Good evening. You’ll have to forgive me, I’ve got a technical problem with my voice. I hope you can hear me.
The Turner Prize is justly celebrated for raising all sorts of questions in the public mind about art, and its place in our public life. Unfortunately however, the intellectual climate surrounding the fine arts tends to so vaporous and self satisfied, that few of these questions are ever actually addressed, let alone answered.
Why is it that all of us here – presumably members of the arts community – probably know more about the currents of thought in contemporary science, than those in contemporary art? Why have the sciences yielded great explainers like Richard Dawkins and Stephen Gould, while the arts routinely produce some of the worst writing known to history?
Why has the contemporary art world been unable to articulate any kind of useable paradigm for what it’s doing now? I mean since Sir Kenneth Clark, what have we had?
I’m not saying that artists should explain their work, or that writers exist to explain it for them, but there could and should be a comprehensible public discussion about what art does for us, what is being learned from it, what it might enable us to do, or think or feel that we couldn’t before.
Most of the public skepticism of the arts is really an attempt to ask exactly those questions, and, instead of just priding ourselves on creating controversy by raising them, trying to answer a few might not be such a bad idea.
The sciences have risen to this challenge, and the book sales that those authors surely enjoy indicate a surprising public appetite for complex issues, the result of which has been a broadening social dialogue about the power and beauty and limits of science.
There’s been almost no equivalent in the arts. The making of new culture, which we do so well in England, is just about our only growth industry – aside from heritage, cream teas and land mines – but the lack of a clear connection between all that creative activity, and the mental life of the rest of society leaves the whole project poorly understood, poorly supported and poorly exploited. (In fact there was a cut for the Arts Council in the budget today I gather.)
But if we’re going to expect people to help fund the arts, whether through taxation or lotteries, then surely we owe them some attempt at an explanation of what value we think it might be for them. If I ever get a couple of minutes, I’ll have a go at doing that.
And now I’m very pleased to announce the winner of the 1995 Turner Prize – no, you only get two minutes here, that’s the rule – I know they were still debating this [one assumes the winner of the prize, not the public value of art – Rob] late this afternoon – and the winner is.. that staggeringly talentless shit-shaman Damien Hurst
/ on concept of worth as n relates to ideas
success is when the checks dont bounce
– ultra creepy pop ratist andy warhol
consider very concept of quote worth of ideas as philosophically dubious – based upon false assumption x attaching price tags to everything as good thing for hairless potentially intelligent partially evolved space apes living on large anonymous rock hurtling through / infinite biocosmic void
who wants to consider elves quote content creators – dim machines casually spewing / grinding out what sound like styrofoam packing peanuts
rather all good quote resarcs help deconstruct pithy intellectually stimulating / oddly humerus one off think pieces / bespoke thought experiments with dark clean edges x refresh neural palate
scenario/ in which ir – once again for something to do – pretend to pretend ir another amateur postmodern theorist regularly asked by imaginary friends / concerned strangers how do ir intend to earn enough to live from such robert what – whats ir business model
as elf styled ideas people who play with/in fuzzy notions conceptual approximations / shifting fields of distributed artistic possibility x often extreme challenge to define ones role / what one as apparently selling
easy to read sticky label of philosopher seems too vague artist far too idealistic – even cultural critic little too predictable
default question imposed by society – what do ir do needs strict clear definition – otherwise anyone could start being anything – or even consider question or even reject socio culturally defined role playing concepts like quote identity / quote job wow imagine x
ey already considered setting up account for donations – but paypal sucks / ugly yellow donate buttons often merely signal more effort ahead than currently worth summoning
ey also still unconvinced about idea of -post patronage / crowd funding since both are based on misunderstanding true interrelationships between people/ ideas do not belong to anybody but are more like neural lightning flashes in distributed cloud matrix or noosphere
current models / cultural myths like pay what ir want pay what ir can / even pay what ey would like to be paid all share same ideology – x of business/ of willingly being embedded in system of exchange which -always non freely quote offers very idea of exchange / worth as natural/tm
yet theres little x natural about getting paid/ what ir -think ir want as often never as important as whats often truly needed – understanding help human/e compassion
even loose talk of quote giving credit where x due as often merely another strict cultural command – subtle blackmailers threat to hand over ones moral wallet in apparent free exchange for reciprocal public reaping of perceived reputational profits – 404 link to dory coctorow site
only fluid processes mistakenly defined as quantifiable things are ever quote worth anything/ x meaning people need not just worth
yet as ever – at least so far there are still bills to pay – raw materials happily purchased from reputable vendors of quality wholesale goods at competitive market driven prices – within digital economy of information
based on what sum can afford prices for all virtual conceptual rat experiences on x site range from free to 60m ONO (all-in)
queue intellectual non copyright notice:
perception of monetary value / human value of perception – whole mere notion of intellectual copyright seems ugly joke too often perpetrated by greedy / egotistical
ironically n also indicates ir have not quote thought n through -intellectualized n enough
in which ideas / concepts seen at robert what dot com automatically release / escape into quote libre public domain by default aka no copyright – no licence – maximum play
as fellow ratist / resarc do not wait for robert what to tell ir how to use any / all immaterials seen sensed or conceptually imagined quote here
no one person quote invents anything/ ideas / concepts do not spring fully complete from anyones forehead like athena from zeus but rather seem inherently fuzzy / contested spaces / shared socio cultural practices
perhaps x not for artists to say if ir automatically quote deserve money or recognition from artistic ideas
feeling righteously defensive about ones arbitrary thought spew as aggressive feels largely non artistic – having said x of course x would feel real nice to move into proper house instead of living in x lousy cold rented flat with thin walls
talk of quote getting ir fair share / quote credit where credit as due also often feels simply rude
let ey not reduce co creative human endeavor to paltry commercial opportunity / complicity
ideas / concepts which might enhance lives / help people view world in positive alternative ways quote belong to nobody but everyone
n as in x open spirit of rat sharing / cooperation x site / everything here exists
play well/ abst0 – theorist for hire robert what
// how to play big science