Monday, May 10, 2010

Thursday 4 --- Altered

Forest 70B. 2007. C-print. Kim Keever

West 35aa, Cprint. Kim Keever

"Though not well attended, the 1975 New Topographics exhibition became an art world phenomenon. “Everyone knew everything about it but no one had ever seen it,” said Eastman House curator Alison Nordstrom. “I think it gave [photographers] permission to be more experimental. It gave people permission to be less concerned with the beautiful and more concerned with the true.” Certainly, the photographers in the show took truth seriously. Images like Frank Gohlke’s Landscape, Los Angeles, in which a telephone pole and a bush are the image’s motionless protagonists, or Robert Adams’s serial images of modest tract homes, in which unassuming structures stand on otherwise rural landscapes, seemed to be precious scientific documents. Through their deference to the sprawling natural terrain, they also seemed to suggest that the land, not the man-made structures imposed on it, would eventually have the last say."

-Catherine Wagley

"This group of artists summarized a new attitude about photography with the use of ‘man-altered landscape’ as their subject. Rather than view the sublime and mythic aspects of the land, they produced landscapes that signified their scientific detachment and implied the contemporary issue of conservation. For these artists, ‘topographics’ referred to mapping and measurement, which they emphasized by focusing their cameras on the land being encroached upon by civilization."

-Sheryl Conkleton


Conkleton. Sheryl. New Topographics: Photographs of a Man Altered Landscape.

Wagley, Catherine. Landscape Revisited. Nov. 12th, 2009.

Thursday 3 --- Land Art

The relocation of art is not a new phenomenon. There have always been cases of aesthetic

objects passing from public places to private places, from sacred spaces to worldly spaces, from
more dispersed settings to more concentrated settings. Art has always had a nomadic je ne sais
quoi. In this to and fro movement the really decisive step was taken on the threshold of the
nineteenth century, when art was transferred from contexts of life – churches, squares or palatial buildings – to a specialized context such as a museum or an exhibition (the “salon”). It was there that art, responding, in a way, to the need for autonomy that had begun to permeate it a hundred years before, found what might appear to be its proper home: a place that houses it for what it is, or rather for what it becomes precisely because of being housed there. The museum or the exhibition stripped the work of art of its various functions and revealed its stylistic substance, and precisely by doing so they made it become a work “of art”.2 However, neither the museum nor the salon were closed settings: art soon began to circulate in the world again, and it did so with the status that it had acquired. The monument, no longer understood as a memorial but as an aesthetic presence, or the mural, no longer seen as the book of the people but as the product of a painter’s endeavour, or the design object, no longer considered as a sign of functionality and distinction but as the triumph of a form, provide a good example of the outflow of art from the museum. Art appeared to have been strengthened by the identity and prestige that it had acquired in the meantime, yet no less determined to continue with its wanderings.

-Francesco Casetti
Elsewhere. The relocation of art

-Richard B. Cathcart


Francesco Casetti. Elsewhere. The relocation of art. In Valencia09/Confines, Valencia, INVAM, 2009, pp. 348-351

Thursday 2 --- Deconstruction or Decoration

Donald Judd

"The reduction- and abstraction-based language of Constructivism was picked up by U.S. American Minimalist a la Donald Judd and Robert Morris, among others. The artistic direction also thoroughly understood itself as anti-middle class and struggled against the decorative nature of representational art. It is the decroative element that turned such art, in what was then already a fully feveloped art market, into an inexpensive product tthat quickly found home in living rooms and collections. "

-Raimar Strange

"Minimalism's cool aesthetic was good for conferring the impression of coolness on global business - Minimalism became "corporate design."

-Raimar Strange

ECOlogical?: Reflections on the Relationship between Art and Environmentalism

Sharjah Biennial 8: Still Life : Art, Ecology & the Politics of Change. [Sharjah, United Arab Emirates]: Sharjah Biennial, 2007. Print

thursday 1 --- Mapping & Cartography

MATT MULLICAN |City As A Map (Of Ideas)

Mapping, Cartography and the Urban Sprawl.

"Beyond the physical extension or reconstruction of urban space, the map has both recorded and determined countless aspects of human life and citizenship."

-Denis Cosgrove

"The destruction of those towers on September 11th, 2001 presented perhaps history's greatest single challenge to urban mapping. Maps and plans of every system affected by the attack - transporation, utilities, communications, air quality - and new maps detailing its changing impacts were vital to the response mounted by the city's myriad public and private agencies."

-Denis Cosgrove


Cosgrove, Denis. Carto-City: Mapping and Urban Space.

Möntmann, Nina, and Yilmaz Dziewior. Mapping a City. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz, 2004. Print.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Six Quotes

"On the relationship of modern life to nature: the pitorial and poetic moment in landscape emerges where its elements freely combine, like nature and the gradual realisation of history which it initiated. [...] The more aburptly and violently an abstract theory is forced upon that which had been realized, the more mathmatical does it process, and so in turn, the more radically does it carry out the separation of each element in single categories that fulfil a specific aim and, consequently, all the more certainly does it destroy all physiognomy, all the appeal of individual life."

-Ernst Rudorff, in: Preußische Jahrbücher, Vol. 45, 1880.

"Who can define the moods of the wild places, the meaning of nature in domains beyond those of material use? Here are the worlds of experience beyond the world of the aggressive man, beyond history, and beyond science. The moods and qualities of nature and revelations of great art are equally difficult to define we can grasp them only in the depths of perceptive spirit."

-Ansel Adams, Yosemite Valley, 1960.

"The landscape as a limited detail of the world connotes, and continues to represent the centre of artistic interest. Therefore, what we are concerned with here has less to do with the question of limiting conditions of a regionally determined development of art than with the question as to those common themes, which determine the significance of landscape in art photography."

-Friedrich Grassegger, in the essay: "Landscape Photography from the Collection of the State Museum of Lower Austria
Grassegger, Friedrich, and Fritz Simak. Landschaft : Zwei Sammlungen : Fotografie Aus Drei Jahrhunderten = Landscape : Two Collections : Three Centuries of Photography. Wien: C. Brandstätter, 2007. Print."

" space bears the inscriptions and prescriptions of power, its effectiveness redounds upon the levels we have been discussing - the levels of architectural (monumental/building) and the urban. Where global space contrives to signify, thanks to those who inhabit it, and for them, it does so, even in the 'private' realm, only to the extent that those inhabitants accept, or have imposed upon them, what is 'public'."
-Lefebvre, Henri, and Donald Nicholson-Smith. The Production of Space. Malden: Blackwell, 2007. Print.
p. 228

"The photograph is the art of putting all that aside, standing between you and the world - whereby the absence of the world is present in every detail, augmented by every detail."
-Jean Baudrillard, The Perfect Crime, 1994.

"Structures help to recognizes objects. [...] structures also become archipelago for aerial photography. [...] (it) creates to the full and shows a part of the larger whole, whereas, through abstraction and through pictorial detail [...] emphasizes the structures.
-Friedrich Grassegger, in the essay: "Landscape Photography from the Collection of the State Museum of Lower Austria
Grassegger, Friedrich, and Fritz Simak. Landschaft : Zwei Sammlungen : Fotografie Aus Drei Jahrhunderten = Landscape : Two Collections : Three Centuries of Photography. Wien: C. Brandstätter, 2007. Print."

Saturday, May 1, 2010

TED Lectures

Robert Voit

Estroil, S. Pedro, Portugal, 2006, 60 x 50 c print
Hundon, Haverville, Great Britain 2004, 60 x 50 c print
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA 2006. 60 x 50 c print
Mono Lake, California, 2006. 60 x 50 c print

What interests me in Robert Voit's photography is how he creates a typology of these monumental and totemic objects that intrude on the natural landscape throughout the world. These are cell phone towers that are created specifically for the environments that they inhabit and therefore are disguised to fit into their surroundings. Although, since they are cell towers, they completely sick out and easily spotted. It reminds me of Thomas Demand's created spaces where he purposely shows little clues that the environment is a fraud. With these objects, the people who build these keep the aesthetics of their surroundings, but you can still see that they're made of metal, have a satellite present in them, and have technology present throughout their frame. He studied at Dusseldorf and obviously continues that photography program's tradition of center weighted, typographic, and formalistic objectivity.