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More DJ Spooky Plus Rambling, Aesthetics, Criticism - surrender [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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More DJ Spooky Plus Rambling, Aesthetics, Criticism [Jul. 17th, 2007|04:54 pm]
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Folks - I'm pretty mellow, and no, I'm not pretentious. If you don't get it, leave it alone, eh? There's plenty of stuff going on in the world. I didn't ask you to come to the event, eh? And every single refernce was well researched and documented. If you'd like more info - my website has the essays that the discussion referred to.

I wish you wouldn't be such an asshole.
Paul aka Dj Spooky
Ok, so my last post was a quote making fun of DJ Spooky. Oddly, within a few hours it received the above anonymous comment. I guess I have a few more things to say about this and I've been putting it off, but now I may as well get back to it. First, I do have to wonder whether the comment really is from the man himself. It's from an IP address that appears to be Swiss, and Wikipedia leads one to believe that that's fairly plausible. On the other hand, that would appear to be a pretty impressive amount of monitoring, catching an LJ post from some random jackass within a few hours. On the third hand, I suppose there's probably a wealth of tools to make that kind of monitoring fairly easy. Anyway it doesn't matter in the end whether the comment is "authentic," the content is fair and worth addressing. (Besides, that kind of authenticity is I guess a pretty suspect notion in our postmodern era of shifting identities and sample-based art, HA!)

Ok, so anyway, I have a few things to say about this comment. First, I wasn't at the event. I've never been to any DJ Spooky event, as I'm not a big fan of the music (it's just not my taste, no offense intended). If it wasn't totally clear, that entire post was a quote from someone else.

Second and much more importantly, the real issue here is the relationship between art and criticism, or art and analysis, or basically art and talking-about-art in any form. Obviously it's a big issue. Should art "stand on its own" in some sense? Is that even a meaningful idea? Is art that's been bolstered or promoted by criticism somehow inauthentic or unsuccessful? Is art that's popular only with critics bad art by definition? How far into "the scene" do we have to go before "insider" becomes "outsider"? Does that even happen?

In any case Spooky has always seemed (to me) to be someone who insists not just on making music but in the same gesture talking about it. This is important, and right or wrong, I think the marriage of art and cultural rumination does sometimes come off as pretentious. It also sometimes comes off as floating an unsteady work of art on a raft of "check out what I'm doing, let me tell you why it's important" contextualization. Neither of these impressions is probably fair. If someone's interested in art and interested in its context, what else is he to do? I'm also interested in these things, so making fun of DJ Spooky is pretty clearly a case of the pot and the kettle. My own inclination personally is to keep art-making and criticism as far apart as possible, at least publicly, but then, my own inclination is not to make art at all, and to do very little, honestly, of anything. So maybe my inclinations aren't so important.

But we do have this idea that an artist ought to be somehow unself-conscious, you know, the myth of the "folk artist" or whatever. And of course this is pretty artificial. But sometimes I think it can be worthwhile, a worthwhile way of sort of establishing a ritual space around art and around performance. I guess I could examine my inclinations at more length, but there's not much point really.

Anyway, I didn't and don't mean to personally offend anyone. I'm sure DJ Spooky is a mellow guy and I hope we'd get along just fine. I suspect we're probably interested in a lot of the same things. This particular anecdote made me laugh with a bit of nostalgia, so I quoted and posted it. Obviously having a laugh at someone's expense isn't a super nice thing to do, so probably I should've thought twice. Sorry for being an asshole.

From: nhennies
2007-07-17 11:05 pm (UTC)
If it is actually him then I'm left with one nagging question:

Doesn't DJ Spooky have anything better to do than comment on some snide remark somebody made about him almost 10 years ago?
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[User Picture]From: bob_denver
2007-07-18 11:29 pm (UTC)
I still bet That Subliminal Kid LOL'd at "silver-tipped bullet points"

i *so* want to steal that line!@*&@

(Reply) (Thread)