“…To this medium, lying below the level of the visible, he gives the name matrix, and he begins to follow its activity, which he recognizes as the production not of the gestalt but of bad form, the activity through which form is in fact transgressed.” (Krauss, The Optical Unconscious, p.218)
Archive for the ‘Research’ Category
I’ve reached the letter ‘M’ (Moteur!) in Formless: A User’s Guide by Yve-Alain Bois and Rosalind Krauss (the catalog for the 1996 exhibition, L’Informe: Mode D’Emploi at the Centre Pompidou). Anyway, in writing about pulse, Krauss refers to some experimental films (see below) and writes:
“What seems to drive the repetitive pulse of one organ dissolving into the image of another is a sense of the erosion of good form, an experience of prägnanz in the grip of the devolutionary forces of a throb that disrupts the laws of form, that overwhelms them. And it is here that Duchamp invents the pulse as one of the operations of the formless, the pulse that brings the news that we ‘see’ with our bodies.” (p.135)
Re-reading this morning:
“Contemporary painting seems tormented by this desire to represent the contemporary individual’s lived experience of space through the intersection of spatial and temporal networks, figures of meshing, and superimposed planes. It is an ambition that is shared by the cartographer in the era of GPS, which takes satellite images and adds to them the transport routes and communicative flows which constitute the reality of the territory really traveled by the individual. In a human space now completely surveyed and saturated, all geography becomes psychogeography – or even a tool for geocustomizing the world.” (Bourriaude, The Radicant pg. 120)
I saw the mesmerizing É Na Terra Não é Na Lua about Corvo this afternoon at the San Francisco International Film Festival. After the question and answer period filmmaker, Gonçalo Tocha gave out these beautiful little maps of the island.
The website, Na terra não na lua, includes a full size poster and a diary from Corvo.
This morning I am putting together a lecture on Rhythm and came across this set of audio clips of Sean Scully discussing his paintings. I’m also reading his book, Sean Scully: Resistance and Persistence Selected Writings. I love how he makes the case in there that rhythm itself is more universal than figuration. He talks about a student named Hedwig who has a tattoo of a bird on her arm which signifies her personal mythology of flying from Berlin. He points out that this is not decipherable to those who don’t know the story because in our society we don’t agree on anything (p.94). Then he discusses the painting, Precious, and his own mythology (involving a boat trip out of Ireland) behind encasing a little painting of stripes within a larger painting of stripes. “… I want mine to be more accessible than Hedwig’s tattoo. That’s nice if you know the story, but I’d like my work also to speak through the universal language of rhythm. Rhythm communicates in a primal way, directly through feeling.” (p.97)
Here is the audio from Hood Museum of Art where he discusses the boat story.
Just finished this fantastic biography. Jed Perl writes, “Patricia ALBERS has written a book about Mitchell that I cannot imagine will ever be improved upon, so graceful and incisive is her account of the artist’s hellbent life and lyric art.” – NYTimes book review: Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell: Abstract Expressionist Lives
I recently listened to a review of the much anticipated Terrence Malick movie, The Tree of Life. At 4:32 minutes the reviewer uses the term annoyingly abstract. What I like about the term is that it refers to that feeling we all have that someone or some piece of work is being vague and confusing – that we just don’t quite get it and this is annoying. I think this is something we need more, not less of. As far as art goes, we need less statements of purpose, less explaining of things, and more content in work that is confusing and unsettling.
“The function of art is therefore to make a generalization within the limits of its category.” (Mark Rothko, The Artist’s Reality, p24)
“Artists’ pigments, like printers’ inks, have many uses apart from the creation of art.” (Rothko p19)
“From the viewpoint of mind and purpose, no one resembles the artist less than those others who share his devices. The art of the advertising artist can be understood only by the study of the mind of the salesman.” (Rothko p20)
“We are here neither to moralize nor to segregate art into levels of value. Each to his own work and may he do it well, and derive the rewards which he prizes most…
But we must look elsewhere if we are to find analogies in human action to enlighten us concerning the activities of the artist. It is the poet and philosopher who provide the community of objectives in which the artist participates. Their chief preoccupation, like the artist, is the expression in concrete form of their notions of reality. Like him, they deal with the verities of time and space, life and death, and the heights of exaltation as well as the depths of despair.” (Rothko p21)