Monday, June 28, 2010
Rosalind Krauss’s essay, Sculpture in the Expanded Field, is not only a corner stone of critical theory, it is a very important touchpoint for me personally. (I explained my attachment in a recent post about her Klein group diagram & Star Wars.) Written over thirty years ago (Krauss's essay, not my post), it remains one of the best pieces of writing about contemporary sculpture - but like the great majority of top tier art writing it can make for dense and difficult reading. I have spent the last year and a half or so combing through the essay and it was only recently, as I prepared my post for HyperAllergic that I dug up what I think is the most important element of Krauss's argument.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Battlestar Galactica's overly complex sport, Pyramid, cannot compete with the real world simplicity of Soccer.
The two great blind spots in scifi are sports and religion. There are a few cases where made up games work - I seem to remember the contests in Tron were pretty great, but they were extremely simple. Maybe that’s the trick, if your going to make something up out of whole cloth, less is more. The Force was a solid and sketchy exception to the rule on the religious side. Battlestar Galactica was the worst offender on both counts. "Pyramid" sucked (SO BAD!), and while the set up was really promising - monotheistic robots vs polytheistic humans, the opportunity was squandered. The show degenerated into new-age-ish pap (even new-agers have more depth then that show). Both sports and religion subtracted from that show, but that is almost always the case.
What got me thinking about this is I spent the last few days watching the World Cup with my very patient friend's Michelle Vaughan & Felix Salmon. I am not a sports fan at all. Felix & Michelle were really great at explaining all the ins and outs of the rules (Felix is a Brit, Michelle is married to one), the dynamics of the teams, the heats (or whatever) and the other various what what (only about 10% of what I was told could have possibly been absorbed by my wimpy non-sport brain).
Friday, June 18, 2010
Rosalind Krauss is Princess Leia
A year and a half ago, about the time I had finished writing the essay Star Wars: A New Heap for Triple Canopy, I was killing time on a long flight and I started doodling an idea: could I rework the Klein group diagram from Rosalind Krauss's essay, Sculpture in the Expanded Field, to describe the visual program of Star Wars? For those of you not familiar with Krauss, in the logic of my Primer, she is Princess Leia to Robert Smithson's Luke Skywalker and Michael Fried's Darth Vader. If you are unfamiliar with her essay on the Expanded Field you can check it out as a PDF here.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
For some time my 11 year old nephew, Sebastian Mesler, has been after me to work on a Star Wars Lego animation with him, but my heart isn't in it. Last night we struck a compromise and made a Lego Marina Abramović - The Artist is Present - diorama as her performance art marathon was coming to an end.
I'm posting our work as I am aware that I haven't posted in a while. I haven't been idle. Inspired by Abramović's retrospective and Antony Gormley's outdoor installation Event Horizon I am working on a series of posts about Rosalind Krauss's 1979 essay, Sculpture in the Expanded Field. More to come...
..but before I get into that, our Lego/Art geek mash up wouldn't be complete without a show of tears.