19 Comments


  1. Oh thank you & Mr. Sam for sharing that link and for the hearty and therapeutic laugh I just had.


  2. Makes me wonder: with so much call and yearning for “authenticity”, why is anyone still taking this kind of babble serious? Call me a reactionary, it’s just this kind of pretension that makes me want to be for my work “nothing but an eye,” per Monet.

    Great cartoon.

  3. Ken Zupko

    Follow Sam’s link and we leave “emerging sexualities” for “neo-dialectic theory” and “capitalist conceptualism” and a roll-call of similar jargon. Funny thing is, none of it sounds like a parody.

  4. Studio Matters

    It does not sound like parody because it sounds like the Marxist jargon we have become habituated to. It functions like a blunt instrument to stun the hearer. (There is a telling thread on the subject on Facebook. Follow the conversation between Robert, a self-described Marxist, and a few others. In its own way, it illustrates why the abuse of language is handmaiden to the abuse of power.)


  5. WOW, that’s a glaring ideological generalization, Maureen. That kind of abuse happens on both sides of the artistic, political & ideological spectrums—it’s not just isolated to “Bad Painters,” Marxists, Socialists and Mullahs.

  6. Studio Matters

    Read more carefully, Mr. Eyeballs. I wrote that the abuse of language is handmaiden to the abuse of power. Period. (Hardly a contested thought. It has been noted extensively over the centuries since Plato.) As an example of it, I gave the discussion of Marxist jargon–what it serves; why it is convoluted and imprecise–by contemporary Marxists themselves.

    You are free to offer samples from other places. Without them, your own comment risks classification as a glaring generalization.


  7. I was indeed sloppy in my read and assumed an implied opposite that wasn’t there—sorry!

    Abuse of power is an age old affliction of our lot, but propaganda serves power, and if so (and like beauty), isn’t propaganda in the eye of the beholder? Malfunction seems to come when artistry solely serves temporal power and not what is undying in human history?

    However, I think there is indeed a case to be made that the temporal power of today is more in the hands of corporations and the people who serve them than in the working middle class.

    So how would you address that Marxist argument?

  8. Studio Matters

    The issue here is jargon, dear Mr. Eyeballs. Jargon! Marxist jargon is a fitting example because it is the model for the portentious-sounding incoherence issued, increasingly, by artists and art department.

    If you want to argue about Marxism (for which I have little sympathy), the place to do it is on the Facebook page I linked to. Or http://www.workersinternational.org, et alia. Suffice it to say that Marx was a a poor economist and facile demonizing of corporations is a mark of naiveté, at best.


  9. OUCH! I don’t want to argue about anything. I thought I was pointing out that words in the form of jargon (or propaganda) are the tools of power to persuade or intimidate. Not having a wordsmith’s focus, I’m more concerned about any power that destroys the freedom of the individual to express their unique vision about life.

    Art departments are now more in the process of cutting their fine arts focus for more practical-based disciplines (graphic design, computer-aided design, etc.) so their students can land paying jobs upon graduation. And who can blame them with the pyramid scheme that has become the artist’s route today? I learned long ago that most institutions, private or public, corporate or governmental, are maintained for the furtherance and convenience of their staffs. So when I see these ridiculous caterings by art departments to adolescent whimsy to keep up enrollments, I wince just as often as you—but I suspect the problem lies with economic exigencies created by a Darwinian Crapitalism more so than a dead left-wing philosopher and the few fools who think his thinking still relevant today.

    Nor was I being facile; I was playing Devil’s advocate because I see commercial interests now trumping most esthetic ones in our frenetic culture—a Marxist would “facilely” take advantage of that fact. But I find your pique both telling and insulting. Again, I apologize if I unintentionally have stepped on your toes, but YOUR “argument” is in need of a more careful read by YOU as well.

  10. Sam

    I’m not sure if this makes me a Marxist or not, but I find it disturbing that Goldman Sachs owns 38% of the Education Management Corporation that owns the Art Institutes chain, the largest “art school” system in the world. This chain lives on government loans being dealt to students on the fly. Hence the advertising: Like to play video games? Wanna be a game designer? Call us today!

  11. Sam

    I also wonder how much blame can be shifted from Marx to Derrida for all this bad writing?

  12. Studio Matters

    Assuming the facts are correct, Sam, it would be good to know who the other owners of the institutes are, who is on their board of directors, how long they have been around. {Would you consider doing the homework and come back to tell us?} You don’t like Goldman Sachs. Neither do I. They want to make as much money as they can. But what of it? The same can be said of dealers, collectors (institutional and individual) who buy as investment, art investment fund managers and their clients, auction houses, and artists themselves. Higher education in general is after the buck. Look at the spiraling cost of college compared to rates of inflation. Other art schools outside the Institute system, too, have their promotional efforts—certificate programs, etc., for all takers, talented or not. Government financing does not require the applicant to show aptitude for the area of study being applied for. (Can’t blame that on Goldman Sachs.)

    This is really too complex a topic to be made sense of with a quick jab in a comment section. If any reader wants to pursue this, please do. I’ll be happy to post a serious inquiry under your byline.


  13. Thoughtful posts here, but I care more about preserving what’s rare, inspiring and emboldens the human spirit with hope. Even if we become more informed—so what? I’m more concerned about stimulating wisdom, beauty and gratitude in our culture than encouraging yet more objects that scream for attention and offer only distraction, chaos and an occasional sardonic joke.

    Art is supposed to offer hope to the tribe, not despair or, at most, existential ennui.

  14. Sam

    This is what I pulled off some PDFs from the Ai website:

    The Art Institute of Philadelphia LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Art Institutes International LLC, which through two intermediary limited liability companies is a subsidiary of Education Management Corporation, headquartered at 210 Sixth Avenue, 33rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-2603.

    The Art Institutes International LLC has a three-member Board of Directors located at 210 Sixth Avenue Pittsburgh, PA. The members are Todd S. Nelson, Edward H. West and John M. Mazzoni.

    _____________

    The Art Institutes chain (or “Ai”) arose from EDMC’s purchase of the Art Institute of Pittsburg founded in 1921.

    Here is the history of EDMC:
    http://www.edmc.edu/About/History.aspx

    I don’t have time to write a post about this topic, but can pass along a number of articles related to the issue of for-profit colleges and art schools.

  15. Mr.Eyeballs

    Informative; thanks Sam—scams at every level in the business of art, it seems. I was a dedicated teacher until I worked with the likes of David Salle and Jack Goldstein. My disillusionment, however was a gift and I’m grateful for that slap in the face now.

    At best, art education today teaches kids to see through the illusions of culture and better enabler them to find their own truth. At worst, it creates more self-obcessed narcissists in a culture that exploits mass folly.

    At the beginning of every semester, a local art supply house hires limos to take newly-arrived art students from their dorms to their off-campus mega-store. I also have too many friends (with maladjusted kids having a modicum of talent) who are in tuition-hock while their BFA & MFA-endowed offspring are unemployed or, if lucky, working in Starbucks or local upscale restaurants.

  16. Mr.Eyeballs

    “Ads are the cave art of the twentieth century.”
    Marshall McLuhan

  17. Joke de Winter

    Hello,

    Just found your nice write-up of our Arty Bollocks Generator. Since you wrote it, we gave it it’s own home at http://www.artybollocks.com and have also updated it with more words to create even more combinations.

    Anyway, thank you for liking it, and thank you for writing so nicely about it.

    Joke

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