What Is Art?

(elkement. Created: 2014-11-08. Tags: Art, Self-Referential, Flarf, Weird, Nostalgia, Poetry. German Version.)

This seems to be fundamental question The Subversive Element is trying to answer on numerous Red Pages.

subversiv.at has been a feeble would-be protest against Dilbertesque world of work. After I had risen to the challenge, lamented, fought, and transmogrified myself I consider that resolved, once for all. What remains to be done here? Write comments on my comments on my old articles, the ones I recoil in horror when re-reading them. Sometimes I comment in English on German stuff or vice versa. Sometimes I resort to Google Translate to reach one more meta-level in creating Google-based poetry from existing Search Term Poetry or Spam Poetry.

Can that be art? Never, I'd said a few weeks ago. But recently the Element has learned that this is indeed art, called 'Flarf'. So I have been creating Flarf for nearly two years - or perhaps longer, if some of my early subversive art here counts as well - although I was not the innovator I had hoped I was.

But there is an eerie effect - you experts will explain that to me. Each Flarf poem has the same signature style or flavor - I call it the post-modern, the dystopian. It is experimental sci-fi movie crossed with Dilbert going New Age. It is being ironic about irony. Or maybe not. This is independent of the details of the Flarf method used - search terms, spam comments, arbitrary Google searches, even snippets from my own posts, or readers' comments - they speak to me in the same way.

Here is an example: my latest Spam Poem to date, cross-posted from the elkementary blog. The complete list of all Flarf poetry listed chronologically is curated here - if and which ones I re-post here remains an enigma to myself, much like Flarf.

the destiny of the universe

my honest, preconceived thoughts

a great unreal dream
actual irony
when you con the destiny with your artistry

gloomy and cynical futurism
that any mortal should avoid

you arrive from the Victorian England
in the known galaxy

Illustration for Jules Verne's The Mysterious Island, by Jules Férat

dark and cynical sci-fi
forces an illusion
of that time gone by
When skyscrapers were first built

you are not understanding anything

what if i told you
There are undoubtedly more color options nearby

paradigmatic coal-black
started to be repetitive
one of the big deterrents to me

your deprecating coherence
is a potpourri

this type of despicable hypocirite
it will be the future of the human race

handing more control over
lets us progress even deeper into this sci-fi nightmare

armor and weapon
usually do not adhere to regulations
The glare of the goblin sparks partially blinded him.

Artwork for the book The War of the Worlds, Alvim-correa12

player in cyberspace
heed your call of duty

I’ll certainly come back
through the dust
or snipe the undead beasts

talk with other mentors
emotionally distraught

men and women dressed in cartoon costumes

The cartoon is attractive
corporate, regal, or fair-minded

these crooks
reported to have ghost activity

space zombies
called Glass Collective
never publicly dated anyone

Put your prowess to evaluation
removing their skin

rapidly rose the reputation
conditional upon the execution

Disgrace on Google
the cosmic horror
We do know these people analyze

NSA Muscular Google Cloud

Numerous aliens in space will traumatize you
with the fantasy stars
Your toddlers shall like it

none of the visions has borne fruit
as a matter of fact

unsubstantiated distortions
completely ridiculous.

in public areas nevertheless

This cue
the echo
The spring of 24
most is inconsistent

the web
becomes a virtual community
something that we are hoping

i could truthfully do something to be able

Slowly return your head to the original position

Uhmm..

Will there be a part 2?

the last sentence of the page

Personal website of Elke Stangl, Zagersdorf, Austria, c/o punktwissen.
elkement [at] subversiv [dot] at.