After the opening of Movement Materials and What Can We Do, Andrew Norman Wilson‘s solo show at Prairie Productions, several of the conceptual and physical territories explored in the short run show have continued to resonate past its closing last week. The premise of the show operated as a consolidation of previous online projects and videos into a more tangible manifestation organized as a gesture to bring these topics away from their digital origins. In doing so, previous works like Scan Ops and Workers Leaving the Googleplex gain more weight in introducing a physical element to discuss the so-called dramas of digital production through illustrating their history and cultural lineage.
The show consists of multiple installations of various â€œviewing stationsâ€ and â€œmediation environmentsâ€ that mimic other previous work, but are designed more specifically to be â€œideal spacesâ€ for the listening and contemplation of a lecture-performance that Wilson performed during the opening. The space serves as a transitional site akin to other familiar topics in Wilson’s oeuvre â€“ the airport, the commuter spa, the temporary architecture of a corporate office life style, etc. There are also new works featured in this show that delicately explore the nuances of digital labor and the potential for this type of unskilled-labor to be greatly â€“ and disturbingly â€“ taken for granted amongst cyberspace users, surfers, and specifically scholars. To a certain degree, the academy itself is implicated in this process of unintentional (or at least unconscious) sidelining of digital laborers, a tricky territory given the self-implication that Wilson imposes in previous work. In avoiding the tired game of â€œwho is to blameâ€ that typically occurs in art work that hovers around social practice, Wilson fractures and rearticulates the rhetorical motifs of the corporate world in order to use their inherent â€“ and again, unconscious â€“ poetics to evaluate and critique an international corporate engine.
More specifically, the lecture performed during the opening floats between essay film â€“ a genre familiar to Wilson who has cited the recently deceased Chris Marker as one of his primary influences â€“ and musings on the phenomenological linkages between himself as artist-laborer and the digital-workers represented in his work. These conjectures also reflect on the nature of the technology that binds us together as users, viewers, operators, and laborers (whether conscious or not). The danger here comes with an all-too-easy transcendental approach to how the â€œinternet connects us together in ways never imagined possible.â€ However, Wilson adapts that clichÃ© to assist in how alienating the infrastructure of the web is to its end users. Through our connections (both as art audience members and as digital consumers), we can start to witness a dangerous tendency within digital media to usurp and obliterate its predecessor for the sake of a (broken) mythic, and often politically corrupt, progress.
Through guiding our vision with our listening to Wilson’s lecture, audiences are made to reconsider what we mean by immaterial, since the labor, the handiwork, and the infrastructure of the web necessitate physical properties and units; this includes a spectrum of physicality that span from the electricity that flows through fiber-optic cabling as well as the fingertips that hold down photographed pages for GoogleBooks. Wilson repeatedly reminds us that the immateriality of the web is a precarious assumption on the part of digital practitioners and consumers. The effectiveness of this warning is enhanced when positioned amidst a visual landscape where such ignorance has run rampant, where even clearly physical objects like yoga mats, inflatable exercise balls, and ergonomic office furniture could be viewed as immaterial.
Wilson debuted a work-in-progress video piece titled Free which seemed to present uncertainty and precariousness across personal, professional, and civil dimensions. For one section – ‘The School,’ Wilson hired a corporate video team to shoot scenes in which a Korean student from Benito Juarez high-school uncertainly reads text from motivational posters around his school. For another section – which Wilson dubs ‘The Corporation’ â€“ former Google contract laborers (like those represented in Googleplex) present their hobbies around silicon valley – trance DJing, Ninja-performance, and go-ped racing to name a few. The participants spoke about the future as if it were the present, summoning up a rhetoric of futurity akin to utopian discourse. Each section seemed to contain elements that could fit in other categories, and this was acknowledged by an opening PowerPoint-generated animation of ten different exploding tables of contents. A gesture that perhaps means to literally tear apart the vernaculars that typically divide these sectors of Western Culture.
As an artist that has had his fair share of working in the IT industry, Wilson has unique insights into the inner workings of the giants in that economy, and through partial self-exploitation, he is able to address a somewhat diaristic redemption of his involvement and active participation with this act of labor marginality. Wilson remains refreshing in his self-awareness not only as a voice and actor within this world, but also more importantly in his physical demeanor while performing. Through his unapologetic groomed behavior, it’s easy to imagine his as a corporate lackey, or even as an a spokeperson/protegee of Elon Musk. As the blurring of the lines between self-promotion and artist as brand become more obfuscated and abstracted, Wilson appears totally conscientious of his towing the line, and seems to have more recently decided to work within the rhetoric of corporate infrastructure, than to tip-toe around it. In some ways, this show brings to the fore this willingness, and although some of that is pronounced more readily in previous works, the translation of that energy into more expansive and less â€œbrandedâ€ territoriesâ€“ ala the new video Free â€“ shows a burgeoning maturity on the part of the artist.
July 30th, 2012 | 05:44 pm | Uncategorized
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Installation Photo of Cory Archangel vs. Pierre Bismuth Courtesy Team Gallery
The bottom line is, we are subject at the mercy of rapidly developing technology. As consumers of information, we peer through a multitude of invisible technological filters and lenses.
–Howard Hurst review of Corey Archangel vs Pierre Bismuth at Team Gallery for Hyperallergic
Although I’ve distanced this quote from the original context in a way that might make it seem a bit more polemic than it is originally intended, I can’t help but take issue with what it proclaims. This “bottom line” – a term itself derived from the financial/corporate sector – is not as glum, or otherwise hopeless as it is proposed by Hurst. We are not at the mercy of the advancement of technology, and to claim that we are, disavows any agency we have with the gadgets and gear that we surround ourselves with on a daily basis. To make this leap, we must also refuse acknowledgment to the great hacking ethic that permeates many communities that live (or at least primarily communicate) online. To deny these communities is to deny Archangel’s very own “rise to fame” through his now infamous Super Mario Clouds cartridge hack. It is not that we are helpless to the bombardment of technology as a culture, but rather have more readily bought into the ways in which that technology packages itself as necessity in our daily lives. This process is undoubtably complicated and manipulative, but the ways in which consumers jailbreak, hack, and casually appropriate technology is evidence of our willingness to bite back.
To suggest that humans are just empty vessels of consumerism enslaved to technological developments is a grave mistake, and to argue that Archangel and Bismuth are simply reacting to the demands of technology is also a shallow read of the ways in which culture responds and dynamically engages new technology in a multitude of unexpected and ingenious ways. The danger here, which I believe is part of the originally intended message, is to be unaware of the ways in which user participation and activation actually shapes the development of technology; it is a system of feedback, not a system of force-feeding. A striking example of this in the past year has been the proliferation of XBOX Kinect hacks, and how Microsoft eventually caved to the demands of its users by releasing their own Software Development Kit (even though Microsoft now quickly is trying to rewrite that history by claiming this was always their intention).
This is to say that culture does not simply “peer” through the lenses of consumer technology/media. We critically contribute to the fabrication and development of those filters by means of remediation and repurposing. Culture is not simple information consumption, there is also a process of digestion. That activity is more often then not co-opted back into the corporate system – a problematic in and of itself – but requires participation on both ends, and not simply from a top-down hierarchy any longer. This emergent shift of a cultural class moving from users to makers is already underway in a variety of communities: Maker Faire, Deviant Art, /b/, are but a few. To presuppose that this activity is still “underground” or solely reserved to a select group of commercial artists is dangerously ignorant of the ways in which digital/network technology have radically reconstituted participation with, or reaction against, the supposed ceaseless march of technology.
January 03rd, 2012 | 05:47 pm | Uncategorized
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originally published with ilikethisart
After downloading source material from mediafire, listening to a motivational mp3, seeing installation pictures, and playing in an interactive 3D recreation of their current exhibition at Important Projects in Oakland, it seems no surprise to me that Body by Body were â€œ[attempting] to â€˜smearâ€™ the exhibition out over time.â€ Through the multiple layers of engagement and several avenues for participation, Body By Body (otherwise known as Melissa Sachs and Cameron Soren) invest a great deal in developing lasting dialogs that can be sustained beyond the initial â€œhypeâ€ that goes along with the physical manifestation of work that primarily exists through networked exchange. As a result the pieces on display from October 29th to December 3rd take on the form of traditional gallery objects that serve as metaphorical placement holders. The allegorical â€œpaintingsâ€ and â€œvideoâ€ â€“ speaking very loosely â€“ create a bridge between the expectations of differing art communities that exists online, offline, and somewhere in between. The tension built from attempting to navigate these zones of production and distribution become focal points of criticism of attention. Each venue, be it digital or analog, acts as a comment on the other. The bouncing back and forth between these arenas creates a subtle reflection on the properties and materials that each field provides.
What Body by Body is skilled at showing is how the striking similarities between mediums are more interesting limitations to work through than around. The work accomplishes this by employing the rhetoric of an art gallery and deviantART in equal parts as a platform to question the ways in which communities and dialogs are generated dependent on, or a result of, the infrastructure from which they emerge. When viewing the work, one begins to see how context seems essential in determining the value and success of a work, since context regulates so much of the vernacular applicable for judgement or appreciation. The more one looks, the more one observes how Body by Body play within these various idioms to pose questions about the efficacy of standards or quality in art and culture.
In one particular work, a slideshow of superimposed hyper-realist sculptures aimless float in hyper-render RAY-traced fractal drawings that play on a carelessly hung consumer-grade flatscreen. The precarious installation, combined with the purposefully casual juxtaposition of high and low, question how artists define craft and skill when moving between creative/cultural platforms of distribution. Instead of prioritizing one condition over another, all methods not only seem even but necessary. One begins to see what is initially considered impromptu or accidental is instead essential and deliberate. When this knowledge starts to sink in, the otherwise immediate joke quality of blank canvasses and work made for a keychain wears off and a more sophisticated complex motivation takes its place. In other words, the work should not be judge on aesthetic, or scale, or even on quality of installation, but instead should be measured by a metric bound to the ways in which our traditional expectations dictate so much of our formulaic reading of art.
An underlying question then emerges: how can an artist immersed in the language of critical theory and fan-based image making find middle ground for both contexts to coexist? For Body by Body, the answer seems to reside in how they use their own pseudonym as a self-reflexive means to an end; a way of displacing the pressure, anxiety, and commitment to something singular and univocal. Opting for an alias, Body by Body conjure an ironically disembodied and artificial identity as another layer of abstraction to operate within. This is not to say that any more â€œlayersâ€ are particularly needed to prove any specific point, but the overuse the Body by Body brand reinforces a (self) parody at play throughout the show. This purposeful distance of personality â€“ combined with the ongoing investigation of how the conventional reading of art applied to emerging fields often overlooks content â€“ grounds the initially humble-looking show into a more cultivated dialog that extends well beyond the walls of the gallery.
January 03rd, 2012 | 05:35 pm | Uncategorized
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Unititled, Clyfford Still (courtesy Art Institute of Chicago)
I used to be a painter. I was never a really good painter, so the discontinuation of that part of practice some seven years ago was not a big loss. That being said, I am often reminded of how much I owe to my humble/clumsy painting beginnings. While still in my post-painting undergraduate studies, I would often frequent the Art Institute’s Abstract Expressionist rooms for comfort and solitude between classes or after an emotionally draining critique. I distinctly remember visiting a long, narrow room that existed upstairs in the pre-modern-wing building that housed only five or six paintings at a time. This room would often rotate works by Ad Reinhardt, Joan Mitchell, Mark Rothko, or Paul Kline. However, a permanent fixture in this space were always two massive, wall-sized paintings by Clyfford Still.
Both works â€“ which are currently not on display â€“ employed Still’s signature nocturnal black, but one was interspersed with scars and crevices of cream, red, and yellow; colors that now seem â€œout-of-the-tubeâ€ but were hand mixed by Still in the early 1950s. These two pieces were fantastic evidence of Still’s meticulous pallet knife work, and the dense murky black of 1951-1952 (almost none of Still’s work had titles) the heavy layering created a remarkable sombre darkness that would engulf a viewer, creating a void primed for personal exploration and meditation. I would sit on the bench that bisected the room longways feeling as if a white noise reverberated between these two pieces; a stoic frequency bounced between them that only a metaphysical shortwave radio could dial into. During ideal viewing sessions â€“ times when the museum was near closing hours, or during particularly cold winter weekdays that deterred visitors â€“ the power of sitting between these facing works would create the perfect mental vacuum to delve into deep contemplation. In those moments, I felt as if the subtlety of texture and composition that existed in these works acted as mirrors for the complexity and nuance of my own burgeoning artistic voice. That sense of belonging amidst those two works would bring me back countless times, and made me a life-long appreciator of Still’s oeuvre.
Gallery View of Clyfford Still Museum (courtesy Clyfford Still Museum)
So, perhaps needless to say, it is with some bias that I came to the press preview of the Clyfford Still Museum in downtown Denver. The dense concrete cube, designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, is located just behind the iconic Hamilton Wing of the Denver Art Museum almost serving as an architectural antithesis to Daniel Liebeskind’s hyperactive bravado. The subdued practicality of the museum does a great service to the new home for 94% of Still’s life work, allowing for the fabled 300 days-a-year Front Range sun to filter through the perforated ceiling with the help of motorized shades and diffusing glass. During the press conference, Cloepfil discussed how he imagined the materials of the building being â€œcompactedâ€ into the earth to ground the museum in an act of homage to the organic palette found within the 2400+ pieces of the collection. The density of the concrete delicately avoids being cumbersome due to the airy quality of the nine galleries found on the second floor. Almost all elements of the building â€“ from the low ceiling lobby, to the publicly available storage facilities â€“ faithfully serve the ambition and sincerity of Still’s six decade career that started in the prairies of Alberta and ended at his isolated farm in central Maryland.
The galleries are delicately filled with key selections from the estate for the inaugural exhibition, and many works on view have had extremely limited public appearances until now. Although the initial galleries that you approach are a bit cluttered with early semi-figurative work from Southern Canada and Washington State, the care taken by adjunct curator David Anfam and museum director Dean Sobel with Still’s more iconic work truly accentuates their undeniable arresting prescience. I was fortunate enough to be led on a guided tour by Anfam of the various facilities that are housed in the museum complex, including a preservation center, a research library, and an interactive timeline. While on the tour, Anfam frequently emphasized how Still, unlike his contemporaries, always prioritized personal cerebral exploration over exhibition and public notoriety. Anfam also took many opportunities to dispel the misreading of Still’s work as masculine grandiosity, and instead argued that the colossal paintings that comprise a majority of his later output came instead from a sincere inward-looking sensitivity to the ways in which post-war America politics and culture were in a state of radical change.
In this way, the inaugural exhibition is incredibly successful â€“ to rewrite the dominant narrative of American AbEx is no easy task, and the lasting impression of the museum that has followed me since my visit is that Still’s conscientiousness is evident in an unexpected and rare display. This is not to say that the museum leadership should reward themselves with single handedly changing the contemporary perspective of High Modernism, but the reward of the nearly seven year process it took between the gifting of the collection from Patricia Still to the completion of the museum is unfathomable. The immediate benefit of the museum’s opening is to finally allow for a more wide recognition for an artist â€“ when compared to other giants in the American AbEx pantheon â€“ whose work contains transcendent empathy for the world around him. This quality shines through in Still’s opus, providing a much needed counter to the otherwise stale or remote machismo that typically dominates Abstract Expressionism.
1957-J No. 2, Clyfford Still (courtesy Clyfford Still Museum)
The current showing at the museum provides a very faithful testament to a man incredibly in touch with his cultural surroundings; a figure of his era often overlooked but always lingering. Still was not only a contemporary of those more lauded, but was considered amongst that community to be one of the the most generous of teachers and mentors to those around him. Pollock is famously quoted for saying his work made â€œthe rest of us look academic.â€ However, Still’s tremendous control over how his work could be shown prevented him from becoming a household name. In 1951 he severed ties from Betty Parsons Gallery and for the rest of his career was notorious known for respectfully declining invitations to participate in exhibitions. One famous account documented in the catalog of the museum is a short reply to Peggy Guggenheim to thank her for his representation at The Art of This Century Gallery and her efforts in championing American AbEx painters, but deciding to cease his relationship with the gallery.
This prolonged self-excommunication that spanned Still imposed upon his career is undeniably reflected in the commitment he put into his paintings. As a result the serene â€“ at times overwhelming â€“ spaces that are created within the paintings on display are so enveloping that the very act of removing one’s gaze from their aura is a reeling task. In short, the work chosen by the museum for its first outing is undoubtably mesmerizing and entrancing in their profound melancholia and enlightened earnestness. Where writers and critics of the past have judged these paintings as aloof, remote, and antagonistically abstract, I’d instead argue the opposite and claim that the empathy and humanity found within these paintings remains remarkably poignant, particularly in an artistic age so bereft with pastiche and indifference.
January 03rd, 2012 | 03:14 am | Uncategorized
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Originally posted on art21
I donâ€™t live in Chicago anymore, but I frequently visit. Over the past summer I was invited to a housewarming party for friends who had rented a large loft space on South Michigan Avenue that was easiest to reach by taking the Cermak-Chinatown CTA Red Line. On the way, I passed the Hilliard Complex housing project and realized that even though I had seen these buildings many times before while on my way to eat some Dim Sum or see a White Sox game, I had never associated these projects as works by Bertrand Goldberg. Currently Goldberg is experience a type of second-Renaissance of appreciation in the city, with two retrospective shows at The Art Institute of Chicagoâ€™s Modern Wing as well as at The Arts Club. The extensive display of drawings, models, furniture, designs, and other ephemera shown from The Art Instituteâ€™s dedicated collection provides a dynamic narrative of Goldbergâ€™s development from Bauhaus disciple into a significant figure in architecture, engineering, and urban planning.
The daunting scale of his pursuits and passions for exploration of the urban landscape propelled Goldberg into national recognition during the late 1950s, when many of his most well-known projects were either being completed or announced. His work included single-family homes, commercial projects, and several municipal or institutional works. During his 60 year career Goldberg completed over 30 finished buildings, the bulk of which exist in Chicago. He had great faith in the exciting power that comes from living in close proximity to one another, and claimed that â€œmost men like the action that comes from living together. We like the market place, we like the forum. We like the social and mental heath that we generate when we rub against each other. We like cities.â€
This undaunted enthusiasm for the experiment that is the urban environment is lucidly explored in Goldbergâ€™s most famous multipurpose â€œcities within cities.â€ He wanted to minimize the commute of a city, the distance that travel creates amongst its citizens, and to treat every structure as its own microcosm of activity and shared cultural community. A decisive turn in Goldbergâ€™s career occurred in the 1960s, when his designs and perspectives began to borrow from the ideas of Renaissance humanism. As the exhibition materials on Goldbergâ€™s work published by The Art Institute suggest, the types of projects designed by Goldberg took a radical turn away from single family homes to projects that spoke â€œa common vocabularyâ€¦ of collective participation and civic responsibility.â€ It seems no mistake that this type of humanistic dedication to the progressive development of the lived-in and built environment of a city would occur in Chicago. I hope that the following anecdotes attest to the brilliance that Goldberg imparted to the City of Broad Shoulders.
Marina City, Chicago, IL, Perspective Sketch, 1985. Courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago.
When I first came to Chicago in the winter of 2003, I already understood that Chicago was one of the great architectural epicenters of the Western hemisphere. Between my former high-school sweetheartâ€™s architect father, and my own motherâ€™s recollection of her experience of riding the L as a Baby Boomer teenager, I had been instilled with the knowledge of the extensive built environment that played an integral part in the history and contemporary cultural climate of the city. Even with these surrogate memories implanted into the architectural expectations of my first visit to the city that would soon become my second home (and first true urban romance), I was still overwhelmed with the variety of skyscrapers, brownstone storefronts (and the apartments â€œliving-above-the-store,â€ as Goldbergâ€™s mother eloquently described), museums, and residential structures that speckled the flat midwestern lake side.
I was particularly shocked to find, almost by complete accident while on my first stroll around downtown, the twin towers of Marina City, their corn-cobbed faces looking down at meâ€“a sight that many would recognize from the cover of Wilcoâ€™s album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I stood at the northwest corner of State and Wabash looking across the reversed river to the balconies and exposed parking garages that give Marina City its signature ridges and ribsâ€“an engineering triumph of its time. The strangeness of seeing a building working against the angularity and rigidity of works by Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies Van Der Rohe that came to mark the Chicago suburbs and skyline was instantly welcomed with an unfamiliar glee. The building itself was designed in such a way as to optimize the modularity that Modernism had perfectedâ€“it was constructed at the incredible pace of one floor a dayâ€“but used concrete and earthen hues to challenge the cold steel that also came with this mobility.
One could argue that the entire structure was very much a direct jab at the architecture of its neighbor, The IMB Building at 330 North Wabash. The curvature of Marina Cityâ€™s facade alone points to Goldbergâ€™s detestation for right angles and their oppressive implications. The investment in this challenge, of how to make structures that were engineered for both economical efficiency and world-class design, is evidenced in the extensive research that Goldbergâ€™s office conducted during this period. As Goldberg expressed in The Chicago Architects Oral History Project (in the context of a discussion on the publications that his office published on urban planning and domestic high-rise architecture), this devotion stemmed from â€œalways feeling as if there is more to be done.â€
My fascination with Marina City has never yielded an interior visitation, but I have frequently stopped on my bike ride home along Wacker Drive to admire the towers. During the periods when Iâ€™ve lived in Chicago, I have walked around underneath the site as well as viewed it from afar some seven or eight times. A perpetual fascination with the site and engineering of this monumentâ€“one that extends beyond Wilcoâ€“has remained in me, from that moment of first visitation well into this past summer, when a friend from out-of-town stayed in a hotel across the river. We were having a nightcap on a street-level patio, and I looked over his shoulder to point out where the famous car free-fall occurred in the movie The Hunter some 30 years before. On that night, we looked up to see the balconies and windows lit up with decorations, forgotten christmas lights, and other flashing bulbs and sparkling furniture, imagining what it would be like to live in such a remarkable structure.
River City II: Interior Perspective, 1985. Courtesy The Art Institute of Chicago.
During my undergraduate studies I went to visit a friend living in River City to play music, watch claymation, and generally relax before immersing myself back into the spring semester. I was living in a tiny apartment on the near north west side at the time, and had barely ever ventured to the South Loop for anything besides the occasional show at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. I distinctly remembered my friend telling me to get off at the Clinton stop (even though I believe the LaSalle stop to be closer). Iâ€™d never gotten off on this stop before, even though Iâ€™d passed it countless times while on my way to the West Loop or Oak Park. Getting off the train and coming above ground found me underneath Congress Parkway, right next to the south branch of the Chicago River. I found I had to cross the bridge at Harrison in the midst of a typical Chicago February gale that made for a disorienting and troublesome trek. I hadnâ€™t initially known that my friend was living in an architectural treasure, and just had the 800 South Wells address with which to navigate my blustery walk from the Blue Line stop. However, as I arrived at the open field of River Cityâ€™s grounds and looked south and upwards, to the distinctive semicircular serpentine structure of Goldbergâ€™s mixed-use mid-rise adaptation of a much larger (230 acres) project, I knew that I would be in for a memorable afternoon.
I entered the massive lobby and although my visual memory of looking into the cavernous space is hazy now, I remember experiencing the weight of the concrete that encased the fairly dim corridor that led to the front desk. This bodily sense was important to Goldberg; in a publication he wrote for The Museum of Science and Industry, he stated that his research showed â€œa profound need for communication â€“ not just communication by telephone or the written word, but by body language.â€ At first I felt smallâ€“maybe in part due to the chilling walk from the trainâ€“but later, I was warmed by the presence of the space, and my individualistic place within the community I had entered.
Continuing on past the empty welcome desk and navigating the hallways to my friendâ€™s apartment put me in the remarkable nine-story chamber that snakes along the buildingâ€™s interior. I gaped upwards into the canyon that this space makes between outward facing apartments, a passage so spookily empty during my visit that my entrance alone created a cacophony of reverberated rattling. I must have stood at that entrance for some time, admiring the impossible airiness of the concrete and glass atrium, since my friend called and asked if I had gotten lost. Although I reassured my friend that I was only a few steps away from his door, I should have honestly answered that I had, in fact, lost myself in that moment.
Upon entering the actual apartment, I was surprised by the lack of care that my friend had taken in furnishing the roomy accommodations of what was billed as an efficiency unit â€“ even if now I recall that there was a separate bedroom. This observation of the apartmentâ€™s unique quality was part of the design that went into River City. The 22 different floor plans that Goldberg intended for this structure were aimed at highlighting an â€œinterest in the individual rather than on the abstract society.â€ This late philosophy in Goldbergâ€™s lectures and writings points to a readjustment in wanting to understand the desires of a community based on interpersonal needs.
Iâ€™m sure that part of the cramped feeling I had when entering to room was due to the unitâ€™s over-occupation. My friend shared his room, and two other people slept in the living room, which was sectioned off by sheets and movable partitions. Although this clutter clearly did not suit the living arrangement that Goldberg (and most likely the landlords) intended, Iâ€™d venture that the ingenuity of my friends in finding a way to live cheaply downtown was satisfying the desire for urban adaptability that Goldberg sought to achieve with his work. I couldnâ€™t resist immediately asking my friend to go out onto the south-facing balcony to admire the industrial corridor that still clung to the south branch of the river. Reluctant to let in the cold from outside, my friend eventually obliged my request and joined me for a cigarette. We smoked in shivering silence as the south side chimneys plumed their steam and heat into low clouds that had already started to dust and accumulate onto the cement courtyard below. In that moment of looking out from the terrace of one of Goldbergâ€™s last built projects, I gained a newfound and immense appreciation for the work of a man who contributed so much to the urban fabric of Chicago.
January 03rd, 2012 | 03:02 am | Uncategorized
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