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Lyam White

Is it possible for something to be both authentically experimental AND avant garde, edgy, provocative, and/or abstruse? I only ask because I've used "experimental" to describe both things simultaneously--that the work, even when fully realized, would likely be alienating or disorienting, but that it was not yet fully realized, and I wanted to know what steps to take to make it alienating and disorienting an a way that was unified and appeared to be offered in good faith.

Paul Mullin

It's a great question, Lyam. I think the easy answer is "Yes, of course. Anything can be truly experimental if you have parameters for measuring success and failure that are within your control."

However, I think we need to use more useful and appropriate words when we are attempting to describe the kind of art you're talking about, and take back "experimental" for what it ACTUALLY means for the rest of the world, especially the world of science.

Jim Jewell

I will just go ahead and make the blanket statement that an artist who fails and blames the audience is like a scientist who fails and blames physics.

Paul Mullin

Yes, Jim! Yes, indeedy!

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