What follows is a guest post from Elizabeth Cantalamessa (University of Miami). Think about the endless debates over what, really, is art. We get it over the latest Star Wars movie, or over Richard Prince’s series of Instagram screenshots titled New Portraits, or the recent Banksy “art-world prank” where a print of Girl With a Balloon “self-shredded” upon its auction. Articles are written, exhibitions are curated, theories are proposed – but, if there’s no fact out there in the world that can settle the debates, why do people waste their time trying to get others to agree with them? It seems that we face a dilemma: either people are wasting their time trying to figure out what “really” makes something art – or there is some deep fact about these objects that would settle the debates if aestheticians and the like just do enough analysis and theory.
Banksy arrested! Unmasked! Exposed! [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEGxUYxJYz0?rel=0&w=560&h=315] Breaking fake news, as it turns out, created by a guy who has developed an Andy-Kaufmanesque approach to creating hoaxes, delighting in particular when his hoaxes get picked up by mainstream news sites. The hoax article by Jimmy Rustling (how did the Internet not catch this? Come on, Internet.) mixes fiction with fact, and probably would make an excellent example for those interested in knowledge, the propagation of fake news, echo chambers and the like, (cough, cough), but I wondered: Why does Banksy bother with anonymity? Banksy’s identity isn’t public, but the rough consensus is that Banksy is probably male, probably British, probably white, probably from Bristol, and probably in his forties. Banksy has claimed that they’re anonymous because their work is illegal, but this seems not to capture the entirety of it. Someone that worried about arrest wouldn’t publicize their work on … Continue reading →