AFD Six : Online Derivative of a New Cliché

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My favorite piece of art that I’ve seen this summer is a wall installation by The Art Guys at their New Clichés exhibition at McClain Gallery. There was a semi-public (as public as blogs can be) point/counter-point earlier this Summer between the Houston Chronicle‘s Douglas Britt and The Art Guys’ Michael Galbreth regarding their recent behavior piece, The Art Guys Marry a Plant (held in conjunction with the CAMH’s No Zoning exhibition). While I missed the ceremony, I made a point to visit their Clichés exhibition the following week. The work was clever, funny, and beautifully executed, but this one wall piece grabbed hold of me and hasn’t let go. It had me at "Fuck ’em".

Comprised of wooden letters and motors, the words of a "new cliché" rose and fell on the wall, powered by contraptions slowly rotating as if they were vertical mobiles. The literal message was dismissive and defensive, but instead of being loud or aggressive, it was presented in a disarmingly playful fashion. I loved it. Had there been a chair, I would have sat down and just stared for God knows how long, mesmerized my the movement of the letters and taken back by the brilliant silliness of it all.

In the weeks since, that piece – and its "Eff ’em" sentiment – have stayed with me. (This has been helped by repeated listens of the Wild Light’s California on My Mind, which manages to properly "eff" today, San Francisco, and California, all in the song’s first 17 seconds. Please consider this the official soundtrack of Online Derivative of a New Cliché.)

Then, while perusing a list of the most popular websites in the United States this past weekend, inspiration finally struck. Using the logos of these companies, I could derive an online variation from The Art Guys’ piece. The message is still there and can be found within the animated blur of letters. Twenty-five of the top 45 sites are represented, selected largely for how they could assist in the piece’s completion. They are not in any particular order, but they do link to their respective sites. (You might stay away from "J" if you’re at work.) You could effectively use this as your home page, depending on the sites you frequent.

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