The model above is nothing more than a virtual context—no installation. Part of the interest was that the construction be born out of the site experience itself—rather than constructed in isolation/desktop and then imposed on the site.
Considering an installation for a public space, and in addition to the whole notion of de-separating art from the everyday experience, I was intrigued with these ideas:
A piece that cannot be experienced virtually or in a gallery.
Designing for a moment in space. Part of the demands are that you sit in traffic during rush hour at a particular point when the sun backlights an installation.
An Inversion of the subject matter, in which the (anti) form designed simply frames the context of the everyday experience.
A huge anti-spectacle. One that edges on even being detected—even requires a bit of discovery, investment, and participation from a patron. The intent is not towards a prescribed interaction or read of the piece. This leaves that necessary space. The experience is not spoon fed—curated by a third party. I'm interested in rich moments discovered in everyday existence; in momentary, synchronous events.
* There are no plans to move forward with this exploration.
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As an exercise we were asked to write a bibliography, citing our references in a "user's manual" for how people should understand our project. It forced me to organize and take account of my otherwise discrete influences. This writng exercise began to collage those, into a composition, which becomes more of a way for myself and others to enter and engage the work. It was actually a highly generative method; using the raw material of their work to begin to author a work of my own. Using the armature of a user’s manual allowed me to synthesize their influence and make connections to each other, and ultimately to my own work which begins to take a shape all its own. Not just specific works, but other aspects as well—such as their attitudes to norms and allegiance to their investigations which were often times courageous, counterintuitive, and ultimately groundbreaking. In terms of a project, it also prompts me to ask myself the question, “what am i contributing”—as there is a great gulf between producing work and simply re-producing work.
From rush hour traffic Take the Getty Center Drive exit from the 405 and follow the signs to the main gate on Sepulveda Boulevard. *Please note that some GPS directions to the Getty Center are incorrect.
Take the tram upward and watch the immediate stream of existence you inhabited just moments ago, transform into a steady stream of multicolored ants. The thought of that being you, also recedes. That the long stretch of stitched together asphalt becomes not a stream of unconsciousness but railroad tracks from which you just hopped a train with an old friend, Jack Kerouac. And boarding this ride you leave behind all predestination and willingness to know, in an effort to escape the bondage of routine.
The mental noise of traffic, is loud—capable of surviving long after the freeway exit. But constant noise, takes on a different context when pitted against the absence of deliberate sound, as so in John Cage’s 4’33”. Just as Cage represented through his works space and emptiness, use this openness not to fill with the intellect, but rather stand in defiance to every known thing. Like Cage, try to adapt what Shunryu Suzuki termed a “Beginner’s Mind”— a mind open to possibilities rather than tethered to the specialties of an expert’s mind, or of a scientific ideology.
Next, remove panopticonoculars from the field kit. Focus on the security camera in the Northwest corner of the Eli Broad Gallery. Depress the INVERT button. Scroll through the grid of security footage linked to that network, until you find yourself being surveilled. Notice yourself, outside of yourself. See yourself in this institution viewing something we call Art. But avoid all attempts to criticize the art or even the activity—to do so would, as Dave Hickey put, be playing an air guitar, “flurries of silent, sympathetic gestures with nothing at their heart except the memory of the music.”
Once spatial context is noted, depress the HISTORY button. Speed scroll through history and notice any patterns. While the patrons may seem similar—the works of art that are shown are the one’s that changed the paradigm. Picasso, Rauschenburg, Warhol, Ai Wei Wei, all broke from the existing trajectories—demonstrating the necessity of art to continually un-define itself in order for it to remain relevant in time. Precendents, preconceived notions of right and wrong, what is art, what is design—while good to know, tend to obsess us on the formulas of other
people’s work, in other
times. Instead sit with this existence right here, right now.
In this field guide we are to assume that any structure imposed on art and design, including the privatization of it, are anti-thetical to that emptiness that art has the proclivity to engage—that’s what makes it alive. Lucy Lippard once said, science tends to move in
on, to corner something, to reduce—whereas art tends to move in the opposite direction, it moves away
from it. Engage the rest of the day not with new eyes, but with a new soul. Forget stacking cleverness. Forget the esoteric. The quotidian life need not be routine, nor banal—the question is whether it can be activated through rebellious act or artistic intervention.
The greats knew it.
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