Our recent Art Book Club (ABC) selection was W.J.T. Mitchell's What do Pictures Want?: The Lives and Loves of Images; a really astute investigation of images (totems, fetishes, idols) and their presence and power society. It's well worth a read, or two. It's one of those reads that asserts itself as framing overlay for how you (I) relate to images. I also surmise that it's a book that due to the subject and structure is timeless in its relevance; it added a layer of insight and reflection on recent events in Egypt, Libya, Japan and the National Portrait Gallery and more distantly Iraq, as well as the even more quotidian visuals we encounter without noticing.
Mitchell articulates the essence of the found object in a way that I meaningful and recognizable, noting the very finding of which is, by nature a 'fortuitous circumstance'.
What better place, though, to locate the roots of the found object than in the foundling, a poor, orphaned creature that might just amount to something. The moment of finding the found object is the moment when one feels oneself to be pregnant or about to adopt something (which comes to the same thing). This is, I think quite distinct from the moment of finding the lost object (fetishism) or the sublime object of ideology (the idol), neither of which are capable of surprising anyone or of binging newness into the world.
The excerpt above, paired with a portion of a conversation I captured between Angelika and Peter Iannarelli as part of the Beacon Art Salon's Contemporary Artists on Contemporary Art series, in which Peter talks about his penchant for claiming authorship of found objects..even when those objects aren't lost crystallized the thought in my head that in some way, the studio is a place where conditions can be set in such a way as to create an instance - one that approximates that sensation of an object found.
I don't work in an overly determined manner in the studio. In fact, I leave a lot of room for randomness and automatism in the pursuit (unconsciously) of the found object. I don't think he'd agree, but when I visit Peter Iannarelli's studio, I see the mechanism found object cloning at work. But then, we're all just trying make personal discoveries...
So, slightly appropos of nothing other than through the stream of consciousness and fortuity of time, we come to the visual portion of your Eye Candy Friday serving.
Today's images come from the pre-MAYKR photo archive that I happened to be perusing through recently. I came across these images of an installation that Peter Iannarelli did in his studio at Spire Studios back in 2004, when Spire was still very much the beating heart of Beacon's art life (to my mind). This installation probably stands as the high water mark of Peter's Walmart phase. His studio was bedecked as a crazy post big box rave, complete with strobe lights streamers and giant shopping bag windsocks. Come to think of it, if I'm correct, it was a rave that sported only the sound of oscillating fans and rustling plastic. I was a majorly cool visual experience, and I treasure these photos of it. I feel fortunate that I uploaded these images two weeks ago since my external hard drive crashed to the floor last week, and possibly along with it, a substantial chunk of the unpublished MAYKR photo archive (along with a boatload of other data). I haven't yet had the stomach to really try to investigate what might be salvageable.
BTW, if you're looking for other treats in the found object category, look no further....yes, indeed, look further, but don't miss looking at......than Joy Garnett's Unmonumental series of images.