William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

I wish I was making this up

Martin Creed

Another piece of data is in that shows money does not correlate with intelligence.

“Artist” Martin Creed (pictured above) created a “work” called 850, which he will exhibit at the well-known Tate Britain art gallery starting today.

The “work” consists of having joggers, once every thirty seconds, trot through the museum.

Yes, you read that right. Joggers, wearing shorts and looking like they came from the park, will run lightly through a hall or two in the name of “art.”

Guardian writer Adrian Searle claims that the wonderful thing about this “art” is “that it is gloriously pointless.” It’s not surprising the paper should feel that way, since much of its reporting falls into this category. Searle argues that people should not try to decide whether 850 is “art” but “whether the work captures the imagination, whether it gives pleasure and makes people think.”

So, on this theory, I could put a certain piece of Mr Searle’s anatomy in a vice and start to twist, an act which is certainly imaginative and would give me some pleasure. It would also cause Searle to do some serious thinking. But would he call it art?

People should not feel anger or despair over the sort of idiocy like 850, now common in the “art” world. They should instead view it as a chance to raise their income bracket. Since rich people—those people that run galleries and buy and sell “art”—are now utterly incapable of judging quality, and are dead scared of admitting their ignorance, the door is wide open for any “artist” to sell them anything. The only key seems to be that the “work” has to be completely asinine, childish, devoid of any value, and, of course, politically correct.

It also cannot be cheap. The more exhorbitantly priced your excrescense, the better chance it has to sell. For you must understand that the sole purpose of this “art” is to allow its owner to boast that he owns it. Or, in the case of the Tate, to claim that it is unique.

30 Comments

  1. A long time ago, there was an art exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. The set up a sort of escalator that conveyed a large glass to the top of the building. Then, they dropped it off.

    They did this every hour for several days or weeks. So, you could go watch glass break.

    Admittedly, there was something sort of cool about watching a huge pane of glass tumble and break in real life. But there were quite a few who disagreed about the artistic merit.

    Needless to say, after all the glass was broken, whatever art there might have once been was done.

  2. Unfortunately this is the UK we are talking about. In this case it is unlikely that the “artist” will be paid for by rich benefactors but will “earn” his living out of government cultural subsidies.

    Therefore it is likely that this junk is being paid for by the unfortunate UK tax payer.

    When I read about this sort of waste of taxpayer’s money I am pretty glad that I emigrated earlier this year!

  3. It’s interesting to note that when a (supposed) work of art taken as idiotic by a bunch of people who never read a piece of paper about art it is obviously a work “subsidied” by the government, and “what a shocking waste it is! The Horror! The horror!”

    The shocking part of this post is the indignant pose by the author, who perhaps willingfully ignores the fact that art is, by definition, useless. What? Not everything should be useful. We have sometimes to remind ourselves of precisely that, so “obssessedly” (?) focused we are. Now, I don’t really like to make useless stuff, and so I went to architecture instead of arts, but I do understand why such endeavour is, paradoxically, useful.

    One has only to learn a bit about art from the 20th century to understand how often it was mistaken as bullshit, while on the other hand it generated widespread revolutions in philosophy, education and creativity.

    Of course that along with precious jewels, some trash was actually created. That’s called creative destruction, or translated to a scientific understandable term by the wannabes, brainstorming.

    But I guess that having this conversation with people interested in statistics is like talking about football with women.

  4. Briggs

    July 2, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Ok, Luis. I’ll bite. Tell how this useless piece of “art” can be justified, and why this particular piece of “art” should be paid for by the unsuspecting public, and why this particular piece of “art” is good.

  5. I’ll answer with questions, mr. briggs.

    Imagine you are in the year of 1917. In an arts association saloon, an urinal is presented as a work of art by an unknown “artist” name “R. Mutt”. By just seeing it, you just grow your hair white and scream for the idiocy of it. What was that urinal worth, mr Briggs?

    Imagine you are in the year of 1915 and you go see a painting galery. In there you are confronted with a completely white canvas with a single black square in the middle. Is it garbage, mr. Briggs?

    In 1964, some dope copied a superstar’s photo multiple times and painted it with unrealistic and diverse colors. How dumb is that, mr. Briggs?

    Post WW2, a complete moron dropped buckets of ink in giant canvas and dared to sell it. Is this retarded or what?

    etc.

    Do you understand now, or shall I go on?

  6. Briggs

    July 2, 2008 at 10:15 am

    Luis,

    Nope, no good. Let’s go back to this particular piece of “art” and no other. Again I ask: is it good? should the public pay for it? is it justified?

  7. I could only answer that particular question after experiencing it. And I don’t know if it is indeed subsidized and for how much (though I seriously doubt it is serious money)

    So, if you are so interested to know my answer, then you could buy me a ticket to London, no?

    Well, I tried 🙂

    Seriously, I don’t know if it is worth or not. It’s not as if it is a photographed and digitized canvas that I could have a peek in the internets, now is it?

    Christ once made a “dress” in the german assembly. It cost millions. Was it worth it?

  8. Luis,
    “….is like talking about football with women.”

    You are a charmer, aren’t you? 🙂

    Out of curiosity Luis, was Mr. Mutt’s urinal subsidized?

    Last time I was at the Art Institute, one of the halls held a very large canvas. I turned to my husband and said it looked like a typical pattern for a formica counter top.

    The man next to me seemed horrified by my observation. But that’s what it looked like.

    Presumably, the artist had some message. I have no idea what it might have been.

  9. Luis,

    If there an argument that there’s an insight to be had here, it should be made.

    The fact of the matter is that too much modern art is just weird stuff thrown together without any organizing ideas. It is not incumbent on the viewer to tell the artist what he meant. Since we, the viewers, cannot tell the difference between the event of the artist having a hidden and complex idea and the artist having no ideas at all, we are totally justified in assuming the latter. By the way, technical people know all too well about this kind of nonsense. We’re often presented with a jumble of incoherent ideas and then told that a true thinker would be able to sort them out.

    It is not the responsibility of the viewer to give meaning to a mish-mash of yarn, toothpicks and balled up sweat socks. Furthermore, all too often, when there is meaning it is some kind of stupid inside joke about the critics or a critic or the viewing public or the relationship of the medium to childish politics or whatever… I assume this is the kind of meaning you lamented we didn’t get when you implied we didn’t read enough about art.

    PS What’s yellow, complete and normed? A Bananach Space!

  10. It should also not be incumbant upon the taxpayer to pay money towards this sort of art (well any art in fact).

    If an artist wishes to make a living producing art then they should have a choice of either producing art that is commercially viable (ie the public will buy it) or to get a nice benefactor who will pay for them to indulge their artistic side. Either that or they will need to do it as a part time hobby funded from their day job.

    As to the comment regarding art being useless that is only true of most modernist work. I certainly don’t see the point of most of the modern work that has no aesthetically pleasing quality. So something like a urinal or blank canvas apart from a black square is pointless. A superstar’s photo copied many times does have an aesthetic quality but is not to my taste. Dropping paint onto a canvas from a height is reasonably cool – I believe that my parents allowed me to do that once or twice when I was a child. I doubt that they ever thought that I should make a living out of it though (or I should be paid out of limited government funds to produce such work).

    However some art has a point due to it being able to make you think / looking nice. The majority of modern art does not, however, fall into this category.

    The last type of art that has a point is design. The most beautiful sculptures being produced in the past 50 years are cars and yachts. Take me to a car or boat show and I am in artistic heaven!

  11. So Luis thinks that the joggers doesn’t need a purpose, it’s art. Methinks Mr Luis is a … of the very highest order, and guess what, that very observatiuon is entirely artisitic and not able to be criticized.

    Tell you what, Luis, YOU pay for it, and go and watch it. I’ve been in marathon races where more than 850 people run by, so this art is entirely and utterly derivative. More art is expended in a public urinal every day than this fool and your pretentiousness can’t hide the stupidity of it.

  12. Ed, you piece of … , …. you.

    Nice way to distract the censorship though. As if none of us did understand your …. word.

    Joe,

    If there an argument that there?s an insight to be had here, it should be made.

    Well, I just pointed out that unless one does experience the stuff, it is quite hypocrite to just read a newspaper, and by “hearsay” you go ahead and make the point that some artist dope is just stealing your money and then you go along and post it on the internet and generalize it to make the point that all the artists are a dope childish and monkeyish class who are stealing your money.

    That’s how myths and prejudices are created. To the concrete questions I posed, no one answered:

    – What real amount of money did he spent on that “piece of art”?

    Remember, he could have even used volunteers for the job. In that unlikely but possible case, it cost zero, so your indignation is pointless.

    – How much of it was subsidized?

    – Let’s compare it with other “pieces of art”?

    No. It’s just a peak and headshot blog post, who doesn’t even try to understand what really is going on. Nothing wrong with that, it’s the ….ing (hat tip to Ed Snack) blogosphere, not a newspaper, but then again my comments were also a bunch of comments too.

    It is not incumbent on the viewer to tell the artist what he meant.

    Well, you weren’t there, so you don’t really know. I’m not english but where I come from I also happen to have seen weird stuff in public spaces. But alas, they were explained to me at that moment, and what they meant, and it made sense and expanded my mind. But it wasn’t incumbent on them as well. If someone doesn’t understand Beethoven, for instance, are you expecting for Beethoven come to you and explain it? He’d rather slap you in the face and call you a barbarian.

    More often than not, the not understanding the works is the public’s fault by not being at par on what’s going on in the arts, philosophy, science and politics. More often than not. I didn’t say this “work” should be classified as “art”.

    To equally say that all present art is PC and childish and monkeyish, is being terribly naive and worst, ignorant. But then again, I’ve not been there to see this example, so I can’t thoroughly say you are “wrong”. But I seriously doubt you, for I understand where your prejudice is born and I know it to be completely wrong.

    As to the comment regarding art being useless that is only true of most modernist work.

    Useless for you. It is difficult for common people to understand why art left its tradition to make nice pictures and sculptures of things in the 20th century. Let me give you a clue. It starts with a “C” and ends with “AMERA”, it starts with an “I” and ends with a “NDUSTRY”. The sense of lack of meaning of art you possess comes with the real changes we had in the industrial civilization, because of it, and not because some strange folks invaded “arts”. It’s a too damned interesting story to be told and defended in a comment on a blog, I urge you people to read some art history books without that dismissive prejudice inside your head. There’s a whole world you are completely missing.

    Lucia,

    You are a charmer, aren?t you?

    Nothing personal, Lucia. My wife loves football (european football, btw, not that running sport which has little to do with “feet” that people play in the USA) and there is an increase of women who are truly interested in the sport. It’s still true though that I can’t usually speak about football to women. Mostly, they simply don’t understand it, not because they are dumb, but they don’t care and that’s fine… until they start commenting dismissively at it as if they know what’s going on, ahah!

  13. Jonathan Guthrie

    July 3, 2008 at 10:44 am

    Luis, I’m not going to insist that the work in question lacks all artistic merit, but I will point out that it is difficult for “common people” to understand why they should be compelled to pay for something that is specifically intended to be impenetrable to them without considerable study on their part.

  14. It is not so intended. I could equally say that science is also quite inpenetrable, so should we take the funds out of something the common people just don’t understand?

    You can’t have it both ways.

  15. Luis

    and there is an increase of women who are truly interested in the sport. It?s still true though that I can?t usually speak about football to women. Mostly, they simply don?t understand it, not because they are dumb, but they don?t care and that?s fine?

    You will be surprised to learn that soccer is very popular with young girls in the US. So much so that the term “soccer mom” applies to the many mothers who drive their daughters to soccer practice.

    Boys also play soccer, but it’s really big with girls. Girls don’t play football. 🙂

    I could equally say that science is also quite inpenetrable, so should we take the funds out of something the common people just don?t understand?

    You could say this, and some people would agree with you. Others would not. But in either case, they would likely defend their position by describing some concrete benefits of a particular science.

    Even people who don’t understand science often appreciate that advancing sciences is necessary to advance technologies they use in daily life. They like pharmaceuticals, air conditioning, running water and other things like that. Some amount of science underpins all these technology. Some of that science is new, some old.

  16. Me – “It is not incumbent on the viewer to tell the artist what he meant.”
    Luis – “Well, you weren?t there, so you don?t really know. … If someone doesn?t understand Beethoven … are you expecting for Beethoven come to you and explain it?”

    When I said it wasn’t incumbent on me to explain to the artist what he meant, I wasn’t debating a point I was stating a fact – it’s not my responsibility. There is no one who can make it so. This is, I think, one of the problems with modern art. It feels entitled to my respect without ever trying to earn it. Beethoven doesn’t have to worry about this problem because his work has such a universal appeal. That’s part of what makes it so powerful. Universal appeal is often shunned in modern art.

    “More often than not, the not understanding the works is the public?s fault by not being at par on what?s going on in the arts, philosophy, science and politics. …”

    On this point we are in total agreement with the exception of you calling it the “public’s fault” and me regarding as the fault of the artists. That’s the thing about “inside” forms of communication displayed publicly, people can choose not to value it and it’s the communicator’s fault. If I’m at a party with “common people” and I say, “What’s purple and commutes? An Abelian grape!” and no laughs, it’s not their fault, it’s mine. The art community is maybe unique in their expectation that the “common people” value its inside jokes without reservation based entirely on their previous good works.

    “I could equally say that science is also quite impenetrable, so should we take the funds out of something the common people just don?t understand?”

    The public funds that are delivered to scientists are not used to provide direct public displays but are used to develop ideas that can be used by the public indirectly. In some cases, very indirectly. If the real output of scientific work were journal articles as performance – you’d have a point that would be very difficult refute 🙂 But there is an important and timely issue here – I think it is absolutely necessary that scientists who take or request public funding be willing to explain their work in detail. I think the explanation should be commensurate with the amount requested. I think scientists who refuse to do so deserve to have their work treated with suspicion.

    On your first point in response to me, I’m not sure of what hypocrisy I’m being accused of here. I’ve been to the park, I’ve seen joggers and I’ve seen plenty of modern art absent real ideas with attendant attempts to bully the viewer into liking it – or at least saying he likes it. I don’t need to give an endless number of chances to a group that insists it deserves my respect without earning it. If there’s an insight to be found in watching joggers pulse through a room every 30 seconds, I’d honestly like to know what it could be.

  17. lucia:

    Even people who don?t understand science often appreciate that advancing sciences is necessary to advance technologies they use in daily life. They like pharmaceuticals, air conditioning, running water and other things like that. Some amount of science underpins all these technology. Some of that science is new, some old.

    You are advocating cientism, lucia. The benefits of arts are not that well explained to the common masses, they are highly in the intuitive / creative part of the brain, they serve to open minds, create shocks in the brain, to think outside the boxes, or to make political statements, etc, etc. You may not be delightful with the “products”, but have you asked, for instance, if the truly revolutionary entrepeneurs don’t extract something of value in it? You probably like the iPod, but then again, the iPod would have never been possible without the 20th century art! This is something people fail to understand, and I admit I’m not the best of advocates.

    Thing is, not everything is “countable” and tied to “statistics”. Creativity is the least countable field on human activities.

    Joe Triscar:

    Beethoven doesn?t have to worry about this problem because his work has such a universal appeal. That?s part of what makes it so powerful. Universal appeal is often shunned in modern art.

    Well, yes Beethoven does more appeal than many arts, but I don’t really buy the “universal” bit. Try to put Beethoven in the ears of a teenager and see how fast he throws the disc to the garbage. Is that the fault of Beethoven or the immaturity of the teenager? He’ll prefer Britney Spears. Doesn’t that mean that Britney Spears is a better artist than Beethoven? Think about it. If “universal” was the method of choice of quality, then Robbie Williams and Maddona would be the pinnacle of music, Spider Man the pinnacle of cinema, and the virgin mary statues the pinnacle of sculpture.

    If I?m at a party with ?common people? and I say, ?What?s purple and commutes? An Abelian grape!? and no laughs, it?s not their fault, it?s mine.

    But what you are trying to do is to make a hard line at the top of common people and say “No art should try to be more sophisticated than that which appeals to the masses!” I thought such kind of thought was heresy in these blogs, more often connected to a communist style of thinking… but I guess I am always surprised.

    On your first point in response to me, I?m not sure of what hypocrisy I?m being accused of here

    It wasn’t directed towards you, it was to the author of the blog post. The hypocrisy comes when you know so damned well how good journalists are in conveying the content of things to the general public (NOT), and then you take hearsays and draw a complete conclusion about the art in general. This is even worse when you see that the blogger is a statistician and he made a glorious (and deliberate) statistician error: he took the particular as the general, which is often mentioned as “cherry picking” and drawed entire thesis out of it. I am sorry, that’s no good.

    If there?s an insight to be found in watching joggers pulse through a room every 30 seconds, I?d honestly like to know what it could be.

    I’d like to know too, so that I could draw conclusions, rather than dismiss all the arts field because one work I don’t know, I didn’t see, and I couldn’t care less.

  18. Notable art, in all areas of The Arts, should at least be something that I, and almost all other people, can’t do.

  19. Patrick Hadley

    July 5, 2008 at 4:41 am

    How can you tell if something is really art? That is a difficult question because we can have many different ideas about what art is.

    I have a rule of thumb which helps me judge whether to take something seriously as art. I ask myself the question: Is this just a gimmick or novelty? Now there is nothing wrong with a gimmick as such. There are lots of enjoyable gimmicks around which attract the attention for a time but do not really say anything at all. But gimmicks are not art, because they do not serve to open the mind, create shocks in the brain, or think outside the box. They just come and go with only a temporary and essentially meaningless effect.

    Having people run through a gallery – definitely a gimmick.

  20. Maybe Mr. Creed can find a rich patrone’ that will pay him to arrange for friends to jog through the patrone’s estate. The rich patrone’ will undoubtedly file for copyright, seeking to classify such activity as intellectual property, thereby barring anyone else from running on his, or anyone else’s property. Michael Crichton will find this of sufficient interest to research & write a book, in which this concept of intellectual property is extended to jogging in general, in which case, anyone who sees anyone jogging anywhere, be it public or private property will have to pay a royalty to someone. A fictional Mr. Creed, or his attorneys, will go to court and ask for compensation for all jogging activities that were not specifically mentioned in the bill of sale for the original art work, ie; jogging across the rich Patrones’ estate.

    I like to look at Jackson Pollack drip works, but can’t afford to shell out $10M for one, so I set up a 30″ x 70″ canvas, purchased several cans of oil-based house paint & made my own, which I enjoy looking at as much as the Pollacks I’ve seen in museums.

    I sometimes like to look at urinals, but find the watercloset in my bathroom as enjoyable as the one DuChamp put on a pedestal. Sometimes I sit in by bathroom and meditate for hours.

    I like looking at Marla Olmstead canvasses, even though I suspect they were done by her agent, the photo-realist painter & museum owner.

  21. “Is this just a gimmick or novelty?”

    Now we are getting somewhere 🙂

    The problem is that for at least one set of people having people run through a gallery is clearly art, while probably for many it is not.

    Personally, I doubt that it is. I just would never post a dismissive post about it without even knowing first hand about the experience of it, and take the advantage and make blows against all art in general that is obviously “decaying” and has lost any sense, etc.

  22. Patrick Hadley

    July 6, 2008 at 5:25 am

    Paddkj, I assume you are aware that Mike Batt had to pay “a six figure sum” in royalties to John Cage (of 4′ 33″ fame) because he put 60 seconds of silence on a record.

    Luis, I am not sure that you have to actually see the runners in order to judge whether or not they are art. Surely the whole point of conceptual art is that it is the concept that is important not the acutualisation. A Jackson Pollock or a Leonardo is a physical entity which can only be appreciated fully by seeing the real thing.

    Martin Creed’s “850” is a concept which can be fully appreciated by anyone who has seen an art gallery and a jogger, and has the imagination to put the two together in the way Creed has described. The physical appearance of the joggers or the gallery do not matter, whereas the physical appearance of a painting is essential.

  23. Thomas A Means

    July 6, 2008 at 7:06 am

    There has definitely been evolution/revolution in the entire concept of art in the 20th century, but it has allowed much of what’s asserted to be “art” to be a fraud. It’s common for someone to say “my 5-year-old could do that”. The thing is, it’s often literally true.

    Art is meant to convey a message and/or evoke emotions. I think in a significant portion of modern art, the artist has offloaded his responsibility of conveying the message to the viewer, ie “here it is, take from it what you will”. It’s not far from that to realizing that it doesn’t really matter what the image is, or whether the artist is even competent in his medium.

    That’s the question I ask, and it’s not always possible to answer based on the work itself. My mate and I were at an art museum walking around, and she sat on a bench to rest opposite a large canvas. It was totally abstract, but she was trying to appreciate it. My comment, and I think it deflated her a bit, was: “This could just as well have been the artist’s drop cloth.”

    Now, I have no way of telling from this image whether the painter is even capable of rendering something representational, but it would be enough if the image on the canvas was intentional. In other words, did the artist have this image in mind, go to a blank canvas and render it as envisioned? I’ve had one artist so much as say that she doesn’t start with an image in mind, just makes it up as she goes. I didn’t ask if she had the confidence in her own skill to make something intentional.

    When Andy Warhol wanted to make his comment on pop culture, and decided to paint Marilyn Monroe, he went and painted an immediately recognizeable Marilyn Monroe, albeit in odd colors. When someone sees it, they’ll think “Marilyn Monroe”, not “Eleanor Roosevelt” or “who is this chick?”. Andy Warhol was competent in his medium.

    I’ve seen auto parts and scrap metal welded together into delightful sculptures of people, animals, etc., and I’ve seen auto parts and scrap metal welded together into piles of auto parts and scrap metal welded together. The former make me wish I was that good at welding, the latter make me wonder if the artist really is. We have an “installation” which is literally a bag of garbage, which the janitor (rightly I think) threw in the dumpster overnight.

    The ultimate would be a medium with no possible objective measure of competence. Then you can get away with anything. With “850” the purpose may well be to convey the message “how easy it is to annoy the public by confronting it with some spectacle and asserting it’s art and making them pay for it, AND get paid for doing it.” in which case competence is measured by how many articles and comments it generates.

  24. Inspired by the discussions here, yesterday I mounted an Art Installation in my backyard. I went out there and painted some rocks.

    Additionally inspired by that creation I have plans for a Digitally Interactive Performance Piece that I will soon mount. All here are invited to participate.

    Using the audio and video conferencing capabilities of modern desktop computers I envision an Installation in which I and the audience will together construct The Performance Piece. We will discuss in real time the nuances of the colors available and decide amongst us which color needs, demands actually, to be applied to each of the rocks.

    As each rock is then painted we will marvel over our creation and provide individual interpretations of the deepest meanings of the colors and the rocks relative to Life Experiences.

    So far as I know this has not yet been done, so it must be Art.

  25. Surely the whole point of conceptual art is that it is the concept that is important not the acutualisation.

    I don’t know where have you read that this is a conceptual art. Of course, every work of art has a concept, but that’s different.

    On behalf of the artist and against all the shallow hatred towards the dumb government here shown, this tiny bit at the martin creed’s work page, here, one can read:

    Thanks to Puma, Professor Greg Whyte, Anthony Shaw, Ashley Gray, Dr Ahmad Alkhatib, David Southard, Mark Baldwin, Rambert Dance Company, Hauser & Wirth Z?rich London, and all of the people running.

    So the “dumb” wasn’t the government, it was a private company! As teens like to say, dear governmentophobes, consider yourself PWNED.

  26. Thomas A Means

    July 7, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    We still have a bunch (of course not all) of artists and critics/experts, in their echo chamber feeding on each others’ ideas of what’s cool. The artists are the ones with the balls to sell the emperor his clothes, and the others are the ones who want to be on the inside but don’t have said balls. Together they lead people (whether individuals, corporations, or governments) with too much money on their hands, and who want to be seen as “cool” or “getting it”, around by the purse strings. We on the outside, realizing their irremediable contempt for us and thus having nothing to lose in their eyes, are not afraid to point out when the emperor’s clothes are less than substantial.

  27. Luis, I’m afraid you only performed half your research. As anyone who has visited the Tate knows (and I’ll admit to being a fan of both the original and the “Modern”), the museums are funded by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport. As with most publicly funded museum, there will be supplemental donations and support from private companies. But this does not change the fact the the British taxpayer is subsidizing the exhibit.

    You’ll have to keep your teenage gotchas for another day.

  28. None of which answers the question posed, “Should the public pay for it?” Art has no intrinsic value; what is a paint-spattered rag of canvas worth? A work of art is worth only what someone will pay for it. Warhol, Pollock, Beethoven etc. SOLD their art to willing buyers. No willing buyers, no sales, no dough for the artiste.

    Similarly, science should be sold to willing buyers, not to unwilling taxpayers. How many $billions are shelled out on junk science every year with confiscated taxes?

    Excuse me if I don’t want to pay you anything for your paint-spattered rag science. Sell it to someone who values it. Don’t rob me anymore based on some communist aesthetic or Lysenkoism. If I want it, I will buy it. If not, too bad for you. Do something else. Do something that other people value sans the extortion of taxes.

  29. Censorship, (long interval for laughter), and thank you too luis, it is perhaps your most original comment because at least you acknowledge its origin. But keep trying, I do encourage it, the difference between the mere practiced amateur and the professional is a gulf that can possibly be bridged by practice. At your own expense of course…

  30. Patrick Hadley,

    Well, no, I wasn’t aware of the Cage Trust lawsuit; a bit embarrasing for a recovering ex-Music Theory & Comp major who participated in several Cage events (“recovery”, that is, in the AA sense, ie: periods of abstinence).

    My first reaction was “Well, if the Cage Trust can copyright the totality of silence, what about every musician who makes a sound? The Entertainment/Intellectual Property Lawyers must be ecstatic – this will keep them in Porches for eternity.”

    But upon researching a bit, I find that the case turned on Batt’s tip-of-the-hat to Cage in his song’s title. Not quite as broad, but if acknowledging an influence is copyright infringement, the shysters must still be licking their chops.

    I agree w/ Batt the Cage Trust’s suit was optimistic – the whole point of the Cage piece was that the audience provided the “music” during the 4’33” of (non)silence. Obviously, that wouldn’t apply to a recording.

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