06 February 2012

Book du jour - more copying

The book is the catalogue of an exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 1999. Artists (listed here) include "process artists" like Marcia Hafif, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson, Mel Bochner, Gordon Matta Clark, Agnes Denes, Eva Hesse, Barry Le Va, Bruce Nauman - late 60s stuff - and there are thought-provoking essays by Pamela M Lee and Cornelia H Butler. One way to read the essays (and think about them) is to copy them -
One of the benefits of transcribing every word is that there's opportunity to stop and look up the words that sorta make sense when you're reading quickly (or can be overlooked) - but can be seen to need explanation when you're reading slowly, and when you're reading art-speak... I should be keeping a list of them. One was "Heraclitean" (Heraclites was an ancient Greek philosopher who maintained that strife and chaos are the natural order of the universe); another was "entropy" (the natural tendency of the universe to fall into disorder - Second Law of Thermodynamics and all that).

The essay on "duration" includes the word "temporality" rather a lot, and indeed the function and use of the time factor in making and viewing art is of considerable interest to me -
In choosing this text for copying/transcribing, I'm using a considerable amount of time in a way that (by my criteria) doesn't "waste" it, and I'm learning about other artists' use of time - indeed, this slow reprocessing of "old" text about "older" art makes for many layers of time. The over-writing makes the time used in the current work double back on (or reinforce) itself. The illegibility aspect ... well, it just IS. I don't think the viewer needs to be able to read the actual words...the only person deriving didactic benefit is the (re)writer; hopefully a viewer would find the aesthetic, and perhaps conceptual, dimension to be sufficient - and there would be some sort of title to help them with this.


Sandy said...

have you come across Stacked Journalling? http://approachable-art.blogspot.com/p/stacked-journaling-101.html

Another word for something similar to what you are doing.

Margaret Cooter said...

Thanks, Sandy - nothing new under the sun, is there! But we each put our own spin on it...