There is something about hand written words that are mesmerizing. They are a physical representation of a persons mind willing the hand into action. It has movement, style and sentiment. It takes time to write something by hand and care to make it legible. Often times that writing outlives the writer, yet they are still living in the marks made.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I was in NYC, going through the Guggenheim and was pulled into participating in "This Progress" by Tino Segal. The 'art' in it was the conversation that took place between willing participants like myself and the "interpreters". A conversation started at the base of the winding ramp, by an 8 year old who asked me a question about my notion of progress. The conversation continued in complexity with gradually older 'interpreters' as I moved up the ramp. Google "This Progress" to learn more about the show. It is an anti-object approach to art, but also one that aims to actively engage the viewer/participants in the act of creating the aesthetic experience, rather than a passive, observational role. I would put a picture of it here to see, but the artist's agreement was to have no pictures, just those created by the experience. Interesting!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
One of the things I have noticed about these little books I make to collect petitions in, is that people are interested in reading what others have written. I think as they thumb through the pages to find a blank one they realize others are in there and they begin reading them. Some entries are profound, like 'one good meal a day.' (This particular one, I think, came from a NYC cashier in a chain drug store, it has fallen out of the book and lost to me, but I remember it just the same.) And a 7 year old girl petitioned for a playground, then changed her mind and wrote "daddy". (Her father had recently died.) In the vast majority of 'petitions' there is an element of self reflection that is reached quickly when given the space, as though the thought is bubbling near the surface waiting to pop through. Part of the process is the spontaneous response to the question. Not everyone is interested in participating, though, or participating without thinking about it.