Conceptual Art Is Misunderstod.

Those that support conceptual art (performance art, video art, social sculpture, happenings etc.) art are mocked by those that do not understand it…and the myth of disbelief, shock, and awe is perpetuated by popular media.

Mimicry is common BECAUSE there is a long history of conceptual art, even when it’s lost.

Shovel by bsabarnowl

Shovel by bsabarnowl

The concepts surrounding this type of art are not new…specifically Praxis’ work MONA: Museum of Non-Visible Art is based on its predecessors. They generated support for their museum in a contemporary way through Kickstarter with the video below:

Even the name Praxis is a lifted reference.

The history of conceptual art that James Franco tries to explain (the fellow on the Jimmy Kimmel Show) has strong roots in the Bay Area, as does video art. That’s why I chose to study for my MFA in New Genres at the San Francisco Art Institute. The Bay Area boasts artists: Tony Labat, Linda Montano, Doug Hall (AntFarm), Sharon Grace, Paul Kos, David Ireland, Karen Finley, and many, many more.

The Museum of Conceptual Art was created by one of my mentors, Tom Marioni. Tom is a big fan of Marcel Duchamp and the Readymade. represents 12 years of conceptual art education and I’m constantly asked, what for?

Simply, as Cathy Malchiodi writes, the massively important restoring power of imagination.

The phrases “art heals” and “art saves” have become ubiquitous and will continue to circulate; like many catch-phrases, they are just too cool to go away. Like any popular slogans, they blur real meaning; in this case the actual purpose of art is often forgotten.

Cathy summarizes further synthesizes and interprets Ellen Dissanayake’s book What is Art For?

1) Makes life special.
2) Engages the senses.
3) Involves rituals.
4) Enhances community.

When was the last time you went to an art show and got an experience, a prize, a few bucks, and a great story and thought differently about the present moment you just experienced. Free Memory. Free Money. Free Ideas…and a 2 minute smile free from economic stress. Or was it referencing the financial collapse, throwing money in a hole, and making peons work for it doing crazy tasks that don’t mean anything by diverting their own lust for financial gain? Why did they follow the rules of the over arching system? The title of the piece of mine is “Free Money, Sticky Fingers” made at SomArts. Check out their open call for more art in the hole.

Sound like art?

Sound like MTV’s Jackass?

Sound like conceptual art?

Is everything art?

Is everyone an artist?

That’s why I can auction a crispy 100 bill and get $115.00 for it and be present in hundreds of people’s minds.

Thank you R. Mutt

When critiquing or defending artwork remember three core concepts: intent (what did the artist want to express), context (where, when, and who are they showing it to), and liability (will it put the artist or anyone else in danger, will it cost money from the artist or public, does it exclude anyone, does the artist take responsibility for the piece).

It all matters. Or maybe the medium is the message, or maybe the medium is the massage.

What an Obama Administration Means for the Arts

Americans for the Arts Action Fund President and CEO Robert L. Lynch gave the following statement on the results of Election Day:

“The historic election of Sen. Barack Obama to be the 44th president of the United States will have tremendous impact on the nation’s arts community, public schools, and creative workforce. His commitment to arts and arts education on the campaign trail is just a preview of what his administration can accomplish.  President-Elect Obama demonstrates the leadership and vision to advance the arts in America through investing in more arts education in public schools, advocating for increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, promoting cultural diplomacy, and supporting artists rights.

Yesterday’s election results also expanded the base of support for the arts in Congress, which will help move arts and arts education initiatives through the legislative process. Initiatives that will fuel innovation and creativity are key to our economic recovery and global competitiveness. A new report issued last month by The Conference Board, “Ready to Innovate,” touts the importance of arts education in building the 21st-century workforce.  The arts are good for business, good for the economy, and good for the spirit.

In this election, the Americans for the Arts Action Fund raised the public dialogue about the arts and arts education throughout the entire campaign cycle: from presidential primaries in New Hampshire to congressional races in all 50 states. Through our ArtsVote2008 initiative, we successfully advocated for presidential and congressional candidates to make strong, public statements and commitments in support of arts and arts education.  Please view our multimedia timeline for further details on ArtsVote.

On the state and local front, our arts advocacy partners successfully engaged candidates and voters throughout the country to provide more support for the arts. Specifically in Minnesota, an historic statewide ballot initiative—the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment—passed amending the state constitution to dedicate a portion of sales tax to support its natural and cultural resources.  This initiative will infuse $30 million alone to Minnesota cultural organizations, nearly tripling the current budget of the State Arts Board.  An additional $10 million to $20 million will fund arts education programs, the Minnesota Historical Society, and other local historical societies.  This continues the longstanding trend demonstrating that voters are willing to invest in public funding of the arts.”

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