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gabelson
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Quote:
On 2007-11-21 16:03, entity wrote:
Gableson: I think that, given more time and an atmosphere more conducive to demonstrating MENTALISM, that the larger audience would come to see Bavli as the better performer. Super is turning Mentalism into eye candy for the masses, and the larger, more indiscriminate portion of any audience will respond first to what's easy.
- entity



Bavli is the superior mentalist, no doubt. And I also believe that an audience who appreciates the art of mentalism, would be more likely to go to Bavli's show. But what you have stated above (IMHO) is in some ways contradictory to what you said earlier in this thread:

"I think that some artists have these objectively discernable skills and incorporate them so that the untrained audience responds to them without realizing it, almost subliminally. If such an artist also has something that the audience responds to subjectively, then, to me, that's an enormous artistic success"

So according to your own analysis, Mike Super is not only the superior performer, but "an enormous artistic success". (I know you don't feel that way, but it reflects what you said about an audience responding subjectively- subliminally- to an artist.) I would submit that Super MUST be the superior performer, as it's certainly not his mentalism that's winning over America. We both agreed earlier that he, more than anyone, is connecting. Which also ties in to your earlier statement that we can't know if something is "art", until the performer communicates his intent to an audience.

Earlier, you mentioned that audiences in general (not just those "in the know"), realize subconsciously what the experts have determined based on specific criteria.
entity
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You certainly love to twist my words around to try to prove me wrong and you right.

Well, I said that SOME artists have this ability, and that if they do, audiences will realize it SUBLIMINALLY (which is a very different thing that subjectively). In saying that, I was speaking about an artist's own structured performance.

I don't think that Super possesses these skills in the same abundance as Bavli. I think that Super's eye-candy approach to mentalism is the easy way to win people's votes in a pop-oriented, non-discriminating audience. In my opinion he's not an artistic success, and the voting audience isn't responding to what they feel about his skill or knowledge or even his talent. They're responding to the colorful images he gives them to look at, and the fact that he's harmless and non-threatening. He's reassuringly familiar to them, as he fits in the mold of a Copperfield-type wanna-see-something-cool? persona. Does that make him the better performer? Does it make him artistically successful? I can only say how I see it. Others will feel what they feel about it.

In order for an audience to come to the subliminal realizations that I spoke of, the artist has to have the time and freedom to present himself as he does best. I think that this show gets in the way of that for Bavli.

I believe that Mentalism, to be properly appreciated, needs some audience education built in to it. The audience has to be taught that it's all right to THINK again, since they're so used to wham-bam MTV 3 second video bites and sensory overload as their entertainment.

Phenomenon doesn't give the performer or the audience time to do that, so the lowest common denominator wins. If you say that because Super is recognizing that and using it, it makes him a better performer, I'm hesitant to agree, completely. About all I can say is that, for this show, he knows how to win the most votes. And in this show, they're not voting about art, they're voting about who they'd like to win.

- entity

- entity
gabelson
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I agree with everything you've said above, Entity. I have stated in other threads that the format of "Phenomenon" doesn't work for mentalism. As Derren points out, you need to see the process, not just the results. Which is why his BBC show works so well (and why his American show, did not). It was "dumbed-down", as you might say, for the wham-bam MTV crowd. Derren's pseudo-explanations are more impressive than the actual effects. IMHO, it's the ONLY way to make mentalism work on TV- otherwise, you could just have one actor "reading" another actor's mind, and call it "mentalism". Deconstructing the process is everything. Super, however, has recognized the limitations of television; what works and what doesn't in 3 minutes, and found a way to use the format to his advantage. In addition, he's the only one up there for whom I'm not nervous everytime I see him perform. The only one whose blocking isn't awkward; who, when something goes wrong, is relaxed enough to make a joke out of it. He OWNS that stage. -And yet he's not the superior mentalist. So, as you yourself would say, based on my criteria, as a veteran of stage and television, in my own "expert, objective" eyes, that clearly makes Super the superior performer (certainly in this competition.) He is connecting the most, Angela second, and Bavli third.
gabelson
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Well, the inevitable happened. Super won, just as I (and obviously, many others- including Entity), had predicted he would. Was he the best mentalist? The best magician? Would I pay to see a Mike Super show? No. Would I pay to see Guy Bavli? You bet your a** I would! Once Jim (unfortunately) was out of the competition, there was only one real performer left. WHAT Super did, wasn't nearly as important as how he PERFORMED it.
Entity, earlier in this thread, you posted:
"Part of the reason that I believe that art needs to be shared with an audience and responded to before it can be confirmed as Art, is that Art is a form of communication. Therefore there is an objective way to determine if it works. If the audience gets it, if there are some objectively discernible qualities that speak to others, it is Art."
Well, if this is the case, and these are the criteria, then despite your post at the top of this page, Mike Super is an artist, as there is no question he communicated and spoke to others. What he did "worked", and at this point in the competition, it was more than just eye-candy. Hey, Angela offered plenty of eye candy, as well, and one could also argue that her act was perfect for a "dumbed-down" America- chainsaws, S&M get-up,"Let's Make a Deal"-type doors?? But Super won, as we expected. No, there's more at play, here. Look, both you and I know Cyndi Lauper is a better singer, songwriter (and who knows? maybe even a better dancer) than Madonna. Cyndi deserved to have a much bigger career than she's had. But Madonna, even though I don't find her to be a great artist, has taken whatever God-given talent she had, worked tirelessly on her singing, her dancing, her body, (she's a known perfectionist), has re-invented herself countless times, (she even became British!) and has enjoyed an incredibly rare staying power in the music industry. She's NOT just "eye candy" or even about dumbing down art for the masses at this point in her long and varied career. She figured it out. As has Super. His pacing was great, his blocking is professional and WITHOUT HESITATION- (unlike anyone else on the show tonight), he knows how to use the MEDIUM of television; knows how to work the stringent limitations of a live network show to his advantage- and with NO experience in live, prime-time, network TV! Clearly, this is a new milleu for him, so those talents must therefore be INNATE. If we are to go with your belief that art can be judged objectively, Super was NOT just presenting eye candy and fluff, he was actually working his craft within ridiculous live network restrictions, and coming out clearly on top. Therefore, in my "objective, professional assessment", (which you believe is possible with art- I'm still not convinced)- Super is an artist. Not a mentalist, but an artist. So is Madonna. Perhaps not a singer, but an artist nonetheless. We may prefer other artists, Entity, and we may not think of them as a mentalist and a singer, but these two have met your criteria of "communicating their intentions with an audience based on objectively discernible qualities that speak to others."

Of course, that is just my subjective opinion.

But following the statement you put forth earlier that art can be judged objectively...
"...all of the art schools, film and theater critics, dance schools, etc. (judge artists) every day. In dance, there are form, lines, steps, etc. These are all aspects that can be judged objectively."

...I can say that as a 30-year veteran of stage and television, both behind and in front of the camera, it is my professional, OBJECTIVE opinion that Super displayed good form, well-executed stage choreography, strong pacing, presentation, command, presence, HUMOR, and multiple "moments". He was also just as original as any other performer up there tonight (using a little, innocuous Ted Lesley gaff to create a multi-phase, grand, visual piece). If it is indeed possible to judge art OBJECTIVELY, Super is an artist, whether your or I enjoy his art or not. And whether or not we can define it.

Just like Madonna. Uggh.
teejay
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Quote:
On 2007-11-19 00:44, gabelson wrote:
Consider this- how many great painters have there been who were completely shunned during their lifetimes; tortured artists who died penniless, only to be revered and nearly deified decades and even centuries later? Are they not creating art because their contemporaries didn't recognize it as such? Because no one in their lifetime "got it"? Of course they're creating art!


Wow! That is DEEP. With one masterstroke Gabelson has added another dimension:-
Why?
In NLP terms, he has gone to Meta-Level
This is the level that completely controls everything else. Effect,performance and
premise
WHY are we doing ANYTHING/EVERYTHING
Let's look at his example of painters
Van Gogh and Lowery(UK) were two such "who were completely shunned during their lifetimes; tortured artists who died penniless, only to be revered and nearly deified decades and even centuries later?" VG never sold one and L only sold one painting
They completely failed to communicate their 'magic' to their contemporaries
Do we want to be as tortured as those two?
Why do we do ANYTHING? (I am talking about performance)
This is the question we must answer first, how much feedback do we (each of us) need
before we start thinking about doing anything else (performance)?
Just in case that is a bit unclear, what are we looking forward to getting back and how do we hope we will feel after we have been judged by our audience?
I may be a bit behind the front edge here because I have been busy for a few days
I am still on page ONE!!! If you are following this thread, then you know that it can
not be skimmed. I am reading some posts 2 and 3 times.
I saw Gabelson's insightful post and had to fire this one off
As for feedback, what a buzz when I came back to this thread and saw four pages added since my last visit. Such depth and expression of thought as well.
Enough self satisfaction LOL Back to business:
How much positive feedback do you need?
Cheers
TJ
entity
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According to John Leighton, a past curator of the Van Gough museum in Amsterdam, it's a myth that Van Gough only sold one painting in his lifetime. He actually sold several. More importantly, Vincent chose NOT to sell his works. He felt that he wasn't ready to exhibit yet, that he hadn't yet completely achieved the style that he was looking for. He was asked many times to be part of exhibits or shows, and refused.

- entity
entity
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Gableson:

If you say that Super is an artist, then he is an artist. I define an artist as one who strives to create art.

If you think that's what he was trying to do, and if you think he succeeded in creating art, then, yep, he's an artist and what he did was art.

I still don't think that this show was about judging art. It was about seeing who would be the most popular.

Re: Cyndi Lauper and Madonna - I's agree that they are both artists who create art to different degrees. I suspect that Lauper is happy with her level of success and the way she's achieved it.

- entity
gabelson
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Entity, how many times can you change your definitions of "art" and "artist"? I don't mean to be harsh, but everytime someone has a valid answer to your argument, you simply add more (or different) stipulations. You have just clearly stated: "I define an artist as one who strives to create art". I AGREE!! That's exactly what my ORIGINAL definition was, several pages ago, to which you disagreed! I stated that all that was necessary to be an "artist" was the intent to create art. You then maintained that art cannot be created in a "vacuum". There must be an audience, regardless of the intent to create art. That a great work of art would not be art if it burned up in a house fire, and there was no one to ever see or appreciate it. I submitted that the ARTIST HIMSELF is a critic (usually his own worst critic) and also an appreciator of art. He is the first one to see it, to change it, to improve it. "Sunflowers" is art, whether it ever saw the light of day. Sure, there is good art, and bad art, but to each his own.
So let's take a look at your criteria:
First, you said, art is not "art" if there is no one to appreciate it. There must be an audience.
Well, there WAS an audience for "Phenomenon", (although not much of one).
Then you said your definition of an artist was "one who strives to create art". Do you really think that ANY of those contestants gave no thought to their work? They THEY didn't consider what they did to be "art" in some way? Do you think they even would have auditioned had they not been confident of their artistic talents? That they haven't "strived" to be the best they can be?
I also agree that this show is more of a popularity contest than an artistic one. So is "American Idol". But 99% of the time, the last eight people standing (out of thousands of auditioners) are the best singers. Artists. The audience DID recognize that Carrie Underwood was an artist, (as did her PEERS) and even, to a degree, Taylor Hicks. In fact, Hicks may be the BEST example. He's not a singer, but he's a true artist, who meets all of your qualifications. He has passion, he strives to create art, he communicates with his audience. He puts forth his feelings, his soul, regardless of what people think of him. I liked him the moment he pulled out his harmonica as they were about to judge him. On an obviously smaller scale that Madonna, Hicks has gotten the most out of what God gave him.
And I noticed that unlike earlier in this thread, you now refer to Madonna (grudgingly, as I do), as an "artist". Well, if that's the case, feeling the way you do about her, you must therefore refer to those participants on "Phenomenon" as "artists", whether YOU enjoy their work, or not. This has been far from an easy road for them. They have worked tirelessly to create something memorable. Whether the show is a search for the world's greatest mentalist, or merely a popularity contest, these performers have without doubt met your criteria of those who "strive to create art".
entity
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Calm down, Gableson, and read what I've said. My definitions have not changed:

An artist is a person who strives to create Art. Just because they STRIVE to create Art, it does not necessarily mean that what they create IS Art.

Art is not Art until it is shared. If it is shared, and people respond to it as art, it is Art.

The degree of value of the Art can sometimes be judged objectively. Most times it is judges subjectively.

I've never said that Madonna wasn't an artist. I've said that Lauper, to me, is more successful at creating Art.

Where are the inconsistencies in what I've said? How has anything you've said been 'a valid answer to my argument'? I'm not arguing. I'm stating what I believe to be true and answering questions about what I believe. My stipulations haven't changed at all. Your comprehension of my point of view seems to change with your desire to prove me wrong. I've stated: IT'S MY OPINION. You might not agree.

- entity
gabelson
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I have comprehended, reflected, and pointed out inconsistancies in your definitions. When you claimed art could be judged objectively, by those in the know who judge on "form", and other such things, I stated that I, as an actor, stand-up comic, mentalist, magician, writer, and television producer over the past 30 years, fits into your categorization of someone who can "objectively" judge the art put forth on "Phenomenon". So using objective criteria, defined by YOU, of communication, intent, connection, passion and form, I submitted that Mike Super is indeed an artist as a PERFORMER, like him or not. The audience agreed, the judges seemed to agree, and I agree. If you disagree, then according to your own terms, art MUST be subjective, as the "experts" with the credentials you speak of, disagree.
-Don't get me wrong. I don't consider myself an "expert" in the least. And I also don't believe art can be judged objectively. As proven by the fact that you and I, as performers, mentalists, artists (and supposed "experts"), disagree.


I still wouldn't pay to see Madonna or Super in concert, though.
entity
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Quote:
On 2007-11-22 15:28, gabelson wrote:
If you disagree, then according to your own terms, art MUST be subjective, as the "experts" with the credentials you speak of, disagree.
-Don't get me wrong. I don't consider myself an "expert" in the least. And I also don't believe art can be judged objectively. As proven by the fact that you and I, as performers, mentalists, artists (and supposed "experts"), disagree.



But I didn't disagree. Read my post 4 posts back. I agreed with you. READ.

Please, again point out the inconsistencies in my point of view. I've tried to recap it all, two posts back. You've argued AGAINST what I believe to be true, and that's fair enough, but I don't believe you can show my point of view to be inconsistent.


- entity
gabelson
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Entity, I've been reading your posts. Have you been reading mine? I've used specific quotations from your own posts to point out inconsistencies in your opinion of what constitutes "art" and the artist. In my last post, I pointed out how your latest inconsistency is that you now seem to agree that art is subjective. I may see Super as an artist, but you don't. You don't see Copperfield as an artist, I do. Would I pay to see either? Probably not. Do I enjoy their type of magic? Not really. I think you'd find a lot more people on this board ("experts" in judging the art, according to your own criteria), who DO see Copperfield as an "artist", even though they may well not enjoy his work at all. In fact, I've met ART CRITICS who do not like PICASSO, but would agree in a heartbeat that he's an artist. And this proves, unequivocally, that unlike your earlier statements on previous pages, art cannot be juged objectively, even by the "experts".

Game, set, match.


I'm tired of arguing.
entity
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You can make all the proclamations you'd like about what I said, about what you proved and about winning a "match", but that doesn't make it so.

Please point out anywhere where I said that Super isn't an artist. I believe that I said that I didn't think he was artistically successful. Remember (read what I've said!) I said that an artist is someone who STRIVES to create Art.

Please point out anywhere where I've said that Copperfield isn't an artist. You can't, because I've never used those words.

I'm sorry you're tired. I don't see our discussion as a game to be won or lost. You seem to want to prove me wrong. I only want to state what I believe to be true, and to make sure that you understand what I'm saying.

Perhaps that's why you're tired. You're trying to win a game that no one else is playing.

- entity
Dr Spektor
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I'm an artist, you're an artist...

Wouldn't you like to be an artist too?

Be an artist, drink Dr Pepper....
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
entity
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Thanks for the comic relief, Spektor. How's the tv show coming?

- entity
Dr Spektor
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Working on it - I'm still trying to convince the producers its high art - but they think its dreck!!!! Smile

Actually, still bubbling away with the other projects... but working title:

THE DIMENSION OF MIND
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
gabelson
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Yes, thanks Doc, for lightening the tone.

Entity, it's not a game. Although it probably would have been more fun that way. I'm just frustrated that you keep changing the ground rules. Right above, you say, "

"I define an artist as one who strives to create art. If you think that's what he was trying to do, and if you think he succeeded in creating art, then, yep, he's an artist and what he did was art."

I'm sorry, but this contradicts everything thing you've stated in previous posts, namely: That an artist doesn't create art simply by "striving for it", it must be seen to be considered "art". You said it could be judged objectively, yet now you are claiming it's subjective, as my definition is different. I'm just asking you to make up your mind, and I'll respect your opinion... once I know what it is.
entity
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If you'll read what I say and think about it, you'll see what I've said all along.

It's not contradictory, unlike your saying "it's not a game" after finishing your previous post, "game, set and match".

I'll try one more time to explain what I believe, but I'm saying the same things I've said all along:

I define an artist as one who strives to create Art. Although he may not achieve Art with every attempt, he is still an artist if he's making the attempt with the intent to create Art.

I said that SOMETIMES (read my previous posts) aspects of art CAN be judged objectively, but that most often, art is judged subjectively.

An artist doesn't necessarily achieve art merely by striving for it. In order to find out, it must be shared. An audience must respond to it as Art. When they do, it is confirmed as Art. Until others, besides the artist, share the work, it's impossible to say if it's art or not, because the artist may be delusional, prejudiced, on an ego trip, whatever, that may impair his judgment.

I've also said that all of this is MY OPINION. It's what I believe to be true. You needn't agree.

My mind is the same as it's always been, thank you.

If there's anything you don't understand about any of the above, just ask, and I'll be happy to explain it all... again.

- entity
gabelson
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I guess neither of us will be able to communicate with the other, which is a shame.

"Sometimes" (art can be judged objectively) is qualifying what you said earlier as an absolute."

This statement?


I define an artist as one who strives to create Art. Although he may not achieve Art with every attempt, he is still an artist if he's making the attempt with the intent to create Art. An artist doesn't necessarily achieve art merely by striving for it. In order to find out, it must be shared. An audience must respond to it as Art. When they do, it is confirmed as Art".

So by this definition, what Mike Super did was art: He strove for it, the intent was there, he shared it, he connected, and the audience responded to it as art. So it doesn't matter whether YOU think he is an artist. By your own words, you have defined him as one. Pretty simple, actually.
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Just to divert from this excellent example of tenacity and consistancy in debate,
I think you could claim that it's debatable whether any art exists in our "art".

Let's face it...most magicians and mentalists beat the layman to the magic shop.
Most magicians/mentalists use automatic/semi automatic
routines. Less work and perseverance, originality and rehearsal in a routine compared to what an even mediocre piano player would require.

Most rely on a "secret"
Which probably explains why we are generally held in very low esteem
on the entertainment scale by the public.

Talent?
I don't think it's a prerequisite.

So is there art in our art?
Probably not in far the majority cases.
I can't think of anyone besides Derren Brown (who was called "one step up from a rose-seller" by a waiter who saw him)that might have a performance that is
described as artistic. But I doubt most the public would call it that.

That's my cat amongst the pigeons.

Tom
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