06 September 2016

{M}anifesto: Examples of {M}-like works

Examples of {M}-like works

These are works by other artists that seem to me to fulfill the main requirements of {M}. They help the viewer to directly see the workings of their mind. Some inspired me when I was younger. Others have helped me to clarify my thoughts on what {M} might be. They are not included in {M} because the creators of these works have not consented to have them included. Images will be added later.

John Cage, Empty Words, 4’33”, et. al.
Empty Words and 4’33” are two of Cage’s seminal works dealing with silence (the exclusive content of 4’33”)  and the gradual loss of meaning and continuity in spoken text, sound, movement and visual forms. 4’33”, originally for piano, has three movements, in which the performer makes no sounds. The listener can become aware of the ambient sounds outside as well as sounds experienced inside the mind. Empty Words, which I performed with David P. Miller, Tom Plsek and Meredith Davis (now Morton) at Mobius in 1990, was an eight hour performance, broken into four 2 hour “movements” with half hour intermissions, ending at dawn. Based on Cage’s texts, read by Miller, 
Steve Reich,  It’s gonna rain
Composer Steve reich made this piece with tapes loops on two tape decks. The voice of a street preacher repeats endlessly on both loops, which start out together but gradually get out of phase. Sometimes it sounds like a voice, then slowly metamorphises into abstract sound then back to voice, doing this several times. This changed my awareness of the sounds of voices and showed me some aspects of my brain interpreting sound. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vugqRAX7xQE 
Yvonne Rainier, unidentified dance piece
    seen at School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in the 1970’s

Marcel Duchamp, Étants donnés: :1° la chute d'eau / 2° le gaz d’éclairage, et. al. 
    This installation, in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, was Duchamp’s last major work. The viewer sees an old wooden door, closed but with a peephole. Peeping, the viewer sees a  female nude holding a lamp, a pastoral landscape behind her.
Seeing this, I felt a very strong awareness of being a voyeur, which led me to realize that most of my experiences of looking at art are also voyeuristic. If the idea of voyeurism seems too strong or too specific, then another way to say it is that I became very aware of myself looking at the work, and felt myself to be part of the work.

Richard Serra, The Matter of Time, Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao
This is large permanent installation of walk-through sculptures in the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao.
These steel sculptures are free-standing and their curves, derived from ellipses and other geometries, often loom over the viewer as she walks through them. The passages narrow and widen, more or less light gets in, as the space continually changes. One can experiences feelings of threat, comfort, claustrophobia, intimacy, and others not so easily put into words. The works are not so much objects as situations for directly feeling the changing nature of the enclosed spaces.

Olafur Eliasson, Room for One Colour 1997, seen at MOMA, NY, 2008
    I saw this at a big exhibition of Eliasson’s work. It was a largeish, empty gallery, lit by a set of special yellow lamps. These produced a yellow of precisely one wavelength with no other tints of yellow or any other color mixed in. My experience was of a scene drained of any color, having only values of black, warm gray and yellow, a strange flattening of space, and a feeling of my body somehow being “different”. Words fail me.
Andoni Luis Aduriz, Edible Stones, 2006, Restaurante Mugaritz, Errenteria, Spain
   Potatoes covered with a kind of gray clay are a kind of “culinary tromp l’oeil” in this iconic dish at the famous Basque restaurant Mugaritz. Not knowing what one is eating, because of the disguise, it is possible to taste anew, as for the first time.

writings of William S. Burroughs
    Novels such as Soft Machine, Nova Express and Ticket that Exploded use techniques like cutup and fold-in that fragment the syntax of sentences,   either by randomly changing the order of the words, or by merging two different texts. As the reader struggles to make some sort of meaning from these distorted texts, it is possible for them to be aware of their mind’s attempting various constructions of what is meant.
writings of Gertrude Stein
     Many of Stein’s works appear superficially normal in terms of words and syntax. But they don’t make sense, in any conventional way. They seem not to be really about anything. They call into question ideas of meaning and narrative and grant us an opportunity to see our own minds struggling to find the story.
paintings of Giuseppe Arcimboldo
   Arcimboldo, 1526-1593, was court painter to the Emperor Rudolf II. He is well-known for his portraits in which the faces are made from fruits, flowers, other plants, natural materials in general. The painting below combines the elements of his several series of four paintings of the seasons into one amalgamation. His works belong in {M} because they demonstrate the innate compulsion of the visual system to see a face wherever a few facial elements are suggested, and because of the experience of moving from the perception of the face to the perception of the unconnected elements that make it up. Some of his paintings show heads made of fruit, dead leaves and logs, smoke and fire, or flowers; one sees at the same time a face and the natural objects.
Four Seasons in One Head, c. 1590. National Gallery, Washington, D.C.
100 ways to consider time  Marilyn Arsem, November 9, 2015-February 19, 2016, Museum of fine Arts Boston
    performance work of extreme duration: six hours each day over one hundred days.

L'homme invisible Salvador Dali 

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