Manfred Mohr

Computer art pioneer Manfred Mohr has a show up at Bitforms in NYC. Haven't seen it but I did talk about his work a couple of times when he showed there in '04.

Mohr himself commented on the first post (speaking of fighting in comments). Am a little embarrassed for going nuclear on a canonical figure, but he was correcting something that doesn't matter much: who was the first artist to do "variations of incomplete open cubes"? The drift of the post was that, as Rosalind Krauss explained in her essay "LeWitt in Progress," such supposedly ratiocinative extrapolations as working through dozens or hundreds of variations of a geometric form are more about filling an existential vacuum a la Samuel Beckett that limning the "look of thought" (a phrase Donald Kuspit had applied to Sol LeWitt in the early '70s). Science and logic exist to avoid redundancy, not to celebrate it, she explained in that essay.

I was sort of complimenting Mohr for (i) having the good sense to do his exhaustive variations with a machine rather than by hand and (ii) admitting his aim was "visual invention" rather than conceptual pedantry. To quibble over whether he or LeWitt "did it first," then, seemed to rather miss the point.

edits for clarity, tone

un-normalized re-rant

Thanks to Paddy Johnson for the linkage but this wasn't what I said:

Tom Moody laments the disappearance of ranting on the blogosphere and in the comment sections of blogs. We still see plenty of rants here, but the totally crazy shit (Moody says isn’t really a rant anyway) has subsided with the push away from anonymity on the web.

I was lamenting the disappearance of ranting in the blogosphere because of the comment sections of blogs. In a post you can be a fiery orator but then in the comments you are supposed to make nice and listen to what people are saying. The "new AOLs" (Facebook, G+) are all about comments (what the disconnected Mark Zuckerberg calls "connection") and being sociable, hence "social media."

The decline of rants doesn't begin with the loss of anonymity--I knew who most of my favorite mid-'00s bloggers were--but rather to "likes," "fav counts," "friends" and all the rest of that sophomoric BS. In this world of enforced happy talk, anyone who says anything too discouraging can be written off as a troll or congenitally unpleasant person. Sure, you can have fights breaking out in comments. Two trolls going at it provide a lot of entertainment for the well-adjusted.

minor edits for finer-tuned ranting

Perry House, part II


7-20-09, acrylic on Arches Aquarella, 22 x 30, 2009

Painting by Houston artist Perry House, who was written about here a few years ago. This new work appeared in a show that just closed at D.M. Allison gallery. (hat tip JP)

The gallery says that

While [the Helter Skelter series] is not necessarily a sequel to his Happyville series, in the artist's latest body of work the colors are still indeed joyful, there is plenty of perspective, with recognizable architectural elements not evident in earlier works.

Those elements actually were in some of House's earliest art and its nice to see them back with a new De Chirico-esque pallette and mood. One might add, De Chirico in the wake of a tornado--the scuola metafisica painter was never this agitated.