Is this a bad idea?
(The windows are open)
I need wine,
I tried to warn you,
(a bad idea)
I haven’t been dying
I haven’t been dying.
she was telling me
different ways to kill people
(lament, lament, lament).
It was very weird,
very hot too.REMIX by: JDA Winslow
I think we’re both approaching this in different ways. You seem to be talking about art as merely being a reaction to whatever else exists, e.g. context. This suggests that art should engage on a contextual level and as opposed to creating art purely for oneself one should try and create art as a reaction against what has gone before e.g. “I think Internet Poetry makes sense if you think of it as a reaction to the poetry that came before it.”
The issue I have is that this then becomes meta-ironic. David Foster Wallace has this to say on the subject of meta-irony, “categories we divide into superior/arty and inferior/vulgar are in fact so interdependent as to be coextensive”. The whole idea of high/low art is one that has been pretty much abolished by post-modernism (Duchamp being maybe the most obvious example). Art that engages on this level is indulging only in anchoring as opposed to sublimation. For me art should be pointless because everything else is.
the problem with internet poetry this year was this notion of “breaking free of shackles”—of form, of structure, of language, whatever. the shackles were broken already. what we need to do in 2012 is fix them.
artists in the 10s, as i see it, need to be the exact opposite of beatniks. ginsburg and kerouac had to go wild and crazy to escape the crushing banality of the 50s mainstream. but the 10s mainstream is wild and crazy. what artists today need to escape is not crushing banality but crushing insanity.
artists need shackles. we have always needed them, and in the 10s we need them more than we ever have. the world is chaos. at every moment we are in danger of dissipating. being an artist in the 10s ought to mean being someone who is strong enough inside to withstand that dissolving force, and is dedicated to making art that somehow confers that strength on others.
the image of wild bohemianism we see in music videos and in nylon magazine or whatever—that image is so much more seductive and pernicious than “selling out” could ever be. artists in the 10s need to be strong enough to resist it. artists in the 10s ought to have unapologetically unsexy lives—ought to wear ties, have respectable bourgeois jobs (if possible), ought to go to bed before 11.
in summary: what we need is discipline. start by resolving this new years to only have four tabs open at a time.
I think the main issue that I have with this, and a lot of the other criticism that seems to be emerging of Internet Poetry is that it only engages with the question of art on a meta-ironic level.
Artists dont “need” to do anything other than make art. The point of art is to be pointless.