Sunday, March 7, 2010

Life Down Under

Librarians and collectors are the most important people for the arts. At the very moment things are happening, it is impossible to sift through the endless piles of music and photographs and paintings and general artistic output. Every day more crap (I'm using this term in the most positive way) gets dumped into the 'cultural atmosphere.' It can feel like white noise...pollution. How can you even come close to getting a grasp on the world's artistic output in as little s a day, much less a year or decade.

That's why we have people like James Danky. They collect things so we can sift through them later. Or other people can sift through them for us. But all of this sifting, none-the-less, is made possible by people who take that initial interest and deem something "worthy of collecting."

I think "best of" lists are pretty funny. Especially one's about the year we just came through. Basically, the only artistic output the writers of such lists have to go off of is the most advertised. Whether a particular item has been blogged about the most, or been sold in the most stores, the most popular items of the year always get dubbed the best of, regardless of their actual artistic merit.

Later on, though, things get "rediscovered" and artists that weren't so popular during their prime are shot up to the pedestal. It's way hip.

It's hip to know the most popular artists of our time but it's hipper to know the unpopular artists from before our time. Funny. I'm not sure which is more obnoxious.


  1. Speaking of archivists... If you are in the mood for the spectacle of collecting I recommend checking out A&E's new hit series "Hoarders." You could also look at TLC's knock-off program "Hoarders: Buried Alive."

    Both programs profile various people who suffer from pathological hoarding disorders. One highlight of season one profiles a woman who, apart from accumulating 8 tons of trash, junk and old newspapers, also stopped using her bathroom for three years and made the shift to adult diapers.

    Instead of disposing of the diapers she tossed them in her bathroom leaving them to rot away over the years and eat through the floor of her house.

    I guess that's what the daily accumulation of crap looks like.

  2. I think it is the hippest to like an unpopular artist from our time and not like them anymore after they become popular at a later time.

  3. We are waiting to hear if the subjects of "Hoarders" and "Hoarders: Buried Alive" will become stars. This is consumerism taken to some sort of penultimate state. Good point Liam about the role of the collector or hoarder if you will. Just don't mix in the used adult diapers!