Who’s Afraid of Modern Art: Vandalism, Video Games, and Fascism

Who’s Afraid of Modern Art: Vandalism, Video Games, and Fascism


Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue was
a painting by abstract painter Barnett Newman. It’s eight feet tall, and eighteen feet
wide. It doesn’t really exist anymore. There are actually 4 paintings named “Who’s
Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue.” This is number 3. Each one is distinctive, but they
share some key similarities. Namely, The title is a reference to Edward Albee’s
play, [Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf]. In Albee’s play, 4 characters turn their
lives inside out over the course of 3 hours and 68,000 words. Newman’s painting are…well they’re three
colors. Really, they’re one color with some accents. But despite the simplicity, “Who’s Afraid
of Red, Yellow, and Blue 3” hung in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam for several
years. Then, one day, it was murdered. One day in 1986, a dude walked into the Stedelijk,
right up to the painting, and just went to goddamn town. He gashed about 50 feet out
of the fabric with a box cutter. Fifty feet. That’s like if he had just carved out the
entire perimeter of the painting. And for such an attack, he was…well he was
put in jail for a while. But also he was roundly congratulated by more than a few people. Because
Red Yellow and Blue had been the subject of a huge amount of criticism since it first
arrived. Before it was slashed, it was the reason for dozens of angry letters and phone
calls to the museum. People said it made them physically sick. So someone finally having the balls to do
something about it? To some, it made him a local hero “This so-called vandal should be made the
director of modern museums.” “He did what hundreds of thousands of us
would have liked to do.” Red Yellow and Blue 3, the painting, is dead. But I mean…who cares? It’s red, blue,
and yellow. I can make those colors in microsoft paint. This is clearly just another example
of the pretentious art world deluding itself into thinking that childish blobs of paint
on a canvas are art. Right? This is a game called 2:22 AM. It’s free
on itch.io, made by Alice (@alonkulous on twitter). In a lot of ways, it’s incredibly
simple. Almost barebones. But there’s something there. The game is very loosely a take on
late-night television. You flip through different “scenes,” intercut with grainy footage
of showers, or empty intersections, or dandelions, or…
It makes me feel likef !!!!!!!!! 2:22AM remind me of Red Yellow and Blue. Because,
like, what is it? It sometimes feels like a horror game, but
not in a conscious way. It’s horror in the way a nightmare can be horror, where nothing
bad happens and everything seems normal but you know something’s off. It’s funny,
too. It’s a lot of things, but I’d be hard pressed to tell you a theme. 2:22AM isn’t married to a specific story,
or even a specific sequence of events. Different playthroughs will give you different scenes
with different timings. Often, there’s no way to interact with a
scene. Sometimes clicking performs an action, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it gives
full freedom of movement. Occasionally, you’ll need to accomplish a task. You might need
to open a refrigerator. Or dig a grave. And it’s a game that’s stuck with me.
It kinda lurks in the corners of my brain, in those sorts of memories that could be from
early childhood, or a book, or a waking dream you had during a fever. 2:22AM made me uncomfortable.
It made me think about all the other games I play, how predictable they are, how I understand
the rules. It made me wonder what lies beyond the polished edges of AAA game development. There aren’t a lot of places for games like
2:22AM to exist. Itch.io is a kind of haven for these experimental titles, and because
of that, itch.io is a kind of punchline for a lot of people dismissive of non-traditional
gaming experiences. Newer platforms, like the Epic store, have promised that the titles
they sell will be more strictly moderated. They’ll only sell “high quality experiences.”
This excludes the worst of the worst, like the rapist-glorifying “rape day.” But who decides what lives inside or outside
the realm of “high quality experiences?” Where do games like 2:22AM fit in? “We have ten or twelve pictures of art…
But we don’t have any penises stretched out on the table” Thus speaks former North Carolina senator
Jesse Helms, a remarkable line that I believe should stand amongst the most famous in our
nation’s history. Ask not what your country can do for you,
four score and seven years ago, “We have ten or twelve pictures of art…
But we don’t have any penises stretched out on the table” Mr. Helms is not currently a North Carolina
senator. Currently, he’s toxifying whatever water source he’s buried closest to. But in his time as a politician, Helms was
enamored with preserving the distinction between true art and…deviance. In that beautiful
quote, he was referring specifically towards Robert Mapplethorpe. Mapplethorpe was a photographer
who took intimate pictures of human subjects. Embracing men, various acts of homosexuality
and sadomasochism, nudes of all shapes and sizes. And, in fact, a penis stretched out
on a table. Mapplethorpe was a constant source of distress
for senator Helms. Ol’ Jesse talked about Mapplethorpe, and his photographs, constantly.
(and I mean who wouldn’t, have you seen this thi-) Helms saw the photography as deviant,
and actively damaging to society, but he was also pretty politically canny about his opposition.
He didn’t try and get the art censored directly- just by proxy. Helm’s stated target was the National Endowment
for the Arts, a government program that provided money to artists and museums around the country.
He argued that, while Mapplethorpe’s art may be abominable, what’s even worse was
that the american people were paying for it. If it even needs to be said, the amount americans
contribute towards that endowment is almost incalculably small.But Helms was a man of
principal! He may have supported foreign death squads, but he was going to save americans
from spending that fraction of a cent on something queer, goddamnit. It’s Norman Rockwell and
paintings of landscapes or bust. Helms was pretty talented at whipping people
into a frenzy about this. When he talked about Mapplethorpe’s deviancy, people showed up
in protest at Mapplethorpe’s exhibits. In fact,
his attacks were so extreme and effective that a museum in Washington withdrew their
future Mapplethorpe showing. Almost immediately, the museum then received
an angry call- from Jesse Helms’ office. He demanded to know why they had withdrawn. Helms wanted more than to curtail funding.
He wanted those photos to be shown off. If you truly thought the art was causing damage
to society, wouldn’t you try to hide it from everyone? But he didn’t want it to
be hidden. He wanted public anger to encourage displays of outrage, hugely visible protests. Wanting it to be shown is a statement of intent.
Helms didn’t care about art. What he did want was to raise big crowds of “everyday
americans,” each of them representing the country’s anger at “non-traditional lifestyles.” “I have to conclude they really wanted that
exhibition in Washington,” said the museum’s director, Christina Orr-Cahal. “So it would
fuel their fire.” I remember the first time I saw them. I walked
into a dimly lit room in the Tate Modern, looked up, and saw this…colossus. And next
to it was another one. The room was full of them, actually, I was drowning between them. It felt like *?*?*?*?*? Mark Rothko’s work doesn’t fit very well
with the typical adjectives we use to describe art. Is this beautiful? Sure, but it’s not
beautiful. Is this complex? It is actually, but it’s not how we think of complex. What
is it? It’s red and brown in chunky stripes on an absolutely enormous canvas. And yet, hooooo boy it makes me feel. I’m
not unique for getting this sense from Rothko, his works hang in one of the most prestigious
art museums on earth. There’s this gravity that I, and others, feel when looking at them.
There’s a presence. But Rothko’s work, despite its acclaim,
is still subversive, still challenging the ideas of what “art” is, and what standards
it should be held to. And because of that, there are people who hate it too. In 2012, a man painted his own name and a
slogan in the corner of one of Rothko’s massive works, “Black and Maroon.” He
tagged it. And, according to that man, he had fairly grand motivations. He said: “Contemporary artists simply produce things
which aren’t creative in their essence or spirit…Art has become a business, which
appears to serve only the needs of the art market.” A contemporary artist frequently used as an
example of the medium’s creative bankruptcy is photographer Andres Serrano. My favorite
of his works, and probably his most famous, is of a plastic crucifix submerged in his
own urine. It’s titled “Piss Christ.” Piss Christ was another one of Jesse Helms’
primary targets. Of Serrano, helms said: “he is not an artist. He is a jerk. And he is
taunting the American people, just as others are, in terms of Christianity” For what it’s worth, Serrano says he’s
a lifelong catholic, that he follows Christ. Not that it mattered to the catholic fundamentalists
who attacked the photo with a hammer. A man who could also be titled “Piss Christ”
is Paul Joseph Watson, a contributor to InfoWars. Paul has political stances on many things
[eating books]. He speaks in front of a large map, to show his worldliness and breadth of
thought. One thing he’s made abundantly clear is
he has no time for modern art. “It doesn’t enrich our culture. It degrades
and cheapens society by exalting the vulgar, the crass, and the scatalogical. The people
promoting it are preventing us from enjoying modern art made by people with actual talent” Paul argues that modern art is a war on objectivism. What he keeps coming back to is there is “good
art”. We should know it when we see it. It’s this guy, who makes very detailed sculptures.
It’s not piss christ. It’s not Barnett Newman. And by claiming that these non-traditional
works are good art, what Paul says we’re really doing upsetting the “natural meritocracy”
that art should naturally fall into. And this isn’t just out of ignorance. Everyone that
praises this art is doing so because of their SJW-CUCK ideology, or because they’ve been
fooled into doubting themselves by these SJW-CUCKS. It’s all a scam, he says. By convincing the public that these pieces
are good, the artistic elite are elevating the wrong parts of art and riding their deception
all the way to the bank. Pause Paul’s claims that we can objectively judge
art often go right along with his assertions that people creating the bad art are talentless. (“The people promoting it are preventing
us from enjoying modern art made by people with actual talent”) Talking about “skill” in reference to
modern art isn’t unique to Paul, and it’s an understandable reservation to have. When
looking at a monocolored canvas, it’s probably occured to all of us that “I could paint
that.” The easy response is that, almost all art takes significantly more skill than
it may appear to. For instance, Rothko, king of colored rectangles,
is still kind of a mystery to much of the art world. He worked behind closed doors,
carefully altering the chemistry of his paints with egg, glue, resin, formaldehyde. His variations
between gloss and matte are incredibly subtle, and incredibly hard to replicate. Newmann, similarly, textured his big ol canvases
in ways that created a depth of color not easily reproduced. In fact, we know how hard
it is because after Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue 3 was carved up, the “restoration”
efforts spectacularly failed- it seems like it’d be easy to repaint the red part of
the piece, but when the man they hired did exactly that, observers could instantly tell
that something was off. The “shimmering” quality of the hue wasn’t there, there was
no sense of depth anymore. The restoration tried, and failed, to recreate the delicate
techniques of the original. Was it Red, Yellow, and Blue? Sure. But it wasn’t Newman. But this whole debate, does it require skill
or not, is kinda missing the point. While I’m thrilled that Paul thinks that labor
is what gives something its value and should be compensated as such, (COMMIE), reducing
art to a linear connection between “skill” and value fundamentally just turns art into
a commodity. Paul talks about how powerful the sculptures of Ron Mueck are- and I agree!
I’ve seen this big face, it kicks ass. Mueck’s sculptures make me consider humans through
a different lens than I usually do, making me consider my place in the species and building
a strange sense of solidarity with these aggressively real-looking figures. But if someone told me that Mueck was able
to make these sculptures in minutes, that actually they didn’t take much effort at
all… I would still have those experiences! It is
absolutely impressive when an artist spends huge amounts of time perfecting an intricate
style, but that’s not why I experience them how I do. Feeling art, getting the !!!! or
*?*?*, that’s something that happens almost involuntarily. Now we get into the second part of his argument.
Art has to contribute to society. And whether Paul knows it or not, he’s not the first
person to think of this qualification. In fact, it’s very closely in alignment with
a particular political ideology SURPRISE IT’S FUCKING FASCISM Okay, a quick disclaimer before we get into
this. Art is the most damn subjective thing there is. If you don’t like any of the art
I’ve talked about in this video, 100% fine. If you don’t like anything that’s been
made after the year 1800, also fine. I am not about to tell you that not liking modern
art makes you fascist. However. Fascism does make strong efforts to bring
art under a rigidly bordered, “culturally appropriate” definition. There’s this
pursuit, in fascism, to make everything of “an aesthetic.” That aesthetic is simultaneously
mythologized, made into the history of a culture. Once that culture is appropriately mythologized,
the art that feeds back into it is seen as “contributing” to the created society.
When, for instance, every artist that the dominant ideology values for the last thousand
years has been a white guy (or portrayed as such) and creates things that glorify white/colonialist
ideals, there’s something that starts to feel “natural” about that. It creates
a fundamental hierarchy. Any art that pushes back, or simply pursues
a different aesthetic, isn’t contributing anything to that mythology anymore. And in
fact, when the artists pushing the different aesthetic are members of groups that have
been historically oppressed by the dominant culture, the art they’re making may feel
like an attack on that mythology. Or at least, that’s how it could be framed, if one had
certain political motivations. One place you can see those political motivations
is, uhh, Nazis. Pause On one hand, you might look at Nazis and see
a surprising amount of respect for artists. Joseph Goebbels called artists “’gottbegnadeten
Sinngeber,” or “a divinely gifted purveyor of meaning.” High praise indeed. But as
Barbara Fischer notes, as well as this being characteristic of the “banal and overwrought
late romanticism” of the Nazis (sick burn), “purveying meaning” was only acceptable
when the meaning being purveyed fed back into the national mythology. There is little subtlety when looking at the
most valued art of the third reich. More interesting is the fact that, as well as the galleries
full of naked boys with swords, the nazis also showed off the stuff they hated, in a
gallery called “Degenerate Art” We now stand in an exhibition that contains
only a fraction of what was bought with the hard-earned savings of the German
people and exhibited as art by a large number of museums all over Germany. All around
us you see the monstrous offspring of insanity, impudence, ineptitude and sheer
degeneracy. What this exhibition offers inspires horror and disgust in us all.
– Adolf Ziegler, president of the Reich Chamber of visual arts This gallery, full of art removed from other
German museums, held such deviants as Henri Matisse, André Derain, and Oskar Kokoschka.
Gaze! If you will! Upon deviance! If you truly thought the art was causing damage
to society, wouldn’t you try to hide it from everyone? But they didn’t want it to
be hidden. [He wanted public anger to encourage displays of outrage, hugely visible protests.]] Sorry, uhh, This kind of art, the Nazis said, would only
be made by insane and degenerate artists. Specifically, they must be mentally ill to
create these kind of abstractions. Alongside each piece in this exhibit was the
“extravagant” prices they were bought for, inviting mockery and anger. The gallery
made familiar claims- no one, in their right mind, would enjoy this art. Instead, the fact
that these pieces were held in high regard was indicative of the insidious plots of the
left. The art held critiques of the sexual norms and family values that were so important
to Nazi notions of respectability. Modern art, they said, was also made for the “eradication
of the last vestiges of racial consciousness.” New and transgressive styles by black and
Jewish artists were indicative of their “degenerate intellectualism.” Eugenics, of course. Through the systematic
devaluation of art. A fun fact about Barnett Newman is he’s
a Jew! A less fun fact is that, for every attack on his work because people didn’t
like Red, many more have been specifically done by white supremacists. Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, and Blue IV
was spit on by a man who said it was a “perversion of the German flag.” Another Newman, a sculpture called “Broken
Obelisk,” was spray-painted with Swastikas in 1979 Last year that same sculpture had white paint
poured into its reflecting pool. Scattered around the vandalism were brochures with the
4Chan-pioneered supremacist campaign, “it’s okay to be white.” Whether they know it or not, the fact that
white supremacists hate Newman’s art fits right in with the message he always said he
wanted to convey. In 1990, he said of his art: “One of its implications is its assertion
of freedom…if [it were read] properly it would mean the end of all state capitalism
and totalitarianism. (1990) Challenging our preconceived notions of art
means challenging our preconceived notions of institutions, of society. This kind of
art doesn’t fit into the cultural narrative, and because of that, it becomes a target.
And ultimately, the crime that these artists commit is the right’s biggest fear. They
are upsetting the hierarchy. They are taking themes, experiences, and emotions that don’t
fit into our nation’s narrative, and they are expressing them in a way that is impossible
to ignore. And thus, the rejection of non-traditional
forms of art so often boils down to a rejection of oppressed people within those mediums.
Nazis didn’t call Kokoschka a degenerate because of his artistic stylings, they did
it because of his public anti-fascist activism. White supremacists didn’t vandalize Newman’s
work because of the apparent simplicity of his art, they did it because would be deliberately
obtuse, and saying that a half-decade of rape, bomb, and death threats were because gamers
were angry about journalism and a series of video essays would be- “This is what happens when lefty sjws and
cultural marxists seize control of something and ruin it for everyone else. No wonder gamers
are so terrified of them subverting the video game industry.” Depression Quest isn’t a new sort of game.
Text-based adventures have been around for decades, and descend from tabletop games before
anyone was even playing pong. But Depression Quest is an interesting title, because it
uses those implicitly understood rules of the genre to subvert our expectations. As you play through the life of a fairly innocuous
main character struggling with depression, options present themself at the bottom of
the screen. Your significant other has invited you to a party- what do you do? But time and again, the most desirable option,
the choice that would help “win” the game, is X-ed out. It’s clear that the best option
would simply be to go to the party and enjoy yourself, but you can’t do that. Every decision
is managing compromises, doing things that you know aren’t ideal but is all that’s
available to you at the time. And at the bottom of the screen, where you’d have your character
stats, there are just three lines. You are Depressed You are not currently seeking a therapist You are not currently taking medication for
depression. It’s a brilliant little experiment, a game
that plays with the established power-fantasies of most roleplaying to put you in a situation
where you’re undercut by mental health at almost every turn. It’s a challenging game,
though not in the traditional sense. There aren’t game overs, per se. But in many of
the situations, every option feels like a losing one. We’re hard-wired to want to
succeed in games like this, and Depression Quest makes it feel like that’s just impossible
sometimes. It makes me feel like -_-_-_-! As nice as it would be for Depression Quest’s
legacy to be an innovative title that played with the tools of the medium, it wo- “You can’t play what isn’t a game in the
first place. Also I don’t need some hipster dangerhair
with histrionics to teach me about depression “Not sure if that bitch ever really had
depression as much as she had batshit insanity 24/7.
Not sure if wild as fuck mood swings over every single thing counts as “having depression” “Depression question? More like narcissism
quest.” “I think the worst thing about the game
as that there was no option to just go ahead, commit suicide, and end it.” It’s BEEN OVERSHADOWED by targeted harassment
campaigns at its creator ever since it released. They say there is no way that this game got
coverage and praise on its own merit. It’s a textbook example of the war on objectivism.
Anyone who says otherwise, says they had a direct connection with this game, says that
it helped them view their- or others- depression in a new light, is participating in an effort
to force untalented people and destructive ideas into gaming. “This is what happens when lefty sjws and
cultural marxists seize control of something and ruin it for everyone else” Pause Patrick Buchanan, living fossil (wait, no
that says “Paleoconservative”), proclaimed that much of modern art was “Barbarism!
The Precise word!” Buchanan was speaking alongside Jesse Helms,
and was also attacking the National Endowment for the Arts. But he cut right to what he
felt was the meat if the issue. Art like this, this barbarism, this dreck,
was a direct result of the “amorality and cowardice of art critics.” This is the heart of it, right here. This
is the most naked form of attempting to control art. And when Buchanan yelled “it’s about
ethics in video game journalism!” (wait shit sorry, that’s not right) When Helms took the stand to say “Journos
only gave Gone Home good scores because they didn’t want to be called homophobic” (wait
that’s not it either) When people prescribe art to a specific set
of qualities, and attack everything that lays beyond those lines, we have to understand
what they’re doing. Those qualities, they just so happen to perfectly
align with the dominant cultural ideology, don’t they? They’re not showing respect for the craft, they’re not trying to “uphold
meaning.” They’re enforcing a hierarchy. They’re
attempting to define a cultural narrative. And above all else, they’re not. Talking.
About. Art.

100 thoughts on “Who’s Afraid of Modern Art: Vandalism, Video Games, and Fascism

  1. You had me until you somehow tied the “it’s okay to be white” posters into it. It shows you understand and agree with the point until it goes against the narrative you’re trying to spin.

  2. I paint whole red canvas and name it "Anger". Modern art is simplistic. Fine. We can live with it. What I can't live with is that this so called artist produce tons of them and put meaning to them and theeen comparing them to greatest artworks. Imagine what people gonna think of our era in 500 years if monocolor canvas were "greatest" artwork of era. And sure if idiots put them up and even bigger idiots buy them… jokes be on them. Either that or they launder money I guess…

  3. Modern art is a money laundering scheme anyway MAYBE the painer was trying to say something but more than likely it was to make big bucks modern art is a joke

  4. Modern art can be one of the worst things that have ever happened to art if it can even be called that depending on situation. While I understand that art is essentially inspiring emotion through beauty made by human hands, I cringe at the lazy pretentious individual who makes something ugly or plain like a one colored painting, men with fingers up each other's butts walking in circles, splatters of painting squirted out by a crazy feminist's genitals or even literal trash and then claims it is priceless. And possibly the worst part is that they are completely devoid of meaning, and thus the meaning is given by the interpreter, it is up to YOU to subjectively make this literal pile of crap be worth something by you giving it meaning, it's disgusting, it's awful, it's lazy, but it's also ironically beautiful in a way that an individual can be such an idiot and grant value where there is none to such a piece, but at the same time maybe that makes the interpreter an artist by creating such "beauty" in their own eyes where there is none at least externally.

    That said while there should be clear and obvious guideline sinto what children should be allowed to be exposed to, adults should not necessarily censor art of any kind, be it wanting to admire a beautiful Mona Lisa, Chroma Glass or a literal pile of trash, it is up to them to enjoy, as censoring art would essentially be against free speech, be it something disgusting they have to say or not.

  5. Holy politics. Paul just finds it weird that a literal pile of trash can be considered priceless. But it's true art should not be reduced into a commodity. lol

  6. i don't mean to be disrespectful or rude or anything but… honestly some of the vandalism actually kinda made it look better.

  7. This was a brilliant video, thanks so much for your hard work and effort to illuminate minds and expose authoritarians and their ideas and motivations throughout history. Authoritarianism is widespread, it occurs in just about every human population on Earth. A lot of people associate authoritarianism exclusively with a few specific times and places, such as Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, or Kim Il Sung's family's North Korea, but it has spread under many flags, used many symbols, had many messengers, and fueled many political and social groups. It was the true ideology of the elites controlling the USSR during the Cold War, not egalitarian communism as they wanted people to believe, and it has been an ever-present type of thinking among a percentage of the United States's population since the nation was born. Authoritarianism is not just a fascist phenomenon, not just a communist phenomenon, it's been rising and falling since the dawn of civilization and possibly far earlier than the agricultural revolution. I wish more people would understand this and look deeper into political groups' ideologies by looking past their flags and symbols, and assessing their ideals and messages, scrutinizing their words and actions for signs of authoritarianism. Again, thank you Jacob Geller for regularly touching on this dangerous type of thinking and helping educate your viewers with wonderfully-made videos that are attention-grabbing and always engaging!

  8. 14:30

    OK, I’m happy to see that I’m not the only one who thought that the mentality behind these criticisms of modern art sound like a bastardized form of the Labor Theory of Value (at least, based on my admittedly rudimentary understanding of it).

  9. It's a genuine fucking crime that I've heard so much about gamergate and Ethics in Game Journalism ™ and the shitstorm people threw at zoe quinn, and yet i had never heard a description of what depression quest is like. That's… one of the best descriptions of what living with depression is life that I've ever heard of. It seems like the perfect thing to share with people to let them know what it's actually like, that you have all the options in front of you and you know full well which one is the one you should be pursuing, but you just… can't…

  10. Why can just everyone have an opinion, like what they like, and move on with their lives? Oh right?!?!: humans.

    If I don't like something then I just ignore it, I'm not going to go out of my way to ruin someone else's fun. God the amount of irony is just beautiful, People preach about freedom of expression yet when something doesn't align with their opinion then it's suddenly a threat to society. Yet, boomers and our generation wonder why we can't evolve pass our current selves… a shame really but I have high hopes and will continue to do so.

  11. I think that most modern art is… you know…

    But ruining it just because you think it's bad? Isn't that how 14 year-old girls react when they encounter somebody who ships their favourite character with somebody else?

  12. I never liked modern art. I felt it sometimes sacrificed the beauty which is present in many pieces of older art, mainly focusing on the philosophical elements of art to the detriment of the aesthetic elements while previous artworks incorporated both. But then I remembered that those old pieces of art are still there and are not going to go away so i don't really care what type of art people like now days. You do You

  13. I love how you used musical cues to make your opinion known even if the voice-over at that point is a citation or more descriptive in nature.

  14. I just watched the video "Who’s Afraid of Modern Art" which is named after the painting "Who’s Afraid of Red, Blue and Yellow" which is named after the book "Who’s Afraid of Virgiania Wolf"

  15. This really needed to be 2 or 3 smaller videos. One for Helms vs Maplethorp, one for post modern games, and one for white supremacist vandalism.

  16. I don't think art should contribute anything to society, or to be "safe" and not challenge anything, BUT, I agree with the guys that think modern art is bullshit, it's a scam, a square of a solid color is not art or a painting or whatever, it's just that, a solid color square or rectangle or whatever. it says nothing, it requieres no talent, imagination, creativity or anything that art needs to be interesting. those "paintings" that are just a canvas painted in a color with maybe a line or a dot, are some kind of money laundering scheme or scam or something like that. if somebody is paying 4 million dollars for a blue square with a white line, it must be a scam. and pretentious people look at it and say "what a masterpiece!", when it's obvious for anybody that it's just bullshit.

  17. (in a really fancy of fanciest of accent)
    "The browns are so engaging, they really reach into the depths of me… it gives me a gut feeling that I cant describe. How were you able to achieve such a gradient of browns in a single stroke?"

    I pooped in my brown paint.

  18. I don't think they're afraid, disgusted yes; afraid, no. Any type of cultural "phobia" people try to pin on others reflects their own views. The "right" isn't phobic it's just disgusted.

  19. Art for me is to appreciate what others do that you can't.

    Of course there will be systematic hierarchies and bounds, limits and frames. Art is genetic. It evolves and what doesn't fit-in dies off. Everything works like that. Everything.
    Art is the stimulation of information. And the art that lacks of information therefor doesn't stimulate.
    So why would I appreciate "art" that lacks of information and complicity(observable) and enforce that art is political and is just another sub hierarchy and doesn't enforce unity made by some edge lords?

    You're coming of very pretentious, would love to have a chat

  20. i wanna put your brain in a jar and just listen to your thoughts all the time

    13:06 was the moment you really changed my mind about modern art, especially when mentioning Rothco used egg in his paints — they did that in the RENAISSANCE, and yeah it's just egg, but… they couldn't restore it at all??? that's absolutely wild

  21. Intent is a big part of it. When I see something that looks like it was made in a matter of minutes with low effort, I see a patronizing cynicism, rather than an artistic vision. Whether I like the piece or not, I would like to see some evidence of technical skill or at least effort in the execution. Otherwise it feels soulless and intellectually insulting. Even if I was in the position to do so, I would never try to censor these types of works, but I would be very vocal in my criticism. When an "artist" who spends 5 minutes flicking a brush at a canvas can sell that for $20,000 while someone with the technical skill and passion of Picasso or Van Gogh struggles to survive, I see that as an injustice and it makes me angry to think about. I could easily sit at the piano and mash random keys with my fists, and sell the recording to someone with some B.S. narrative that the discordant sound and lack of any musical structure represents my inner turmoil. But I'd rather play something that sounds, you know, good. Something complex and discordant, but with structure and with solid execution. I think Picasso's paintings are ugly, but there is obvious evidence of execution. I think Jackson Pollock's paintings look interesting, but I see the result of random entropy rather than something with a real artistic intent. Maybe his intent was to make something random and entropic. But on the flip side, maybe his intent was to just randomly splatter paint on a canvas to fuck with the art world and make money doing it. At some point, you have to draw the line, and that line is probably when someone publishes a novel that was written through 14 minutes of mindless keyboard mashing and sells it for $60.

    And that's really the core of it: cynicism vs vision.

  22. I don't disagree with your assessment of depression quest, but it doesn't change the fact that the game is shit at depicting depression (which was the whole point of the game, presumably).
    It's good that it's SubversiveTM. Media that push their generally accepted boundaries are always welcome when done well, but that's a minor aspect of DQ. The game doesn't do what it set out to do.

  23. As someone who actually understands a lot of modern art, I’m gonna put it like this:

    Modern art is not in service of you.
    To express distaste towards it as if were your disobedient slave is childish at best.
    It was never in service to you to begin with.
    What are talking about?

    Not all art is beautiful.
    Some art is “ugly” and “repulsive” by design.

    Usually, it’s rather done to mock you in response to you mocking them.
    Because art can be whatever it wants to be.
    And unlike you, they actually know that.

    But you don’t really like not understanding something, do you?
    If anything, it almost seems as if you just want the unknown to disappear.

    These people aren’t monsters, for the record.
    Some of them, if anything, just think in a different way from you.
    Most of them are not trying to hurt you.
    If a lot of them did, then they’d probably just do what you did.
    At least, if they were as confident in themselves as you say they are.

    These people aren’t trying to change your mind in a day or even make you like their work.
    They just want to push all other opinions aside and just say what they actually feel already.

    They are just as normal as we are.
    If you’d simply accepted that your ego and logic can be and is potentially flawed, we wouldn’t be having this problem.

    A lot of people here don’t want to hurt you.
    Believe me, I am one of those people.
    I was like you once.

    I used to be on the right.
    I used to despise SJW’s.
    I used to like watching right-wing YouTube channels.
    Hell, I was even convinced that Trump would be a good president, to an extent.

    I believed them because they always sounded like they knew what they were talking about.
    I thought that because they sounded sure of themselves,
    because they were confident enough to make jokes about it,
    because they said that they’re just trying to help people,
    I believed them.

    Look, I know that the left sounds exactly the same, just with the role’s reversed.
    But that’s the thing.
    Almost everyone and everything trying to convince you of something uses that strategy.
    Things all the way from competing brands advertising the “higher quality” of their products
    To someone arguing that their favourite character in a show you both like is better than your favourite character.
    Thousands of people, companies, etc. have used this strategy before.
    That doesn’t make any of them more or less right or wrong.

    Now, to finally leave all of this on a quick note,
    I want you to ask yourself this,
    And I genuinely want you to really think about it,
    And I want you to try to put the pieces together yourself.
    In other words, without the influence of anyone else making you believe otherwise, including me.

    Why are you so scared of us?

  24. I still don't think I'll ever get an emotional response from a monochrome painting. But that's just me. Art is subjective, and saying otherwise can be used as a tool of tyranny.

  25. Man, this made me reconsider why I have such a weird gut-reaction hatred towards modern art. I never knew why i hated modern art, I just did… but now I think I have some respect for it

  26. Thanks for calling out GamerGate for the shit-show it was. But… it DID uncover collusion and cronyism and directly lead to the tightening of ethical guidelines in games journalism. And there WAS a section – even a significant section – of that movement for which it WAS about ethics in game journalism, despite all the fascists that used it as a shield to shit on "SJWs".

    It's kind of like if Jews actually WERE bad for Germany. Sure Nazism still would've been spurred on out of hate and racism, but there would have been people saying "Hang on, the racists might be onto something here".

  27. Modern art is a money laundering shithole.

    Have we not noticed that every fucking modern painting is shit quality and is just a few stripes and boxes for 3 million dollars.

  28. Like holy fuck. Your vids take these twists and turns and wow you just pull it all together to make your point really well.

  29. I really concur with this video essay. Although I do think if a game is trying to be 100% historically factual (so like none bc most are historical fiction) then it should be 100% factual. I also enjoy games that have no meaning besides what you give it so really I just really agree with a lot of these points. Very good Job

  30. I understand that art is subjective, but I still feel like something so simple is not as valuable as something more complex.

  31. Weird thing some of those bits of art made me really uncomfortable, but also somewhat introspective, but I think that art is supposed to do that.

  32. I remember hearing about the painting in a 99 percent invisible episode. Interesting to see another take with a video!

  33. Taking this piece of art to argue against particular political beliefs is playing into the same game Paul and others like him play

  34. A nice touch that could make the video better is describing witch tipe of art could be (objectively speaking) bad, like the emoji movie, knack, bubsy 3d, expremist political art, basically anything done by yoko ono, etc. Because we can't say that there is NOTHING that can be wrong in art and is ALL subjective, and talk about what could be in your opinion, the basic things that makes a piece of art respectable.

  35. So the red yellow and blue painting was art… because it was a good proof of concept? He found some neat formula for his paintings and art, awesome, so why did he then restrict himself to expressing these amazing new alchemical pigments as giant blank blocks of color. Artists have had to create their own pigment since the dawn of art, but each and every one of them made a work of art with it. If I make a completely new kind of damascus steel, and it's so gorgeous and took me months to get the metallurgy right in it… it means nothing as a blank plate of steel, I have to make it in to art still. Modern art is the equivalent of cutting and polishing a bar of that steel for display instead of the beautiful knife, brooch, buckle, handle or even mirror that it could have been. I get it, it took effort, but it's a damn tech demo of what the real painting could have been like but never was.

    If art is supposed to evoke emotions, than I guess it did its job, because modern art evokes the emotion of depression, emptiness and regret that I feel for purchasing a ticket to watch a bunch of glorified paint mixers showcase their new shade of red that only exists on that canvas. Cutting a slab of gemmy stone might technically be art, but if you want people to treat it as art, consider putting in the effort to cut a gem out of it. Submerging a cheap plastic toy crucifix in a jar of your piss is no more a statement of art than the mentally slow kid at school that paints the bathroom stall with his own shit.

    I'm sorry, but the justification on your end is weak. My ass print in the sofa is art by these standards considering how unique it is and how long it took me to create it. Leaving a plate of spaghetti out to mold would be a form of art as long as it's difficult to recreate the blues and greens of my particular mold culture (I'll throw in some sourdough and beer before I leave it out as my signature!). It's absurdism, and yes it deserves it own museum for people who are actually impressed. You want amazing abstract art, try finding a blown glass museum and you'll see what everyone is talking about. If I want fun paint swatches, I'll go to lowes.

  36. Man your videos are filled with a poignancy you can't find elsewhere. Your videos last more than 3 minutes and I simply have to watch them till the end.

  37. Amazinng!! you are one awesome schmuck and i cannot believe i didn’t know this channel existed before today… keep it up you amazing bastard!!

  38. I respect the amount of research you put into this video and seeing the political implications was cool. I don't like how you used the video as a platform to attack people of different political beliefs than you, the silly music when people you didn't like are talking and the implied buildup of anger with the static when you started to share your opinion on gamergate was really patronizing. Even if you did have a valid point to make at parts like those, my first instinct with anything that tries to sway me with humiliating other people or some kind of justified anger is skepticism and seeing how critical you were of Infowars I'd like to think you understand why.

  39. If I erect a statue of Baphomet in my home and use the Bible for toilet paper while livestreaming myself saying every blasphemous thing I can think of, do I still get to cry about people saying I'm not a real Christian? If I go destroy a bunch of modern art, citing my motive as "contempt for the degeneracy these works exemplify", do I still get to play victim when I'm called a fascist?

  40. When art is subversive, can it be classified as a weapon? A weapon to use against the rigid tyranny of prejudice and and the suppression of authentic human expression? I can see how "Piss Christ" would be felt as a declaration of war on the value structure of a Christian-influenced society. That said, when someone sits there with hostile intent, forging a weapon to be used against their society, why should they expect others not to do the same against them? When I think of many of the exhibitions found in Degenerate Art and the creators' reactions to that rejection of their work, I think of a school boy trying to punch a bigger kid in the face and crying when he gets knocked to the ground in response.

  41. I really enjoyed the first half or so of this video. Hearing the opinions of someone who clearly knows a lot about and really appreciates modern paintings was quite interesting.
    Art is… well, art is hard to define but something that I think I can safely say about it is that it makes people feel something. It's art regardless of whether or not those feelings are positive or negative, regardless of the quality of the materials that went into it and regardless of how many people like or dislike it.

    I agree with this. That being said, modern paintings still don't interest me all that much. I guess they just aren't my thing.

    The second half of the video however, really got on my nerves.
    You had two mutually exclusive arguments going on at the same time, namely: 'art is subjective and you are free to like or dislike whatever you want to. Having opinions is perfectly fine', and 'if you dislike modern art then that's actually because you are a fascist, a racist, an actual Nazi, and a sexist. When you judge an artwork what you're really judging is the ancestry, heritage, skin colour, gender, political leaning and religious beliefs of the artist, not the artwork itself. That is what you say when you say that you don't like modern art.'

    This part, needless to say, I liked a good deal less. Having this… diatribe, show up halfway through the video was a surprise to be sure, and an unwelcome one at that.

  42. pretty cool. I will still never put a red rectangle into my deviantart favorites folder, but you helped me appreciate the positive parts of why modern art does this.

  43. One of the reasons that people hate modern art is because it seemingly takes no skill.

    We want to look at art and see the dedication it took for someone to put tens of thousands of hours to learn how to create the artpiece.

  44. The real question, should the government and tax money goes to art creation. Should they fund something that actively subverts the culture of the nation they are protecting. No, it shouldn't and whether or not Jesse Helms's motives were what he said they were, he had a point. Just because of you have the right to free speech doesn't mean the government has to amplify it, and just because you have the right to free expression does not mean that the government should subsidize it.

  45. dude not meandering at all, it was very well structured and to the point and i think it will be one of those things that i will remember for years
    while not being much of a fascist myself, i suppose i did have some underwhelming feelings here and there about projects that stand out of line and get pushback for it, and this video is a very effective piece of essay in that it showed me the captivating and solemn beauty of those projects, and reminded me of the strange and distant emotions that i've got while playing depression quest so long ago, and how similar it feels when i engage with things that seem truly special
    Thank You

  46. that ominous empty feeling of awe is pretty neat and mysterious, but it is definitely overvalued. The point about the recreation being sub par is fascinating. I'm sure I wouldn't be scared of RYB but the possible existence of perfect hues of them terrifies the living fuck out of me.

    In my opinion once you go past someone like Francis Bacon you've just removed too much. Not in all cases, but I think in most. Sure a wall of tones with subtle changes can convey some limited things within the right context. Think of the monolyth from 2001. That is in fact one of my favorite applications of minimalism, when it creates a stark contrast to a detailed complex world. Real ominous and eerie.

    I think many "walls of colour" can't stand on their own. Not without an actual explanation, or the analysis of the artist's life experiences and quite often mental illnesses (yes plural). So of course there's value. And we definitely don't need an exact value. But getting philosophical about non-concepts becomes quite a shallow practice if it's done so often.

    On the political side of things, fascism sucks because it's authoritarian (plus a whole encyclopedia of other specific reasons). Authority has no place in art. And I agree that fascism is the most dangerous (political) ideology of them all. However, the extreme left is quite ugly itself. Both sides want extreme censorship but in different ways. The authoritarian right is overprotective of a specific group of people to the point of disregarding everyone's rights, the authoritarian left is overprotective of every GROUP to the point of disregarding all other points of view.

    This is not about the freedom to say the n-word, censoring speech is a dangerous practice but cases like that are totally understandable. What about the thick fog of exageration of sexual art, or art simply portraying touchy scenarios? The left tends to attach motives to pieces like that very rapidly and permanently. Guilty until proven innocent, which often never happens. They'd rather get rid of a certain genre than have to deal with digging in a little deeper and figuring out what's what.

    So both suck. The right values comfort over freedom (nothing needs to change they say) and the left values safety over freedom (you need to be protected). So in my mind, if either extremist ideology had their way it would go down like this:

    – Paul Joseph Watson in an old cosy livingroom next to the fireplace, listening to shitty old christmas jingles on his grammophone, eating a big steak with traces of lead, his obedient wife dusting some soulless Michelangelo replicas on the arsenic painted walls.

    -Anita Sarkeesian in a white, fully lit padded room with impossibly minimal furniture, listening to corporate promotional nothing-music, eating soylent green while looking at a horrible, zero texture BYG replica with 3 horrid bucket fill tones of colour.

    P.S. They should have kept the ruined BYG. Was pretty interesting.

  47. Lol that painting (the red one) is really dumb and a child could make it but I don't get why would someone go out of their way to cut up the painting. I mean if you believe modern art is crap (I do believe so) going apeshit and destroying the "art" or making it the target of political attacks is only giving validation to it.

  48. I was onboard until you invoked Godwin's Law and attempted to spin it into "muh huhwyte supremacy, muh poor joos".
    Get fucked ya disingenuous wanker.

  49. It’s not just the right who has an issue with (certain) modern art. Adam ruins everything ran an episode showing how bought-out it is, depending more on connections than talent. Though a wishy-washy bourgeois type, Adam conniver has always been fairly left leaning.

  50. 16:10 awww, I was hoping you'd turn his anti-sjw boogeymanning against him and point out that "art needs to have MEANING!" is literally what anti-sjws cry about when people tell them "Art is political, dumbshit!" 🙁

  51. 25:55 you had it right the first time, you fucking delicious-tasting-but-needlessly-expensive-roast-beef-sandwich-with-a-drink!

  52. Criticizing art is not censorship. criticizing art is NOT encouraging vandalism. might actually be the opposite of censorship. Let's assume that the critics have a political rather than an aesthetic motivation. SO WHAT? let's assume that they have concealed ideological aspiration. SO WHAT?

    Let's assume that they possess power, or identify with a group associated with power. SO WHAT. they are free to criticize and to do so publically.

    "Cancel culture", on the other hand, is not free speech when it crosses the line into INCITEMENT. please make the distinction.

  53. I love how you try to manipulate the narrative with presenting some ideas that most people will agree with and have lets say true logical value and then immediately switch to something, that has false logical value but you bunch it up together with the previous statement. Like the game journalism for example. That guy is actually right when speaking about gaming journalism. Yes, he uses buzzwords like SJW cucks and angry language to sound more concerning and to appeal with a sense of urgency, but the statement itself is correct. To be honest, the new wave of young people that occupy newly created job positions – especially in gaming industry and basically around all new technologies – are fascists/nazis (to use your terms from the video) in terms of art and their opinion on it – as it needs to serve the society and needs to follow norms set up by those people, otherwise labeled perverted. They are praising garbage people like quinn and good quality games are being labeled as harmful, not aligning to their views of society and whatever else. Its the same thing. But to say its the dominant cultural ideology is completely wrong. It is not. It is just the one that is heard from those positions, because there is basically noone from the opposite side who would willingly step into that environment (either because of education – social studies vs science/tech, low paid, unstable, unpractical, gatekept by those people who entered first etc.) and/or overall unwillingness to oppose this ideology because of consequences (another similarity with totalitarian regimes of the past).
    So overall fun video when speaking about the art part, and you probably had fun in putting it together. Almost completely missed the mark when you tried to present your agenda (I get it, you are standing on the social justice warrior side or atleast pretty close) and trying to apply the previous part to modern issues (mostly because modern issues are exactly the same concept as the two boogiemen you mentioned before, therefore it falls apart when you try to justify it).
    Have a great day.

  54. i imagine, as jacob explain art to people in person, he makes sound effects to go along with it.

    "oh, this piece? it makes me feel like FWOOSH"

  55. Followed along until your depression quest segment, a lot of people really did care about ethics in game journalism. hell, i even thought it was a cool game concept. your portrayal was uncharitable at best.

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