Akademic Pop Art: An introduction in essay.

Akademic POP Art.

  1. Academic Elitism

For me what this comes down to is thinking about what Akademy is. . . the Capital A, 3rd and 4th definitions of Akademy. Akademy like a society of learned persons organized to advance art, science, or literature or Akademy like a body of established opinion widely accepted as authoritative in a particular field[1].  Akademy is the institution that somehow knows better than the people.  The institution that builds walls around permissible knowledge, permissible points of view, permissible value systems it becomes more about power, prestige and property (wealth) that are seen as belonging to an elite Akademy and the separation of culture as understood and valued by that elite Akademy from the very people who consume these goods of information.

Lisa Brimmer

2.Stratification versus Shared Language

As a trained sociologist, I can’t help but acknowledge how Weber’s three dimensions of Social Stratification are entirely too apropos in their explanation of how Akademy works in order to oppress the mass population and their ideas about what is art and what is beauty. Power, prestige and wealth are the engines, not only of status, but also of oppression. And in the Akademy it is the ideas that are oppressed and the content that is oppressed. Things are funneled and taxonomies are established with rigor to the point of futility because the ideas do not float around as they do in culture, as they do in human beings- unless under some sort of cross-theoretical explanation. The Population, the feeble, average human is somehow deemed unable to access that which is of Akademic standard, that which is of Akademic integrity and so the notions of Popular media are denounced as less compelling, less innovative and more arbitrary to the ever important historical cannon with its particular westernized tendencies such that, it is my conclusion, that one period, one epoch, one era of these elites does not know what will be remembered. Each feeble minded human will remember some of this and some of that- we are not bound to the confines of Akademic versus Popular unless we bread down the blinders and see how this post industrialized ”world” that we live in has been theorized to death and in fact, many of us are products of it- the binds of academy, but far worse, the growing disparity between the haves  (ELITES) and the have nots (Common People) leave for a gap in understanding and shared basis of knowledge. How do we ever have a conversation without a shared language?

3.POPular mythologies

Popular music, Popular media has brought us treasures and has brought us movements. I don’t know that you can say that academy has brought movements because how it feels is that the aggregate responds to popular media: literature art film and moves with new understandings into their next moment which produces new popular media or culture. The Academy, the intellectuals they respond to the responses, they respond to the popular media, but often times, they do not create this media. Nor does their rhetoric have much value on the sidewalks. It doesn’t matter that we recognized that jazz was once political. Jazz is still political, but in an akademic way- to the experts on music, and culture, and race and theory. To the individuals with the specialized training that can understand that an all white jazz band is different than a historically black institution of jazz music and culture. And that the popularization, the broadened popularization of the music caused that change, much like we see it causing a change in Hip Hop, for instance, is important, is meaningful and political from a Pop perspective as well as from an academic one. People think the E Book will be the fall of civilization in terms of quality writing, quality content. What will happen when the masses get passed the pen? How can I view this fear, this unqualified xenophobia, as separate from the expansion of literacy and the democratization of this very thing which we seek to control and appropriate at our (ELITE) whim?

4. Where is art?

“Does art fall somewhere in between?” Is the question. “Does art have to be one thing or the other?” Is the question. I struggle with what my art is, and what neighborhood my art lives in, because I almost don’t want to be too popular in either direction. I don’t want to be too directly spoon fed by my indirect mothers and fathers in the academy- the canonized, intellectual parents that raised a good egg, able to think for herself because I don’t have an emotional connection to them. It is almost as though, in some respect, I am adopted by that Akademy but I still feel this unexplainable longing and need for my emotional parent of pop culture and pop media.[2] I have a thirst to drink from its array of insipid, circus like spectacles and to feed off of its sustaining voice of street level politics. Pops explanation of the good old boy, the young single female, the aging and the family unit. I devour its exaltation of the human experience and the privilege it offers into human interaction with all its faults, stereotypes, archetypes and disclaimers.

5. Akademic Pop art and High Society

This Akademic POP Art experiment doing with High Society is largely a response and a step forward from our inquisition of Beauty in Aesthetic Static[3]. In asking how we know beauty, navigate beauty and create beauty we are asking for some sort of proof of value. This is always going to be political. This is always going to be a confrontation of personal standard versus popular myth. These are always going to be present. We are always going to be thinking about how we are thinking, and whose ideas are showing themselves in constant battle for how we do what we do as artists. As a Black Woman Artist I have been socialized into a White-Male Dominated culture. Or so it appears.[4] I have been stereotyped before I knew what racial stereotyping was. . . I didn’t know that white people were a certain way, or that Latinos were a certain way. I actually still think we are all the same way, but in a different regard that is not for this essay. As an artist, I can’t help but think that what I say is just as important as how I say it. I want to be Academic, in an expert like way, I want to be a Popular artist, in each breath I take, and line I write, not in how I am remembered, but how I am actively engaging that tension in order to produce new work, fresh work and honest work. That is what I value most, honest work and implied then is honest critique of that work.



[2] I love my adoptive parents very much- internal tension prevails. It is a chicken and egg thing : IDK if Akademy or POP is chicken or egg- and that is not at issue here.

[3] 8/22 Black Dog Café and Wine Bar: see poems Ruby, Lite Brite, Proof, Stray Dog, etc.

[4] This seems arbitrary but think Power, Prestige and Wealth- think of our nation, think of the powers that be in academy and Popular media/mythologies: who has them!!

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