Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #19

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 19th review I've received:

While examining artwork by Paul Shortt, I found myself trying to see every angle of what I was witnessing. These art projects, which include photo projects, videos, and art pieces, are both deep and conceptually appealing. They combine a level of novelty, entertainment, and reflection in a way that reminds me why art is such an important part of a culture. Although the projects vary quite a bit, they all seem to take complex and emotional concepts and present them with unique simplicity. One of the things I found most interesting in Shortt’s art is the way he uses himself in his projects. In fact, it seems as though Shortt himself is an integral part of the art. I don’t simply mean that he used himself to present the art, as many artists do. On a deeper level, he becomes the art. On the section of the website entitled “The Business of Selling Yourself,” Paul Shortt presents a business card in which he presents some very intimate personal faults of his. The fact that he actually used this card as his official business card for a time in order to communicate his point caught me by surprise. It’s easy to see that communicating messages through art work is more important to Shortt than appearing cool and flawless. 

The art projects that feature physical manifestations of cultural concepts are very entertaining. One of Shortt’s pieces, a large red rug with the words “Rolling On the Floor Laughing,” takes a popular cultural expression and presents it in a way in which visitors can actually perform the action. The humorous thing about this piece is that people use the term “ROFL” all the time in texting or Internet chat, but they never actually perform the action that it signifies. This art piece gives people the unique opportunity to actually carry out the action. This piece is amusing and interesting in its simplicity, and the option of interaction increases its appeal. I was especially impressed by several video projects that convey deeper cultural concepts. The videos from “It’s Simple, but Complicated,” are mind-blowingly straightforward and correct in their presentation of cultural problems. I found the presentation of road rage in the second video particularly amusing as Shortt parked on the side of the road giving the finger in every direction and honking the car’s horn. The best thing in my opinion about this particular project was the simplicity with which the concepts were conveyed. The videos did not have any special effects or eye-catching props, but they captured a certain sentiment in a way that really makes you think a little harder. The “Please Do Not Climb on the Sculpture” bleachers is a very visually and conceptually appealing piece. The simple, white bleachers convey a message that asks the viewer to climb on the sculpture, but when approached the viewer will find that the message is actually the opposite. This is another piece that is both interesting and interactive. These and other art works that Paul Shortt presents on his website offer a great example of interesting and meaningful art.