Cognitive science has made great strides in understanding how the human brain works, going so far as to guess how the survival value of its operations may have favored their evolution and retention. But one ubiquitous human behavior rarely seen in the animal world continues to resist theoretical explanation: humor. No one knows why something is funny or what, exactly, a joke does for those who laugh. One thing that is clear about humor is that the worse things are, the more likely it is that someone will lighten the load with laughter. So it should come as no surprise that today’s young artists, better educated than ever before but with few job prospects, facing a potentially apocalyptic future, and this on top of the timeless disrespect of those whose only advantage was to have gotten here first, sometimes mock their predicament.
In the March 2013 edition of 15 Bytes, Geoff Wichert takes a look at artists using humor in their work, at Finch Lane and Art Access.
Geoff Wichert has degrees in critical writing and creative nonfiction. He writes about art to settle the arguments going on in his head.