Tuesday, September 01, 2015

You Didn't and You Probably Couldn't - Appreciating "Trivial" Art

This is useful: I Could Do That, a brief video explaining the why and how of appreciating art that looks, well, trivial to make. I've certainly been guilty of shaking my head and thinking "really, this is art?" when walking through a modern art exhibit. In just under 6 minutes, this video makes a compelling case for seeing this art in a different light. This should be required watching before stepping into nearly any art gallery, and I plan to do just this before my next museum trip.

This notion of "I Could Do That" isn't limited to whacky art projects. As humans, one of our gifts is the ability to consolidate complexity. You may describe your commute to work as: walk to car, get in, start the car, turn left out of the driveway, etc. But truly, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of tiny operations that have to happen for this sequence to occur. Heck, it takes the coordination of 200 muscles for the "simple" act of walking. So when we see someone cook a gourmet meal, code an app, or act out a scene, we're able to compact these tasks into simple sequences. But try to do them ourselves? Well, you quickly appreciate just how tricky these tasks can be.

That's a very long winded way of saying: think you could trivially recreate that splotch of paint on a canvas? That's just your brain fooling you; try it and you'll see that even this is harder than it looks.

Via: Richard's Notes

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