Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Gynormous Crawly Things = GENIUS!


Byron said...

After all that time, money, and engineering the concepts come off a bit flat to me.

It doesn't make me think. It does have a wow factor though that's for sure.

Seems like they are only tools that could be used to actually say somethin more. That's my take on it.

If maybe he used the wind animals to actually do something that was planned and orchestrated. Or maybe followed a path that was symbolic of something more, then he might have something a bit more powerful.

Not sure. The world doesn't seem to want powerful art anymore anyway so I'm sure he's doing very well with this work. People seem to want to forget about all the atrocities in the world and look at something with a cool factor to it.

Mark Creegan said...

Well yeah I thought it seemed like a Buckminster Fuller without the utopian ideas behind it. But maybe there is something this video doesnt convey. Anyway I thought it was coolio.

Byron said...

yeah it's cool alright. uber cool.

maybe I'm being a bit harsh.

maybe there's more to it than what I'm seeing.

I fluctuate from year to year on needing to see lots of concept behind the work and not needing to see that. So maybe I should just love the wow factor of it and that should be enough?

not sure?

thanks for posting it for sure.

Byron said...

we were many and now we are few.

what happened to the amazing commentary and contribution from this blog's genesis?

i felt so alive back then.

those were the days.

Mark Creegan said...

Theres an ebb N Flow to these things-probably the summer

Anonymous said...

the community blogs seem to always putter out. start strong then gets slimmed down. or at least the last one I tried starting did.

might be right about it being the Summer too.

madeleine said...

I must say, Byron I disagree with you. Art can, I believe, exist for its own sake. Those machines don't need to do anything more than they are doing, standing as a testament to one man's genius.

There is a redemptive power to beauty that all too often gets lost in the rush for a message. The simple fact of their realization from a sketch to a kinetic sculpture, of Calderian legacy stands to legitimize them.

As to the idea of commentary on power and atrocities in the contemporary world, I couldn’t tell from the video, but his use of wind to create something mobile and beautiful points to (even if it was beyond the purview of the artist’s intent) a critique of the disposeable, consumer culture we live in.

The machine’s thoughtful craftsmanship and artful execution, is the antithesis of Western Society’s ruthless and eager embrace of technology at any cost. And that embrace coupled with our deep pockets, is in an of itself, the cause of deep disparity within the world which manifests in a variety of sublimely evil ways.

So yes, beauty is commentary.

Anonymous said...

great input Madeleine. Beauty is commentary. I agree.

There seem so many more things the sculptures could do though for me.

they might totally do it for me next week.

It's all relative and personal. I like them. Just wish they did more.


Anonymous said...

and I do wish more artist confronted serious issues. war, poverty, genocide, etc. the work doesn't have to hit you over the head, but if it's just made for the sake of art, or beauty, or being cool then it tends to come off a bit masturbatory and surface level. to me at least.

Doesn't the artist have some responsibility to stir the pot and wake up the masses when they seem asleep at the wheel?

Seems historically artists have had such roles in society? Not too many currently here in Jacksonville though that I'm aware of engaged in such activities. I wonder why? I wonder why more artist aren't trying to take real chances here? Seems folks are a bit afraid of speaking their mind with their words or with their art. Who are we afraid of? Each other?

I'm a bit paranoid though so maybe it's the voices i'm afraid of? just kidding:)


madeleine said...

So, your last commetn leaves me curious as to who/what contemporary art you find successful?

Byron said...


Richard Notkin is an artist I've noticed as of late that has been making war related art since Vietnam. His work is different, and very interesting
in interviews. Very down to earth and passionate.

I don't have a favorite color, favorite song, book or artist. I look at work and either it works for me, and engages me or it doesn't. If it engages me then I try to see what was the intent behind the work. Probably just like any average viewer of art.

There has to be a wow factor then I stop and see what the work was intended to be about. If I stop and I don't get anything more than a Wow factor after further investigation then it comes off flat to me and I feel sort of robbed.

Since high school I've always been a big fan of Kathe Kollwitz.

This piece works.

I've admired
Robert Rauschenberg,
David Salle,
Gerhard Richter

And I was forced to recognize Leon Golub's work in college:
And I saw a retrospective of his work at the Brooklyn Museum in 2000. Powerful large scale political paintings.

I recently was really touched by the PBS documentary of photographer James Nachtwey, http://www.jamesnachtwey.com/ I believe his work was a real subconscious kick in the ass for me. The documentary is very powerful and I definitely recommend viewing it. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/gergen/jan-june00/nachtwey_5-16.html for more to read.

I'm not saying all work has to address war, famine, genocide, but by not addressing them the work is saying something also. Of course there is a place for beauty in art, but I do believe that an artist that is purely using beauty for a vehicle to express his idea of the world is living in a vacuum. Especially now when there's a war going on and huge icebergs are about to drop into the ocean and split our continent in half.

Jenny said...

What's really amazing is the Center for Land Use Interpretation, who offers the artist-residency program this guy was a part of...if I'm not mistaken. I could be confusing him with another artist who built wind-powered crawly things in the desert.

Regardless, check out CLUI.org
They're my art-science-activist (but not) heroes.