Artists addressing “the archive” and also casual display tactics

In light of Adam’s “archive” installation portraying his first home away from home I mentioned a few artists that seem to relate in different ways:


21 production still21 production still

Fred Wilson

Commenting on his unorthodox artistic practice, Wilson has said that, although he studied art, he no longer has a strong desire to make things with his hands. “I get everything that satisfies my soul,” he says, “from bringing together objects that are in the world, manipulating them, working with spatial arrangements, and having things presented in the way I want to see them.” Thus, Wilson creates new exhibition contexts for the display of art and artifacts found in museum collections, along with wall labels, sound, lighting, and non-traditional pairings of objects. His installations lead viewers to recognize that changes in context create changes in meaning. While appropriating curatorial methods and strategies, Wilson maintains his subjective view of the museum environment and the works he presents. He questions—and forces the viewer to question—how curators shape interpretations of historical truth, artistic value, and the language of display, and what kinds of biases our cultural institutions express.

Gail Wight

Zoo Kit

wooden box, felt, text
test tubes, DNA in solution
6″ x 12″ x 18″

A small wooden box with racks of test tubes holds the DNA for land, air, and sea animals, the DNA for flora to sustain them, and the DNA for a zoo keeper. A tribute to Fluxus.

In attempts to understand thinking, I have:
made maps of various nervous systems, practiced art while under hypnosis, designed an artificial intelligence to read my tarot, read for hours to fish, conducted biochemical experiments on myself and others, executed medical illustrations in black velvet, worked on cognitive research projects, documented dissections of humans, dissected machines and failed to put most of them back together, freely made up vocabulary as needed, removed my teeth to model information systems, self-induced phobias concerning consciousness in the plant kingdom, donated my body to science and then requested it be returned, observed nerve development in vivo, choreographed synaptic responses, translated EEGs into music, conducted a cartesian exorcism on myself, and attempted to create cognitive models of my own confused state.

Rirkrit Tiravanija

Since the early 1990s, Tiravanija has explored a new aesthetic paradigm of interactivity. He has cooked and served food to his audiences, set up a recording studio in a museum, reconstructed his apartment inside a gallery for visitors’ use, corresponded via the Internet while on an American road trip with Thai students, and provided opportunities for numerous other everyday activities to occur within art spaces. Tiravanija is a catalyst; he creates situations in which visitors are invited to participate or perform. In turn, their shared experiences activate the artwork, giving it meaning and altering its form.

Mark Dion

In many of his works, Dion re-creates the categorization and exhibition practices of museums. In this piece, his concern is to explore how a subjective understanding of nature becomes established as history by a particular group of people at a particular time. The result is a fictive–or personal–view of history that reflects on the subjective and sometimes arbitrary nature of scientific methodology.

Mark Dion, Alexander Wilson-Studio, 1999, wooden structure, mixed media, 8 x 12 x 9ft. (installation view)

Mark Dion, Alexander Wilson-Studio, 1999, wooden structure, mixed media, 8 x 12 x 9ft. (installation view detail)

Mark Dion, New England Digs


Exhibition: “Art of the Encyclopedic”
at the Carnegie Museum, 2003

Art of the Encyclopedic is guest curated by Paul Vanouse, Assistant Professor of Art, University at Buffalo and features the works of digiatal artists Natalie Bookchin, Brian Collier, Julia Dzwonkoski, Omar and Carlos Estrada, Caroline Koebel, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Walid Raad, and Igor Vamos.

Art of the Encyclopedic is a meta-commentary on both exhibition curation as well as the historic function of the Carnegie Art Center (formerly the Carnegie Library). The exhibition is about classification, organization, categorization, archiving and public display. Furthermore, the exhibition is interested in displaying, in actual gallery space, qualities of contemporary information technologies, i.e. the world wide web, that tend toward exhaustive re-cataloging of existing information. For instance, many museum web-sites have hyperlinks to other museum collections, often creating recursive loops of references to one another so that our primary experience is of navigating linkages and information hierarchies and secondarily of the discreet information that they organize.

Art of the Encyclopedic is intended to highlight artworks that embody these systematic, hyper-rationalized processes and, of course, to further organize these works in the exhibition space. The works planned incorporate a variety of media including, photography, video, found-objects, text, and digital media. Read more…

Rebecca Bollinger

“Last Year by Color and Composition” 2002

A digital movie made from every picture stored on my computer during one years time – eBay photos, personal snapshots, search result pictures, work documentation, photos of drawings, travel pictures (mostly anonymous,) pie charts and graphs, quotes, maps and logos – organized by color and composition.
Rebecca Bollinger «Last Year by Color and Composition»


September 27, 2006 at 4:22 am 1 comment

Barcelona Inaccessible

40 people with disabilities use mobile phones to photograph every obstacle they come across on the city’s streets. By means of multimedia messages they create a map of inaccessible Barcelone on the internet…

September 13, 2006 at 4:19 pm Leave a comment

How to use this site

Welcome to the class website! I will be posting updates weekly, and adding new topics and examples of interesting things for you to consider. This site is a resource to get your juices flowing and come to terms with the myriad ways in which materials and concepts can be pulled together to create meaning and metaphor. I welcome comments, suggestions, and feedback on the content and hope everyone can contribute their own info to this archive during the semester (more on this later). This is an archive-in-progress and is by no means complete, but a start at creating conversation points and spurring your own investigation. Currently, there are fifty entries to browse, with lots of images.

How to navigate: This site is built as a blog, so those of you familiar with standard blogs will pick it up easily. You can browse the content in several ways:

  1. Scroll directly down the page to read entries. Recent ones are at the top, and older ones are at the end
  2. Choose a “category” at the right-hand column to get specific information
  3. Get class information, syllabus, and contact information at the top navigation bar
  4. Check out the art-related “links” also at the right-hand column to view other sites of interest, but aren’t necessarily related to the class content

NOTE: Each entry has a “more” link, that if clicked, will take you to a more extensive write-up complete with further images and informative links. Don’t forget to access these! Also, if scrolling down a page, click on the “previous entries” link to see older posts.

I’ll be showing my own work sometime during the semester, but if you are interested now you can view it at my website:

Looking forward to working with all of you this semester!

September 5, 2006 at 11:33 pm Leave a comment

Harness connections

Climbing harnesses:
Oustiti Chest Harness Focus Harness Momentum AL HarnessBrenin HarnessBod Harness Peak Harness Alpine Harness Corax Harness


September 5, 2006 at 1:45 am 4 comments

Anna Maltz

“Maggie, Daniell, Finley & Kaizen, San Francisco”, 2003, c-print, 13.5”x20”, ed. of 5.


September 5, 2006 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

Joseph Beuys

Capri Battery, 1985.

Informed by diverse sources, including German history, Shamanism, and Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy, Beuys’s unique outlook evolved throughout his career. Beuys later expanded his artistic definition to include “social sculpture” which resulted from public interaction and discussion. His work methods can best be seen in his showcases or glass cases containing objects found or created by him. Another essential feature of the exhibition are the artist’s own drawings, which he described as the “energy source” inspiring his work in other media. (more…)

September 5, 2006 at 1:01 am Leave a comment

Fred Sandback

“Untitled (Fourth of Ten Corner Constructions),” 1983
maroon and black acrylic yarn


September 4, 2006 at 10:08 pm Leave a comment

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An online collection of links and resources related to the CCA Connections class. Please peruse, comment on, and make your own connections!

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