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Patrick Holbrook Response

I thought the video Water Music (Song for R. Mutt) was very interesting and creative.

At first when I watched this clip, I was only slightly amused. The water was calming and the tones seemed to compliment that in part. However, the pattern of the tones or music was unrecognizable and puzzling. I watched it a second time and found myself more fascinated with the movement of the water more than the tones. It is not often that I take time to watch water trickling even in streams and rivers and much less down drains. It had a simplicity to it that seemed to appeal more and more with the times I watched.

Afterward, I read the description of it. Holbrook's brief desrciption of the video mentioned the rules he designed in order to make it. This was surprising to me because often people think of art as having few defined rules. In my own art, I tend to use formal techniques (or "rules") however, I usually never make up conceptual rules for a specific work. That was the first thing that caught my attention.

Secondly, the title Song for R. Mutt ("R. Mutt" the name on the famous Duchamp work, "Fountain") and the mention of the drain as a from a urinal jumped out at me. It brought me back to the history of "Fountain" and the questioning of art. (What is art? Is there such thing as the artist's genius?) I felt that Water Song suggests a connection to some of these same questions. The last sentence of his description read:

"An automatic, yet labor-intensive piece of music was created that had little to do with traditional ideas of "self-expression," but instead an expression of my ideology."

The fact that Holbrook recognizes traditional ideas of self-expression directs me to these connections.