Art and architecture take on the character of a project. Although this tendency began with the avant-garde period, this understanding of creativity was further manifested in the 60’s with artists creating independently of any skilled craft – by means of creative decision. In this sense the creative process of art has a direct dialogue with that of architecture.
” The formulation and documentation of various projects is the main activity of contemporary society”.
A nice example I found is John Baldessari, Commissioned Paintings. Where he finds artists to paint something from a series of slides he would show them. “Pick out any one of these and paint it, but don’t try to make art, just paint it as straight as you can, and the art will take care of itself.” Then he is photographed pointing at the painting.
The attention shifted from the result of the project to the activities that are supposed to produce that result. ” The documentation of the virtual and real steps necessary to realise the project becomes the main object of artistic interest”.
In “DANCE OR EXERCISE ON THE PERIMETER OF A SQUARE” ( SQUARE DANCE) Bruce Nauman made a square on the floor of his studio with scotch tape and beginning at one of the corners he moved methodically, to the rhythm of a metronome, through the perimeter of the square, sometimes looking inside and sometimes out.
The video enables him to present a narrative with no beginning and no end and to capture the strange continuum of his own life.
This was part of a project looking at the artist and the studio, for which he made a series of studio films. B. Nauman says “My conclusion was that [if] I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art. At this point art became more of an activity and less of a product.”
Carey Young (an artist whom was directly influenced by Nauman’s performace) explained: ‘it is ambiguous whether the artist is moulding to the landscape or exploring ways of resisting it.’ (‘Body Techniques’,http://www.careyyoung.com/past/bodytechniques.html )
This is also true in the context of the architectural student project. Any work/action or undertaking is reliant on formulating a corresponding project.
The most important aspect is actually found in the “invisible”. The portfolio becomes a fragment of formalised thinking. It is a fragment of reiterations and works towards transforming thinking into image.
Also, this ‘invisible’ which I talk about is the progression of thinking. Another reason for the “project”… – The single image cannot incorporate infinity of thinking (#archipelago!). If thinking progresses from one image to the other it could also suggest why in the present architecture is becoming more and more performative, as if using the medium of the installation (which recreates this progressive movement).
I think this is where my project can begin to talk about something to consider in architecture. This disruption caused by the thinking ( which could be replaced with designing/ conceptualising) and the output (in reality – where it appears as a fragmentary construct).
Similarly, the students project oscillates between instances of fixity (or apparent fixity) and of flux (or apparent fleeting).
The architect, same as Judd, finds himself in the collision or absurdity of the fact that : thinking is potentially infinite, while the space of installation is finite.
Or as B. Groys puts it, the artwork instead presents itself from the outset as a fragment of potentially infinite progression that, while it can be understood, grasped and even continued at will, cannot be completely realised. — Can the artwork be replaced with the building? the proposal? the project?
Maybe this is why Marfa becomes sublime. The juxtaposition between Judd’s installations and the desert. It provides not only the infinite space giving the viewer a sense that all the imaginable iterations or repetitions could actually become reality here. It also provides a perfect ground , the dead, permanent and infinite desert with no dimensions, no scale.
I know….a lot of writing. I love this book!! ( Open Systems) cleared my head in some aspects, opened some doors…simultaneously made some other parts blurry- photos and references to be added but need to dash to TS.
Please challenge this! or say it doesn’t make sense to you… For me this is how I make sense of the archipelago….of the collected fragments and the progression of images ( which the archipelago forms)