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  1. #1
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Default Untraditional art forms, an appreciation

    I've long been a fan of recognising the art, and particular the humour, of art forms that are not traditionally recognised as such. A classic example would be the crossover that graffiti has made from being property damage to in some cases fine art.

    I should like to start with one of my favourite forms :

    The writing in the dirt of an unwashed truck/delivery van of slogans designed to amuse etc.

    As someone who drives regularly with business I have collected these over the years. They are, sometimes, works of comic genius that can greatly liven up a dull trip.

    My top 3 at the moment are :

    (on a large truck) "Quiet Please : Albanians sleeping within"

    "Driving lessons by Michael Schumacher"

    "Designed by experts, driven by a crash test dummy"

    (My next untraditional art form will be the comedy martial art fight sequence)

    What are your favourite untraditional art forms? What would you class as art that stuffy experts would frown upon? Examples, discussions etc all welcome.

    -Geoff

  2. #2
    Junior Member macjoven's Avatar
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    drawing during class instead of taking notes. Some call it doodling. I call it student folk art.
    Rob

    "And if you hear vague traces of skipping reels of rhyme,
    To your tambourine in time.
    It's just a ragged clown behind,
    I wouldn't pay it any mind,
    It's just a shadow you're seeing that he's chasing."

    -From "Mr. Tambourine Man"
    by Bob Dylan

  3. #3
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    writing in cursive.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    As someone who drives regularly with business I have collected these over the years. They are, sometimes, works of comic genius that can greatly liven up a dull trip.
    It's kind of cool when you stop thinking about things in a certain way and appreciate them for something else.

    What are your favourite untraditional art forms? What would you class as art that stuffy experts would frown upon? Examples, discussions etc all welcome.
    Things people said or wrote (e.g. internet posts) in my everyday life or just people who for some reason make you see new things eventhough it may not be intentionally.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    A young lady art student set up a shack on some property that was not closely monitored, which people had been using off and on for free parking. I forget how, but she made it unclear whether parking fees were now going to be required. Perhaps a vaguely worded sign ? There was a motion activated video-cam set up in the shack, which, on later viewing inspection, contained vids of people sheepishly approaching the shack and ( seeing no one there ) furtively backing off without paying.

    Flash mobs can also be a fun "new art form".

    I've thought it would be fun to get vids of jaywalkers trying to get across tricky intersections at busy times of the day, and then speed them up and slow them down to exaggerate the "close misses".

    Or have a cam mounted on a scroungey looking character and watch as people try to scurry away from him or her without actually seeming to break their "dignified" steps, or to look directly at him/her.

    I collect art by people who are untrained, children, the mentally ill, etc. and this generally goes under the name "outsider art". There was a show not long ago about "thrift shop art" and I remember chuckling at one called "crotchless man" where the vee between his pant legs came practically all the way up to this beltline.

    Perhaps in the future the rare "collector items" will not be comic books, but rather computer brochures that became obsolete ephemera not long after being printed, and so were mostly thrown away. "I've got a rare Newton peripheral folder in the original stamped envelope !" one collector might tell another.

    There are ads in zines where people will allow you to subscribe to their household trash. Naturally they will try to include some quirky or funny items such as letters from bill collectors which attempt to both beg and demand. Old grocery shopping lists. Out of date coupons. Scam spam letters doodled upon. Empty bologna packs. An interesting biz to be in.
    Last edited by kuranes; 01-05-2008 at 05:16 PM.

  6. #6
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    <3 outsider art and the social ramifications thereof. Did you see Pecker, kuranes? Or that episode of King of the Hill where Peggy makes figurines out of Hank's old propane tanks?

    I am a big fan of graffiti. I think it's becoming more and more acceptable as "real" art, though. Evidently there's a whole culture associated with it, with a vocabulary all its own.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuranes View Post
    There are ads in zines where people will allow you to subscribe to their household trash. Naturally they will try to include some quirky or funny items such as letters from bill collectors which attempt to both beg and demand. Old grocery shopping lists. Out of date coupons. Scam spam letters doodled upon. Empty bologna packs. An interesting biz to be in.
    I think it was started up by this guy from NY, who sold NY trash over the internet.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    <3 outsider art and the social ramifications thereof. Did you see Pecker, kuranes? Or that episode of King of the Hill where Peggy makes figurines out of Hank's old propane tanks?
    I just got back from an Outsider Art convention, and I met a lady on the Board of Directors who may be interested in an artist I collect !

    I did see the movie "Pecker". I will never hear the word "teabag" without thinking of that one scene !

    Missed the "King of the Hill" episode. The first cartoon I saw about this stuff was one in R. Crumb's magazine "Weirdo", about a lady art gallery owner who was buying stuff cheap from a tramp and marking it up for her chi-chi clientele.

    More "untraditional art" - examples of people trying to bluff their way through an essay test where they obviously do not know much. Some of these are great. Absolutely hilarious.

    The other day I almost bought some biz correspondence dating from the turn of the century, that took an entire page to basically say "your check bounced and we're going to charge you a litttle extra for the hassle, and BTW - we still need to be paid the original amount, too." Such convoluted turns of phrase. It was neat, but the guy wanted too much for it. Besides, how often do you get to show off stuff like that ?

  9. #9
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kuranes View Post
    I just got back from an Outsider Art convention, and I met a lady on the Board of Directors who may be interested in an artist I collect !

    I did see Pecker. I will never hear the word "teabag" without thinking of that one scene !

    Missed the "King of the Hill" episode. The first cartoon I saw about this stuff was one in R. Crumb's magazine "Weirdo" about a lady art gallery owner who was buying stuff cheap from a tramp and marking it up for her chi-chi clientele.
    Peggy Hill is just so earnest and naive. She starts making these "GasMan" figurines out of empty propane tanks, and a Big City Art Dealer becomes interested in them. She's really proud because she thinks he actually likes her art, but then she overhears him refer to it as "outsider art," and explain that it's done by retarded people and elephants and such. So she's humiliated, and she backs out and takes her stuff back to Arlen and sells it to down-home folks who buy it because they actually like it instead of just consuming it as the latest hip ironic thing.

    I love outsider art, but it's a fine line between appreciating it earnestly or patronizingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by kuranes
    More "untraditional art" - examples of people trying to bluff their way through an essay test where they obviously do not know much.

    The other day I almost bought some biz correspondence dating from the turn of the century, that took an entire page to basically say "your check bounced and we're going to charge you a litttle extra for the hassle, and BTW - we still need to be paid the original amount, too." Such convoluted turns of phrase. It was neat, but the guy wanted too much for it. Besides, how often do you get to show off stuff like that ?
    I like old ads that seem ludicrous in a modern context. I have one with the same text as this one but a different photo (the kid is shouting with his hands around his mouth, and there's a pack of cigarettes placed right next to his head). I couldn't find the one I actually have:



    The line between art and not-art is sometimes blurry and I think most people would consider an old ad art (but maybe not a new one unless it was super cool). I'm not really responding to the spirit of Geoff's OP. Sorry Geoff.

  10. #10
    Senior Member logan235711's Avatar
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    I think it's all art depending on how one views it : ) Mmm, but I might prefer some art that took a long time to make, like 10+ years over something that was done over night or within a week, etc. I guess it's so I can feel that no matter how long I look at it, the more conscious intention of the artist is always greater than the time I take to consider. I would rather not sit there and speculate to the ends of the earth about what this or that means or if this was intentional or if that was intential, I can do that in my daily life at any moment I choose, but to look at a piece and see that every detail was intended and purposeful and that they had even deeper conscious meanings than even I can fathom.

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