Thursday, November 27, 2008


Growing up in the 90's and being a part of MTV culture definitely had an affect on my youth. I practically grew up on Jackass, which provided me with hours of juvenile entertainment. A lot of their earlier skits involved pranking unsuspecting patrons, hoping to get a reaction.

yoga class - Johnny Knoxville stretches and farts his way through a yoga class.

street fishing - Utilizing a fishing rod, tackle, and dollar bill bait, Steve-O goes fishing for downtown denizens.

the hearse - Johnny Knoxville plays a bumbling mortician and keeps losing his casket in public.

Their ideas and methods, while often crude and usually wildly inappropriate, don't seem far off from many performance pieces I've seen in the art world. Would you consider being a public "Jackass" to be a performance piece? Could you consider this "art"?


Joshua Frye said...

Jackass is most definitely a performance. It's playing to a camera with an audience in mind. If the camera wasn't there it would be a performance still, just no one would be aware of it. The person getting prank is the audience, left to wonder what really just happened.

As for the question of art, "art" is just another one of those words, like religion or life, bumbling around aimlessly in preconception and person opinion. So I give you my source, New Oxford American Dictionary, first definition:

1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power

These dudes are definitely creative, a television screen is just another canvas, and it's some of the funniest s**t I have ever seen. It's not a fine art, but I'd call it art. Why the hell not?

Mr E said...

Good response, Josh. I like the end of the definition that says "producing works to be appreciated primarily for their... emotional power."