shiny gold star

I didn’t post anything all week.  I guess I didn’t have anything to say.  Plus, my kid was home with a fever, his skin color waning like the blood in his body had been swapped for 1% milk.  A buddy of mine, though, sums it all up.  Life, art, criticism, inspiration.  Thanks, old bone.

***

I have an embarrassing admission to make. Sometimes… no, often, when shopping for books, if it’s between two works from the same author and one was recognized with an award, I’ll take the more recognized work. Simply because other people have recognized it as being of quality make. Those labels, those damned shiny stars, they draw my eye like a lure does a fish. I also read ratings for movies. On Netflix I will let the star rating affect my choices. Not always, but often. When it comes to be a consumer, purchasing “stuff”, I do the same. I researched my wife’s coffee maker and read peoples’ rating and feedback.

So that’s nothing new. I’m one of the crowd. Back before all of this star rating and immediate access to judgments of all kinds and orders I used to pay attention to the recommendations of employees at certain video rental stores. I figured out who watched the good movies and then grab their recommendations off the shelf. Again, probably nothing too extraordinary here.

I guess what I’m getting at in a rather roundabout way is… I think this has a lot to do with the ocean of noise.

Sure there are always those Nietzschian screamers — the squeaky, or rather, exploding wheels. The people who tear their mouths open and scream until their own sound reaches above the din. And maybe they get noticed.

The gimmicky and niche-based works will continue to provide us with just enough novelty to get us through until something profound comes along.

I don’t know. I guess we’ll continue to have critics. We want them. We need them. Because we trust in the labels, the shiny stickers and awards, at least enough to purchase the products. But even more so we’ll continue to judge each other. Because that’s what we want. It’s something that comes natural to us. We want people to know our opinions, because they are so personal to us. And we’ll continue to listen to other peoples’ opinions of us and our works because… well, they’re fucking listening, at least a little bit.

It sounds like you’re reaching for what comes next. I don’t know. I can’t see around that corner. A lot of stuff is changing drastically pretty quickly these days, but I find it hard to think of another paradigm for critical analysis of art, especially when we have just finally gotten people to feel connected to a piece of art through critiquing and being heard. It seems like people will ride this out for as long as possible. There is a certain vanity in having your opinion heard and then taken. We all love it, especially when someone else loves it, and then someone else loves it, and then…

The question remains… how to be heard above the din. There is a lot of fucking noise going on out there. It can feel overwhelming.. all those people… all that art…

The competition is fierce.

I find myself in the camp of the Old School. Persistent pushing.

I may be naive. I may be out of sync, out of date. But I find that a lot of old shit still works. You just have to keep it tuned up.

-Geoff Pierce
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