100 thoughts on “Art or Prank? | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios”

  1. Oh hell yes about this prank! I also pranked the SFMoMa (see a pattern?) by taking a picture of dust bunnies on the stairs. People started taking pictures of me taking pictures from weird places on the floor and stairs showing that, clearly, they too were bored by SFMoMa's choices.

  2. These guys were being smART- asses but guess what? In that context you just made a work of art. And it's valid. If you stand up on stage in a comedy club people expect jokes. If you go out on the ice, people expect skating. The venue determines the definition. To a point.

  3. Hi! Love these video. It has helped a lot for students like us. I was just curious if you could shed some light on this "fountain" . I read that it was given to him as gift from Baroness Elsa. How much true is it?

  4. Bottom line is that the shift from cavemen to modern times were not realized by people who were that lazy about creation.
    This can only exist in a modern, comfortable, bored society.

  5. The artist has to decide what is their sincere expression to a member of a group. That decision makes it "ART" regardless what others think of it. Art is communication, the more popular it becomes means the more people 'understand' it. The great thing about art is that it's not a popularity contest and as long as one other person get something out of the piece it's successful.

  6. It had a goal, an idea behind it, thats basically what art seems to be… idk if i mean that as a definition so much as an inevitability, im not sure you can create something empty of that, your bound to be going for something even if its indirect.
    Id say if some other things are art, that is art, even if they didnt think of themselves as artists at the time or intend it that way
    But whats different about this compared to a work meant to stir controversy?

  7. "The backstory is important" is the Antithesis of Art. This approach toward dealing with the contests of those critical to these artists couldn't be more pedantic if it were a "art bogo sale" button on a curator's lapel! You dont argue with trolls who scoff, " I could do that. " You merely encourage them to GO AND DO IT (elsewhere) or NOT, but refrain from undermining things they do not understand on the premises of another person whom is staking their livelihood upon making the exhibition possible for those who DO appreciate it. See how that works? Double Standards and Antithesis Solved.

  8. I really love this channel and its focus on cultural, political, social and historical contexts.  But what I don't love is… the channel's lack of critical criticism.  Actual criticism.  You can call anything art but bad art is also a reality.  If you can call anything art, than some or a lot of this so called works of art can also be called terrible or kneejerkishly reactionary or lazy or all of the above (aesthetically speaking).

  9. Two people (One of them being my friend) went to an art-gallery. My friends companion, a little bit sad and bored perhaps, leaned against a wall and got lost in her own thoughts. Since she stood so still people started gathering around her, thinking she was part of the exhibition! My friend even got a photo of the spectacle!

  10. This video also made me think about a conversation I had with a friend. I had this beautiful Asparagus fern who had grown so beautifully with branches reaching and twisting into themselves. I called it art of nature, while she argued that it probably can't be art since no human hand was involved in how the plant grew with an intention of creating art. I feel like the plant was art since I viewed it as an art piece. It was not art for her- and that's ok.

  11. The urinal should not be divorced from its original function, install the plumbing in the gallery with a privacy curtain so people like me don't have to go looking for one when our bladders are full to bursting. The urinal should not be encased inside a sanctified glass box, have we sunk to worshiping urinals now? As to the toys and blanket… Perfect if you're on a weekend outing with the little ones and they get bored to tears with all the pseudo art. I suggest plastic tommy guns so the little treasures can chase, yell and whack each other out. Title: 'Mini gangster concept…' I'll send you the bill for these priceless art ideas.'

  12. was reading the Andrea Fraser text when your voice echoed in my mind. I was sure I heard the catchy 'we are the institution' phrase in these videos. Hope it proves how obsessed I am with this channel <3

  13. The institution is obviously calling the BS, but the BS continues. Anything goes in the name of art once we say that it's between you and the object.

  14. I disagree with there being a difference between the glasses and the fountain.
    Both are art. In fact I find a sort of beauty in the accidental creation of art

  15. You just gave me an Idea on how I might have a chance on how to appreciate art.
    You make it sound to me that art can be extended beyond the piece of art, towards the space between it and me, and furthermore into my mind, my subconcious universe and everything who I am, what I've learned and combine it with everything that is.
    Damn! Now I have to go and visit this bulky museum and see the art of Beuys again. And I really don't like the art of Beuys. It feels so depressing to me.

  16. Why can't a prank be art? Who's make the "rules" for these things, PBS? The Koch brothers? Hollywood? Time magazine? Wall Street? The Government? Is graffiti, art or vandalism? If art is free, does that make it vandalism? Worthless?

  17. It's Dadaism, so it's both. They're serious about not taking themselves seriously. As counter culture and a protest against elitism within galleries at the time, having a piece of art rejected was a Victory. It's strange to think that during Dadaism, post impressionism was popular, and considered the only true art worthy of display. Then not only 5 years later in 1920, when Dadaism dies but Salvador Dali keeps it alive through surrealism, and it gains popularity, all of a sudden galleries are clamouring to get their hands on it. Salvador Dali was the populist and consumerist, while Duchamp was the counter culture conceptualist. You could argue that Dadaism never died, and that surrealism was Dadaism that lost its way and gave into what it was fighting. Dadaism without conceptualism, IS surrealism. It's not until the 1970s that photorealism becomes the new impressionism, rife with bigoted elitism, while neo expressionism was the new Fauvism protesting the consumerist takeover of the art world. In 1984, frederic Jameson said "so long grand, historical narratives. Hello consumerist desire". The Tate is also quoted as saying"art slid easily into bed with business".
    Dadaism was protesting the consumerist takeover of art… And after so many years, they lost. We're living in a Dadaist nightmare RIGHT now. It's nearly 2020 and we haven't seen a single unique art movement spring up in the frequency that it used to besides the Young British Artists (YBA) and street art in the 80s/90s. We're living in an age of artistic stagnation, consumed by a growing industry. People make art for profit now, not for passion.

    In short? The mass desire to be famous and make art by any punter, has killed art. Consumerism killed conceptualism, and we're suddenly back where we started in 1900. Every time I see a "wow look how realistic he can draw hair!" Video on social media, it makes my blood boil with indescribable hatred. I'd also argue that photorealism and contemporary realism in the 1970s killed people's desire to innovate and own an artistic license, through the idea of "art is only good if it looks realistic", and that having your own style is old fashioned. That if it doesn't look EXACTLY like the subject, then you're doing something wrong. That's where the elitism begins, once more…

  18. All is fine and dandy, and thank you for your efforts to make people more open minded to art in general, but I think your definition of art is fundamentally unstable.
    According to you any non artist can instantly become an artist without any prior experience just by intending to place objects on the floor and /or place them in an artistic context (f.e. a gallery).
    This renders the idea of a composition more important than the composition itself. Something which is clearly a fallacy.
    If we say that the idea of a composition is art in itself then we could easily assume that all ideas that place objects or other ideas out of their original context are art.
    In order to define art you don't just need to be "accepting" and backing it up with relativistic statements. art is not only what the viewer perceives it as,as long as it is in an artistic context.

  19. When the designation "art" can be applied literally everything, then it becomes completely useless as descriptor. All Duchamp did was expand the boundries of "art" until it became meaningless…..thanks man. :/

  20. Too much of art were pranks, and when accepted more pranks are created, only now it is art. The lazy mans way to fame perhaps. People can be so easily led and that is an art in itself.

  21. I want to see more of the performance artists ( commonly called cleaners) in galleries. It is they who keep the space between us and the art works clear for interaction. Their services are underated!

  22. Duchamp did two jokes, one was trying to get a piss pot into an art museum, and the other was the bullshit justification for it. To this day people are still accepting both jokes, and particularly the second one, as serious . Basically, Duchamp was testing our stupidity. He thought we were so dim that no matter what was put on a pedestal in a museum, we'd praise it. All it needed was some ridiculous justification. We fell for it, He made a career of it.

    Now we get people seriously saying that the art is not the art itself, but rather what happens between the art and the person. No, the art is the art, and whatever happens subjectively in smoeone's head is something else, and so highly variable, and most times lacking, that it is most likely a radically distorted, and inferior version of the art.

  23. Modernism is the only school of philosophy which has no idea what art is but has managed to build an entire vacuous institution around that uncertainty, proliferating commentary, but not beauty; contriving conventions for the sole purpose of breaking them to market how innovative they are, but in reality having no idea what is conventional or traditional, since they stopped teaching art decades ago; disembodying art in galleries and shows, rather than using art in everyday life to cultivate a warm and orderly human habitat.

  24. A simple metric whether are is good or not…it has to be either good looking or a marvel of engineering, mathematics, ecology, or any other sort of scientific (yes, including social sciences) or literary substance. At least, that’s how I define good art.

  25. Art is a device of communication between the minds. People speaking different languages may interpret another man's poetry as gibberish.

  26. it is noble that you address your dilemma, but I feel you fail to solve it. 

    so the prankster's performance is not art, but Duchamp clearly is due to his more careful process? reality is that if the two guys do this forty more times, get reviews, interviews and a retrospective, you will talk about this very performance in ten years from now in the same way as you talk about Duchamp. Because the problem is you are trained to reflect on institutionalised art, but not the art itself. I was given a drawing by a painter recently and it could very well hang as a master piece in some museum or be thrown away by a housewife after having scribbled it during a phone call. I for one have the choice to see it one way or the other, and I am aware of this choice, while most art critics try to find refuge in their position as experts to avoid the dilemma altogether.

    I assume the professional art observer has some hollow feeling of not knowing or being able to tell what "is" and what "is not", always relying on others, other experts, buyers, institutions to give guidance and direction and at the same time pretend to "know". and the idea it takes a more "careful process" is obviously a brittle crutch, falling apart when you think how dada saw art and how the whole point of some art concepts is to have exactly no such "careful process".

    I whole heartedly love modern art, but there is a circus on its periphery called the "art world" that should stop pretending they "know", because they so clearly … don't.

  27. If you divorce skill, technical ability, talent, and beauty from art, then what you end up with is a urinal, and maybe that's what you deserve.

    Art inspires. Urinals do not. 🙄

  28. This makes me think of Tom Hanks' Instagram. How he gives lost objects a story and makes you think about how it got there. I'm sure the intent is to be funny and entertaining but it does make me think about how a lost glove got to where it is and the person who lost it. 😀

  29. these guys didn't put "new" thought to the piece, they put no thought , cause no one noticed they were just a pair of glasses, if anything this is diametricaly opposed to duchamp not the same, they didn't bring anything new to the table, they just proved the table was old and on shaky legs.

  30. it's not enough to think something is a piece of art to make it art, if that statement was true, then kevin could have never put those glasses on the floor and make them pass as art, cause kevin, unlike duchamp with the fountain "never" tought that was a piece of art, he just wanted to prove that he could pass as one by faking it, making other think that he actualy tought of it as art. the fountain could pass as art, only because people at the time "knew" what was art, and the fountain passed as a negative of that mentality, but today none dares to say what is and what isn't art from fear of appearing archeological there is no negative of the glasses of kevin, so kevin can pass as duchamp even doe he never intended ,kevins test was a success, he was joking, duchamp was dead serious, and didn't succed.

  31. @theartassignment what about Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven? She is the actual author/creator of “Fountain,” but Duchamp took credit for it. Will you not use your public platform to promote underrepresented women artists?

  32. Let's see:
    A piece that is famous just for being famous
    A piece that is famous because a celebrity branded it so
    A crude piece repurposed into a joke
    A piece that doesn't give credit to the bloke who designed the piece

    🤔 It might not be art but it sure looks like a prophecy

  33. I find "fine art" revolting in that it rejects or excludes certain genres and styles. Here it speaks about "ennobling" objects, to bring new perspective and meaning – but fine art fails to find those things in ALL works of art. There is never any explanation for that and I think it's worth commenting on.

  34. Hm. I keep this thinking about Jeff Koons during this. If Fountain was rejected – what do we make of the wholesale embrace of Koons's commodities?

  35. The point of the glasses was that they were quick and less 'considered' than (presumably) the pieces around them, a sudden inspiration and yet still garnered interest and serious consideration. Had it been more staged and considered then the point would have been diluted. That's what makes the joke and ultimately makes them far more memorable than the official art in the gallery. No-one would even remember the teddies and blanket piece without it being referenced to the glasses. The museum's quip that here was the new Duchamp was more apt than they perhaps realised although little can match the novelty of Duchamp's joke a century ago.

  36. my girlfriends grandfather has one of the copy’s in his house in his personal art gallery and i was amazed at it

  37. It's interesting, Thank you for your efforts. (Please turn the music volume low. It's so loud. Thank you!)

  38. When they photographed the viewers looking at their impromtu "art," they became artist. When they placed their items, they were pranksters. For me, art is entertainment. A signed urinal is slightly entertaining.

  39. Can I ask, what happens when art is boring? or when performance art is boring, unrelatable or inaccessible at a social level? (I think these videos are great, I am a fan. but I can't help but have more questions)

  40. Love all your videos. This one comes closest to an area I’d love to get your take on – the difference between oversized object art such as Oldenburg or Therrien and over sized roadside attractions like muffler men/cowboys or giant fiberglass chickens. Is there a difference? One has been called kitsch but why hasn’t the other? Is it because one is in a gallery or the lawn of a museum and one is found on Route 66 in New Mexico?
    Love to hear what you have to say about it.

  41. "this art sucks, this art hurt me, you're living a lie" Eric Andre : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA3D1UtSSQo

  42. Mike Kelly needs two more bears and a monkey, then he can have a square dance.

    I have never been able to make a clear distinction between "art" objects and non "art" objects. Consider the most conventional form of art; strict representationalism. What is done is to make a copy of a scene on a rectangular surface. The original scene has the same or superior aesthetic value as the painting. It is the original, the painting is a copy. The difference is that you can put the painting in a museum or hang it in your house; you can't do that with a piece of countryside. One could make a miniature of the landscape. I have seen topographic relief maps of scenic places. But viewing these is not the same as viewing a painting or the original scene; you can't miniaturize yourself and stand in the model where the artist stood. I have seen miniature dioramas, as well as model airplanes, ships and trains, described as "works of art". They are that in the sense that they show a high level of craft in the representation of objects in miniature. That is what art does. We have people making photographs of miniature scenes of toys or assemblages of worn out kitchen utensils and broken doll parts. The original object or the photo can be art.

  43. Can we please acknowledge that the fountain is probably not made by Duchamps but by the baroness Elsa Von Freytag-Loringhoven?

  44. Big flaw right out of the gate (almost), 'painting' is not 'art' because of the materials used. Are books 'literature' because we can stack them?

  45. Art is only in the eyes of the beholder. If you look at something and you think it's art it is art to. You the beholder . It doesn't have to be in a gallery either.

  46. thank you for this lecture, but please- after watching many of these- may please ask you shut off the background music? it is incredibly distracting, just a suggestion. Cheers

  47. puting urinal into museum and than pissing on it.
    both very intelectual and fascinating.
    bravo for artist and visitors who admire it.


  48. I would consider myself a more logical and scientific minded person, however I recognize that art is not about logic and reasoning. Many people make the mistake of trying to judge art that way, but Its about emotion. All that matters really is how the piece makes you feel and what meaning you find in it. You should not judge a piece logically, just like you shouldn't conduct a science experiment emotionally.

  49. As far as art goes modern art is an insult to man, and an obscenity
    to it art.
    Modern art is man lost to the nature of mans to seek the GOD that made him , locking himself in his oun mind and suffering from the sensory depredation
    Lost on an endless search for what does not exist , something in his mind greater then himself, that takes searching for GOD, but no man sees the face of GOD and lives.
    However wisdom and Beauty are sister spirits which Dance in the hand of GOD. But in modern art you would never sit and watch a tree as the sun comes up , then watch the play of light and shadows and the wind and rain and the snow then the shadows of night.
    No you wouldn't because Beauty and wisdom arent that big of a thing to you, only your feelings, wisdom and beauty require a deep
    Contemplation that is shallow feeling of confusion cant give.

  50. One can shit in a gallery and call it art 😄😄

    Explanation – The waste material in a toilet can be an art material in a gallery.

  51. You raise some interesting points. I remember many years ago, entering one of my medium sized watercolour paintings, into the London Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition. It took quite some time to produce and I was quite proud it, especially as many people said how good it was. Alas, it was not selected for exhibit. However, when viewing the exhibition, I saw one exhibit, a small, white lace shawl hanging on a single nail in the wall. I thought, that’s it! How much effort did that take. Years later I realise there is much more to it, I learned a lesson there.

  52. Holy fuck I can't believe that she unironically says all that. Same with the video about are being pretentious… What a load of horseshit. Modern art has fallen so low that even she understands defending it is pointless, and goes in the direction of owning the (righteous) insults and twisting them into something "positive". Saying an urinal on a pedestal is equally art as e.g. David by Michelangelo, is frankly insulting all real artists who besides conveying a message, display technical mastery of their medium. If anything is art, nothing is art.

  53. You are so smart, why did you choose a career in art? with your intelligence, you could have study science and make a real and tangible mark in the world. We have an unbearable overpopulation of "artists" and more art is just not needed. Just imagine yourself saving a species of animals that are going extinct, working on important issues like renewable energy, medicine, pollution, etc, etc. At this point, art, artist, galleries, are just a waste of monumental resources and money.

  54. You are so smart, why did you choose a career in art? with your intelligence, you could have study science and make a real and tangible mark in the world. We have an unbearable overpopulation of "artists" and more art is just not needed. Just imagine yourself saving a species of animals that are going extinct, working on important issues like renewable energy, medicine, pollution, etc, etc. At this point, art, artist, galleries, are just a waste of monumental resources and money.

  55. concept is great part of creating an art piece so all that artist says is art is art.;P remember how liberating modernism/abstrahism was other wise we all would still be human copy maschines striving for hyper realism . lol

  56. My college art professor did something like this. He was showing in a college gallery and he hated all of the student art and found it all pretentious. So he took an ashtray from the front desk, and placed in on the floor with the name 'Buttheads'.

  57. All I ever see is people arguing that duchamp's work, and work like his, is art. No one succesfully argues that it's good art though.

  58. Glasses are art, they are a beautifull and a practical tool, which reflects the nature of a human being, but it is pretentious to consider them so only when they are put in a white room. They are valued more as a thing in a museum than as a thing that helps people everyday.

  59. Change my view: these art is lazy. Great art is made of a combination of idea and skill. This has just the idea, and it seems like an average art. Nice idea, cool concept, but the execution is poorly made. I'm not wow-worthy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *