Posts Tagged ‘readymade’

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

Phasing Dancing Stand Sculptures by Cory Arcangel consists of a pair of “Dancing Stands.”

Dancing Stands are metallic commercial display-units whose  shelves remain flat and parallel despite the steady flexing in-and-out of its hinges (it looks like the machines are swaying back-and-forth as in a dance).

The tempo of one of the Dancing Stands is modified to gradually phase its flexing-action further-and-further out of harmonious unison with its companion Dancing Stand.

This results in:

1. An “echoing” effect occurring between the first and second Dancing Stands.

2. A “reverse-harmony” in which the flexing-actions of each Dancing Stand become—for an instant—perfectly  diametrically opposed.

3. A “reverse echoing” effect.

4. A re-linking-up-again in the original harmonious position from which one viewed the sculptures in the first place (before—again—falling out of unison and so on and so on and so on and so on).

This is “phasing,” a term Arcangel links to the avant-garde music of Steve Reich, in which the same phrase of music is played on different instruments in different tempos, resulting in a similar cycle of unison to echo to discord back to unison.

The effect is the gradual emergence of a new type of readymade—one having less to do with the objects in space and more to do with the phasing through time which they describe.

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Constant Dullaart’s is a looped series of 15 unique, link-generator websites parked on “empty” Web domains – domains that have no content other than whatever advertising is temporarily parked there.

These 15 automatically-looping Web domains are themselves each composed of two words separated by a period (or “dot”) which complete (in a close paraphrase anyway) a quote which is attributed to Marcel Duchamp.

It reads:
















“He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.”

By gradually unveiling Duchamp’s conceptualization of the readymade, Dullaart gives new life to the concept of the readymade itself.

The readymade is interesting not so much as a theoretical default, but more as a necessarily shifting ideal.

One way to read the readymade is to say that it shifts an ordinary object into a different context and, by doing so, allows the viewer of the work to see it for itself – divorced from any use value.

If the term were to be confined to physical commodities like snow shovels, then it might not be relevant in a world of both physical and virtual commodities – snow shovels and snow shovel websites.