Sunday, September 9, 2018

Beakerhead and Susi teaser

Sometimes I don't get it. I see people all excited and worked up about something, and I'm baffled. Professional sports teams are a good example. Grown people playing games, and often getting paid exceedingly well for it. Why on earth does it make sense to pay someone a lot of money for manipulating an object into a small space, and not pay more people well for a real skill like those relevant to providing health care to people? Even more baffling are the fans who identify themselves with a team and change their emotions depending on how "their" team performs or doesn't. They chant 'we're number 1' when their team wins, just as if they had something to do with it, rather than being a bystander.

Electronics are another. Some people get all worked up about a new iPhone, or argue about the differences between the iPhone and a Samsung, or something else, just as if it meant something. Why? There will be a new gadget along in a few months and they'll do it all over. Cell phones are already far better than they need to be, except for durability and battery life. They provide all too many functions, to the point many people don't even know what many of the icons on their phone do.

For example, I have 83 icons on my phone. I use about 20 of them regularly, 5 or 6 of them daily. Some, like Evernote I used to use a lot, and now I never use it; I just haven't got around to deleting the app from my phone. There are some icons that came with the phone that I have never used, such as podcasts, numbers, iTunes U, iMovie, pages, GarageBand, and keynote. I'm not even sure if I can delete them. There are a few, like Home, that I've never used, and have no idea what it does. I'm almost afraid to press it. Maybe in my copious free time I'll organize the icons, deleting the ones I don't use, and tucking the ones I can't delete into a folder.

I get that we're all different. We have different interests, and that's good, otherwise it would be pretty boring. Art tastes are an example of huge differences. Some fool sees Voice of Fire and says it's worth millions of dollars, while most of say that a grade school kid could have painted it. Some people thought Van Gogh was the most innovative painter ever, and some thought he was a dangerous radical.

Some people go to enormous effort in creating their artwork. Just think how long a sculptor took to finish a work in stone, in the age before power tools. So yes, we got David out of the deal, and generations of artists and viewers agree that it's a masterpiece. Even now, with power tools, we don't get our public space flooded with sculptors hauling their creations around. The effort is too large. (Don't get me started on photographers and writers!)

Then we look at other artwork, with variable amounts of effort. One can appreciate the effort, even if one doesn't get it. I see lots of things at Beakerhead that are interesting and cool. Some are not to my personal taste, but I get that it's art. Sometimes I wonder why, but that's just me.

There was a teaser at Southcentre mall on the weekend. I took the wrong lens so I didn't get a good shot of it, but here you go. What do you think?


Yes, it's a dung beetle. This is one that I don't get. Is it ironical? Is it making a statement about consumerism in our society? Someone went to a fair bit of effort to find the material, figure out how to cut it and fasten it together so that it would take the correct shape when inflated. Why? And why would Beakerhead decide this was a suitable opening exhibit? Why not the Tesla coil?

I'm not saying this shouldn't have been done. It's a free country, at least it is for now. I just don't get it. Maybe this is one of those things where I'm missing some crucial element that explains it, and creates the context that promotes understanding and appreciation. Perhaps I missed the artists statement. How much effort am I expected to exert in cases like this, as opposed to moving onto the next work of art?

None the less, I was looking over the Beakerhead program, and I think it's going to be lots of fun.

1 comment:

  1. Is it staying in the mall? I think it would be more intriguing positioned on a rooftop or somewhere downtown perhaps to summarize the futility of the workday morning. It would be fabulous in our atrium. I look forward to Beakerhead every year, excited for the 2018 edition!

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