Attention is what creates value. Artworks are made as well by how people interact with them — and therefore by what quality of interaction they can inspire. So how do we assess an artist who we suspect is dreadful but who manages to inspire the right storm of attention, and whose audience seems to swoon in the appropriate way? We say, ‘Well done.’
The question is: ‘Is the act of getting attention a sufficient act for an artist? Or is that in fact the job description?’
Perhaps the art of the future will be indistinguishable.
What makes a work of art ‘good’ for you is not something that is already ‘inside’ it, but something that happens inside you.
Brian Eno, born on May 15, 1948, on art.
Where do you work?
Do you work ‘inside’ or ‘outside’?
To work inside is to deal with the internal conditions of the work — the melodies, the rhythms, the textures, the lyrics, the images: all the normal day-to-day things one imagines an artist does.
To work outside is to deal with the world surrounding the work — the thoughts, assumptions, expectations, legends, histories, economic structures, critical responses, legal issues and so on and on. You might think of these things as the frame of the work.
A frame is a way of creating a little world round something.
Is there anything in a work that is not frame, actually?
Most of the smart people I know want nothing to do with politics. … We expect other people to do it for us, and grumble when they get it wrong. We feel that our responsibility stops at the ballot box, if we even get that far. After that we’re as laissez-faire as we can get away with. … What worries me is that while we’re laissez-ing, someone else is faire-ing.
One of the things you’re doing when you make art, apart from entertaining yourself and other people, is trying to see what ways of working feel good, what feels right. What gets the results you want? And for me, it isn’t top-down architecture that does that – but it’s not chaos, either. I don’t want to do free jazz! Because free jazz – which is the musical equivalent of free marketeering – isn’t actually free at all. It’s just constrained by what your muscles can do. It turns out that anything that is called free anything isn’t really. It’s just constraints that you don’t recognise.