Some insiders also punked the Sotheby's Burning Man auction

Originally published at: Some insiders also punked the Sotheby's Burning Man auction | Boing Boing


Ha ha! I say they punked themselves.

By creating something, then applying the magical BS language, they created something that others will interpret as “art” and gave it life.

(therefore, by trying to create semi-convincing non-art as art, they actually created art…)

Also, I’m pretty sure that this is actually how a lot of actual art is actually made. The tough part is convincing yourself of the BS.


I think you’re onto something!


I made it through a collegiate sculpture class, after realizing that I didn’t want to waste $ that I didn’t really have for materials that wouldn’t be useful after the class, with projects like a dog house carefully disguised as the white house with accoutrements and a carefully created BS “artspeak” statement to hide craft as “art”. My dog had the fanciest house with porticos :slight_smile:

The only reason I wasn’t making art (though my instructor was convinced I was) was that I didn’t believe my own spiel.


…and somehow we ended up Lot 69

Approve South Park GIF


So what was Lot 49?


Congratulations. Burners get clever; rediscover Dada.


i’d be surprised if there weren’t more shenanigans, honestly.


When I was an editor in paper print media, I worked under two art editors. The first, at a college alt-paper, professed the philosophy “Art is whatever you can get away with,” using her use of pre-existing lithography stones for a class art assignment as an example. The second was an art director at a weekly trade magazine, whose stated philosophy was “Art is what I want it to be,” which, after three months of staged and manipulated photographs at a magazine which explicitly rejected such, and actually printed retractions when it was discovered she had set up said photos, fired her ass. That said magazine was a lifestyle rag aimed at high-end corporate counsel and partner-level Manhattan lawyers should be telling, they don’t put up with bullcarp about the things that really matter.


When I would discuss some contemporary art with the high schoolers in my art classes, sometimes a student would derisively say “that’s BS.” My stock response was basically to say “I’m not gonna say you’re wrong. But if you’re right, then clearly being good at BS is part of being good at art, so you’re going to need to be A LOT better with your BSing if you want me to accept what you turn out.”

Of course because this is high school and we didn’t need admin getting mad at us, another inside joke in the class was that BS was just short for “Believing in yourSelf” as an artist (which isn’t entirely off the mark - so much of having people accept the rhetoric you frame your work with is the confidence with which you assert it).


Yeah. This isn’t terribly novel or clever. I’m not even sure they rediscovered Dada, so much as accidentally completed a freshman art school project in a class that just discussed Dada (or conceptualism) :laughing:.


A particular French fellow did this to great effect over a century ago, for what it’s worth, and people have been aping the juxtapositional line-blurring thing ever since. It was a whole benchmark of modern art theory but has been very passé since at least the 30s. It’s the baby steps “what if the green I see is different than the green YOU see?!?” of themes. The influence of the ego on artwork is fairly obvious in this particular case but perhaps not in the sense that Duchamp’s own influence, Shtirner, intended.


I think this post has just pushed the bidding higher. I mean, it’s got a great backstory as performance art now, as well as a nice looking hunk of wood to display.


This just seems like actual art to me. I like it.

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Art art bo bart,
Banana fana fo fart!

(Fee fi mo mart,

PS - I’m an art school dropout, so I know.

In college, my friends were obsessed with a definition of music: “Sound and silence, punctuated by time.” They wanted a similar definition for visual arts. The best I could offer was “Any media or medium, the perception of which has been altered by man.”


There is only one shenanigan, here. It’s been going on for decades.


This is also art.

And it has a name.

When I was in college we called this “Post Intentionalism” and it basically means you justify why something is art, after you’ve asserted that it IS art.

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Lot 69: Sold! For $2520!


(insert P.T. Barnum quote)