ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE: OSCILLATING

16 Aug

AGArtBTheatreWelcome to a new regular feature in which I’ll be giving dramatic readings of the worst artist statements, gallery press releases and art criticism I’ve had the misfortune to encounter. Some of them have already been featured on this site; others are based on tip-offs and reports from colleagues or readers.

Episode 1 is OSCILLATING, which means moving or swinging back and forth in a regular rhythm, or varying in magnitude or position in a regular manner about a central point. An example of an oscillation is shown here for the reference of any art writers who still think it means “I’m afraid I can’t describe what the hell this person’s art is meant to be about or represent”. The animation shows an undamped spring–mass oscillatory system, if for some weird reason any engineering aficionados are reading this.

Simple_harmonic_oscillator

Nor does “oscillate” mean “I work in more than one medium/take part in different activities at different times”. “Oscillating” doesn’t mean “oh, it’s complicated”, and it doesn’t allow you to connect without explanation or justification two completely unrelated concepts (such as Kleinian psychoanalysis and quantum physics), although these are all examples of how the word is frequently misused in artspeak.

There’s a difference between specialised vocabulary used to discuss and understand high-level, complex concepts between professionals in one’s field of expertise, and just wantonly assaulting the English language either through ignorance or as an art world insider shibboleth. The artbollocks usage of “oscillating” is entirely the latter, and firmly in the realm of (if you’ll forgive me unleashing an internet meme) “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means”.

I’ll try to upload a new video every week, except when I don’t. It’s unlikely that I’ll run out of wretchedly bad press releases and self-aggrandising artists’ puffery to use as material any time soon, but even so please feel free to suggest (either in the comments on this site, or privately) any stupid examples of art writing you’d like to see performed in my inimitable Shatneresque style. Yes, I know I’m a horrible man.

My original discussion of the “Oscillating” text is here: TLDNU*.

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8 Responses to “ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE: OSCILLATING”

  1. Alistair 18/08/2013 at 3:27 PM #

    Reblogged this on Alistair Gentry.

  2. Alistair 19/08/2013 at 6:02 PM #

    The embedded video temporarily turned into a link, for reasons that I won’t bore you with. Fixed now.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE: INVESTIGATION | CAREER SUICIDE - 13/09/2013

    […] episodes: Oscillating, Noesis, Pschogeography, […]

  3. ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE: EPHEMERAL | CAREER SUICIDE - 20/09/2013

    […] Previous episodes: Investigation Pschogeography Haptic Noesis Oscillating. […]

  4. ARTBOLLOCKS THEATRE: SCHWITTERSIAN | CAREER SUICIDE - 27/09/2013

    […] Previous episodes: Ephemeral Investigation Pschogeography Haptic Noesis Oscillating […]

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    […] Previously: Schwittersian Ephemeral Investigation Pschogeography Haptic Noesis Oscillating […]

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    […] Previous episodes: Lacunary Schwittersian Ephemeral Investigation Pschogeography Haptic Noesis Oscillating […]

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