Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Response to Anonymous

I find art and science to be more like cousins rather than distant relatives in the current state of the world. Interdisciplinary approaches to thinking and creating impregnate both fields and I have found great resource in people who have cross pollinated their chosen medium to embellish an even greater "becoming." A few artists, happenings, and books come to mind...

Mark Dion - "Dion's work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world."
MD on methodology Watch the complete Art 21 : Ecology with him in it-- great!

Natalie Jeremijenko - "...an artist and engineer whose background includes studies in biochemistry, physics, neuroscience and precision engineering."
NJ on Science NJ on The Environmental Health Clinic

Thomas Thwaites - Contemporary Designer. Watch "how I built a toaster"

Art and Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time, and Light
by Leonard Shlain
An easy and in-depth read written by a surgeon who realized his extreme love of art while trying to explain it to his children. It covers A LOT of territory in and outside the field of art with fascinating anecdotes along the way.

Mind, Life, and Universe: Conversations with Great Scientists of Our Time
by Lynn Margulis and Eduardo Punset
A Wonderful read encapsulating some of the world's current top scientists and their theories and philosophies on life, living, and meaning.

Between the Folds, 2008 (film)
"...depicts a cast of fine artists and eccentric scientists (from MIT and NASA) who have devoted their lives to the unlikely medium of modern origami."

Conflux A festival about art and artists in the public space.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Postconceptual Panel Discussion Response to Anonymous

I love the comparisons but Oh no no! For me it has not been wise to choose ANY problem at any time. I multi-task with the best of them but I would get nothing done if I didn’t focus. My focus is deconstructing the everyday things in my life to achieve a new or better understanding instead of coasting and assuming. In choosing a lab, you have chosen the focus of your efforts. Sometimes it is a matter of putting your actions and thoughts on hold for a more fruitful environment. These scientific problems of yours can germinate until you feel comfortable presenting these to your current lab so they become incorporated in their aims or until you have other opportunities. In that way your science is a bit like art. An idea comes to mind but there are so many other things in progress that it cannot be addressed at the time. It is put on hold. (That is what notebooks are for. For me, if it is not written down it can be forgotten but I find the more determined ones resurface. Also, when ideas don’t “drift by” it is high time to wake up and look for them.) By the time the idea is addressed, it has modified and is richer for the aging. (Are you hearing the terms “conceptual” and “malleable”?) You do want results and it doesn’t matter to those looking at the final product how you did it. It matters to you and that is why the final product is successful. Focus does not have to be an exclusive activity but it does require prioritizing tasks. Far from “horrible,” decisions and restrictions become freeing.

Joseph Kosuth

Art After Philosophy (1969) http://www.ubu.com/papers/kosuth_philosophy.html

One and Three Chairs http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?criteria=O%3AAD%3AE%3A3228&page_number=1&template_id=1&sort_order=1

Sol LeWitt

Sentence on Conceptual Art (1968) http://www.ubu.com/papers/lewitt_sentences.html

Wall Drawing #1113 http://hirshhorn.si.edu/visit/collection_object.asp?key=32&subkey=14893


The Creative Act (1957) http://www.ubu.com/papers/duchamp_creative.html

Bicycle Wheel http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=81631

Lucy Lippard

Six Years, The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972: A cross-Reference Book of Information on Some Esthetic Boundaries. (also @ Amazon)


Martha Rosler

Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Writings, 1975 - 2001 http://www.amazon.com/Decoys-Disruptions-Selected-Writings-1975-2001/dp/0262182319

Semiotics of the Kitchen http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=88937

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.