Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Originally uploaded by Art or Idiocy?.

This rule was formulated in response to essays about art & theory, but can be applied to all types of writing. It has mainly been devised as a tool to help the hapless reader who stumbles into a mire of dense critical theory and is caught unawares. It is a means of escape without having to feel too guilty.

If you are trying to read a review or an essay and keep finding your mind is wondering, you might want to apply The Three Tries Rule.

This is assuming your environment and personal conditions are not hindering your ability to read and comprehend the text you are faced with. Go back to the point where you remember reading and understanding and continue.

If you find that once again you've zoned out, go once again to the last point of comprehension and try again.

If this happens a third time, you may invoke The Three Tries Rule.

You just say, "fuck it, I've tried three fucking times to read this boring, impenetrable piece of shit, I quit!" Then you throw down the book or magazine on the bathroom floor in such a way that it makes a loud SLAP!

You can choose to come back to the offending text at a later time, but only if you want to. This phenomenon usually occurs when reading Voyage on the North Sea or something written by Hal Foster.

Personally, I am interested in writing which is insightful, clever and entertaining. I like to read for pleasure. Why else would you read? Are you a Goth S&M-ist? "I read for pain."

So, yes, I read and write about art for pleasure. Most writing about art suck because it isn't written for pleasure. The writers have no idea that anyone could enjoy reading about art. Most of what is written about art isn't really even intended to be read. Think of exhibition catalogues or Artforum. Artforum is like Playboy, it's porn and no one reads the articles.

1 comment:

Jason said...

I must confess that sometimes I do indeed obtain some sort of painful pleasure from critical theory. Not all the time, just some of the time. Once in awhile a text has to prove its concepts by acting them out in a melodramatic sort of way, i.e. the concepts are complicated, and so must be the medium in which these concepts are presented. Maybe this is just word fetishism, maybe its masochism, maybe its elitism. I don't think one can begin to love theory until one has the experience you described, of slamming the book on the ground or throwing it across the room. Once a writer makes you that pissed off, thats when you can learn to be his slave. And that's also when you can have slaves of your own.