Captain Tom as modern artist

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Steve3007
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Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Steve3007 » April 30th, 2020, 4:51 am

Here in the UK, during these troubled times, we've been comforted by the story of Captain Tom, a 100 year old WWII veteran who has been walking up and down his garden to raise money for the National Health Service. Some others have been inspired by him and done the same thing, including an old lady and a young child. Naturally they haven't raised as much money as Colonel Tom (he's been promoted, but sadly not to Major) but they've still made a good effort.

Are there similarities between Colonel (nee Captain) Tom and modern artists like Tracey Emin?

When some cynics saw what he did they might have said:

"Why did he raise so much money for just walking up and down? I could have done that!"

The answer would of course be:

"Ah! But you didn't, did you?"

Anyone else see the parallel?

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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by h_k_s » April 30th, 2020, 11:09 am

Steve3007 wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 4:51 am
Here in the UK, during these troubled times, we've been comforted by the story of Captain Tom, a 100 year old WWII veteran who has been walking up and down his garden to raise money for the National Health Service. Some others have been inspired by him and done the same thing, including an old lady and a young child. Naturally they haven't raised as much money as Colonel Tom (he's been promoted, but sadly not to Major) but they've still made a good effort.

Are there similarities between Colonel (nee Captain) Tom and modern artists like Tracey Emin?

When some cynics saw what he did they might have said:

"Why did he raise so much money for just walking up and down? I could have done that!"

The answer would of course be:

"Ah! But you didn't, did you?"

Anyone else see the parallel?
Here in the Rocky Mountain West in the USA we have seen him on the TV news as well.

15 minutes of fame, just as Andy Warhol said.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Count Lucanor » April 30th, 2020, 6:57 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 4:51 am
Here in the UK, during these troubled times, we've been comforted by the story of Captain Tom, a 100 year old WWII veteran who has been walking up and down his garden to raise money for the National Health Service. Some others have been inspired by him and done the same thing, including an old lady and a young child. Naturally they haven't raised as much money as Colonel Tom (he's been promoted, but sadly not to Major) but they've still made a good effort.

Are there similarities between Colonel (nee Captain) Tom and modern artists like Tracey Emin?

When some cynics saw what he did they might have said:

"Why did he raise so much money for just walking up and down? I could have done that!"

The answer would of course be:

"Ah! But you didn't, did you?"

Anyone else see the parallel?
The only parallel I see is that none of them is a real artist. The difference is, of course, that Mr. Tom did manage to contribute something to society.

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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Terrapin Station » May 1st, 2020, 8:41 am

I'm just happy to see people getting exercise.

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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Robert66 » November 19th, 2020, 2:19 pm

At the risk of unleashing a word torrent, I ask the Count just what 'a real artist' is? Stand back, everyone.

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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Robert66 » November 19th, 2020, 2:22 pm

Hold on I can hear frothing ... modern artists aren't real artists (unless they do something "beautiful"), Duchamp a practical joker, I don't like it/it's not art etc

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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Gertie » November 19th, 2020, 6:14 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 4:51 am
Here in the UK, during these troubled times, we've been comforted by the story of Captain Tom, a 100 year old WWII veteran who has been walking up and down his garden to raise money for the National Health Service. Some others have been inspired by him and done the same thing, including an old lady and a young child. Naturally they haven't raised as much money as Colonel Tom (he's been promoted, but sadly not to Major) but they've still made a good effort.

Are there similarities between Colonel (nee Captain) Tom and modern artists like Tracey Emin?

When some cynics saw what he did they might have said:

"Why did he raise so much money for just walking up and down? I could have done that!"

The answer would of course be:

"Ah! But you didn't, did you?"

Anyone else see the parallel?
Nah the parallel is thin. The ''I could've done that'' art argument is based in demonstrating technical proficiency isn't it? That's just one way to make and appreciate art. You know those artists who make almost photographic paintings, they leave me cold once you've appreciated the technique. Conceptual Art just as visual puns can be appreciated a different, intellectual way.

Where-as say Emin's Tent is conceptual, meaningful and beautiful to me in ways it's hard to put words to, and I'd guess that's something to do with why it gets recognised as art worth putting in a gallery. That's perhaps more subjective, but that ambition is there whether it resonates with you personally or not.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Count Lucanor » November 19th, 2020, 10:05 pm

Robert66 wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 2:19 pm
At the risk of unleashing a word torrent, I ask the Count just what 'a real artist' is? Stand back, everyone.
Someone with exceptional artistic talent?

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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Jack D Ripper » November 19th, 2020, 10:30 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 4:51 am
Here in the UK, during these troubled times, we've been comforted by the story of Captain Tom, a 100 year old WWII veteran who has been walking up and down his garden to raise money for the National Health Service. Some others have been inspired by him and done the same thing, including an old lady and a young child. Naturally they haven't raised as much money as Colonel Tom (he's been promoted, but sadly not to Major) but they've still made a good effort.

Are there similarities between Colonel (nee Captain) Tom and modern artists like Tracey Emin?

When some cynics saw what he did they might have said:

"Why did he raise so much money for just walking up and down? I could have done that!"

The answer would of course be:

"Ah! But you didn't, did you?"

Anyone else see the parallel?

How dare you insult such a man! He is not some poseur. He actually helps people when he is 100 years old. "Modern artists" generally are just parasites. (As are the people who profit from them, who are also generally con artists.) You should apologize to him for insulting him with such a vulgar comparison. He is vastly better than these "artists".

For those who are slow to comprehend, he is vastly better than a "modern artist".

Those cynics, as you call them, should just be told to **** off. When they raise as much for an equally good cause, then, and not til then, should anyone bother listening to them.
"A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence." - David Hume

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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Jack D Ripper » November 19th, 2020, 10:41 pm

Count Lucanor wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 6:57 pm
... The difference is, of course, that Mr. Tom did manage to contribute something to society.
Exactly. And that he does this at 100, and these wankers don't at any time in their lives, speaks volumes.
"A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence." - David Hume

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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Jack D Ripper » November 19th, 2020, 10:59 pm

Jack D Ripper wrote:
November 19th, 2020, 10:30 pm
Steve3007 wrote:
April 30th, 2020, 4:51 am
Here in the UK, during these troubled times, we've been comforted by the story of Captain Tom, a 100 year old WWII veteran who has been walking up and down his garden to raise money for the National Health Service. Some others have been inspired by him and done the same thing, including an old lady and a young child. Naturally they haven't raised as much money as Colonel Tom (he's been promoted, but sadly not to Major) but they've still made a good effort.

Are there similarities between Colonel (nee Captain) Tom and modern artists like Tracey Emin?

When some cynics saw what he did they might have said:

"Why did he raise so much money for just walking up and down? I could have done that!"

The answer would of course be:

"Ah! But you didn't, did you?"

Anyone else see the parallel?

How dare you insult such a man! He is not some poseur. He actually helps people when he is 100 years old. "Modern artists" generally are just parasites. (As are the people who profit from them, who are also generally con artists.) You should apologize to him for insulting him with such a vulgar comparison. He is vastly better than these "artists".

For those who are slow to comprehend, he is vastly better than a "modern artist".

Those cynics, as you call them, should just be told to **** off. When they raise as much for an equally good cause, then, and not til then, should anyone bother listening to them.

Just to add one more thing to this: Did Captain Tom claim to be doing something artistic? If not, then he cannot properly be accused of being the pretentious piece of crap that some may justly be accused of being.

So, we seem to have at least two ways that he is different from these modern artists. First, he benefits society. Second, he is not some pretentious moron.

So, again, I say, he deserves an apology for such a vulgar comparison. He does not deserve to be treated so contemptuously.

Those who have a problem with him walking in his garden can go **** themselves.
"A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence." - David Hume

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Steve3007
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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Steve3007 » November 20th, 2020, 4:48 am

Jack D Ripper wrote:How dare you insult such a man! He is not some poseur. He actually helps people when he is 100 years old. "Modern artists" generally are just parasites. (As are the people who profit from them, who are also generally con artists.) You should apologize to him for insulting him with such a vulgar comparison. He is vastly better than these "artists"....
Fair enough. You're entitled to your opinion. How far through the art world do you extend it? For example, Michelangelo and others were sponsored by the Medici's. Would you regard that as a similar con artist <> parasite relationship? If not, where do you place the cutoff? Do you base it on your opinion as to the amount of technical skill you believe to have been necessary to create the artworks? Many do. Or do you base it on the amount of help that the individual's efforts give to good causes? Captain Tom raised money for the NHS but Michelangelo's artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel didn't, as far as I know, help in any similar cause. Self indulgent parasite?

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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Jack D Ripper » November 20th, 2020, 1:38 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
November 20th, 2020, 4:48 am
Jack D Ripper wrote:How dare you insult such a man! He is not some poseur. He actually helps people when he is 100 years old. "Modern artists" generally are just parasites. (As are the people who profit from them, who are also generally con artists.) You should apologize to him for insulting him with such a vulgar comparison. He is vastly better than these "artists"....
Fair enough. You're entitled to your opinion. How far through the art world do you extend it? For example, Michelangelo and others were sponsored by the Medici's. Would you regard that as a similar con artist <> parasite relationship? If not, where do you place the cutoff? Do you base it on your opinion as to the amount of technical skill you believe to have been necessary to create the artworks? Many do. Or do you base it on the amount of help that the individual's efforts give to good causes? Captain Tom raised money for the NHS but Michelangelo's artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel didn't, as far as I know, help in any similar cause. Self indulgent parasite?
Okay, there are two different issues here. One is the usefulness of the action. So, with Captain Sir Thomas Moore, his actions resulted in raising significant amounts of money for a good cause. Now, I have not studied the case, but I do not recall him ever making the claim that what he was doing had any artistic merit. If that is the case, then it would be wrong to accuse him of pretentiousness in this.

The fact that you likened what he was doing to modern art is really, in my opinion, a condemnation of modern art. What he did, that had no artistic merit, is like modern art. Much of that, like Captain Tom's walk in his garden, has no artistic merit.

With that, I have drifted into the second issue, the matter of artistic merit. With that, we are getting into the troublesome issue of aesthetics, and what, exactly, "artistic merit" is. If we look at your example of Michelangelo, what he did took skill; not everyone could duplicate what he did. (I do not recall him claiming that it would do anything else; so it not raising money for a good cause is not a criticism of it, as that was not the goal.) Of course, there can be some importance to being the first to do something, to be the one to come up with the idea, but that is only relevant when the idea is a good one and is worth doing. Being the first to have a bad idea is nothing to brag about.


Now, I do not want to get into the issue of what, exactly, constitutes art and what artistic merit is, as it would be a troublesome (and probably lengthy) discussion. But I will provide an example of the absurdity of modern art, that people cannot tell the difference between it and something else:


{quote]Pair of glasses left on US gallery floor mistaken for art

Teenager leaves spectacles on floor of San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art as a prank, leading some to think they were an exhibit[/quote]

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/201 ... en-for-art


Compare that with a banana taped to a wall:

https://theconversation.com/the-value-o ... ork-147689


The fact that one is a joke and the other is supposedly art, and, if one had not been told which is which, one would almost certainly have a difficult time determining which was supposedly real art and which was just a joke, tells us that modern art itself is a joke, not something to be taken seriously.


Modern art has become a joke, not because everything artists make today is a joke, but for the same reasons that the Sokal Hoax was possible:

https://physics.nyu.edu/sokal/weinberg.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archi ... ax/572212/


Not everything in academia is a joke, but a significant portion of it is, as that hoax illustrates.

Perhaps I should be calling this a problem with "postmodern" art, as the ridiculous and nonsensical verbiage attached to these things is a significant part of the problem. People literally take nonsense seriously, imagining that it is something profound because it is difficult to understand. In the art world, once one attaches such nonsense to something, it becomes "art". The thing itself isn't anything special, like a banana duct taped to a wall. The "art" is in the con, in the sell of the nonsense. It is really like The Emperor's New Clothes:

https://andersen.sdu.dk/vaerk/hersholt/ ... hes_e.html

The thing is of no importance in the modern art world; it is the verbiage, the sell, the con, that creates it and makes it, so that some idiot is willing to pay $120,000 for a banana duct taped to a wall.

Modern art is such a joke, it is impossible to parody, as it is already as ridiculous as it is possible to be. That is, one cannot tell the parody from what is supposedly real art. That is how we can know that the emperor has no clothes.
"A wise man ... proportions his belief to the evidence." - David Hume

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Steve3007
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Re: Captain Tom as modern artist

Post by Steve3007 » Yesterday, 5:29 am

The point I was making in the OP was just about the concept of simple but original ideas. As I said in the OP, the parallel that I drew between the actions of Captain Tom and some forms of modern art was that both contain a simple original idea, so both might attract comments like "I could have done that!" and in both cases the reply could be "Ah! But you didn't, did you?". i.e. simple but original ideas, by definition, lose their impact when the second person tries them. e.g. The second person to compose a piece of "music" consisting of of silence, after John Cage, wouldn't have made much impact.

But it's not a worthwhile enough theme to pursue any further than that.

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