Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Amazon's Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #60

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 60th review I've received.

This is my review of the art on the website of Paul Shortt, a guy I have never heard of before, perhaps because i am somewhat art-illiterate, or because the guy might be too unique on his own to be widely know. Anyways, the young artist finished his BFA studies on Kansas City art Institute just about four years ago, and still he was able to participate on numerous group shows. While still studying, he has his signature written under many pieces worth mentioning and reviewing. Paul Shortt, in quite a few years of doing what you apparently love the most, you achieved interesting things. While I do not possess an expert eye for art, I am fond of interesting things and I do have sense fondness for uniqueness. So i tried to maintain my focus in a whole on his artistic portfolio and began to evaluate my feelings and thoughts, feeling more or less impressed with what I saw. So I went through numerous of his pictures and videos. Many of the pieces seen there look pretty much decent, while few others really stand out. There is not lack of humor there - right in the beginning, Please No Photo collection shows that. Shots of various indivudals or groups of people in the streets contain big no-photo icon covering quite a big part of photos. Interesting idea, pointing at the chance some people just did not want to approve the photo later and even the great shot is made for nothing. 

Another example for laughs can be found at The Business of Selling Yourself.. really nice business card, haha! From this and other works of Paul, I can see he focuses his artistic works on various connection between people, after his exploration of daily life. To me, perhaps because of my lack of artistic feel, they seem quite weird :) But i admit, they make a person think and feel. There is a specific message in each one of them. At first one may feel these pieces of work are arranged just like that, without a purpose, but no, nothing is random, you just need to take a closer look. There is a sophisticated message presented there, sometimes polished and sometimes not, delivered to a "consumer" through metaphorical artistic expressions. The author, trying to made a perfectly surprising delivery, does not hesitate to even use his very personal details, as in aforementioned Business Of Selling Yourself. These pieces of art are filled with delicate and bitter sarcasm. I will tell you what I like the most about the work of Paul Shortt. It is the fact he really does not use high amount of funds to do his work. It is because he uses quite simple yet very cool and effective ideas to make something out of nothing. with low budget, he is always able to create something of high value. This guy really uses his mind and can see there is so much around him he can use for his work. I find this really amazing.

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

Amazon's Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #59

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 59th review I've received.

Paul Shortt is a contemporary artist from the Midwestern United States. His work involves quite a few different types of media and frequently involves healthy doses of humor and interactivity. His website shows quite a few examples of the different types of works that he has been involved in, which I will attempt to describe. The first link was actually to reviews of his work written by Mechanical Turk workers. Since this is what I'm doing now, I didn't read them, so as to avoid unintentional plagiarism and form my own opinion. The next link I looked at, “Please No Photos” showed pictures of him carrying around a large sculpture of the crossed out circle, aka the “international no symbol”, in public places. This was meant to suggest “no photos”, when, of course, his intention was to take a picture of the person holding the symbol. This piece is a commentary on the lack of privacy in contemporary society. I definitely enjoyed the humor, irony, and meta-commentary of these two pieces. Paul has too many examples of his works up for me to comment on all of them, so I proceeded to skim through the rest, and will write on the ones that caught my attention. The next work I really liked was “Literally and Physically”, where Paul created works that the audience was invited to interact with, often in humorous and ironic ways. There is a set of bleachers that tells you to sit on it, but then tells you not to as you inspect it closer. Two related items meant to comment on the vapidness of internet communication included a rug that encouraged you to roll and laugh, or ROFL, on it, and a LOL microphone that included voice samples of the artist laughing. 

The next section that caught my eye was the sadly incomplete “It's Simple, But Complicated”. This was a series of actions that were physically simple to perform, but had larger cultural implications. One video shows him struggling mightily to raise the American flag to the full height of the flagpole. The contrast between the simplicity and the meaning of the action (as well as between the expected and actual difficulty of the raising process) was quite humorous and thought-provoking. I would have liked to see more exploration of this particular idea. The next set of works involved more audience participation, this time with printed cards and posters. It included a set of certificate “awards” satirizing the often pretentious art world. The facetious diplomas thanked audience members for completing the “minimum time” spent viewing a work, as well as for a momentary random conversation, and for enjoying the complimentary food. This was a funny work, if not the most profound work on the site. I looked at a few other works that explored interpersonal interactions in the modern age. One work took “missed connection” ads and recontextualized them in different ways in order to comment on the disconnection and lack of empathy in certain facets of modern life. Another work exploring a similar theme involved the idea of marketing oneself detracted from the usual context of resumes and work. Paul created and distributed an extreme self-deprecating business card and used it as his official card for a number of years. He also gathered a series of “reference letters” for dating from friends, which he collected for a future work. Overall, I thought this was an interesting portfolio. Some of the ideas were too similar or did not make sense to me, but I liked it overall. The use of humor and self-deprecation was a welcome change from the often pretentious world of contemporary art. I would like to see some of the more unique works in here explored more and taken further. I'm glad I spent some time looking at Paul's works.

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

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Amazon's Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #58

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 58th review I've received.

Paul Shortt seems to be an eclectic artist. His style appears to be very modern – he uses what he sees around him and transforms it into something that can be appreciated by more than just the standard passerby. Even if the art does not capture you at first, you find yourself enticed and clicking to view the next photo, the next set of whatever it is that he has managed to create. His art is not just the typical pencil or brush to paper; it is more interactive, bringing in people and objects to put his artwork on display. He may not be an artist to be recognized through the ages (“not a modern day Picasso”), but he certainly has the potential to make himself known in the modern day art scene. Although you are not sure what message he is always trying to bring on, it entices the viewer and leaves them with an odd sense of thought. You wonder who these people are, what part they are meant to play in the artwork and if they are meant to be a part or if they were just in the right place at the right time. My personal favorite section was the “Missed Connections.” It brought a weird twist to people trying to connect with others – instead of the typical or craigslist personal ads. Within that collection, my favorite had to have been the cake with the message on it. The chances of that person ever actually seeing that message on display are scarce, but there is still something that captures you into it. Maybe they will see it, maybe those two will connect, maybe there will be a happily ever after in what holds the potential to be an oddly romantic tale. The other one that had me smiling was the “Literally and Physically” collection. It was amusing to see how someone could take something, such as the bleacher stand, and give it two different “meanings” based on how the viewer sees them, either to step on the sculpture, or avoid it all together. I know I would be one who saw the “Please Climb Sculpture” part of it first and test the theory out, just to find that I was sorely mistaken. All of Shortt's pieces have a weird vibe to them, but they still have the capability to make you stop, look and consider what it is that he is trying to say with his art. Sometimes it seems as if you have to hunt down the meaning, other times it is laid out for you “Roll on the floor laughing.” I find Paul Shortt to be an interesting artist, and the fact that he is using Amazon's Mechanical Turk program to gain a little insight, even though he is paying for such criticism, shows a weird sense of boldness amidst all the creative aspects he shows. He has an exceptionally creative mind and has discovered his outlet to portray that creativeness to the world – through art, in its own way; with ladders, sculptures, big “no photo” signs. It's a nice break from just walking around a boring museum.

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

Amazon's Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #57

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 57th review I've received.

Paul Shortt’s art website is full of surprises. I really loved his concepts and art categories. Specifically when it comes to enjoying life this website is just another example. I was wondering why an art person is willing to pay 5 dollars to someone who will write 500 good words about his website. But after I saw so many reviews and passed some time on the website I just got amazed that it could mean so much. Paul’s ideas are quite real and made in actual time frame that if you try to imagine each and every concept you will get involved in them for hours. I myself passed much time looking his “Early Work” section where each and every activity has been designed to create some special fun out of daily routing objects and still they look so unique. We can just think how much fun we can have doing these activities. He has tried to bring people’s attention towards his simple concept and I think those are really working. His art work just looks impossible to imagine in easy way. I honestly think I could never be able to do this much work and still be able to get so much success and attention. When I saw Paul’s CV I got amazed by seeing that what artist can achieve in his life? His exhibitions, photos, ideas, performances, public projects are just awesome. He has also got excellent teaching experience and so I think a means for earning money. Paul’s professional experience is just great. His audio/video assistance for many projects is his real efforts to actual industry, and I hope he can bring yet more fruitful results in industry. His press and publication contribution is also among which I loved much. I honestly think that this is Paul’s just beginning. If his work and career path just continues in this way, then I am sure in coming time we will see another Picasso or Shakespeare coming out of us. His blog “” seems rolling very high with his concepts, work, photos and reviews. Paul’s views towards art seems very vast and beyond many of our understanding. In reality I am just trying to review a tip of an iceberg. One more time I just got kept watching his work called “Strap on BallSacks”. I just can’t imagine how he could make this possible in public place. Just shocking and real bravo. Paul’s website is a “modern art”. One more project I liked which is “The Business of Selling Yourself”. It is just amazing and gives clear impression of his mind and out of box thinking. Still I think I must get more and more into Paul’s website to enjoy more of his projects and how he is making all these things work. It a great deal. Hat’s off to Paul’s Art skills. I think Paul is not just an artist or a photographer or comedian or performer he is mixture of all those and coming out as a different and unique human brain. I think Paul has put true efforts and real interest into his work and his website is proof of it. Great work and keep it up!

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Amazon's Mechanical Turk Review of My Art #56

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 56th review I've received.

Paul Shortt’s art is a contemporary look at the world around us. I find the way that he portrays and plays with life twisted and inspiring. I find myself nodding in agreement with and chuckling to myself about the way he pokes and prods social stigmas and cultural phenomena. A few of his projects really stick with me. I’d like to explore my thoughts and reactions further. The project that made the biggest impression on me is the one I am participating in as I type. It’s called “5 Star Ratings”. Paul explores the idea of buying your audience. In this piece, he pays participants $5 to write a brief review of his art. Though Paul doesn’t ask the participant to respond in any particular way, participants (myself included) are inclined to point out positive aspects in order to please our employer. Paul then goes further to ask: Do we really ever know if art is any good? If a good audience can be bought, is the actual art even relevant to the success of an artist?

Another project I liked was “Literally and Physically”. In this installation, Paul explores different phenomena from everyday life and invites the viewer to physically participate in it. My favorite piece from the installation was the ROFL carpet. Those who use the “Rolling on Floor Laughing” abbreviation (obviously) do not physically roll on the floor while they laugh, And, if my experience is like most, in reality, they probably barely chuckle. Paul’s carpet invites the viewer to physically roll and laugh on the carpet. The irony and sheer hilarity of doing such an oddball thing would be fun and make a great memory. It would also introduce the question of: How much do we just “go through the motions”? I also really enjoyed “Missed Connections”. On occasion, I like to read the missed connections section on Craigslist. Some people are so desperate for love. I believe that Paul really delves into the idea that if you had really missed a “connection”, there is more you could do to see that person again. Paul writes with mustard, icing, and lipstick in his ironic “search for love”, while the actual lovebirds took only the time to write a short, discrete, and, often, poorly-worded “shout out” to their “soulmate”. His pieces reach out to the loneliness and desperation of online dating, while simultaneously romanticizing them by exaggerating their importance and portraying them with nice scripts and colors. What I really appreciate about Paul’s art is that it wasn’t what I expected and it asked me questions I will never know the answers to. It really pushes the envelope on the classic and most substantial question in the art world: Really. What is art? What does it look like? Paul has reminded me just how diverse the art world is and that a clever mind is just as beautiful as the most intricate painting. I appreciate that Paul’s enchanting take on the world makes my view of the life just a little lighter.

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