nick, your resolution that "he's the artist, that's why" is extraordinarily troubling. perhaps you are forming an interpretation that centers around the facilitation of the audience's progress through the piece. because, yes, in fact Paddy did progress from one state of opinion to another. (we can now applaud and congratulate Tino on his meta implications.) but hold on, this skirts the most potent idea in Tino's piece: namely that progress is defined throughout history by dominant forms of power. Tino's piece takes place in a powerful art gallery. Tino is an artist who exercises power of representation by disallowing photos. Tino enables the experience and the parameters of that experience; he doesn't just plop people into a space and tell them to talk about progress, he plots an escalation of inquiry which never actually breaches into the realm of applicable philosophy; in other words it remains cute and contained; it's a gimmick, mind you a very well conceived one. when one steps into a performance one is entering into a contract, if you are ok with this contract then by all means enjoy "the incompleteness" as thoughtwax put it, but know you are depriving yourself of the ability the challenge the apparatus. why couldn't Paddy vehemently question the child for an answer until the kid went off crying and Paddy was thrown out of the gallery? (why: a multitude of reasons, one of which is the child is relatively innocent.) we like to be tickled, and when someone can tickle us the right way, it is pleasant and we kindly ignore the motivations behind the tickling, and escape into reverie. but, nick, ask yourself if the artist actually deserves the power you so easily relinquish. what are his motivations? how is he benefiting from your participation?
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