#angryoldman #sistinechapel #minecraft #finalfantasy
You know what one of my pet peeves is? The phrase, “They got too much time on their hands.” People commonly say this about the all manner of crazy things you find online on youtube and elsewhere.
The phrase implies that if you found time to come up with this clever or impressive sort of thing, entertaining to watch, then shame on you. You should have been too busy with the mundane of life to accomplish it. Ba humbug to fun!
Several years ago, I took an art history class at BYU. As we went through the modern era, one of the works we discussed was an urinal the “artist” put on a pedestal, displayed at an art museum, and signed with his own name. My initial knee jerk reaction was to be off put by this. Later, in assignment for that class to write on what art is to you, I argued against why this urinal isn’t art.
But you have to give it to this guy for how significantly he influenced art history in such a simple way. The area that most of his creative energy went into was defending what he did as art.
However, I think the principals behind my arguments against it do have merit, but maybe not so much for determine whether or not something is art, but rather, at what level should something be admired. Arguing “what is art?” long enough turns it into a ridiculously moot point. But, on the other hand, who can deny the contrast behind putting a toilet on a stand and creating the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? Four years of strenuous back breaking work laying several feet from the ground with poor lighting, using the frustrating medium of fresco.
Was this worth doing? Well, centuries later, people still admire and are awe-inspired by this iconic work, travelling around world to take in the impressive sight. So you tell me.
Now, time to play the devils advocate. There is a flip side to all this that needs mentioning. I came across something just barely, the got me pondering on this subject again, prompting this blog post. A fan took two years to meticulously recreate a gargantuan Final Fantasy mod of a location called Midgar in Minecraft blocks.
Now, it could be argued that this was a worthwhile way to spend two years, but this is not my point. The point is to raise the pertinent question, “Where do we draw the line in exploring our creative passions?” When is too much, too much? On one hand, time, effort, hard work dedication is a big part of what makes something impressive and valuable, but on the other, things can get to the point where it’s much more justified to consider it a complete time waste. Though it’s perhaps highly subjective where to draw the line.