Posts Tagged ‘baroque’
Posting this amazing glimpse into iMappening 2014, the Media Arts and Practice PhD program’s annual show, at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts. Polyangylene and Book of Luna (with Clea T. Waite) make a colorful appearance!
Book of Luna…
The iMappenning catalog…
The sculpture of found objects with tests projections was presented at the Media Arts and Practice division’s annual exhibition, iMappening. The test projections give a good idea of the effect of animation on the very disparate textures of the objects. The bear particularly, with its fluffy, silky coat, was mesmerizing to watch. Reactions were enthusiastic, especially from the youngest visitors! I think it can legitimately qualify as an “attraction”. Adults, more discriminating, would walk around the sculpture to peer at individual configurations of objects, attached together, often in aerodynamic and precarious configurations, through armature wires inserted into chains of objects.
Assistant Dean Michael Renov qualified the 3D collages as surrealist, which actually led me into a whole theoretical investigation for my dissertation over the summer. The sculpture is not quite finished – as you can see, the two by fours that serve as its support structure are still visible and I am currently experimenting with different filler materials such as ping pong balls and styrofoam pellets to created a topologically interesting landscape around the objects.
I also designed the poster, catalogue and postcards for the exhibition – the steampunk/Muybridge unicorn being of course the perfect allegory for the Media Arts and Practice program!
I had to re-blog this post from Colossal. This is a mockumentary by German digital artist Till Nowak about impossible theme park rides built as centrifugal experiments to maximize human intelligence. The architectural renderings are simply mind-blowing – and treated with a hilarious retro 80s filter. I can imagine another life for these designs in some immersive stereoscopic game.
I always have a soft spot in my heart for virtuosity that doesn’t take itself seriously. In the words of the disturbed narrator, “these machines provide total freedom, cutting you off from all connections to the world you live in: communication…responsibility…weight. Everything is on hold while you are being centrifuged.” Well said.
Mr. Cartoon’s delicious “Ice-Cream Truck” installation at the Los Angeles MOCA “Art in the Streets” exhibit is a paean to L.A. lowrider culture and the city’s cult of hedonism and entertainment. This exultant spectacle is proudly entrenched in the anti-pristine context of LA.’s mythically degraded urbanism. Mr. Cartoon’s revamped, tricked-out symbology is intoxicating: clown-faced, trench-coated policemen, the billowing, whirling orange smog that evokes ice-cream soda foam, the lowriding cadillacs morphing into dripping banana splits with pin-up bunny-face girls lounging in the back seats, and, most syrupy-caustic of all, the “illegal alien”, a sombrero-ed, mustachoed little green man on a popsicle stick. The truck is decked out with colorful video on lowrider culture and shown in a shallow pool of candy. Rarely has the city’s (or pop culture’s, for that matter) heady cocktail of subculture, politics, and flashy style found such viscerally pleasurable and yet mordant expression in Mr.Cartoon’s graffiti poem of sex, pollution, sugar and violence.
Dive into the world of Baroque Toys…
We know about building imaginary worlds but who are these worldless vinyl characters? Unless they parade their worlds on their splattered, plastic bodies. More than just monsters or aliens, they express some baroque juxtaposition of the object, the animal, the cosmos and the anthropomorphic. Incredibly emotional and responsive, they point to a region of affect beyond the human, to the moods and projections we read into our devices, furniture, urban spaces, and favorite media universes.
from the Toy Art Gallery website:
Toy Art Gallery is proud to present “Sacred Trip”, new work by Carlos Enriquez Gonzalez. “Sacred Trip” continues Gonzalez’s exploration of the divide (or lack thereof) between Man and God, man and woman, and toy and art. Gonzalez’s work challenges the viewer with an intermingling of grotesque, sexual, and childlike symbols, which together produce wholly original, substantially, and more importantly, beautiful works of art.
Among the materials used by the artist for his work are: fiber glass, plastic, automotive paint, crystal, gold, platinum, diamond, metal, raw meat, connecting an aesthetic three-dimensional finish with more organic materials. Mushrooms, eyes, monsters, brains, human parts, sacred elements, sexual organs are some of the symbols that refer to the artist´s intimate world in which also blend some of his concerns, energy, power, intuition, parallel worlds, multidimensionality, tunnels of time, all this reflected in his work represented in a provocative and transgressor mode.
original concept art for Disney’s Tomorrowland
Scott Bukatman’s argument about Disneyland’s cyborg relationship to technology echoes Ndalianis’ discussion of the (neo)baroque aesthetic of spatial interaction, in the sense that both join in a phenomenological regime where the subject fuses with an exterior, with an object – whether the animatronic interface of Disneyland or a painted bas-relief that tricks the viewer into seeing it as an extruded surface – in a overflow of “kinetic, sensory pleasure” (Bukatman).
the Grand Opening of Fantasyland, 1955
Both the baroque object/ornament and the theme park (which might be thought of as a baroque effect multiplied by technology) allow “the body (to) penetrate impossible spaces” (Bukatman), or in Ndalianis’ words, to create “co-extensive space – a space that illusionistically connects with and infinitely extends from our own”. This process of fusion between the internal space of the subject and the inanimate exteriority of the technological or architectural apparatus is read by both Bukatman and Ndalianis as a kind of sensual and affective jouissance, a pleasure that derives from the subject exceeding the boundaries of the “normal” body to find a new kind of virtual embodiment in a multiplicity of outside spaces. In a movement that molds itself to the machinery of the baroque aesthetic, the baroque subject is transformed, disarticulated and dispersed alongside forking paths of attention and absorption, the sense of self “becoming a system of a labyrinth, which, by means of mobile synthesis, stretches itself out in a realm of glittering movement and color” (to re-contextualize Focillon’s beautiful phrase).
Blade Runner…a cyberpunk icon
It is interesting that this same effect proper to the baroque also seems to apply to Bukatman’s interpretation of cyberpunk as an ocular regime governed by a sense of ambiguity as to whether the eye is subjective or objective/inanimate/machine. Not surprisingly, the intimate pervasiveness characteristic of cyberpunk technology (and of our own contemporary technological experience) can be witnessed to correspond with a resurgence in a taste for and consumption of the baroque, if one is to judge by the popularity of theme parks and themed urbanity – the baroque might be the missing puzzle piece in understanding contemporary audiences relationship to technology and the (ongoing?) process of cyborgification whereby individuality or consciousness becomes transmediated across different platforms.
18th century artist Giovanni Piranesi’s baroque rendition of Rome...
This liquification of the self into a riot of sensation, to go back to Focillon’s analysis of the baroque, also arguably applies to our experience of the attraction (and the amusement parks from which Disneyland is descended). Though it is common to think about attractions in terms of theme parks, and of seeing Disneyland as a kind of terminal incarnation of the principle of the attraction, Disneyland’s totalizing space and monolithically integrated design actually differs significantly from other historical experiences of attractions, such as amusement parks, pleasure gardens, fairs, etc…In which case Margaret King’s idealistic description of the theme park as a “stage based on architectural symbols for stylized, romanticized human interaction” might be read proscriptively or nostalgically…
and more virtuoso inventiveness using Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 as a theme park 3D modeling environment!