Oh shit, is that art, or trash?

I had a barbecue today. I’d go into more detail but I need to go to bed and want to make this short. But yes, there were several conversations and concerns about how everyone felt about gathering In a touchy setting, and what our comfort levels were regarding covid. One friend opted out because he got drunk and hung out with a bunch of people last night and didn’t want to join on the off chance he could be the spreader after a night of debaucherous jenga playing in somebody’s basement with six people. Which sounds so freaking ridiculous given this guys history. A fucking jenga game might kill us all? And not to mention, why the hell was he playing jenga to begin with. Shouldn’t you be blowing rails of cocaine instead of a wholesome group game?

Anyhow, it seemed fine. we barbecued, things were going well, and then it got kind of chilly out. I said “maybe I should go to the store and buy some fire wood, we can turn the grill into a fire pit.” But everyone was pretending like they were about to leave. So instead, I scavenged our garden and found a bunch of small tree trimmings, which we dumped in the kettle.

But that wasn’t good enough. Off to the side of our garden for the last year or so have been two pretty substantial branches. I had always assumed they were there because my neighbor trimmed the tree and they were too unwieldly to throw out in the trash pile. I mean, I doubt the garbage men will pick up a five foot branch.

So, we broke it down and burned it. I should also mention my neighbor the tree trimmer is an artist. So as we were about to break the branch into pieces and load it into the fire, the question arose “wait – – is this art?” Because if that is the case, then no, absolutely cannot burn. But its a fucking branch off of a tree. So yeah, we totally burned it, but I am worried that that was “art” to him, and I will feel horrible. There was seriously a five minute debate on whether or not this old dead branch was in fact art.

A similar thing happened at work a few years ago. My boss fancies himself to be an art collector. Our office moved, and there was some corrugated cardboard and kraft paper scrunched up in the middle of the office. Normally, this type of non minimalist distraction would inspire rage in my boss, so I was going to get rid of it, and my co worker said “I wouldn’t. He might think that is art”. And so it laid there for months… Just some packing refuse. Eventually he must have decided it wasn’t art when we had to move our office to a new location because it was thrown out in the hallway unceremoniously.

So yeah, who the fuck knows?

My opinion is that while I can see attachment to certain items, or see beauty in natural stuff like branches, etc. It is not art If 50% of the people think it’s literally trash that was MEANT to be discarded. Like, you know, if my neighbor is upset that we burned the discarded tree branch I’m only going to half heartedly feel bad about it, and half hearted is being generous.

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