Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #15

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 15th review I've received:

To me a lot of the works feel incomplete. Unfortunately I think this also give them an air of amateurishness, almost like someone decided they like art, or maybe that art is "easy", and they wanted to try it out for themselves. Ultimately the execution in a lot of the projects falls short and feels like the works are trying too hard. The videos are one place, that, in my opinion, definitely need work. For "Please Do Not Climb", I don't think the best way to demonstrate how the piece is meant to work in a public space should have been done by having the artist drag it around a park, put it down, step on it, look at it, etc., then pick it back up and drag it to the next location. Another thing I don't like, about any of the videos, is that, even though they're in fast-forward, they still feel incredibly long. I even skipped to different parts because they felt like they were dragging out these needless tasks. "It's Simple, But Complicated" has a good concept, which I feel might have been better demonstrated with more examples. The first video is okay, but the work feels forced. It also feels campy, and with the music I can't help but feel like, "Is the artist mocking people who actually watch this, sitting around and thinking, 'Haha! Anyone will think something is art if you simply call it such.'" The second video... I had so much secondhand-embarrassment. I understand that instead of being a breakdown of a car it was instead the breakdown of a driver, but it felt SO. FORCED. 

The piece I liked the most, I think, was "Corner Piece". Only one person, maybe two, can interact with the work at any time, which makes it feel very intimate. Added intimacy also comes from the actions the participants are told to perform. The placing of hands behind the back and bowing of the head, were interpreted by me as an almost religious act. Whether out of reverence for the piece, or because the piece requires a sort of subjugation from the viewer. Another thing I liked, although I don't know if I would call it art, was "Paul Shortt Shocks Chicago". Being a little familiar with the advertising/marketing business, I can say this kind of thinking fits in perfectly with that industry and they would really appreciate the idea put forth by the artist in an attempt to get his name out, recognized, and remembered. "Pillory for Market Place Mall" was interesting, because it forces viewers to look at themselves and their surrounding in a different way, also while confronting this person who is shackled. Obviously the shackling could be a metaphor for how people are so tied into consumerism and feeling like the things they buy make them the person they are, and I think such a literal approach was the best way to reach people and actually make them think about their lives in regards to how they treat material goods. I was disappointed with "Calvin Ball". There was no artist's statement, so I didn't understand exactly what was trying to be accomplished, and I could only assume it was another attempt to bring the public into a work and to get them to interact with it. Maybe if the photos had been more well-done I could have appreciate it more, but like I said in the beginning, many of the pieces feel unfinished and this was one of them.