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This post made with influences as diverse as Nietzsche and John Cage
June 16, 2011 3:32 PM   Subscribe

Need to make an artist statement but not feeling artisty enough? Use the Arty Bollocks Generator to generate one instantly.
posted by mccarty.tim (49 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Metafilter: Arty Bollocks Generator
posted by chavenet at 3:35 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


My work explores the relationship between acquired synesthesia and midlife subcultures.
posted by rtha at 3:36 PM on June 16, 2011


It's more fun if you imagine the art project is Human Centipede: First Sequence.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:38 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Saw this earlier today at Marginal Revolution, with the comment "I want one of these for statements of teaching philosophy." (At least in my subject, they all seem to be the same, because mathematicians don't seem to be good at articulating what their teaching philosophy is.)

My work explores the relationship between kittens on the Internet and awesome.
posted by madcaptenor at 3:40 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


thank you, mccarty.tim. I feel better prepared now.
posted by philip-random at 3:45 PM on June 16, 2011


My work explores the relationship between postmodern discourse and midlife subcultures.
With influences as diverse as Derrida and John Lennon, new tensions are crafted from both traditional and modern meanings.
Ever since I was a child I have been fascinated by the ephemeral nature of the mind. What starts out as vision soon becomes corrupted into a tragedy of lust, leaving only a sense of what could have been and the prospect of a new synthesis.
As temporal forms become frozen through boundaried and diverse practice, the viewer is left with an impression of the limits of our future.

Wow. Yep, that's what my work done do, alrighty.
posted by likeso at 3:45 PM on June 16, 2011


Also, I just took a look at a research statement I wrote a while ago. It starts "My work is at the interface of X, Y, and Z."
posted by madcaptenor at 3:48 PM on June 16, 2011


This could have saved me so much time in Art School


oh hey you want me in your alumni magazine? Give me the degree I earned that you fucked up! No? Oh welllllll<>
posted by The Whelk at 3:54 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Need to make an artist statement but not feeling artisty enough? Use the Arty Bollocks Tumblr.
posted by Fizz at 3:55 PM on June 16, 2011


My work explores the relationship between the tyranny of ageing and skateboard ethics.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:57 PM on June 16, 2011


OH LOOK A MARKOV TEXT GENERATOR MAKES PLAUSIBLE SOUNDING NONSENSE ABOUT ART.

THAT MUST INVALIDATE THE ENTIRE FIELD'S INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL WORTH.

Baby-with-bathwater filter or what?
posted by lalochezia at 4:13 PM on June 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


My work explores the relationship between emerging sexualities and multimedia experiences.

You guys, I think my work is about furries.
posted by Nattie at 4:18 PM on June 16, 2011 [5 favorites]


Not even a markov.
---

My work explores the relationship between A
With influences as diverse as B, new C.
Ever since I was a teenager/child I have been fascinated by D. What starts out as E soon becomes corrupted/corroded into a F, leaving only a sense G.
As H become I , the viewer is left with J.

---

My work explores the intersection of lazy text insertion with web 2.0 snark.
posted by lalochezia at 4:19 PM on June 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


lalochezia: thanks for unpacking it like that. I was going to but now I don't have to.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:23 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yaknow.... I think once can appreciate art and even be part of the art community and find this somewhat striking true. I don't it says anything about art's moral and intellectual worth. I do think it says something about how to many people write about art.

writing about /= the thing.
posted by edgeways at 4:32 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


maybe i've helped edit too many artists statements for friends but if you find this insulting or something have a sense of humor and get over yourselves

its funny
posted by nathancaswell at 4:34 PM on June 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't think it's insulting, I just don't think it was very well done.

It was amusing at first when the first couple of text insertions seemed kind of clever, but it only really cycles through a very limited number of options, none of them that brilliant separately and even less collectively so by the third pass through, so it's really kinda of meh.

I wanted it to be a lot better, but life is funny like that.
posted by stagewhisper at 4:54 PM on June 16, 2011


Artist Statements are just an odd bit of bureaucratic formality that no one seems to enjoy at either end.
posted by The Whelk at 5:02 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of Thane Plambeck's prison break story generator which he always referred to when a real one came around. (His explanation of the program's development.)
posted by pjenks at 5:14 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


My work explores the intersection of lazy text insertion with web 2.0 snark.

It's only lazy because the target is so large and obvious. I could jump on the bus right now and find half a block's worth of similar examples in the windows of the local property tax haven art school. Maybe the art world has gotten a little carried away with the whole branding thing.
posted by anigbrowl at 5:17 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also unimpressed. Someone at work 10 years ago made a Mission Statement Generator that was better thought out and at least had longer variable lists. The best part was that people actually started using it - until one of the managers found out that they'd used it for a whole layer of mission statements. Which are still in place.
posted by sneebler at 5:21 PM on June 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


My work explores the relationship between me and your mom.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:26 PM on June 16, 2011 [11 favorites]


"Artie Bollocks" would have been a good name for a member of the Bonzos, although it would never have held a candle to the real-life magnificence of Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell.
posted by Decani at 5:40 PM on June 16, 2011


Since before I was a zygote I've always been fascinated by the ever-shifting paradigm between artsy and fartsy.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:07 PM on June 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


All too amusing if you have to crank the damn things out. Here's a serious and useful discussion about them. I think the arty bollocks one would benefit from being integrated with one of the "find your pirate name" generators but that's just me.
posted by leslies at 6:14 PM on June 16, 2011


So basically that thing quotes speeches from business leaders and politicans?
posted by elpapacito at 6:18 PM on June 16, 2011


It's vaguely amusing. I prefer John Waters' approach. He narrated his audio tour of his "Absentee Landlord" exhibit in Pig Latin.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:50 PM on June 16, 2011


dead god I understand this: My work explores the relationship between postmodern discourse and life as perfomance.

With influences as diverse as Derrida and Frida Kahlo, new combinations are crafted from both traditional and modern meanings.

Ever since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the traditional understanding of relationships. What starts out as hope soon becomes corroded into a tragedy of greed, leaving only a sense of decadence and the chance of a new reality.

As spatial phenomena become frozen through diligent and critical practice, the viewer is left with an impression of the limits of our condition.


I was in an art school for half a semester. Didn't really care. For one assignment I wrote 'Tom Waits For No Man' on posterboard with colored electrical tape. Got a B+. Turned out I was referencing the homemade nature of Tom Waits' music and not making a bad pun.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:17 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


plausible sounding bullshit used to sell stuff that may or may not be bullshit is endemic to every field
posted by LogicalDash at 7:28 PM on June 16, 2011


This brings back happy memories of writing fake manifestos and art reviews while in art school. My friends and I went so far as to invent artists, document work, and write gushing but vapid criticism. It was a way to entertain each other while venting student angst, and a way to satirize the Art Establishment. Combating the excesses of artspeak by rendering bullshit for bullshit is cathartic and hilarious. Artists generating snarky nonsense to fight other artists generating pompous nonsense is great fun.

And it is a legitimate weapon of choice, if you are a fucking amateur.

I love artist's statements. I'm not being contrarian, I understand why they get a lot of hate, but frankly, the haters are missing out on some good stuff. A well crafted statement can be very engaging, and while they shouldn't be an absolute necessity, they can add insight into a body of work. They are difficult to write. It is a balancing act of being concise, nuanced, and expansive. Writing an artist's statement with conviction and clarity is risky, it is intentionally making something available to be judged by the both the general public and special interest group, and doubly so, with the statement and the art itself. Writing an artist's statement with disingenuous jargon is not clever or rebellious, it is indicative that an artist is reaffirming institutionalized valuelessness, it is reflecting emptiness. It is boring.

tl,dr: Artist's statements can be used to state something meaningful, and artist's statements can blah blah blah big words; choose your own adventure.
posted by Benjamin Nushmutt at 8:02 PM on June 16, 2011


"It was amusing at first when the first couple of text insertions seemed kind of clever, but it only really cycles through a very limited number of options, none of them that brilliant separately and even less collectively so by the third pass through, so it's really kinda of meh."

Modern art commentary in a nutshell.
posted by joannemullen at 8:15 PM on June 16, 2011


tl,dr: Artist's statements can be used to state something meaningful, and artist's statements can blah blah blah big words; choose your own adventure.

Nushmutt's enthralling monologue was packed with pithy punctuation, slamming home a lonely seagull's cry for relevance and posture while maintaining a simmering undercurrent of barely-veiled contempt for the glibness of the military industrial complex; stones of edificial anger awash in a numbing sea of sound bytes, the final crash imploring us to contemplate and engage with a literary future ripe with promise but fraught with dead ends.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:53 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, thank goodness, joan, that we're now in the era of contemporary art, with the scourge of modern art ending somewhere in the 70s, and leaving behind the ghastly horrors that were Picasso and Van Gogh.

Or did you mean contemporary art, but were just offering a dtive-by, shallow jokey one-liner?
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:16 PM on June 16, 2011


Dude. I went to Architecture school. I do this for a living!
posted by tabubilgirl at 9:17 PM on June 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think an excellent follow-up project would be to assign some generated statements to some willing artists, and get them to each construct a body of work that matches their fake statement.
posted by Joh at 9:34 PM on June 16, 2011


Someone at work 10 years ago made a Mission Statement Generator that was better thought out and at least had longer variable lists.

Oh how I have used this over the years...
posted by Mike Mongo at 10:10 PM on June 16, 2011


I love this. Reminds me of the dack.com web economy bullshit generator from back in the 90s.

My wife works in the art world, partly at a gallery that, if they realised that they are a form of shop and therefore need to make art accessible rather than hide it behind / attempt to mediate it through stuff like this, would actually make a ton more money for the owners and artists than it currently does. I read artist statements there all the time and usually I just want to roll them up and hit the artist with them (gently, don't panic) until they realise that.

Large-scale / abstract / public ? These help. Stuff for people to buy and put on the wall / bookcase? Not so much. Here in the UK there's a lot of artists who want to make a living from what they do but won't accept that to do so they ought to make stuff that enough people like and can afford, and personally I think artist statements can encourage them to be too inward looking and forget about that. My tuppence worth, at least.
posted by dowcrag at 12:36 AM on June 17, 2011


Artist's statements are usually pretty terrible. Not because art as a field is invalid but because if you wanted to express something that could be summed up lucidly in a few paragraphs of text why would you go to all the hard work of trying to create visual art? If you were the kind of person who particularly excelled at concisely articulating very abstract ideas in text it is unlikely (but not impossible) that you would develop the visual vocabulary to attempt to articulate the same ideas in images?
posted by I Foody at 5:38 AM on June 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ha. Ran it six times, and no "hermeneutic(s)" or "transgressive"? FAIL.
posted by Herodios at 6:56 AM on June 17, 2011


Dude. I went to Architecture school. I do this for a living!
Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, philistine pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage. You sit there on your loathsome, spotty behinds squeezing blackheads, not caring a tinker's cuss for the struggling artist. You excrement! You whining, hypocritical toadies, with your colour TV sets and your Tony Jacklin golf clubs and your bleeding Masonic secret handshakes! You wouldn't let me join, would you, you blackballing bastards! Well, I wouldn't become a freemason now if you went down on your lousy, stinking knees and begged me!
posted by Herodios at 6:57 AM on June 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's actually a been lot of great writing by artists that describes their working processes and documents there creative investigations. This is one standard textbook collection for anyone interested. As mentioned by a few people above, it's tough to compress those kinds of descriptions into one or two long paragraphs without using the sort of shorthand artspeaky references to theory or philosophical concerns that plague most contemporary art statements.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:17 AM on June 17, 2011


So why compress them? If people are going to write something, it should be comprehensible. Paper is cheap.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:10 AM on June 17, 2011


A lot of artists statements are intended for funding purposes or for attracting the attention of galleries, and have their own special language. It's perfe tly comprehensible in those contexts, but, unfortunately, these same statements are also provided to the public, who don't make use of the same specialized language.

The same thing often happens with theater mission statements. All of it should be rewritten for public consumption.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:37 AM on June 17, 2011


"So why compress them? If people are going to write something, it should be comprehensible. Paper is cheap.

Because almost every application for every grant, graduate school, gallery show, online registry, off-line registry, etc. has a set word count that they require for artist statements. I've never met an artist who didn't want to roll around on the ground in agony every time they were required to write or update one.
posted by stagewhisper at 2:57 PM on June 17, 2011


stagewhisper: that's a good point. I don't think I've ever wanted to roll around in agony when writing applications with word limits, but sometimes I have wanted to vomit.
posted by madcaptenor at 3:14 PM on June 17, 2011


The requisite "Artist's Statement", imho, encapsulates everything the general public dislikes (and distrusts) about contemporary/modern/post-modern/post-ironic/whatever/etc. art. Just once, I'd love to read an artist's statement that simply said "I just wanted to do some green paintings".
posted by Thorzdad at 6:08 AM on June 18, 2011


lalochezia, you seem to be imposing your own paranoid view on a mildly entertaining, disposable web meme. What about this suggests that it is trying to invalidate "THE ENTIRE FIELD'S INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL WORTH"? It sounds like you 'unpacked' this and then found a strawman in the corner of the suitcase.
posted by mattholomew at 9:47 AM on June 18, 2011


Reminds me of a less refined version of the Postmodern Essay generator.
posted by vckeating at 6:44 AM on June 19, 2011


but it only really cycles through a very limited number of options, none of them that brilliant separately and even less collectively so by the third pass through, so it's really kinda of meh.

Sounds like you have never been to an art opening before. Or, alternately, you have.
posted by joe lisboa at 4:17 PM on June 22, 2011


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