Partner: Franklin Zhu
Franklin and I decided to go to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) this week. The two of us each researched pieces that would allow us to do our workshops. His workshop on technology in art and mine on art in context. Franklin chose to build his work shop around Teiji Furuhashi’s Lovers and I chose Dieter Roth’s KarnickelKottelKarnickel (Bunny-dropping-bunny, published in 1972). After viewing Teiji Furuhashi’s piece, we had a conversation about the work, the technology used, and why the specific technology (rotating projectors) was appropriately used. Franklin had a really interesting take on technology in art. For thesis, Franklin is making a dragon with technology which speaks a lot to the idea of technology and is mysticism. As our discussion continued, we realized that the column of rotating projectors which Furuhashi used to create his phantasms is the equivalent to Franklin’s magic dragon. There is a magic to technology in art and that magic occurs when technology is appropriately used and consequently no longer matters. Technology becomes magic when only the poetry of the piece is important.
For my workshop, I chose Dieter Roth’s KarnickelKottelKarnickel which was part of the exhibit, ‘From the Collection: 1960-1969’. I had randomly chosen the piece that I liked from the MoMA website that was indicated as currently being exhibited. Little did I know, ‘From the Collection: 1960-1969’ was actually doing something really similar to what I was trying to achieve with my workshop. The exhibit had work from art, architecture, and design spanning the whole decade and a bit after into the mid-70s, all displayed within the same gallery right next to one another. The variety of work exhibited together created conversation between pieces and seemed to allude to the zeitgeist of the period.Above: Screenshot from the MoMA website exhibition page
For my workshop I brought a series of slides on my iPhone that I felt contextualized Roth’s process and approach to the creation of KarnickelKottelKarnickel. Within the slides I included work Roth created before and after 1972, work from paralleling art movements of the time, historical events around 1972, and art that has been created since 1972 that seems to be in conversation with Roth’s work. My workshop contextualized in a different way than the MoMA exhibit. The exhibit indirectly contextualized through a general sampling of works from that period, whereas my presentation tried to contextualize a singular art piece through the work, thinkers, and events of the time.
After seeing and presenting within the exhibit, I wonder what parts of my workshop and what parts of the exhibition were done well and what could have been done better. I really like the idea of zeitgeist in relation to the “intellectual climate” that I proposed for my workshop. To me they run parallel to each other. I think that my workshop would have benefited by having other forms of intellectual work: music, design, architecture, poetry. Including other areas of creativity was something that I had spoken about in my original proposal, but had left out due limited research and an inaccessibility to experts in these respective fields.
Above: Photo collage of display cabinet with art, objects, posters, and garments from the late 1960s. Dieter Roth’s KarnickelKottelKarnickel is displayed on a white shelf with other pieces.