Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Virtuosity vs Expression

In many areas in the arts, virtuosity is cherished as one of the most important values. This is particularly true where art is canonized or institutionalized. How pure the example? how exacting the performance? and, how fine the craftsmanship? Become increasingly important questions. In sharp contrast to this are instances where expression overrides virtuosity as the guiding principle. Think punk verses a symphony performance.

I think about this quite a bit and have been considering a post or series of posts exploring extreme examples of expression being the driving force. Here are two musical examples.

The Shaggs: My Pal Foot Foot

BJ Snowden: In Canada.

I happen to find expression (just my personal preference and disposition) in this context more interesting. As a viewer, listener or audience member extreme explorations of expression challenge ideas of taste, of what art "is" and open up new aesthetic possibilities.

What prompted me to finally write this post was the NPR audio interview with Chris Anderson I listened to last night. In it they touch upon participatory media and how popular things like homemade video's on site's like YouTube have become. Their authenticity, in extreme contrast to the overproduced media products we are used to experiecing, is a big part of their appeal. Blogs are an obvious example of non-professional, user-generated content that has been created out of a desire to express and connect.

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Nixta said...