Oct 16 2011

#169 “Definitions”

From Nick, a wandering drifter…

It is not uncommon for discoverers of this project to label it with a wide variety of terms. Words ranging from “awesome” to “weird” are commonly attributed to this social experiment of sorts, and to be honest, I find just about all of these classifications to be fairly accurate. To the modern wolf enthusiast, there are no doubt certain aspects of WBS that would inspire awe, but to those without a proper appreciation for the lobo, I can also understand that this project would seem very bizarre.

Of all the assessments and descriptions of this website that I have ever experienced, however, I would have to say that the words of Nick in a recent email are the most unique and definitely the most perplexing. Here is what this lupine-loving vagabond had to say:

“Wolves by strangers is theĀ beginningĀ of the Post-post modernist art movement and will be remembered as the grandfather of Dadaism in the digital era.”

I’ll be honest, I was floored when I read this description, but not necessarily because I disagreed with it. I was simply unaware that someone might read so deeply into this project that they would define it with these somewhat ambitious terms. Also, I was a bit taken back because although Dadaism and Post-post modern art are movements that I am familiar with, I wasn’t quite sure if these classifications were totally accurate. I felt that I must either validate or deny these claims, and in order to do so, I would have to become strangely introspective.

As far as the reference to Dadaism is concerned, I agree with this analysis in some respects and disagree in others. Unlike Dadaism, I do believe that this project is (to a certain degree) concerned with aesthetics. But then again, aesthetics are largely in the eye of the beholder, and one person’s sense of beauty can be vastly different than that of another. Also, I don’t necessary believe that this project rejects logic or the idea of the bourgeois and their controlling power, but I do believe that the artwork displayed here often does embrace chaos and irrationality and that very often the prevailing ideas of what is traditionally considered to be “art” are cast by the wayside.

Whether or not this project adheres to any of the prevalent ideas of Post-post modernism may be even more difficult to analyze, particularly because we are currently living in the early developmental stages of this growing epoch. However, if we look at the major theme of Post-post modernism as being closely tied to the idea that faith, trust, dialogue, performance and sincerity can work to transcend postmodern irony, then I believe we may be on to something.

So, what conclusion have we reached in the end? I believe it is the one that we knew would be waiting for us all this time: the wolf is all things to all people. It is undefinable and magically transcendent. Whether your work is marvelously minimal (such as the piece that Nick has so graciously bestowed upon us) or is deeply intricate and complex, the spirit of the wolf lies within them all. And in the end this is really all that matters.

But we can’t leave the discussion without tipping our hats to Nick who started this whole ball rolling. Thanks, Nick, for turning on our thinking caps. We certainly need it from time to time. Also, as I compose these final sentences, I am reminded of the words of the famous British playwright George Bernard Shaw who wrote, “All good art is didactic.” If that’s all we know, then for now I think that is enough, and one more thing’s for sure: Nick’s work here today has certainly been more didactic than I think any of us anticipated.

Thanks again, Nick.