Monthly Archives: February 2005

Christo’s Orange Laundry as Art?

There are articles and commentaries and complaints and photos galore of The Gates in Central Park, so I couldn’t resist chiming in on some of the more interesting bits I’ve seen.

The New York Times has a collection of reader views on the installation, ranging from the expected “ohmygodIloveit” to the, “What a waste of money.” To those saying this money could have been spent in much better ways… Sure, it could have been spent in better ways, but it wouldn’t be, so it’s a non-argument. It didn’t cost the city anything, and in return they’re getting an enormous (temporary, I might add) art installation, a huge tourism bump, and a chunk of the souvenir proceeds all go to preserving Central Park. How can you really argue that any of that is bad? There is also an attempt at picking apart the accounting of the $20 million cost of the Gates, claiming it is a ridiculously high number. Again, I think the arguments of cost vs. reported cost vs. fancy-car-driving-frenchmen or not, is beside the point entirely. Look at the work and let it speak for itself. If you’re going to try to discount an artwork because the artists are rich or snobs or self-absorbed, we’re going to have to revamp a LOT of art history. Heck, throw in artists that are “crazy” and/or “sexist” and I think we can successfully discredit all art in the world.

A number of bloggers have also linked to this semi-negative review, which can more or less be summed up in three sentences: Another pointless parallel to 9/11. I like Chicago’s bean sculpture better. I don’t like the color orange (sorry, saffron). I wasn’t impressed with the review, and while I’m not a fanatic for Christo and Jeanne-Claude, I think it deserves a little more credit. It isn’t about “meaning” or profundity, or whether art critics think it’s good or bad art. It’s about an experience, for those that get to see it (curse you East coast family!), and an aesthetic experience at that. I’m sure the photos don’t do it nearly enough justice, just like it’s hard to imagine what a wrapped Reichstag might be like in non-photo form, let alone if it “means” anything.

The art of Mark Rotthko might be a good comparison. Seeing a poster-size print of one of his works just isn’t the same as walking into a room where a 7-foot by 7-foot painting, washed in simple colors, engulfs your vision. You can’t help having a visceral gut-reaction, good or bad, when your senses are so overwhelmed. Before modern art got all deconstructionist, for a time it was really about eliciting a raw emotional reaction from the viewer. I see Christo and Jeanne-Claude as following this with their work, on an even larger scale.

Whether I’d like it or not, I know I’d at least like take a stroll through Central Park and experience the Gates.

On screen

I really ought to start a new blog/site specifically for posting links to videos and trailers on the web. Until then, here’s some more crap…

Apple has the TV spots aired during the Superbowl online, including Batman Begins.

FoxSports.com has got a summary of the Superbowl ads, with links to web versions of a bunch.

If you haven’t seen the trailer for Kingdom of Heaven yet, I highly recommend you check it out. In spite of the flood of mediocre sword-and-sandal epics that followed his Gladiator, I think Ridley Scott will once again show us how it’s done.

The Academy Awards are getting close, and I’ve realized that I’ve seen none of the movies nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and only one (Eternal Sunshine) in the Best Actress category this year. I do have two out of the three Best Animated Features covered. Maybe I should go see some of the others.

Just remembered I wanted to add a link to academy films (not related to the above-mentioned awards at all). Head to music videos -> Daniel Askill -> We Have Decided Not to Die

It’s string time again

My favorite search strings from January (my highest traffic month to date!)…

chris chase taylor blog stranger – OK, this isn’t a favorite. Who’s stalking me? Thankfully, only my main site shows up.
what font does jeb bush use for logo – Whaaa?
you know like numchuck skills bowhunting skills computer hackin – Flippin’ sweet!
art – chris taylor – I am Art!
drinkskill – I prefer to read this as “drink skill” and not “drinks kill”
how many hours to get from seattle to portland – by bike, you’re looking at about 17 hours
thermometer up the bum video – “Once used rectally, thermometer should not be used orally
wtf is a roflcopter – OMG n00b!

Keep the ridiculous searches coming, and I’ll keep posting stupid stuff.

Like a phonebook, but funnier!

Working at a company that is essentially a giant phonebook online, you spend a good chunk of your day looking at web pages such as this.

Here are some of the more amusing results we’ve found that are actually listed in our database (and most likely many phonebooks across the country)…

  • Asdf Asdf (4)
  • Asdf Sdfsdf
  • Sponge-bob Square-pants (in Ontario)
  • Bob Pants (in Missouri)
  • Jim Qwerty
  • Harry Bumgardner (7)
  • Harry & Kitten Troutt
  • Henry Lou Bumbalough (Electric Boogaloo?)
  • Zdravko Matic (2)
  • Tara Booger
  • C A Hickie
  • M A Hickie
  • Fern Mullet
  • Ima Diva
  • Hanqing Dong

UPDATE: A “Sponge Bob Square Pants” (yes, two-word first and last names) has been found in Rocky Face, GA.