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banksy has freed his bits
January 18, 2007 11:55 PM   Subscribe

Banksy is giving away images of his work under the following terms and conditions: Everything in the shop is free. All the images can be downloaded to print or use as a desktop. Serving suggestion: Prints look best when done on gloss paper using the company printer ink when everyone else is at lunch. Please do not use this service to launch your own poster company or t-shirt line.
posted by donovan (64 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thanks, donovan. The kissing cops is fun :-)
posted by Goofyy at 12:37 AM on January 19, 2007


Images on the internet I can download and print for free? And stick it to the man at the same time? Thanks banksy!
posted by cillit bang at 1:00 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't totally go for Charlie Brooker's columns, but his piece on Banksy's rubbishness (this piece) rocked my world. Sample para: 'Wham! The message hits you like a lead bus: America ... um ... war ... er ... Disney ... and stuff. Wow. In an instant, your worldview changes forever. Your eyes are opened. Staggering away, mind blown, you flick v-signs at a Burger King on the way home. Nice one Banksy! You've shown us the truth, yeah?'
posted by Mocata at 1:12 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


In other news, plenty of other people are giving away images of his work for free too.
posted by flashboy at 1:28 AM on January 19, 2007


Awesome. I just saw this one a couple of nights ago. It's on Chalk Farm Road. It's pretty heavily damaged these days. Stupid vandals. (heh)
posted by Optamystic at 1:37 AM on January 19, 2007


If Banksy vandalises my building, and I then photograph said building, stick the photo on a T-shirt and make millions, will Banksy come after me for the royalties?
posted by Harald74 at 1:41 AM on January 19, 2007


No, but he'll probably sneak into your office and illicitly use the colour photocopier. Ha! That'll show you!
posted by flashboy at 1:45 AM on January 19, 2007


Yeah, Banksy is the lowest-common-denominator model of what political art can be. It's not bad, necessarily, just entirely forgettable.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:51 AM on January 19, 2007


Mocata, yes, heaven forbid that art be accessible or, worse yet, funny to the average Joe.

I believe Art (notice the capital letter) should be locked away in galleries where only people who truly understand art can truly appreciate it without the unwashed masses getting in the way.

The article you link to proves the point: the fat-arsed, berk-pleasing rubbishness of Banksy. Berk-pleasing = not art. 'Looking cool' is not enough to be art. It has to Mean Something(TM) too. I'd rather smile at a Banksy joke than go 'hmmm' for an hour at the latest serious contemporary art of blood & semen in a blender.

In summation, fuck off back to the Saatchi Gallery you elitist prick.
posted by slimepuppy at 1:58 AM on January 19, 2007 [13 favorites]


Those of you who are dismissing Banksy seem to have forgotten to link to your entirely unforgettable, really and for truly subversive portfolios, the artistic and satirical brilliance of which will be celebrated far and wide, and when word of it reaches him, cause this Banksy charlatan to never again darken the door of a paint store.

Links please. I look forward to being sunburnt by the radiance of your genius.
posted by Optamystic at 2:04 AM on January 19, 2007 [5 favorites]


Wow. The Wikipedia Defense is being used to defend artists now, too.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:23 AM on January 19, 2007


By which I mean, "Why are you complaining? Why haven't you done any better?" Which seems like an egalitarian argument, but is really extremely elitist.

The argument implies that even to criticize--even to dislike--another artist, we must prove ourselves to be better than him/her. I can't imagine a proof that would be good enough, or who would judge it.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:31 AM on January 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


Please don't try to use Banksy to shore up your precious sense of yourself as a down-with-the-working-classes anti-elitist everyman. It's embarrassing. The whole point of the criticism of him (including Charlie Brooker's whole point) is that he's a middle-class poseur, indulged precisely by "Saatchi gallery" types because of his pseudo-intellectual "messages". I assure you his supporters in the east London knobhead community would be a lot less tolerant of deprived teenagers tagging all over their £400k homes.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 2:36 AM on January 19, 2007


slimepuppy: I agree. Surreal "subversive" modern art liked by wankers is such a breath of fresh air compared to surreal "subversive" modern art liked by wankers.

Those of you who are dismissing Banksy seem to have forgotten to link to your entirely unforgettable, really and for truly subversive portfolios

Gosh, someone got an internet account for Christmas.
posted by cillit bang at 2:41 AM on January 19, 2007


Uh...zing?
posted by Optamystic at 2:47 AM on January 19, 2007


Cillit bang, heh, that's a valid point actually. Touché.

I'm just the type of wanker that doesn't like being told what is and isn't art and what constitutes 'good art'.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:54 AM on January 19, 2007


In summation, fuck off back to the Saatchi Gallery you elitist prick. Chill your beans, you have got your knickers in a twist for the wrong reason. I'd rather smile at a Banksy joke than go 'hmmm' for an hour at the latest serious contemporary art of blood & semen in a blender. Me too, but that doesn't mean his stuff isn't a bit lame - revolutionising our heads by stencilling monkeys on walls, projecting this elusive subversive genius stance... Plus no one accuses his stuff of failing to Mean Something(TM), as you put it - more like the opposite.

Those of you who are dismissing Banksy seem to have forgotten to link to your entirely unforgettable, really and for truly subversive portfolios... Not a good argument, as others have pointed out already. You don't have to be Larry David to knock My Hero.
posted by Mocata at 3:07 AM on January 19, 2007


Political? Subversive?

I thought his content condition had it dead on: it's t-shirt fare. And as that, it's not bad.
posted by dreamsign at 3:15 AM on January 19, 2007


showed John Travolta and Samuel L Jackson in a famous pose from Pulp Fiction, with their guns replaced by bananas. What did it mean? Something to do with the glamourisation of violence, yeah? Never mind. It looked cool.

That seemed to be the part about demanding art to Mean Something.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:17 AM on January 19, 2007


Well, I'm not Charlie Brooker and we could argue all day about what he means (Means?) here, but I reckon he's having a go at him for being faux-meaningful or pretentious-meaningful or cheap-meaningful rather than non-meaningful.

But in general I think maybe your rage was caused by thinking about the a-word and its snooty associations rather than people thinking Banksy is a bit rubbush at heart? Because people get weirdly heated sometimes when Art comes into the equation in a way that they wouldn't when opinionating about stuff with fewer high-culture-type connotations.
posted by Mocata at 3:30 AM on January 19, 2007


To clarify: I don't think he's a subversive genius sticking it to the man. But I also don't think his work needs to have a grand point. The fact that people like his stuff is reason enough for him to keep working, in my mind. Whether that makes him a sellout hack is secondary to the fact that what he does engages (a lot of) people in a way that very few other artists do.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:31 AM on January 19, 2007


...demanding art to Mean Something.

I refer the honourable gentleman to the rant I wrote several Banksy posts ago.
posted by flashboy at 3:34 AM on January 19, 2007


You don't have to be Larry David to knock My Hero.

Nor does appreciating Mozart mean that you can't enjoy listening to Rage Against The Machine. In fact, RATM were Banksy's kindred spirits: rich guys borrowing revolutionary themes and iconography to strike a pseudo-revolutionary pose. And I will cop to being lame and pseudo-revolutionary right alongside them. Because real revolutions, those fought by the truly zealous, tend to be humourless affairs, and a bloody drag.
posted by Optamystic at 3:40 AM on January 19, 2007


The Harry Potter books are shit. The first two books of the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy are rather better. I've never written a book so in holding these opinions I'm probably breaking an Optamystic life rule. Luckily it's a silly one.
posted by econous at 3:58 AM on January 19, 2007


And I will cop to finding Banksy embarrassing partly because he reminds me of times in my callow youth when I thought stuff like Rage Against The Machine and going to raves and taking pills wuz really sticking it to The Man.
posted by Mocata at 4:00 AM on January 19, 2007


I'm no Banksy fan, but I think this is a pretty good thing for an artist to be doing, and more established artists who can afford to do it should follow suit. Obviously, the lack of control over print quality, size, &c. is a problem, and it can only be done with certain kinds of work, but if web-specific works were made with those factors in mind and given away, everyone wins. (Shady types would try selling prints, of course, but a quick check of the artist's website would show that the work had no monetary value.)

I guess this happens already at gallery shows with, eg., poster works that are free for the taking at shows (very common - here's one by Jeremy Deller), or with some relational aesthetics type work which involves an exchange between artist and audience, but that's limited to visitors to a show.

slimepuppy writes '"Looking cool" is not enough to be art. It has to Mean Something(TM) too.'

Tell that to a formalist.
posted by jack_mo at 4:11 AM on January 19, 2007


I'm still waiting for someone here to critique the quality of his artistic skills and workmanship beyond "it's rubbish".

Still waiting.

All I'm seeing is complaints about the "meaning" of it, and accusations of little rich boy playing revolutionary.

From what I've read of banksy, I don't think I've ever heard him claiming to be a revolutionary. I gather he's pretty much taking the piss; the comment about using your office photocopier seems to be taking the piss than some kind of serious straight-faced attack on our capitalist overlords.

Lighten the fuck up already.
posted by Jimbob at 4:12 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


You find it embarrassing, I find it amusing. Hey, I mostly like the guy because spotting one of his paintings in my daily travels adds kind of a cool little bonus to an otherwise ordinary day. Just a neat little surprise. I have a chuckle and I move on. Where's the harm?
posted by Optamystic at 4:14 AM on January 19, 2007


Oh none, I do that too. Also with those space invaders.
posted by Mocata at 4:22 AM on January 19, 2007


PS don't get me wrong, nothing embarrassing about kids sticking it to the man by smoking tremendous amounts of weed or whatever, just about the Banksy now-you-see-me-now-you-don't posturing.
posted by Mocata at 4:27 AM on January 19, 2007


man, whatever. i like it. i think its neat. instead of ragging on this guy, why not do something constructive like pointing out some of the other political artists us uneducated folk should be looking at?
maybe, just maybe, one of you could be helpful instead of uber critical, just this once, please?
posted by stackmonster at 4:42 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't think it's posturing... i see it as an attempt to change the mood (and - who knows - maybe something different) of casual people walking down a street, glancing around. It's anti-globalized art; a small change in situations, in daily life, as described by lettrists and situationists and other men and women around the world.
posted by Baldons at 4:48 AM on January 19, 2007


Good luck to Banksy in the art galleries. That's where his work belongs.

Not on my street (literally), on the outside of the building I help to pay for (literally) or more generally on the streets of London, where I pay taxes that go towards wiping Banksy's adverts off streets and buildings.

If he's an artist he should duke it out in galleries and see how well he does. If he wants to make money he should print t-shirts and do more of those Blur album covers. But using the public's property (on their dime) to promote himself and raise his profile - that's just as corporate as Starbucks and it's about as revolutionary as a flyposter campaign by a record company.
posted by skylar at 4:53 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not on my street (literally), on the outside of the building I help to pay for (literally) or more generally on the streets of London, where I pay taxes that go towards wiping Banksy's adverts off streets and buildings.

Yeah, his paintings really mar the natural beauty of Hackney and Camden.

We should use that public money to build yet another statue inscribed to "Lord Mountbatten The Inbred - In Reverent Remembrance of His Glorious Victory Over the Godless Hottentotts on the Subcontinent".

Ok, I made that one up, but you get the point.
posted by Optamystic at 5:17 AM on January 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Optamystic: ...but you get the point

Jimbob will doubtless tell me lighten up... but is your argument really that Banksy's defacement of other people's property (sometimes private, more often public, thus helping drain funds from councils that might otherwise use it to brighten up the locality) is completely irrelevant if the art is "good"? That he should get a free pass on breaking the law because the way in which he does so pleases your sensibilities more than a statue erected by a public body?

Street art threads on Metafilter make me feel like a crotchety bourgeois 75-year-old.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 5:37 AM on January 19, 2007


as a banksy fan, I now know what it's like to be a republican on metafilter.
posted by mcsweetie at 5:47 AM on January 19, 2007


I have an admission to make: I neither love nor hate Banksy. However:
Optamystic: Those of you who are dismissing Banksy seem to have forgotten to link to your entirely unforgettable, really and for truly subversive portfolios, the artistic and satirical brilliance of which will be celebrated far and wide, and when word of it reaches him, cause this Banksy charlatan to never again darken the door of a paint store.

Links please. I look forward to being sunburnt by the radiance of your genius.
Well, here's a link to Charlie Brooker's entirely unforgettable, really and for truly subversive portfolio, the artistic and satirical brilliance of which [has been] celebrated far and wide (start at the bottom and keep at it for a while). Purely because of tvgohome I'm willing to pay him a bit of mind.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 5:49 AM on January 19, 2007


Banksy is taking the piss. He's never claimed to be anything more than a guy who can't draw (hence the stencils) going out and drawing. If he could draw he'd be doing graf.

The fact that there are now people who will sneer and scoff is only down to the fact that the Guardian and others have had a great time publicising his art.

I've always loved his stuff because it makes me smile. As Optyamistic says, seeing one makes my day. I spotted the 'One day we'll be in charge' chimp in a Sydney side street and it was a great moment. I'll walk past the kissing policemen (it's on the side of the Prince Albert pub in Brighton along with George Best's arse & the big John Peel mural) and smile even more because he's managed to piss off a bunch of whining Guardian readers & we're-late-to-the-party-so-it's-rubbish types. Bonus.

And I will cop to finding Banksy embarrassing partly because he reminds me of times in my callow youth when I thought stuff like Rage Against The Machine and going to raves and taking pills wuz really sticking it to The Man.

That's because you were an idiot. And you're still an idiot for being embarrassed about it. If you'd have done it BECAUSE YOU ENJOYED IT...you'd be a lot smarter. I kinda like the 'It reminds be of being a fool so it's rubbish' argument tho'.

I needed a change in Desktop anyway so I'm happy. Whining nerds & Grundiad-bleaters is an added bonus as always.
posted by i_cola at 6:13 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Real Art produces the same effect intended by its creator in all people, regardless of their ethnicity or conditioning.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:54 AM on January 19, 2007


The fact that there are now people who will sneer and scoff is only down to the fact that the Guardian and others have had a great time publicising his art.

Yes, I'll admit it: I do spend more time criticising things that people have heard of and that are commonly discussed than things nobody's ever heard of and aren't discussed.

I don't like Banksy's art because it bores me: it doesn't look that great, it doesn't say anything terribly diverting, it's repetitive and it's just generally a bit tedious all round. I don't like his posturing because, however certain you are that he's just taking the piss, that's not how either he regularly portrays himself, how the media portrays him, or how many of the people who like his art portray him.

But then, I do read the Guardian, so you pretty much nailed me with your devastating psychological profile there. I feel so much shame now that I've been exposed for what I am.
posted by flashboy at 7:05 AM on January 19, 2007


And you're still an idiot for being embarrassed about it.
You've misunderstood. The embarrassing thing is seeing a spray paint man who's even older than I am using the rhetoric of a tit to justify his having a laugh with some stencils.

I kinda like the 'It reminds be of being a fool so it's rubbish' argument tho'.
Thanks! We should all be more open about these things...
posted by Mocata at 7:26 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I spotted the 'One day we'll be in charge' chimp in a Sydney side street and it was a great moment.

See, that's all it needs to do. After all the stunts and anti-Banksy hate, at the end of the day I still love me a chimp saying "One day we'll be in charge" as I walk by. You don't have to turn him into a counterculture hero or anything to enjoy the chuckle his art provides. So he's managed to make a fantastic living off it while simultaneously poking at and suckling on the teat of the art world - what's the problem?
posted by mediareport at 8:24 AM on January 19, 2007


Real Art produces the same effect intended by its creator in all people, regardless of their ethnicity or conditioning.

Wow, talk about your lowest common denominator. And could you give some examples? I'm at a total loss, seriously, for any work of art that sends the exact same message to every single human being on earth.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:07 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Real Art produces the same effect intended by its creator in all people, regardless of their ethnicity or conditioning.

Wow, talk about your lowest common denominator. And could you give some examples? I'm at a total loss, seriously, for any work of art that sends the exact same message to every single human being on earth.


Hm, this is a tough one. How about the weather report? The Pythagorean Theorem? A pound of oranges?

Nope, nope. Yeah this is tough.

I assume you already know this, Burhanistan, but you're mistaken.

why not do something constructive like pointing out some of the other political artists us uneducated folk should be looking at? maybe, just maybe, one of you could be helpful instead of uber critical, just this once, please?

Hey, sounds fun to me, may as well do something worthwhile with this thread.

My list is mainly poets; I'll leave it to other people to supply real artists. kari edwards, Bruce Andrews, Daphne Gottlieb, Joseph Lease, Ntozake Shange, George Oppen. All of those folks are very political. Some of them are very difficultly political.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:45 AM on January 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've always quite liked Banksy and his stuff - its amusing and seems a lot more like art to me than Tracey Emin's unmade bed or whatever rubbish is up for the Turner prize. But then again I don't really appreciate art in the same way as Charlie Brooker or some of the other posters - I just like the way it looks and appreciate that it makes me smile. But then again I am a bear of very little brain at times...
posted by prentiz at 10:01 AM on January 19, 2007


The Sphinx
posted by Burhanistan at 10:20 AM on January 19, 2007


I think Banksy rocks. He's putting art out into the world, not just locking it behind the walls of an elitist art gallery.

Meh to the haters. He's really grown on me the last few years. I thought the series he did on the separation wall in Palestine was particularly cool.
posted by MythMaker at 10:29 AM on January 19, 2007


1. I like this thread because it somehow tickles me that people can get so worked up about art.

2. I like pretty things.

3. I sure as hell won't make a judgment on Banksy in this thread.

(oh alright - I downloaded a few of the images when I first came across this a couple of days ago. so there)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 10:31 AM on January 19, 2007


The Sphinx
Some people might look at the Sphinx and marvel at how something can be so ancient and weathered and yet still so regal -- others will not be able to avoid thinking of the many slaves who toiled their lives away. Some will know Western mythologies of the Sphinx, and that will inform how they look at it, while to others (say, Egyptians) it might be a reminder of greatness forever lost. Others will talk about how Napoleon shot its nose off. And none of this has anything to do with the intentions of its builders, which seem to be the glorification of some dude who has been dead for 5000 years.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:32 AM on January 19, 2007


Real Art produces the same effect intended by its creator in all people, regardless of their ethnicity or conditioning.

I'd sort of assumed this was sarcasm.
posted by Mocata at 10:46 AM on January 19, 2007


I liked the crows molesting the CCTV cameras, can't seem to find any pictures of them online.
posted by asok at 10:51 AM on January 19, 2007


Looking back, I think you might be right, and then he said "The Sphinx" just to push us further.

I'll go hide in a corner now.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:52 AM on January 19, 2007


Yeah, you guys might have a point.

*walks away whistling an innocent tune*
posted by Bookhouse at 11:04 AM on January 19, 2007


Actually, I won't bother with this too much, but there has been "art" produced in the past that has made the same objective impression on people. When you speak of verbal/mental reactions you're talking about subjective reactions. There is a visceral reaction that can be created if one has the right skills. It's really more of a manipulation of the nervous system couched in aesthetics. Glimpses of examples from the can be detected by those who are sensitive. Nobody has made this kind of "art" for centuries because artists don't study know about these techniques and only study aesthetics and mechanics. But again, I won't bother with this too much.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:22 AM on January 19, 2007


I would pose the question: Damien Hirst or Banksy?

It's a fairly easy choice for me. Banksy may not be subtle, but he is engaging. The same cannot be said of most artists working today in the US/UK.
posted by inoculatedcities at 11:36 AM on January 19, 2007


Whoa. Whoa. Okay.

So you really don't think any art has been "real art" for centuries? Who are you?

More importantly, can you enlighten us about these "techniques"? You could definitely get an NSF grant for it. Because there's an awful lot of debate about what exactly were the techniques behind the Sphinx, or Stonehenge, or whatever we're deifying. More importantly, we're very much lacking in the aesthetic context that would have surrounded those techniques.

But I know you won't bother with this too much, so I guess you win. Or something.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:39 AM on January 19, 2007


Here's a bit of food for thought. I didn't want to get into this because these kinds of binary debates (you're wrong, no you're wrong) depress me. I'm more interested in the possibility of recognizing something interesting in what someone else has to say, even if I don't agree with them, and then trying to expose and develop what I found interesting. That's a much more interactive way of conversing. Everyone wins then.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:52 PM on January 19, 2007


(in case the link gets borked (with apologies for the long cut and paste):)

he following is an excerpt from the book "In Search of the Miraculous (Fragments of an Unknown Teaching)" by P.D. Ouspensky. It is his record of G.I. Gurdjieff's response to a question by one of those present about art as a "philosophical language".

"I do not know of which art you speak, . . . ."

"You must first of all remember that there are two kinds of art, one quite different from the other -- objective art and subjective art. All that you know, all that you call art, is subjective art, that is, something that I do not call art at all because it is only objective art that I call art."

"To define what I call objective art is difficult first of all because you ascribe to subjective art the characteristics of objective art, and secondly because when you happen upon objective works of art you take them as being on the same level as subjective works of art."

"I will try to make my idea clear. You say -- an artist creates. I say this only in connection with objective art. In relation to subjective art: that with him 'it is created.' You do not differentiate between these, but this is where the whole difference lies. Further you ascribe to subjective art an invariable action, that is you expect works of subjective art to have the same reaction on everybody. You think, for instance, that a funeral march should provoke in everyone sad and solemn thoughts and that any dance music, a komarinsky for instance, will provoke happy thoughts. But in actual fact this is not so at all. Everything depends upon association. If on a day that a great misfortune happens to me I hear some lively tune for the first time this tune will evoke in me sad and oppressive thoughts for my whole life afterwards. And if on a day when I am particularly happy I hear a sad tune, this tune will always evoke happy thoughts. And so with everything else."

"The difference between objective art and subjective art is that in objective art the artist really does 'create,' that is he makes what he intended, he puts into his work whatever ideas and feelings he wants to put into it. And the action of this work upon men is absolutely definite; they will, of course each according to his own level, receive the same ideas and the same feelings that the artist wanted to transmit to them. There can be nothing accidental either in the creation or in the impressions of objective art."

"In subjective art everything is accidental. The artist, as I have already said, does not create; with him 'it creates itself.' This means that he is in the power of ideas, thoughts, and moods which he himself does not understand and over which he has no control whatever. They rule him and they express themselves in one form or another. And when they have accidentally taken this or that form, this form just as accidentally produces on man this or that action according to his mood, tastes, habits, the nature of the hypnosis under which he lives, and so on. There is nothing invariable; nothing is definite here. In objective art there is nothing indefinite."

"Would not art disappear in being definite in this way?" asked one of us. "And is not a certain indefiniteness, elusiveness, exactly what distinguishes art from, let us say, science? If this indefiniteness is taken away, if you take away the fact that the artist himself does not know what he will obtain or what impression his work will produce on people, it will then be a 'book' and not art."

"I do not know what you are talking about," said G. "We have different standards: I measure the merit of art by its consciousness and you measure it by its unconsciousness . We cannot understand one another. A work of objective art ought to be a 'book' as you call it; the only difference is that the artist transmits his ideas not directly through words or signs or hieroglyphs, but through certain feelings which he excites consciously and in an orderly way, knowing what he is doing and why he does it."

"Legends," said one of those present, "have been preserved of statues of gods in ancient Greek temples, for example the statue of Zeus at Olympia, which produced upon everybody a definite and always identical impression."

"Quite true," said G., "and even the fact that such stories exist shows that people understood that the difference between real and ureal art lay precisely in this, an invariable or else an accidental action."

"Can you not indicate other works of objective art?" "Is there anything that it is possible to call objective in contemporary art?" "When was the last objective work of art created?" Nearly everyone present began to put these and similar questions to G.

"Before speaking of this," said G., "principles must be understood. If you grasp the principles you will be able to answer these questions yourselves. But if you do not grasp them nothing that I may say will explain anything to you. It was exactly about this that it was said -- they will see with their eyes and will not perceive, they will hear with their ears and will not understand.

"I will cite you one example only -- music. Objective music is all based on 'inner octaves'. And it can obtain not only definite psychological results but definite physical results. There can be such music as would freeze water. There can be such music as would kill a man instantaneously. The Biblical legend of the destruction of the walls of Jerico by music is precisely a legend of objective music. Plain music, no matter of what kind, will not destroy walls, but objective music indeed can do so. And not only can it destroy but it can also build up. In the legend of Orpheus there are hints of objective music, for Orpheus used to impart knowledge by music. Snake charmers' music in the East is an approach to objective music, of course very primitive. Very often it is simply one note which is long drawn out, rising and falling only very little; but in this single note 'inner octaves' are going on all the time and melodies of 'inner octaves' which are inaudible to the ears but felt by the emotional center. And the snake hears this music or, more strictly speaking, he feels it, and he obeys it. The same music, only a little more complicated, and men would obey it.

"So you see that art is not merely a language but something much bigger. And if you connect what I have just said with what I said earlier about the different levels of man's being, you will understand what is said about art. Mechanical humanity consists of men number one, number two, and number three and they, of course, can have subjective art only. Objective art requires at least flashes of objective consciousness; in order to understand these flashes properly and to make proper use of them a great inner unity is necessary and a great control of oneself."
posted by Burhanistan at 12:54 PM on January 19, 2007


Okay, Burhanistan, you realize that's make-believe, right? It's like you just quoted the Bible to prove that dinosaurs never existed.
posted by Bookhouse at 2:31 PM on January 19, 2007


No, I would need you to prove that further.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:57 PM on January 19, 2007


Banksy makes people talk therefore he rocks. I have a knee-jerk reaction to lambast the successful, but how can you? That is the irony in it.
posted by Frasermoo at 7:05 PM on January 19, 2007


Proves itself:

There can be such music as would freeze water. There can be such music as would kill a man instantaneously. The Biblical legend of the destruction of the walls of Jerico by music is precisely a legend of objective music. Plain music, no matter of what kind, will not destroy walls, but objective music indeed can do so. And not only can it destroy but it can also build up. In the legend of Orpheus there are hints of objective music, for Orpheus used to impart knowledge by music. Snake charmers' music in the East is an approach to objective music, of course very primitive. Very often it is simply one note which is long drawn out, rising and falling only very little; but in this single note 'inner octaves' are going on all the time and melodies of 'inner octaves' which are inaudible to the ears but felt by the emotional center. And the snake hears this music or, more strictly speaking, he feels it, and he obeys it. The same music, only a little more complicated, and men would obey it.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:59 PM on January 19, 2007


Not really a Banksy fan -- I think the Brooker article's spot on; Banksy's art qua art is Oh-Kaaaay, I Guess, and some of his images I do like (the maid sweeping up London linked above is well-done, and I've got a soft spot for those kind of illusions -- assuming the bricks are from a real spot in the wall where the whitewash's chipped off... if not, it's still a cool image never the less, and he IS good at doing photo-realistic bricks), but I tend to find his... general attitude rather irritating. Leafed through his books and whatnot, and it just seems sort of... adbusters-y or something. Which mood is kind of like Nails On Chalkboard to me (partially because I'm at least sympathetic to the actual POV, it's just the tone and shrillness that maks it that much worse to me).

As for the Political Art What I Do Like And Recommend If Not Banksy, I've always been a big fan of Winston Smith. Hell, the reason it took me so long to get rid of a Jello Biafra spoken word album I had and hated was because the little mini-poster included was so awesome.

(Also, I do really enjoy the book included in the Nathan Barley DVD set that's a put-on of the whole Banksy thing. Speaking of which, and Brooker I suppose, apparently the second series IS in the works. HOORAY!
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:13 AM on January 20, 2007


Banksy is to art what modern life is to reality.
posted by mongonikol at 7:59 AM on January 23, 2007


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