Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Artspeak Word Cloud


Here are several artists' statements processed through a "word cloud" filter, which enlarges frequently used words.

The biggest buzzword in "artspeak" seems to be "work." I guess that means that art is hard work, or at least writing about it is. It's probably harder to write about it than to do it.

Andy Beckett of the Guardian has published an article about the obnubilating language used in artist' press releases:
"If you've been to see contemporary art in the last three decades, you will probably be familiar with the feelings of bafflement, exhaustion or irritation that such gallery prose provokes."
 Read the rest: "User's Guide to Artspeak"
--------
Previously on GJ:
Artist Statement Generator
Deciphering an Artist Statement
Art Crit Generator
Thanks, Bryn

18 comments:

Andy said...

Some artist statements read like examples of the "Forer Effect" (sometimes referred to as "Barnum Statements") that are used in such things as astrological or psychic predictions. They like to have a bet each way.

An astrologer might describe you as being "outgoing, but with shy tendencies". It's silly but it can hardly miss - and people embrace it.

Similarly, conflicting nonsense like "demonstrating a naivete that could only derive from artistic maturity" (I just made that up) can apparently make sense in sections of the art world.

bill said...

I think I probably use work or piece too much to refer to a painting or drawing. Maybe I'm the one blowing up the cloud program.

Tom Hart said...

I agree with bill. When talking about art, I'm more likely to use "work" as a noun than as a verb.

roddy said...

that the word cloud of artspeak displays the standard word paradigms in an atypical string of lateral conceptualizations only reflects the true standing of the creative individual in regards to he/her station, as it were, in the societal culture of the new, burgeoning landscape of electronic media; a parenthetical aside to the common, work-a-day existence of those who perceive themselves as 'the benchmark" of said perception which has become a shade of what was once the true mode of cultural existence, reflected in the linearization of idea-concept strings; a linearization which is disassembled and deconstructed by the new reality of the disembodied constructs of thought, visualized within a new medium that has divorced itself from the realms of the physical limits of one reality construct and evolved into a new paradigm of socioeconomic-rationalism, a shift which is mirrored in recent world-wide cultural and societal events which are played on both the local stage of co-influences and the world stage of electronic enlightenment.

jeff jordan said...

Writing about art is like dancing about architecture...

Tyler J said...

Interesting that the word "color" is smaller (and therefore less used) than the word "pillow."

I wonder how much these statements are influenced by the trends of the current time? So statements made today will seem very dated in 10 years.

@roddy- hats off to you, sir...well played.

Scorchfield said...

I think, probably I wrong, but your work is the same like little hedonism, a tree of life...

JonInFrance said...

I am currently exploring different ways of getting get these stains of ultramarine blue off the best rug before my wife sees them. A tentative exploration of some complexity - and fraught with unknown, yet strangely familiar, dangers

Don Ketchek said...

Well, maybe a super talented art superstar can make a statement like this:

"It's probably harder to write about it than to do it."

But for us mere mortals, it is definitely hard work. Very hard WORK!

Dan Gurney said...

"It's probably harder to write about it than to do it."

Super talented art superstars might say this. I know, definitely, that almost every kindergartner would say this, too.

Claire R said...

JonInFrance - try Spray-n-wash for the rug stain

David J Teter said...

Of course WORK is hard, see how heavy it is crashing down through the word cloud.

JoninFrance, if Spray-n-Wash doesn't work stain the entire rug in ultramarine blue, tell your wife it looks fine to you, she must be color blind. Then send her off to the eye doctor.
It's extreme but at least you won't be in trouble.

Roberto said...

Denatured Alcohol can be used to treat stains on a wide range of textiles such as canvas, curtains, clothes and upholstery. Always test a small area first. Put a little Denatured Alcohol on a cotton wool pad and gently rub over the area of the stain. The stain should start to lift after a few minutes. Then take a clean, damp cloth and blot over the area to remove any residual traces.
It can also be used to remove paint from palette knives and brushes.
(It is highly flammable and should be stored away from naked flames, sparks or sources of ignition. Vapors are harmful and accidental inhalation may cause dizziness, headache, loss of vision and convulsions. Always use in a well-ventilated area. Avoid contact with skin or eyes. Always wear eye protection, protective clothing and gloves. Denatured Alcohol is a de-fatting substance and will strip skin of moisture. It should never be ingested as this could result in blindness or even death.)
Or…
You can try ‘Gojo’ hand cleaner on the stain. (let it set for a while)
Good luck! -RQ

Roberto said...

"It's probably harder to write about art than to clean up the mess on the carpet."-RQ

David Simcox said...

I had a visceral response to this article.

Andy said...

I'd agree with Roddy's comment except that he didn't mention "juxtaposition". Something HAS to be juxtaposed.

JonInFrance said...

Thanks all for the rug desaturation techniques ;) - I'll juxtapose 'em

Andy said...

Following a "controversial" decision in a local community art award, I've vented my own views on art speak and other things...