Learn how your comment data is processed. I will have to revisit this in the future, although, for now, see below for what I think Louise Lawler has to say on the matter). Mark Wigley, “The Architectural Cult of Synchronization,”. If Smithson’s conception of the inevitable entropic oblivion that awaits all forms on monumentality—and human endeavor more generally—might appear nihilistic or unexpectedly romantic (however valid or even visionary it may seem in the face of the existential implications of climate change) it also presents a paradigm for a monumentalism that is able to register the contingencies of experience and the discontinuities and multiplicities of history and, perhaps most importantly, repudiate the promise of permanence and possessiveness that has made the monument so ideologically problematic for a radical, let alone progressive, politics.

Now, there are two points I want to make about Meyer’s talk and Smithson’s entropic monument that, I believe, engage with our discipline of Classics. john taine (erick temple bell) "the time stream" DigitalEssay.net. Required fields are marked *. Smithson’s punning reference to Poussin’s use of the phrase et in Arcadia ego in his Arcadian Shepherds of 1637-8 (see below – Pouissin also has another work that uses the phrase – nb. The following excerpt is from Robert Slifkin's new book, THE NEW MONUMENTS AND THE END OF MAN: U.S. Sculpture Between War and Peace, 1945-1975. Later the plain narrative was replaced by parallel events. They are evoking the ‘roots’ of words to ground them at the same time as showing the instability or even entropy of language itself. Meyer showed the extent of the impact of this potent nostalgia (if that is even the right term) for these tragic events on Smithson’s work by discussing how the events literarly transformed the Woodshed into a monument by the act of graffiti. By proposing the necessity of an expiration date for all examples of the category, these works propose an ethics to the monument’s characteristic temporal expansiveness, one whose ultimate message is not so much remember this as keep going. But where is Smithson gaining his perspective? Robert Smithson, an artist and a writer of “A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey (1967)”, observes geologic change and acknowledges nothing is permanent or everlasting. The sound of the helicopter motor became a primal groan echoing into tenuous aerial views. (A drive down any suburban highway indicates the prophetic force of Smithson’s assessment, delineating to a fateful trajectory that leads from a minimalist box to a chain box store, both of which, according to the artist’s theory, foretell a forgettable future of cultural monotony and cosmic extinction.) Through this writing, Smithson explains the ideal beauty is the false future, and the true reality is seen through connecting the ideal to the imperfections of ruins. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Meyer was speaking as the keynote of the Ohio State History of Art Graduate Association biannual conference Boundaries of the im|material and his talk was advertised as ‘Bad Entropy’, although he actually spoke about ‘Entropy as Monument’.

Painted steel and bronze, 12½ × 27¼ × 10¾ in. Painted steel on wood base, 321⁄8 × 37 × 75⁄8 in. Even though it was meant to disintegrate (and it all but has), it offers a memorial to the event that it preceded. This postmodern and post-medium renewal of sculptural monumentalism emerged in the mid-1960s (the moment, when as Rosalind Krauss has argued, the tenets of modernist autonomy gave way to an array of practices that engaged with the contingencies of site) in the work of artists like Dan Flavin, Claes Oldenburg, and Robert Smithson, who produced nominal, if fundamentally ironic, versions of the form. It locates the conflation of the primal, out of body experience of the helicopter ride (Arcadia) and the site of the jetty (Utah) in the figure of the pun. Smithson would align this paradoxical future-orientated oblivion conveyed by these new monuments with the concept of entropy, arguing that the typically bland, geometric forms associated with the new sculpture served as material auguries of an all-encompassing sameness that would, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, ultimately inflect the entire universe. Theodore Roszak, Spectre of Kitty Hawk, 1946–47. Robert Slifkin is associate professor of fine arts at New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. He refers to the fluctuation of scale of the Spiral Jetty as dependent on the viewer that leads to a ‘mental spiral’ and finally to a ‘world that cannot be expressed by number or rationality.

This question supports Meyer’s ambivalent use of ancient Rome in his talk since the answer it calls for – and demands if we are to see the subject of the essay (and the photowork itself) as itself a work of art – is ‘yes’ (like the unintentional monument of the Woodshed), while the phrasing of the question also maintains Rome’s exemplary and foundational status (like the photo of the young artist at the Colosseum). Excerpt: Robert Slifkin on New Monuments for the Nuclear Age. process, Smithson puts the word ‘scale’ through the etymplogical mill (taken from Websters): Scale skal n. it. To help with the explanation, Smithson maps entropy by deterritorializing the artificially controlled area and reterritorializing with the natural occurances. From THE NEW MONUMENTS AND THE END OF MAN: U.S. Sculpture Between War and Peace, 1945-1975 by Robert Slifkin. Partially Buried Woodshed, 1970, Kent State University, Kent State, was a piece Smithson created on site during an invitational arts …

This return comprises of a series of retrospectives in the mid-2000s, as well as Smithson’s conception of the Non-Site supplanting Duchamp’s Readymade at the center of contemporary artistic practices. Writing about the ‘new kind of monumentality’ of the art of his time – in particular that of Donald Judd, Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt and Dan Flavin – Smithson argues that such artists ‘celebrate what Flavin calls “inactive history” or what the physicist calls “entropy” or “energy drain.” They bring to mind the Ice Age rather than the Golden Age…[and] provide a visible analog for the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which extrapolates the range of entropy by telling us energy is more easily lost than obtained.’ Yet this new monumentality grounded in entropy is also a very fitting description of Smithson’s own work, and this was the focus of Meyer’s talk. Here we are fully immersed in the world of Smithson’s ‘Earthwords’ (to borrow Craig Owens’ already appropriated term); his heaps of language: So, where does that leave Smithson’s Rome? Dennis Oppenheim, Decomposed MOCA, 1969. (Society for Ongoing and Future Artistic Redefnition), This Class was an Artwork (Kant after Social Dissonance), If the Good is to be Good it must be Good everywhere, Donald Lokuta: Plato’s Cave – Segal’s Studio, when all the dust has when all my dust has settled, Diabolical Dispersion, or, How to Get Ahead in the Arts, Screengrab Diary from a Barbarian Land (for Yervant Gianikian). ROBERT SMITHSON. From the helicopter, which too undergoes etymological deconstruction: ‘from the Greek helix, helikos meaning spiral.’  I would claim that these Classical etymologies are performing the same role for Smithson as the Et in Utah ego pun. Smithson was well aware of this too, as the wonderful essay ‘A Museum of Language in the Vicinity of Art’ (1968) shows in its treatment of the writings of Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and others as part of their Minimalist work. (For more info on Robert Smithson, go to www.robertsmithson.com – from which I have borrowed the images of his works for this post). Potu faitautusi: Faiāʻoga o gagana e, ia uluulumamau! The great pipe that we see as relatively permanent was “secretly sodomizing some hidden technological orifice.” It is the pleasure of movement and the pain of. In this regard, monuments, at least as they have been traditionally understood, are fundamentally conservative objects, seeking to shape the future, not through revolutionary action, but aspiring for the more moderate promise of constancy, both material and mnemonic, within the inevitable flux of time. (102.2 × 45.7 × 38.1 cm).

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