Saturday, April 28, 2012

Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #9

This is a project where I pay workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk to review my art and website and pay them $5 dollars for 500 words. This is the 9th review I've received:

The art on is witty and comical. Most of the images require just enough thinking to engage you and then once your study the image for a moment, the punch line hits and you begin to laugh. The site is set up in a contemporary, simple design that makes it very user-friendly and easy to navigate through. As a user, there aren’t flash videos or major distractions that are pulling you in multiple directions and making things complicated. It’s very obvious that the focus is on the art. Whether you are looking at a man rolling on the floor laughing, literally, or a free poster that is a little underwhelming but funny, you get the sense that the humor and the art on the website has its own personality. It’s not generic humor or specific to a demographic, its niche humor and will resonate with specific people. The artwork is quite good, most shots are filled with color and there is a certain amount of unpredictability from one shot to the next. You can’t tell if you will soon be looking at a half naked man or a half naked man with a strap-on ballsack attached to his body. The images are often fun and inviting. For example, Calvinball is some sort of experiment that has been captured with photography, yet the images are enjoyable because the people depicted in Calvinball look like they are genuinely having a fun go of it. You can’t help but wonder what the heck they are talking about. There are some funny videos on the site too. The videos are mixed in on the menu and they are a nice complement to some of the funny art work. Seeking Good Conversation is a sad clip that features the texting habits of a married woman who is missing her husband who has been deployed. Pretty sad when you think about it. When you’re husband is deployed in another country, you probably begin to hone your texting skills, if you are even lucky enough to text him. It’s a very interesting contrast when you view the video in the context of the material surrounding it. The content is, for the most part, very light. Aside from the rare sad story about deployed husbands the site is good for some laughs. Modern Greetings is a funny section that makes you wonder why our greetings are so rudimentary and simple. What if they were a bit different? A bit more complicated? The images are filled with colorful people, again, all smiling and enjoying their experiment. On a whole, the artwork on the site is vibrant has vitality, makes you think and ultimately makes you smile or laugh. It’s very modern and most of the images are humorous. Overall, the artwork is enjoyable to view. The people included in the shots all look they are having an enjoyable time and that creates a pleasant overall tone on the website and artwork. It’s not somber at all. It resonates because it is in many ways unique and uplifting. It’s just people having fun with words, art and life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #8

This is a project where I pay workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk to review my art and website and pay them $5 dollars for 500 words. This is the 8th review I've received:

When I first visited the website, I was quite confused, as it wasn't what I was expecting. When I hear the word "art" I think of these overly-complex, beautiful, striking, cerebral paintings. I forget that art comes in so many forms, all of them linked by a sense of creativity, expression and, most importantly, freedom. These various projects all contain those qualities, and they're unique, something I've never seen before in terms of art and creativity. There's a sense of humor to many of them, and in others, a carefree and spontaneity to them, and all of them feel so simple and easy on the surface. It's not until I took the time to process what I was seeing and reading that I realized that if you go below the surface of what's been created, you get to the heart of the inspiration and message. The piece called Seeking Good Conversation was the first one I watched. I thought it was a creative way to speak to new people, to delve into many people's lives and interact with people in a convenient way, especially in a world where we're all rushing around, stressing out over silly things. There's something intriguing about the idea of just leaving flyers asking people to converse with you, getting to know strangers while still being anonymous. The videos depicting a few of the texts were brilliant, too, not just in their execution, but also the messages themselves. They were short and basic, not giving away any information, but about something that almost everyone relates to. It shows how connected we are, even as strangers, that we all feel so used to our environment and lifestyle that we don't stop and think about it until texting with a stranger, realizing how automatic life has become. A good example of the humor I mentioned at the beginning is in Modern Greetings. It's an interactive piece that gets people to greet in more unusual, awkward and funny ways than the traditional hand-shaking. I found it to be funny, and also something that I'd imagine is a good ice-breaker. Handshakes themselves can feel awkward even though they're the norm, so why not do something more unusual to take away the formality of it? I thought this was a very interesting piece for that reason, and that was the thought that came to my mind as I was reading through it. My favorite piece, though, was the one titled Interactive Signs. It, too, seems so simple, and is simple, but that's the brilliance of it; it takes something so simple to get people to break their mundane habits and routines, to make their day just a little bit different. All in all, I loved viewing the artwork I've seen. It's opened my eyes to how art doesn't always have to be riddled in metaphors and concepts that no-one but the artist and some experts will understand or relate to, and how it isn't just something that caters to the mind, but also to the heart and body; something that reminds me to break the monotony, break away from the stress and routine, and do something different. Most importantly, it reminds me to live. That's what this art is all about, to me. It's about life itself, and that is the greatest form of art.

Mike Kelley Homage In My Studio

Mike Kelley Homage, 2012, New York Times newspapers

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #7

This is a project where I pay workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk to review my art and website and pay them $5 dollars for 500 words. This is the 7th review I've received:

While I am not an art connoisseur I enjoyed looking at all the various forms of art that Paul Shortt created. Particularly I liked the different types of mediums that were used and how interactive the works were. I think we've all been in the situation where we've walked into a museum surrounded by beautiful works of art only to be told not to touch. The Paul Shortt pieces actually encourage the audience to take part in art. The “corner piece” made me laugh a bit because I can definitely see myself walking up to the piece and doing exactly as it instructs me to do. I found the ROFL rug humerous because it invites you to actually do what we text soo many types a day. It's pretty ridiculous when you look at it that way. What I encountered time and time again was that most of the works were basic and simple such as the “Free Poster” work. It is, as it states, just a free poster but in actuality it became something more and an actual piece of art by itself. That is the magic of art that it takes on a life of its' own and sometimes goes beyond what the artist intended. One of the pieces that I liked the most was the “Please Do not climb” sculpture. From far away it seems to say “Please Climb” which ofcourse would draw me towards it, ready to do its' bidding. Upon closer inspection it really says “Please do not climb” which would leave me in a predicament because at this point I would want to climb it even more. My favorite piece is the Missed Connections piece. Out of curiosity I have clicked on the craigslist link only to find a world of people who are desperate to find that one person that made them feel something for that moment in time. I loved that those ads were re read and placed in the settings that those people wrote about. I could have sat here and watched hours of that footage. I think that it touched me because most times we assume that we don't matter to many people when it reality it may be that we've changed someones life without even knowing it. I would say most of Paul Shotts art is “tongue in cheek” so to speak, like the certificate that states “I was totally impressed by the depth of our random exchange.” It is seemingly absolutely random from the step sculpture to the ROFL rug but what all the pieces have in common is that they invite an audience to interact with art in a way that is non threatening. Once that initial hesitation is over, the audience can then use the art to see the banal in a different light. Many times we walk through life just going through the motions without actually noticing anything around us. I think Paul Shortts art encourages people to experience the world by being an active participant in it.

Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #5 and #6

This is a project where I pay workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk to review my art and website and pay them $5 dollars for 500 words. These are the 5th and 6th reviews I've received:

Review # 5

First, thank you, Paul Shortt, for the opportunity given to visit the website and go for a journey filled with artistic pleasure. Leave alone the rewards for venturing in to the journey, the pleasant surprises given here is the real worth. The attracted features are many and the most interesting ones for me are here. The ROFL CON concept is a visual treat and as said many people are vying on line to present themselves, few succeed, and Paul Shortt looks moving in the right direction and it looks like that he will have the last laugh. The three-hour tour in a hospital evoked the thoughts of a stay in a hospital in me. Paul Shortt, sharing his views with the patients and his experience encountered upon during the visit brought out the feel of compassion, which also founds a place in the heart of this budding artist. Therefore, money alone cannot fill once lives and little kind-heartedness to the unfortunates who are bundled in a hospital with chronic illness like cancer is quite impressive. As I more dwell upon his character part, I fear I may live out his artistic talents. Pillory for Market Place pictures are imaginative and the glass is innovatively placed to bring its property of reflection for projecting an artistic imaginations. In the Celia and Willet –Wandell Sculpture Park, the signboard with “Please Do not Climb on the Sculpture” finds its place with a Gentleman and he is valiantly trying to keep in a strategic position but in vain. A nice idea done with a good taste and evokes laughter in the minds of the viewers. However, it is use as good sitting space for two to watch Television is a nice ending to it. Modern Greetings tries to take out the boredom in life and tries to give a last handshake the method of “handshakes” to greet others. New methods tries methods like hitting with the mobiles, touch of different parts of the body, Reference Letter for Dating is a like a climax in a play and an ongoing project. How he is going to choose a letter is not overtly said and I feel it may be like a lottery system and chosen letter writer is a lucky one to participate in a art show. Missed connections bring in the reader the love lost in the midst of one’s life. It happens in lives, our eyes turns moist, and a read, never to miss by any reader of this website. The interactive sign is a nice guide for doing activity exercise for toddlers within a time span. The maiden show of Paul Shortt shocks Chicago with his classic hand buzzer gag emulate his talent in the start of his career itself and looks like he has never looked back. Collaborations is the real example of Paul Shortt is a different artist, as artist mostly perform single, and here his collaborative roles with other artists like Jason Dixion in Emily Roysdon's show Ecstatic Resistance bring out his uniqueness. As, I make a temporary stop here and await many more artistic ecstasies in the days ahead.

Review #6

Firstly, the modern feeling surrounding this art work combined with the humor just completely drew my attention into the art work on the Paul Shortt website. There is an instant attraction to the piece “Please Do No Climb” as the simplicity of the structure in the first picture fools you before you see the reasoning for the leveling of the steps in the second picture. Then of course, how can one not be drawn instantly to the pure blatant piece entitled “Strap-On Ballsacks” – in my opinion, a winner from the beginning with a title that couldn’t possibly resist a click. Here is where your funny bone gets a work-out and you see the ability to create smiles from art. One has to remember that art is never just to be considered the works of Picasso or Matisse, but can be any form that expresses the ideas, feelings, thoughts and downright enthusiasm of an artist for a subject which is definitely what one sees on this website. The interactivity of Paul Shortt’s art displayed here is something that also makes this collection of photos worth viewing. For instance, on the website, having “Resist” whereby he has created a poster listing a trove of ridiculous actions such as ‘push and shove’ and ‘fidget, burp, fart’ followed by the temptation to not resist at all, Shortt invites the public to take these posters and allows you to see his interest in where you will put his art. Not only does he express his desire to know, he asks you to show him. Take and picture and email it his way. Fantastic. And of course, Shortt invites everyone and allows everyone to enjoy his art. The ‘Modern Greetings’ booklet shows us the new alternatives to just shaking hands – who knew there were so many out there! And as one will see when viewing the pictures associated with this, there are many people taking advantage of the ‘double-whack’, ‘side bump’ and one of my favorites, the ‘cellphone rub’. And the bravery of the artist here just strikes the heart completely with ‘Seeking Good Conversations’. We all dream of having hilarious conversations with random strangers but who has the guts to try giving the inevitable chance of getting a bunch of crazies! Paul Shortt allowed his number to be left all around town just to have random people call him so he could express and convey the words from some conversations through different materials. In essence, Shortt manages to find a new way to both tantalize our brains, our thoughts and basically our views of everyday and not so everyday things. One must look at each of the collections on the website along with those highlighted above. It is hard to stand out in a world where so many people want to be and want to do the same thing but Shortt has accomplished quite a feat here. I laughed, I smiled, I did a quick double take (e.g. ball sacks!) but all round, I enjoyed this art.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

My Work Included in Interlife Crisis at Fictilis in Seattle

My Work ROFL CON, which is a hand-cut carpet that says roll on the floor laughing will be included in Interlife Crisis at Fictilis in Seattle.

Here is more info on the show:

Interlife Crisis

Opening reception Thursday April 5th 6-9pm. Closing reception Friday April 27th 6-9pm.

Featuring work by:

Liat Berdugo
Gregory Chatonsky
Tom Estes
Anthony Fader
Timothy Furstnau
Ollie Glatzer
Gabriel Harp
Lori Hepner
Faith Holland
Antoinette Lafarge
Rebecca Nagle
Jody Oesterreicher
Liz Rodda
Paul Shortt
Joel Swanson
Daniel Temkin
Julia Vallera
Heather Warren-Crow

An infinite loop of questions from Yahoo Answers randomly paired and spoken by a computer as rhyming couplets. Dozens of girls doing the splits to the accompaniment of Billy Joel’s “Just The Way You Are” performed by a man who is definitely not Billy Joel. A woman creating a Photoshopped version of her own face as a mask, and then wearing it around. Dots per inch writ large. “Hypernatural Airffiti”. An artist who will do whatever the internet tells her to do for fifteen minutes. Lady Gaga’s live Twitter feed translated into Morse code and beamed out to Pioneer Square. Tweets tagged “confession” broadcast out into the street. Abstract portraits created by translating Twitter posts into binary code that controls the output of a spinning LED. Drawings of photographs from the OkCupid profiles of people who have looked at the artist’s OkCupid profile which are then photographed being held by the artist while imitating the person’s facial expression and then emailed to the OkCupid member who posted the original photograph. The roles of World of Warcraft avatar and real-world player, switched. A woman on a screen whose mood is controlled by live CNN headlines. Elongated silk stoles consisting of four different-colored threads representing the nucleotides A,U,C, and G, woven in sequence to exhibit the full human mitochondrial genome. A printed directory of every internet domain beginning with the word “serious”. (Seriously.) A large, hand-cut carpet which reads “Rolling On the Floor Laughing”….