The stringed installation is an expression of the ability of a single composition to invoke a variety of different imaginative experiences in the viewer.
A series of composite cotton threads is strung between the walls of a room in a predetermined geometric arrangement. Each string is composed of a central length of green thread, to either end of which is tied a length of black thread, which in turn is attached to a wall. When viewed in darkness with ultraviolet monoculars, the black threads become invisible and the green threads glow; hence giving the impression of a geometrical arrangement hovering in the centre of the room. The arrangement of the strings is calculated so that the viewer experiences a curved plane in space, but as it is composed entirely of taut strings, the curve and the plane are both constructed in our imagination. That the composition is visually very different when viewed from different parts of the room demonstrates a variety of Wittgensteinian "aspects" forming the basis of a different imaginative experience in each case.
Viewing the installation with the accompanying ultraviolet monoculars prevents parallax error, and means that the composition is never visible as a totality. The viewer sees only what he or she illuminates, and the very fact that the viewer has an active role in the experience acts as a metaphor for our imaginative involvement with works of art and architecture.
Spatial practice - obsession - imagination.
Long Exposure #1
Long Exposure #2
Friday, 14 December 2007
Allan Kaprow 'The Blurring of Art and Life', 1993
Kaprow's use of real life experiences as 'ready-made' art objects, was his way of exploring the meaning of life. Influenced by the American philosopher John Dewey, Kaprow stated that 'Art is not separate from experience' and that it's environment 'is a process of interaction'.
“Such consciousness of what we do and feel each day, its relation to others’ experience and to nature around us, becomes in a real way the performance of living. And the very process of paying attention to this continuum is poised on the threshold of art performance.” (196)
Kaprow's interpretative approach is experimental and participatory. He offers up situations/operations/structures/feedback/learning as inventive methods of art making. The comparison to how children play and experience the world is apparent, as they mirror, test and probe human responses and behaviours. This idea of 'playing' and 'testing' can be seen in the recent work at the Tate Modern by Carsten Holler 'Test Site', where the audience was invited to slide. Roger Callois in 'Man, Play and Games' writes about play (and in this case, sliding) 'producing delight and overcoming fear'.
The Play People are a model of an approach to art-making and to the Lab. We can see the Lab as a test site where we can play with ideas of practice and theory - testing and interrogating. They also represent a community or collaboration, just as we are in our group, with each character bringing their own individual histories and abilities. Finally, as Ola pointed out, there is an obsessive quality to our approach to art practice for many of us, with games or hobbies experienced in early childhood taking shape into personality traits and agency in later life.
I would like to add Allan Kaprow's 5 definitions to artwork, for us to discuss where we may situate ourselves, or in fact, if we can work across them all...
1. work within recognizable art modes and present the work in recognizable art contexts
2. work in unrecognizable, i.e., nonart, modes but present the work in recognizable art contexts
3. work in recognizable art modes but present the work in nonart contexts
4. work in nonart modes but present the work as art in nonart contexts
5. work in nonart modes and nonart contexts but cease to call the work art, retaining instead the private consciousness that sometimes it may be art, too (175)