Saturday, March 16, 2013

Amazon's Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #54

This is a project where I pay workers on Amazon's Mechanical Turk to review my art and website and pay them $5 for 500 words. This is the 54th review I've received.

First and foremost, I am writing a review of Paul Shortt's work for Amazon's Mechanical Turk. I am being paid $5 to review this work, but the only reason I am even mentioning this fact is because this artist has made a work of art out of a collection of reviews of his work that he received from Amazon Mturk. So I am going to review this piece of work. It is titled "Pay For An Audience: 5 Star Ratings" What an interesting concept. The title itself isn't necessarily indicative of what an artist paying for reviews will receive - for example, there are a few submissions where paid crowd-sourced reviewers did not actually give a 5-star review and called his work amateurish and some people who were not impressed with his website, but overall, I believe that the idea of the work is to show that any artist can pay for maximum favorable reviews and propel themselves as groundbreaking top-tier artists regardless of talent, ability, or skill. The other art featured on Paul's website are typical art pieces: some are more impressive than others, sets of pictures focusing on topics that may or may not invoke any sort of emotion in the audience. I personally believe it is almost artistically-criminal to pay for favorable reviews in this manner - but in all actuality, its a small scale version of the exactly same mass media induced version of artists that have been picked and chosen by the media elite and chance and happenstance of breaking out in a sea of nearly infinite artists. So Paul has done what is nearly impossible to do with a much larger budget: create an exhibit, create a buzz, and create a brand new concept in one single swoop. Make a splash, make an impact, make a new piece of art that has never been done before. Brilliant! It has been months since I've seen an original piece of art such as this. Art itself is problematic in this day and age. Photoshop isn't even a luxutry anymore, free versions of it are all over the place online and for a cell phone and Adobe themselves recently gave away the entire CS2. Part of the problem in the day and age we live in is that way too many people have access to high-end DSLR cameras and go out snapping shots and believe that they're professionals. Part of the problem is that we live in the era of Instagram filters making everybody who owns a smartphone or iPod a wannabe artist. And part of the problem is that crowd-sourced paid reviewers are commonplace in this day and age. By drawing attention to these matters, Paul has created a work of art in itself. A powerful statement to the modern artist of the year 2013, and an original idea that brings forth the existence of this very writing. Bravo to Paul, I believe that the future will bring forth many successful concepts and purity that art demands in order to exist as anything more than commercial intellectual property... and how ironic that I base this statement off of his concept-art piece that is the exact opposite of this.

For more info on this project please check out my website: