First of all, let me state that I don't regard all abstract art to be bullshit. This being said, the first Art:21 video segments we watched in class were--for the most part--bullshit. One segment stood out to me in particular. The guy who took segments of sporting events then removed either all the main figures or all but one main figure and looped the result...WTF? He then proceeded to preach about the deep relationships between the silent basketball player screaming amid the flashing bulbs and cheering fans. "What is he screaming about? We don't know!" Give me a break. It's obvious that he's just done something good in the game and now he's 'bragging' about it--for lack of a better word--much like football players have touchdown dances.
The second segment that caught my attention was about a large public art piece using a series of "organs" and played music using compressed air and horns. I liked this piece a lot. First of all, the artist wasn't claiming it to be something it was not. The piece wasn't supposed to make people realize they are 'a spec in the ocean of life' or some other quasi-emo cliche. He created it so that people could interact with it and walk around it being engulfed in the enormity of its size, scope, and volume. Public art pieces like that in which people can either draw their own conclusions or not any at all gain my respect a lot quicker than most of the pretentious, abstract bullshit out there.
I just thought of a quote that I heard in the movie Almost Famous several years ago that I think applies here:
"The Doors? Jim Morrison? He's a drunken buffoon posing as a poet. Give me The Guess Who. They got the courage to be drunken buffoons, which makes them poetic."