4.06.2004

For me, art is about communication. You have a sender, a receiver, a medium and a message. Those are the four components of communication. The medium can be the message but, contrary to the old adage, it is not always so.

Which brings me to my loathing of most modern art. Certainly the abstraction of the medium or the message expresses certain ideas about those topics, however, most people are neither interested nor informed enough to care about what you have to say. Museums have begun to install many post-modern works and I find that a good number of them are formless and devoid of content save to those few who have wrung some convoluted meaning from those pieces. To those people, I say, get your head out of your collective unconscious. The museum-going public is not going to be moved by these works. There is little beauty in babbling to yourself; you cannot move a viewer with blank canvases; there is no communication. When either the medium or the message are incomprehensible, communication is lost and any art that may have been present is destroyed.

I am not advocating that museums should not be challenging the public's tastes or capacity to appreciate art but I am worried about the extent to which art experts are losing touch with public sensibilities. Experimentation is essential and letting the public in is necessary but please pull back on overwhelming the agenda with art that is devoid of meaning to all but a few.

I expect the next step in art is to abstract the sender or receiver. The muscial piece 4m11s, which is just silence but for the ambient noise of the audience itself, is an example of such abstraction of the sender. Making art for inanimate objects might be the next big thing! Abstract the receiver and we'll get all sorts of weird crap.

Technique seems to have been abandoned as artists grow bored with cliches and feeling that it has been mastered. Who wants to make a painting when the Louvre is full? Classical art is in a very unintersting phase right now and all the energy seems to be poured into the new media and especially the internet. It has a low point of entry, open to the masses and, for now, remains validated by popularity. Eventually museums will be forced to exhibit websites, but until then classical art is withering and the new Bohemia requires a mousepad.