Oct 5, 2009

Meaningless Work

Meaningless work is obviously the most important and significant art form today. The aesthetic feeling given by meaningless work cannot be described exactly because it varies with each individual doing the work. Meaningless work is honest. Meaningless work will be enjoyed and hated by intellectuals - though they should understand it. Meaningless work cannot be sold in art galleries or win prizes in museums - though old fashion records of meaningless work (most all paintings) do partake in these indignities. Like ordinary work, meaningless work can make you sweat if you do it long enough. By meaningless work I simply mean work which does not make money or accomplish a conventional purpose. Meaningless work is potentially the most abstract, concrete, individual, foolish, indeterminate, exactly determined, varied, important art-action-experience one can undertake today. This concept is not a joke. - Walter De Maria, March, 1960

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I think the opposite is true today. So often the definition of art incorporates an action or unfolding of events with out a purpose, function or meaning. I love this, of course, as most artists love the freedom it gives, but as our culture's relationship to work becomes increasingly alienated (data entry), commodified (themed vacations), and fetishised (expensive vintage or retro "work clothes") I wonder if art can re-imbue, reconnect events with their intended meaning. Sometimes I think art can and should give back a sense of purpose that we sorely need.