Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Art

One of the things that I like best about Irregular Webcomic is that its creator, David Morgan-Mar, is not afraid to be experimental. Take, for instance, today's comic. It's best if you go look at it yourself, and if you read his annotation for the strip, and, of course, it's better if you have read the comic up to this point, so you can understand parts of the annotation, but take a look anyway.

For those of you that don't, it is four panels of black. There's no speech, nothing except the black.

Morgan-Mar justifies this in his annotation by comparing the strip to 4'33", by John Cage, which is a piece, in three movements, of four minutes and 33 seconds of silence. Morgan-Mar explains the piece quite well in the annotation, so go read that for a detailed explaination.

I like the strip, not for the strip itself, but because of the annotation that comes with the strip, which is as much a part of the strip as the pictures themselves. I always read the annotations, because they're often funny or interesting, but this one is thought-provoking. In explaining his motivations for presenting four black panels with no text, he presents us with a dilemma: what is art, and is this it?

My answer: the strip itself is not art. Four black panels could be done by anyone. The strip is art only in the context of the annotation, and the body of work that Morgan-Mar has previously presented to us (he lead up to this strip quite well... there is a preceeding comic wherein there are four black panels, but with dialogue). I think this is part of the point he wanted to get across in his annotation, that art--any art--is only art within its own context, whatever that may be.

Just some thoughts that have spewed forth from my mind and fingertips.
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