The Art World Rules

The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London has just launched a new social media initiative which invites anyone—even you—to contribute your thoughts on a rule for or definition of Art. Everyone’s opinion is then encapsulated in a bubble and floated, in a style somewhat resembling VH1’s Pop Up Video, across a constantly refreshing screen. It’s seeded with wisdom from the likes of Tracey Emin, Jeremy Deller, and Tracey Emin, but most of the commentary is from ordinary folks. So as you might imagine, the results are a bit…erratic. (Consider Elizabeth Thornhill, who advises that her new art rule is to “Kill your parents.”)

Some users urge the end to gallery press releases; others define art as simply “a way of soaking up excess money.” It’s a fairly cute interface, but what we’re really waiting for is someone to hijack the site for…well, an art project. Something along the lines of Steven Soderbergh’s bizarre novel-via-Twitter. Until then, we’ll have to make due with bubble-based advice like “Don’t expect to get paid or laid. The work is its own reward.”
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