==> 2/2 Beuys, Bock, and Beyond (class recap)

February 3, 2009 at 10:56 am 3 comments

by Stephanie Syjuco

To recap, a general summary of what we covered in class. Feel free to add things you feel I missed… And a reminder for everyone to bring in their Curious Object again to the next class. Apologies for not being able to cover everyone in the same session, I regret not having a continuous discussion. We’ll finish up next week!

John Bock: http://www.designboom.com/contemporary/bock.html

Joseph Beuys: “Sonne Statt Reagan (Sun Instead of Reagan)”

Mitzi Pederson: http://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/detail/exhibition_id/61

The politics of pleasure. That somehow, due to the regimented nature of work, life, and schedule, there can be a political stance to remembering and acting upon pleasure, both in your studio practice and everyday life.

Utility (usefulness) vs. “uselessness.” Which begs the question: useless or useful to whom?. I threw out the devil’s advocate question: can one of the most radically political things you can make today be something that is completely, totally, and utterly useless? Simply because uselessness flies in the face of serving a “greater” and more communal good and of having some sort of “exchange value” or rationale for existence?

Eras of object-hood: the “look” of objects within sculptural categories has radically changed in reaction to what directly preceded it. Think of Minimalism (60s, Donald Judd, etc), the “dematerialization” of the art object (conceptual art, 60s/70s), a re-investment of the art object by way of consumer item (80s: Koons, Haim Stainbach, et al), a symbolically politicized object (90s, identity politics, Felix-Gonzalez Torres, Fred Wilson, etc), a total “breakdown” and mess of objects (2000s, Thomas Hirschhorn, John Bock, etc), and now a resurgence of the “crafted object” (present day, in light of outsourcing, mass production, etc). Question: what do we make of this lineage and what’s next?

Phatic knowledge: internalized knowledge, something that doesn’t get picked up academically but becomes a more poetic type of absorption, perhaps a form of knowledge that mirrors the hand-knowledge that craftspeople and makers pick up by doing it rather than thinking through it. We weren’t able to find an adequate definition of this — it would be awesome if someone did.

Happy blogging!

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oh. from crow

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