This Artist Is Playing ‘Civilization’ Outside of the Whitney Every Day
Animal New York article on an artist playing a computer game under a bridge outside as performance art:
“Art is easy,” says Diego Leclery. That’s the biggest thing he’s learned in the last three weeks as a participating artist in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Sitting outside of the Whitney Museum, just under the bridge that leads to the entrance, Leclery plays the video game Civilization seven hours a day, five days a week. The piece is bluntly titled Me Playing Civilization. It’s a performance, it’s a ready-made, and he’ll be doing this until the Biennial wraps up on May 25th.
Civilization is one of the most addictive and longest-running video game franchises of all time. In it, the player rules a civilization, building an empire that competes with other civilizations. In 1996, Computer Gaming World named it the best video game of all time and compared it to crack.
For Leclery, Me Playing Civilization is about “a long standing attempt to subvert overly structured and predictable ways of making things.”
More at Animal New York here
So our weekend plans are art now?
stormingtheivory, can you give me any background that makes this more than a dude doing what he would be doing anyway but calling it some kind of high art? Is this a response to a thing in the art world? Or is this as, well, silly as it sounds?
Ahahaha so this is hilarious to me because I literally just the other night was video chatting with my amazing artist sister about her trip to the Whitney Biennial and her like… epic crisis of faith in the entire art world due to the sheer overwhelming shittiness of virtually everything there. And then I saw this article and now I totally get it, I totally understand what she means.
Like, what really bugs me about this is that I can think of a number of theoretical arguments that would make this make sense, even if I still would kinda give it a lot of side-eye and be pretty suspicious of it. Like you could theorize this as a political critique of the way certain types of creative action are elevated above others by the art world. Like it wouldn’t be a GOOD theorization because he’s still totally working within the institution so it’d really be just the institution pumping itself up by seeming edgy and self critical without actually changing BUT AT LEAST IT IS A SOLID THEORIZATION.
His arguments though are just like… man, I don’t even know. There’s just nothing there. Some vague stuff about art markets…and cultural civilization… yeah, I got nothing. It just feels so over theorized but simultaneously totally bereft of any kind of theoretical violence… it’s just totally toothless and self-absorbed. It’s like a particularly dumb version of the turn in comics towards an elevation of confessional autobiography above all other subject matter—it’s me me me with nothing really to say about anything beyond this one guy and his attempt to break into the art world hampered by his obsession with Civilization.
He’s playing the dadaist readymade game and doing it way, way worse than Duchamp because it’s so much less funny when you tell the same joke after other people have been telling the fucking joke for A CENTURY. Wow yes elevating nonart things to art status by reframing them very readymade such institutional critique wow. A++ very creative. Ugh.
Yeah, basically, I’d describe this piece as toothless, narcissistic, and ironically very, very outdated.
the funny thing about dril posts is that they actually do have a structure to them– they hit a kind of conceptual caesura halfway through, a point where there’s no inevitable logical connection between what’s been said and what’s still to come. here, the first sentence didn’t need to result in the second, yet it’s not “lol random” either; the speaker is angry about his boss’ draconian ferret-kissing policy, and reacts in kind, and even the reference to a “screen saver” reminds us that we’re in an office. it’s a narrative progression that, despite having an internal logic, alienates its punchline from its setup. who the hell is this person?
one thing i love about @dril posts is how they all seem to take place in a universe that is somewhat like our own, but with the habitus of white middle america taken to a bizarre, absurd, but strangely logical conclusion. take this one, for instance:
so we have our setting: a security guard protecting the american flag in the betsy ross museum, something almost archetypically american and middle class. but once again the first part, or setup, for the punchline, “fucking the flag,” careens the joke into an alien punchline that still, given the setting, makes sense. @dril’s security guard character imitates a sort-of cop-talk, the banter of a security guard, “buddy, they wont even let me fuck it”. you can imagine a similar response from a guard at any museum, but we’re talking about Fucking the American Flag, here.
i really love @dril.
it’s astonishing that a human being thinks of those posts. some person, someone out there whose existence we have to infer, because all we know is that those posts occur and they must be coming from somewhere. “the @dril tweeter” resonates as “the beowulf poet” does, except beowulf (which i’ve only read in translation, so i’m not an authority) has never made any use of the english language as baffling and sublime and somehow primally interlaced with the stuff of human consciousness as “IF THE ZOO BANS ME FOR HOLLERING AT THE ANIMALS I WILL FACE GOD AND WALK BACKWARDS INTO HELL.”
“People have decided how they are going to perceive her. No matter how many times she smiles, they’ll put in the one picture where she’s not smiling.” - Robert Pattinson
I’M SORRY BUT I CAN’T NOT REBLOG THIS
wow, it’s almost like she was acting like a vapid, emotionless, shallow, dead-inside character in Twilight because, you know, that’s what Bella is.
wow. acting. what a thought.