Monday, March 21, 2011

Continued Discourse on "Postconceptualism"

Administrator's Note: The panel discussion we held last Thursday, March 17, launched a series of emails that we collectively decided to post here. First up, "Anonymous" weighs in with comments for MCB (the curator) and the artists on the panel, Diane Blackwell, Reuben Breslar and David Williams:

@Diane: Conceptualism requires the artist to focus on following the original rules set forth before making the artwork. Postconceptualism is a reaction to that extreme. While still considering the importance of the original plan, it allows the artist to change it based on how they respond to the materials and art making process.

I was trying to compare making good artwork to making good science because I am a new scientist by career and people sometimes surprise me by saying 'i don't care how you do it i just want results'. Based on what I understand from you, I think sciencemaking and artmaking are the same. Both add a small part to a collective body of work. The originally planned procedure often evolves as new problems are discovered every day- problems with gadgets not being compatible and samples being unmeasurable. Usually discoveries build slowly. Only a very specific circle of scientists will care and elaborate on your trivial finding, which is still very important because slow steps build over time.

And sometimes, a simple technology, once it is dreamed up, can spread like fire in many applications. Rubber- in tires, airplanes, shockabsorbers, machine belts. Spinning technologies (wind tunnel vacs, separating things of different densities in lab, dryers). DuChamp- His urinals forced conceptualism on everybody. I have to read this Kosuth guy who discusses DuChamp's revolution :)

The difference is that in art, you can choose ANY problem you want at any time. In science, you are restricted to the aims of your lab. I don't know what is worse. It is both horrible. Decisions and restrictions. Yuck. Ideas should just sorta drift by.. :)

@Reuben: You make many different projects and wondered if that compromised your 'grand statement' as an artist. Well, since you are not an artist alone in the world, why do you feel pressured to make one statement all on your own rather than make several statement-starts that build into what the rest of the artistic community says? I do that all the time and apparently it means I'm not an artist. Also, I work in groups, not alone. That makes me twice less an island of thought.

@David and Professor Boyd: There is always a solid plan that precedes the artwork making begins in Postconceptualism, correct? That is the impression I got from your work :)

Postconceptualism: The Malleable Object runs through April 8; Hours: Mondays-Thursdays 10:00am-8:00pm; Fridays 10:00am-6:00pm; Saturdays 11:00am-5:00pm; call 301-314-8493.

Image: "Paradise" by Cat Manolis; Copyright 2011.

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