"in one sense these objects were concrete manifestations of the weirdly conceived but realistically drawn enigmas in the paintings of de chirico, dali, magritte… they were also deliberate dislocations of reality, in the spirit of lautreamont’s image…"              

Dec 10, 2009

objects, like a house, are personal and cultural artifacts reflecting our values and in turn influencing us.  ugo la pietra often played with the perception of space and the way in which we influence the urban environment and vice versa.  He titled several of these experimentsdisorienting system.  in 1974, one year after the monumental group show italy: the new domestic landscape, la pietra attempted to form a new living strategy with his installationoccultamento.  the concept, reminiscent of japanese residential design, treats an enclosed space as a staging ground for daily activities.  however, rather than filling space with objects from outside the room (as was often the case in traditional japanese design), la pietra envisions a way of pulling surfaces out of the walls and floors to create a table, bed or chair.  this became an excercise in altering the perception of what a bedroom could look like or how it could function.

artists, architects and designers all over the world in the 60’s and 70’s obsessed with mobility.  la pietra’s occultamento is no exception.  this bedroom scene can constantly shift to the user’s needs.  the theme of mobility and change also necessarily imposes a sort of timelessness – something superstudio’s adolfo natalini expressed in his essay, a house of calm serenity, as a desire to create a house that is “for all seasons.”  surrealist histroian marcel jean might have described such spaces as “points of reference of a universe which is separate from everyday life but still connected to it by the taut, solid threads of desire.”  this representation of mobility both reflects and influences the viewer, disorienting their perception of space and function and creating a new landscape for all seasons – a sort of radical architects’ surrealist bedroom.
enjoy the weekend.
posted by nicolas allinder

CONTRA MUNDUM I – RUPERT DEESE MAY 3, 2009 7PM An Other Interior: Spatial Objects Rupert Deese, artist and former fabricator for Donald Judd, discusses building and living with the furniture of Judd, Gerrit Rietveld, Josef Albers, and Gerald Summers.              

Dec 7, 2009

sure wish i’d of seen this talk last spring.  d.i.t.c @ a.a.p.c.  
RUPERT DEESE

An Other Interior: Spatial Objects


Rupert Deese, artist and former fabricator for Donald Judd,

discusses building and living with the furniture of

Judd, Gerrit Rietveld, Josef Albers, and Gerald Summers. 

unfortunately, it’s not on the tubes.
love the images.
please enjoy.
posted by matt olson

“Deformscape is an outdoor extension to a private dwelling in San Francisco. Situated in a tightly packed urban neighborhood, this limited space outdoor sculpture garden inherits a large tree, and uses this sole arboreal presence to establish a gravitatio              

Dec 5, 2009

 
deformscape  –  faulders studio
“Deformscape is an outdoor extension to a private dwelling in San Francisco. Situated in a tightly packed urban neighborhood, this limited space outdoor sculpture garden inherits a large tree, and uses this sole arboreal presence to establish a gravitational pattern of grooves that are focused towards the tree’s centroid. This asserts the valued presence of the carbon-absorbing tree and its green canopy overhead, while allowing for a maximum of usable surface area below free of other vegetation. To generate the resultant pattern, a 3-dimensional bulge is formed around the tree, and its distorted wire-grid projected onto a 2-dimensional surface. Taking into account appearance effects created by perspective views from inside, the resultant planar surface appears sink around the tree.”
it’s like a superstudio grid warping.
via ouno design

"whether mr. mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. he chose it. he took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under a new title and point of view" – marcel duchamp              

Dec 3, 2009

gianni pettena’s third and final act out west in utah about non-conscious architecture would be a documentation of elementary structures – mountains made by nature or simple industrial structures built purely based on engineering principles.  in essence, pettena catalogued “works of architecture not made by architects”.  pettena was interested in utilitarian structures, constructed “because that was the most practical and convenient solution, and for no other reason”.  the results, a challenge to traditional european values of architecture, were shown as a movie during the 1973 milan triennale.

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pettena’s non–conscious architecture embodies the same rebellious and playful spirit ofduchamp’s early readymades, like the shovel and wine rack.  he brings value and significance to these otherwise unnoticed pieces of architecture – manmade or naturemade.  and, like the readymades they are decidedly utilitarian in character, devoid of social moorings.  several other artists in italy were exploring this same anti-consumerism  in the early 70’s.  while writing aboutsuperstudio’s histograms, adolfo natalini said, “by the destruction of objects, we mean the destruction of their attributes of ‘status’ and the connotations imposed by power so that we live with objects… and not for objects”.

about non-conscious architecture finished as a wandering exhibition.  the movie frames were printed, organized and bound as a catalogue of new architectural typologies called already seen portable landscapes.  this set of photos, reminiscent of bernd and hilla becher’s own typological studies, were placed in a suitcase and carried around “as baggage that served as a reminder, above all for the person who had had that experience, of the story of a particular moment of readiness to look at physical space in an unconventional way”.

enjoy the weekend.
posted by nicolas allinder

For this work, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata has been translated into Morse code and sent to the moon via E.M.E. Returning to earth ‘fragmented’ by the moon’s surface, it has been re-translated into a new score, the gaps and absences becoming …              

Dec 2, 2009

 

Earth–Moon–Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon) – katie paterson

Earth-Moon-Earth (Moonlight Sonata Reflected from the Surface of the Moon) 2008:
“E.M.E (Earth-Moon-Earth) is a form of radio transmission whereby messages are sent in Morse code from earth, reflected from the surface of the moon, and then received back on earth. The moon reflects only part of the information back – some is absorbed in its shadows, ‘lost’ in its craters.
For this work, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata has been translated into Morse code and sent to the moon via E.M.E. Returning to earth ‘fragmented’ by the moon’s surface, it has been re-translated into a new score, the gaps and absences becoming intervals and rests.
In the exhibition space the new ‘moon–altered’ score plays on a Disklavier grand piano.” 
-from the artists web site

this piece especially but, really loving all the work of katie paterson.  
here’s a movie clip of this work.
there’s more about the artist and an interview in this this.
please enjoy.
posted by matt olson

an earth mound for a room with a skylight. the room has a door at each end. the floor is carpeted. the earth packed against one door is mixed with clay. to strengthen the vertical surface the mound is planted with ground cover – stephen kaltenbach 1967              

Dec 1, 2009


an earth mound for a room with a skylight… (1967) – stephen kaltenbach
i recently picked up pep talk reader 4, which features stephen kaltenbach, who’s been of great interest to me lately.  it is basically a sixteen page newspaper monograph…
Stephen Kaltenbach PEP TALK is an important new resource on the mysterious and legendary, if under-recognized, conceptual artist. This special monographic issue includes three interviews with Kaltenbach: one by Cindy Nemser (reprinted from its original 1970 appearance in Artforum); a discussion between the artist and Peter Eleey, Curator at the Walker Art Center; and a conversation with a Pep Talk listener. Also printed are past notebook entries by Kaltenbach’s friend and artist peer Lee Lozano, a scholarly essay by writer and art historian Edward Sterrett, and enthusiastic notes from the editors. With over 45 image reproductions, this Pep Talk represents the most comprehensive survey to date of Kaltenbach’s early work and continuing practice. It is Pep Talk’s honor to present the work of this mind-blowing, hilarious, and totally brilliant artist.

if you’re interested in stephen kaltenbach, at $6, this is definitely worth seeking out.
please enjoy.
posted by matt olson

1. "The line between art and life should be kept as fluid, and perhaps indistinct, as possible." ——— 2. "…the problem with artlike art, or doses of artlike art that still linger in lifelike art, is that it overemphasizes the discourse within art."              

Dec 1, 2009


 Art Which Can’t Be Art (1986) – Alan Kaprow


It’s fairly well known that for the last thirty years my main work as an artist has been located in activities and contexts that don’t suggest art in any way. Brushing my teeth, for example, in the morning when I’m barely awake; watching in the mirror the rhythm of my elbow moving up and down…
The practice of such an art, which isn’t perceived as art, is not so much a contradiction as a paradox. Why this is so requires some background.
When I speak of activities and contexts that don’t suggest art, I don’t mean that an
event like brushing my teeth each morning is chosen and then set into a conventional
art context, as Duchamp and many others since him have done. That strategy, by
which an art-identifying frame (such as a gallery or theater) confers “art value” or “art
discourse” on some nonart object, idea, or event, was, in Duchamp’s initial move,
sharply ironic. It forced into confrontation a whole bundle of sacred assumptions about
creativity, professional skill, individuality, spirituality, modernism, and the presumed
value and function of high art itself. But later it became trivialized, as more and more
nonart was put on exhibit by other artists. Regardless of the merits of each case, the
same truism was headlined every time we saw a stack of industrial products in a gallery, every time daily life was enacted on a stage: that anything can be estheticized, given the right art packages to put it into. But why should we want to estheticize “anything”? All the irony was lost in those presentations, the provocative questions forgotten. To go on making this kind of move in art seemed to me unproductive.
Instead, I decided to pay attention to brushing my teeth, to watch my elbow moving. I
would be alone in my bathroom, without art spectators. There would be no gallery, no
critic to judge, no publicity. This was the crucial shift that removed the performance of
everyday life from all but the memory of art. I could, of course, have said to myself,
“Now I’m making art!!” But in actual practice, I didn’t think much about it.
My awareness and thoughts were of another kind. I began to pay attention to how
much this act of brushing my teeth had become routinized, nonconscious behavior,
compared with my first efforts to do it as a child. I began to suspect that 99 percent of
my daily life was just as routinized and unnoticed; that my mind was always somewhere else; and that the thousand signals my body was sending me each minute were ignored. I guessed also that most people were like me in this respect.
Brushing my teeth attentively for two weeks, I gradually became aware of the tension in my elbow and fingers (was it there before?), the pressure of the brush on my gums,
their slight bleeding (should I visit the dentist?). I looked up once and saw, really saw,
my face in the mirror. I rarely looked at myself when I got up, perhaps because I
wanted to avoid the puffy face I’d see, at least until it could be washed and smoothed to match the public image I prefer. (And how many times had I seen others do the same and believed i was different!)
This was an eye-opener to my privacy and to my humanity. An unremarkable picture of myself was beginning to surface, and image I’d created but never examined. It colored the images I made of the world and influenced how I dealt with my images of others. I saw this little by little.
But if this wider domain of resonance, spreading from the mere process of brushing my teeth, seems too far from its starting point, I should say immediately that it never left the bathroom. The physicality of brushing, the aromatic taste of toothpaste, rinsing my mouth and the brush, the many small nuances such as right-handedness causing me to enter my mouth with the loaded rush from that side and then move to the left side — these particularities always stayed in the present. The larger implications popped up from time to time during the subsequent days. All this from toothbrushing.
How is this relevant to art? Why is this not just sociology? It is relevant because developments within modernism itself let to art’s dissolution into its life sources. Art in the West has a long history of secularizing tendencies, going back at least as far as the Hellenistic period. by the late 1950s and 1960s this lifelike impulse dominated the vanguard. Art shifted away from the specialized object in the gallery to the real urban environment; to the real body and mind; to communications technology; and to remote natural regions of the ocean, sky, and desert. Thus the relationship of the act of toothbrushing to recent art is clear and cannot be bypassed. This is where the paradox lies; an artist concerned with lifelike art is an artist who does and does not make art.
Anything less than paradox would be simplistic. Unless the identity (and thus the meaning) of what the artist does oscillates between ordinary, recognizable activity and the “resonance” of that activity in the larger human context, the activity itself reduces to conventional behavior. Or if it is framed as art by a gallery, it reduces to conventional art. Thus toothbrushing, as we normally do it, offers no roads back to the real wold either. But ordinary life performed as art/not art can charge the everyday with metaphoric power.
download pdf here.
please enjoy.
posted by matt olson

‘zen for film’ (1962-64) by nam june paik is a film with no script, no narrative, no sets, no actors, no sound, no camera, no montage – but with screen and projector, and most certainly on film.              

Nov 29, 2009

zen for film (1962-64) – nam june paik 

a film with no script, no narrative, no sets, no actors, no sound, no camera, no montage – but with screen and projector, and most certainly on film. 

i’ve been sort of obsessed with thinking about this.

please enjoy.

posted by matt olson