Reading for March 5th

Posted: March 5, 2018 in Readings

I posted this after class the other day. But I accidentally dated it 2017. That’s why you didn’t see it till now. Sorry!

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Michael Fried
(b. 1939)
“Art and Objecthood” (1967)

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Minimalist Sculpture

Posted: March 4, 2018 in Uncategorized
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Tony Smith
Untitled, 1960

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Robert Morris
Untitled (L-Beams), 1965

Carl Andre
Steel Square, 1967

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Donald Judd
Untitled, 1970

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Morris Lewis
(1912 -1962)

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Dalet Kaf (1959)

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Floral V (1959)

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Points Of Tranquility (1959)

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Where (1960)

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Alpha Pi (1960)


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Robert Morris
(b. 1931)

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Untitled (1968)

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Untitled (1969)

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Untitled (1969)

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Untitled (1970)

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Untitled (1973)

“[We] are living in the very world Plato hoped for, conceived, and willed, that is to say a society whose members only ever open a book to experience the purely gratuitous pleasures of the imagination; a world in which literature has lost nearly all power and authority and has become an empty shell merely used to pass the time by a shrinking class increasingly monopolized by many other distractions.”

“Trump originally wanted to hire Sylvester Stallone to head the [National Endowment for The Arts]. Had Stallone agreed, the NEA would likely be safe from budget cuts. Which is to say that each time you binge watch a popular show that you don’t even like, at the expense of reading a decent novel, you’re enacting a Trumpian indifference to literature: entertainment over letters.”

If Michael Fried argues, in “Art and Objecthood” (1967), that the very best abstract formalist paintings and sculptures of the day are absolutely authoritative, in their own right and on their own terms, and stand in no need whatsoever of public approval or applause, . . .

Morris Louis
#11 (1961)

Jules Olitski
Tin Lizzie Green (1964)

Frank Stella
Black Series II (1967)

Yellow Swing 1965 by Sir Anthony Caro born 1924

Sir Anthony Caro
Yellow Swing (1965)

. . . what, then, would Fried want us to make of the ‘music’ of John Cage, Gyorgy Ligeti and Steve Reich?



And, further, what would Fried want us to think of ‘sculptures’ such as those of Richard Serra?

Richard Serra
Tilted Arc (1981)

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Declaration of War

Posted: March 4, 2018 in Uncategorized

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Robert Morris in costume for performance War, in collaboration with Robert Huot,
at Judson Memorial Church, New York, June 23, 1963


Image  —  Posted: March 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

Yesterday I attended a two-hour session on the rapidly changing population of Utah. As the state’s official demographer said to us, It’s no longer business as usual here, and there’s simply no going back. Utah will forevermore be a state that is increasingly diverse – in terms of religion, race, ethnicity, place of origin, etc. I came home from the presentation to find this opinion piece below. I’ve been debating its claims with a professor friend of mine in New York. What are your thoughts about divisiveness amongst progressives? Have you seen instances of the exclusion and infighting the describes, or is the writer simply imagining things?

On the upper right, we see a vital and dynamic Christ (by Peter Paul Rubens), animated by internal forces. On the upper left, we see an unmistakably dead Christ (by Matthias Grünewald), whose form (or whatever remains of it) is the result of entirely external forces: wood, nails, and the physical force of gravity.

While the sculptures pictured below the paintings are both non-representational, I think it should be possible to see that the one on the lower right (by Sir Anthony Caro) is nevertheless still abstract; its composition, or syntax, suggest an inner spiritual force which virtually lifts the industrial materials into an exalted state, cancelling or suspending the work’s status as mere object. We can feel the I-beams, rebar, and industrial paint springing to life; hence the piece’s name, Early One Morning. Meanwhile, the piece on the lower left (by Robert Morris), nailed to the wall and sagging under its own unstructured mass, Untitled makes no attempt whatsoever to transcend its status brute material.

Untitled-2

Image  —  Posted: March 1, 2018 in Uncategorized


Colleges Assure Prospective Students That Protesting for Gun Control Will Not Affect Their Admission

H2 Lecture Info!

Posted: March 1, 2018 in Uncategorized

Humor-in-Science

Sara K. Yeo, Dept. of Communication

Understanding how communication influences our attitudes toward science is crucial in an age in which we are immersed in media. Online, scientists have used humor to engage public audiences, but there is little research on science humor in general. In this project, my students and I first seek to quantify and characterize the nature of science humor on social media. We also conduct an experiment to test hypotheses about the effects of humor on people’s attitudes toward science and scientists. Please join us for a (humorous) lecture on science, media, and public attitudes!

Anatomy Lab Field Trip!

Posted: February 28, 2018 in Uncategorized

For this very fascinating but entirely optional experience, let’s meet Friday, April 6 from 9:20 AM. under the skybridge connecting the old and new Biology buildings. The doors to the lab will remain open and you can come and go as you please, provided you don’t make a commotion. This should be a fun event, though I do ask to remember that we are guests and should conduct ourselves respectfully. Please let the TAs set the mood for our visit. If they behave in a light-hearted fashion then we can feel free to join in the spirit of the event. But, please, do NOT bring cameras or take photographs. Photography is strictly prohibited in the lab and any violation of that rule will immediately end out visit. That understood, I look forward to seeing many of you there. Bring a strong stomach and an open mind, and prepare to have a great experience learning something about the human body and the way you manage your emotions in response to the spectacle of it.

But What Does It Mean?!

Posted: February 25, 2018 in Uncategorized

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This is all really just curator code for “I’m more woke than you.” A better definition of “late liberalism” in the art world may be tenured and professional curators and academics ignoring the emergencies and needs of artists in their backyards … and instead traveling the world to troubled hot spots like concerned anchormen and anchorwomen to bring back “interventions” and art that supposedly “sabotages” things.

It’s hard to overestimate he significance of photography in the work (and life) of critic Susan Sontag, perhaps one of the 20th century’s most photographed women. (Sontag spent the final years of her life in a long-term relationship with noted celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz, who documented her demise from cancer.) To elucidate this subject it might be valid to refer to the work of French art historian, novelist and statesman André Malraux – a figure whose ideas we’ll soon see critiqued in the comparatively recent writings of art historian Douglas Crimp.

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André Malraux with his “Museum Without Walls,” 1950

One of Malraux’s very first texts, a 1922 preface to an exhibition catalog, already presents this notion of art as a vast semiotic system, a multiple chorus of meaning. In it Malraux had written: “We can feel only by comparison. He who knows Andromaque or Phedre will gain a better idea of the French genius by reading A Midsummer Night’s Dream than by reading all the other tragedies by Racine.

– Rosalind E. Krauss

In particular, one thinks of Malraux’s concept of the “Museum without Walls”. Taking the form of an enormous book, Voices of Silence, this museum was more properly to be understood as a strictly ideal space in which art works from multiple cultures and historical periods would be reduced to weightless and isolated photographic images, thus allowing for a free-association and comparison of a vast catalog of works in various media. Not that it makes strict sense, but my impression is that Wimsatt & Beardsley’s criticism is essentially an similar attempt to reduce all poems to pure data, disembodied word images.

Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Che Guevara

If you think about it, photography, which reduces all of life and culture to documents, presents itself as the most anonymous, intentionless and affectless medium – that medium which, even more than language was for Shelley, is no medium at all, and consequently the very best medium to function as the “universal” medium through which to convert a host of culturally specific works of art into to a large-scale display of “global” culture. Photography converts the work of art into a sign, and the sign, like the commodity in Marx, obeys the law of universal equivalency and exchangeability. Or so Jean Baudrillard taught in his For A Critique of The Political Economy of The Sign.

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Generation Terror or Stupor?

Posted: February 17, 2018 in Uncategorized

Delaney Tarr, a high school senior, cannot remember a time when she did not know about school shootings.

So when a fire alarm went off inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and teachers began screaming “Code red!” as confused students ran in and out of classrooms, Ms. Tarr, 17, knew what to do. Run to the safest place in the classroom — in this case, a closet packed with 19 students and their teacher.

“I’ve been told these protocols for years,” she said. “My sister is in middle school — she’s 12 — and in elementary school, she had to do code red drills.”

This is life for the children of the mass shooting generation. They were born into a world reshaped by the 1999 attack at Columbine High School in Colorado, and grew up practicing active shooter drills and huddling through lockdowns. They talked about threats and safety steps with their parents and teachers. With friends, they wondered darkly whether it could happen at their own school, and who might do it.

Now, this generation is almost grown up. And when a gunman killed 17 people this week at Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., the first response of many of their classmates was not to grieve in silence, but to speak out. Their urgent voices — in television interviews, on social media, even from inside a locked school office as they hid from the gunman — are now rising in the national debate over gun violence in the aftermath of yet another school shooting.