Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Short and (I'm quite sure) Sour

Pressed for time again today, so I'll drop a bomb and check back in later to see how much carnage it's caused. My last comment on yesterday's thread will serve as catalyst:
What's not being discussed here much, but perhaps it's time to do so, is the fact that formal proficiency in and of itself (as subjective as that remains) is rather dull in most artists' hands. It's simply not enough anymore for many art viewers. It would be nice if there were more of it (most artists can stand to work on their craft), but as a goal unto itself it strikes me as anachronistic. It's like learning to operate an abacus better than anyone else around you. That train has left the station.

Indeed, what's also not being discussed, but needs to be, is that conceptualism is here to stay, and fighting against it as if one might turn back time or open the eyes of the fools who've bought into it is a waste of time. If you're unhappy with the state of aesthetics, by all means fight to raise the standards...but do so in a way that is relevant to your contemporaries.
I know that's will strike for some folks here as incendiary, but it's stated without profanity. Let's keep it clean, and as pleasant as possible. I expect passions to flare, but offer your opinions without direct reference to anyone else's artwork who comments here, please.

UPDATE: While I too agree that the dichotomy is false, I think it's OK to break it down for the purpose of wider understanding (we've had this anti-conceptualism debate for some time and not gotten very far with it, so I'm trying a new approach). For the record, though, I agree that the art worth knowing about combines compelling visuals with compelling concept. What so much of this debate seems to center on is disagreement over what constitutes the first part though (as if there were universally accepted criteria or methods for achieving the "visual appeal").

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137 Comments:

Blogger Catherine Spaeth said...

As you were writing, so was I, and wrote the following as a response -

The issue of proficiency is raised in my review of Sothebys' (red) and the Flag. Chuck Close was invited to curate on the theme of "attention to detail." With relevance to this posting and the last, the main question in my post was what is visual interest, and how does it relate to convention or law? Is it appropriate to ask of art that it "compel conviction?" And what does that mean for our time?

(I happen to think that it's not "complicity.")

2/20/2008 09:14:00 AM  
OpenID deborahfisher said...

I didn't follow the last thread at all, so forgive me if I am off base.

But I don't see a compelling argument for either craft/technique or conceptual.

There is no cleavage here. Eleanor Antin deployed her craft as an actor and writer as much as she bent the rules of visual art. Chris Burden needed to understand the discourse of sculpture in order to turn himself into one.

The problem with much conceptual art today is the same as the problem with much technique-based art these days. It's not reaching for new ground. It's mannerist. This is as true of lame conceptual art as it is of lame painting.

This is not a function of the kind of art it is. It's a function of its lack of reach.

2/20/2008 09:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ed, part of your last comment was:

The thing about the position some here are defending here in regards to artwork that "raises questions" is that in order to do so one must talk as if the artwork in question operates on only that level. That such a description of of it automatically encapsulates all of it. That because it "raises questions," that's all it does. Or that because it does it must therefore also lack something formally. That all such gestures are automatically "faint."

I don't think people are philosophically opposed to artwork that asks questions (or "raises issues"), but so often artwork that announces that that is what it's doing is really bad. If it did that well, if it really did make you think, that would be great. And often, it IS the case that "that's all it does". Because it tends to be lazy, poorly conceptualized AND poorly realized work that relies on "raising issues" as its raison d'etre. I don't dislike conceptual art. I dislike bad conceptual art. And it's pretty easy for an artist (trickster or just intellectually lazy) to create a lame piece of performance (or other kind of ) art and justify it's existence by saying it raises issues. But if it's the kind of medium in which skill or craft is involved, they can't pull the wool over everyone's eyes if they don't have that skill. So a lot of hucksters/bad artists gravitate to conceptual art where they can get away with this sort of thing.

Oriane

2/20/2008 09:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to dislike the kind of art that's labeled as "conceptual" because I find that it often isn't relevant to anyone outside of a very small group of people who've been educated into liking that sort of thing. Those people sometimes use that art -- which is often not visually very interesting or pleasant -- as a means to pretend superiority over other, "average" people who haven't had the same education and are ostensibly therefore too dumb to get it.

Art-as-tool-of-elitism (and I saw a lot of that attitude in art school) bugs me. So does art-as-sensationalist-gimmick, which I think some "conceptual art" is. I recall seeing something about a man whose art consisted of having himself physically nailed to the hood of a car. I'm not sure what the "concept" was there, other than, "If I do this, I'm sure to get famous!"

Yet one could argue that all art is conceptual. I'll agree that technical proficiency in itself isn't enough, but disagree with the implication that it really ever was enough. That's like saying that proficiency with language was once all that was required to write an engaging story. It has never been so; an engaging idea is and has always been essential.

How have we come to believe that artists can have strong formal skills or strong ideas, but not both at once?

2/20/2008 09:36:00 AM  
Blogger My favorite things said...

I understand "conceptual" to mean a complete linguistic construction that requires no further elaboration in material form, e.g. "think of a red square on a white ground". There is no need to go further by drawing it on paper because the fabrication is in Sol Lewitt's words "perfunctory" because you can imagine it.

If an artist is making things and calling it conceptual, then obviously it doesn't fit what Lewitt was talking about.

The modern factory, think of Henry Ford for example, makes widgets by gathering up all of the conceptual knowledge required to produce said widgets, breaks it up into small units, and parcels it out to the factory floor in separate small batches. That's how you get one worker screwing on nuts and nothing else and another lifting tires and nothing else and somehow a complete widget rolls off the assembly line. Some guy with a clipboard will be walking around trying to figure out how to get all those tire lifting motions worked out as efficient as possible. This point of view suggest the design-and-delegate method has more in common with Henry Ford's assembly line than anything else. The artist comes up with the complete concept, then sends it out to the factory floor for production.

Conceptualism understood this way is here to stay because all of this works in its own way. There are painting factorys that Henry Ford would be proud of. I would never want to work in one of them.

2/20/2008 09:39:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

It's about conjunctions

Not OR but AND

2/20/2008 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger Catherine Spaeth said...

Right, Deborah. issues on this site tend to be presented as abstract categories, but without being specific to the objects, there is no strong language (other than the usual face-off) available for real criteria of judgment, and things tend to be reduced quickly to mannerisms and bad example.

But I would agree with Ed that high levels of craft are usually a bit of disappointment, and you even get close to this yourself in your review of Ronay, which I like very much, btw, so thanks for that.

It does matter to me, a great deal, that there be strong quality in thought apart from the compulsion to make something look real, or displaying an ostentatious technical ability. This would not exclude either of these things. Have you found such a work?

Is there a conceptual artist whose work you are drawn to more than others? And why? Who has got the reach?

2/20/2008 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If an artist is making things and calling it conceptual, then obviously it doesn't fit what Lewitt was talking about."

I think Sol is being a bit disingenuous if he still claims to stand by that belief. After all, his team of assistants (beefed up with locally recruited talent) has been going around the country for decades realizing his pieces. Maybe it's because museums and collectors pay more for a big mural on a wall than an idea? In any case, they are realized skillfully and generally don't look like a shoddy conceptual piece thrown together.

Oriane

2/20/2008 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Carla said...

My beef is in your delineation of the two "sides". If I were to define current artistic intentions into two camps, it would be individual exploration vs. artist- faciliated viewer experiences.

You seem to react to the first, "Don't tell me what's what". I react to the second, "Don't tell me what to do". I think this is intersting. How much is this about the art and how much is it about self-limiting psychological and philosophical reactions?

It's very difficult to justify individual artistic exploration. It appears to be a self-focussed act; it's only generous in very broad ill-defined terms. I love that someone will go off to possibly find something, though it may or may not translate into a sharable experience. I believe people finding/making new experience has great value.

I'm open to this also occurring when an artist orchestrates others' experience, but it's difficult for me because it really rubs me wrong.

2/20/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"After all, his team of assistants (beefed up with locally recruited talent) has been going around the country for decades realizing his pieces."

What about the painting ateliers of old? No assistants? No helpers?

J@simpleposie.

2/20/2008 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oops. Sol is dead, so I don't think he "still claims to stand by that belief".

Oriane

2/20/2008 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy hey, maybe he left behind a lot of instructions. I wonder if the posthumously realized pieces will have any different qualities/value/aura from the "during life" pieces. (How should I even say that? Pre-death pieces? Pre-posthumous? I can imagine people talking about their "mid-pre-post" Lewitt mural.)

O

2/20/2008 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Art has been collectively realized for centuries - what are you getting at Oriane?

J@simpleposie
.

2/20/2008 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

simpleposie,

I don't think the artists from earlier times who had ateliers full of assistants would have described the execution of the work as perfunctory. The artists trained their apprentices to work in the style of the master. Rodin had too many commissions to complete to carve every toenail himself. That's very different from Sol Lewitt saying that the set of instructions WAS the artwork.

O

2/20/2008 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Gusky said...

I agree with Deborah Fisher on this one; the dichotomy is false.

Craft and concept work together to create compelling art experiences.

When either one takes too great an ascendancy at the expense of the other, particularly if done through iteration after iteration, the work dries up.

2/20/2008 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And anyway, what did Sol Lewitt
say about conceptual art?

J@simpleposie


I agree with Deborah and Bill too.

2/20/2008 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

Masterpieces fetch the highest prices at auction.

money talks

2/20/2008 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course I agree with Deborah and Bill about the need for both concept and craft ( I thought that was clear from my comments). As for Sol's manifesto, or list of rules, that kind of stuff tries my patience. To paraphrase Oldenburg, I am for an art that doesn't require one to read and follow manifestoes. Generally speaking, if it needs all that verbal qualifying, it's not doing its job as a visual art form.

Oriane

2/20/2008 10:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oldenburg's is no less a manifesto and actually reads a bit longer than Lewitt's comments about art that are not art.

The point is, as George alludes people want to see Lewitt's work. If they didn't we wouldn't.

J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Pretty Lady said...

Deborah and Bill nailed it. All worthwhile art is 'conceptual', but it is only powerful if the concepts channel themselves through the medium in a seamless way. This can generally only be achieved with some sort of mastery over the medium, whatever that medium may happen to be.

2/20/2008 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know Oldenburg's words were a manifesto. I was trying for a bit of irony there, but I realize that doesn't always come through in these brief written comments. But I think we're off on a bit of an unimportant tangent here.

O

2/20/2008 10:49:00 AM  
Blogger joy said...

Here's an interesting riff on craft, preservation and conceptualism (via newsgrist last April) re: a Lewitt wall painting that was part of a Bkyn building set to be demolished:
http://newsgrist.typepad.com/underbelly/2007/04/lewitt_drawing_.html

Here's the meat of it:
>>>>Bruce Ratner will protect the legacy of Sol LeWitt, the world-famous conceptual artist who died on Sunday after a long battle with cancer at 78. LeWitt had a workshop in one of the Prospect Heights buildings that Ratner plans to raze for his Atlantic Yards mega-development.

Ratner plans to photograph — the only way to visually preserve LeWitt's site-specific art — a painting done by the artist on an interior wall of 644 Pacific St., which is slated for demolition this spring.

"We are, of course, aware of the wall paintings," said Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco. "And we have long planned to bring in an expert to … photograph them and donate the photographs to Mr. LeWitt's collection."

While that may seem like insufficient for preserving an original LeWitt work, it is exactly what art experts recommend in cases involving his site-specific conceptual pieces.

The four-part acrylic painting at 644 Pacific St. is one of his signature "wall drawings," a unique, abstract mural designed by LeWitt and painted directly on a chosen site's wall by his highly trained assistants.

The piece was a gift to two of those assistants, Jo Watanabe and Sachi Cho, who lived in the studio for 14 years before Ratner bought the building in 2004 and evicted them.

"He always knew that when we moved, it would be destroyed," said Cho, who agreed that photographing the one-of-a-kind painting was the most appropriate way to preserve it, dismissing the notion that that painted sheetrock wall could be cut out and moved.

"Sol never wanted to do it that way," she said. "He wanted the art to be as two-dimensional as possible, like a fresco."<<<<

back before grad school, I actually used to work for Jo Watanabe as part of one of those "teams" that fabricated Sol's macquettes and silk screen editions. Sol would come in and scribble instructions in Bic on a yellow legal pad, then later come back and either approve or make adjustments to the proofs. The master printers etc. did not consider themselves to be artists at all, not any more than, say, Picasso's (etc.) printers/engravers at Paris's Frelaut-Lacouriere in the last century. So this is nothing new on one hand. anyway: hasn't art has always been "conceptual", dealing in a variety of abstractions and at times rather elusive ideas? and of course various specialized crafts, such as engraving or aquatint, casting in bronze, etc., have long been farmed out. Rubens had a factory, a "hand picked" team working for him; he'd come back later and adjust rolls of fat, and maybe eyelashes. When we say "conceptual" we mean the contemporary development, but of course, that was/is a development of something, it didn't come out of nowhere. "Art", artifice, is some amalgam of materiality and idea. As for craft, these days we see the eradication of the artist's hand or even artisan teams altogether in the process of making a piece (cf: Cahrles Ray, etc etc), as so much hi-end art fabrication is now farmed-out to a couple of factories normally used to mass produce things (like jet planes); their design is handled by CAD and production is by machine. One or two objects are produced,instead of thousands, and "the hand" is really nowhere in sight. So what is the value of "the hand" in art today? Is it devalued? or is it enhanced, as with an endangered species? what happens when art is made by a guy giving instructions to Mitsubishi as opposed to a posse of artisans? It feels like I'm describing an episode of 'Terminator: The Sara Connor Chronicles'... but maybe this is a measure of our times...

2/20/2008 10:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joy,

"So what is the value of "the hand" in art today? Is it devalued? "

Each artist has to decide for herself what the value of the hand is, in her own work. To me, it's very important. I'm sure I've expressed this somewhere in Ed's comments before, so I hesitated to bore everyone with the repetition, but it's apropos here, so...

If I had to get down to the one most important thing in my work, it would be maintaining the balance in a dichotomy that could be described in several ways. concept/craft. intellectual/visceral. head/heart. Some pieces fall a little more to one side or the other, but you want to keep the see-saw from crashing down on either side. You want to maintain high standards on both sides, and keep the balance, because the dialogue between the two becomes another level of the piece, another way for it to function. It gives you something to think (about) AND something to feel (about).

As far as how the hand is valued in the art world, I try not to let that concern me. If I tried to wear every new fashion every year, I would spend all my time looking at fashion magazines, and I'm not all that interested in fashion.

Oriane

ps Please pardon my dangling prepositions. Normally I wouldn't dream of ending a sentence with "about". That is something up with which I generally do not put.

2/20/2008 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great insight Joy.

Charles Ray is pretty choosy about his assistants I'd say. I don't have a problem with selecting the most suitable mode of fabrication - I'm for individuals but I don't have to see an individual artist's quavering hand in a work to find it good.And I have every faith that Charles Ray can make whatever he wants with his hands.

J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

The "conceptual" in conceptual art is just another way of saying "meaning." As an idea ;-) it's as old as the hills.

Check out Andre Malraux's "the Voices of Silence."

2/20/2008 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

i have a hard time appreciating anything that looks like it took almost no time to make- but i do agree the best stuff is edgy material in a well conceived package/presentation... we were in chelsea last weekend, yawn... it seems to be a littel cold down there this time of year or just this year perhaps... the feminism show at ps1 was interesting- it seems like the women took to words to fight the system, back in the day, and perhaps hard to lump them all together just because they are women- but the louise bourgeois films in the basement are dynamite!

2/20/2008 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

The "conceptual" in conceptual art

I've updated the post to clarify my position, but I think we need to get away from the notion that we're talking about all art here. Clearly there is a difference between "conceptualist" art and what, for lack of a more accurate term, I'll call "formalist" art.

Conceptual art is art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns.

It's a matter of precedence. I like the idea that some artists work to balance the two, but I'll argue that either/or is fine as well. Each can be judged accordingly, by whatever criteria the judge (viewer) chooses, but neither is inherently superior.

2/20/2008 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger joy said...

Probably, form (composition, craft, etc.) is not where the burden of innovation or creativity lies today -- we've pretty much mined "form", done that ten times over, and so form becomes first a place for proficiency and then later, of style, expression, personal mojo, etc. So: it's the idea, the conceptual underpinnings, where innovation happens, can still happen. Not in the form the thing takes.

2/20/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

A lot of art that seemed 'smart' at the time, ended up in the dustbin.

2/20/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

Someone needed to post this
Sol LeWitt’s renowned “Paragraphs on Conceptual Art” can still have an immensely provocative impact. For he insisted that the artist’s role lies principally in the conception rather than the execution of the work. LeWitt then went farther, arguing that the execution may be carried out by a competent assistant working to a preconceived plan without any assistance from the artist at all.

what Ed points out, the lack of craft, or poor execution, posits the prevalence of conceptualism as it exists in almost all art, as he puts it
formal proficiency in and of itself (as subjective as that remains) is rather dull in most artist's hands. It's simply not enough

as a Stradivarius in itself bowed by an amateur will not produce an exceptional concerto, nor would it in the hands of a virtuoso player without the sheet music of a great composer.

LeWitt here cast the artist as composer, if it should be discovered that LeWitt left stacks of instructions for assistants to carry out, each piece constructed would be an authentic LeWitt.

Many artists have their work fabricated, the conception of the idea is the activity of the artist, the fabrication is the occupation of the craftsman, there is work when they are merged, but what is ascertained by LeWitt is that it isn't important the possess the skills to execute his ideas, fabrication can be contracted out. In the case of the laxed craftsmanship of today it needn't be addressed by the artist, who may be rich in ideas, but lacks the resources, be it monetary or time, to have his ideas fabricated, what remains is a conceptual Shangra-La, represented by a visual ghetto.

A market where the currency is ideas.

2/20/2008 11:30:00 AM  
Blogger Pretty Lady said...

I love your articulation of the balance between hand and concept, thinking and feeling in your work, Oriane. Joy's bringing that up reminded me of the late and lovely graffiti artist Margaret Kilgallen; 'the hand of the artist' was a central conceptual concern for her. The wavering line created by the human hand is what makes the artwork, well, human.

I absolutely cannot separate the human touch from the conceptual basis of my own work, because it is integral to both the process and the concepts. In fact, I don't separate out process and concept, art and not-art, in my life at all anymore. Everything I do is part of a continuum. Touching a person, drawing a line, and writing a word are all activities that derive from the same source.

2/20/2008 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

i'll take craft, form, concept, anything- but i get frustrated when it seems like there is nothing to get- or worse- nothing to see... like the show(s) at teh new museum right now- although with louise bourgeois i just read something that helped me get her work in a much bigger way- it was a robert storr essay- which made me think, her work reaches a level of vulnerability and complexity that i had not seen before- and she is lucky to have such an insightful fan to articulate and empathize with her artwork- in that case his words help to disseminate her work and explain it

2/20/2008 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

i agree pretty lady, hand=soul

2/20/2008 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about those handicapped artists who paint with their feet? Could we say foot=soul?

2/20/2008 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger David said...

I recall seeing something about a man whose art consisted of having himself physically nailed to the hood of a car. I'm not sure what the "concept" was there, other than, "If I do this, I'm sure to get famous!"

Hey, it worked...

2/20/2008 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Joanne Mattera said...

I'm jumping into the pool (late, sorry) with Deborah, Bill and Pretty Lady.

Certainly there's a balance between concept and execution. Otherwise every good idea would end up as a pile of paint flakes, disintegrated sculpture, or digital work whose 1's and 0's are fading into computer limbo

I think about technical issues a lot because I work in a medium (wax)that has become popular in the past decade. I see a lot of artists doing technically inept things even though the work itself is visually and conceptually compelling. Twenty years from now, or sooner, the work will start to crack; without the intervention of conservation, it will probably fall apart. It's not that wax is inherently weak--on the contrary, the Fayum portraits are over 2000 years old--but that it needs to be worked with an understanding the medium's properties and limitations.

I have taken pics of encaustic work from the 50s, 60s and 70s that has been shown recently in New York. I'm stunned at the amount of cracking I've seen. One deeply sculptural painting was actually pulling away from its substrate. The work is glorious, but thirty years later the technical shortcomings are all too apparent.

I'm not suggesting that artists work inside a tight technical box, but at least understand the parameters of the box so that you can decide where and how to push its boundaries. Art schools don't "techniques and materials" any more. How many painters really know how to stretch a canvas, even? This is not about a return to the "good old days" but about integrating some technical applications into the stream of contemporary practice.

OK, I'm going to pull my soap box out of the way.

2/20/2008 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

Each can be judged accordingly, by whatever criteria the judge (viewer) chooses, but neither is inherently superior.

Most critical essays refer to appreciation of highly crafted objects without a strong concept as Fetishism.

Essentially, fetishism is attributing some kind of inherent value or powers to an object. For example, the person who sees magical or divine significance in a material object is mistakenly ascribing inherent value to some object which does not possess that value. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetishism)

2/20/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when i was getting my mfa 20 odd years ago, 'conceptual' meant something very specific, as ed clarified at 11:21, but now the younger generation of artists is using the word 'conceptual' to mean 'content.' this has taken a lot of the punch, if not the focus, off the idea of 'conceptual art' and, linguistic evolution being what it is, the original meaning cannot be recovered - the train has left the station as you say.

2/20/2008 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

concept Latin conceptus, from Latin, past participle of concipere, to conceive; see conceive Middle English conceiven, from Old French concevoir, conceiv-, from Latin concipere : com-, intensive pref.; see com- + capere, to take; see kap- in Indo-European roots.

2/20/2008 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't like the art around, go out and make some of your own.

2/20/2008 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Ah! Good morning.

Formal proficiency in and of itself (as subjective as that remains) is rather dull in most artist's hands.

Everything is rather dull in the hands of most artists. Talent is rare. Other fields have an 80/20 rule; I think ours is more like 95/5. "Proficiency" is not quite the word, anyway - "instinct" would be closer to the mark. But while proficiencies of various kinds are helpful in the making of art, even proficiencies of thinking, all masterpieces are exceptions and they correlate to no particular proficiency. Visual quality, by the way, is not subjective at all - it's as real as gravity. Here's why.

It's simply not enough anymore for many art viewers.

That 95/5 rule relaxes back to 90/10 for viewers - more people have a talent for looking at art than for making it. Still more people, by a large margin, have an inclination to involve themselves in art in some manner. For them, we have the exhibition and sale of works for reasons relating to its traits rather than visual quality itself - traits like surreal imagery, a Christian message, images of naked women, the incorporation of nontraditional materials, or - here you go - the fact that the work raises issues. This is not to say that good art doesn't involve any of these things (Christianity, especially, was hugely enabling for a few hundred years), but rather that good art doesn't require any of them, and the goodness is not the traits themselves.

It would be nice if there were more of it (most artists can stand to work on their craft), but as a goal unto itself it strikes me as anachronistic. It's like learning to operate an abacus better than anyone else around you. That train has left the station.

Hardly any artist has mere craft as his goal. Even the better craftsmen understand this. The goal is quality. Craft brings you closer, but what closes the gap is mysterious and largely outside of willed effort, unless you consider looking and waiting to be willed effort.

Would you conclude that because the abacus is obsolete, it is no longer important to teach arithmetic? You have more sense than that, but the damning of useful knowledge in favor of addressing larger issues has become a huge problem both in the teaching of art and education in general, and this view has become entrenched in the art world. I can trace a line for you that starts at your offering Fraser's aforementioned video as something with redeeming qualities, and ends at your characterizing the honing of one's craft as fundamentally anachronistic. The latter belief justifies the former assertion.

Indeed, what's also not being discussed, but needs to be, is that conceptualism is here to stay, and fighting against it as if one might turn back time or open the eyes of the fools who've bought into it is a waste of time.

I'm sure the organizers of the salons of the late 19th Century also thought that they had embodied permanent verities. I think conceptualism is not here to stay, but is going to continue to cede ground to more thoroughly mixed approach described by several other commenters above, and thus purely conceptual works, with rare exceptions, are going to date quickly and badly, lacking as they do the visual quality that makes art appear worthwhile over time.

If you're unhappy with the state of aesthetics, by all means fight to raise the standards...but do so in a way that is relevant to your contemporaries.

If my contemporaries get behind work that isn't trying to be aesthetically good in the first place, we're going to continue to have these little chats.

For the record, though, I agree that the art worth knowing about combines compelling visuals with compelling concept. What so much of this debate seems to center on is disagreement over what constitutes the first part though (as if there were universally accepted criteria or methods for achieving the "visual appeal").

We're disagreeing over what constitutes visual quality as if there were universally accepted criteria for it? I had no idea. Please explain.

2/20/2008 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the old french etymology - con ce voir -

J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 12:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Bill said...

I'm with Bill and Deborah on this one too - but only because they answered ahead of me (I paint more than I post).

There's a balance that must be struck.

2/20/2008 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

IS conceptual art so popular because of the way galleries can promote it? I just googled this article by Curt Cloninger in 2001 (http://www.spark-online.com/issue24/cloninger.html) and he brings up a serious point about curators and conceptual work. He claims that with "real" art, the art itself was center stage, with curators and critics somewhere in the background. With conceptual art, the art object is "banned to the wings" and the event and it's context itself becomes the art.
This creates power in the hands of the curator, who is the intermediary between the "art" and the viewing public. With our current capitalist system, and the exponential nature of our commercialism, I can't help but wonder about the correlation here.
Is money driving us to conceptual art? Was this where "real art" was heading anyhow?
(Please forgive me Ed, if I am going off topic. Just spank me down!)

2/20/2008 12:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe it would be helpful if we had an example of a purely conceptual work - Ed?

J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I can trace a line for you that starts at your offering Fraser's aforementioned video as something with redeeming qualities

You'll have to back up there, though, as I did no such thing. I offered it as an example of transgressive art.

and ends at your characterizing the honing of one's craft as fundamentally anachronistic.

Again, not true. I characterized honing one's craft as a goal unto itself as fundamentally anachronistic. In the service of relevant ideas, I noted that honing one's craft is something most artists can stand to work on (i.e., it's something I support).

I think conceptualism is not here to stay, but is going to continue to cede ground to more thoroughly mixed approach described by several other commenters above, and thus purely conceptual works, with rare exceptions, are going to date quickly and badly, lacking as they do the visual quality that makes art appear worthwhile over time.

I think we're working with different definitions of "here to stay." I can see where a balance will re-emerge as more "important" (as well as possibly fade away yet again), but I don't think it will do so without acknowledging the contribution that more purely conceptualist work made to what's considered relevant. In other words, there won't be a wide reactionary response as much as an enveloping of lessons learned. Mutations and morphing, if you will.

Visual quality, by the way, is not subjective at all - it's as real as gravity.

If that were true (if quality's realness were as undeniable and obvious as gravity) you could select any two paintings by the same artist and everyone would agree which one was better. As that's not the case, I can't agree with that statement.

2/20/2008 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I think, as others have offered it up, that a LeWitt mural is a good example, J@simpleposie. Essentially it exists as a set of instructions. Its joy may be realized only upon execution, but the official "artwork" itself doesn't require that.

2/20/2008 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

IS conceptual art so popular because of the way galleries can promote it?

If only!!

Conceptual art remains incredibly difficult to sell. It may (in some instances) tend to garner reviews more than more traditional art, but as we've discussed here that no longer guarantees sales either.

With conceptual art, the art object is "banned to the wings" and the event and it's context itself becomes the art. This creates power in the hands of the curator, who is the intermediary between the "art" and the viewing public.

That's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure that the curator for a really good painting show gets any less attention than one for a good conceptualist show. Anyone have any data on that?

2/20/2008 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But so many of Lewitt's mural has a material form even as a photograph not pure conception.

J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

I started reading this thread and then had an attack of MEGO (Mine Eyes Glaze Over). Then I got to Franklin's comment, whereupon I thought, hooray! Yes! Exactly! And then I unfocused again. I don't know if I'm tired of the topic or if my brain is just shutting down for the day. If the latter, it's a bit early for that, but it happens.

2/20/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

how about janis kounellis- if oyu are a conceptual artist and European then you have a chance of making it... and selling it or finding government support for it?

2/20/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops , sorry my comment above should say:

Lewitt's mural has a material form even as a photograph not pure conception.

afterthought:

A Lewitt retrospective is not full of instructions but objects


J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Franklin and Joseph each make eloquent arguments to rationalize their point of view.

Unfortunately, neither position is both necessary and sufficient for great art.

2/20/2008 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

A Lewitt retrospective is not full of instructions but objects

Which makes it all the more compelling a work of conceptual art to my mind. The fact that it compels us to see the instructions realized, whether the artist is involved or not.

I started reading this thread and then had an attack of MEGO (Mine Eyes Glaze Over). Then I got to Franklin's comment, whereupon I thought, hooray! Yes! Exactly! And then I unfocused again. I don't know if I'm tired of the topic or if my brain is just shutting down for the day.

The third possibility is your mind is made up.

2/20/2008 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

correction: that should have been

"whether objects the artist made or even saw are involved or not" (clearly LeWitt was involved).

2/20/2008 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Lewitt and I saw that gigantic travelling retro in San Fransisco. I thought the work was all beautifully crafted!

J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

In that case, I guess we agree that the Fraser video has no redeeming qualities.

I characterized honing one's craft as a goal unto itself as fundamentally anachronistic.

Fine, but who was suggesting that in the first place?

If that were true (if quality's realness were as undeniable and obvious as gravity) you could select any two paintings by the same artist and everyone would agree which one was better. As that's not the case, I can't agree with that statement.

It doesn't work like that. Every human culture on earth in every period of history seems to have produced art in some form. Any of them that kept at it more than a week selected certain forms as favorable and repeated them to some degree, thus forming a style or tradition. This is part of our genetic legacy after a long period of interacting with the world that produced us. Quality is that interaction when it produces a pleasing response in persons able to detect it. It is a by-product of a certain orderly quality about the world, and it exists out there in the world, just as we exist out there in the world.

2/20/2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

My mind isn't fully made up, actually. I've been trying to think of art as play for a little while now. I've been trying to be more open and less dismissive -- more optimistic and less cynical. I mean, if art's just play, and we're all just fooling around, then why should I get all bent out of shape over conceptualism? It'd be like getting angry over a sandcastle.

I keep meaning to approach my own paintings as play, too, except I haven't actually painted much lately.

2/20/2008 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

I should phrase that question instead: Who was suggesting that honing one's craft as a goal unto itself was a good idea?

2/20/2008 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

J@simpleposie:

I thought the work was all beautifully crafted!

Nice. But what does it say about a work of art that it can be "beautifully crafted" without the artist being there or choosing the folks making the piece or approving the final product or any of those things. These questions so exquisitely raised by LeWitt are fascinating and thrilling to me. The drawings themselves are icing on the cake.

Franklin:

It doesn't work like that.

Quality doesn't, but gravity does. Perhaps another simile? ;-)

The couching your explanation entails amounts to subjectivity, though, no?

Quality is that interaction when it produces a pleasing response in persons able to detect it.

Ahhh...the elitist argument again. Definitely need to rework that simile...until gravity only affects highbrow Earthlings, that is.

2/20/2008 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger ryan said...

I'm sure conceptual art is very hard to sell at a commercial gallery, but in terms of curating I think it has a certain flexibility that's appealing when putting together an exhibition. A conceptual show doesn't necessarily garner more attention than a painting show, but I do think there's more creative power for the curator.

2/20/2008 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger Pretty Lady said...

Ahhh...the elitist argument again.

It's not elitist, it's integral. If you read Franklin's entire essay on the subject of quality, you'll notice he's not separating the viewer from the viewed; he is, instead, pointing out that there is a continuum of physical manifestation and perception that takes on certain definable patterns. If that pattern isn't happening around a certain point on the grid, that's a fact, not a judgment.

2/20/2008 01:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"But what does it say about a work of art that it can be "beautifully crafted" without the artist being there or choosing the folks making the piece or approving the final product or any of those things?"

It says there is the aesthetic interest and political will to see this artist's work.In fact it means this conceptual abstract art is not ceding to other forms of art much.




J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 01:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Are you saying that quality is not as real as gravity because it doesn't operate like gravity? Do financial markets operate like gravity? Does photosynthesis operate like gravity? Are they also not real?

The couching your explanation entails amounts to subjectivity, though, no?

The subjective world doesn't exist. It's an illusion caused by the fact that we can't actually feel our brains operating.

Ahhh...the elitist argument again. Definitely need to rework that simile...until gravity only affects highbrow Earthlings, that is.

The world is an elitist place. One sperm in an ejaculation of ten million makes a baby. Mutant specimens die by the millions until one constitutes an advancement. We look around for other planets on which water neither freezes nor boils and what do we find? Countless numbers of cold, spinning rocks. Pick whatever simile you like.

2/20/2008 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger joy said...

last I looked, 'quality' was a 'value' arrived at through consensus among any given group adhering to a specific canon or standard governing those values -- and hence subjective by definition, and relative to any given culture, class, period, etc etc etc. Franklin is arguing the case against himself without realizing it.

2/20/2008 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most people whom I have met that are Conceptual Artist are not very talented. Some are clever, and some are crafty. Most of what I noticed was that they were not good enough to actors, sculptors, or musicians or writers, so they got into "Conceptual Art"

By the way I agree with anon 09:36:00 AM.
I noticed this in Grad school as well. It was also a favorite of some of the academics.

Personally I find 99.9% of this stuff not very interesting.
however that 1% that is, makes up for all the BS that a lot of so called artist do.

2/20/2008 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

last I looked, 'quality' was a 'value' arrived at through consensus among any given group adhering to a specific canon or standard governing those values -- and hence subjective by definition, and relative to any given culture, class, period, etc etc etc.

The above statement relates to the one EW made:

What so much of this debate seems to center on is disagreement over what constitutes [compelling visuals] though (as if there were universally accepted criteria or methods for achieving the "visual appeal").

And so I asked:

We're disagreeing over what constitutes visual quality as if there were universally accepted criteria for it? I had no idea. Please explain.

And he did not. Quality can only be defined tautologically in other like terms: goodness, desirability, and so on. Quality has no universally accepted criteria. Consensus exists but proves nothing. Governance of quality is impossible, and with no criteria, standards can't be established. This doesn't prove that quality is subjective or unreal, but that it is not subject to definition, criteria, consensus, governance, or standards. There are other phenomena like this. Love is one of them.

2/20/2008 01:48:00 PM  
Blogger Pretty Lady said...

Last *I* looked, 'quality' was a 'value' independent of any external characteristics or standards at all, arrived at by a process of intuitive labor, and perceived by consensus. Reference: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

2/20/2008 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger wisesigh said...

My comment did not show up. Trying again.

The dichotomy between conceptual art approach and material/formalist approach seems to be one of starting point -- idea or form -- and sufficiency -- how much form must an idea take, how much idea must material manipulation impart.

Formalism has an underlying idea -- that exploring/perfecting form itself communicates. Not sure that's anachronistic but it can be limiting to the point of dullness. Conceptual art takes some form -- weak form diminishes the rhetoric to the point of dullness. The best art integrates both, though not necessarily in equal measure; the synergy is greater than the concept or form alone.

I'm probably behind the curve ... it's hard for me to see an idea that does not take visual form as visual art, rather than rhetoric. Are Lewitt's instructions as typed out -- the visual form they take prior to being executed -- visual art? Someone reading them may in fact imagine the completed work, much as someone reading a passage in a book may imagine the scene; the book is literature (putting aside typography).

2/20/2008 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous saline solution said...

you people ARE high. Why don't you take the water cure with some alcopop or malt beverage and get back to me without the long winded thought pieces?

2/20/2008 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

"The problem that we face in America today is not the lack of ideas. It is that Washington has become a place where good ideas go to die." (Obama)

Okay, that might be a bit off-topic, but maybe not...

2/20/2008 01:55:00 PM  
Blogger Pretty Lady said...

Actually, David, I was thinking that the state of art today mirrors the state of politics today, as well. I'm hoping that both are entering a phase of integration, transcendence and genuine truth-seeking, rather than false dichotomies and the power politics of mutual sabotage.

2/20/2008 01:58:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

I'm all for alienating labor but sometimes you gotta get the job done right. Am I right? Don;t forget the salt.

It sips its coffee and reads of its soldiers administering the “water cure” to rebels; of how water with handfuls of salt thrown in to make it more efficacious, is forced down the throats of the patients until their bodies become distended to the point of bursting; of how our soldiers then jump on the distended bodies to force the water out quickly so that the “treatment” can begin all over again. The American Public takes another sip of its coffee and remarks, “How very unpleasant!”

2/20/2008 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

oh and re burden - Hitler comissioned the VW bug. No shit.

2/20/2008 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

One of the most important artworks in the last 50 years is Keith Tyson’s "Large Field Array" shown at Pace earlier in the year.

All the issues being discussed here are addressed in Tyson’s sculptural installation, and it was fun to see.

2/20/2008 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

PL, you may be a bit more optimistic than I am about the art world at present, but I must say that this is the first time in quite awhile that I've felt any excitement about the possibility of real change in the political arena.

2/20/2008 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Bnon said...

I think people have been confusing the aesthetic with the visual. Conceptual art has to succeed aesthetically, that is, it needs to have some compelling aspect--from political insight to truth even to beauty--that is turned over in the mind. It need not be visual at alll, and that's why it's different in kind from formalist art, which can only be understood visually.

Sidebar: I think Lewitt's success as a formalist makes him a very tricky case study for conceptualism!

2/20/2008 02:13:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

Someone had to bring up Duchamp, didn't they? Talk about anachronisms.

2/20/2008 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger ec said...

Okay, I'm annoyed.
Why.
False distinctions as pointed out before suggest visual and conceptual are different, which undermines one approach in favor of another that takes the visual out of art. Is conceptual art's overt social agenda better than something to look at? Don't you ever want to simply look at something, and be transported? I'm not talking about supermodels.

Now that the psychological model of self/postwar 20th century existentialism is relegated to a guivering hand, the artist as quasi-scientist, technocrat researcher offers are more socially valid approach? The visualization of individual consciousness is anachronistic? Judy Linhares, Julie Evans, Amanda Church, Jenny Dubnau, David Humphrey. Come again?

Odd Nerdrum and Stella Vine's differences cause a tension that render Vine's efforts more contemporary. It's not labored over but functions as a backlash, a rebellion, a new territory IN RELATION to Nerdrum. Which work actually has more content? Or neither, because its crafted? Lack of craft is content? Only at first, relative to history. After that, as others have said before, it's a crapshoot.

Odd Nerdrum's essay on kitsch makes the case that modernism forms a visual specialization that discards tradition to the kitsch bin.

I agree with it only in that I can't see that the contemporary world looks a certain way, particularly with so much history inside of it.

2/20/2008 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Tyson’s piece, turns all that on it’s ear. Its impeccably crafted, by someone else, visualized by the artist or someone else, conceptual to the point of overkill. It laughs at all these silly distinctions

2/20/2008 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

"One of the most important artworks in the last 50 years is Keith Tyson’s "Large Field Array" shown at Pace earlier in the year."

I think so too - along with Jeff Koons eggs. What a one two knockout!

2/20/2008 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

No, Tyson’s in another league from Koons. In a period when the artworld was awash in money, Tyson used it to his advantage. The fabrication of the elements of this piece remove the issue of craft from the work, turning each object into a symbolic element which function in relationship to all the others. Although it’s a highly crafted piece, it turns many assumptions of the last several years on end. It is a watershed sculpture for the 21st century.

2/20/2008 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love Jeff Koons' work.

J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 02:33:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

Tyson's LFA must be important, because it's so darned big. And we all know that big + complex = important!

To me it looks more like what would happen if Ikea bought Chelsea.

2/20/2008 02:37:00 PM  
Blogger ec said...

What I recognize in this discussion is my ongoing interest in the surface and discourse of painting. Silly to think painting is as important to others as it is to me. Because in painting, the effort of individual craft is part and parcel with the whole effort and that to me has great value.
The Tyson and Koons work is deeply social, friendly, intuitive, good-looking--but not half as interesting in terms of one body relating to another. Maybe it just comes down to multiple intelligence. Nonetheless there's a huge degree of craft in their works. So the visual has been attended to.

2/20/2008 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re:

"False distinctions as pointed out before suggest visual and conceptual are different, which undermines one approach in favor of another that takes the visual out of art."

I believe people were suggesting formal and conceptual make a tough binary on account of the way they so constantly involve one another in their outcomes.Also, when you ask, "Is conceptual art's overt social agenda better than something to look at?" What do you mean by overt social agenda?


J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Tyson may be in another league but their repsective fields are still in Central Park, which is flat last I checked.

What is going on with all the territorial pissing anyways? To point out (fait accompli!)that history is circular - in a self validating prophesy - while making a tidy profit? Bra-vo! Let he to drown in two inches of water first be the one to get the chew toy.

I heard the Large Field Array array is free to the first person to deliver a chunk of Satelite 193 to Chelsea. Is that true?

2/20/2008 02:48:00 PM  
Blogger wisesigh said...

Two different questions -- 1) preference for predominance of concept verses predominance of aesthetic impact in articulation of artwork; 2) who the "maker" of the art is (fabrication by other than the artist's hand) -- are getting conflated.

2/20/2008 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger Pretty Lady said...

David, I said I was hoping. I'm less optimistic about the state of the Art World than I am about the state of communication in the world today. Thanks to the Internet, for the first time I have a chance to make my voice heard on a global scale without anybody else giving me that chance, whether they be an art dealer, an institution or a media outlet. That's a change on a quantum level.

2/20/2008 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Most people whom I have met that are Conceptual Artist are not very talented. Some are clever, and some are crafty. Most of what I noticed was that they were not good enough to actors, sculptors, or musicians or writers, so they got into "Conceptual Art"

Most people whom I have met who are Artists are not very talented. Full Stop.

What makes me cringe is why some folks feel so compelled to single out Conceptualists on this issue?

Most art sucks. Conceptualist and formalist. The presumed preponderance of sucky art in one or the other category reveals nothing so much as preference, IMO. And I say that as someone who goes to many artist studios and has tons of images pass his desk every day. A lack of talent is rather common and totally independent of formal vs. conceptual leanings.

Everyone is entitled to their own preference, but I strongly believe a strong bias here only hurts the person who's biased. I was encouraged to read that Chris is now seeing the value of being open to play and less dismissive. I wish every artist was. Being too set in one's ways is so pre-Pluralist. ;-P

2/20/2008 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Catherine Spaeth said...

On Keith Tyson's Large Field Array:

This was excess and ostentation to the max, where technically pristine realist figures burst out of the minimalist grid and called out to each other with uncertain meaning across their little spaces for the sake of "an open work." NASDAQ included.

I'm not nostalgic for Kosuth's FIVE WORDS IN BLUE NEON, but I also find this gargantuan display of technical ability and resources passed off as conceptual art very thin, relying on cheap effects and visual interest to pull off some kind of commentary on thought as flitty and durational, relying on excess and scale to do it.

From my blog:

"...it matters a great deal that the first exhibition at the Flag is devoted to hyper-real artifice and visual interest. In the gallery of the Flag, we spent the longest time standing before Thomas Demand’s Lawn, (1998). There is considerable visual interest in this photograph of a patch of grass from the perfect lawn - the absorption available to the viewer is like that of an abstract all-over painting. An added twist is that this patch of grass is completely artificial, as Demand constructs a paper tableau from an original photograph, distancing photography from being the one-click index of the real world to being the site of labor intensive artifice. In many works at the Flag, such technical replication of things in the world was its own ostentation, and imitative deceit constitutes the success of the work."

and:

"...artifice, visual interest, attention to detail, ...these can make beautiful, engaging works, but they also can be quite empty as decoration, irony or gimic. The ooh aah effect rules in either case,and what we have are baubles - conspicuous consumption. So yes, I do think that quality is at stake, and the question is, "what counts as quality?" Michael Fried offered that a work of art should compel conviction, and I am at least saying here that much of the work in this exhibit, though by no means all, does not compel conviction and that it appears quite hollow."

2/20/2008 03:07:00 PM  
Anonymous vend-o-matic said...

I'm all out of love. Im so lost without you.

2/20/2008 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

what ever it is Zippy's got, clearly it's contagious.

2/20/2008 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Signature style dude. You can;t take that away form me. No you can;t.

Talent is a joke. God wants you dead, think about that while you play with your knot of "free will" and you "problem of evil" and your immanent transcendent semantic blockage, thats all you are to me.

Just a drop of water in an endless sea.

2/20/2008 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Everyone is entitled to their own preference, but I strongly believe a strong bias here only hurts the person who's biased. I was encouraged to read that Chris is now seeing the value of being open to play and less dismissive. I wish every artist was. Being too set in one's ways is so pre-Pluralist. ;-P

As your tastes cultivate, you warm to more and more kinds of art and to fewer and fewer examples within each kind. There is a simultaneous widening and narrowing - an expansion of kind and a winnowing of numbers. That narrowness pays off in density - strong awareness about the parameters within that narrow margin. If your tastes are doing something else, you have probably latched on to traits instead of quality.

2/20/2008 03:35:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

My catherine, such last century thought. I find it hilarious that people get stuck on what the LFA cost (excess etc) when this aspect of the work perfectly represents the ERA. It wasn’t passed off as conceptual art at least as far as I know. I think the LFA addresses a number of issues dear to contemporary intellectual thought by turning them inside out. I am not surprised that the critical community failed to get past the luxury of its objectness.

2/20/2008 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

Zip sez:
...Central Park, which is flat last I checked.

Zip, have you ever actually been to Central Park? Because it ain't flat.

2/20/2008 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"traits instead of quality"

And they would differ how? Traits being plural and quality singular?

2/20/2008 03:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Quality has no traits, just like it has no criteria.

2/20/2008 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Quality is the hobgoblin of the mediocre.

C Park is flat from the top down. Or for me, cuz I'm so fucking huge.

2/20/2008 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By definition quality is synonymous with trait.

J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Rywalt said...

J and that previous Anonymous, are you two new to the English language? Because, like many words in English, the word "quality" has more than one meaning. One of them is synonymous with "trait." At least one of them is not. We're talking about one of those.

2/20/2008 03:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I am not new to the English language. But since you're obviously more hip to what quality means than I am, why don't you tell us about this other meaning... I am all ears. Can you beat "Quality is the hobgoblin of the mediocre"? I doubt it.


J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Quality is the hobgoblin of the mediocre.

You're the one quoting Kansas.

By definition quality is synonymous with trait.

By golly, you're right! I had no idea! That demolishes everything I had to say above! I think I like Jeff Koons now!

Wait, it looks like another definition is "native excellence or superiority." Never mind.

2/20/2008 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Catherine Spaeth said...

I don't care how much LFA cost. But I do think that who ever bought it certainly did. No, the excess I'm interested in is a heavy reliance upon visual interest as the motor of the work,and I think it's an easy trick that wealthy collectors who like to go shopping are seduced by.

LFA is a work that explodes with its interest in the history of conceptual art - hence the comparison to kosuth's self-enclosed tautology becomes an obvious comparison. And one of the things we are certainly skirting around here is how do we talk about conceptual art practices today? much of it has the promotional gimic status of Lawrence Weiners small objects, displayed in the glass cabinet.

But much of it today ia also caught up in artifice and visual interest. We do have to consider such figurative artists as Ron Mueck, Patricia Puccinini, Maurizio Cattelan, etc. as enjoying a certain literacy as "conceptual."

Don't forget that a lot of conecptual art was statement or a question, a serious claim or a joke, about the real - whether it was kosuth's displaced chairs or Lawrence Weiner's words that claimed to be what they were not.

So I think Ed is right on when he raises this so-called "dichotomy" as an issue relevsnt to something as relevant as this week and last.

2/20/2008 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Catherine Spaeth said...

Sorry for the typos, Ed.

2/20/2008 04:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Franklin is "native excellence or superiority" what you mean in your usage of quality? Something beyond criteria?'

J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

Thanks to the Internet, for the first time I have a chance to make my voice heard on a global scale without anybody else giving me that chance...

Yes, that's definitely a positive change.

2/20/2008 04:33:00 PM  
Blogger David said...

EW: Most art sucks. Conceptualist and formalist. The presumed preponderance of sucky art in one or the other category reveals nothing so much as preference, IMO.

Readers' poll. Vote for your preference:

__ sucky formalist
__ sucky conceptualist

2/20/2008 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find myself constantly in opposition to what is called formalism; not because I doubt the necessity of formal analysis, or the positive value of work done by serious formalist critics. But because I mistrust their certainties, their apparatus of quantification, their self-righteous indifference to that part of artistic utterance which their tools do not measure. I dislike above all their interdictory stance - the attitude that tells an artist what he ought not to do, and the spectator what he ought not to see.
Leo
Steinberg

2/20/2008 04:57:00 PM  
Anonymous sharon said...

@ Joanne Mattera --

That's an interesting argument. I wonder what the reality of craft in the classroom is right now. I went to Pratt in Brooklyn and the majority of my first two years was tightly restricted to the focus of craft and workshop classes around my major. We did focus hard on how to stretch a canvas; whether or not we were going to be doing that later.

Also, on archival work-- is that what makes good craft? I'm thinking of Eva Hesse and her cracked, disintegrating latex and fiberglass sculptures. I wouldn't say she didn't have mastery, but I do think she was more interested in the concept.

To the post in general, I think this matter and all kinds like it boil down to pure intent. The intent has to be there, and the skill will back it up. There are purposeful executions which don't look like flawless fabrications.

Also, how has noone brought up Felix Gonzalez Torres? He's as good an example as Sol LeWitt; and his art is determined legitimate by the certificate of authenticity. Is this the future of art?

2/20/2008 05:08:00 PM  
Anonymous sharon said...

Please forgive the wooden delivery-- I'm rushing through my lunch hour :)

2/20/2008 05:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Catherine Spaeth said...

Leo Steinberg is truly amazing. But he also is not beyond aesthetic judgment - he just turned to technology and visual culture to make it. His question might be "what is an achievement," and other criteria would not be possible without it.

Formalism at that time was a pretty literal reading of Greenberg's picture plane. Formalism today is really up for grabs - I don't care for Joanna Drucker's thing a whole lot - her writing bothers me, and the work she enjoys does too, for the most part- but there is something very handy at the moment about her claims for complicity as "formal," and I think that it is her ability to make that claim that is at the heart of the difficulty I am having, at least, with describing 'conceptual art' in the present. Whatever practices that existed as "conceptual" have seeped out and been absorbed by such diversity, that what I do know is that conceptual art changed nearly the entire landscape of contemporary art.

I say nearly, because I have also been listening to the painter's comments as well. There is something different there, sure you have conceptual painters like David Diao, for example, but there are also painters like Bridget Riley, who uses assistants in her studio so that she can devote her time to what she refers to as empirical research - the careful observation within very narrow paramters that led to what was up at Pace Wildenstien not too long ago. Empirical research is different than having or relating to a concept.

2/20/2008 05:25:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

Readers' poll. Vote for your preference:

__ sucky formalist
__ sucky conceptualist

anything that sucks, as long as it swallows

2/20/2008 05:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steinberg is amazing. I quoted him (and I bunged up the link too sorry) because his resistance to formalist critique sounds so similar to complaints about conceptualism that have been aired on this thread.


J@simpleposie

2/20/2008 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

oh I forgot the :)

2/20/2008 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as someone right out of school it sounds so archaic to hear that anyone would be "anti-conceptualism".

2/20/2008 07:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A foolish consistency is the hemoglobin of small minds.

Back to the tricksterism we were discussing at the beginning, would Andrea Fraser's video (of her having sex with a collector) have been the same (I mean would it have been the same experience for the viewer) if it were a hoax? Maybe the guy she had sex with is her boyfriend or regular sex partner. Maybe that whole set-up about the contract and exchange of money was made up. How would we know? And would it matter? And do we know it was even Andrea in the video? It could have been one of those conceptual "instruction pieces" acted out by performers. And would that make a difference? If that was the case, would we just be watching porn in a gallery rather than experiencing conceptual art (or was it institutional critique?)? Yes, I know, context matters. So how about we just take some object and take it out of its normal context and put it in a gallery? Like, say, a urinal? Oh wait, it's been done.

Oriane

2/20/2008 07:29:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

The problem I have with both the conceptualist (catherine, joseph) and formalist (franklin) positions being argued here is that they are conservative, out of date, lodged in remnants of past critical thought, and frankly not very relevant to someone trying to make art today.

Weiner and Kosouth are minor artists at best. Conceptualism, as Ed has noticed doesn’t fare well in the marketplace but has created a cottage industry of arcane philosophy in academia. Nobody else cares.

FYI, the LFA sold for around $7.5M to a European collector. This is not particularily expensive relative to the current state of the market. From what I can tell Tyson, started work on this piece without full funding and it has been an ongoing work in progress, expanding and changing each time it was exhibited.

What makes this sculptural installation significant is the way it turns inside out the current critical expectations. It is not infused with irony, but it is quite humorous in places. I feel catherine is trying to read something into this work based upon her own biases, not what is actually there. Any artwork made today will contain some awareness of conceptual art, this does not automatically link it up to Kosuth.

Further, it is a puritan error in judgement to suggest that ‘visual interest’ is not an important part of a visual art form.

If Tyson provides us with an excess of visual interest, what are we to make of this? Is this saying the work is "not serious" or that one should not seek to decipher the extrordinarily complex relationshp of its parts? To the contrary. I saw this exhibition five times, and in every case discussed it with other viewers in the gallery. To a person, they were all interested in making connections between the various parts of the installation. How human, to seek out meaning and importance and relationships we constantly encounter in our lives.

2/20/2008 08:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adj. 1. crafty - marked by skill in deception; "cunning men often pass for wise"; "deep political machinations"; "a foxy scheme"; "a slick evasive answer"; "sly as a fox"; "tricky Dick"; "a wily old attorney"

Sorry I'm still a few threads behind.
All art is about the craft of developing an idea. How that manifests in our world of appearances is anyone's choice.
There is no such thing as conceptual art, it just appears to us so. Just as there is no such thing called perceptual art, appearances are always deceiving.
Which brings to mind, what is the point of art? Well, at least one point that comes to my mind is this word 'deception' -- to bring us closer to it, its machinations, that leads us not to some place else but into a range of possibilities that are linked to this word 'clarity', or 'higher sense perception'. In this way deception may be the key to creativity and understanding a little more about appearances in order to get to the good stuff, wherever that may lead us or be.

hmm, can't get into my account... actually which button do I go for>
c.p.

2/20/2008 09:15:00 PM  
Blogger ec said...

simpleposie
To answer your question
I am remembering a website in Beijing, a temporary collaborative of artists making a field study on life there, intervieweing Beijingers about air, water, their lifestyles, etc. The images on the site (sorry can't remember the name) show artists with clipboards conducting interviews. I daresay, tho' cannot know, that their "findings" will be presented via diagram, symbol and design. However, it is also connective and social information that will illuminate what life is like in Beijing.
As an object-maker whose discipline, painting, requires much solitude (to better understand how to approach form and space on a flat surface) my love for human touch and movement in the fabrication of images cannot be denied. I find powerful content in the way decisions are made about form and volumes in relation to tradition AND the flatness of contemporary images (logos, symbols, etc.). The commentary in much work,no matter what medium or discipline, does not strike me as interesting as visual decisions that are harnessed to a vision or intention.

2/20/2008 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Pretty Lady said...

Conceptual art remains incredibly difficult to sell.

Sorry to come in so late with this, but I couldn't let it pass.

Ideas gain power and significance by being shared. Art as a commodity gains market value by being perceived as unique, special and rare. Therefore, attempting to commodify an idea as art works in opposition to the very thing that makes an idea powerful.

Thus, the inevitable result of attempting to commodify conceptual art is that you try to foster a market by convincing a small group of rich people that they are the 'elite' for being able to understand this very arcane, trivial, insubstantial idea. Because if it happened to be a truly powerful, world-changing idea, it would be commonly accessible everywhere.

And that is why I give my ideas away for free, and make beautiful paintings about those ideas which I sell for large sums of money.

2/21/2008 10:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Most people whom I have met who are Artists are not very talented. Full Stop. What makes me cringe is why some folks feel so compelled to single out Conceptualists on this issue?

Somehow I missed this. It's because talent for conceptualism amounts to an ability to calculate ways of garnering serious attention from art-world insiders. This why Duchamp is the movment's Leonardo. High praise for a conceptualist work is that it generated a lot of discussion. (I have coined a new fallacy for this: argumentum ad argumentum.) If you make art because you love to draw, you'll persist at it even as the institutional system denies your entry. Whereas I can't imagine Christopher Ho spreading rumors about an art sale around the privacy of his home. This stuff is predicated on the attentions of the fashionable end of the art world.

Most art sucks. Conceptualist and formalist. The presumed preponderance of sucky art in one or the other category reveals nothing so much as preference, IMO.

In the grand total, perhaps. But I challenge you to find a contemporary museum that is not showing conceptualist work at the moment. In fact, you'll struggle to find an unalloyed formalist under the age of 50 on solo display.

A lack of talent is rather common and totally independent of formal vs. conceptual leanings.

Again, conceptualist talent is social. Formal talent is artistic. They correlate accordingly.

2/21/2008 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

It's because talent for conceptualism amounts to an ability to calculate ways of garnering serious attention from art-world insiders.

This is a gross generalization, along with the rest of the paragraph, nothing more than an unsupported opinion.

The response to "Most art sucks." doesn’t address the subject which has nothing to do with what is currently being exhibited, but rather just an opinion that in general most art isn’t that good.

"…conceptualist talent is social…" Surely you are joking Franklin? Do you know any conceptual artists socially?

I am amazed at how avid people are to fight last years battles.

2/21/2008 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[i] Again, conceptualist talent is social. Formal talent is artistic. [/i]

Does that make Thomas Kincade "artistic"? To qualify conceptual as something other than "artistic" but formalist as such, is placing a value judgement on what is and isn't "art". You can't be exclusionary on the left hand and sweepingly broad with the right.

2/21/2008 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Franklin, you must be looking out the rear window, because today, as we speak, the formal and conceptual are between.
c.p.

2/21/2008 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for answering my question EC. Do you see the individuals who run the website you describe as a potential audience for your work?How do you think your work will speak to them? Do you want it to?

J@simpleposie

2/21/2008 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The solitude you seek "(to better understand how to approach form and space on a flat surface)" is conceptual no? "I find powerful content in the way decisions are made about form and volumes in relation to tradition AND the flatness of contemporary images (logos, symbols, etc.). What are visual decisions that are harnessed to a vision or intention?


J@simpleposie

2/21/2008 09:38:00 PM  
Blogger ec said...

J@simpleposie,
I do not imagine the individuals who run the website mentioned earlier as an audience for my work or really any work in painting. I think it's Bert de Muyck, a European architect, running a lab in Beijing. It looks interesting: writers, theorists and architects use interaction and collaboration as methodologies to find out more about a place. I don't see collaboratives of this kind taking an interest in "pictures" and so have to admit, I automatically exclude myself from their activities and discount the possibility my work would interest them. Yet, even if I gave the situation all the latitude it realistically would need, the images don't excite me--it's more their ideas that do. But what gets me going is visual ideas! Something to ignite my imagination! Like traditional Chinese painting, which in the eyes of contemporary Bejing is utterly retardataire. I get it, new language, new way of doing things--but it doesn't excite me as much as painting.
Yes to your point that painting is highly conceptual. I believe there is an acute level of visual intelligence in painting that is often dismissed or undermined by many streams of "contemporary dialogue" as well as collaborative enterprises with social maximum impact, such as film makers, advertisers and so forth. Simply because images are so abundant and so richly made, that the slow evolution of painting might seem almost unnecessary, and the culture at large (I generalize) become more visually illiterate. Yet, for the same reason someone posted the Leo Steinberg quote, I can understand why someone would feel trapped with an emphasis on painting.
Visual decisions harnessed to a vision or intention arise through the methods of painting to convey meaning. The meaning is not applied nor is it externalized but interiorized, if you will, within the logic of a painting. Whether window, field or surface a painting either convinces with an internal logic, or it doesn't. If it does, the weight and substance of forms, of space, color will cohere. The internal logic of painting comes through process and cannot support an external framework without its becoming integrated within the structure.

I hope this is clear--let's take Judy Linhares for one example: she uses the emphatic juicy brushwork of Bay Area abstraction circa 1960s to talk about a dream world of campfires and girls with pails and flowers...where gravity is upended and light comes from internal color. She could never program these paintings from an externalized agenda. They are highly conceptual, but not in a way that is verbal. Another example would be Jennifer Reeves' show two years ago, when she started painting those strange mark characters. That kind of idea is far too strange to come out of anything else but the protracted encounter w/ painting. These painters, so many other--Joyce Pensato--combine tradition and contemporary experience.

2/21/2008 11:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi ec.

I left the Steinberg quote - for the record, the passage has nothing to do with feeling trapped with painting and everything to do with Steinberg rejecting the certitude of formal critique.


This certitude is the same thing many have taken issue with in this thread with regard to the critical language of conceptualism. I find it interesting.

Related, in this thread we have Franklin using the word quality to describe something "superior" or "beyond criteria". Most people commenting seem to accept the term conceptual as ideas. But it's limited because the term derives from conceive, conception. As such it implies fertility and creativity and those terms carry a lot more magic and mystery - far less certitude in their outcomes than "conceptualsm and formalism" the way they are bandied about here. What is superior to creativity? And isn't certitude it's great enemy?

J@simpleposie

2/22/2008 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger CAP said...

quality 1 the degree of excellence of a thing (of good quality; poor in quality). 2 a general excellence (their work has quality). b (attrib.) of high quality (a quality product). 3 a distinctive attribute or faculty; a characteristic trait. 4 the relative nature or kind of thing ( is made in three qualities). 5 a the distinctive timbre of a voice or sound. b Phonet. the distinguishing characteristic or characteristics of a sound. 6 archaic high social standing (people of quality). 7 Logic the property of a proposition's being affirmative or negative. [Middle English via Old French qualité from Latin qualitas-tatis, from qualis 'of what kind']

2/22/2008 08:06:00 AM  
Blogger ec said...

I'm really amazed that you would think for one second, J, that I thought the Steinberg quote meant trapped in painting. This kind of literalism defeats any kind of nuance or inflection and the effort of making myself understood on this forum feels futile. Oh, okay, Steinberg wasn't talking about painting. I get it.
My point had more to do with the stultifying effects of certitude. Yet after cycles of creativity/research, certitude, at least in a certain result, is an achievement, don't you agree? Not to ossify, but to coalesce.
Long story short, I'm way more attracted to visually-based research for reasons already mentioned.
Goodbye.

2/22/2008 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger ec said...

Oh, and J, yes creativity is paramount. Exercising aesthetic perameters for oneself, is part of that process.

2/22/2008 08:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok it's time to find an aversery to dictionary accounts.
I enjoyed Ec's personal account, thank you.
Simple, perhaps govern your conceits with less bait and far less gluttony. And don't use people for your own platform.
Cap, hi!
c.p.

2/22/2008 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger CAP said...

Part of the problem in appreciating so-called Conceptual Art is the misleading name. The name suggests that the work gives overwhelming precedence to ideas, but obviously the ideas have to take some material form, otherwise there is no work to experience. Even to issue written or spoken instructions or descriptions of some event or object; as a work comes up against formal questions of presentation, standards and skill or sensitivity in exploiting the options there. Although mostly unacknowledged, this is actually what most Conceptual Art is (rightly) judged on - for excellence or expertise. The skill in Conceptual Art is rarely in the novelty or ingenuity of ‘the ideas’. As philosophers or theoreticians they are without exception indifferent.

What they’re doing has nothing to do with ‘de-materializing’ the work either – on the contrary. Conceptual Art extends the identity of works from the fine or plastic arts, to phases familiar to the performing arts and literature, to stages of script or score, performance or duration, recording or documenting. LeWitt’s instructions for his murals are as important to the identity of the work as any realized or performed instance, and as with other Conceptual works, even when a realized mural (or other object) may be destroyed, a record of the work remains another vital phase to its identity (much the way recordings of music and drama are valid instances of a work).

The skill or craft involved, has to do with firstly detecting and demonstrating this aspect to the fine arts, conversely, extending the range of performance and literature to include other kinds of events or durations, gallery contexts and objects used there. The skill is not necessarily in some kind of commercial slickness to presentation – sometimes quite the opposite. And obviously Conceptual Art now is nothing like it was 40 years ago, new issues arise (technology), the bar gets raised; sensitivities are attuned to other aspects, the skill lies in exemplifying or sampling these so that some portion of the public recognizes them through the work, in any of its phases.

Skill is not confined to matters of the hand, but no brain likes to be without hands.

2/22/2008 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Catherine Spaeth said...

When I think of conceptual, it is often hard at first for me to link it to the body - maybe its closer to an immaculate conception. For the most part, I think of art that is driven by "a concept" as an approach from the outside, and interested in the nature of that outsideness, perhaps. And so we often find things dispersed, calling out to each other across a field from within their different containers of meaning.

However, conceptual art is historically at its best when dislodging certainties and opening out the world to its materiality, often in the gap between word and thing.

These gaps between one thing and another become an expression of different aspects of thought, related in difference. Conceptual art can reveal a texture of thought that seeks discernment in its own qualities as made visible in their dispersal and separation.

It used to be that the physical material realization of these aspects were very corporal, back in the days when phenomenology was cool, Mel Bochner could write on the wall that "language is not transparent," and Lawrence Wiener's or Michael Asher's cutting removals were felt as a bodily intervention in institutional spaces.

With the advent of theory, most contemporary art practices are very interested in "being conceptual," and I made the earlier statement that even hyper-figurative artists can prop their work on some vague conceptual-ism. At the Flag, I suppose that when we bend to to see if those cigarettes are real or false, there is some pleasure in the fact that we have to put our noses in the dirt to get the joke, and this is not so immaculate. Does this qualify, in even the weakest way, as "conceptual"? Presumably there is some value there, or maybe it's just rubber vomit in a more expensive form? Or is this, as rubber vomit, just a form of institutional critique? I offer this bad example as an exercise in terminal definitions.

2/22/2008 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

When I think of conceptual, the emperor is a virgin and has no clothes. While I would agree that most driving is done outside, I think one must conjecture that almost all art is done inside, that "outsidedness" is the exclusive domain of outdoor art.
Everything is dispersed to one degree or another, for no two objects can occupy the same place at the same time. [Wiggins] And so, while two things (objects) may exchange information they cannot be contained, in the sense of constrained or bounded by ‘meaning’ which is information, thus inanimate and unable to materially affect an object.

I would debate the point whether or not dislodging certainties can materially change anything by dislocation without negating their certanic aspects as related to real world relativity. The difficulty in polarizing the word and the thing is that they are just two quantum loci of focus among many. Surely one cannot dismiss sound or smell or vision, as being present in this implied gap.

These gaps between one thing and another, in the past were called ‘negative space" among the visual theoreticians as a way of differentiating the difference between here and there. I would question the assumption that thought can acquire the qualities of texture, at least without the use of way too many small words, although I would admit that quantifying and organizing these qualities in some organized form, like a spreadsheet, may suffice to make your point.

Material realization of anything is by definition corporal with or without the blessings of the phenomenologists. What one may write on the wall, may or may not be transparent depending on ones frame of reference and the actual marking. Certainly, large letters made with a small market will take on the appearance of transparency, only to subvert this perception upon closer examination. This is especially true if the phrase is written in a language one does not know, for then the meaning is reduced down to the semantic patterning of the various characters, a pattern if you will. The points on removals, are essentially a variant on the negative space points mentioned above.

In the beginning there was fact but no theory. With the advent of theory, people became confused about facts and tried to construct theories to account for them. In the process, what were once facts became theories and the facts became distorted. This accounts for why artists, especially at an early stage of their career, only practice, for in fact they are not really sure of their facts and practice in an attempt to find order. I have great difficulty with the suggestion that hyper-realism is conceptual. To engage in this practice, one needs only good technical skills with ones chosen media, and the ability to ‘zone out’ into what is, essentially a brain-dead state, in order to mimic or map one point onto another, thought does not enter into it if one assumes motor skills happen at a low or automatic level of brain activity.

On the other hand I am a great fan of rubber puke.

References:
Wiggins, David. "On Being in the Same Place at the Same Time," Philosophical Review 77 (1968), 90-5.

2/22/2008 02:59:00 PM  

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