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Art Dirt 9: Please Stop Painting the Electrical Boxes (a discussion)

In our latest Art Dirt podcast, Rainey Knudson and Christina Rees discuss the response to Rainey’s article about painting electrical boxes as public art. (To play the podcast, click on the Soundcloud logo below, and then click again on the orange play button. You can also listen to it here.)


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5 Responses

  1. john

    I like them. lets look at it this way, it makes some visual material evident and visible to general public that doesnt go to art gallery. Perhaps more oversight could be done on selection and curating. But then again, that
    issue is with the entity who is making the project happen.

  2. SSharma

    I have to take exception to the ideas about art in the public realm needing to be great and what is derided as elitism is merely expecting excellence. I am an artist (sculptor, so not one that painted an electrical box), and this idea of there being a universal high standard of artiness is one of the biggest problems I have with the establishment art world. It’s as though the art world has forgotten Duchamp (and his contemporaries), except vague recollection that he was important.
    Art is a combination of visual stimulus (visual art anyway) and the thoughts about it. One can like or dislike an object, have personal reasons for assigning a particular value judgment to it, but having done so does not make one’s opinion more valid than another. The only way for that to be true is for there to be objective criteria, the kind of thing art has thankfully moved past long ago. The elitism is in the idea that there is some arbiter of the legitimacy of an object being considered worthy of the title of art. This is the biggest problem with the exclusionary nature of the art world.
    A 1997 Dodge Colt is a piece of art. It may be considered an ugly piece of art by most people, perhaps offensive (I consider it an insult to my visual cortex personally)by some, but it’s art because it can be looked upon and thought about. The thoughts don’t have to be pleasant.

    Regarding the mediocrity argument, there is absolutely mediocrity everywhere else, including the practice of medicine and sport. Maybe one can’t play in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean that is the only level of football being played by human beings. There are mediocre accountants, programmers, construction workers, news anchors, etc.. The mediocre news anchor gets the weekend job in say, Tulsa Oklahoma (or the electrical box of network news as its known), but he/she exists. You can watch them give you the news and hate their grammar, but it doesn’t mean they didn’t give you the news.

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