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Thursday, March 19, 2015

I Know What I Like

Thurber is credited with saying something along the lines of "I don't know Art, but I know what I like". Which is typically witty, of course, but also a little problematic.

Being pithy and witty it gets quoted a lot, and this plants the axiom that "liking" stuff is somehow relevant, or even superior to whatever it is that Art is or does.

In the first place, what do you even mean when you say you like something? Do you think it's pretty? Do you like that it challenges and/or teaches you something? Do you enjoy the second-hand experience of breaking the taboos it breaks? Do you think it follows whatever rules you think it should?

In the second place, it doesn't matter if you like it. No matter what you mean by "liking" when I make some Art, you liking it is not on my list of desired outcomes, and it shouldn't be.

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