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  • The last time I saw Crawford’s work at the MoMA it was maybe around 2021. It left me filled with anguish and a lot of contempt for industrial progression. Which, frankly I needed the perspective. Immensely thankful I live in a city where I can go visit the MoMA to experience Anatomy of an AI System in person.

    Calculating Empires is a little different in some respects, but also very much a similar research visualization. From the about page of

    Calculating Empires is a large-scale research visualization exploring how technical and social structures co-evolved over five centuries. The aim is to view the contemporary period in a longer trajectory of ideas, devices, infrastructures, and systems of power. It traces technological patterns of colonialism, militarization, automation, and enclosure since 1500 to show how these forces still subjugate and how they might be unwound. By tracking these imperial pathways, Calculating Empires offers a means of seeing our technological present in a deeper historical context. And by investigating how past empires have calculated, we can see how they created the conditions of empire today.

  • I consider Serra to be one of the greatest artists who ever lived.

    I was personally inspired by him as a child. It blew my mind comprehending the scale and process of his works. Serra has been a large part of my life growing up. Below, I’ll share two of his pieces from my hometown(s): Dallas and Fort Worth.

    He, like so many of his contemporaries, drew upon their own life experience to forge their own path. I mean, Serra himself worked in a steel mill at a very young age. Him and so many other artists cross-pollinated ideas and inspiration with each other. They supplanted the status quo, questioned everything and re-wrote what art meant. They were chasing exaltation, the avant garde artists were simply vibrating.

    Above, a photo from my hometown at The Modern in Fort Worth, Texas. Vortex, Richard Serra. 2002.

    I swear to god, these people were fucking visionaries:

    The years 1957-61 Serra studied at the University of California at Berkeley and at Santa Barbara. To support himself, Serra worked part-time at a steel mill, which was to have a strong influence on his later work. The period 1961-64, he studied painting at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. During his years at Yale the worked and studied with Philip Guston, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Rauschenberg, Nancy Graves (his first wife), Frank Stella, and Chuck Close, among others. Supported by fellowships, he spent time in France, where he spent a great deal of time drawing near a reconstruction of Brancusi’s studio and Italy where he began painting a series of grids in random colors. He later learned that Ellsworth Kelly was painting in a similar style, so Serra abandoned the technique. In 1966 he moved to New York. There he met other future Minimalists and Environmental Artists such as: Eva Hesse, Carl Andre, Donald JuddBruce Nauman, Steve Reich, Robert Smithson, and Michael Snow. In New York, he began making his first sculptures out of rubber-said to have been inspired by the horizontal progression in Jackson Pollock’s painting. In 1968 Richard Serra made his piece titled “Splashing” by throwing molten lead in the corner where the floor meets the wall in the warehouse of the art dealer Leo Castelli.

    You can look up photos from that Pollock-lead splashing exhibition. Pretty wild stuff. Insane? Yes. Groundbreaking? Yes. Later, his quieter, less chaotic works were forged in some of the biggest foundries in the world. He became more focused on scale. His works became more pensive over time, and less reactionary after the 1970s.

    It’s a joy to see how many people participate in the installation process of his pieces. It can take an orchestra of people to bring Serra’s work to our eyes. It’s a miracle these masterworks ever appear in public spaces or museums. I think it’s tremendous.

    Photo taken at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas, Texas. My Curves Are Not Mad, Richard Serra. 1987

    Richard Serra spoke with the Museum of Modern Art about his works and shed some light on his processes (YouTube link here). Briefly, he gave us a bit of wisdom I cherish deeply within my heart of hearts. Touching and feeling is so important. I would argue, it is paramount to the human condition. Interacting with physical art can be restorative:

    Now, in this century into virtual reality, where everybody reads images through the virtual. That’s one of the big problems that art confronts right now — in fact, probably we all confront — is that the virtual denies tactility.

    It denies your physical presence in relationship to something other than a lighted screen. The nature of art has given way to photographs and images — we receive information through images — that we don’t receive art through our total senses in terms of walking, looking, and experiencing, and touching and feeling. And that’s kind of been lost.

    That’s not to say it’s not going to come back.

    Don’t deny yourself the feeling or grace he granted us. The next time you experience a work by Serra, you better put both your hands on it.

    He will be sorely missed.

  • Paul Kirps Terminal

    From Paul Kirps website:

    Fake cash distributor (Bancomat, Atm). Conceived and produced for the “Ceci n’est pas un Casino”, group show held at the Casino – Forum d’art contemporain in Luxembourg (1 May – 5 September 2010). Terminal was also on show at the Villa Merkel in Esslingen (14 November 2010 – 13 February 2011), and at the MoMA in New York (24 July – 7 November 2011).

  • From the MoMA PS1 exhibit site.

    From Gothamist:

    For decades, artist James Turrell has been synonymous with disintegrating the boundaries between space and light, especially within his Skyspace installations peppered throughout the world. Turrell’s New York-based Skyspace installation, titled Meeting, is permanently housed inside of MoMA PS1 in Long Island City—the first of his in the United States, it has been there since 1980. There you come face to face with a rectangular hole in the ceiling, an unobstructed aperture revealing a sublime slice of sky. It’s framed by undulating LED lights, changing in tune with the evening sun’s movements; the sky, and everything around you, appears to shift optically. We don’t need to tell you how rare it is to find this space, and a brief moment to breathe, in the city.

    Which is why we were disappointed when we received a tip from one of our readers, who had recently visited PS1 and noticed something creeping into Meeting. The obstruction, pictured in the photograph above, seems to be protruding from the gargantuan high-rises going up across the street from PS1, at 22-44 Jackson Avenue. These two residential buildings, which replaced the former legendary graffiti haven 5Pointz, are also called 5Pointz and will house 1,115 units total (including 223 affordable housing units) when they’re finished.

    Meeting, is an beautiful, breathtaking Skyspace work from James Turrell. Visit any of his works, and I think you’ll have an enjoyable experience. An artist, who no doubt has a special and deep cultural significance in American Art. In my opinion, Turrell sits upon the echelon of other great American artists such as Richard Serra, Warhol, Stephen Shore or Willem de Kooning (and many, many others to name).

    As reported by Gothamist, his work, Meeting is in danger of destruction. Thankfully, it appears that the scaffolding of the new apartments, are only visible for now. The 5Pointz Apartments building will not be visible within the portal of Turrell’s work when construction completes. The razing of which the previous 5Pointz graffiti complex is an entirely separate, albeit equally as tragic and troubling incident as well.

    Furthermore, Turrell’s works are constantly caught in the crossfire of hyper-development high-rises. In fact, a housing high-rise claimed a Turrellian victim once before — in my hometown of Dallas, Texas:

    […] The neighborly agreement they had allegedly worked out was that the Museum Tower structure wouldn’t go above 20 stories, so as to not interfere with the sculpture center’s aesthetic vibe. However, it seems that after Nasher died in 2007 there was a redesign, and the eventual building now stands some 40 stories tall.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to gain access inside “Tending (Blue)” for a peek at the “destroyed” view.  The sign on a sandwich board outside it read:

    Because a clear view of the sky from the interior of “Tending (Blue)” is now obstructed by Museum Tower, the artist, James Turrell, has declared the work destroyed.

    What happened at the Nasher Sculpture Center was a down-right tragedy, a cautionary-tale (we should hope), a robbery of culture, and a rape of art. I am holding my breath for the Turrell installation at MoMA PS1. All we can do now is hope for the PS1 installation’s survival.