Art? or the work of a crazy person?


the Artist said this about his work:

Q. To begin with, could you describe this work?

A. Yes, of course. What I’ve done is change a glass of water into a full-grown oak tree without altering the accidents of the glass of water.

Q. The accidents?

A. Yes. The colour, feel, weight, size …

Q. Do you mean that the glass of water is a symbol of an oak tree?

A. No. It’s not a symbol. I’ve changed the physical substance of the glass of water into that of an oak tree.

Q. It looks like a glass of water.

A. Of course it does. I didn’t change its appearance. But it’s not a glass of water, it’s an oak tree.

Q. Can you prove what you’ve claimed to have done?

A. Well, yes and no. I claim to have maintained the physical form of the glass of water and, as you can see, I have. However, as one normally looks for evidence of physical change in terms of altered form, no such proof exists.

Q. Haven’t you simply called this glass of water an oak tree?

A. Absolutely not. It is not a glass of water anymore. I have changed its actual substance. It would no longer be accurate to call it a glass of water. One could call it anything one wished but that would not alter the fact that it is an oak tree.

Q. Isn’t this just a case of the emperor’s new clothes?

A. No. With the emperor’s new clothes people claimed to see something that wasn’t there because they felt they should. I would be very surprised if anyone told me they saw an oak tree.

Q. Was it difficult to effect the change?

A. No effort at all. But it took me years of work before I realised I could do it.

Q. When precisely did the glass of water become an oak tree?

A. When I put the water in the glass.

Q. Does this happen every time you fill a glass with water?

A. No, of course not. Only when I intend to change it into an oak tree.

Q. Then intention causes the change?

A. I would say it precipitates the change.

Q. You don’t know how you do it?

A. It contradicts what I feel I know about cause and effect.

Q. It seems to me that you are claiming to have worked a miracle. Isn’t that the case?

A. I’m flattered that you think so.

Q. But aren’t you the only person who can do something like this?

A. How could I know?

Q. Could you teach others to do it?

A. No, it’s not something one can teach.

Q. Do you consider that changing the glass of water into an oak tree constitutes an art work?

A. Yes.

Q. What precisely is the art work? The glass of water?

A. There is no glass of water anymore.

Q. The process of change?

A. There is no process involved in the change.

Q. The oak tree?

A. Yes. The oak tree.

Q. But the oak tree only exists in the mind.

A. No. The actual oak tree is physically present but in the form of the glass of water. As the glass of water was a particular glass of water, the oak tree is also a particular oak tree. To conceive the category ‘oak tree’ or to picture a particular oak tree is not to understand and experience what appears to be a glass of water as an oak tree. Just as it is imperceivable it also inconceivable.

Q. Did the particular oak tree exist somewhere else before it took the form of a glass of water?

A. No. This particular oak tree did not exist previously. I should also point out that it does not and will not ever have any other form than that of a glass of water.

Q. How long will it continue to be an oak tree?

A. Until I change it.


Lets not get started on this…


Sounds like crazy to me. . . besides, what’s the use of an oak tree that looks and feels exactly like a glass of water?


The art of this is that it is supposed to make you question reality. The same things that make up and oak tree make up a glass of water they are one in the same. When you realize this, you realize that the glass of water could really be anything. That is why the interview is right by the glass and I wouldn’t doubt if the guy interviewed himself. The guy is crazy though if he thinks philosophy is going to get him anywhere expecially when it is this unclear.


A is a.
always has been.
always will be.
When this kind of thought process becomes the
As an exercise…it’s a favorable flexible landscape to explore, but hopefully in reality the indivdual in question has learned to differentiate between logic and uh what’s the word…oh yes

Some people say the glass is half full.
-but what is it full of.
and maybe in that…lies the answer.


Whatever gets him into moma.


I want to punch this person to death.


Punch him to death??

You’re missing such a big opportunity to be even more creative than that. Throw a glass of water over him which is really a plague of killer bees!

The poor guy, maybe he just looks like an artist but his substance is really just that of a piece of cardboard.


“There is no spoon.”

t-man152 where did you find this? I want to email this to some friends, but I would prefer to know the source. Thanks.

[edit]Nevermind I got it[/edit]


This is exactly the reaction that the artist wants from you. You come into the gallery thinking you are going to be viewing something “good” and intead you are being shown something like this. The artist continues the act by explaining to you why his piece should in fact be respected, when what it is actually doing is shocking your further. So shocking you want to respond to it even when there is nothing interesting about it. Response creates controversy. Controversy generates attention. Attention generates money.

This is the face of contemporary art. You want to be rich, you make a video of a naked woman committing suicide in a church. Hate the game but don’t hate the players.


And i want you to want to do it.
hey! maybe he would like to be ass shanked with a christmas ornament.


I can see some idiots standing around that saying “Wow man, that’s deep. What a great artist”


So gnomic. Don’t we have an art theories forum for this… stuff?


I want to know where this is displayed so I can go drink his oak tree and call it a performance art. :smiley:


Isn’t that in the Tate Modern in London or has the oak tree moved.

Well I seen it in london on a wall near other “art” by people like Gilbert & George and Tracy Emin ( not sure of spelling)

This was the best thing on show.

And people talk about it too.


Wow man, that’s deep. What a great artist



How easy it is to build an impression!! I wonder if someone told you that this work is on the walls of Louvre, would you be as ridiculing?

I am not critical of the responders, but the original poster, who obviously wanted to put into ridicule this work.

OK, the text is part of the work, and it is not an interview by a magazine or a journalist. The artist himself posted it beside that work, and yes, it is part of the collection in the Tate Modern; as mentioned by the original poster

The artist calls it art, and clearly, some other people in the field thought so too. I don’t see where the problem is? I guess I know, but I will keep it to myself for now.

Mods, This might be an interesting topic for the art forum.

Additionally, this MIGHT be a violation of Tate Modern’s copyrights, not sure.


hey guys I just realized I didnt put the artist name or anything im very sorry.

the Artist is
Michael Craig-Martin

and this work was done in 1973 and its called “an Oak Tree”


The complete stupidity of some wannabe artist imho.

It’s like if I put a piece of blank paper on my wall and said it was the mona lisa.

But like someone else said, its about the attention and money most likely.


Thank you. This actually makes sense now. And personally I think it’s quite poetic.