DareDroid 2.0 cocktailmaking dress

Or, why "artists' statements" fill me with rage.

The DareDroid is a biomechanic cocktail making dress that uses medical technology, customised hardware and human temperament to provide you with a freshly made cocktail. The human host and robotic dress work together to provide you with a cocktail in exchange for a game of "Truth or Dare". The robotic performance playfully transgresses and explores human interaction in public spaces and inverts the normal social experience by asking people to reveal personal information.

Ok, it's kind of a neat looking dress, but the pseudo-intellectual nonsense of the "statement" and the dumb performance wrapped around it -- be humiliated by a cute blonde! maybe get a drink out of it! -- are truly cringeworthy. It's a fucking automated beer-bong wrapped around a plastic dress, triggered by unpredictable sensors. And that's fine! There's nothing wrong with that! Why must you screw it up by talking?? Why??

"Artists", man.

Here's a more honest version:

Also: someone recently said, "Any time you see a headline that ends with a question mark, you can be certain that the answer is no." I mention that in the context of the link you've probably been sent a hundred times from the execrable io9 with the subject, "Is the Rise of Wearable Electronics Finally Here?"

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20 Responses:

  1. Patrick says:

    I'm waiting for it to be co-opted by one of the larger/edgier distilleries, myself.

  2. DFB says:

    They have to talk like that because "transgresses and explores human interaction in public spaces" is more likely to get cash from arts grant juries than "this dress gives people booze if they play truth or dare." Follow the money.

  3. Yeah, and what's with academic papers? I can't understand what they're talking about, I think it must be bullshit. And when they put a bunch of equations and shit in there, it just makes me think what posers they are.

      • wow. An internet web comic. You sure showed me.

      • I suppose I can drop the sarcasm and try and make an actual point here. Art is not science. Its purpose isn't to discover new truths about reality, but to appeal to something deep within the emotional, spiritual, or perceptual mechanisms of the human mind. In other words, trying to make awesome things, or things that make you feel a certain way.

        It seems very strange to me then, to expect the same level of scientific and logical rigour in writing *about* art that you expect from writing about science. Literary and art criticism is in fact, a kind of poetry, or art in itself. Since art doesn't appeal to logic, it appeals to the soul, there's no way to properly describe the feelings you get from a work without it coming out as seeming kind of wishy washy or "bullocky", because well, art in its essence isn't a logical or sensical or purposeful thing to be doing at all.

        The harshest critics of "Art Bullocks" are of course, super logical nerds, who have trouble understanding why anyone would do something or write something for no reason other than it sounds kind of cool.

        • Ben Brockert says:

          Thanks. I was about to post something about the sarcasm in every post being kind of sad for rhetoric.

          I don't get the impression that jwz dislikes art, and I certainly don't. I spent a paycheck on a sculpture sitting opposite me because I thought it was beautiful and awesome.

          Not all art criticism or description is bullshit, but some areas of it really are. Ultimately to make good art requires skill, so if you want to claim an artist statement as art itself, it would have to display skill. That you can generate perfectly adequate "arty bollocks" algorithmically demonstrates that there isn't skill involved.

          Being wishy washy and describing how the art makes you feel would be a refreshing change of pace. "playfully transgresses and explores human interaction in public spaces" is not that.

          • Well, artists statements as art, means that there's coded speech patterns embedded in it that are kind of "in jokes" in the fine art culture. Think about how weird and nonsensical /b/, or any other idiosyncratic internet forum appears to an outsider. Think about how every post on /b/ is a new mutation, a new generation of self parody.

            Artists Statements do the same sort of thing.

            • anonytroll says:

              The difference between nerdy in-jokes and artists' in-jokes is that the former tend toward the self-deprecating, while the latter tend toward the self-aggrandizing. Well, and if you're going to have in-jokes to prove how much more clever you are than the mundanes, don't get all bent out of shape when they take offense at being implicitly labeled as idiots. Especially if they're actually quite smart people, such as jwz

          • That of course doesn't put it beyond criticism. Not every post on /b/ is unmitigated genius.

          • Oh and artists, that write artists statements *love* that artists statement generator. They think it's both hilarious, and the statements it generates would actually make some great basis for some art shows.

        • jwz says:

          I spent my entire childhood in art school, and have spent a good portion of my adult life around artists of one sort or another. This is not my first rodeo. I understand how this game is played, from both sides, and why it is played at all.

          You are subscribing to the absurd notion that people who write "artist statements" are trying to actually explain something, rather than trying to A) get funding, B) be "taken seriously", C) obfuscate, or D) hide their insecurities.

          You are, with very, very few exceptions, wrong. In other words,

          Art bullshit is bullshit. *

          * "Bollocks".

          • My mother was an artist and an art critic. I spent my entire childhood being shuffled from art show to art show, talking with artists, looking at art. I went to art school etc. etc. I subscribe to no such absurd notion, and to a great degree, you've hit the nail exactly on the head about *why* artists statements are written. The only point at which I disagree is that they're "bullocks" aka, "nonsense" aka "devoid of meaning".

      • Conversely, the reaction to arty bullocks along the lines of "Oh come on, it's *just* a (insert dry description of what you see here)" is also a bit strange. of course it's not just those words. Every cultural act is intricately interlinked with everything that humans do. To try and simplify it and quantify it as a set of logical descriptors is a very computer programmery thing to do, but it doesn't really do justice to the work of the artist.

      • I suppose I also see that JWZ only sees the value in this particular work for its /entertainment/ value. Amusement and joy is a fine emotion to appeal to, and there's lots of money to be made there- In movies, books, tv shows, videogames.

        But, you know, there's emotions other than just amusement, and art that appeals to *those* emotions has value too.

  4. Dr. Eggroll says:

    So really it's not so different than trying to get service from a bitchy bartender.

  5. Juha Autero says:

    Here is another video from Charlotte Young.