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I’m old news already.

Just read this article on the BBC about artists who use text in their work. Well hey, I’ve never been ahead of fashion.

Fiona Banner "documented the car chase in the Steve McQueen film Bullitt as she was worried there were no great literary car chases."

Fiona Banner documented the car chase in the Steve McQueen film Bullitt as she was worried there were no great literary car chases.

When you write or make art, do you try to figure out what is hot, what trend waits around the corner? Most of the time I feel like I’m flinging my work out there on the curb, and then peering out the window to see if anyone notices.

10 thoughts on “I’m old news already.

  1. I’ve learned it’s always a mistake to chase trends. Do what art moves you, what you love. Sometimes you have to progress — like comic book artists have to adjust styles to new audience demands — but for the most part, just do what you love doing.

    Otherwise you’ll always be miserable.

    • I’ve never chased a trend. I’m just startled when I’m going about my own business and learn I’m on the tail end of a trend I didn’t even know was there.

  2. I hate hate HATE it when I do something I think is cool, only to find somebody already published their version. Hate it. Happens all the time. Like the time I invented a system of plastic sifting liners for kitty litter. After buying cat supplies for years I knew for a fact I’d never seen them before, was starting to think I needed to look into a patent…and within a week I saw some at Wal-Mart. I stood in that aisle, staring at the box, laughing and cussing and groaning, for a long time. Then I bought some and went home and used them and they worked great.

    • Isn’t there some theory about how people will think of things at the same time? It is supposed to explain how certain names become popular when parents believe they are picking unique names.

      But hey, at least they worked.

  3. Those verbal artworks were pretty cool. I couldn’t wait to get to the blow-up of the one you chose to lead with — the Bullitt car chase. But then I was reading along, admiring how good the prose was — great action verbs and such — and suddenly came the letdown. Damn, I wish Fiona Banner had had someone proofread her text before committing it to the wall… (Sorry, typos just jump out at me! *laughing*)

    That flinging-the-work-out-there/peeking-out-the-window feeling is very familiar. (Sort of like blogging, for that matter.)

    It used to tick me off to find someone else doing exactly what I’ve already done, except that they got paid/recognized for doing it. Anymore, though, I find almost the opposite happening: I’ll pick up a favorite old book, say, one that I haven’t read in years and years. And there, right in the very first sentence, I’ll find virtually the same sentence, word for word and phrase for phrase, which I just “wrote” to start a chapter.

    Now we’re talking real feel-like-a-clod-dom.

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