Introduction: How to Be an Art Critic in 15 Minutes

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Always wanted to be an art critic, but never got around to do it?

While working as an art critic once required a significant formal education, new technology and a bit of irreverent thinking can make you pass the job test with flying colors.

In 1996, Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University and University College London, perpetrated a publishing hoax that has come to be known as the Sokal Affair. Sokal was able to submit and publish a study liberally salted with nonsense in a highly-regarded, peer-reviewed journal.

The resulting scandal led to many opportunities. First, a number of seemingly intelligent computer programs appeared to make a parody of that defining moment. One was the Dada Engine, another was the Chomskybot, and many other variants popped all over the place. These engines produce imitations of human intelligence in forms of writing which are really undecipherable, much like art critique as we know it today. Now, here's three easy steps:

1.) Locate an image of an artwork in the public domain. These must be images available for reuse with a creative commons license. Check here: search.creativecommons.org/

2.) Run a number of online text generators:

http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/scigen/#about

http://dept.cs.williams.edu/~barath/systems-topic-...

http://www.nadovich.com/chris/randprop/post-query....

3.) String and rehash the nonsense from these generators, link paragraphs with pithy statements, add a marvelous conclusion, and then you're off!

Example:

Identification and Significance of the Art Problem

A Bessel benchmark provides algorithmically the burdensomely state-of-the-art baseband that constructs, but above the binary malfunction is the microcode. Obviously, the pertinent subsystem is internet art, while the inverse downconverter, which speeds about the gallery, increases our disruption. An orthogonally conceptual wavefront, which increases indirectly, creates the wavelength, since a stochastic radiolocation diverges coincidentally. As the invulnerable eigenvalue, which formulates to the bandlimited countermeasure a quadratic wavelength, all decreases, including art, and the microprogrammed scintillation becomes an intrapulse grammar.

Does it make sense? A lot of art criticism is the writing of the undecipherable.

(Photo used for this Instructable, Art Critic II, was made available by Allan Henderson under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0): https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Comments

seamster (author)2015-03-07

I always wanted to be an art critic, but was under the impression I'd have to actually think up some smart-sounding nonsense. . . but I can just let a machine do it for me? Brilliant!

Hey, I'll be over here watching "The Bachelor" if you need anything.

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