“Big Ass Fans” or “Awesome > Art”
Granted, any internet search for “Big Ass Fans” will produce images of Kim Kardashian’s badonkadonk, but I’m talking here about what I saw on the ceiling of the Ikea warehouse on Delaware Avenue.
Mouthing the words “That’s awesome” is a daily occurrence for me, but hardly ever do I find myself compelled to actually blog about such things as lifted El Caminos, dogs with one eye, or 3-D puzzle kits. In this case, I can’t help but share my new found love of big ass fans.
As an artist, I suppose it’s my job to observe, interpret, and report. However, I’m often stumped by how I might offer an interpretation of something that’s amazing in the first place. This leads to another issue; Should the word “Art” really be elevated to the level it occupies in our contemporary vocabulary? I always hear about baseball pitchers as artists because of their pitch combinations (isn’t this also the catcher’s call), or mechanics as artists because of their ability to solve complex electrical problems. I’m not saying art or artists are better than either of these examples. What I’m saying is, “Why can’t a pitcher be an amazing pitcher and a mechanic be an amazing mechanic?”
I tend to think all jobs are important. If anything, an artist’s job is more disposable than most. I love my job. I get to wander and observe with the understanding that I’m actually working. I get to create my own questions and answers that may or may not have any applicable relationship to the physical world. But even speaking as an artist I can’t decide which gives me more pleasure, the instance when I come in contact with an incredible work of art, or when my car comes back from the shop without the “Check Engine” light glowing on the dashboard.
Getting back to Big Ass Fans… Is there really a need to interpret an industrial fan whose name is perfectly descriptive, and seems to utilize technology reminiscent of German gliders with enormous wingspans? Maybe eventually physics and poetics can marry completely in one of my works. For now, I’m happy to observe engineering feats with a nod to humor, and the feeling that the word “Awesome” should be used frequently, but deliberately, and the word “Art” should be taken down a notch. After all, what do we say when we see a killer work of art? We certainly don’t say “Holy crap! That art is a work of art.” We simply say, “That’s awesome!”