Degenerate Art Ensemble: thoughts by Ben Dec 5, 2015

by Ben Stevens

Skylar and Ben went to Whole Foods on their way to the performance to get raspberries and a salad respectively. Skylar also needed coffee, and Ben discovered there was a large area dedicated to eating and drinking beers on tap and such. He couldn't believe people would want to eat dinner at a grocery store. 

The show made Ben and Skylar question the insular nature of the arts community. What is the purpose of defending culture and self expression to a bunch of college professors and critics and fellow artists who have dedicated their life to self expression. Who in that audience was there to subvert?

The Predator Songstress and her rebel forces believed that the recording and broadcasting of "voices" is of utmost importance if we as a society are to repel the ever-encroaching forces of consumerism, media, etc. that threaten to turn us into a bland and oppressed group of human beings or whatever.  

Ben started thinking about the voices of those people who eat at Whole Foods. In his mind there couldn't be a less expressive or interesting environment to eat food. To literally eat in the grocery store, its removing all of the mystery and process. "But," Ben thought "if I am really interested in democratizing voices, I should try to think about their voices. They are expressing themselves by being here, this is culture, and I should wonder when they found THEIR voices."

Ben saw this guy, he was wearing a fleece and a crisp buttoned up top. But the top button wasn't buttoned. Anyways, this guy was a drinking a beer at Whole Foods which looked so weird. When did this guy "find his voice?" Maybe when he was on a rafting trip with his high school class senior year and realized he loved nature. Maybe when he had his first beer after work at whole foods and realized he could get away with having a beer before going home because he was "grocery shopping." That nice euphoria he got from his IPA made sitting at the bus stop in the rain a little bit more pleasant. Maybe he's lost his voice, lost his voice in a divorce. Or lost it because his brother passed away. Or discovered it when he made a major breakthrough at the hospital he works at as an administrator, and stood up to some bureaucratic barrier that stopped him from helping people. Is that stuff culture? Ben could never be sure.