? Would the piece still be important? Would people still value it?

I think it's safe to say that we—humanity—can be kind of full of ourselves sometimes.

I was at University Village today. It's a big outdoor mall that is really nice and very safe for white children. Ciera went to the Mac store. A giant 50% grey building with squares and a glass front door. It has the Apple logo on it. Across the street was the Microsoft store. It is a giant 20% grey building with squares and a glass front door. It has the Windows logo on it.

And that brought the entire Mac v PC debate into sharp focus. We're all full of crap on this one. It's just stuff we use to do stuff and there is no 'culture' or some philosophy that will make us better people. It's just stuff. If we want to improve our lives, it won't be because we favor 50% grey over 20% grey (the real grey).