Thanks to aesthetic relativism it’s considered pointless to make formal evaluations of artworks. This is great! As a result artists are considered more important than artworks (unfortunately art institutions prefer their artists dead).
Contemporary artworks are cynical puns, which an artist is employed to present for audiences. Audiences are invited to enjoy the style the pun is presented. This condition serves craftspeople who maintain myths about the integrity of artistic work (and performance artists).
People who are serious about arts compare contemporary presentation to presentations the artist made in the past. This is why it’s important to make a lot of artworks.
When there is an exciting body of work it is easy to imagine how new pieces fit to the collection. It’s more convenient to discuss (and appreciate) artworks made by artists with long careers. Careers and collections are less risky to manage then living artists.
Interestingly many of my artist peers are working out extensively. Fitness is the new black (See article on Vogue for hints). Is fitness.art an effort to bypass cynicism which aesthetic relativism enforces upon artistic practice?
Bodybuilding and fitness appear as efforts to assume control of the cultural dynamics aesthetic relativism has shoved us into. Fit bodies are absolute and their presentation serves as evidence of labor: Fit bodies can stand to oppose capital by becoming capital in themselves! Hints for this thought are found in an article by Jon Stratton (mentioned earlier).
I’m recovering from a teaching gig at the Kankaanpää Art School, where I conducted intensive Kettlebell exercises for the students. I think the primary reason for fitness as a part of the art education was to build bodies which can resist. See “Media & Performance” study journal for details.
I believe this is also why working class communities emphasised sports back in the day. As the automation of labor and ideologies of optimization and efficiency rejects our human bodies – The value of a body is the style it is presented in.