Thursday, February 10, 2011

Creepy is the New Black.

<-- I <3 Juliette Lewis
Well, maybe not "creepy" but, at least weird. From what I have learned from such films as White Christmas and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, there once was a time when "coolness" came with a certain degree of poise and elegance. Being fashionable and chic were one in the same. Maybe it's just my artschool upbringing, but it seems like chic-ness illicits eyerolling among the very coolest of the cool. If you are chic, expensive, well-tailored... you're simply trying too hard (even if you make it look easy). "Be Yourself," has metamorphosed from a lets-all-get-along saying to some sort of a challenge... and, part of me likes it.
So I challenge you to "Be Yourself," but not in a comfortable way. Be a cartoon of yourself, or, yourself to the Nth degree.

It seems like part of the effect of this onslaught of information associated with the world wide web has been a perverted self-awareness. We post about what we like and what we know about ourselves, all the while perpetuating our cartoonish external identities. We are encouraged so much as children to differentiate and embrace the things that make us different, and make us stand out, that it becomes difficult to know what we have been pressured to believe about ourselves, as opposed to what is actually there to begin with. It's exciting to live in a time that I believe favors differentiation to conformity. It's liberating! But are we putting too much pressure on ourselves to be different? To stand out? To invent?

I was just talking to one of my classes about this (vaguely). We were discussing how the English language is disintegrating, and I had what I think may have been an 'aha' moment. Typically I would quietly complain to myself about the fact that 1/2 of the papers I had to read were completely illegible because of an inconsistently twitter-like sentence structure and abbreviated words... But this time, something different happened. I thought, "Maybe this is the way language is supposed to evolve." Plently of philosophers believe that language itself is flawed- that using arbitrary symbols to try to get a message across is downright stupid. Someone go wake up Neitzsche. Tell him we are on the way back to images from abstract symbols. If we get a few more murals up in Philadelphia, future generations will think that we communicated that way anyway.

What did I start out talking about here? Oh, right. Creepy is the new black. So anyway- there is more emphasis placed on the person today rather than the generation, the family, or the nation. It's really fine with me. People are making more and more amazing things every day- and sometimes I think it's genuine. Here is a new piece that I made for BirdQueen Designs, as well as a piece from ilovegreyskies (below).