Sculpture, Reanimated and Suspended

Jenny Odell Sculpture

Animated GIF of video game system, by Jenny Odell, courtesy of the artist.

We are surrounded by refuse all the time. Refuse is the objects that we have literally refused, whether physically, by sending them to a different place, or mentally, by putting out of mind. The mental and physical aspects tend to be conflated. The minute an object goes into the bin, we forget it, and it ceases to exist for us. The bin is a dark hole in our map of the world, an infinite container without dimension or limit. Continue reading

Meaningful Earthworks

Lucy Lippard Sculpture

Lucy Lippard – Undermining

Lucy Lippard’s recent book, Undermining, draws the artistic into direct comparison with the industrial in many ways, but particularly through meditation on the concept of earthworks and environmental art. From a dissection of the myriad environmental problems confronting land in the Western US, from groundwater issues to gravel mining, Lippard goes directly to Robert Smithson, quoting him on the process of selecting the site for his famous Spiral Jetty by the (ever moving) shores of the Great Salt Lake: Continue reading

Rocío Coppola – Organismos Industriales

Rocio Coppola Sculpture

Mantillas, 2011. Tejido en hilo, caja de acrilico, 40 x 30 cm.

La obra de Rocío Coppola nos presenta un dilema interesante de abordar. Con enorme preponderancia de las formas orgánicas y las recurrentes referencias a la naturaleza, cada una de dichas formas está trabajada en materiales que poco tienen que ver con un mundo “orgánico” sino que se entroncan en la producción industrial. La mano del hombre se hace presente en cada uno de los elementos que parecieran salir del fondo del mar o reptar por los bosques y colgar de los árboles; la factura humana se evidencia en los materiales pero también en los colores. Continue reading

Shift at The NWBLK

Studio Shot No. 4, 2014

Mary Button Durell , Studio Shot No. 4, 2014

“Organic” is a word we hear so often these days. Technically meaning any molecular chain with carbon in it, it has come to be a synonym for “natural,” with the added qualifier of purification standards in the case of food or other commodity goods. More figuratively, organic means something with a wholeness, an integrity, or a universality to it. Like nature is a full and complete system covering the globe, things that “grow organically” have their own inherent logic, and end up comprising a certain total, positive, unity.  Continue reading

The Politics of the Garden

Theatrum Botanicum Sculpture

Lothar Baumgarten, Theatrum Botanicum, 1995: View of the building (and garden), Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2013. © Jean Nouvel / Adagp, Paris. Photo : © Luc Boegly

Since ages, in all cultures of the world, the design and care of the grounds has been established as a form of art like any other. There is no better example to illustrate the dominion of man over nature from an artistic perspective. However, it is worth noting that since the emergence of conceptual art in the Western art scene of the 60s gardening has crossed the border that separated it from the sphere of visual arts. Interest in growing plants, as happened with many other non-mainstream art practice actions, joined the concept “art is life” and has since undergone an interesting evolution in its approach. Continue reading