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Nature of Artistry : The Stupendous & The Stupid

October 3, 2009
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Stupendous Artistry - Youtube Video link later in blog

<GONG>

Nature of Artistry: The Stupendous & The Stupid

(Yes, I also like my title.  Don’t steal it.  If you do, at least publish it.  But make sure you give me a credit, like a “This is dedicated to Nathan b/c he thought of a great title”.  Okay, you don’t have to.  But at least get me a bubble tea.  I haven’t found a good one here in London yet.  If you can find my good bubble tea here, you can keep the title.)

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Stupid Artistry - Why? Check out video & blog explanation

Have you ever felt in Awe of the Stupendous & the Stupid in one day?

No, No, No, I’m not talking about people.  I’m not that mean yet…I only offer criticisms about things, objects, concepts, theories, ideologies, behaviours, and everything else like that. But CONSTRUCTIVELY…And never without a thesis statement and at least 500 words, and always grounded in some empirically supported methodology.  But never sourcing through Wikipedia.  Because that’s just academic TABOO.

Ok, I confess.  Sometimes, I’ll criticize an animal.  Especially if it’s a wet, very hairy dog (cuteness becomes irrelevant here), and it smells. But I like dogs.  But cats are much more interesting in my opinion.  Did you know that Egyptians revered cats?  Even deified them?  I’ll prove it.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cats_in_ancient_Egypt

(Yes.  If you caught that subtle, corny bit of doublestandard humour in my referencing an unreliable source that actually may contain quite a bit of probable truth, no matter how many hands wrote about the matter…then, good job.  Your reward is to send me bbtea)

Ok.  I digress. Quite a bit.  It’s late.

Without further ado, here’s the main exhibition.

Exhibit A: Stupendous Artistry

Check out this man’s awesomeness.  This is Stupendous Artistry.  He was playing on the streets of Central London…creating sheer brilliance off of household pots, pans, plastics, metals, bins etc.  I’ve seen this done before elsewhere on streets in some Canadian spots, even professionally (e.g. the “Stomp” show), but there was some extra brilliance and talent here, in my opinion…just from the sheer musical and rhythmic variation + intensity, passion, and showmanship.  You had to be there. Wow.  Stupendous Artistry.  Nuff Said.

Exhibit B : Stupid Artistry:

As for Stupid Artistry, Check this video out, and then read my commentary:

Yup, it’s an old grandma holding a piece of cake, with a funny, skinny man looking perfectly goofy beside her, while grandma is singing, yes, the old, 2003 Beyoncé megahit “Crazy in Love”. What the who!?!?   Sure, this may be some technological innovation in puppetry of some sort (esp. matching the lipsyncing decently), …but it’s just plain Stupid, especially with the contrast of the puppet characters singing and dancing to what the lyrics and style of music suggest in terms of perception.  There’s absolutely no competition between this type of artistry versus the drummer dude’s awesomeness.  Even I, who might be the first to argue, “It’s not stupid, it’s just different”, can’t offer that counter.  Because it may be different, but Exhibit B is still just Stupid.

…NOW, tempted as you are to think I’m condemning Stupid Artistry and telling the world not to pay attention to it, you would be quite INCORRECT.  It’s stupid, because it is. Just think about it.  Or watch the video again. It’s really really stupid.  But, it doesn’t mean it’s not worth paying attention to.  In fact, if associating that song with the characters was actually intentional, I might argue that it’s stupidly brilliant in its humour.  But perhaps giving it such credit would defeat the glory of its Stupidity, if in fact, I am arguing that Stupidity is worth more than just our attention.  That is, what if Stupidity, irreverance, silliness, and all of those things are indeed worth our “celebration” of them?

So, yah, the Nature of Artistry is perhaps just as vague as you think, but also just as clear as you believe.  In other words, sometimes artistry isn’t so easily defined.  At the same time, what artistry “is”, can seem pretty bloody obvious sometimes.  It just “hits” you intuitively. Some things, experientially, are truly amazing and stupendous.  And some things, phenomenologically (just a big word that means a similar thing to experientially. haha. I’m just showing off), are actually really stupid.  Though the nature of artistry is a vast idea, I for one, am glad to be able to enjoy both the Stupendous and the Stupid.  And to see one completely stupendous and another utterly stupid bit of artistry in one evening was pretty cool.   It was a good day.

<GONG….Yes, Nathan is indeed warming up to actually start writing his dissertation, though it’s not gonna be on Stupidity or the Stupendous.  Inspired?>

(Notes:   If you’re wondering, the Stupid Artistry is from “Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! Museum” (which is where it’s from), b/c it looks pretty wacky, weird, and cool, which is my kinda thing (even if the admission prices, even for students, is ridiculous!).

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Raymond Cheung permalink
    October 3, 2009 10:55 pm

    Nathan, I agree with your blog about the stupendous and stupid artistry. 🙂 Hahaha, based on the two Youtube videos that you posted, the blog just reinforces my view of London as one of the cultural meccas of the world.

    The drummer has musical talent and is resourceful in using household items to make drums. Hahah, if he finds a Chinese friend or neighbour who would lend him a big WOK, the sounds would be even better.

    As for the grandma singing the Beyonce song, it does look a bit tacky.

  2. Eric Morrill permalink
    October 7, 2009 9:59 pm

    That is almost a Jane Austin alliteration title. I think I would go with Stupor and Stupidity though, but might not makes sense here, unless you were put in a daze by the drummer stupendousness.

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