https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhNP5GAaeJE&t=626s – start at 1:42
Dyck and Johnson’s “Appreciating Bad Art” (2016) argues that in artwork that is “so bad it’s good” has an ‘aesthetic value that is divorced from artistic value’ (2016, 281). The essay also debates whether or not ‘a certain degree of skill’ is necessary for something to be considered a work of art.
I am a huge believer that makeup is an art form which has both artistic and aesthetic value (I watch a lot of Kim Chi and Trixie videos) and requires “a certain degree of skill”. As an avid YouTube dark hole voyager, I have seen many failed makeup videos in my time. Upon searching through some of my key pastime YouTube clips, I stumbled upon one of my favourite YouTubers: Brandi TV. I think Brandi is an interesting example for this week’s unintentional comedy lesson because she takes something that many people consider an art form, gets way too high, and creates these terrible yet incredible masterpieces on camera. It is almost always clear that she has an aesthetic vision before going into her more incompetent state of mind, but every time she executes the look, it creates something wildly beyond anyone’s imagination.
Of course, because she is consuming immense amounts of THC, she does in fact laugh at herself while making the videos. So, this goes against what McColloch wrote about laughing ‘at’ art ‘rather than with it’ (2011, 190). While the audience is laughing with her rather than at her, I would argue that the state of mind she is in slightly alters this argument because most people watching are probably sober (or at least I hope more sober than she is). Therefore, the audience is to some extent still laughing at her because they are separated from her altered perception of the art she is creating.
Richard McCulloch (2011), ‘“Most people bring their own spoons”: The Room’s participatory audiences as comedy mediators’, Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, 8: 2, 189-218.
John Dyck and Matt Johnson (2017), ‘Appreciating bad art’, Journal of Value Inquiry, 51(2), 279-292.