A typical exhibition of contemporary art at the Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg, Denmark.
“‘Charles,’ said Cordelia, ‘Modern Art is all bosh, isn’t it?’
–Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited, 1945.
Representatives of the international credentialed elite are in the natural order of things in charge of our cultural institutions. They are responsible for the custodianship and ongoing cultivation of the artistic heritage of our civilization.
John Ruskin observed: “Great nations write their autobiographies in three manuscripts, the book of their deeds, the book of their words and the book of their art. Not one of these books can be understood unless we read the two others, but of the three the only trustworthy one is the last.”
What does the above exhibition say about Denmark and Western Civilization in the current period?
This sort of thing, which we see everywhere all the time, is very much like a real world dramatization of the old fairy tale of The Emperor’s New Clothes. All the experts happily participate in the outrageous fraud simply because not one of them is courageous enough to defy the general consensus and speak the truth.
Consequently, it is impossible not to applaud the enterprising effrontery of “artist” Jens Haaning and the discomfiture of the Kunsten Museum.
A Danish museum lent an artist $84,000 for his work. He kept the cash and named the art ‘Take the Money and Run.’
When the staff at Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in northern Denmark opened boxes last week from artist Jens Haaning, they expected to see pieces featuring the half-million kroner they lent him for the works of art, the director told a Danish radio show host.
Instead, the museum — which had commissioned Haaning to re-create two of his older pieces that were made with cash — found two empty frames.
The new name for the artwork: “Take the Money and Run.”
Now, the museum in Aalborg, Denmark, is accusing him of breaking their legal agreement and demanding the artist return the 534,000 kroner, the equivalent of over $84,000.
“The work is that I have taken their money,” Haaning said in an interview with Danish radio show “P1 Morgen.”
The 56-year-old resident of Copenhagen gained popularity in the 1990s. He is known for using art as commentary on money, power and marginalized groups, according to the Faurschou Foundation, a Copenhagen-based art museum.
Haaning’s pieces were meant to be part of a new exhibition at the Kunsten Museum about the labor market entitled “Work It Out.” Running from through Jan. 16, the exhibit features new and existing works from about 20 artists and occupies the majority of the museum.
The museum asked Haaning to re-create his works from 2007 and 2010, which were visual representations of the average annual income for Austrians and Danes, respectively, by displaying the sum in bills affixed to a canvas.
The museum paid him 25,000 kroner — about $3,900 — Haaning told “P1 Morgen,” in addition to fronting the money that would be displayed in the two pieces. But when he realized it would cost him 25,000 kroner alone to fund the project, he decided to change his plans.
“Why do I not make a work that is about my own work situation?” he said.
He said he believes the new artworks are an apt representation of the museum’s exhibit and encourages others to reexamine their work conditions.
Lasse Andersson, the museum director, agrees that Haaning’s work is appropriate for collection but stipulated that his decision to take the money for himself violates their legal agreement.
“I want to give Jens absolutely the right that a work has been created in its own right, which actually comments on the exhibition we have,” Andersson told “P1 Morgen.” “But that is not the agreement we had.”
But Haaning is standing strong, noting that his decision is what makes the empty frames works of art.
“It’s not theft,” Haaning said. “It is a breach of contract, and breach of contract is part of the work.”
“Jens Haaning (b. 1965) has from the outset of his artistic career been politically engaged. Back in the 1990s he was one of those who turned the focus on outsiders in Danish society. Many of his works take their starting point in marginalized groups, and through these he investigates intolerance and the condition of being alien or different. Haaning works with the meanings inherent in our language and the way we communicate visually, and he often makes use of a simple but precise device to deal with complex situations. His works range from the visibly political as in ‘Weapon production’ (1995) to the more minimalistic, site-specific exchanging of light bulbs between a street in Kassel and one in Hanoi, ‘Kassel-Hanoi (Light bulb exchange)’ (2002). ‘Danmark, Denmark’ (2005) consists of the text “Denmark” written in large black capitals on the wall of the gallery. The first time the work was exhibited in Denmark in 2005, it aroused a sensation because the Danish political debate at the time was coloured by strong resistance to giving residence permits to immigrants and refugees in Denmark. Haaning’s work gets to grips with this debate, turning the focus, black on white, on concepts like nationalism and the fear of the foreign.”
Pasha Kamyshev (Pierson 2009) correctly observes that politicization of Science and arguments consisting only of appeals to credentialed authority have widely underminded respect for experts and what purports to be science.
My current view is that large numbers of fields which are considered â€œscientificâ€ in the West are a complete mess and lack the essential feature of what it means to be a science in the first place. …
Big Tech has fully bought into the frame of â€œexpertsâ€ vs â€œlaypeopleâ€ as if experts are always â€œcorrectâ€ and laypeople are â€œwrong,â€ (unless they are repeating a statement by the experts).
If the laypeople are â€œwrong,â€ then there has been a massive failure of education to produce correct models for people to use for home reasoning. Obviously, the default answer for many people is to simply pour more money into education. But we lack understanding of what science and science education even are. Science is meant to produce world models, and education is supposed to impart them to everyone else. Neither is doing this, really, and what we have in place of those instructions is one large uncanny valley of ever-changing statement production. …
I have heard stories of professors at Yale in one department being mad about professors in another department teaching p-hacking to students. Inter- and intra-discipline fights are common, which isnâ€™t necessarily a bad thing as long as the overall combined output of the field is correlated with reality. However, the journalistic tendency to signal boost any paper that can have political impact amplifies some fights over others, further screwing up an already shaky system.
So right now science is losing its status among the general population. It is also losing status among those who can actually read statistics. This is both horrifying and encouraging. Without a structured way to sift actual reality into social reality, the social reality will diverge from reality, with further and further breakdown of health and sanity for society.
M. Brandon Godbey identifies what Americans ought to learn from the COVID-19 national freakout.
1) Incompetent bureaucracy: The CDC and FDA played hot potato with the COVID Crisis for months without any coherent strategy. It seems like the more government agencies become involved in the process the more muddled our future becomes. We have found that the medical bureaucracy, like all bureaucracies, eventually falls victim to entropy. At some unknown point in the last 20 years, it stopped functioning as a legitimate source of medical leadership. Today, it is a mass of purposeless tentacles that primarily exists for the sake of self-perpetuation.
2) The Corruption of â€œExpertsâ€œ: Since the way to big money in the sciences is through government grants, the way you â€œhit it bigâ€ in science isnâ€™t by finding empirical truth, itâ€™s by repeating opinions that politicians want to hear. We have thus created a generation of quasi-scientists that feed off the government teat with the tenacity of even the worst parasites. When stressed by the pandemic, this system quickly devolved into competing scientific factions, each one pitching their own version of a doomsday scenario for the sake of money, prestige, and sheer professional vanity.
3) Feckless Politicians: Instead of leading in a time of crisis, governors and mayors are taking the path that absolves them from guilt instead what is best for citizens. Constantly in reelection mode, they make choices based on what they might be blamed for instead of what is right. When decisions are made through the â€œreelect me at all costâ€ framework, civil right quickly go out the window. Last night, my own governor reassured the Commonwealth of Kentucky that he was perfectly willing to use Gestapo tactics to record the licence plate numbers of those that attend Easter services and effectively put them under house arrest. Other governors have behaved in a similar manner, each one trying to one-up their neighbor.
4) Our Decadent Society: We have become a tragically unserious people, obsessed with celebrity and sorely lacking in critical thinking skills. Social media algorithms have spoon-fed us our own views over and over again. Mass media feeds our inherent cognitive biases, facilitating a surreal kind of mass paralysis that consists of one part hysteria and one part blind submission. We have become the grotesque inhabitants of the mindless hive from E.M. Foresterâ€™s imagination. The lessons of history lost on us, we behave like sheep walking to the slaughter, bleating in unison.
5) We are Coddled and Soft: Our lives are easy, and many of us have become detached from the world of hard-working men and women that make our lives possible. We want the truckers to deliver our food and the servers to bring it to us, but we gleefully clap when the economy that supports them is torn asunder. Our general lack of understanding of the collaborative nature of macroeconomics is appalling. Products arrive at our doorstep; food appears in front of us; entertainment is provided in multiple forms at any time or place. Yet the processes by which these miracles are created are so remote and alien to us that we are perfectly willing to watch them burn to satisfy our busybody natures.
Management experts imported a male brown bear from Slovenia to the Pyrenees in order to enhance reproduction opportunities for the endangered bear population, but recently the same Big Brains have been worried that their imported bear may have been too good at his job. These kinds of people are never happy.
In 1997, Pyros was brought from Slovenia to this mountain range on the Spanish-French border to replenish a brown bear population on the verge of extinction. And boy did he ever get the job done. About three-quarters of the nearly 40 bears now roaming the Pyrenees are his offspring, say French and Spanish conservation officials.
Pyros stands nearly 7 feet tall on his hind legs and weighs more than 500 pounds. His amorousness has made him a living legend. The lumbering Lothario has mated with at least eight different females, including some of his own offspring.
Wildlife officials in Spain now say they want to introduce a new male bear onto Pyrosâ€™s domain, in the name of genetic diversity. That is providing ammunition not only for critics, who say the interloperâ€™s arrival would be an affront to Pyros, but also for skeptics, who say he doesnâ€™t stand a chance.
If all goes according to plan, a bear will be transported from Slovenia and released into the wild in May, officials from Spainâ€™s northern Catalonia region say. Animal specialists say there is an urgent need for new blood. Pyrosâ€™s hold on the female bears, they say, poses a threat to the gene pool. …
â€œItâ€™s like what happened to the royal houses of Europe that intermarried so much,â€ passing on infirmities such as hemophilia, explained Ivan Afonso, conservation director for the Catalan county of Val dâ€™Aran. …
Regional and county officials debate whether a younger bear can win a mating contest with the acknowledged master. Pyros is about 27 years old, and it is unusual for brown bears older than 30 to survive in the wild, said Santiago PalazÃ³n, a wildlife specialist for Cataloniaâ€™s regional government. â€œHeâ€™s been hanging on and hanging on and hanging on,â€ said Mr. PalazÃ³n. â€œBut heâ€™s reached the point of dying.â€
Other Pyros watchers say the new bearâ€™s sponsors may be underestimating their tall, dark and hairy hero. â€œHeâ€™s supermanâ€¦a myth,â€ said Carlos Barrera, the head of the government in Val dâ€™Aran, the heart of Pyrosâ€™s turf.
For the greater good of the bear community, the only sure solutions are either â€œkilling [Pyros], sterilizing him or returning him to Slovenia,â€ said Mr. Afonso.
Thanks to his virility, Pyros may be the only bear anywhere with his own groupies. Spanish Pyros fans started a Twitter account under his name identifying him as the â€œfather of all the bears.â€ French public television dubbed him â€œthe stud of the Pyreneesâ€ and a French newspaper likened him to Casanova.
A couple of years ago, Pyrenean officials did broach the idea of castrating Pyros. That trial balloon attracted media interest beyond scientific journals. â€œRandy bear faces the snip,â€ blared the headline in the U.K tabloid, Metro.
The proposal was dropped as being excessively cruelâ€”as well as impractical, given the difficulty of capturing him.
A television documentary looks at modern society’s, and in particular the media’s, reliance on experts and pundits and points out exactly how frequently experts are wrong. Modern liberal statism, of course, is essentially a cult demanding universal submission to the rule of credentialed experts.
The late “Macho B,” scientific research study subject
Remember the jaguar collared by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, a wildlife research coup trumpeted two weeks ago in news stories published around the country?
Well, as so often seems to happen when the experts go to work, the patient died.
Some news agency informed us yesterday that the collared male jaguar (now named Macho B by his former captors) was looking the worse for wear after his encounter with humanity. So they captured the poor jaguar all over again, concluded he was unwell, and after a thorough session of expert chin-stroking, euthanized him.
You or I would get in big trouble if we tried collecting a specimen of Pantera onca. Jaguar hunting is streng verboten because an unelected international committee of “experts” has placed every single representative of every jaguar population and subspecies on the sacred Endangered Species list, including the ones in the remote jungle wilderness that are not especially endangered at all.
There is no doubt that Arizona jaguars, though, are rare and in short supply, but, as this incident demonstrates, any numbskull with a degree from some state college extension and a badge can get permission from his federal chums for a little scientific research. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others, as George Orwell observed.
The Arizona Game Department’s ill-advised self-promotion in connection with the initial capture has also had the untoward effect of unleashing the animal loving, enviro whackjobs, resulting in protests and (naturally) a memorial service for the dearly departed tigre.
You or I would never be permitted to snare, dart, and study examples of the rare Amur leopard, Panthera pardus orientalis, but some moonbat with Ph.D. affiliated with an impressive sounding organization like the Wildlife Conservation Society can jet over to Siberia to reduce one of the rarest critters out there to possession with a snare, shoot it with a tranquillizer dart, then sexually molest the sleeping tabby in order to establish “scientifically” its capacity to reproduce.
Then, you see, the sort of person photographed with the leopard can inform us authoritatively that “only 30 individual Amur leopards remain in the wild,” and go home armed with all the information needed to enable a tiny group of self-appointed academics “to determine appropriate conservation actions,” i.e., to regulate the interactions of the rest of the 6.5 billion human residents of the earth with wildlife. Bah, humbug!