Towards an aesthetic

What with my reading of Opening to Inner Light and other tasty books, I know we’re heading towards a fireside discussion more meaty than we’ve had in a while, but I think this bit may not be able to wait.C4090-456

Yesterday, as I mindlessly surfed the intertubes, I came across this site: ugliesttattoos.com.  It is OMG•NSFW, so I’ll provide a couple of samples here and links to particularly egregious examples. [NSFW!!!]

Those should suffice.  The entire website is jawdroppingly, gobsmackingly, entirely like these samples.  Only much, much worse.  Much, much, much worse.

I like tattoos.  I have a couple myself and wouldn’t mind one more, if I were allowed.  And I find them to be fascinating body modifications on others in most circumstances.  But honest to God, I came across very few tattoos on this site that I was able think, “Wow, that’s cool/beautiful/transgressive/sexy.”  They were all grotesque.  (I did like this one. [SFW, if weird])

So in our neverending discussion of “What is art?”, I’d like to ask in the immortal acronym embodied above, “WTF?”  How are we to fit these manifestations of our creative imperative into the schema of that imperative?  (I’ve tagged this with the Corroborative Evidence category; is that where we are with this?)C4090-455

Discuss.

22 Thoughts on “Towards an aesthetic

  1. turff on July 21, 2010 at 8:49 am said:

    I actually kinda dig the “Hello Hannibal Kitty” one.

  2. Jeff on July 21, 2010 at 8:54 am said:

    I gotta get that teddy bear.

  3. marc on July 21, 2010 at 9:47 am said:

    Dr. Malone, my guide at West Ga. to all things psychoanalytic, once said to me in reference to some reading she had done after a rough day: ” I was craving some feel-good Jungian transpersonal stuff; you know, comfort food.”

    Reflects my position. I’m sympathetic with the synthesizing power of the discourse, with the way it modifies and bolsters my primitive occult yearnings. But sooner or later you have to talk about the role of signifiers and serotonin, too; aiming all things toward the One only takes you so far if you truly want to fiddle with how we tick.

    So I would not represent a particular dissenting view in discussions. I, too, yearn for vibrating pyramids and cosmic consciousness, but I want to keep the more mundane determinants in the mix, also.

    Misery loving company.

  4. marc on July 21, 2010 at 9:50 am said:

    As you can tell, I’m talking about the possibility of fireside discussion mentioned in the post’s first sentence. Don’t get me started on the tattoos. Talk about “mundane determinants,” though.

  5. 1. Marc, go back and footnote everything you just said.

    2. This.

  6. Terry on July 21, 2010 at 10:13 am said:

    In an obvious example of synchronization I came across this same site late last night. I had planned to post about it here, however I finally fell asleep at the computer, so went to bed instead. And I get up this morning to find this.

    Going back to the original discussion on tattoos I guess this is what came to mind to me rather than tramp stamps.l

  7. Seriously, do we laugh because “people who are not like you and me” are clueless Others who are not entitled to attempts at self-expression?

  8. Terry on July 21, 2010 at 11:03 am said:

    You don’t think “they” would or rather are laughing at our “clueless” attempts at self-expression ?

  9. Yeah, but we’re callous sophisticates. They’re… clueless Others.

    Okay, I’m going to posit some ideas here. One idea. I will need help untangling it.

    Part of what makes a tattoo a manifestation of our urge to create is its very permanence. We consider carefully how we’re going to make our physical selves a referential statement of our selves, because it’s permanent. (I realize that many of our examples are on 20-somethings who have no clue about what that self might be, and clearly have not enough frontal cortex development to keep them from engraving it on their skin.)

    And I realize that more than half the tattoos on this site are the poorly rendered cri de guerres of angry persons. So two untanglements there: manifestation of unself vs. poor rendering.

    Howsomever. I cannot figure out what kind of unself thinks this [SFW, fwiw] is supposed to manifest.

    This is why I am not George Eliot.

  10. This is driving me nuts. And there’s no pun intended here [NSFW].

    How, for example, do you decide what colors to put on the butterfly’s wings? Or is that even a consideration for these people? You see how this mindless approach to the art offends me aesthetically?

  11. Actually, I’m OK with this one [SFW].

  12. re #10:

    Crap. [OMGNSFW]

    Also, Oh my god what the hell? [do I even have to say it?]

    Heeee! [SFW]

    Mostly harmless. [SFW]

    OK, at least this guy [OMGNSFW] knows who he is.

    I am so not getting it. [NSFW]

  13. marc on July 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm said:

    I refuse to click on tattoo links. I have noticed that everything Dale has been into for the last year or so makes me nauseous, so I can’t really give it the attention it no doubt deserves.

    There was nothing in my previous comments that requires footnoting. That was a pretty tea-baggy move, by the way. I was just saying I’m looking forward to the discussions; personal transformation discourses are fascinating to me.

  14. I will try to behave better.

  15. dale on July 21, 2010 at 2:49 pm said:

    And I apologize for my snarkiness. The fact is that I could not tell with any certainty what you were saying. I am glad you feel the need, as I do, to be around the fire together.

  16. dale on July 21, 2010 at 2:52 pm said:

    For the record, I hope everyone understands that I in no way approve of these tattoos. They are appalling–hysterically, wonderfully appalling. I bring them before the group because they do not seem to fit into what I know/believe about our creativity and/or tattoos.

  17. marc on July 21, 2010 at 3:11 pm said:

    I get impatient with myself when I write comments, so I attempt to collapse many notions into some turn of phrase that I think works quickly and briefly. Otherwise, I’d be at the comment-crafting 24/7. I think it communicates. Usually it does not unzip. At all, apparently. Just obscure wordplay.

    I am neither a scientist nor a lawyer or accountable to reality (i.e. Dale the Reader), so I compact and collapse and relapse and perhaps with abandon. I can’t hold on to instances long enough to cite them.

    Yes, I used perhaps as a verb. Shakespeare does that kind of thing all the time. According to Palin.

  18. And for once in her miserable life, Palin is right. I happen to admire her for “refudiate.” I intend to use it unironically.

  19. Okay, Marc, this is for you, and it’s perfectly safe. It will make you smile.

  20. marc on July 22, 2010 at 6:32 am said:

    Thanks. I smiled without having to hold down my lunch. If it had been a a line sketch and had included his signature in the corner, it would have been totally hip.

  21. Still wandering lost in god-awful tattoos.

    I have to say, this one [SFW] has me absolutely stumped.

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