re: my tweets about Childish Gambino last night: i want to clarify that i was not just being a hater. i went in with an open mind. random experience! i was ready for something new.
the Fox was all lit up for a show, and watching the crowd walk by in the time we were having dinner outside @ Rudy’s, i was trying to guess what kind of music it was (since i had no idea from the name on the marquee) based on the superficial look of the crowd – age, gender, race, fashion = 20ish, 50/50, super mixed, hoodies and skirts . collegiate. i realize that this is a tricky game, stereotyping.
there were a lot of flannel shirts, which doesn’t really scream hip hop to me, but maybe that’s because i’m a generation too old, so i guessed something grunge/punk-ish. jay said, no, it’s hip hop. so then we googled it. and yes, it is hip hop. and then a staff guy came out of the Fox and asked if we wanted free tickets to the show, and we said YES! but when we got inside, they were singing a version of Rolling in the Deep. the whole crowd was singing a capella. it didn’t seem hardcore is what i’m saying. it felt a little…..awards show.
also, my observation about the punk/grunge element was not wrong – 3 out of 4 dudes in the live band (not pictured anywhere on the websites) looked like Dave Grohl and they were playing hard rock as the backing for the MC. one was a guy with a violin. as a plus, i did totally appreciate the live band element.
there was, also, as visual reference to the tour name/theme, Camp Gambino, stage decoration in the form of some tall but fake pine trees and a small tent staked at each edge of the stage, and some background visuals of the moon/sky now and then, so as to look as if the band were playing at a campsite.
i’m all for mashups, but at a certain point i feel like the patchwork of cultural references/sights/sounds is too much. too overtly mimetic. like one of those spoof movies where the visual and character references come at you in a heavy stream of hyperbolic pop nostalgia, but with strobe lights.
i think Donald Glover is maybe overacting the part. and that is sort of where i start to define the essence of hipster: unabashedly revisionist.
In fiction, revisionism is the retelling of a story or type of story with substantial alterations in character or environment, to “revise” the view shown in the original work. Unlike most usages of the term revisionism, this is not generally considered pejorative.
i would agree that this review seems hella jaded/youkidsgetoffmylawn, and maybe it is, but i am not the only one feeling it. see: the 40-year cycles of pop culture nostalgia (kottke):
If you combine this with Kurt Andersen’s recent piece about the slowing rate of change of pop culture, perhaps there’s another lesson here other than Gopnik’s assertion that we’ll be nostalgic for the Obama age 40 years from now. Maybe we’ve reached Peak Nostalgia and in an effort to find more and more nostalgia for an ever-increasing audience, culturemakers are mining more from those eras outside of the appointed 40-year era and as a result, pop culture is feeling more timeless, echoing all eras, until it becomes a culture that can’t draw upon anything but itself.
anyway, we left before the show ended.Filed in art, culture and random linkage, music | Tagged with meme, memetic, mimetic | Comment (0)
on the memetic/mimetic art theme, the current issue of Interview Mag (the one with a totally unrecognizable Katy Perry as the cover) has an interview with Alejandro Jodorowsky, the Chilean surrealist filmmaker who made the infamous art film “Holy Mountain” in 1973. it’s really too bad it’s not online to share the whole thing because he is such an inspiration for right now. choice quote (emphasis added):
“I think in life there are very few creators. There are a million imitators, but what is a person who imitates? It’s just a superficial reproduction of things. I am seeing today a multiplication of superficial work. Photos, photos, photos, myself, myself, myself…. but a lack of humanity now. You have all the communication, but what will you say? I have Twitter, but I never say what I do or what I eat. I am transpersonal. I think art needs to be transpersonal. It needs to break from our individual limits. It needs to go outside our common, collective humanity. We are in MoMA right now, which is paradise. We are wit the spirits of art. But outside, you have reality, which is very dangerous. It’s in pain. Nobody’s happy. Not just economically, but also emotionally and creatively. They have lost the meaning of politics, of religion, of health. Today, medicine is an industry. Everything’s industrial. But I say the night makes the day. After a night, it is the day, and not the reversal. Not after the day is the night. It is a positive message. Everything that happens in your life is for the good. I don’t believe in political revolution. I believe in poetical revolution. That’s what I believe. So where do we put the power? In the consciousness. Everything we do should be to open the mind of a person.”
i love this because it is the same mix of perceptions that i have, that while it contains what are superficially pessimistic realist statements (“Nobody’s happy”), this recognition of the darkness of the world feeds the belief that if we tune ourselves properly it will lead to light.
+obviously a screening of Holy Mountain is in our near future if anyone wants in.Filed in art, philosophical ramblings, QOTD, tv, books and movies | Tagged with #occupyart, memetic, mimetic | Comment (1)
following up on my last #occupy post……
the Muppets have taught us so many things since 1976. and this week, they’ve taught us just how well popular Art can be used to call bullshit:
Miss Piggy was more combative and political; the puppet added that the charge was “almost as laughable as accusing Fox News of being news.”
(this is a response to this)
have the Muppets always been so intense?
anyway, i love it, and this is a great segue for me to post some of that which i recently wrote for my art school application on the subject of the current state and intersection of art vs. politics in America. this is definitively the longest post i’ve ever published, but if you’re interested, read on….Filed in art, culture and random linkage, personal favorites | Tagged with #occupyart, #occupywallstreet, #ows, adbusters, banksy, capitalism, huxley, marxisms, memetic, mimetic, shepard fairey, TED | Comment (0)