I enter the game ["America's Army", the US Army's online shooter recruitment tool] using as my login name, "dead-in-iraq" and proceed to type the names using the game's text messaging system. As is my usual practice when creating such an intervention, I am a neutral visitor as I do not particate in the proscribed mayhem. Rather, I stand in position and type until I am killed. Upon being re-incarnated I continue to type. To date, I have input just over 250 names. I intend to keep doing so until the end of this war.

I can appreciate this prank only by ignoring the fact that his description of it is filtered through the traditional Artist Statement Bullshitizer. It's a fuckin' gag. It's not a bad one. But couching it in terms like "this work" just makes me want to punch him in the junk. Destroy All Artists.

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40 Responses:

  1. anti_tim says:

    Destroy all Conceptual Artists. I've been involved in Interventions before. They all talk about it like it's a cult. Plus, a conceptual artist never knows how to make something that's good to look at. It's all Thought. and Theory. No Pretty.

    • hunelord says:

      your comment just motivated me enough to create a Live journal account.

      I just wanted to suggest to keep staring at ads and commercials if you prefer the pretty things.

      Thanks and goodbye,


  2. psymbiotic says:

    Frankly, the whole America's Army 'game' itself makes me want to vomit every time I think about it. The 'game' is an atrocity, that has NO PLACE in my industry IMO.

    I'm sure they'll have another huge presence at E3 again this year, which always pisses me off to no end.


    • down8 says:

      The 'game' is an atrocity, that has NO PLACE in my industry IMO.



      • crimethnk says:

        Clearly, because war is evil and so is everyone who engages in it, recruits for it, and so on. And as it is evil, you cannot have fun or learn by participating in simulations of it, which are just as bad as the real thing, unlike the wholesome Grand Theft Auto series.

        Duh. Do I have to explain everything?

      • outintospace says:

        It's a recruiting tool for the US Army.

        • wsxyz says:

          .. in addition to being a game that really isn't that different than many others.
          And if the U.S. Army uses it as a recruiting tool, what is so awful about that anyway?

          Also, I did particularly like this exchange from the screenshots:

          Mojo216: i dunno..was thinkin of joinin the army soon
          lone-wolf-2132: where you from?
          dead-in-iraq: ZACHARIA W LONG 20 ARMY MAY 30 2003
          Mojo216: northern illinois
          Mojo216: dead-in-iraq..u arent encouraging me to join the services
          dead-in-iraq: MICHAEL DEUEL 21 ARMY JUN 18 2003
          lone-wolf-2132: lol
      • psymbiotic says:

        Because it flagrantly crosses a line from entertainment to recruitment. It's also blatantly exploitative....and it's just another venue where the US Armed Forces can go "OHH, LOOK AT ME!". Personally and professionally, I have a clear understanding between what is fantasy and what is reality. America's Army blurs that line a little too much for my tastes.


        • down8 says:

          Would you prefer it subvertedly crossed the line? If only the gov't were so open in all their dealings as they are with AA's recruiting ability.


    • twid says:

      clearly you lack the sublime understanding of FPS shooters that this guy has:

    • master_meio says:

      LOL @ "industry"

  3. down8 says:

    Fo' sho'!


  4. Am I still an artist if I hate "Artist Statements"?

    (can't stand 'em)

    • not_art says:

      They are merely a figment of your imagination!

    • kamaraga says:

      The problem is that a good bullshitter with a clever artistic statement can convince wealthy, ignorantly-sophisticated collectors at a wine-and-cheese VIP-only event to spend millions of dollars on 5 minutes worth of work on, say, a paint-splattered electric fan blowing around some orange flags with a heady premise like, "A powerful, moving masterpiece evoking primal emotions through touching allusions to the interlocked duality of droning repetition and the unpredictable, chaotic hardships encountered on one's spiritual journey."

      Meanwhile, a hard-working artist that's actually good but refuses to play these games is at an enormous disadvantage because they don't speak the language needed to get into galleries and are thus limited to sales made to the few less-than-wealthy people willing to spend hard earned dollars on art they actually like, rather than on a verbal snow job.

      Artistic statements aren't inherently evil, they're supposed to be the heart-felt story of an artist's passion for their work, a way to express the hidden personal dimension that their creations can only hint at. Unfortunately, at some point the "menu" became more important than the "meal".

      PS: I went through your whole set of Flickr photos and really enjoyed them, also subscribed to your RSS. Excellent use of subdued palettes and clever cropping to make familiar subjects seem fresh, new and surreal. Great stuff.

    • grendelkhan says:

      When I was in school, I took a drawing class. I don't have the tenacity to focus on a drawing for hours on end, so I didn't get much out of it. However, we did get to go to short lectures given by artists exhibiting their work in the university gallery.

      One exhibit was, I shit thee not, vertical lines. Variously colored sets of three or five or maybe fifteen vertical lines of varying thicknesses and colors. The class had gone by it and discussed it before. "Well, they're certainly... parallel. I guess that takes skill." In the lecture, the artist showed us how she had tacked together several brushes onto a frame to enable her to paint those stunningly parallel lines, before going into a pompous, long-winded exposition (lines, I tell you! I'm sure xscreensaver has something like it but prettier!) which ended up with her talking about vulvas. I am not exaggerating.

      On the way back to do more painstaking work on drapery and shading, one of the class asked if we could get away with that. Our instructor said that, no, undergraduates have to actually work; you have to be in grad school before you can shift to more *cough* conceptual work.

  5. greyhame says:

    Chances are he really means "prescribed," but thought that "proscribed" sounded fancier. Oops!

  6. It's the anti-christian: love the action - hate the actor.

  7. mcfnord says:

    seems a bit more meaningful than a gag. i hope more people do it.

    • rapier1 says:

      You can be sure that someone else will. If there is one thing that is as certain as death and taxes is that any pretentious artist with blog will soon have a small army of imitators.

      Personally I don't think this is a gag. I do think its pretty stupid though.

  8. lars_larsen says:

    "Join the army! Its just like xbox only you die."

  9. vghoul says:

    I can appreciate this prank only by ignoring the fact that his description of it is filtered through the traditional Artist Statement Bullshitizer. It's a fuckin' gag. It's not a bad one. But couching it in terms like "this work" just makes me want to punch him in the junk.

    I think people who study art at universities tend to fall into the ASB as a means of passing their coursework, and get stuck there.

    That having been said, I agree. Fuck the disengenuous, unnecessary marketing lingo that is required to distinguish 'high art' from any of the rest of human creative output.

    • grendelkhan says:

      But you're assuming that there is something other than disingenous marketroid-speak (ironic for a field that prides itself on being above commercial interests) that separates it from commercial art. Aside from, y'know, actual quality.

  10. ubiquity75 says:

    I thought it was an effective and thoughtful response to a fucked up tool of the U.S. military to recruit impressionable young people. Sorry all you jaded libertarian types are far too advanced to feel like such a thing might have real ramifications for real people. Whatever.

    Oh, yeah. "Fuck art!111one" Cool.

  11. romulusnr says:

    Like a Cage piece, I think the real art here is the reactions of the environment to the action. While DiI rattles off names, ages, corps and dates, the ignorance of future foot soldiers bounces off:

    BgRoBSmith: are those real people??
    Mojo216: i dunno..was thinkin of joining the army soon
    Mojo216: aren't encouraging me to join the services

  12. belgand says:

    Yeah, I see what he's trying to do, but he's also being a bit of dick in the way he's choosing to go about doing it.

  13. taffer says:

    "Scroll to the right to view additional images."

    You lose at design, "artist".