Wednesday, February 18, 2004

If a tree falls in the forest...

Spent a portion of yesterday evening looking at some works by Andy Goldsworthy, the British sculptor, naturalist and photographer. If you are not familiar with his work you can check out these links, here and here. His works would be categorized as earthworks, mostly fragile constructions of natural materials found in nature and painstakingly woven into fractal like forms and carefully placed in their natural environments. Often his photographs are the only lasting record of the work, and the photographs exist as artworks in themselves.

In an odd way, I was reminded of the Dadaist concepts of Man Ray when he would disassemble his constructions after photographing them. The concept was that the object should not be confused with the work of art, which in this case was the photograph. The work of art should be "purely cerebral yet material."

So the question remains, if the only remaining record of the object is the photograph, which is the true work of art? Must art have permanence?

Perhaps photoblogging and digital work that is never printed and lives only as 1's and 0's in a cyber reality are a Dadaist statement. Is this getting too post-modern. I've got nothing.

On another note, friend George, in an email comment, was kind enough to say that my Canon Cheerleader, here, made him think of Athena springing fully-grown out of Zeus' head.

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