Artborne Magazine July 2016 - Page 13

Photo by Ashley Inguanta these crass unpleasant guys who could barely play their instruments. It was an experiment that worked. Looking back, it feels like Donald Trump could be the Sex Pistol’s political spirit animal. The band was McLaren’s spectacle. Johnny Lydon was their leader. He is an intelligent man who like his band mates was an agitator. Now they are all household names. Robert Smithson’s Monuments of Passaic was published in , the same year as Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle. I can’t find any evidence that Smithson was After our listening session he told me that he was surprised by how much of it was very funny, and more intelligent than he imagined, and of course a lot of it was not very thoughtful, and self-conscious, but that’s what you get in a democracy and with a democratic art form. The lineage of the movements that I’ve mentioned is a DIY mindset. Being an outsider can become an advantage, instead of an obstacle. It’s interesting how many of these artists and musicians have become consummate insiders. While the term “think out side the box” has become over- The idea was that you can feed the world anything, and they will bite if it’s presented right. aware of Debord or visa versa. Smithson died in a plane crash in while looking for a spot to place his art. Debord ended his own life in . In the early ’s when I was a young man, my father who was around at the time, asked me to sit down with him and play punk rock on my turntable for him, and to explain why I thought it was or wasn’t important. I ended up playing punk rock, no wave, post punk, and some new wave for him. I don’t remember exactly what I told him, but a consistent theme was the DIY attitude. A lot of these musicians could barely play, some were virtuosos, and a lot were somewhere in between, the idea was anyone can be in a band. Orlando’s Art Scene used and meaningless, read about those who really did venture beyond convention. Use them as inspiration, but don’t play follow the leader. I see so many artists putting limitations on their art, because of assumptions about the art market, or projections of the general public’s perception. If Smithson had not died in his ’s I’m not sure what direction he would have taken, but I get the feeling that he would not have felt constricted by the dogma of a movement that he helped form. I think he had too many questions for the world to just settle for one answer. 12