THE DAILY PIC: My take on Jeff Koons? That he’s the planet’s sole sufferer from a disorder I’ve dubbed “aesthetic agnosia”: an inability to recognize the normal codes of art and culture. The prime symptom of Koons’s illness is a career’s worth of works that don’t fit into any of the normal categories that the rest of us use to sort out the (art) world. He’s the Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Sculpture – an outsider artist who happens to sit right in the center of the art-world inside. (That position alone is part of his genius.) This is what I felt when I reviewed his first retrospective, only six years ago in Chicago, and my view hasn’t much changed with his new spread at the Whitney – you can hear me voice it again in the latest “Strictly Critical” video that I’ve made with my (oh-so-misguided) pal Christian Viveros-Fauné.
But the Whitney show did make me think, again, of a recent(-ish) book called “In Praise of Copying,” by the theorist Marcus Boon. It argues that the West has come to neglect (or even to deride) the ancient principle of copia – the pleasure to be had, and the insights to be gained, from the sheer multiplicity of things in the world around us. We moderns treasure unique originals where we ought to value the endless copies we are, in fact, so good at making. Koons, of course, is our master of multiplictity. Works from the 1980s, such as “New Hoover Convertibles, Green, Blue Doubledecker” that I’m showing here, make that obvious – this is a shrine to copia, a reliquary of its patron saint Trademark. But much of Koons’s art is about taking objects that ought to be unique – a balloon dog the size of an elephant, say – and finding ways to produce them in series. Even a moment of orgasm with his porn-star ex-wife, as much a unicum as anything ought to be, becomes a mechanically produced – and therefore reproducible – oil painting. (Pace almost all my art-critical colleagues, I happen to agree with Koons that his “Made in Heaven” porn pictures are among his greatest and most important works.)
Koons misunderstands what a masterpiece ought to be – and therefore turns them out in numbers. (Image ©Jeff Koons)
This is about our health and our lives. This is about our fundamental right to have control over our own bodies. This is about justice — and we’re fighting back. If you agree, join Justice Ginsburg’s dissent.
Not until a machine can write a sonnet or compose a concerto because of thoughts and emotions felt, and not by the chance fall of symbols, could we agree that machine equals brain—that is, not only write it but know that it had written it.
Hybrid Play, How it works video. Not sure what to make of this. Will have to investigate further.
Controversy has for decades surrounded the issue of violence in video games. Much of this controversy, needless to say, has derived from ignorance and political opportunism. But a valid observation lies at the hubbub’s root. In video games, violence increasingly has been used as an organizing principle—even the organizing principle—behind gameplay. Too often violence is neither incidental nor contextually appropriate. Rather, it is an incongruous medium for all of one’s interactions. The player becomes, in the words of game designer and theorist Marc LeBlanc, Edward Pistolhands.
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The Facebook “emotional contagion” experiment has created what is to me a surprising little storm. Facebook constantly manages what news you see and which of your friends you get to pay attention, even with continual manual alteration of your feed’s parameters, so Facebook playing with FEELS in pursuit of algorithm development shouldn’t shock anyone. Hinky low-rent NLP experiments are right in…
This puzzle consists of four hinged pieces which can be folded one way to a square and the other way to an equilateral triangle. Master puzzler Henry Dudeney demonstrated a wooden model before the London Royal Society in 1905.