by tom moodyComments Off on Grinding on the Greeks
Brian Droitcour's essay on Rhizome.org last year titled "It's Only Humanist" merits a belated cry of agony. Having noted numerous references to classical Greece in YIBA sites such as "Greek New Media Shit" and "Grinding on the Greeks" (YIBA = Young Internet Based Artist) Droitcour came up with a theory about them:
To me it tastes like a desire to locate man’s place in a world that he perceives primarily with the aid of machines
The art of the Greeks has been used in the past as a touchstone for artists who measure their own vision against an anthropocentric one.
We're talking here about a website with a foxy dancer rubbing her ass against a winged marble statue with a title that references a smutty name for anal sex (the "Greek Grind" in case you missed it). Oh yeah, the old world, sigh, where did we cyborgs go wrong.
In the comments to the essay several artists schooled Droitcour on why all the Greek columns and statues: because they're staples of 3D rendering programs the artists use all the time. In fact, they don't care much at all about the ancient Greeks or classical ideals, which should have been obvious from the websites' flippant titles.
Whoops, bad theory, except the problem with having a blog on a museum-hosted website is this isn't a trial balloon. These artists now have a resume-stuffer in the form of a serious academic-style essay linking their ephemeral art to classical traditions and high purpose. Some will even get outsized egos and speak in comment threads about the "recognition" they have had for their work.* Misrecognition, more like.
*Actually only know of one instance of this but it was a jaw-dropper.
Paddy Johnson's fellow editor Will Brand recently emailed to ask what he could do to get me to stop "trolling" their blog (hey, I thought they were good comments). In the emails he admitted that, regarding our GIF fights last year,
...to be honest, I was never particularly interested in which GIF was used to publicize a show I didn't see in Ohio a year ago, I'm just interested in defending AFC'rs when commenters come after them. I see that as part of my job, because I know as a writer it's emotionally helpful.
He also says, ominously,
Despite your well-wishing, we're going to have to deal with each other for a while yet.