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July 9, 2012 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Comedian Myq Kaplan starts a Kickstarter to Figure Out What Kickstarter Considers Art.

"My conceptual art project involves the raising of at least one dollar, which should be enough to buy one envelope and one stamp, which I will use to mail to Kickstarter's physical address, in order to inquire about the nature of art, or at least their definition, as to what qualifies as it, and whether this conceptual art project is indeed conceptual art."

It's already been fully funded.

More: Myq in the NYT
posted by Potomac Avenue (68 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is how singularity is reached. Matter collapsing into itself.
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 2:21 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Art
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:24 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, I really don't get what people find funny about Myq Kaplan. Being very plugged into in the Boston comedy scene, I've seen him perform several times, and his stories are just too implausible to be funny. For example, in "Mortified" (where people read from their real childhood journals) he would have the audience believe that his 7-year old self apparently wrote and talked exactly like he does today. Falsifying journals for a show that is specifically supposed to use truthful content? LAME.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 2:25 PM on July 9, 2012


I don't understand this. Does Kickstarter's defintion of "art" "matter?"

Is this some sort of perhaps clever allusion to Kickstarter's poor ontology?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:28 PM on July 9, 2012


Does Kickstarter's defintion of "art" "matter?"

"According to its guidelines, it seems that Kickstarter will only fund art that Kickstarter agrees is art."

Also, when I say "Knock Knock" it's supposed to imitate the sound of someone knocking on a door. Hence, you say: "Who's there?" And so forth.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:33 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's not conceptual art, that's Mail Art. Sheeesh.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:45 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know, I really don't get what people find funny about Myq Kaplan.

Well, his album Vegan Mind Meld is very enjoyable.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:50 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


he would have the audience believe that his 7-year old self apparently wrote and talked exactly like he does today

If there's anybody I would believe that of, it's Myq Kaplan (I mean, aside from all the people I would believe that of in an uncomplimentary way.) I think he's very funny, and I love the way his brain works.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:50 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah he is a favorite of mine too, I just think he moves into not-usually-comedy places to do some of his work. Hence this post.
posted by jessamyn at 3:13 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love that one of the $10,000 rewards is "Limited Reward (2147483647 of 2147483647 remaining)".
posted by grahamparks at 3:26 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If he sells all of them, he'll control about a third of gross world product.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:31 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


If a bunch of academics were to go to Kickstarter to get a journal issue funded, would it survive?

What about a conference?

What about a conference about crowdsourcing?

I'm... umm... asking for a friend.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:34 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yo: Indiegogo yo.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:35 PM on July 9, 2012


Some asshole is going to send him to China to find out what their definition of art is. (for $10k)
posted by b1tr0t at 4:31 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine tried to get their project (a clothing marketplace for gender-diverse people) on Kickstarter and got rejected because it wasn't "art" enough. She cobbled up her own crowdfunding system and received more than enough money to get the project going.
posted by divabat at 4:44 PM on July 9, 2012 [3 favorites]


too implausible to be funny

How many plausible individuals does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

One.
posted by DU at 4:48 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It would be nice if there was some interesting backstory to this, like links to some conceptual art projects that were rejected by Kickstarter. I mean, I don't know jack shit about Myq Kaplan, but Kickstarter's "Funding for projects only" guideline gives zero guidance about what Kickstarter counts as "art," except that, apparently, a "work" of some sort must be produced.

That's certainly a weird and completely unsupportable definition of art.
posted by mediareport at 4:50 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love that one of the $10,000 rewards is "Limited Reward (2147483647 of 2147483647 remaining)".

about that.
posted by fzx101 at 7:14 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


The more we raise the more art it is!
posted by Mike Mongo at 7:28 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't know much about art, but I know what I lyq.
posted by not_on_display at 8:12 PM on July 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


Few know this but Potomac Avenue actually financed this post with a Kickstarter seeking funding to determine how meta a Kickstarter post on Metafilter would have to be before it passed the no Kickstarter posts on Metafilter guideline. It took a few weeks but he ultimately succeeded in meeting his goal of five dollars (same as in town).
posted by nanojath at 8:47 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It would be awesome if they mailed him back like a fish.
posted by nanojath at 8:49 PM on July 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


Everything is true, but nothing is permitted.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:08 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Obligatory link to The Onion.
posted by ts;dr at 5:54 AM on July 10, 2012


Yo: Indiegogo yo.

Yeah, that's what we figured. I just can't figure out why that's the case. How is a journal less of a "project" than the 1141 novels and the 541 magazines people are looking to fund?
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:57 AM on July 10, 2012


Greetings! I have just joined this community.

A couple things...

1) I appreciate the support, kind words, and enjoyment of those who are supplying those things. Thanks very much, and feel free to spread the word to those who might feel similarly.

2) If they mail me back a fish, I agree that that would be noteworthy.

3) For those that don't know jack shit about Myq Kaplan, and want to, feel free to ask questions.

4) That Onion clip is funny.

5) Regarding the one or two times that I read things at Mortified, if you have a memory of me saying I was quoting my seven-year-old self, you are mistaken. I know for sure that I didn't start writing anything that I could have shared there until I was at least a teenager, and most of the early teenage writings I created were lost on old computer hard drives that died. So most likely the writings came from an older teenaged me, closer to adult me than a seven-year-old. That said, not everyone has to enjoy everything that any particular person does, but I did just want to set the record straight there. (Also, the times I performed at Mortified represent a small, proper fraction of one percent of the times I've performed in total, and thus I would say even if you DIDN'T enjoy what I did there, that is a poor representation of what I have done in the decade of performing surrounding that experience.)

6) Having just joined this community without fully knowing its mores, rules, customs, etc., I hope what I've said has come across as some positive combination of friendly, informative, and entertaining. If not, throw apologetic in there.

Thanks again for having me! And thanks for the album plug. And for talking about me in general.

Enjoy good things!
posted by MyqKaplan at 9:02 AM on July 10, 2012 [18 favorites]


Ha! Hiya, Myq.
posted by cortex at 9:49 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hello, Cortex! Thanks for your "Ha!" So far, this is a pleasant, welcoming experience (which I don't always presume to expect from words on the internet.)
posted by MyqKaplan at 10:04 AM on July 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am listening to "Vegan Mind Meld" right now! I am reading and listening to Myq at the same time! Creepy!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:37 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hello, Pink Superhero! I apologize for adding spaces to your name and subtracting an article.

I am typing to you right now while BEING Myq Kaplan. Creepier?


PS If someone gave me $10,000 and said I had to go to China, I would. I'm pretty sure there's somewhere in there that I could make it in, make the letter go out, and still make a profit. Maybe I should have specified that I will only go places where they have commercial airports. Oh well, next time, if I live long enough.
posted by MyqKaplan at 11:41 AM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Getting to China on that budget is easy. Getting to North Korea is harder. Getting to the top of Everest is even harder, but since there isn't a post office there it probably doesn't count. Everest base camp has a post office, however.

Oooooh, Tristan da Cunha sounds like a good bet. It's only accessible by boat, is nearly 3000 miles away from the nearest land, and has a post office.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 1:55 PM on July 10, 2012


There's are post office at Port Lockroy, Antarctica... that's where I'd plump for if I had a spare ten grand knocking about (unfortunately I'm not in the 1%)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:14 PM on July 10, 2012


As a funder of a conceptual art project on Kickstarter to determine what Kickstarter determines to be conceptual art, can i now claim to be a funder of the arts, conceptually?

Or is the concept that it's conditional on Kickstarter's response to the conceptual art project on Kickstarter?
posted by luvrhino at 5:20 PM on July 10, 2012


Quantum patronage. Whether you are a forward-looking supporter of the arts are a fairweather friend will only be decided when Kickstarter collapses the waveform. Until then it's just superposition and suspense.
posted by cortex at 5:26 PM on July 10, 2012


Regarding Tristan da Cunha, if it's only accessible by boat, then it doesn't fit the category of "I will fly anywhere in the world," unless you have a flying boat.

On the subject of quantum patronage and the other stuff Cortex said that I will pretend to understand, I believe you are right! Or wrong! Or right and wrong at the same time. In a box.

And finally, if someone provides ten grand for a trip to Antarctica, I would surely take it.

Love,
Myq


PS Luvrhino, I believe I covered the answer to that question over on the AST board. Unless this is part of a new conceptual project that YOU are starting, in which case, happy to be a part of it.

PPS Good work, Metafilter. I just started being a part of you, and you're already beating Reddit's thread on this same topic, quantity-wise. And maybe quality as well. Quality and/or quantity, in a box with a cat.
posted by MyqKaplan at 9:51 PM on July 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hi Myq, your responses in that reddit thread are very funny, especially when you say "Surprise!". Thanks for giving me a favorite! I enjoy very much your manner of typing and hope that you will stick around here to discuss other things besides how great we all know you to be.

Anyway, if you get a response from Kickstarter, will you post it on Kickstarter, or will that break the site somehow? Is part of the comment of this piece that Art is in fact whatever the ruling body says it is? Are we living in 1984, the novel, not the year? These are my questions. Good night.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:04 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


For those that don't know jack shit about Myq Kaplan, and want to, feel free to ask questions.

How do you feel about cap and trade? Is it ever okay to wear socks with sandals? Also, I may or may not have left my declawed cat out on the counter in a box overnight. Should I eat it? If I do eat it, but I never open my eyes to see if it's actually in the box and I never step on a scale afterward, do the calories really exist, or will my digestive system be left forever in a state of quantum flux. I'm just asking for a friend. She's from Canada.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:55 PM on July 11, 2012 [4 favorites]


For some reason he reminds me faintly of Miguel Cardoso.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:57 PM on July 11, 2012


MyqKaplan, I've enjoyed hearing your appearances on many comedy podcasts! I hope you'll feel free to stick around Metafilter.

By the way, are you planning to publicize the answer your receive from Kickstarter, or will you distribute it exclusively to your $1 (and up) backers?
posted by sleevener at 6:41 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Potomac, you're welcome and thank you. I am writing to tell you that I am glad that my writing makes you glad. (There is some more of that manner of typing. Surprise! Or not this time.)

I will make no promises about how many other things I will comment on besides myself and things related to myself, because I am often busy with my own self things, but I do also like cool things that are not myself, so I'll keep an open mind.

Now, to answer the questions that have been asked! With numbered answers, even though the questions are not numbered...

1) Regarding cap and trade, I believe I am for it as compared to doing nothing, but also more for a complete overhaul of the system that some critics think necessary, as indicated by Wikipedia. Is that cheating a little? Or is it honest to admit that I cheated a little? Can't it be both? (Do people still say "can't it be both," or is saying it over? PS Can't it be both, quantum-style?)

2) It is sometimes okay to wear socks and sandals. Firstly it depends on what you mean by "okay." Ethically, for sure. Aesthetically, if you are alone or don't care what people think of you.

3) You should not eat that cat. The calories do exist, AND your system will be in a state of quantum flux. It can be both!

4) I do plan to publicize the answer I receive. Not sure how exactly, but I'm not a big secret-keeper (shh, don't tell anyone)!

Thanks for having me! I do feel free to stick around, and hope to! Also, a question for you (someone): am I using this website right? Or is there something else I should be doing besides marking things as favorite and then writing lots of things in this box?
posted by MyqKaplan at 10:25 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


that is exactly how to use the site.


also, oh god, i'm that person doing an inside joke in response to someone new, but...

metafilter: marking things as favorite and then writing lots of things in this box
posted by nadawi at 2:36 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Be sure to listen to Myq's episode of Never Not Funny.

Or at least read the show notes at NeverNotNotes.com. (Sadly, this was among the episodes I did not have time to give the full treatment, so we just have the in-studio notes.)
posted by The Deej at 5:57 AM on July 12, 2012


Thanks, The Deej, for saying to listen to my NNF episode, or the read the NNNs...
Though I would say, having just read those, not previously having known they existed, that they don't offer quite as thorough an experience of the hour-plus chat that the episode was, in the minute-minus time it took to glance through those notes. So, if you have the opportunity, I recommend listening. It was a lot of fun doing the talking, and I've heard that listening is fun as well. (Maybe that will be my new podcast name... Hearing about Listening.)

And Nadawi, is your joke so inside that I can't figure out what's an inside joke about it? I like it, and almost thought you were making an acronym out of Metafilter's letters using my words... which is what I will now do...
Metafilter: Marking EveryThing As Favorite, I like To Earn Respect


PS I don't have a podcast yet, but I do have a lot of podcast names I'm considering. I'm pretty sure that's the right way to go about it. Think of a million names, plan to start a podcast, and then either the podcast will be dead or I will be.
posted by MyqKaplan at 6:36 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Myq, the trick with the "Metafilter:...." thing is to use someone else's words as a description of the site as a whole. Since we all hate it here, the resulting characterizations of the site range from the excoriating to the merely exfoliating. Like if I were to use something from your comment (which I WON'T, because I consider this overplayed insidejokery to be beneath me), I'd probably go with:

Metafilter: so inside that I can't figure out what it's an inside joke about.
posted by sleevener at 6:58 AM on July 12, 2012


or woops, misquoted you. See, this is why I don't do this. Try two:

Metafilter: so inside that I can't figure out what's an inside joke about it
posted by sleevener at 6:59 AM on July 12, 2012


You're welcome Myq.

And on the episodes where I DO give the full Never Notes Treatment, sometimes it takes longer to read the notes than to listen to the episode.

Assuming you read extrememly slowly.
posted by The Deej at 7:17 AM on July 12, 2012


We do love our inside jokes here. Fortunately, there is a guide for the perplexed.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:02 AM on July 12, 2012


Thanks for the guide! An inside joke situation where everyone is invited in! Eventually inside jokes will just be called jokes, and all other jokes will be called "outside jokes."

Ooh, maybe my podcast or next CD will be called "Outside Jokes."
posted by MyqKaplan at 8:48 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I'm wishing I'd paid attention to the links at the top. I won't now, though, because this thread is more interesting.

Make of that what you will, mefi. I dare you.

Myq, how would you pronounce "mefi"?
posted by oddman at 8:58 AM on July 12, 2012


Myq, don't do it, it's a trap!

I'm kidding, of course, but know on that some bright and beautiful day, long after our children's children have determined whether cat-declawing is the height of civilization or the depths of barbaric cruelty, and when we have described in detail a solution to the Israel-Palestine issue that leaves literally every single person in the world happier and better off, and after we have agreed to disagree silently on the circumcision business and when we know for sure whether it is better to use vi or emacs when writing the definitive answer to whether it is copying or copyright that is more like theft, we will still argue over what is the correct pronunciation of "mefi". A minute ago you could live in blissful ignorance, but your actions in the next few moments will determine the course of your life forever.
posted by gauche at 9:17 AM on July 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


Outside Jokes in my Inside Voice
The Comedy Stylings of Myq Kaplan

posted by The Deej at 10:11 AM on July 12, 2012


I understand that it is a trap. I hope I can trap us all together.

Obviously there are many possibilities.

It could use the vowel sounds in Meta and Filter, and thus be Meh-Fih.
Fih is weird though, and they don't do that in SciFi, so maybe it is Meh-FIE (which also works if you are saying it as an abbreviation of Mekhi Phifer).
Or it could be Latin style, May-fee.
Or possibly Me-Fie, like hifi but me instead of hi.
Or me-fee (which works because I did have to pay a fee to join this community).

Are those all the options? I pick whichever one is your favorite. Or if you like something else, then that one too.

Welcome to our trap!
posted by MyqKaplan at 4:01 PM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Those are all options! There are more attested options still, in fact; I think iamkimiam mentions 8 different forms in her presentation here on the process of enregisterment of pronunciations of mefi (and mefite) as an aspect of community interactions. Fuck yeah graduate studies!
posted by cortex at 4:16 PM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


I pick whichever one is your favorite.

cortex and I have both worked here for over six years and we disagree on the pronunciation but I am glad you agree with me.
posted by jessamyn at 6:19 PM on July 12, 2012


I am so happy today.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:25 AM on July 13, 2012


Or it could be Latin style, May-fee.

Reading the word in my mind, I don't use the Latin pronunciation, but I think I am going to start. I think the theory will be that it's a second declension singular noun which only has plural forms, which seems to me to fit the idea of a community weblog. Thus mefi, meforum, &c.

Maybe mefus, mefi (singular) originally had some other meaning that is now mostly lost but the plural of which is conceptually related to ... well, whatever it is we do here.

Thus, for instance, there was at one time "mefus: Where you go for one-liners" which became, over time, "mefi: an otherwise indomitable and homogeneous phalanx of silly youtubery or whatever."
posted by gauche at 10:33 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had never known about MePhiD before. Awesome.

You know what? You've sold me, gauche. I've always gone with Me-Fie, but your case is compelling. May-fie it is! It sounds best to me now.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:52 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm happy that all this is happening.

PS I now pronounce "happening" as "happy-ning."
posted by MyqKaplan at 11:09 AM on July 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Welcome to our trap!
posted by not_on_display at 11:33 AM on July 13, 2012


PS I now pronounce "happening" as "happy-ning."

Yeah, that's not going to, um, happen.
posted by gauche at 11:48 AM on July 13, 2012


Sorry, but I'm not sure we should let a guy who spells Mike with a Y and a Q tell us how to pronounce MeFi.

(Which is clearly pronounced "Me-Fie")
posted by bondcliff at 12:28 PM on July 13, 2012


You're not going to let me tell you that you should pronounce it however you want? And then you go on and pronounce it however you want?

Welcome to my trap!
posted by MyqKaplan at 12:42 PM on July 13, 2012


YOUR NOT THE BOSS OF ME!
posted by bondcliff at 12:46 PM on July 13, 2012


....fie
posted by not_on_display at 9:19 PM on July 13, 2012


I've always pronounced it "blue fish."
posted by oddman at 6:18 PM on July 16, 2012


I like Oddman's way!

(Also all the other ways.)
posted by MyqKaplan at 7:42 PM on July 17, 2012


Now that that's settled, let's discuss how to pronounce "Myq."

I vote that it rhymes with "I.Q."
posted by The Deej at 6:01 AM on July 18, 2012


I like it!

(Some people do call me that, which I don't mind at all. Some people just say all the letters, and once a guy did that but abbreviated it and just went with "Em-Why." Also fine by me.)

Have at it, anyone or no one!


PS I pronounce "The Deej" something like "Tee Hee, de Edge!" (T-he de ej).
posted by MyqKaplan at 1:58 PM on July 18, 2012


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